Your hiking/outdoor footwear is one of the most important acquisitions you’ll make with your outdoor travel gear, so proper maintenance and regular care is essential to getting the most from your footwear and ultimately all your adventures.


Don’t forget to keep your receipt if you need to exchange your footwear, or should the need arise for warranty repair or replacement. We recommend you scan or copy your receipt now. You don’t want to let your receipt fade. If your footwear came with instructions, please keep this information for future reference. You might  also want to consider purchasing some good hiking socks and/or thermal socks as well as some custom foot bed insoles such as Superfeet insoles.

It is important NOT to take your new footwear on long duration walks/hikes immediately after purchase. Most hiking footwear these days are good to go straight out of the box. However some require you to slowly break in (wear in) over a period of a few days or long depending on there upper rigidity.

Be sure to break in your outdoor footwear as necessary. You can do this by wearing them around the house for a few hours after work, or on your commute to the office; just be sure not to walk any long distances until they are properly broken in. You can tell this when they have no uncomfortable spots and feel moulded around your foot. It is a good idea to also wear any activity specific socks you may have and will use with the footwear during the break in period.


Although our footwear has a factory applied water repellent treatment, it is recommended that you do treat your footwear before taking them on your first trip (read on for information on how to …).


During your outings/trips, always, where possible, remove any rocks, dirt, sand, seeds etc from the inside of your boots. These foreign objects are not only annoying hitchhikers, but they can over time damage the linings of your footwear. At night or on extended stops, remove your hiking footwear and take out insoles and air your boots out.

If your outdoor footwear gets muddy, remove as soon as possible as allowing mud to dry on boots (especially leather) can over time draw moisture out of the leather and cause them to crack. Mud will also stop your boots from breathing.

If your boots are wet, DO NOT dry them in front of a fire, in direct sun or other direct heat sources as they can be damaged. Again, leather is the worst affected and can split or shrink. Direct heat can also cause soles to split away from the boot uppers as the adhesive is damaged. If handy, use newspaper or a clothe and stuff inside footwear to absorb moisture. Consider taking a mini maintenance/cleaning/conditioning/waterproofing kit if you are on an extended trip.



As a general rule, the following should be done when you have returned home from any hiking/outdoor trip.

1. Remove the laces, inner or custom insoles. Laces can be cleaned with warm water and checked for damage. Replace as needed with manufacturers lacing or similar length/style.

2. Insoles can be cleaned with a hard bristled nailbrush and soapy water. Allow to air-dry away from direct heat.

3. Remove mud/dirt from footwear using running water and brush. A nailbrush is handy for nooks and the sole.

4. Wipe the inside of boots with a wet cloth to remove sweat/salt build up and grime.

5. Although mild soaps can be used, there are many specific footwear cleaning products available to ensure correct cleaning and maintenance of your footwear, and will not harm Gore-Tex or similar waterproof linings.

The following are some good options: McNett GearAid Revivex Boot Cleaner concentrate and Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel.

6. Once your hiking footwear is clean we recommend you apply a conditioning and/or waterproofing treatment to help maintain your footwear in an excellent condition and to protect them from the elements on your next trip. Liquid based agents require the footwear to be damp and wax based agents require the footwear to be dry.


SPLIT/FULLGRAIN LEATHER: Atsko SNO SEAL, Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather and Revivex Leather Gel Water Repellant and Conditioner.

NUBUCK & SUEDE: Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof / Nubuck & Suede Proof and McNett Revivex  Nubuck, Suede & Fabric Water Repellent.

Other SYNTHETIC footwear: Revivex Instant Waterproofing Spray by Gear Aid.

Footwear Care Products available here

hiking footwear

Before & After a good clean


Store your hiking footwear clean and dry and in a cool, dry and well ventilated area that’s out of the sun.

If you have any questions about your outdoor footwear and how to care for them, or need advice on warranty and/or repairs, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Happy trails!

outdoor footwear

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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