How to Clean Hiking Shoes

How to Clean Hiking ShoesUsed to tromp over rough paths, trails and fields, hiking boots get dirty. At the end of the trip, it is usually a good idea to clean them up, if for no other reason than to control the inevitable odors that the dried-up mud and grime caked all over the outside of a well-used pair of hiking shoes will emit. Thankfully, cleaning up and caring for a pair of hiking shoes is an easy process.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Saddle soap
  • Old rags
  • Mink oil or silicon waterproofing agent
  • Shoe leather conditioner
Step 1
Let your boots dry out. You can accelerate this by putting them in a warm dry place, but not out in direct sunlight.
Step 2
Take the boots over to a sink. Open the faucet so a steady trickle of warm water is flowing out. Use the water and a soft-bristle brush to remove all of the dirt from the surface of the boots.
Step 3
Wet a rag and rub it into your can of saddle soap. Clean the leather parts of the boot.
Step 4
Wet another rag, and use that to rinse off the parts cleaned with saddle soap.
Step 5
Dry the shoes again.
Step 6
Take another rag, and apply mink oil to the leather parts to waterproof them. Silicon waterproofing agent is a good substitute, and bottles of that come with their own applicator. This need not be done every time you clean the shoes, but should be done periodically.
Step 7
Apply shoe leather conditioner with another rag. Once again, this should be done periodically, but not every time the shoes are cleaned.
Step 8
Pull out the insoles of your shoes if they start to smell. Wash them in warm soapy water, rinse and then leave them out to dry separately.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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