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THE BASIC BREAK-IN PROCEDURE
What we recommend, this is from our own experience.
- Begin by wearing your boots for short periods of time inside the house or walks around the block. Wear the kinds of socks you’re likely to be wearing out in the hills. Lace your boots firmly, and make sure the tongue of the boot is lined up, central and the gusset material is folded flat. The creases you form as you break-in your boots will likely remain for the life of the boot.
- Your new boots will be rather stiff at first, this is normal. You will find that the midsole of the boot start to free up quite quickly and flex under the ball of your foot. The leather upper will also warm and start to form to your foot. Wearing your boots wet will accelerate the process of the leather upper conforming to your foot, particularly if the boots are wet and then worn until the leather is almost dry. However, we appreciate, this is often not practical, but have made mention of it so that you best understand the process required and how the leather conforms to the shape of your foot.
- After several short sessions, your boots will start to form to your foot and fit more comfortably, now expand your horizons. Wear your new boots to the local store, around town or while working in the yard. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend in your boots and the distances you cover.
Note – everyone’s foot, and body make up ifs different; the breaking in periods will vary for every individual. Some have taken the boots straight out of the box and headed for the hills with no problems. We would recommend that you take the time to do it properly and accustom your feet to the new boots and they will be superb.
The elements have little adverse effect on leather boots if they are properly cared for…
The right kind of care can significantly lengthen the lifespan of your boots. Leather is a natural breathable raw material which needs to be cared for. Real leather is like a second skin. In order to maintain leather’s exceptional qualities, proper care is vital. The boots should be allowed to air properly and dry out after each and every use. It is good to remove the in-soles and laces to open them up fully and allow them to dry. To aid to the drying process, we recommend you stuff some newspaper into them. The newspaper will absorb moisture and also helps keep the shape. The newspaper should then be changed daily until the boots have dried out. The inner-sole absorbs a lot of moisture, which will dissipate and dry much quicker outside of the boot. This is important to remember on multi-day trips. In an ideal world, leather boots should be dried out for 24 hours before they are worn again.
Removing dirt from leather boots.
Once the inner-soles and laces have been removed, the dirt must be removed from the leather. For normal levels of dirt, brushing it off under lukewarm running water will suffice. Brush the boots thoroughly so that the leather can breathe again and its properties are revived. The leather may now be in an unprotected state.
To protect the leather from water, it must be waterproofed; the leather needs to be fed.
Cleaned, untreated boots are “open-pored” and will tend towards soaking up water.
In order to “close” the leather again, a product such as Duckswax Water Repelling Leather Tonic should be applied, allow good penetration by applying more than 1 layer of grease. Impregnating the leather prevents water absorption. Duckswax Water Repelling Leather Tonic will aid in the prevention of water absorption, prolong the life of your boots and also prevent pore clogging, allowing the leather to retain 90% of its natural breathability.
Storing your boots
The best place to store leather boots is in a shoe bag or box, in a dry, well-aired place. A boot tree will help keep their shape. Never store wet boots in damp rooms or in the car. They will become mouldy! Boot trees will help them keep their shape and prevent any creases in the leather.