Maintenance of walking shoes. Practical tips!

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Onderhoud wandelschoenen. Praktische tips!
If you do a lot of walking, good walking shoes are a must. Good maintenance is also necessary here.

Up the paths, into the avenues. Walking is wonderful. Walking longer or shorter distances is healthy. Traveling miles and miles is stress-reducing. An evening walk is good for your relationship. In short: walking is recommended! Good walking shoes increase the walking pleasure. Poorly maintained shoes or walking shoes of low quality sometimes cause complaints such as blisters or sore feet. If you choose good walkers and maintain them well, you will enjoy them for years to come. Read the practical tips below!

Tip 1: Cleaning walking shoes necessary after every walk

If you have completed a walking tour, clean your shoes! What do you do after every walk?

  • Brushing shoes, leather is then breathable and air permeable.
  • Laces loose.
  • Pull the tongue forward.
  • Clean with warm water and a brush.
  • Allow large blobs of mud to dry first, then wipe it off with a brush.

Tip 2: Let wet shoes dry in a ventilated room

Was it very wet outside? A rain shower during the hike? Then dry the shoes well. A well-ventilated area is important. However, do not place the shoes near a heat source. Not near a stove, but certainly not in the sun either. The leather can then dry out or even break. Also remove the insoles so that they can dry properly. If the shoes are very wet, remove the laces. Put kitchen paper in the shoes if necessary to absorb moisture. Preferably no newspaper, because the ink is not too good for the shoes.

Tip 3: Store shoes in the right place

Store the walking shoes in a dry, ventilated, preferably not too warm place. A constant temperature is especially important. Never store the shoes in a plastic bag. Not in the mood for tight shoes? Then use a wooden shoe tree. Walking shoes usually remain in good shape, but sometimes the nose can sag after a long time. Finally, preferably put the shoes upright.

Tip 4: Never put hiking shoes in the washing machine

You probably didn't intend to do this either, but I would like to point this out anyway. Never put leather and synthetic shoes in the washing machine! The consequences can be disastrous. Due to the high temperatures and the mechanics of the machine, the color pigments sometimes fade. In addition, the upper material can be damaged and glued parts regularly come loose.

Tip 5: Also clean the inside of the shoes

Clean the textile liner with lukewarm water and a little bit of green soap. This improves the smell of the shoes and the Gore-Tex membrane restores breathability. Over time, this can become clogged by salt crystals from sweat.

Care of leather inner lining

The liner takes quite a beating. A long hike causes sweaty feet for most people. If you do not clean the inner lining, it will be affected by the salts from the sweat. The liner then becomes brittle and hard. Therefore, be sure to treat the inside of your shoes as well. For example, use a special leather milk.

Tip 6: Go to the professional for professional maintenance

You can easily clean and maintain the shoes yourself, but do repairs? Then it is best to go to an experienced shoemaker. Are the stitching coming off? Need a new sole? Give the shoes another chance and take them to the professional.

Maintenance sole of walking shoes

There is not much you can do about wear on the soles. Care or good maintenance does little to help. The degree of wear mainly depends on how often you walk and the way you place your feet. Keep an eye out for the heels! If you're on time, the shoemaker will put new heels underneath. If they are worn too far, chopping is no longer possible.

Tip 7: Give the shoes regular maintenance

If you clean the shoes after every hike, you can postpone the extensive maintenance for a while. Nevertheless, it is important to regularly schedule extra maintenance. Especially if you use the shoes a lot.

Impregnate hiking boots

If the shoes are completely clean, it is now time for an impregnation. What do you pay attention to?

  • Impregnation works best when the walking shoes are slightly damp.
  • The impregnation penetrates deeply into the material due to the widely opened pores.
  • Impregnation agents are available for specific materials, but you can also use universal products.

Tip 8: Choose good impregnation spray hiking shoes

Take a look at the Ultramar webshop. Here you will find the ideal product for impregnating your hiking boots. Pros of Impregnating Agent & Water Repellent Spray Outdoor Gear Protector:

  • Can be used for various applications such as backpacks, sailing clothing, ski clothing and outdoor shoes.
  • Makes perfectly dirt-repellent.
  • Makes perfectly water repellent.
  • Gives your shoes a longer life.
  • Easy in use.

 Outdoor Gear Protector

How Does Impregnating Agent & Water Repellent Spray Outdoor Gear Protector Work?

  • The shoes must be dry before starting the treatment.
  • Spray the product evenly on both shoes. From left to right. From top to bottom. A thin layer is enough.
  • Now let the shoes dry thoroughly.

Maintenance depending on material hiking boots

Not all shoes require the same treatment. Read more below to find out which approach your walking shoes need.

Taking care of leather

Leather requires special handling. The shoes are impregnated during production, but regular maintenance remains necessary. Especially if you have cleaned the shoes with water, re-impregnation is necessary. What else do you pay attention to?

  • Take a water-based leather care product.
  • Apply this with your fingers, with a brush or a cloth on the outside of the shoes.
  • Leather absolutely needs nourishment, otherwise it will dry out.
  • If you use a wax or conditioner, the walking shoes will become slightly darker in color.
  • Pay attention to which product you use, because not everything is suitable. Some products affect the water resistance of your shoes.

Waxing hiking boots

I already told you that leather gets rough at some point. Especially if it has been in contact with a lot of moisture. You can feel this very well with your fingers, the leather feels almost like sandpaper. Then nourish the leather with a good wax. If you don't do this, the leather will tear. Unfortunately, you will then be too late and waxing is no longer useful. How do you wax the shoes?

  • First wash off wet shoes with lukewarm water.
  • Let the shoes dry.
  • Brush off the dirt from the dry shoes.
  • Are the shoes dry and clean now?
  • Then take the laces out.
  • Rub the entire outside of the shoes with wax.
  • Also pay close attention to the transitions with the sole.
  • Pay extra attention to the seams.
  • Preferably apply the wax with a brush in a warm room.
  • Let the wax absorb well.
  • No need to rub.
  • If you want the leather to have an extra shine, then opt for polishing.
  • If the wax has absorbed well, you can still treat it with an impregnating agent.

Is leather grease also suitable?

Leather grease is certainly not recommended if you want to treat the shoes properly. The disadvantage of leather grease is that it makes the leather very soft and supple. Unfortunately, there is little left of the necessary support that you expect from a good walking shoe. In addition, the leather no longer breathes if you rub it with leather grease.

Waterproof hiking boots

The top of the shoes is made of leather. Like almost everything, leather is subject to wear and tear. Feeding and protecting is therefore important. Especially if you also hike in autumn and winter. Then the shoes have to endure a lot due to wet grass and mud. Regularly use a good impregnating agent and the shoes are and remain waterproof.


Maintenance of Nubuck hiking boots

Nubuck is a somewhat roughened type of leather. In itself, the shoes are simply made of smooth leather, but the top layer is slightly sanded. This makes the look a bit more chic. In addition, the shoes look robust and damage or irregularities are less noticeable. How does the cleaning and maintenance of Nubuck hiking boots work?

  • Clean first. If the shoes really didn't get dirty at all, for example if you only walked on asphalt, you can sometimes skip cleaning. Usually, however, a cleaning is necessary. If you want to keep the actual look of the nubuck, brush the shoes with a suede brush. Stains and damage can be treated with a scouring pad.
  • Now use impregnation spray for hiking boots.
  • Finally, you can wax the shoes. Over time, the color of the nubuck fades. There will also undoubtedly appear some stains and damage. Then wax the shoes so that the nubuck becomes smooth again. This is important, because then the water runs off the shoes better. The shoes become darker in color, but also last for years longer. It is better not to use wax too thick and not too often.

Gore-Tex maintenance

Gore-Tex hiking boots are generally very pleasant to wear. This is partly due to the highly breathable membrane. However, this does require maintenance. If you wait too long with this, you will quickly suffer from sweaty feet. The membrane of the Gore-Tex is then clogged. This problem can be easily prevented and solved by cleaning. How does that work?

  • Remove the insoles.
  • Fill the shoes with lukewarm water.
  • Let this stand for 5 minutes.
  • Then throw out all the water.
  • Let the shoes dry for about 48 hours.

What is Gore-Tex anyway

What are the characteristics of a Gore-Tex liner? What actually ensures the excellent quality of this? Gore-Tex is a super thin membrane. The secret is in the structure. That is because it is microporous. The membrane has 1.4 billion pores per square centimeter. You understand that a drop of water is many times larger than such a pore. This prevents moisture from entering. What about sweat? This can escape, because a water vapor molecule is smaller than a pore. How do you maintain these unique properties of Gore-Tex?

  • Don't wear cotton socks, as they absorb moisture rather than release it.
  • Choose good socks that absorb sweat from the skin on the one hand and release it back to the membrane on the other.
  • Maintenance regularly, do not wait for the shoes to leak.
  • Trim your toenails fairly short. Otherwise they may cause leakage in the diaphragm.

Clammy feet in Gore-Tex shoes

Of course you do not expect this with high-quality shoes. This problem is probably solved. Time for maintenance, I think. If your feet feel clammy, the membrane is almost certainly clogged. The effect is then immediately much less. It is important that you clean the membrane now. See above how to do this.

Hiking boots with leather lining

More expensive hiking boots often have a leather lining. Usually the shoes are reasonably priced, but the advantages are not wrong:

  • High wearing comfort.
  • Leather molds to the foot.
  • Breathes well.
  • Long lifespan.

Hiking boots with plastic lining

Plastic has few advantages. Perhaps the only thing is that it makes the shoes a lot cheaper.

Choose the right shoes

Perhaps you are still looking for good walking shoes. So what do you pay attention to?

  • Ask for expert advice, so choose a good shoe store or sports store.
  • Try on the shoes a little later in the day, because your feet will be thicker.
  • Put on your hiking socks if the shoes fit you.
  • It is best to fit the shoes standing up.
  • It is important to put on both shoes equally.
  • Don't skimp on quality.
  • Choose shoes with a sturdy heel counter.

Have you found the perfect shoes? Then only pay attention to regular maintenance and you will enjoy it for years! Lots of walking pleasure!