If you’re using tactical boots you just know that taking good care of them all the time is going to expand their life span. Truth be told, the modern tactical boots have come a long way and surpass many expectations in terms of tough built, comfort and light weight, but this doesn’t eliminate the need of constant care for keeping them in best shape.
Without any further ado, let’s see the most important steps that you need to take for expanding their durability.
1. Break them in
No matter how tempted you may be, you should never skip the breaking in the tactical boots. the chance for a new pair of tactical boots to cause blisters or hot spots is high and it may lead to some serious conditions, ligament injuries included.
You can break in your tactical boots in many ways (running along a shallow river is quite popular) so do due diligence about it. No matter the method, you should always use the protection that you’re going to use on a regular basis and start wear them. It’s better that you begin with some short walks, increasing the time until you feel nice and cozy in them.
Some tactical boots are going to break in easier and faster than others and some may even need a couple of weeks until they start feeling really comfortable. Nevertheless, you never want to buy tour tactical boots in a hurry nor put them on for the first time right before you go out on the field.
2. Clean them on a regular basis
No matter the tough material or great build, any pair of tactical boots is going to last longer if you clean them regularly. Dirt and sand do contain sharp particles and they may start damage the boots once they get into the fabric and stitching.
It’s impossible not to get your tactical boots when out there and you should never skip an opportunity for giving them a good clean. Pay attention specially to mud as the water may also contain grit that goes deep into your boots.
You can use some oil for protecting the leather boots or some waterproofing products for the fabric boots. Either way, brushing/wiping off the muck as much as you can be fundamental.
As suede and leather tactical boots are the most common options out there, here are some rules to remember when cleaning them.
The suede tactical boots
You’re going to need some specific items for cleaning the suede tactical boots:
- White vinegar/dish detergent
- Warm water
- 2 clean white cloths
- Soft-bristled brush
- Silicone spray
As for the steps you need to take when cleaning your sued tactical boots, here are our recommendations:
- Begin with brushing away the mud/dirt with a soft towel
- Use an eraser for rubbing away the scuffs (be gentle)
- Dampen a clean cloth and go over the whole boot surface, getting rid of all dirt and debris
- Use horsehair/similar soft-bristled brush for scrubbing the suede, working out ground-in dirt. Always use a single direction
- Dip the damp cloth in some white vinegar/mixture of warm water and dish detergent. You may remove any other stains like so. Use small and circular motions for removing the stains.
- Use the silicone spray, buffing it with a dry and soft cloth.
Side note: If you’re trying to clean your suede tactical boots from an oil stain, you should combine some water and cornstarch until you get a paste. Apply it to the oil stain and wait until it dries. Use a soft-bristled brush for brushing it away later on.
The leather tactical boots
Here’s what you’re going to need to have within reach when cleaning leather tactical boots:
- Dry, cotton cloth
- Damp cloth
- Soft-bristled brush
- Cotton swabs and some cotton balls
- Wax shoe polish
Cleaning the leather tactical boots isn’t complicated so here the steps to remember:
- Use a soft-bristled brush for removing dirt and dust. Use gentle back-and-forth motions and don’t forget about the crevices.
- Get rid of dirt and debris left over with a damp cloth.
- Use small and circular motions when applying a thick layer of polish. use a dry cotton cloth for this step. Let the coat polish dry for 15 minutes or so.
- Use the brush/dry cloth for removing any excess polish. wait another 5 minutes until you start applying a new coat of polish.
- Use only a small amount of polish and apply it with a damp cotton cloth. Make sure you use circular motions and don’t skip any area of the boot.
- Do it again until the whole boot is covered in fresh polish. It may take even 7 coats until you get the perfect shine.
3. Keep them dry
Moisture is never a good thing for tactical boots. you shouldn’t leave them damp for a long time as they’re going to develop bacteria, not to mention that the stitching is going to get damaged for good, dry your tactical boots every single time you get the chance to do it. You shouldn’t do it in a hurry, but take time and let them dry at room temperature.
Overheating is never a good thing as it may damage the boots so don’t let them too close to a heater/fire. Leather is going to dry out and eventually crack, whereas the fabric is going to get damaged (waterproof lining including). Take out the insoles, pull the tongue forward and give them time to dry out in a natural way. Never place them in direct sunlight either as you’re going to damage them.
4. Always have a second pair of tactical boots
As it’s going to take some time until the tactical boots dry out, it’s better that you always have a second pair of tactical boots within reach. Don’t get a cheap pair as a backup and do your best to get good quality boots as plan B as well. Rotate the two pair of tactical boots so that you always have a reliable and comfortable pair of boots nice and ready.
One last piece of advice
Tactical boots aren’t supposed to be stylish and there are other things that count the most when selecting them. You should never get cheap when buying your boots. Durability and dependable performance are the things worth paying for on the long run. No matter your job, you’re not going to be able to do it without a good pair of tactical boots so make sure you pay the extra buck for them. Last thing you want is to struggle with some blisters when in the line of duty.