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  • Trekking Tips

5 easy hacks to pamper your trekking shoes

Published On 21 May 2020 by Harshit Patel

The importance of a pair of trekking shoes to a traveler is no less than of that a knife to a butcher. You need to have your equipment perfect for a perfect experience no matter if it's a piece of meat or conquering a summit.

As important as it is to have the right pair of shoes it is equally important to take good care of them. With following a very simple and convenient care routine you can make your shoes last for years saving you 100s of dollars.

Caring for your shoes is a routine activity that begins with breaking into your new pair of shoes, and then requires care both during the trek and after each hike as well.

Break into your shoes

Hiking shoes are meant to be super comfortable but they could hurt more than high pencil heels if you skip this task. It's very judicial to break in your boots before you go on your first trek wearing them. You can simply wear them in the house or outdoors as well so that the shoe gets adjusted according to the structure of your feet making it considerably more comfortable during the hike. One additional tip is to wear them with socks even when you are just trying to break in.

Check all the boxes

There is a list of things you must ensure before taking your old pair of shoes on a trek and it's crucial that you tick all the boxes for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

  • Waterproofing:

  • It is extremely important to have waterproof trekking shoes. If due to any reason, you do not have a pair, you can waterproof them yourself. These DIY?S are not foolproof but can definitely be a lifesaver!

    If your shoes need waterproofing, do it before venturing out into the wild. Do not, we repeat, do not, leave this task for later because you feel it might not be required.

    The type of waterproofing agent to be used will depend on the type of material your shoes are made up of. Though it is always better to find a pair of already waterproof shoes in case you can't find one don't hesitate to ask the seller for the waterproofing agent you would need.

    Usually, leather shoes require an oil-based sealer whereas the fabric ones require silicon-based resistance. After applying the waterproofing agent use a shoe dryer or a general hair dryer on low heat to help the wax sink in. Never over oil or over wax your shoes thinking that it will provide better retention but actually it will cause the leather to decompose and prevent heat retaining.

  • Laces:

  • Do not forget about your shoelaces either. make sure they are in good enough condition to provide you the perfect support and if they don't change them right away. It?s always suggested to carry an extra pair of shoe laces during hiking because you never know when it may get soiled. Also, consider the condition of the aglets if that is in good condition or not.

  • Clean em?

  • Carefully check for any cracks in the leather, insoles, base, etc. Clean any debris, dirt, or any other thing stuck to your shoes right away. Better do it now than regretting it later when you are stuck in the mud!

How to clean your shoes during the trip

  • Cleaning during the hike will certainly not be as not good as after the hike, but it does make a lot of difference.

  • After the day's trek and a good stretch, make sure you take out 10 minutes to clean your shoes. Put your shoes upside down and hit them against the floor to get rid of any sort of dirt or debris that has fallen into it.

  • Tap the back of both the boots together to rub off any stuck up mud from its base.

  • Using any sharp object like a pocket knife dig the mud out off the soles of the shoes. Layers of caked mud can lead to the shoes wearing out faster.

  • Your shoes might get sweaty and stinky after long hours of walking so let the sunbathe them a little.

  • Dry out socks separately, do not put them inside your boots.

  • After doing so much of hard work you certainly do not deserve a bug bite so bang your shoes against the ground in upside down in order to get rid of any not so pleasant visitors!

Cleaning your boots after your return

  • Bang them against the floor as you did during your trip. Now take a hard-bristled toothbrush or a cleaning brush and remove the remaining dirt and debris by scratching it on the surface. But make sure you don?t do it too hard you certainly would not want to spoil your shoes.

  • Wipe the insides with warm water to get rid of the salt that accumulates after precipitation. You can also wash them in lukewarm soapy water to get rid of any remaining dirt.

  • Nylon and mesh uppers can be washed with mild dish soap and warm water. Avoid using harsh detergents as it can break the shoes over time.

  • Later on keep them for drying up in direct sunlight.

Let?s talk about the storage

Nobody goes hiking all around the year right? therefore it is very important to have a perfect place in your closet to store them as well. Avoid humid places for storing your boots this might cause to rot them in the long run. Also, never use plastic bags for storage it prevents your boots from breathing.

In case you get your shoes wet


Your trekking trail might require you to cross a stream of water during your way through the forests; after all, who doesn?t love the thrill from an unexpected adventure? But what if all this adventure makes your remaining trek uncomfortable due to wet shoes?

  • Firstly take a break and soak out all the extra water from your shoes then take off your socks and dry them up by squeezing hard(we sincerely hope you have a pair of quick-dry socks). Put a fresh pair on hang the previous on your backpack for a quick dry. You can also stack up your shoes with a towel or newspaper for quick drying.

  • After your day's hike take out your insoles for quick drying. Put them out in the sun, but do not place your boots close to any open heat source like a stove or bonfire this will cause damage to your boots and weakening up.

  • Wet shoes can even lead to foul-smelling even if you have dried them completely this happens due to the remaining moisture in them. The best way to get rid of that is to dry your shoes in direct sunlight and apply some anti-fungal talc on your feet.

We hope all this information was beneficial to you. If you have any doubts, just shoot a mail and we will reply within no time. By following these simple tips and tricks you can not only make your shoes last longer but also have a great and comfortable trekking experience.

  1. Harshit Patel : Co-Founder at Trekmunk. A certified Mountaineer, Skiier, has led more than 50 high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas. He is an Engineer by profession but a traveler by passion. He has led treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal. He is a NOLS certified First Aid Responder and has covered 185,000+ km on Motorcycle. A Poet, Drone Pilot and Videographer at Insane Traveller Productions.

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