Wax­ing my boots?

Trail (UK) - - KNOW HOW - Jamie Hinch, via Face­book

QWhy and how should I wax my leather walk­ing boots?

You don’t need to re­proof your boots af­ter ev­ery use, but it’s good prac­tice to treat them af­ter ev­ery few trips – even if your boots have a water­proof lin­ing such as Gore-Tex. This is be­cause if the outer ma­te­ri­als ab­sorb wa­ter, they will re­duce breatha­bil­ity, so you’ll end up with sweatier feet and the boots will be heavy and slow to dry. Fur­ther­more, wet leather stretches and then weak­ens and be­comes brit­tle when it dries.

It is im­por­tant you don’t use nor­mal house­hold de­ter­gent prod­ucts, as these can dam­age the ma­te­ri­als. In­stead, go for ded­i­cated prod­ucts from brands such as Nik­wax, Grangers and Storm. Each brand makes spe­cific treat­ments to op­ti­mise per­for­mance on dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als such as nubuck leather, suede leather or boots made from syn­thetic fab­ric. Liq­uid treat­ments are easy to ap­ply and soak into the ma­te­ri­als but don’t cause the boot to lose its sup­port. These liq­uid treat­ments also do not change the look of the ma­te­ri­als too much.

An­other op­tion for smooth leathers and full-grain leather is to ap­ply soft beeswax prod­ucts, which re­quire rub­bing in by hand. These take a lit­tle more work to ap­ply, par­tic­u­larly around the seams, but they are mar­keted as of­fer­ing higher lev­els of wa­ter re­sis­tance.

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