There’s a threat of snow on the East Coast today. However, with spring just days away, it’s time to think about finally putting those winter boots at the back of the closet.
But before you pack them in their box, make sure they are in the proper condition so they’ll look as good as new when winter rolls around again. Below are some DIY tips to make it a simple process.
First, make sure boots are wiped clean of debris and salt. There are plenty of products available online that will help remove any lingering dirt from leather as well as quilted fabric styles. Or, for the budget-conscious, a home remedy such as mixing two parts water with one part vinegar can do the job. When boots are wiped clean, remove the vinegar solution with a wet cloth, then dry.
Next, check the soles. Since many winter boots feature bottoms that are textured for slip resistance, small stones and dirt can easily lodge in the crevices. Here, a clean toothbrush with stiff bristles will help remove debris. For the cleaning-obsessed, rinse the bottoms with water and dishwashing liquid to remove any surface dirt.
It also may be time to check the insoles after a long, hard winter. Since many winter boots feature footbeds that can be removed, it’s easy to check to see if they are worn and no longer provide proper support or cushioning. A new pair can easily be found in most outdoor specialty or shoe stores, as well as online. But make sure new ones are the same thickness as the originals so there will still be ample room for your foot. It’s also a good idea to keep an extra pair on hand during the winter should insoles become damp.
You may also want to consider a boot shaper or stuffer that fits into the shaft of the boot to help it keep its shape. They’re available at a wide range of price points from $10 to $26.
Lastly, consider where you are storing your boots to make sure the area is not too hot or cold, since this can affect leather. Also, use the original cardboard box if possible. Plastic boxes will not allow leather to breathe.
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