Keeping your boots safe and sound when you're wading through water and other muck is a critical step. Boots play an important part in protecting your feet from cold and wet conditions, and without a solid layer of waterproofing, they're not going to be very helpful! The waterproofing element that you apply to your footgear also keeps expensive leather from stretching, shrinking and ultimately flaking due to the brittle texture of leather caused by repeated exposure to liquids. Follow these five easy steps to ensure that you're not reducing the value of your investment and having to purchase another pair of boots before you should.
1. Get Comfy in Your Boots
One of the most important steps that many people skip is making sure that your new boots are completely broken in before you decide to start waterproofing. Of course, you don't want to wear brand new boots through a mud puddle, so try them out around the house before you take the next steps.
2. Keep Them Clean
Whether you're waterproofing brand new boots or re-applying solutions to footwear that's been around the block a time or two, you want to be sure that you're getting the boots as clean as possible before you start. Use a heavy bristle brush to remove dried-on dirt and mud. They don't have to be pristine, but waterproofing solutions may not stick to dirt and will leave you without protection.
3. Seal Up Leaks
While waterproofing your boots offers a high level of protection, you can easily supplement it by applying a thin layer of seam-sealing around high-pressure areas. This urethane-based sealant helps keep the section where your upper shoe and sole meet from separating and allowing water to seep around the edges.
4. Pick Your Poison
Not sure what type of waterproofing to use? Oils such as mink or mineral oil are a good option, but you must be careful not to overapply, or you risk discoloring the leather. Silicone polymer spray offers superior protection, but it will need to be re-applied every month or so to maintain efficacy. Perhaps the best way to waterproof your boots is by using an acrylic co-polymer spray. This relatively new option covers the leather to make it impervious to water while still allowing it to breathe.
5. Allow to Cure
Regardless of the type of waterproofing you select, it's crucial that you follow the instructions and let the covering on your boots cure. If you skip this step and head right into a puddle with your newly-covered boots, you'll likely find that the sealant is not effective even in the short term.
That's it! Your leather boots should be comfy, cozy and ready to protect your feet from everything life throws their way. Want to check out some tips for riding your bike comfortably all year long? Check out our blog where you'll find great info that you can use every day. Visit us online anytime or give us a call at 859-368-0846 to learn more about our wide selection of helmets, apparel, leathers, boots, travel bags and gifts.