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How to Clean Hiking Boots

by The Loadout Room Jul 25, 2016
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How to Clean Hiking Boots

You bought your dream hiking boots and they’re finally broken in, but you’ve just come home from a hike and they’re dirty – real dirty. There’s mud on the midsole and dust on the tongue.

Do you leave it or go for a deep clean?

Clean boots are happy boots. Here’s all you need to know on how to clean hiking boots.

When’s Your Boot Dirty?

Straight out of the box, your boot is in p-e-r-f-e-c-t condition. Meaning you won’t have to do any sort of treatment to, or cleaning of, your boot, especially if it has the GORE-TEX® Membrane in it. As long as you follow the proper break-in procedure, you’ll be golden.

But once you’ve got your first hike in with your boots, and they’re caked with mud, residual creek water, campfire ashes or fall leaves, clean them. Even if they’re not that dirty, it doesn’t matter. Each step on a hike results in dust, sand, or dirt creeping in. Any sort of build up inside your hiking boot that goes unchecked leads to excess wear and tear on your boot. Extend the life of your boot by cleaning it after each hike.
Don’t sweat it if you’re exhausted after a hike. A deep clean can’t wait a day or two so long as you follow the proper washing instructions.

Clean. Condition. Repeat.

Always, always, always check the label for washing instructions. Manufacturers include all you’ll need to know about the range of materials used in your hiking boot and how you should go about washing them. We asked GORE-TEX® footwear expert Andy McQuerrey about his advice on how one should go about washing a GORE-TEX® boot:

Read moreGore-Tex

(featured image courtesy of

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