Not merely an item of luxury, a pair of premium quality hunting boots makes a sensible investment. This entails that you can make the most out of the investment, so one needs to ensure the footwear doesn’t become brittle, cracked or dry, which contributes to poor performance, moisture no longer beading on the boots, and (God forbid!) wet feet that can put a dampener on your hunting experience.
Wash dirt and debris off even when the surface of the boots is not caked with mud:
It’s a mistake to assume that your hunting boots are clean simply because they do not show any caked mud on the surface after hunting in dry conditions. Moreover, you may need to do a bit more work when the footwear is all plastered with mud.
Start by washing off the debris, mud and dirt on the surface. You can use a soft brush to handle tough dirt and get the surface really clean. Rinse the dirt off under running water to soften the caked mud. Don’t worry about saturating either finished or unfinished leather.
Nubuck leather can be handled better with a soft-bristled brush instead of just a damp cloth, as the brush can pick off particles from the nap or fiber. Remember to use soft brushing action. You can also use your hands.
It is essential to rinse the boots completely clean. Follow with a towel to wipe the wetness off and with complete air drying, preferably in a dry location indoors.
Dry your boots completely after rinsing dirt off:
Drying your boots can be accomplished with adequate air exposure in an indoor location. A faster and more convenient way is to use a warm electric boot stand. Do not make the mistake of using intense heat from a camp stove or fire, as it may cause cracking and shriveling. Remove the insoles while the boots are drying to make sure every part of the footwear dries fully. Furthermore, doing this will prevent bacterial growth that can damage the boots from the inside.
Condition your boots after they are completely dry:
Finished leather needs to be treated with a wax or oil conditioner that has to be rubbed in using a soft-dry cloth. Most of these conditioners do well for nubuck, but they may make the nap flat and the leather unattractive. Preserving the nap of nubuck can be done by fluffing it up using a dry brush after complete drying. Using a spray-on conditioner formulated for nubuck or suede can also complete this step.
Propolis/beeswax formulations bring back natural oils to leather, an action that is apparent with the way the leather darkens when the formula is applied. These types of creams are fairly hard, necessitating the use of a hair dryer to soften them up as well as the leather to facilitate application. It is advised that the cream be applied with bare hands to enable the heat from the hands to open up the pores on the material and ensure better coverage due to further softening of the formulation.
The cream should be worked thoroughly on the leather then allowed to dry at room temperature. Using a hair dryer speeds up the process. It is advisable to apply two coats to ensure more lasting protection.
Some waterproof leather boots also do well with silicone conditioners, but not all boots on the market. To play it safe, most hunters simply go for conditioners formulated from natural products including mink oil, beeswax and propolis. Using beeswax also helps leather shed water more easily. The ingredient also changes the way the boots look, making the grain smooth to achieve a more full-leather appearance and feel.
As an extra step, waterproof with a separate product:
Yearly conditioning is essential, but making the most of the boots is even more easily achieved by applying a separate waterproofing formula to ensure optimum longevity and overall protection. As you watch the beads of water roll off the footwear, it ensures durable water repellent ability to your boots.
Some people suggest applying the conditioner or waterproofing product when the boots are thoroughly soaked.
Your leather hunting boots can offer long life along with weather-resilient comfort if you religiously give them proper care. If you want happy feet during each hunting journey or outdoor adventure, do not discount the power of caring for your boots after every use.