Winter has only just begun, and with snow storms touching down on what feels like every corner of the U.S., it’s our snow boots’ time to shine. But as any cold weather-goer knows, finding a pair of good winter shoes is only half the battle; the other percent is all about taking care of them to ensure you don’t need to buy another pair next year.
Let’s be real here: These aren’t the shoes you’re reaching for because they go with your outfit. They’re the ones you’re wearing because the weather doesn’t allow you the luxury of having other options. With these easy steps, you can guarantee your boots will last you for years—even if winter where you live means snow storms every weekend.
There’s a pesky puddle around any and every corner during the winter, so ensuring that your shoes are protected by waterproofing them is a must. Your snow boots should come waterproofed, but adding another layer of protection in the form of a waterproof spray or Scotchguard at the beginning of the snowy season is never a bad idea. The same goes for all of your other winter shoes: If you’d shed a tear over them getting a water stain, make sure you’re waterproofing them before you wear them out.
If your boots have some type of shearling inside or along the sole, you can keep it looking brand-new by cleaning it with a shearling-specific kit. If they’re leather, don’t underestimate the power of polish. Not only does the wax keep them looking new, but it waterproofs and seals them too.
Use inserts to help them keep their shape
To ensure your boots keep their shape, it’s always good to stuff them while they’re drying so they don’t stretch or sag while they’re wet. Invest in a couple of boot forms that you can put inside your shoes while they’re drying to keep them looking brand-new, regardless of what they’ve been through.
Check the weather report
You can never prevent an unexpected rain or snow storm, but you can do your best to know when one’s coming. Before you head out in your brand-new, favorite shoes, check the weather to make sure they’re compatible with the day ahead. If storms are coming, opt for shoes you know can handle the salt and precipitation instead (which will likely be your trusty snow boots).
Store them properly off-season
Throwing your boots in a corner of your closet once spring emerges is a major no-no. Instead, you should be storing them tucked away in a bin, away from dust and grime, and with inserts in them to help them keep their shape. Before you do so, clean them with a material-specific cleaner so when you take them out of storage later in the year, they’re ready to go—not covered in stains.