Spring is just three weeks away and time to pack away those puffer coats and cozy boots. But, before tucking your boots at the back of the closet or under the bed, make sure they are in tip-top shape and ready to go when the first snowfall hits next winter.
Since boots have been exposed to the elements all winter, from snow and rain to salt, they’re likely showing signs of wear. Not only may uppers be soiled, outsoles may be covered with mud and debris.
1. It’s also time to air them out since the heat inside the boot may have contributed to bacteria growth, which can cause odors as well as contribute to health issues in the future.
2. Not all boots should be treated the same when prepping them for storage. Care and maintenance depends on the material. For shearling, suede and leather styles, there are a range of affordable leather cleaners and conditioners that can be found at your local shoe repair shop, discount chains and online.
3. For boots with water-repellent nylon uppers, some mild soap and water can likely clean them. But, make sure they are completely dry before storing them.
4. It’s also makes sense to check the insoles of your boots, since they may have compressed during the season and will no longer provide the proper support. Remove them before storing, and replace them next season.
5. It’s also a good idea to keep the shape of your boots with plastic boot shapers or trees that can easily be adjusted to conform to the shape of the boot. Or, simply stuff boots with tissue paper for quick and cost effective alternative.
6. You’re still not done. The condition of the sole is equally important. Remove any particles that may have lodged in the lug sole with a brush, then rinse off with soap and water. If you find the tread is worn down so they no longer provide the necessary slip-resistance, it’s time for a new pair.
7. Lastly, if you no longer have the original box, you can likely find a small laundry bag with drawstring that serves the purpose. Or, a plastic storage box found at a home improvement or storage specialty store will also serve the purpose.
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