Here at Lockwood’s we’re hoping that a warm summer is just around the corner. Being prepared is one thing, but are your boots ready? We know how to keep your boots-a-walking, so we thought we'd let you into a few little secrets...
Getting the right pair of walking boots is essential if you're serious about walking or hiking – or even if you just like having a good country walk at the weekend. But choosing the right pair is just the start. When you consider the cost of a well-made pair of boots, you'll want to get the most out of them, and that's exactly what we preach here at Lockwood's. A soggy boot is never a welcome feeling, so ensuring good maintenance and fitting will keep your boots waterproofed and comfortable for years to come.
FittingAt Lockwood’s we provide the full boot-fitting service in-store and we're passionate about it too. But there are more reasons to get fitted properly. Did you know that a correct fit will also ensure a longer life for your boot? Correctly fitted boots ensure less excess material, and that means less movement and less wear and tear. Excess material due to poor fitting can lead to cracking, and that’s your enemy in the fight against water. Cracking in a boot leads to puncturing of the waterproof liner below the leather, which could give you a soggy trek on a traditional British summer's day.
CleaningYou should be investing not only money, but time into your boots. Buying the right boots is only the beginning; cleaning and maintaining is your true investment. And it doesn't stop at leather either. Whether your caring for fabric, leather or Gore-tex lining, you need to keep them well-maintained, because like anything in life, you only get out what you put in. You care for your car with servicing and maintenance, and your boots are no different! You can completely re-sole boots like Alt-berg Fremington or Zamberlan Ultra Lite to keep them walking the trails for much longer. If you're not looking after bodywork, then don't expect new tyres to keep the rain out!
Here’s our advice for keeping your boots rain-proofed and ready for your hike• Always clean your boots with running water and a soft nylon brush.
• Never let your boots dry with out treating them; we always treat ours with Nikwax to avoid the dreaded cracks!
• Let your boots dry naturally. DO NOT use a radiator, fire, or any heat as this will also lead to cracking, and that means damaged waterproofing and ultimately a pair of wet socks!
• Re-proofing your boots with a product like Nikwax conditions the leather and keeps it supple, which reduces the chance of cracking. It also coats the boot to increase its water repellency. The more you re-proof your boots, the longer life your boots will have.
• If your boots are really dirty then use Nikwax footwear cleaning gel to remove stubborn dirt. (We have this in-store – so just ask.)
• The cleaner the boots, the better the conditioner will sink in. Dirt particles can actually cause cuts which lead to long-term damage.
We recommend these two products, which we use on our own boots:1) Nikwax fabric and leather proof - £5.50.
This is a spray, which makes it so much easier to apply. Cover the boot all over and remove excess drips with a cloth, then leave your boots to dry.
2) Leder Gris - leather (only) wax - £5.50.
Rub wax on to dry, clean boot using your finger (the heat of your finger will melt it allowing it to be applied). Using your finger allows for a good cover of wax and better penetration. Then leave your boots to dry naturally avoiding strong heat sources, especially radiators.
Our rule of thumb? "If a boot is dirty, clean it. If you clean it, reproof it."Owning a pair of walking boots is not just about choosing and buying the right pair. A professional fitting and great aftercare is essential to your investment and we help people in-store daily to choose and look after their boots. Always get a professional fit! This isn’t something you can replicate online, so try to buy from a reputable supplier with the right knowledge to help you select the right boots for you. Never leave your boots wet or dirty, and constantly reproof them to ensure a long and exciting life on the trails.
For more advice about your walking boots, just pop in to Lockwood’s.