How to Care for Man-Made Boots

by Jason Williams ; Updated September 28, 2017

Boots should be wiped clean of dirt, mud, and water after every use.

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Boots are known for their sturdiness, and a well-kept pair can last for years or even decades. Without proper care, however, even the sturdiest synthetic boots will be quickly worn down by regular exposure to heat, dirt, and other stresses. While synthetic boots are not as vulnerable to water damage as leather, regular exposure to moisture will still damage them over time; in order to maximize the lifetime and comfort of synthetic boots, regular waterproofing and thorough cleaning is required.

Clean your boots with a stiff nylon brush to remove dirt and dust, making sure to clean between any small gaps on the sole. Use a damp, soft shoe cloth to wipe away any lingering dirt.

Apply a synthetic boot cleaner agent to the entire surface area of the material and allow it to air dry when finished.

Apply a silicone-based waterproofing agent to the entire surface area of the material. Work the agent deep into the seams on the sole, as they will be particularly vulnerable to moisture intrusion.

Wipe the boots free of dirt, mud, or moisture immediately after every use. Use a dry vacuum to remove volcanic dust and ash. Use the cleaning agent when necessary, followed by another treatment with waterproofing agent after the boots are fully dried.

Use the boots regularly, even if only for brief periods indoors, to keep them limber and broken in. Keep the laces tied when worn to prevent damage to the laces and inner linings of the boots.


  • Waterproof new boots immediately to prevent the elements from gaining a foothold.

    Give the boots a full cleaning and waterproofing before putting them away for any significant period of time; lingering dirt will slowly damage the material.

    Do not use oil-based cleaning agents for synthetic boots, as they can harm the material.

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About the Author

Jason Williams has been involved in journalism since 2000 as both a writer and an editor. Graduating from the International Baccalaureate program in 2004, he has written on a wide array of topics, specializing in topics of natural sciences and technology.