It’s not my favorite job either… but if you clean your walking boots properly, and look after them they will save you money in the long run!


It’s always best to get the worst of the muck off your boots before it dries, so try to clean them as you are using them. That patch of grass as you are walking, or if you’ve got waterproof walking boots, a quick paddle, or dip in the nearest stream and then rinse them off when you finish your walk.


If the mud and dirt has baked on, then get the worst of it off with a stiff brush, and always remember to put paper down, unless you want the wrath of other members of the household on you! Once the worst of it is removed then you need to take a nail brush, or equivalent, to the more stubborn stuff.


It might be worth removing the insoles and laces to get at all the nooks and crannies to make sure they are really cleaned. This time of year might also give you the opportunity to re-proof the boots using a dedicated gel or wax. It might be worth considering cleaning the inside of your boots too. This will stop the membrane getting blocked with salt and grit, as well as making them smell a whole lot better! Take out the insoles, shake the dirt and pour some lukewarm water; give them a good swill round and pour out the water.


It’s important to let the boots dry naturally and at their own pace. Don’t try to cut corners by using a hairdryer or putting them near a radiator or in front of the fire – the heat may crack the leather or damage the lining. Best to fill them with old newspaper and leave them somewhere dry, but not too warm, a porch or a garage are normally OK.


So not the nicest task but useful if you want your boots to be ready for the next walk, now where’s that map!!