Who’d have thought something as simple cleaning your boots would require a bit of research? Well, after a recent visit to Alpinestars importer, Crown Kiwi Enterprises, it became obvious that many of us have always been doing it wrong! And considering boots aren’t the cheapest items we buy to protect us, it makes sense to know how to do it properly to make them last longer and keep protecting you.
Put the water blaster away. No, seriously, don’t even think about using the higher pressure of a jet washer to clean your boots. Okay, we all know it’s the quickest and easiest way to get mud and crap off our boots, but the damage it’s doing is enough to make you cry. Especially if you’re wanting to hang onto your boots for a decent length of time. If you’re a rock ‘n’ roll superstar and you change your boots with your gear, well, then go for it. But for the rest of us, the water blaster is a no, no.
Don’t be a bloke – read the instructions. Every set of boots will come with their own set of suggested cleaning instructions. Don’t be an egg and throw them in the rubbish, take a look. Once you’ve done that, you’ll probably already know what the next step is.
Be nice and gentle. We know that motocross boots are designed to take the hard knocks, but that doesn’t mean they need any more abuse than what they already receive when they’re on your feet. Use running water, a sponge, and, if you really must, some mild soap to get the mud and dirt off. Do not use the chemicals and detergents that you put on your bike, as the chemicals soak in and can damage the materials. A hose is fine for delivering the water, but nothing more than that. And use a soft sponge, not the thing your mum uses to scour all the burnt bits from her pans after you decided to attempt a midnight fry-up.
With the boots clean, if you don’t fancy the saggy-ankle look, get the boot lined up correctly, do up all the buckles, and leave the boot to dry on its SIDE. Yep, don’t put them upside down, right way up or at an angle. Lay them on their side to dry, otherwise the weight of the wet leather can cause the body of the boot to compress down, therefore giving you bulging ankles. Also, if you put the soles down and there’s water at the bottom, that’s going to stink real fast. So, don’t do it. Oh, and if you’re one of those rich guys who own a set of boots with an internal bootie, take it out and let that dry separately.
Now that the boots and nice and dry, it’s time to give them some love. A good quality beeswax leather protector rubbed into the leather bits will not only make the boots supple but also add a bit of waterproofing, which is always a result when there’s rivers to cross. And if the buckles tend to stick, add a bit of CRC to the clips. It’ll make ’em feel like new again.
If you’re storing your boots for a while, put them somewhere nice that doesn’t get too hot, too cold, or damp. You don’t want mouldy boots when you finally decide to check how they’re doing, so stick them back in the box they came in and put them somewhere dry and ventilated.
Follow these tips and not only will you have great looking boots, you’ll also save yourself some cash by not having to replace them so often.