No matter how much boots change over the years, there is some advice that will almost always ring true. So here we will look at tricks that will help your boots last longer.
Probably the first and most basic thing is don’t run or walk on concrete with your boots on. Almost everybody knows this, but I am still shocked at how many people don’t follow this. I even used to have a friend who would put his boots on at home and drive to games wearing them. Did my head in. Buy some cheap sandals to wear to the pitch.
Another basic trick is to newspaper in your boots after you use them. It will help dry the boots out and help with the smell. Normally I start from the first time I’ve worn a new pair of boots onwards. The newspaper won’t keep the boots smell-free forever, but it will delay the process for a while. Newspaper is also super handy when your boots are soaking wet as newspaper is a good absorbent and will help the boots dry quick. It is not as absorptive as paper towels, but I find that paper towels soak up a lot of the initial water and not too much after that. When your boots are wet, put newspaper in them.
It is also important to loosen up your boots when you take them off. This is basic advice but again, you’d be surprised as too how many people don’t do this. This is even more important with leather boots because the more often you tear off your boots without lacing them, the more the boot will overstretch and begin to feel sloppy. Something else to do when you use leather boots is that the first few wears you will want to loosen the laces almost all the way when you take them off. After a couple of wears, the bottom few laces will no longer need to be loosened when taking the boots off as the leather should have adjusted to your foot by this point.
Occasionally, some people have heel issues or tendency to get pain their feet during or after playing. If you are playing on turf or hard ground, you might want to consider wearing turf shoes. It is also important to make sure all the lace holes are used. I occasionally have seen people with heel pain not use the top lace hole because they don’t like feeling tightness on the front on their ankles. The problem is that then your heel is not fully locked-in to the shoe and consequently, your heel and foot will slide around. This is why it’s also important for you to make sure your top two laces tied firmly to help keep your foot secure.
I also recommend that you have a couple of pairs to rotate or at the very least have a pair for practice and a pair for matches. If your old boots are still in good shape when you are buying a new pair, its recommended that your old boots become your practice pair. Or alternatively, if for example, you buy a high-end pair of boots, I recommend buying a cheaper takedown model for practice. This way you have boot that have a similar fit to each other, so you won’t have to “adjust” to the feel of a different boot for matches. This could just be a mental thing but, every little bit helps.
Leather boots will reward you for taking care of them. The newspaper trick is even more handy when it comes to leather boots. I also recommend getting some leather food to keep the boots in good shape. It’s not necessary to but leather food on the boots after time you use them, but if they are being used a lot, 2 to 3 times a week should be good enough. Make sure your boots are clean of all dirt before doing so!
Lastly, clean your boots! This sounds simple but something as easy as cleaning them after every time you use them goes a long towards extending their use. When I was younger, I used to use warm water when cleaning my boots but that can speed up the deterioration of your boots. I recommend using cool to cold water and getting a specialty brush or even use an old toothbrush to clean your boots with. Wipe them down with a towel and keep them in a cool, dry place. Don’t leave them in the sun or put them in from a heat source as this will also cause the boots to deteriorate quicker.
Any tips I missed? Any that you recommend? Feel free to let me know in the comments and please make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!