If you have recently purchased a pair of combat boots, then the chances are good that you want to learn everything you can about caring for them. After all, making sure that your feet are healthy and comfortable is important to your ability to do your job. Here, you will learn a few maintenance tips for your military or tactical boots, designed to help you get the longest life possible.
Waterproofing Your Boots
There are many products available online for waterproofing your new combat boots, but you must be sure to use a thick leather conditioner rather than one that is thin and watery. To waterproof, simply slather on the conditioner, giving it a little time to sit. Then, use a heat gun or hair dryer to “activate” the product. As the conditioner warms, it soaks down into the leather. This creates a barrier from water, preventing things like mold and rot. Truthfully, you might be surprised at just how long your boots last once you condition the leather. Very active individuals, such as those in the military and police officers, often note that their boots wear out quickly. This waterproofing technique may help you get months more life out of your shoes.
Basic Boot Maintenance and Care
Waterproof boots are important, of course, but you can do other things that will extend the life of your work boots. One of these is as simple as cleaning them every single day after your shift. Here are the tips and tricks to help you do just that:
- Allow mud to dry before attempting to remove it. This way, you can simply knock off much of the caked-on mud rather than simply grinding it further into the leather.
- Brush dust and dirt off of your boots with a real horsehair brush.
- Apply boot polish to leather areas when needed.
- Brush the polished areas with the horsehair brush.
Tan suede boots, otherwise known as desert boots, are a bit more difficult to clean. Because suede is soft, you will need different techniques.
- Brush the boots with a stiff brush using moderate pressure. This removes excess dirt and debris.
- Then, run lukewarm water over them – but do not soak them completely.
- Use a mild hand soap like Ivory, lather up the fingers of one hand, and use that hand to gently massage out any further dirt in the suede.
- Rinse again and air dry.
Disinfect and Protect Against Odors
If you are concerned about stinky foot odor, do not despair. Remember to shoot some Lysol into your boot after each shift, and this will keep odor-causing bacteria away. What’s more, you might also choose to sprinkle in some foot powder before you put on your boots as it will help keep your feet dry, no matter how hot and sticky the conditions that day. Finally, if your feet sweat a lot, make sure that you invest in high quality, moisture-absorbing socks. These will go a long way to keeping the insides of your boots dry and help them last longer.