How to Protect Your Winter Boots
It’s important to keep your feet dry this winter, because wet feet and exposure to the cold can risk hypothermia. While some types of winter boots come with built in waterproofing material, some of them, like UGGS, are not water resistant on their own. This can deteriorate the material, as well as expose your feet to the elements.
In this scenario, a sprayable waterproof covering may be available, depending on the type of material you're dealing with. Of course, while sprays may work well for one material, such as leather, the same spray may not be good for another material like suede. In the case that waterproofing sprays don’t do the trick, another alternative would be beeswax, a natural wax that works great on softer materials.
Clean & Odor-Free
Nobody likes dirty or smelly shoes, and with the winter approaching quickly, it is essential to keep your shoes in clean and good condition to get the most out of their wear. And upkeep does not require a lot of time- or money - to accomplish. For one, use a half-sole or tap rubbers reinforce the life of your shoes; your local shoe repairman can easily do this for around $20.
As for cleanliness, depending on your material, there are varying styles to clean your boots. For leather, a regular moisturizing and polishing routine can help retain its natural and sturdy look, as a light stain remover or shoe cleaner can get stains from cloth materials. But, do not to forget to also clean out the inside, using a cotton swab and either tree oil or alcohol. As well, always make sure to wear stockings or socks to prevent moisture and fungus growth.
And it’s essential to take care of salt and snow stains immediately, or as soon as possible after exposure to maintain the strength of the material.
Even though this seems almost irrelevant, the way you store your shoes and boots does affect the longevity of their life. For example, leaving your boots out to “air out” after repeated or extensive use before storing them away in a dark closet allow the boots to rest their shape and reduce odor. When it comes to proper storage, it would be a worthy investment to buy a shoe tree, another way of maintaining the shoe’s structure naturally.
Awareness of Condition
Even though you try your hardest to maintain the strength and life of your shoes and boots, the time will come when they are due for repairs and touch ups, and the winter season will definitely take an extensive tole on the shoes. It’s essential to be wary of thinning areas of material or soles and to replace them in proper timing before the shoes become unusable. Along with this, keeping a close watch on heels and other high exposure areas will prevent slips and falls, and help the general lifespan of the shoes.
There are many odds and ends to taking care of your shoes this winter season to ensure they will last through the brutality of the snow, slush and salt. And many are worthy of investing in, if needed, to maintain the longevity of their lives, before their eventual replacement.