Maintain Hiking Boots

It is important to take good care of your hiking boots. Because they are almost your most important thing when hiking a Camino to Santiago, right? Of course, when purchasing, you pay close attention to whether the fit is suitable for your feet and whether your walking shoes are suitable for the terrain where you are going to walk. That differs on what pilgrimage you are planning to walk. I walked the Camino Frances on low walking shoes. That was ok for me. Others swear by half-height walking shoes for a pilgrimage to Compostela. It is therefore quite personal which walking shoe is best for you and which pilgrimage you are going to make.
It is also important to maintain your walking shoes during your Camino to Santiago. So that you can still enjoy it during and after your walking holiday. We have 5 tips for you to properly maintain your hiking boots.

Tip 1 Clean your walking shoes well after each stage

You may not always have the energy, but clean your hiking boots after each stage. Remove dirt and mud. For example with a dry brush. Did your boots suffer a lot during your hike? Then use warm running water. Do not use soap to maintain your hiking boots. This affects the impregnation.

Tip 2 Don’t forget the inside of your walking shoe

During a Camino, you use your walking shoes intensively. Do not forget to clean the inside of the walking shoe. You can clean a Gore-Tex® by removing the insole and filling the shoes with approx. 7 cm of warm water. Do not add soap or other cleaning products! Shake the shoe back and forth a few times, then let the water run out again. Always let the shoe dry naturally, so never with a hairdryer.  Because this will damage the Gore-tex. You can clean leather by wiping it well with a wet cloth, after which you also let the hiking shoe dry naturally.

Tip 3 Impregnate regularly

Perhaps this is a bit difficult during your Camino to Santiago de Compostela, because you may not have any space in your backpack. But impregnation prevents the leather from drying out and makes it dirt and water-resistant. You can impregnate your shoes with spray or wax. In both cases, your walking shoes must be dry.

Tip 4 Put your walking shoes in a dry room after walking

After a long hiking day on the Camino, it is important to put down your hiking boots in a dry room. Preferably with ventilation. Use a shoe tree to keep your shoes in shape.

Tip 5 Never let your hiking boots dry near a heat source

Never let your hiking boots dry near a heat source after a day of hiking on the Camino! Think of: a fire, in full sun, behind the car window, in the trunk or near a stove. The leather then dries too quickly and dries out, cracks and in the worst case the fit of the shoe changes. You better stuff your shoe with newspaper, kitchen roll or toilet paper. Make sure you change this about every hour, otherwise the shoe will remain moist.

With these tips, your hiking boots are ready for your next Camino!

ps. If, like me, you need a new pair of shoes halfway through your Camino, give your old hiking boots a second life. Be creative 🙂