Boot care tips 2/2/2009
After the last hunting trip of the season, the boots go in the basement. Is that okay? Here's what Kyle Rackiewicz, product manager for Irish Setter boots, says about it.
If you don't clean your boots and oil the leather in the post-season, "the boots will look okay and will be fine into next season, but dirt can build up in the seams and cracks, which over time could cause the leather to dry out more than it would if the dirt wasn't there."
Plus, "if you put the boots away wet in the basement, you don't want to pull them out next year and have mold and fungus -- dirt, water and moisture can of course lead to that. Will it happen? Probably not, but with a pair of boots you like, you don't want to risk that kind of thing.
"What you want to do is take a brush and brush off any excess dirt and mud. Then take a warm, damp (a little wetter than damp) sponge or cloth and give your boots a further cleaning. You don't want the boots soaking wet -- just wipe them down.
"Let them dry for 10 to 15 minutes, then apply mink oil. I think that's the best (oil for upland boot-type leather)."
He noted that "you get longer wear when you keep the leather moist and supple."
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