Footwear Care & Repair

Whatever the outdoor adventure, every step you take puts wear and tear on your footwear. Mountain Designs stocks a variety of shoe care restoration products to help extend the life of your footwear, so when your hiking boots or shoes need some repair work, we have a range of cleaners, sealants and repellents to do the job.

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What are the best shoe care products?

There are a number of shoe care products, shoe restoration products and shoe care kits on the market, available from leading outdoor adventure retail specialists or even your local shoe polish shop. The most popular types include:

Waterproof Treatments – Waterproof shoe care treatments can be applied to the surface of your shoes or boots to provide water repellency. These often come in the form of a spray, wax or even cream.

Cleaners – Shampoos, conditioners, gels and other cleaning products help to remove stains and enhance the look of your footwear. Shoe brushes are also good for scrubbing away loose dirt and dust.

Sealants/Adhesives – These shoe care adhesives are great for resoling boots and shoes. Usually they are waterproof, unaffected by heat or cold, and dry as a clear, flexible glue that lasts for years. You can use them for boot repair, to create durable toe protectors, and to rebuild worn heels.

How do I care for leather shoes?

Over time even quality leather boots or shoes will dry out, which leads to stiffness and in some cases, may even cause cracking. The best form of leather shoe care is to apply a leather water repellent and cleaner. These conditioning products are applied to the leather surface, soaking in to (re)hydrate it, while repelling water and preventing stains. The best leather shoe care waterproof treatments will do this without darkening or adding shine, and won’t affect breathability or texture. Most of these are safe to use on breathable fabrics (such as GORE-TEX®) too. Make sure you use a soft brush to scrub away any loose dirt or dust before applying a waterproof shoe care treatment to your leather shoes. If you need further information, most footwear comes with a shoe care guide or boot care guide when you make your original purchase.

How do you take care of soles?

Start by keeping the sole clean and free of debris. Often mud, small stones or sticks get caught in the lugs on the sole, hindering your traction underfoot. Remove these either by hand or with a wire brush. Use warm water to wash away dirt and dust particles. Another way to take care of the soles is to apply a shoe care adhesive to high-impact zones, such as the toe and heel. These glues dry clear, are waterproof, and provide a barrier for toe or heel protection. 

How do you waterproof hiking shoes?

The easiest way to waterproof hiking shoes is to apply a waterproof shoe care product. Start by cleaning away any dust or dirt that has collected on the surface, using a soft brush or cloth. Once clean and dry, apply the water repellent treatment (which often comes as a spray, gel or wax). This will repel water and prevent stains, without impacting on breathability or texture appearance.

How do you care for suede hiking boots?

Suede is a type of leather, made from the underside of the animal skin, with a soft, velvet-like finish. It is very easily ruined by water, which causes stains on its surface. Suede shoe care is similar to leather shoe care, but because of the sensitive feel of suede, you need to be very careful with how you clean it or waterproof it. Make sure you select a speciality leather suede cleaner or water care treatment. If in doubt, check out the shoe care guide or boot care guide that comes with your footwear when you purchase it.

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