Whether you are trying to stretch another season out of your winter hiking boots, or just bought a new pair, boot maintenance not only protects your investment, but protects your feet. Leather is naturally hydrophilic (read: can get damaged by water), and even DWR-treated leather leaks if there’s enough moisture over a long enough duration of time. Once leather becomes wet, water moves from pore to pore while you walk (as the boot flexes there’s a natural pumping action). It stretches and weakens, then as it dries, it shrinks and becomes brittle, drastically impacting the half-life of your boots and potentially damaging the weatherproofness you so desperately need while on the trail.
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