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How to clean hiking boots

2 people hiking in a sunny place wearing hiking clothes and shoes

Hiking boots are a key part of any hiker’s closet, but at the same time, unfortunately, they’re not the cheapest part of it. They also get dirty easily and are definitely not in the best condition after a long day of hiking. You might have even stepped in some gross chewing gum along the way.

Moreover, many people decide not to wear socks with their hiking boots. This means that all the sweat and dirt gets transferred directly to the shoe and this is why taking proper care of your hiking boots is so important. Not wearing socks can also lead to blisters, or it could be because your boot is too narrow. We have an article on how to stretch out shoes, which could be helpful.

Some people are of the opinion that washing your hiking boots can ruin them, but this is not the case if the process is done the right way. Our article will teach you how to clean your hiking boots properly.

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The best way to wash hiking boots

If you’re wondering how to wash hiking boots in a washing machine, we wouldn’t really recommend this. They get knocked around in the drum and the spin cycle can cause them to fall apart. Therefore, it’s best if you handwash your hiking boots.

A shower or garden hose can be most helpful in this process but remember not to use hot water, which can dissolve the adhesives holding the boots together.

What do you need to wash hiking boots?

To make the process faster and easier, you’ll need the right tools and cleaner. Of course, it would be best to use a special shoe brush to clean your hiking boots. However, if you don’t have one, simply grab an old toothbrush. The same goes for the cleaner—it’s best to use a special product designed for cleaning shoes, but don’t worry! Regular soap or dishwashing liquid will work great, according to some online sources.

How to clean dirty hiking boots

Gently soak your shoes in water, then reach for the shoe brush or toothbrush. Put some soap or shoe cleaner on it and get to work! Remember not to rub your shoes too hard. After all you don’t want to damage them, just clean them! Take your time; the dirt will gradually soften and you’ll be able to get rid of it easily.

How to dry hiking boots

Throughout the cleaning process, one of the most important steps is to properly dry your hiking boots. If they dry too fast, it can cause your favorite boots to shrink. Therefore, it’s best if you forget about using a dryer, radiator, or even the sun. Instead, place the boots in a warm room and put cloths, small towels or papers inside them. Try not to leave shoes to dry in a damp room, as this will mean that the drying process takes longer and the prolonged moisture could make your shoes stink.

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