Care & Maintenance Guidelines
Now that you’ve invested in some of the finest footwear the world has to offer, let’s learn the best way to protect your investment and keep those G’s on your feet in top shape to ride the extra mile!
- For plastic based boots, such as the SG-12 and SG-10, we recommend thoroughly cleansing them after each ride to prevent discoloration, as well as to uncover areas which may have experienced conflict during the course of activity.
- First, you will begin by using low pressure water to wet and soak the exterior of the boots. Depending on the level of dirt, you may want to allow them to set for a couple of minutes before you proceed.
- After soaking, use higher pressure water to remove most heavy mud and clumps from your boots. Remember to hose your soles a bit too.
- Add warm soapy water to help get into the nooks and crannies as you scrub your boots with a bristle brush. Gaerne recommends Dawn dish soap as a gentler cleanser. Scuffs may be alleviated by using a magic eraser, though with any chemical and material combination, it is always recommended to test a small area (be sure to include dry time) before moving on to the entire boot*.
- Rinse with higher pressure to release and remove any remaining dirt/mud from your boots, though a little bit of caution is recommended near the softer leather and fabric areas, as well as near the opening at the top of the boots.
- Towel dry the outside, paying special attention to more concealed areas, such as the insides of the buckles, fabric areas, and near/under the wishbones and various closure “flaps.”
- Allow time to dry** in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.
*Please note: As these are only suggested guidelines for care, experience may vary. It is always best to test a method on a small, more hidden, area prior to approaching the entire boot. Gaerne USA does not accept responsibility for materials which have been damaged or discolored once the product has been used or stored for any duration of time outside of distributor warehouses.
**Dry time will vary depending upon how much of the interior was wet during cleaning.
Your Balance Oiled boots have already been treated with an “oiled” conditioner–hence, the name–and really require nothing but soap and water for cleaning; however, if you would like to add leather conditioners and/or waterproof paste, that should cause no issue with the finish. We recommend avoiding any of the chemical cleaners you might use on your bike, as they may be too harsh for certain materials; plain soap and water will suffice.
Before each ride, it is advised to examine your boots to ensure that straps, keepers, and buckles are securely attached to the boots, as well as gently tightening any screws in the pivot system or toe caps which may have loosened from previous rides (or let’s face it, even from minor scuffs and crashes along the way). Take care to not overtighten; this is to stop those squirrely screws from getting lost along the way, not to ratchet down component pieces or strip screws.
As with most closed-toe footwear, boots are susceptible to high temperatures and sweat, which can alter the inner atmosphere for the feet. It is always advised to allow boots to air-out during times when they are not in use, to prevent stinky G’s on your feet. If you find your insoles are hanging on to some of that lingering odor, replacement insoles may be purchased directly through Gaerne USA.
If you have a product with Gore-Tex or Drytech, it is essential to follow manufacturer’s recommended care instructions, including keeping those toe nails clipped and filed so they cannot abrade the inner lining, which will allow water to breach the waterproof barrier and “leak” into the toe box.
If you are going to store your boots for a lengthy period of time, Gaerne USA recommends keeping them in a climate-controlled environment and away from direct sunlight, to shield product materials from unnecessary exposure to potentially extreme climate changes, which may create issues such as plastic shrinkage, yellowing, soft-fiber disintegration, breakdown of leathers, and cracking.
How is care for Gore-Tex® boots different?
GORE-TEX® Footwear Care:
Does your footwear feel like it may be leaking?
Are your feet feeling clammy? First check this list to see if you are doing everything you can to help it keep your feet dry and comfortable in your GORE-TEX® footwear.
Are you wearing the right socks?
Cotton and wool socks might seem like natural choices, but they could be the reason why your feet are feeling clammy and uncomfortable. These ultra-absorbent natural fibers can retain your sweat until your socks are completely damp. Perspiration never has a chance to evaporate away. Stick to synthetic fabric socks and the new technical wool blends, which are designed to wick moisture away from the feet, where it can then pass out as vapor through the footwear.
Does your footwear have the appropriate level of insulation?
Overly insulated boots can make your feet so clammy and sweaty that it feels like your footwear is leaking, even though it’s not. Check with a specialty footwear retailer to see what level of insulation is recommended for the temperatures you’ll be facing and your planned activity level. That goes for your socks, too – make sure they aren’t causing your feet to overheat.
Could water be getting in via the top of your boots or shoes?
Water-splashed socks or damp tucked-in pants can wick moisture down into your footwear without you even realizing it. All of a sudden your feet feel clammy and uncomfortable. If you’re going to be out in the rain or splashing through streams, a pair of gaiters can help keep water out of your footwear.
Are you taking care of your footwear?
A little maintenance goes a long way in protecting the waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane inside your footwear. Shake out any loose dirt or gravel from inside before they have a chance to abrade the lining. Be careful around barbed wire, fishhooks, nails, and anything else that might puncture your footwear. And guys: keep those toenails clipped so they don’t abrade the inner lining.