Your hiking/outdoor footwear is one of the most important acquisitions you’ll make with your outdoor gear, so proper maintenance and regular care is essential to getting the most from your footwear and ultimately all your adventures.
Please keep your receipt incase you need to exchange your footwear, or should the need arise for warranty repair or replacement. We recommend you scan or copy your receipt now as it will fade over time. If your footwear came with instructions, please keep this information for future reference.
BEFORE YOU GO OUT HIKING
It is important NOT to take your new footwear on long duration walks/ hikes immediately after purchase. Most footwear these days are good to go straight out of the box, however some require you to slowly break in (wear in) over a period of a few days or longer depending on their upper rigidity. Be sure to break in your footwear as necessary. You can do this by wearing them around the house for a few hours after work, or on your commute to the office; just be sure not to walk any long distances until they are properly broken in. You can tell this when they have no uncomfortable spots and feel moulded around your foot. It is a good idea to also wear any activity specific socks you may have and will use with the footwear during the break in period. You might want to consider purchasing good hiking socks, such as Smartwool, Icebreaker™ and Wigwam or custom foot bed insoles like Superfeet.
Although our footwear has a factory applied water repellant treatment, it is recommended that you do treat your footwear before taking them on your first trip.
CARE OF FOOTWEAR DURING ACTIVITIES
During your outings/trips, always, remove any rocks, dirt, sand, seeds etc, from the inside of your boots. These foreign objects are not only annoying hitchhikers, but they can over time damage the lining (water-proofness) of your footwear. At night or on extended stops, remove your footwear and take out insoles and air your boots. Also, if your footwear gets muddy, remove the mud as soon as possible. Allowing mud to dry on boots (especially leather) can over time draw moisture out of the leather and cause it to crack, mud will also stop your boots from breathing.
If your boots are wet, DO NOT dry them in front of a fire, in direct sun or other direct heat sources as they can be damaged. Again, leather is the worst affected and can split or shrink. Direct heat can also cause soles to split away from the boot uppers as the adhesive is damaged. If handy, use newspaper or a cloth and stuff inside footwear to absorb moisture. Consider taking footwear care products on extended trips. Taking a lightweight pair of sandals or slippers on your hike allows you to give your feet a break at the campsite and provides you with more time to air your boots out.
CARE OF FOOTWEAR AFTER USE
As a general rule, the following should be done when you have returned home from any hiking/outdoor trip.
- Remove the laces, inner or custom insoles. Laces can be cleaned with warm water and checked for damage. Replace as needed with manufacturers lacing or similar length/style.
- Insoles can be cleaned with a hard bristled nailbrush and soapy water. Allow to air-dry away from direct heat.
- Remove mud/dirt from footwear using running water and brush. A nailbrush is handy for reaching small nooks and the sole.
- Wipe the inside of boots with a wet cloth to remove sweat/salt build up and grime.
- Although mild soaps can be used, there are many specific footwear cleaning products available to ensure correct cleaning and maintenance of your footwear, and will not harm GORE-TEX®or similar waterproof linings. Paddy Pallin recommends and stocks the following cleaning products: ReviveX® Pro Cleaner™ by McNett and Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.
- Once your footwear is clean we recommend you apply a conditioning and/or waterproofing treatment to help maintain your footwear in an excellent condition and to protect them from the elements on your next trip. Liquid based agents require the footwear to be damp and wax based agents require the footwear to be dry.
- It is important to periodically wear your boots to prevent them degrading in storage. The chemistry of the glue requires being kept in motion to maintain its flexibility and longevity. Make sure you wear your boots every few months to enure the soles of your boots last for many, many adventures.
It is important that you condition your boots to ensure that the outer material doesn't dry out as this can lead to cracking and leaking.
Store your footwear clean and dry and in a cool, dry and well ventilated area that’s out of the sun.
If you have any questions about your footwear and how to care for them, or need advice on warranty and/or repairs, please don’t hesitate to contact us.