If you love hiking with your baby, you know how important it is to have a good pair of infant hiking boots.
They protect your little one’s feet from rocks, dirt, water, and other hazards on the trail. They also provide comfort, support, and stability for your baby’s developing feet.
But how do you keep your infant hiking boots in top shape? After all, they are exposed to a lot of wear and tear, especially if you hike frequently.
In this article, we will share some simple tips and tricks on how to care for and maintain your infant hiking boots.
By following these steps, you can extend the life of your boots and ensure that they are always ready for your next adventure.
The first and most important step in caring for your infant hiking boots is to clean them after every hike. Dirt, mud, sand, and other debris can damage the material and stitching of your boots over time. They can also cause odors, stains, and bacteria growth.
To clean your boots, follow these steps:
- Remove the laces and insoles from your boots. You can wash them separately in warm water and mild soap.
- Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any loose dirt or dust from the outside of your boots. You can also use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe off any stubborn dirt or stains.
- If your boots are waterproof or have a membrane-like Gore-Tex, do not use any soap or detergent to clean them. This can damage the waterproofing and breathability of your boots. Instead, use a specialized cleaner designed for waterproof footwear. Follow the instructions on the product label.
- If your boots are not waterproof or have a leather upper, you can use mild soap or detergent to clean them. However, do not soak them in water or use too much soap. This can dry out the leather and cause cracking or shrinking.
- Rinse your boots thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
- Stuff your boots with newspaper or paper towels to absorb any excess moisture and help them retain their shape. Do not use heat sources like hair dryers or radiators to dry your boots. This can cause warping or cracking of the material.
- Let your boots air dry completely in a cool and well-ventilated place before storing them.
If your infant hiking boots have a leather upper, you need to condition them regularly to keep them soft and supple.
Leather is a natural material that can dry out and crack if not properly cared for. Conditioning your leather boots will restore their moisture and prevent them from becoming brittle or stiff.
To condition your leather boots, follow these steps:
- Make sure your boots are clean and dry before applying any conditioner.
- Choose a leather conditioner that is suitable for your type of leather. For example, if you have suede or nubuck leather boots, you need a conditioner that is specifically made for those materials. You can also use a universal leather conditioner that works for all types of leather.
- Apply a small amount of conditioner to a soft cloth or sponge and rub it gently into the leather. Avoid applying too much conditioner or rubbing too hard. This can clog the pores of the leather and reduce its breathability.
- Wipe off any excess conditioner with a clean cloth or sponge.
- Let your boots dry naturally before wearing them.
If you want to keep your infant hiking boots waterproof and prevent them from getting wet or soggy on the trail, you need to waterproof them regularly.
Waterproofing your boots will create a protective layer that repels water and other liquids from penetrating the material.
To waterproof your boots, follow these steps:
- Make sure your boots are clean and dry before applying any waterproofing product.
- Choose a waterproofing product that is suitable for your type of material. For example, if you have synthetic or fabric boots, you need a spray-on waterproofing product that is compatible with those materials. If you have leather boots, you need a wax-based waterproofing product that is designed for leather.
- Follow the instructions on the product label on how to apply it to your boots. Usually, you need to spray or rub the product evenly over the entire surface of your boots.
- Let your boots dry completely before wearing them.
The last step in caring for your infant hiking boots is to store them properly when not in use. Storing your boots properly will prevent them from getting damaged by dust, moisture, insects, or rodents.
To store your boots properly, follow these steps:
- Make sure your boots are clean and dry before storing them.
- Stuff your boots with newspaper or paper towels to help them retain their shape and prevent creasing or folding.
- Place your boots in a breathable shoe bag or box to protect them from dust and dirt. Do not store them in plastic bags or containers as this can trap moisture and cause mold or mildew growth.
- Store your boots in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Do not store them in damp places like basements or attics as this can cause deterioration of the material.
By following these simple tips and tricks on how to care for and maintain hiking boots for infant, you can keep them in top shape for years to come.
You can also enjoy hiking with your baby without worrying about their feet getting hurt or uncomfortable.