There are certain parts of your gear that are absolutely essential to your well-being on any mission. Your boots are definitely one of the main essentials that help you get the job done. From protecting your feet to providing support and comfort to carry through every mission with your head in the game, your boots are a serious matter. When it comes to caring for military boots, there are a few things you can do to help extend these essentials to make sure they last mission after mission. Here are our top 3 tips for military boots care.

1. Don’t try to cheat the break-in period

Breaking in a new pair of combat boots can be painful. However, this is just a part of the tactical life you have to deal with whether you like it or not. Once your boots achieve that expertly broken in state, it will be like your feet are boost are one, but until then you just have to suffer through it. There are those that say you can break in your boots by soaking them in water or caking mud on them and leaving them in the sun to dry. This is completely false. Most tactical boots are coated with a waterproof coating, so you aren’t really breaking them in that way at all. You have to break your boots in from the inside out and not the other way around. The only way to break them is to wear them until they are broken in, plain and simple.

2. Check your soles

Once you have achieved perfectly broken in boots, you may be tempted to just hang on to them until you retire to avoid the hassle again. However, while most boots shafts are made to last for what seems like an eternity if you choose the right pair, your soles are a different matter. Soles are usually made with durability and performance in mind in matters such as superior traction and shock abortion, but they can also take quite a beating bearing those burdens. Many combat boots have the option for replaceable soles. If you have that type of boot, part of your military boot care is to check your sole. A worn-down sole isn’t going to do you much good on the field so make sure you still have good traction and the rubber isn’t worn down to the outsole.

3. Know how to clean them properly

When it comes to caring for military boots, we can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning them regularly to keep them in great shape. Of course, there are tricks to cleaning your boost the right way. Here are a few steps for cleaning your pair properly.

  • Make sure you brush off any buildup of dirt or mud with at a brush prior to cleaning. The key is to use the right type of bristle for your fabric. For Nylon and leather boots, use a soft bristle brush whereas suede boots need a special brush for this purpose to avoid damaging the suede material.
  • Use warm water for general cleaning. For most boots, the waterproof coating makes it easier to clean them since they don’t stain the way other footwear would. Using warm water and a mild detergent such as dish soap, you can easily clean Nylon boots without much elbow grease. For leather, you will need a special cleaner, especially for leather. Suede can be wiped down with a moist towel with soapy water, but make sure you don’t soak them.
  • Aside from cleaning the exterior, the inside of your boots may need a little TLC to keep them clean and fresh. To clean the interior of boots, you can wipe them with a soapy damp towel. If you have removable soles, you can take them out and wipe down the insides for a more thorough clean. Always allow them to dry completely before replacing the insoles to avoid mildew or other unpleasant effects of moisture.
  • The matter of polishing your boots will depend on the material. If you have suede or Nylon, polishing them is usually out of the question. If you have leather boots, you will need to polish them to keep them looking appropriate for uniform standards. You want to choose a polish with silicone as the base ingredient because it will provide the best sheen and conditioning for the material.
  • Waterproofing is important. While some boots are waterproofed during the manufacturing process, you may still need to check this matter occasionally since it can wear off after excessive use on some models. Also, leather boots are rarely sold as waterproof options you may need to waterproof them yourself occasionally as part of routine care. There are products you can apply onto the surface of your boots to help restore waterproof levels as needed. You should always spot test to make sure there won’t be any issues. A great example of this product type would be NixWix which has options for a few different material types to add an extra layer of protection against water.