Oh no. Those favorite hiking shoes. You looked everywhere for them, tried dozens and finally found The.Perfect.Hiking.Shoe. And then they start getting worn, muddy and well, tired.
I know how painful it can be when you are trying to decide – to clean or throw away. I was just there in June after the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge. Could I possibly get my shoes clean? And did I want to?
Maybe it isn’t the end, but how do you clean your favorite shoes? I reached out to Merrell for advice since most of my own hiking shoes are that brand.
- Remove loose dry dirt with a soft brush or cloth.
- It is recommended that your shoes be cleaned and treated with a commercial grade product cleaner such as Merrell Care Products or Nikwax
- Nikwax offers many cleaning and care products for your footwear and can be found in most drugstores or online. www.nikwax.com
- Use a product that is not color specific or make sure the color is appropriate.
I personally soaked my shoes in a bucket with warm water and Dawn dish detergent (by the way, I use Dawn to wash down after every hike. It works to wash off poison ivy oils and has helped me to avoid the nasty rash. We even keep a bottle of Dawn right by the shower since we hike so much. I suggest it to everyone who suffers from severe poison ivy reactions like myself.) After 24-hours (maybe it was more!), I used a brush to get out the mud the best that I could, soaked again in clear water, rinsed and line dried. Are they as good as new? No. But I can use them again for training purposes.
Melanie, the customer relations rep that I chatted with, told me that there isn’t a set time frame for the lifespan of your shoes since everyone wears their shoes differently. Mine go through a life cycle – training and events, then muddy training and grass cutting duties before getting thrown away.
By the way, as my husband, Paul suggested, “Once you’ve finally found the shoe that you really like, I’d highly advise you to order an extra pair or two before they are discontinued as they surely will be as I know all too well.”
What about your favorite shoes? Clean or toss?