Leather boots are an investment and proper care is essential to increase the lifespan of your footwear. Even the highest quality leather requires regular maintenance to put off natural deterioration. In an ideal world, you should clean your boots after every instance of wear. Wipe down your boots with a cloth whenever you take them off for the night. Store in a cool location away from a direct source of heat such as a radiator or household boiler. Force drying boots will both crack leather and shrink the waterproof membrane. This would cause it to break and the boots to leak. If a boot is force dried the manufacturing warranty becomes invalid. If your boots are wet, allow them to dry completely before wearing them again. Apply protective treatment regularly using the methods we will go into further here.
Grisport boots are treated with appropriate finishes at the last stage of production. However, there can be a stretch of time between production and being taken home by a customer. So, it is wise to check if your boots need a bit of treatment as soon as you purchase them. To test whether your leather boots need a waterproof treatment, drip some water on the leather: if it doesn’t stay in a bead and run off the boot, waterproofing treatment is needed. We suggest Grisport Waterproofing wax.
Next, you will need to determine the type of leather on the boot by using the guide below:
• Full grain: fully preserved natural marks and strongest type of leather
• Nubuck: finer grain, velvet-like, sanded or buffed strong but soft material
• Suede: soft, flexible and lighter weight side of a hide
Leather can be greatly affected by both moisture and temperature levels. High temperatures and low moisture will dry out and crack leather. Saturated leather will permanently warp and misshape no matter how tough the leather. To maintain a good level of moisture, invest in a conditioning cream. Conditioners seal in a little bit of moisture to prevent cracking and increase flexibility. When applying conditioner pay special attention to areas that crease most such as the flex point of the toes. Then seal with waterproofing spray or wax. We advise using leather conditioner at least twice a year.
There are many products available for waterproofing leather boots. We recommend chemical sprays as they are easy to apply and retain the colour of the leather. Oils and Grisport Nikwax are also effective as long as you don’t mind how they darken the leather. Always read the instructions on whichever product you choose.
If your boots are muddy or dusty:
For full grain leather
• Use a shoe brush to remove cakes of dirt
• Remove the laces (can be washed separately eg in washing machine)
• Use moisturizing soap (eg Saddle Soap) to wash any remaining dirt
• Wipe any remaining soap with a damp cloth
• Allow the boot to dry naturally, preferably for at least 24 hours
• Remove any stubborn grime with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel
• Re-apply oil or polish to protect from future dirt- avoid stitching or laces which can be discoloured by polish. Apply polish in circular movements and remove any excess.
• Use polish approximately monthly or when needed. On waxed leather uppers, like Dartmoor, we recommend using Nikwax Waterproofing Wax instead of polish. This waterproofs but also gives a wax finish like the original.
• Grisport Protector can be used to protect against penetration of water and oil
For suede or nubuck
• Use a multi-purpose suede brush to remove loose dirt
• Blot, never rub suede
• Leave to dry and then brush with a clean suede brush
If your boots have a sticky substance on (eg wax or gum):
• Try Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel with a nylon brush
• Freeze the boot (yes, in the freezer) for a few hours
• Chip off the substance with a nail file
If your boots get completely saturated in water:
• Don’t take them off with the opposite foot as this can cause damage
• Remove laces and insoles
• Stuff the boots with newspaper and replace saturated newspaper until footwear is dry
• Dry boots in front of a none-heated fan or hang them upside down
• Do not dry the boots near a heat source as this will crack the leather
• When the boots have dried completely, apply treatment
If your boots are exposed to salt (Eg Road grit in ice or snow):
Road salt (or grit) can erode leather over time and leave white stains. If your boots have been exposed to salt or snow, do the following as soon as possible to minimise damage:
• Wipe the boots down with a cloth
• Mix 2 parts water with 1 part vinegar
• Gently clean the boots with the solution
• Use a damp cloth to wipe away the solution
• Dry boot surface with a clean towel
• Wear your boots indoors to break them in properly before you take them out into the elements. This is to make sure that they are a good fit for you and that there are no manufacturing faults which should be evident on the first occasion of wear.
• Use a shoe horn to assist with putting on your shoes as this helps to keep the heel from losing shape.
• Use a boot bag when you travel, to protect your boots
• Never use normal soap on leather boots- it will dry out the leather
• Store leather shoes using a shoe tree to keep the shape of the leather
• Laces do wear out in time and can be replaced with Grisport laces
• Insoles absorb moisture and take a lot of punishment. After time they may lose their impact absorption and can be replaced with a new pair. Grisport insoles are made with the same last and will fit our footwear best.
This is a help guide only and any products used to care for boots are at the owners own risk. We cannot be held responsible for any problems that may arise from the application of individual shoe care products. Please take care to read the instructions on each shoe care product that you use.