The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.

How to clean and reproof leather shooting boots

Posted by Bethan Bithell on 31st May 2015

During the shooting season your leather shooting boots work very hard for you, so the way in which you clean, maintain and store them is vital to ensure longevity. It’s all about ensuring you get really good performance from your boots each and every season!

How do I clean and maintain my leather shooting boots?

grisport-ranger-bootOver the past year or so, your leather boots are likely to have taken a bit of a battering. They may have waded through mud, snow, ice or even shallow rivers and may have been subjected to scrapes and scratches from brambles, heathers or twigs. It could be the case then, that the leather will be distressed, worn, or dry – or, even worse, may even be cracking!

To ensure your leather shooting boots perform to the same high standard as they always have done, a little bit of care and attention is needed in much the same way you would care for your shotgun!

Many leather boots on the market today will have a waterproof and breathable membrane to ensure your feet stay dry and warm for longer. To ensure this membrane continues to function, the outer layer (i.e. leather) needs to be maintained.

Grisport boots, for example, are made from top quality, soft, durable Italian leather and in order that they will continue to perform well, the leather needs ‘feeding’ to ensure it remains both ‘elastic’ and supple. It’s also very important to check for wear and tear of your boots, especially at the sole unit area.

Ask yourself whether your boot’s sole unit has worn down so much that you may lose grip next time you are out in the field? Or perhaps you may notice a split on the sole. If this is the case, you may need to consider investing in a new pair of boots ready for next season and this, at least, gives you time to find the perfect new pair of leather shooting boots!

Below are some tools you may need for regular maintenance of your boots, along with the steps to follow to ensure you get the best from your leather boots at all times:

The tools for the job:

  • 1 x Hard Boot Brush
  • 1 x Soft Boot Brush
  • Newspaper
  • Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel
  • Waterproofing Wax for Leather
  • An old Toothbrush

Step 1:

Remove the insoles to ensure you get an all over, thorough clean. Some manufacturers’ insoles are machine washable. (Please check with your manufacturer or from where you bought your boots from).

Note:

You may find that your insoles are heavily worn, mis-shaped and even a little bit stinky! Well, now is the time to buy new insoles and throw out the old ones!

Step 2:

Remove the laces when carrying out a thorough clean, so that you can reach between the creases of the bellowed tongue.

Leave the laces somwhere warm to dry out fully, as they may rot, over time, if they stay wet for too long. If you find that the laces are a bit frayed, you may want to consider replacing them.

Step 3:

Over newspaper (or go outside so as not to make too much mess), use the soft boot brush to carefully remove any loose dirt. You may find warm water will help to loosen up the dirt which has accumulated in the creases. Never use detergent as this may damage the leather.

Then, using the hard boot brush, remove large clumps of mud from within the tread and you can also use an old toothbrush to clean between the bellows tongue, before allowing the boots to dry off.

Step 4:

For a thorough clean and for best results, use Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. Shake the container to ‘wake up’ the liquid and apply generously over the boots, including between the creases on the tongue. Then rinse off with warm water.

This footwear cleaning gel will revitalise the waterproof qualities of the leather and enhance the breathability of the boots.

Allow the boots to dry off naturally. (i.e. do not dry the boots near a radiator or a fire, as the leather will dry out too quickly and may crack). By allowing the leather to dry off naturally, the natural capabilities of the leather will be retained and enhanced.

Step 5:

Once the shooting boots have dried thoroughly it is necessary to apply a wax to help improve the waterproofness and breathability of the boots. Nikwax Waterproof Wax for Leather (this formula can also be applied to wet boot if necessary) is a water based solution that will ‘feed’ the leather and create a protective coating to improve the performance of the boots. Any water or chemicals will ‘bead up’ and simply roll off the boot.

shooting boots need treating

Image above: Boots not treated

shooting boots treated

Image above: Boots treated with Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather

By adding a waterproofing treatment to the leather, it revitalises the capabilities of your boots and offers great protection. Simply use the sponge located on the tube and rub the wax into every crease. As this product contains no harmful solvents or fluorocarbons, it is perfectly safe to use your hands to rub the wax into every part of the boot. Pay particular attention to the areas around the lace hooks and on the bellowed tongue.

(Please remember to store your boots in a dry and cool location)

Your leather shooting boots are now ready for another action packed season!

  • Dog Walking Boots Buying Guide | Advice on What To Wear

    9th Apr 2019  B.Bithell

    Dog Walking Boots Buying Guide | Advice on What To Wear

    What to look for when buying a pair of dog walking boots Choosing the right pair of dog walking bo

    Read More
  • Hoggs of Fife Albany Tweed Collection - A Luxury Range!

    26th Jun 2018  Bethan Bithell

    Hoggs of Fife Albany Tweed Collection - A Luxury Range!

    Hoggs of Fife Albany Tweed Collection Quality tweed jackets and accessories for ladies can be diff

    Read More
  • Best shooting wellies for shooting and beating

    18th Jul 2017  Bethan Bithell

    Best shooting wellies for shooting and beating

    Best Shooting Wellies – The 2016 Review! Are you looking for the best shooting wellies available?

    Read More
  • 18th Jul 2017  

    A guide to fabrics | Cherry Tree Country Clothing

    https://www.outdoorandcountry.co.uk/fabricguide.as...agion antimicrobialCorduraDurable Water Repelle

    Read More
  • 18th Jul 2017  

    Measuring Hand Size | Gloves Size and Buying Guide

    Choosing which glove to buy online can be difficult. What size do you buy? To find out the size

    Read More
  • 22nd Apr 2017  Bethan Bithell

    5 Reasons why you should wax your leather walking boots

    Spending a bit of time waxing your leather walking boots and shoes will save you money and time in t

    Read More
  • 5th Apr 2017  Tony Bithell

    100% Cotton Shirts for Men That Will Not Disappoint!

    Sometimes, a 100% cotton shirt is all that you want to wear! It’s lightweight, it has a cool to touc

    Read More
  • 16th Feb 2017  Bethan Bithell

    How To Avoid Leaks In Your Dog Walking Boots

    There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of money on a decent pair of leather dog walking boots and

    Read More
  • 7th Feb 2017  Bethan Bithell

    Walking in the Mountains | A Beginner's Guide

    It is always important that you are well prepared when walking in the mountains . Whether you plan o

    Read More
  • 20th Jan 2017  Bethan Bithell

    Trouser Leg Length - Short, Regular, Long, Unfinished

    Do you struggle to find the right trouser leg length? This guide outlines the different styles of

    Read More
  • 26th Oct 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Our 10 Useful Tips on using a Hiking Staff

    A hiking staff is a long stick made from natural resources which is shaped or carved and used for a

    Read More
  • 1st Oct 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Outdoor Boots and Shoes - Think Hoggs of Fife

    Town or country, hiking or the workplace, we all need boots and shoes! At Cherry Tree Country Clothi

    Read More
  • 22nd Sep 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Hoggs of Fife Caledonia Tweed Cartridge Bag Review

    Keep your valuables and cartridges safe using a stylish Hoggs of Fife Caledonia tweed cartridge bag!

    Read More
  • 27th Aug 2016  Tony Bithell

    Waxed jackets - the pick of the best! Including useful tips

    Do you like wearing waxed jackets and looking for a new one ready for the Autumn? It’s always diffic

    Read More
  • 21st Aug 2016  Bethan Bithell

    The History of Waxed Cotton Country Clothing

    Customers often ask about the history of waxed country clothing. This seems to be an area of great i

    Read More
  • 28th Jul 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Shooting Jackets 2016 | Cherry Tree Country Clothing

    We all know that game shooting can be tough on your shooting clothing – and especially your shooting

    Read More
  • 24th Jun 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Benefits of Dog Walking | Cherry Tree Country Clothing

    The activity of dog walking brings with it many clear benefits for both you and your pets!With an in

    Read More
  • 2nd Jun 2016  Bethan Bithell

    Leaking walking boots? Get the best from your boots!

    Leaking walking boots and other common problems – and how to prevent them!Do you experience leaking

    Read More
  • 16th Mar 2016  Bethan Bithell

    What to wear when deer stalking

    Stalking is a term used to describe the hunting and shooting of deer. As well as stalking for meat,

    Read More
  • 11th Mar 2016  B.Bithell

    FIVE Essential Features of Comfortable Walking Boots

    No matter what your activity is, wearing comfortable walking boots, when out and about, is a must! &

    Read More