If you're new to the exciting sport of riding motorcycles, you're probably enjoying the attractive gear that participation in this activity requires. However, besides looking good, the gear also has to serve a protective function. Many motorcycle riders choose leather for boots, vests, jackets, pants, and gloves because it's thick and durable. Good boots are important because there are multiple bones in the foot that could potentially be broken in the event of a mishap on the road. A good pair of Gaerne boots with thick padding and armor in the ankle area will go a long way toward keeping your feet protected against injury, and taking proper care of them will make them last longer. Following are the basic procedures involved in cleaning your boots and applying waterproofing products.
Frequent Cleaning is Essential
Because your boots will be constantly exposed to road dirt, you will need to clean them frequently. You can do this by removing the insoles and laces and then using a brush with soft bristles to brush the boots all over to remove any loose dust or dirt. In a pinch, you can use a retired toothbrush for this chore. After loose debris has been brushed away, you should mix a boot cleaner that has been specially formulated to clean motorcycle boots with water according to package directions. Mild dishwashing soap may be substituted for the specialized boot cleaning formula, but never use anything that contains harsh detergents, such as household cleansers or bar soap. Dip the same soft-bristled brush into the solution and go over every surface of your boots thoroughly. Rinse with clean, clear water and pat dry with a soft cotton cloth.
- In between proper washings, use baby wipes to remove surface dirt and debris.
- If you notice mold on your boots, wipe the area gently with white vinegar and dry gently.
- If the soles of your boots are particularly dirty, let them soak in a shallow pan for several hours prior to cleaning.
- If you've just completed a particularly muddy ride, it may be best to clean your boots in an outdoor location.
It's best to clean your boots during the evening and place them in a warm, dry area overnight.
Waterproofing Your Boots
Because all leather used in the creation of motorcycle gear will be exposed to the elements, manufacturers treat it with waterproofing elements as a mater of course. However, that doesn't mean that you won't need to waterproof your boots from time to time. How often this happens will depend on the amount of exposure your boots get to water. Desert dwellers, for instance, probably won't have to waterproof their boots and other gear nearly as frequently as those who live in the rainy Pacific Northwest.
Waterproofing your boots is done on an as-needed basis. You can easily test your boots to see if it's time for this task by dropping a small amount of water onto their uppers. If the waters fails to create small beads, that's a sign that your boots are ready for another application of a waterproofing product. You should use a product specifically designed for leather motorcycle boots and follow the directions on the package.
- Use a soft cloth, sponge, or your hands to apply an even coating of the waterproofing product to your boots.
- Place your boots in a warm ,dry location where they are unlikely to disturbed, and leave them there overnight.
Over time, you will develop a routine concerning cleaning and waterproofing your boots that is customized by your particular climate and personal riding preferences. Well-maintained leather becomes softer and more supple with the passage of time.