After a few days of trekking our shoes need to be treated in the right way to avoid ruining them. Taking care of hunting boots means, first of all, keeping the technical qualities that made us choose the boot intact, so as to prolong their durability over time.
Just think of the stress to which the boots are exposed to during our excursions: for example, often we pass from damp and muddy soils to rocky surfaces and it is natural therefore that dirt and debris of various kinds can get into the sole rather than leaving obvious marks on the upper or other parts of the shoe. It’s a good idea to start by cleaning the soles before proceeding with the rest of the boots so remove stones or residue from under the shoe, possibly using a brush.
What are the right steps to take when cleaning Zamberlan boots?
The first thing to do, before starting to clean your Zamberlan boots, is to remove the laces (fig.1). At this point we can start: the trekking boots must be washed under a jet of cold water (fig.2). If necessary, when they are very dirty, it is possible to use a gentle or neutral soap to make cleaning easier.
Fig.3 and fig.4 refer to the drying of shoes: it is essential to remove the insoles and leave the shoes to dry in a cool and ventilated area. ATTENTION: never put them in direct contact with sources of heat such as fires, radiators, electric heaters or boilers, which could lead to the breaking or shrinking of the leather, damage the adhesion of the sole to the upper or could cause detachment of the rubber protection tip. If Zamberlan hiking boots are dried by exposure to heat sources and damaged, the warranty is no longer valid. The best thing to do is to let the trekking boots air-dry, avoiding direct sunlight. To maintain the shape during drying it is advisable to insert some newspaper into the shoe. Once dry, mountain boots must be treated in the right way.
This means taking care of the upper to prevent it from getting ruined and to extend its durability over time
If it is in full grain leather (fig.5A-1 and Fig. 5A-2) then it is advisable to apply the Zamberlan® Hydrobloc® Cream directly on the surface of the shoe, which must be clean and dry, and distribute it on the surface with help from a soft brush. It is essential to use technical products for the maintenance of mountain boots because oils and natural fats nourish the leather well, but if overused they could make the upper too soft and deformable and these shoes must also remain very resistant. Finally, before using them again, it is good to let them rest for a few hours to allow for proper absorption of the products used and then they can be polished.
If the upper is in Nubuck leather, split leather, Nubuck and fabric or a mixture of suede and fabric (fig.5B), then the best product to use is the Hydrobloc® Zamberlan® Spray Balm. After shaking it well, apply two layers on the clean and dry upper, spraying from a distance of about 20 cm and waiting about 5 minutes between the first and second application. Also, in this case, before wearing them, leave the shoes to rest for a few hours.
A further possibility is that mountain boots are made with a leather lining. In this case (fig.6) it is advisable to clean the lining with a damp cloth, let it dry and then apply a light layer of Hydrobloc® Cream or Spray which nourishes the leather keeping it soft and supple. Use the boots only after letting them rest for a few hours.
Other useful tips for the maintenance of mountain boots
Check laces: in shoe maintenance, laces are not a secondary element. These components usually last a long time, but over time they can wear and break. For this reason it is important to keep them checked. It is possible to use different laces from those proposed by Zamberlan®, but remember that they must comply with the GORE-TEX® requirements, in order to guarantee the waterproofness of the boot. It is always advisable to have a pair of replacement laces on excursions, especially in remote areas. Zamberlan® offers different types of laces as replacement parts for substitution when necessary.
Synthetic inner lining: it doesn't require any special attention; simply use a warm, damp cloth after every use, wash and leave out to dry.
Leather lining: these types of linings offer a special comfort, but must be treated regularly to maintain their characteristics. Sweat from the feet can in fact damage or modify the acidity. For this reason, we recommend cleaning the lining with a warm and damp cloth, then letting it dry. Finally apply a thin layer of Hydrobloc® Zamberlan® cream or spray.
Sole: the soles must be monitored over time; it is important after a hike to check that no stones have got stuck under the soles and if there are any then do remove them. This prevents damage to the sole caps. Over time and with use the sole gets consumed; excessive wear to the tread can compromise your safety. Most soles on Zamberlan® models can be replaced. You can find out if the sole can be replaced by visiting the product web page and verifying the presence of the appropriate logo:
Footbeds: the insoles should be cleaned regularly and, according to regular use of footwear, it would be advisable to change them once every 6 months or at least once a year. Zamberlan® offers different types of replacement according to your needs.
Remove odours: to combat bad and unpleasant odours of mountain boots, the secret is to use talcum powder or sodium bicarbonate. Do be careful not to do it too often and remember that a small amount is sufficient.
Where to store hiking boots: if you want to uphold the quality of the leather and the correct shape, you must keep them in a place with normal and constant temperature (around 18-20 °C). Avoid places that are too cold or too hot for long periods of time and make sure the shoes are always fastened so that the shoe is in the correct position.
Detailed Care Instructions:
Preliminary Care: Cleaning & Drying
To begin, remove the laces and wash the boots under cold tap water, using a mild soap (not a detergent!) if you wish. Ensure that all debris is removed from the uppers and soles. Rinse the boots well, especially if they have been exposed to peat, as its acidity can be particularly destructive.
Remove the footbeds and leave everything to dry slowly and thoroughly in a cool to a warm, well-ventilated area. If the boots are very wet it may be advisable to stuff each boot with newspaper during the drying process, replacing as required. Be sure NOT to attempt to accelerate the drying process by placing the boots near direct heat sources such as fires, radiators, fan heaters, or boilers, as this will cause cracking and/or shrinkage of the leather and may seriously damage the bonding compounds used in the construction of the boot. Again, NO HEAT!
Uppers: Proofing & Conditioning
Appropriate proofing and conditioning vary according to the materials used for the uppers of your boots, but in every case, its main function is to feed the leather with the correct degree of support and suppleness, as well as to maximize its water resistance. For boots with composite leather/fabric uppers, the treatment will also help maintain the water resistance and repellency of the fabric sections.
How often treatment will be required depends upon, amongst other things, the terrain and conditions in which the boots are used and the frequency of their use. As a general guide, it is better that you proof and condition the boots on the 'little and often' principle, rather than applying excess quantities of treatment on an infrequent basis. Before long periods of storage, treatment should be applied, as significant drying may occur if left untreated.
Please note, if you decide to use treatments other than Zamberlan Hydrobloc leather treatments, they should meet the requirements in place for Gore-Tex (if applicable). This means no silicone-based treatments or any treatment that will (a) clog the pores of the Gore-Tex membranes, or (b) block the leather's natural ability to breathe. There are several providers in the market that make excellent products. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
Full Grain Leather:
When the uppers are fully dry, apply Zamberlan Hydrobloc Cream sparingly; use a soft brush to apply the treatment, working it thoroughly into the leather. Leave to cure overnight before use, after which you may wish to buff your boots to a shine as excess surface proofing will attract particles of grit or sand that can abrade the leather when the boot is flexed. We recommend that you test the product on a small area initially, as darkening of the leather may occur. Here is a step-by-step video guide for full-grain leather:
Nubuck Leather, Nubuck Leather/Fabric, Split Leather/Fabric:
Zamberlan Hydrobloc conditioning spray should be applied when the boots are dry and clean. Shake the container well and apply 2 coats of conditioner to the whole of the upper (including the fabric sections where present) from a distance of approximately 20 cm, allowing 5 minutes between coats (to let the conditioner soak in). Wipe any excess conditioner from soles and the sole/upper junction, and leave to dry overnight before use. We recommend that you test the product on a small area initially, as darkening of the leather may occur after application. Here is a step-by-step video guide for split-grain, suede, and nubuck leathers:
Linings-Care, Proofing, and Conditioning
Zamberlan boots may be lined with Cambrelle, Gore-Tex, leather, mesh or a combination of these materials.
These do not require special care; they simply need to be allowed to dry naturally and thoroughly after use and cleaned with a warm damp cloth from time to time.
Leather linings do however need to be regularly cared for to maintain their performance. Whilst offering superb comfort, leather can become damaged, dried and cracked by the acidity of the feet's perspiration. For this reason, you should regularly clean the leather linings with a warm damp cloth, allow to thoroughly dry, and then apply a thin coat Hydrobloc Proofing Cream or Hydrobloc Conditioning Spray which will feed the leather, keeping it soft and supple.
Soles: Inspection, Care & Resoling
The soles do not generally require any special attention, but it is good practice to regularly inspect them for wear and general condition. Pay particular attention to any stones which might have become lodged in the sole, removing them carefully prior to subsequent use. Failure to do so may result in damage to the sole unit.
Check the depth of tread from time to time, as security and safety may be compromised by a significantly worn sole. Most Zamberlan boots are able to be resoled by specialist cobblers. If your Zamberlan boot was Made in Italy, it can always be resoled. You can see a list of Zamberlan USA-approved cobblers on our website in the Help Center.
Laces and Footbeds: Inspection, Care & Replacement
Laces will normally offer a fairly long service life, but cannot be expected to last indefinitely. Check regularly for signs of wear, replacing with genuine Zamberlan laces as and when necessary. After-market laces can also be used so long as they meet Gore-Tex requirements for moisture-wicking and are considered suitable for the stresses of outdoor use. It is a sensible precaution to carry a spare set at all times, especially when walking in remote areas.
The anatomic footbeds supplied with your boots should be regularly cleaned and replaced from time to time with genuine Zamberlan footbeds. If you use your boots regularly you should consider replacement every six to twelve months. There are suitable after-market footbeds also available at specialist retailers around the country.