Put Your Best Boot Forward: Our Guide To Cleaning Hiking Boots

a pair of brown hiking boots

Hiking boots are built to withstand abuse from different elements, allowing you to trek through muddy trails and rocky surfaces in comfortable footwear for the rest of your journey. Investing in quality boots is a must if you want to experience a smooth hike, especially since it introduces both panache and practicality to your outdoor lifestyle. 

While a few stains and weariness serve as a badge of honor for your boots, it’s important to give it some TLC to ensure it doesn’t age sooner than its expected lifespan. If you want to keep your hiking boots robust for the long haul, cleaning off the caked mud, dirt particles, and other debris after every adventure is a must. 

With that in mind, the guide below should give a simple rundown on how to keep your kicks fresh down the line: 

Step #1: Remove Excess Dirt And Dried Mud 

Before anything else, it’s best to shake off excess mud surrounding the boots by bashing the soles together. This will knock off loose mud, while you can scrub off ingrained dirt using a tough brush. 

Step #2: Remove The Laces 

After brushing off the dried mud logged in between the treads of your soles, remove the laces and soak it under warm, soapy water to remove the dirt stains. Rinse it after leaving it to submerged for a few minutes and let it air dry under the sun. 

Step #3: Wash And Soak The Boots 

After cleaning the laces and removing extra dirt, you can get the uppers polished by rinsing it under warm water. Add some mild soap and use a brush to scrub the surface, seams, and in between creases to remove the layer of grime. 

After brushing it with mild detergent, soak the boots under warm water for a few minutes to soften the remaining mud. Remove the dirty water and give the boots a final rinse using clean, running water. 

Step #4: Towel Dry And Remove Innersoles 

After cleaning your pair of hiking boots, use an old, clean rag to dry the boots and prevent too much moisture from warping the leather as it dries later on. Be sure to remove the innersoles and give it a good wash too, especially since it’s the one that harbors the most bacteria from your sweat. 

Dry the innersoles separately from your boots by hanging it overnight and letting it air dry. 

Step #5: Stuff Your Boots With Paper 

If you want to speed up the drying process and remove excess dampness on the inside, add some scrunched up paper into the boots as this will absorb the remaining moisture. Leave the boots in a dry place and let it dry overnight, though you can use a fan for faster results. 

The Bottom Line: Keeping Your Hiking Boots Looking Good As New For The Long Haul

Hiking boots are designed to wear-and-tear over time as you go through epic journeys, but cleaning it after every adventure is crucial if you want to prolong its lifespan. Leaving dirt to cake on can take a toll on the leather and cause it to unravel after just a few trips into the wilderness, so be sure to take some time to freshen up your kicks to ensure it works well as new. 

Why Shop With Us? 

Are you on the hunt for the best outdoor essentials? We’re a specialty sporting retailer in St. Louis, USA, that offers a wide selection of apparel, gear, and equipment for hiking, hunting, camping, and everything in between. 

We take pride in helping you achieve a smooth-sailing adventure, equipping you with the edge you need to enjoy the great outdoors. With multiple choices from reputable brands under our wing, shop with us and see how we can gear you up from head-to-toe for your next escapade.