Almost everyone knows the feeling when the big toe slowly gets wet and the socks get heavier and heavier . And with every step that is taken, the water swells out and is then sucked in again. Does that sound familiar to you too? We have summarized some tips on how to waterproof your hiking boots and protect them from unwanted water ingress . So you're good for wet weather prepared for rain, snow and mud .
Note: Basically, your hiking shoes should already be made of water-repellent material, otherwise it will be difficult to make them completely waterproof. So pure fabric shoes will probably never be 100% waterproof.
Spray, cream or wax - which agent for which upper material?
There are different ways to make your hiking boots waterproof. Which type of impregnation is suitable for which material?
Sprays are probably the easiest method to protect your shoes from penetrating moisture. Impregnation sprays are available for many different materials. However, they are best suited for Synthetic fabrics and suede (such as nubuck leather and suede leather). Are your walking shoes with a membrane equipped (e.g Gore-Tex ) sprays are also great. The spray layer protects the material without clogging the pores.
Shoe wax takes a little more time to apply, but that's exactly it proper care for hiking shoes smooth leather .
Wax or spray for Gore-Tex?
Basically, when choosing the right impregnation for a Gore-Text shoe, it comes down to existing upper on.
How does Gore Tex work:
Brief explanation: Gore-Tex is a membrane the between the outer and inner material of a shoe is incorporated. This membrane ensures that no water ingress can. At the same time, the shoes remain breathable as long as there is a sufficiently large temperature difference between the ambient temperature and the temperature inside the shoe. breathability is at one temperature difference from about 15 degrees given.
Depending on whether your hiking shoes are off leather or synthetic materials are made, use a spray or wax. We have already discussed above which is suitable for what.
Rule number 1 for Gore-Tex shoes : never use highly greasy or oily agents (e.g. leather oil, grease cream)! An unsuitable impregnating agent clogs the pores of the membrane and impairs its function.
Make hiking shoes waterproof – instructions
Properly impregnate with spray
After you have your hiking shoes thoroughly cleaned and you have freed yourself from all dust, dirt and stones, you can start with the impregnation. We have described below how to wash your shoes correctly ( for instructions ).
Since the spray - similar to hairspray or spray deodorant - irritates the bronchi, you should only use it well ventilated rooms use. It would be best if you left your shoes on the balcony/terrace or in general outdoors sprinkled Once the shoes dried are, you can with the impregnate start.
At a distance of approx. sprayed 30-40 cm you the hiking boot evenly in a thin layer. You can repeat this process 2-3 times. the thinner and more even the layers are the better . If you sprayed on too much, you can simply remove the excess with a cloth.
Depending on Instructions for use , the shoes are dried for approx. 24 hours . Sufficient drying or exposure of the product is very important to get the full effect. Then the shoelaces are threaded back in and you're ready to go.
Properly impregnate with wax / cream
Again, it is very important that shoes before the treatment all around clean . Instructions for this can be found below ( to the instructions ).
Unlike the spray, it can shoe when impregnating with wax, one more thing wet be. You can use the wax or the cream with a cloth carefully into the leather incorporate . Make sure you get the wax distribute evenly and also the seams does not omit.
After about 20 minutes can you excess wax/cream with a shoe brush or a dry cloth remove .
Subsequently, the wax must still further Act for 24 hours . Respectively are Hints for application and drying time on the respective product to note. After complete drying (only then are your hiking boots waterproof) the shoelaces are threaded back in and your adventure can begin.
How often should you waterproof your shoes?
Basically should the hiking shoe after each Use when wet thoroughly cleaned and subsequently impregnated will. who one permanent water protection aspires, must have his shoes care for and accordingly treat .
Definitely should bring hiking shoes right after the purchase with an appropriate means impregnated will. Many hiking boots already have a basic impregnation, which is definitely sufficient for a hike in nice weather or a little dew in the morning. For unstable weather conditions is a more extensive protection however necessary.
For sporadic use
For hiking shoes, which only 2x a year come to use applies essentially exactly the same thing Principle. We would still recommend that shortly before the hike any existing layer of dust is removed and another impregnation he follows. Note, however, that at least 24 hours before use must be done to have full effect.
With continuous use
at regular use the hiking shoe should at least every 1-2 months be impregnated again. Impregnation does not last forever. Dust, water and abrasion cause a reduction in effectiveness with frequent use. One is all the more important repeated waterproofing treatment.
Dry and care for wet shoes properly
If the hiking boots were waterproofed too late, too little or incorrectly and moisture has already penetrated the shoes, then drying them properly is the first step. And this is where a lot can go wrong.
What to do if your shoes are already wet?
First the waterlogged shoes washed by hand will. Usually the moisture penetrating from the outside is not clean spring water. On the contrary - mud, puddles or snow paired with dirty soil create a combination of dirt and an unpleasant smell.
Clean shoes properly
In the first step it is important to dirt both of the Outside , as well as in inner space of the hiking shoe, carefully remove . The best way to do this is with a bucket of lukewarm water, a clean cloth (for inside) and one shoe brush (for the coarse dirt outside). shoelaces and shoe inserts should be taken out of the shoe and separately be cleaned and dried. As a detergent, you can use a special detergent for shoes or just clean water to use. Alternatively, a detergent for functional underwear can also be used.
Utensils for cleaning shoes
Can I wash my hiking boots in the washing machine?
It is by no means recommended to clean your hiking boots in a washing machine. Since special adhesives are used when processing hiking shoes, these can easily come off in the washing machine. In addition, the mechanical friction in the laundry drum is an additional source of damage. Shoes with leather content in particular should definitely be kept away from washing machines.
A notice: In the gentle cycle can insoles and laces easily in the washing machine washed will. Some synthetic hiking shoes can also be washed in the washing machine. Definitely on the respective Care Instructions of the manufacturer!
Dry shoes properly - but how?
This is where the most common and fatal mistakes happen. Because wet hiking boots should never be dried in high heat, on the heater, in front of the radiant heater or even in the oven. The material of your shoes, whether leather, synthetic or with a membrane layer, is far too sensitive and needs gentle drying. After all, you want to use your hiking shoes for longer and, ideally, extend their lifespan.
It is best to stuff enough newspaper into the shoes, all the way to the front of the shoe. The leather or other material should be pushed into shape. Depending on how wet the shoes are, the newspaper has to be replaced several times.
A notice: Most of the moisture collects at the toe of the shoe. Therefore, the paper should also be replaced there most frequently.
As soon as the newspaper is no longer damp, you can use shoe trees to keep the hiking shoes in shape and to dry them completely.
Where should shoes be dried?
It is best to dry hiking boots in an airy, dry room at room temperature. If you have underfloor heating, you can safely let your hiking boots dry on the floor (don't forget the newspaper).
Why is it bad to dry hiking boots in the oven?
Leather has many advantages, especially when used in hiking shoes, it has many practical properties. However, leather is also a sensitive material that requires care. Excessive heat makes this wonderful texture brittle and the leather dries out.
Brittle leather is not only visually unappealing, it is also not comfortable to wear. The function is severely impaired, cracks form, creases are inevitable and the shoes are no longer waterproof. So it's better to rely on the "old-fashioned" stuffing method and make sure your beloved hiking boots don't break in the drying process.
Basically: The manufacturer's cleaning and care instructions always have priority. They know best which materials and adhesives have been used and how to look after them. In other words, it is best to ask the company in question or a specialist shop. The labels on the shoe often provide information on how to clean them properly.
How do I make hiking shoes waterproof?
Briefly summarized again:
- Determine the material type of your hiking shoe.
- Choose a suitable impregnating agent in cream, wax or spray form.
- The product should be applied in a well-ventilated room or outside (sprays in particular can be very irritating to the bronchi).
- Rub the hiking shoe carefully or spray it evenly.
- You can wipe off excess material with a clean cloth or rub it on the shoe.
- Allow to dry as directed (preferably overnight).
- The hiking shoes are only ready for use and offer full protection against moisture after they have been allowed to take effect and dried completely.
Environment and sustainability in shoe care
Cleaning and waterproofing agents for hiking boots are - without putting it better - packed with chemical substances. These are often skin irritant and can also increase if used incorrectly shortness of breath up to irritation of the bronchi (e.g. with impregnation sprays). In order to make your hiking shoes waterproof and to take proper care of them, you will hardly about such means get over
But what you already can do is a conscious handling with the product itself, as well as a Proper disposal to ensure.
As already mentioned, shoe care products can irritate the eyes and skin. To protect yourself from this, you can use the application reusable gloves wear. In addition, the use of such products outdoors recommended to prevent dizziness and headaches.
Shoe care products should always kept safe from children will and only so often as necessary be applied. no way should the products in the meadow or near Plant applied (especially not sprays). These could be a significant Damage carry away. Best outdoors or on the balcony on sealed surfaces .
Professional disposal of shoe polish etc
As soon as a danger sign located on the product packaging or the product, this can be used as a Harmful material or "hazardous waste" to be viewed as. Therefore, these must be in one hazardous waste collection centre be given. Also if this is the common sense already says we want that a notice give again: Never should this packaging enter water bodies or elsewhere be disposed of in the environment!
We hope that we were able to help you with this article and wish you a lot of fun and above all dry feet on your next hike. Kind regards, your Atacama team