Boot Care Guide
Once you've made the wise decision to purchase a pair of LOWA boots, you want to look after them to maximise their lifetime. They can never receive too much love.
The majority of issues that develop with boots are due to the insufficient or inappropriate use of care products.
Below is a guide that will help answer your boot care related questions.
This guide will ensure you have all the information you need to take the best care of your LOWA boots, so they last for a long time!
Here is a quick summary of the 7 key steps you need to know to take care of your LOWA boots.
LOWA 7 Step Care Process
- Always take laces and insoles out to clean properly
- Clean dirt from boots after your trip to avoid damaging the leather
Use LOWA Waterstop Pro to increase the leather's water resistance
- Apply LOWA Active Crème to maintain the leather's natural softness
- Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources when drying boots because it damages the leather
- Store your boots in a dry, well ventilated place
- Use your boots at least every 3 months to avoid the PU midsole degrading (this is a natural process called hydrolysis that happens with all brands of shoes/boots using PU midsoles)
Frequency: You should follow this care process monthly if you wear your boots frequently. If not, still use care product every 3 months (and take them out for a walk around the block as well).
LOWA Care Products: We recommend using LOWA care products, however other water-based treatments are also acceptable.
How To Clean Your LOWA Boots
Step 1. Preparation
Remove the insole to allow the boots and insoles to air out and dry.
Remove the laces completely to allow you to reach tucked away corners such as the tongue and around the eyelets. This will help you apply care products thoroughly.
Step 2. Remove the dirt from your boots
Brush off the dirt on your boots thoroughly under lukewarm running water.
For heavily soiled boots, use specialist footwear cleaning products like our LOWA Shoe Cleaner which makes your cleaning job easier and also nourishes the leather.
The Gore-Tex® lining does not require any special care, but can be cleaned occasionally with lukewarm water and a light soap solution.
Shoe Cleaner can be used to clean the inside of the boot as well.
The Shoe Cleaner opens the pores of the boots, so the boots need to be rinsed out well with water (inside and outside) after applying Shoe Clean. (Inside only needs to be rinsed if you've applied a cleaning agent).
You can use the LOWA Triangular Cleaning Brush for this part.
Mud acts like a desiccant and sucks the nourishment out of the leather. This is why your boots should be cleaned off promptly and not left to dry out.
Step 3. Increase the leather's water resistance
Cleaned boots are in an “open-pored” state and will soak up water.
Therefore an impregnating spray should be used when the boots are slightly damp.
We recommend spraying LOWA Waterstop Pro thoroughly BEFORE applying Active Crème.
Waterstop Pro repels water by helping it bead off the leather. It also maintains the breathability of the leather and prevents it from becoming soaked with water.
Waterstop Pro needs to be applied 24 hours before use.
The water repellent effect begins to wear off after about 3 weeks of regular use, therefore regular re-impregnation is important in preventing water and dirt absorption.
It is also important to ensure your boots are treated before storage.
Gore-Tex® lining - The Gore-Tex® lining inside the boot already provides the waterproof function through an inner membrane while still allowing the leather upper to breathe.
However, caring for the leather upper with Waterstop Pro will maintain the breathability of the leather itself and prevent the leather from becoming soaked. This is because the Waterstop Pro spray allows water to bead off the leather.
Step 4. Maintain the leathers natural softness
Once your boots have been water-proofed, they should also regularly have a water-based cream rubbed or polished into them (with a brush), especially when they have been soaked.
You can also use a sponge or a cloth to apply this.
TIP - Apply more crème in the forefoot/flex zone area and brush away any excess. Because it acts as a hinge, this area gets a lot of usage and tends to be where the leather needs the most hydration. It is also where perspiration and salt build up.
If the leather gets too dry and is not properly hydrated, the flex-point at the front of the boot will take on a “boardy” feel. This means the leather will start losing its flexibility and eventually crack, thus severely limiting the life of your LOWA’s.
Dry leather also creates friction at the flex-points and continuously rubs at stitched seams while you walk. This causes the stitches to wear away and often come undone due to stiffness.
Active Creme maintains the leather’s natural softness and prevents the leather from drying out and cracking.
Apply Active Crème following Step 3 while the boots are still damp from the Waterstop Pro spray.
*Please note, the surface of nubuck and suede leather becomes smoother, shinier and also darker when the Active Crème is applied which will change the appearance of the boot. This is not a defect; it is a cosmetic side effect of using the Active Crème.
Step 5. Give your boots ample time to dry
Once your boots have had all care product applied, leave them to dry in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources.
Do NOT use a hairdryer or other drying machine to dry the boots.
When at home, devices specifically designed to dry boots from the inside of the boot (such as Peet Dryers) can be used. Although we still recommend letting your boots air dry!
Newspaper can also be used to dry boots from the inside.
Never place LOWA boots to dry on a radiator, too near to a fireplace or oven, inside a car or in the trunk of your car where temperatures can get very hot.
Avoid leaving your boots in direct sunlight as the ambient temperature can reach well above 50°C which is as bad as a heater or open fire.
High temperatures and exposure to UV rays in direct sunlight can cause the rand to perish and cause irreversible damage to the leather.
It can also cause the toe box to soften or collapse under the tension of the rand.
6. Store your boots in a dry, well-ventilated place and maintain regular usage
Never store wet boots in damp rooms or the car. They will get mouldy!
Ensure they are kept in a well ventilated, cool and dry area.
Remember to treat with waterproof spray before storing.
CAUTION: Do not keep your boots in storage for too long without use as this can cause hydrolysis (see more information on hydrolysis here)
Taking care to maintain your LOWAs is super important if you’re wanting to get the most action out of your boots.
Regular maintenance, and a good amount of care product is the most important way to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking.
If you don’t take your LOWAs out for a walk often, apply care product once every three months.
If you wear boots frequently, you should be treating the boots at least monthly.
Suede Based Uppers – Boots such as the Z-Series or Alpine Expert with suede uppers need more care and treatment. The leather is flipped closer to the inside and will need deeper hydration.
Synthetic Boots – Boots with Synthetic uppers such as the Innox Pro GTX can be cared for using the same instructions above, but do not require the use of Active Creme. Overall synthetic boots require less maintenance than leather, but care should also be taken to improve longevity and performance of the boot.
Using Water-Based Care Product
To keep your LOWA boots leather upper supple and hydrated, we recommend you ONLY use appropriate water based care products.
Other wax-based treatments, despite softening the leather, often clog the pores on the leather’s surface with little to no hydration. This prevents the leather from breathing.
Some oil, petroleum or animal fat-based treatments have also been known to dissolve adhesives used on the boot, causing the rand to lift off from the upper.
To avoid these adverse effects, we recommend you avoid the following treatments:
- Neatsfoot Oil
- Mink Oil
- Sno Seal