Drying And Caring For Wet Boots
Whether for hiking, tramping, mountaineering, hunting or just working any boots worn in the outdoors will surely get wet. The problem with wet boots is that as you walk the flexing action drives water from the leather and in doing so removes the leathers natural lubricants that keep the leather pliable and stops it from cracking. This means that when the leather upper dries out, it has no lubricant, so will very easily crack through the flexing points.
If you are away on a long trek and your boots have been wet and begin to dry out you only have two choices. When the leather upper has dried out apply Meindl Sport Wax. This will replenish the leathers natural lubricants. Do not apply other products that might soften the leather upper as you will then loose some of the support the leather upper is designed to create. If the boots have been wet and are starting to dry out and you have no leather conditioner keep the boots wet - do not allow them to dry out as you will not crack wet leather. On your return home allow the boots to dry naturally, remove the foot-bed and place the boot upside down on a small length of dowel. Do not place in direct sunlight or near a fire but where there is ample air flow.
Many people put their boots in front of a fire to dry them - don't do it! This will not only denature and harden the leather but may also cause the thermoplastic toe form which holds the toe of the boot in shape to collapse.
Washing Your Boots
If the boots are dirty just wash and brush them with warm water with a little mild detergent then flush with fresh water. If you are a farmer or hunter ensure you remove any manure or blood that adheres to the leather as these are both very corrosive to the structure of the leather. Regularly remove the laces and clean out any debris in the tongue gussets as sand, gravel and twigs will wear a hole over time if not removed. Also remove the foot-beds and make sure no sand or gravel has invaded the internals of the boots. For textile shoes and boots use a sponge. Once the boots have been gently dried treat them with Meindl Sport Wax to recondition and protect the leather.
We don't recommend using any products for cleaning or protecting your Meindl boots other than Meindl Sport Wax. Fat or oily products such as greasy creams, leather oils or silicon based products inhibit the breath-ability of the boot, and some products with petrochemicals can damage the leather or Gore-Tex® lining.
Waterproofing And Gore-Tex®
Meindl boots have a rubber rand around the boot to offer protection from abrasion to the leather at the widest point of the boot, a bit like a bumper on a motor car. The rand is not there for waterproofing. If the boot is Gore-Tex® lined it is only the inner membrane next to the foot that is waterproof. If the boots are Gore-Tex® lined you must not treat the leather with a waterproofing agent as the quarter of a litre of sweat that each foot will produce in an average day's tramp will not be able to pass through the Gore-Tex® and leather upper as vapour and will be trapped in the boot - a bit like a rubber gumboot - and your feet will be wet with perspiration. In colder climates it is often the perspiration created whilst moving and trapped against the skin that will chill off when you stop walking, resulting in very cold feet. It is no different to having a hot shower and stepping out into a cold bathroom - you will chill off very quickly.
How To Break In Your Meindl Boots
You've bought your new boots, and are eager to get out there and use them. We recommend that you take the time to adjust to the new boots by wearing them at home and around before going away on a lengthy trip. This will increase the comfort and enjoyment of your new boots. Here's a couple of our top tips on 'breaking them in'.
- Wear the right socks, even during the breaking-in period - wicking/liner socks next to the skin for summer use and add layers for colder climates.
- It’s important that the tongue is correctly positioned from the very first time you wear the boots: it should be centred in the middle and well laced in using the special tongue hook provided. Don’t allow the tongue to slip to one side, especially when you first wear the boots, or it will stay there permanently!
- Lace the boot “correctly”, but not too tightly right to the top during the breaking-in period. This is very important to ensure the boot forms to your shape. The laces should be tied firm up over the bridge of the foot and then lace locked on the double locking hook by going over the top of the hook and under before doing the upper hooks. Lacing this way will allow more flex in the upper of the boot which is beneficial if you are climbing uphill.
- When you are negotiating very rough and tricky conditions it is advised that the upper of the boot is then tied firm as well as the laces over the bridge of the foot.