Look After Your Walking Boots & They'll Look After You

If you want your walking boots to last from one walking holiday season to the next then its important to take care of them

The walking boots on offer are more and more hi tech with greater levels of comfort, breathability, and lightness than ever before. Whether you're following one of our relaxed walking holidays through French vineyards or undertaking a challenging trekking holiday in the High Atlas of Morocco or in the Alps, there are walking boots to suit your needs. But if you want your boots to last to next year's walking holiday in France, then you have to know what treatment is adapted to your boots and its material.

The first thing to do is to read the notice from the manufacturers and if you need further information consult their website, e-mail them or return to the outdoor or walking shop where you bought the boots.

Your day walk or your walking holiday in France or Spain is finished, it's tempting just to put the boots away and forget about them until next time. Don't. Give them a clean with water and a brush if necesssary to get rid of the dirt. Don't use soap as this is incompatible with most materials and leave them to dry naturally without putting them too close to a heat source. A sheltered location outdoors is ideal, but not exposed to the sun. You can fill them with screwed up paper to help absorb humidity and to help them keep their form so that they are in perfect shape for your next independent or guided walking tour.

Several times during the year, and once after each longer trip or walking holiday, give your boots an extended clean. In order to maintain their permeability and their suppleness, apply a product adapted to the material for your boots. Classic leather boots can be covered by products to help keep them moist and supple such as wax or dubbin. There are products available such as G-Wax or Nikwax. Don't do this too regularly otherwise it can make the leather porous.

For other types of walking boots, ie those made from synthetic materials, you should buy a product adapted for them. These are mainly sprays. Use those specific to walking boots rather than all clothing

And remember before you arrive for your guided walking holiday or independent walking tour, build up your length of walk gradually. Even if your walking boots are worn in, your feet are not and will require a gradual build up to get them used to walking.

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