Care of Hunting Boots
Most modern hunting boots require very little maintenance as opposed to hunting boots of years past. The old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure still applies to hunting boots. There’s nothing worse than starting a day afield and the feel of your hunting boots picking up water. Just a small amount of maintenance can help you squeeze a couple of extra years out of your hunting boots and will let you go into the field with confidence your boots won’t give out before your day is over.
Drying Hunting Boots
One of the biggest mistakes many hunters make is putting their hunting boots over a heating vent or on top a fireplace after a long days hunt. Artificial heat kills hunting boots. The heat causes the natural oils of the leather to cook right out of the boots leaving them to begin cracking and disintegration of their waterproof abilities.
“Always allow your hunting boots to dry naturally or if there isn’t enough time between hunts then use a low heat electric boot dryer such as available at Cabela’s or take a second pair of hunting boots with you to camp rather than risk drying the life out of your primary pair of hunting boots. Stuffing your hunting boots full of newspaper will help absorb the water and speed up the natural drying process.
Basics of Hunting Boot Care
Leather Hunting Boots- should be cleaned with a soft brush while running warm water over them. Never use any harsh household chemicals which might destroy the leather, lessen your waterproofing or worse yet let every animal in the woods know your hunting boots are present.
What if my hunting boots have Gore-Tex or one of the other special waterproofing materials?
Your Gore-Tex hunting boots still require waterproofing, just not as often. This will keep the Gore-Tex from soaking up too much water which means you won’t be hauling around all of that water with every step of your hunting boots. This applies to hunting boots with Cordura as well.
What do I waterproof my Hunting Boots with?
Many manufacturers will have a recommendation for what waterproofing to use on your hunting boots. If you don’t know what waterproofing the hunting boot manufacturer recommends try checking their website. Many of the companies that manufacture hunting boots have basic boot care tips on the web.
Although many of us have been brought up to use animal fat based products on our hunting boots they are no longer the best boot waterproofing products. Technology has brought us Beeswax formulas which when applied properly will last for a long time, won’t require multiple applications at once, and most importantly won’t harm the leather of your hunting boots. Petroleum and animal based leather water proofing can actually make the leather too soft and make it susceptible to tearing.
I waterproof my hunting boots weeks before the season and then store them in a sealed paper bag filled with leaves, dirt and twigs. This will help them pick up the natural scent of the woods and give the waterproofing scent time to wear out.
Rubber Hunting Boots should be cleaned regularly with a good rubber conditioner to prevent cracking and loss of water protection.
Cordura Uppers on hunting boots should be cleaned with mild soap and water to remove dirt, and mud.
By following these basic steps your hunting boots will last longer, protect your feet better and won’t let you down. Remember today’s hunting boots are made with technologies never dreamed of years ago, but they can’t do it all themselves. With just a little care your hunting boots won’t let you down.
Pictured are Rocky® Deerstalker Extreme HuntingBoots with Supprescent™ Fabric available at Cabela's for $249.95 at the time of this writing. Enter Cabela's at the bottom of this page.
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