If you’re an avid hiker or just someone who loves wearing leather boots, you may have heard about soaking them in water to break them in. But is this actually a good idea? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of soaking leather boots in water and provide you with some tips on how to properly care for your leather boots.
The Pros of Soaking Leather Boots in Water
Soaking leather boots in water can help soften the leather, making it more pliable and easier to break in. When leather gets wet, it expands and molds to the shape of your foot, which can help prevent blisters and other discomforts that come with wearing new boots. Additionally, soaking leather boots in water can help remove any dirt or grime that may have accumulated on them.
The Cons of Soaking Leather Boots in Water
While there are benefits to soaking leather boots in water, there are also some downsides. The biggest risk is that the leather may become damaged or warped if it’s not dried properly. Also, some types of leather may not react well to water, and the coloring may fade or bleed.
Tips for Soaking Leather Boots in Water
If you do decide to soak your leather boots in water, here are some tips to help you do it safely:
Use room temperature water
Avoid using hot or cold water, as extreme temperatures can damage the leather. Instead, use room temperature water to soak your boots.
Don’t soak for too long
Only soak your boots for a maximum of 30 minutes. Any longer than that, and the leather may become too saturated and difficult to dry.
Use a leather conditioner
After soaking your boots, apply a leather conditioner to help restore the leather’s natural oils and prevent it from drying out.
Avoid direct sunlight
When drying your boots, avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the leather to crack and fade. Instead, let them air dry in a cool, dry place.
Alternative Methods for Breaking in Leather Boots
If you’re hesitant to soak your leather boots in water, there are other methods you can try to break them in. One popular method is to wear them around the house with thick socks to help stretch the leather. You can also use a leather stretching spray or take them to a professional cobbler to have them stretched.
While soaking leather boots in water can be an effective way to break them in, it’s important to do it safely and properly. Follow the tips in this article to avoid damaging your boots and ensure they last for years to come.