Whether you’re out for a day, a seasonal hiker, or you brave the trails all year long, odds are, you’ve invested a good deal of time and expense in finding the right type of hiking boot for you. It would be a shame to ruin your boots inadvertently, but sometimes, after a rainy day, or a hot afternoon with sweaty feet, we all find ourselves wanting to speed up the drying process. However, before you get the blow drier out or decide to sit your boots on top of a wood stove, remember that your boots are a delicate and important investment.
Don’t Force Dry Your Boots
You’ve paid a lot of money for your hiking boots, and you want to care for them properly. It may seem correct to toss them in the drier with a couple of towels or over an open fire, but keep in mind that your boots are not constructed like your tennis shoes, and that the material and glue holding your boot together can come undone, and improper care, such as drying them by heat, can cause the glue or water proofing to fail.
Also, remember that nice leather that you took so long to break in? When that leather gets wet it can stretch, and if you force the drying of your boots by heating the boots to too high a temperature, the leather could warp, as can the sole of the boot meaning they will no longer fit properly.
How to Properly Dry Your Boots
You know you need to keep your boots in good shape, and you know that you made need them before they can dry on their own, but you’ll have to tough it out, however, there are few things you need to remember and a couple of things that will help.
1. Air Flow: Keep you boots in a warm dry place, but if you can get some extra air flow moving, you’ll be best off. You’ll want your boots in a non humid place where the air can pick up more moisture.
2. Wipe them Off: Try to get as much moisture as possible off of your boots. When you’re done for the day, if excessively sweaty, wipe them out with a dry towel and apply some foot powder. Dry paper towels will greatly speed up the process and you should keep your shoes filled with them or something absorbent when they have been wet.
3. Preventative Maintenance: To help keep your boots dry, and eliminate the problem of a breakneck drying pace, keep them water resistance and sealed. Clean them regularly and keep your laces in good shape and tight at all times.
Wet boots are no ones friend, and they can turn your hike into a miserable day. However, you’ll want to let your boot air dry and try not to force the issue, else you could find your biggest hiking expense, and your most valuable piece of equipment ruined.