How to Seal Hiking Boots

How to Seal Hiking Boots
Hiking boots have the ability to last up to 100 miles or more, even the more inexpensive models. However, if you want your boots to last even longer, you'll need to seal those boots. Sealing protects the boots from moisture damage and makes the leather more supple and able to handle more rugged terrain. Sealant products for leather provide the best way to seal hiking boots.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Stiff brush
  • Saddle soap
  • Newspaper or towels
  • Sealant
Step 1
Determine the type of material used in your boots. Regular waterproof sealants for boots and shoes work if you have leather hiking boots or hiking boots with waterproof materials used in the uppers. If you have hiking boots made from Gore-Tex or a similar material, use a sealant with silicone as the primary ingredient.
Step 2
Brush off any debris from the surface of your hiking boots using a stiff brush. Even wearing your boots around the house or for a simple walk can cause dirt, dust and other type of debris to stick to the surface, which prevents the sealant from working properly.
Step 3
Clean the outside of the boots with saddle soap and let dry overnight. Saddle soap cleans the exterior of your hiking boots and provides a smooth surface for the sealant. The sealant won't stick as well to dirty areas of the hiking boots.
Step 4
Stuff the inside of the boots with newspaper or towels. This helps the boots keep their shape when applying the sealant as well as letting you see any areas that are cracked or damaged from regular use. Stuffing the boots also helps keep them firm when you apply the sealant and ensures that you get the hard-to-reach areas.
Step 5
Apply your sealant to the surface of your hiking boots and let dry. Then apply an extra layer of sealant to the seams on your hiking boots, especially where the boots meet the soles. Add more sealant to any areas where you notice wear and tear and let dry overnight.

Tips & Warnings

If you're in a hurry or need your hiking boots to dry faster, use a hair dryer on a low setting to help the sealant dry faster. Another option is to leave the boots sitting next to a heater or fire, so the boots will dry quickly.
Don't use sealant on hiking boots made of synthetic materials, as the sealant won't work. Synthetic materials are often a component of less expensive hiking boots.

Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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