Stop trifling. Ruining a pair of boots because you’re too lazy to do some basic maintenance is foolish. Today I’m here to help you extend the life of your boots, lest the beast, that villain named winter weather, feast on your footwear. Pretend that boot maintenance is Lumosity for your leather, suede, or nubuck foot casings. Your boots, just brighter. Or with fewer salt stains and a heel undamaged by the season that spring swallows.
When I shared 5 Boots To Battle Old Man Winter with you, I withheld something. Author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. expressed it best in the book Hocus Pocus. “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build [or I might add buy] and nobody wants to do maintenance.”
That’s not true. The folks at Nick’s Custom Boots profit from building and maintaining. A family owned and operated shop in Toronto, they’ve been in business for more than 40 years.
I asked them for some tips on how to maintain your boots. Not enough to shutter their business, just a little something to help you out. This is what they shared.
Extend the lifespan of your boots
I wanted an easy tip, something simple that would make a difference. They said to clean and condition your winter boots regularly and complete any repairs before the damage becomes permanent. As a bonus, they said to avoid sporting the same pair of boots every day as it increases the wear and tear. So switch things up. Sorels one day, Wolverines the next.
Is there any Achilles’ heel for boots?
The answer is yes and it’s found on the heel. According to Nick’s, this area erodes the fastest, with the soles in hot pursuit.
Under no circumstances should you . . .
Use just water to wash your boots. Instead reach for some white vinegar. I did a little research on this one and many sites say to use a solution of white vinegar and water.
What’s the best method to remove salt stains?
Grab that white-vinegar solution again. Dab, blot or wipe away salt stains using the solution and a clean cotton cloth. Wipe away excess and allow shoes to dry. Polish and buff. Or watch this Howcast video for the full description.
Don’t try this at home
When you feel the sole of your boot is dangling or rock salt starts nipping at your heel, trust a professional. With an average repair price of $25 to $45, Nick’s says its money well spent. Of course, it helps if you bought high quality shoes that can withstand a repair.
Pierre Hamilton is a freelance writer from Toronto, where some of his best friends describe him as an acquired taste. He enjoys bourbon and scotch, but craves craft beer, overproof Jamaican rum and great non-fiction. He has a very limited style knowledge but knows what he likes. He also produces a monthly music podcast called Sound Considerations. Follow him, but not too closely, on Twitter.
Photo courtesy of LenDog64.