Do you know how to care for hiking boots? They are one of your most important tools when hiking the Camino de Santiago or the Cami de Cavalls, right? Of course, when purchasing you pay close attention to whether the fit is on point for your feet and whether your hiking boots are suitable for the terrain where you are going to walk. That differs on which pilgrimage you are planning to walk. For example, I walked the Camino Frances on low walking shoes and I have to say that it was fine 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 travel so that you can still enjoy it during and after your walking holiday. Discover the 5 tips we have prepared for you to properly maintain your hiking boots!

5 tips on how to care for hiking boots

Now that you’ve chosen the right hiking boots for your pilgrimage, the next step is to ensure they stay in prime condition throughout your journey. Proper maintenance not only extends the life of your boots but also enhances your walking experience. From the varied terrains of the Camino de Santiago to the rugged paths of the Cami de Cavalls, well-cared-for footwear is your key to a comfortable and enjoyable hike. Let’s explore some effective ways to care for your boots, so they can support you every step of the way.

Tip 1: Clean your walking shoes/hiking boots very carefully after each stage!

You may not always have the energy but to have the best experience, you have to clean your hiking boots after each stage. Remove dirt and mud with a dry brush. Did your hiking 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 shoes/hiking boots!

During a Camino, you use your hiking boots intensively. Do not forget to clean the inside of the walking shoe. You can clean the Gore-Tex® by removing the insole and filling the shoes with approximately 7 cl 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, that could only 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 your hiking boots!

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/hiking boots 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.

Final thoughts on how to care for hiking boots

As you conclude your preparation for the Camino de Santiago or the Cami de Cavalls, remember that the care you give to your hiking boots is as important as the journey itself. These tips ensure that your boots remain your steadfast companions, reliable and comfortable, throughout your pilgrimage. Proper care not only preserves the condition of your boots but also reflects the respect and dedication you have for your journey. As you embark on this memorable adventure, let your well-maintained boots be a symbol of your readiness and commitment to the path ahead.

Embarking with Confidence

Equipped with these tips on how to care for hiking boots, you’re now ready to embark on your pilgrimage with confidence. Whether facing the rolling hills of the Camino Frances or the rugged terrain of the Cami de Cavalls, your boots are prepared to withstand the challenge. Remember, each step you take is not just a physical movement but a journey into self-discovery and adventure. Your well-cared-for boots are more than just footwear; they are your trusted partners in every step of this transformative experience. Happy trails and Buen Camino!