CLEAN YOUR BOOTS
- After every use, be sure to allow the boot to air out and dry properly.
- When you are preparing to clean and care remove the footbed and laces so you can reach with your shoe care products into hidden edges and corners, for example on the tongue and gusset.
- Heavily soiled boots should be cleaned with a brush and warm water to remove dirt before applying conditioning products.
- We recommend a specialized shoe cleaning product that is designed to remove the most stubborn dirt.
- In areas with water with high calcium content we recommend using distilled water for cleaning.
CONDITION YOUR BOOTS
- After cleaning your boots, apply a water-proofing impregnation spray while they are still slightly damp. The boots leather pores are wide open while they are damp and that allows the impregnation treatment to penetrate deeply into the leather.
- Regular applications of an impregnation spray are recommended to keep water and dirt from sticking or soaking in.
- It’s particularly important because soaking wet boots lose their breathability, which affects their ability to regulate your foot’s temperature.
- Take note that a water-proofing treatment needs 24 hours to fully take effect.
CARE OF YOUR BOOTS
- No matter how hard, how often, when or where you use your boots, they should be cleaned regularly with specialized shoe care products. Particularly if they are used frequently in extremely wet conditions it is vital to apply a waxy shoe paste or creme – even on boots made with a Gore-Tex membrane.
- Leather that has been soaked with water and has swollen must be restored in order to retain the boot’s fit, flexibility and durability. If a boot does not receive proper care, the leather will dry out, become brittle, and will pull at the seams, leaving your boots irreparably damaged. To avoid this, shoe care products can be rubbed on with a rag and polished in with a brush. Carefully using a hair dryer to blow warm air on the boots will improve the creme’s ability to penetrate the leather’s pores.
- The application of oils and greases is not recommended because they turn the leather very soft and make it virtually waterproof, the boot loses stability and strength.
STORE YOUR BOOTS
- Leather boots are best stored in a shoe bag or shoe box in a dry, well-ventilated area. If your boots are still damp, you can also stuff them with newspaper to help them soak up moisture and keep their shape.
- Never store your boots in a damp room since the boots could begin to mold.
- Avoid storing in a hot place, e.g. in the direct sun, near a radiator and never in the trunk of a car.
- Newly purchased boots require no additional care before the first time you wear them on a trip.
- The leather lining should be treated from time to time with a special leather care lotion.
- A Gore-Tex lining requires no special care although it can be washed occasionally with warm water and a gentle soap.
- Incorrect leather care or a lack of care of the membrane can render it ineffective. It’s therefore not enough to simply spray Gore-Tex boots that are used intensively with an impregnation spray.
- Never wash leather shoes or boots in the washing machine. The mechanics of the wash cycle along with the high temperatures can wash out leather pigments, damage the upper materials, and loosen cementing, which will irreparably destroy the boot.
- With nubuck or suede leather, the surface may become darker after the application of a shoe wax, but it can be brushed out again with a brush. However, the original look won’t be totally restored. In order to minimize a change in the appearance, a liquid shoe care product can be used.
- Smooth leather and waxed leather are easier to care for and are more highly resistant to water and dirt.
- Even textiles used in your boots should be regularly impregnated to improve their ability to withstand water absorption or the adherence of dirt.
- Boots should be thoroughly aired out and dried after every use. Take out the foot bed and open the lacing wide to accomplish this. Don’t forget this step on multi-day treks.
- Never allow boots to dry next to the heater or near an oven. Wet leather burns very easily, i.e. it becomes brittle, cracked and contracts. This can often result in irreparable fissures in the leather where it creases during walking. Even hooks and rivets can be pulled askew during the process. Acids, petrol and manure impact the outsole materials and cements particularly hard. A degradation process can begin that can destroy your ASOLO boots. Try to avoid contact with these substances, and be sure to thoroughly clean your boots if you do come in contact with these substances.
HYDROLYSIS: BOOT SOLE SEPARATION
Hydrolysis is the chemical breakdown of a compound due to the reaction with water. In our case, we are talking about polyurethane (PU) which is used to make midsoles (the component in the middle of a boot between the outsole and the upper/insole). It can gradually absorbs moisture over time and deteriorate. The polyurethane gets harder, more porous and, at some point, starts to crumble. In extreme cases, it can disintegrate completely and the sole might fall off your boots.
Most high-quality mountain and trekking footwear manufactures use ester-based PU since it is the most suitable material – despite hydrolysis. For this all footwear manufactures have to deal with the problem of ageing polyurethane. Please note that hydrolysis isn’t visible from the outside because the deterioration takes place from within and even new looking boots may have a crumbling construction, so we strongly recommend to take your old boots on a test run before you wear them on a long trip, especially if they have been sitting around in the loft or a cellar.
Proper storage can help to prevent hydrolysis: boots are best kept in dry, well-ventilated conditions and they should never be exposed to high temperature. These factors scientifically speed up the process of hydrolysis. There are significant differences in when hydrolysis sets; at the moment, we estimate that it starts around six to seven years after a midsole is manufactured. It’s worth considering that the manufacturing date of your sole might well be some time before the purchase date when you bought your boots. In addition, supply time for the sole, storage of the sole and manufacturing at Asolo plus delivery to retailers and further storage can all add up. When you buy a pair of Asolo boots in a shop, they could have been on the shelf for a few months. If you snap up a pair of last year’s model during sales, then the boots might even have been standing in the store for couple of years. Keep this is mind when you try to work out how old your boots are.
How to protect your boots from hydrolysis:
- Store your boots in a dark, dry and well-ventilated area
- Keep your boots away from surfaces of heat
- Clean your boots regularly
- Wash off muck and manure with water at the end of the trip
In case you find that your boots are affected by hydrolysis, all is not lost.
Asolo footwears are made with cemented construction and can easily be resoled with a brand new midsole and outsole.