How to Protect Your Hiking Boots?

by | Nov 1, 2022

Get ready to lace up your hiking boots whether you’re trekking the world’s longest trail (the Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles) or just strolling through your local park. Good shoes are the foundation of a great adventure. They can also cost a lot of money and you can waste a lot of time looking for the perfect pair. Learn about how to protect your hiking boots and wear them longer below! 

Dry your wet hiking boots with MobilDri

Ease into New Boots

Don’t buy brand-new hiking shoes right before a trip and wear them for the first time on a long hike. Your feet will hurt and you won’t enjoy it. New boots can often feel rigid and stiff when you first try them on. Break them in slowly on smaller walks or even just wear them for a few days around the house.

The material, especially if they’re leather, will slowly mold to your feet the more you wear them. Remember to lace your shoes so your feet are comfortable. Different lacing styles can also help alleviate foot pain. While it might be tempting to try a “quick fix,” don’t attempt any shortcuts to break in your boots faster. You will likely cause permanent damage to your new shoes. 

Scrub Your Boots

Inevitably, your hiking boots will get muddy, but you shouldn’t keep them that way. After you’re done playing in the mud, remember to clean your boots once you get off the trail. A layer of mud can dry out the exterior of your boots and lead to cracking. Dried mud on leather shoes can drastically shorten the useful life of your boots by sucking out moisture and making them stiffer. You spent all that time breaking them in, don’t let it go to waste. Use a spare toothbrush or vegetable brush to scrub the dirt off your boots when you’re at home, preferably in the sink or outside, so they’re ready for your next hiking adventure. 

Did you remember to check for hitchhikers? Cleaning your shoes will also help prevent you from accidentally spreading unwanted organisms from place to place. Invasive species seeds are especially easy to spread through unclean hiking boots and can hurt native species. Check the bottom of your shoes for any lodged rocks or other debris that are stuck in the treads. Stuck rocks can throw off your gait and ruin the traction of your boots. 

Do not attempt to throw your boots in the washing machine. It will ruin them.

Condition your Boots

If you’re hiking in leather boots, you might want to take the extra step of conditioning when needed after you thoroughly clean them. It’s best to condition your leather shoes when they are wet. Conditioning your full-grain (smooth surface) leather boots will help them last longer when they start to look dry or cracked.

Conditioners will also help refresh the waterproof layer on your hiking boots. Make sure to follow the instructions on the conditioner label. The DriStation from VersaDri is a perfect solution for conditioning and drying your wet boots at home after a hike. The DriStation has a place to hold and warm your shoe condition to easily apply it to your boots. 

Condition your hiking boots with the DriStation at home

Pass on the Salt

If you’re hiking near brackish or saltwater, try to avoid getting your shoes wet. Saltwater is corrosive to the metal components of your shoes like the eyelets. If you do get saltwater on your boots, just remember to thoroughly rinse them afterward with fresh water. In winter, if you are walking on salted sidewalks or paths, it’s also a good idea to clean off your shoes with water when you get home. Rubber and leather materials are especially susceptible to salt damage. Quickly washing off your hiking shoes will help prevent saltwater stains on the leather, too.

Use the MobilDri by VersaDri

Even “waterproof” boots can get wet. Don’t wait until you get home to dry out your boots. The MobilDri is the best portable dryer solution. This portable boot dryer easily dries out your shoes as quickly as 15 minutes depending on the material and moisture level. Use the patented ShoeDri Tubes accessories to dry your shoes fast and get them back on your feet. If you have longer boots, try the BootDri Extension Tubes.

The MobilDri portable boot and glove dryer plugs into the 12V AUX outlet (cigarette lighter) in your car or truck so you can dry your gear anywhere you are. The MobilDri fits into your cup holder or can attach to any metal surface with its powerful built-in magnet or built-in hang tab. Removing the insoles and laces of the boots can help dry them out faster and easier.

The 12-volt boot dryer has two settings: Fan Only Mode and Heat Mode. Use the Heat Mode for the most efficient drying and warm comfort. Use Fan Only Mode for drying using less energy. The Fan Only mode is great to use for leather shoes because direct heat can dry your boots too quickly and cause cracking. The Fan Only Mode is perfect for any type of hiking boot because heat can damage the adhesives in your shoes. Avoid drying your hiking boots in direct sunlight. 

It’s important to thoroughly dry your boots out to extend their life. Even if you’re not hiking in the rain or through water, your feet perspire and your boots get wet inside. Bacteria that cause bad smells can start to grow immediately so don’t wait. By using the MobilDri before you get home, you can help prevent mold and other foul-smelling odors in your boots from forming. No one wants stinky boots.  

Properly Store Your Boots

Once you’re done hiking and remember to clean and dry your boots, you need to store them in a safe place for next time. Avoid storing them in auxiliary parts of your house like garages or attics where it can get humid and regularly vary in temperature. 

Hiking is a great and easy way to get outside and enjoy nature. Protect your feet and your wallet by taking care of your boots. 

Store your boots properly to make them last longer

Check out VersaDri to purchase your portable boot dryer for your next adventure!

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