Ever notice how you normally, every few years, buy a pair of shiny, lovely-smelling, beautiful new wellies and step out with great pride in them, avoiding puddles and mud, then, next thing you know, they look like a pair of unloved health-hazards, caked in mud, salt and spreading something deeply unpleasant all over the back of your car?
Looking after your wellingtons can be quick and easy.
Keep your boots in tip-top order with our top ten tips to prolong the life of your wellies, save you money on buying a new pair and keep your boots looking like you just stepped out of the shoe shop. Let’s go…
- Take them off nicely - Let’s face it, you’re tired from a long walk and it’s tempting to use a step or the other toe to dig into the heel and force off your boots. Take a moment to remove them with your hands – if they’re not too disgusting – or better yet, use a boot jack. This will prevent excessive stress to the heel, which leads to splitting, plus, a boot jack is also much kinder to your back and takes out all the heave-ho.
- Keep them clean - Yes, it’s obvious, but the best (and easiest) time to clean off those wellies is when the mud is still wet and easiest to rinse. Been to the beach? It’s vital to wash off the salt and sand as soon as possible to prevent too-fast drying, fading and streaks. This is the easy bit – use a hose or outside tap and you’ll be done in seconds. No tap? How about a dunk in a bucket of water and use a sponge or a brush.
- Don’t forget the zips and buckles - The fancier your boots, the more features they’ll have: buckles and zips get wet, muddy, salty and can rust, stick or even come off. The rivets holding them on to your boots can become rusty and disintegrate if regularly exposed to salt. This is the time to give them a little bit of love and make sure they’re nice and clean and dry after your walk.
- Dry them out the right way - Leave your boots to dry in a cool well-ventilated place – your dog may thank you for leaving him in front of the fire after a long walk in the countryside or at the beach, but your boots won’t; the rubber doesn’t like extreme temperatures and can dry and crack, so by the front or back door or in the hall is best. Still read newspapers? Excellent, crumple up a few sheets (let’s face it, there’s not a lot in there you’ll miss right now) and that will help to dry the insides and shape the boots too. Especially when you’ve confidently gone into the sea’s edge and misjudged the height of a wave…
- A little bit of love - Just like your skin if you don’t look after it, your boots can get dry and cracked. You can prevent this with a silicone spray which will nourish the rubber and provide a protective coating to repel water, mud and everything else you throw at your boots.
- Zip it - If your boots have zips, make sure you spray a little silicon spray on them and open an close a few times, then leave closed. This tip alone can save a pair of boots from a premature visit to the scrapheap – if your zip fails, you won’t be able to get your boots on. Also, make sure you zip all the way up when wearing to prevent dirt getting into the zip
- Boots in the boot? - It’s always convenient to leave your wellies in the car, but extreme temperatures are harmful to the rubber – drying and cracking can occur especially if you haven’t used a silicone spray. It’s a good habit to store your boots by the door outside of the not-so-hot and not-so-cold months. Plus, it’ll keep your boot a little emptier and a lot cleaner. (Unless you have a dog, right? In which case you forgot about a clean boot years ago). Which brings us on to…
- Home sweet (welly) home - Sounds obvious but having your boots in a freezing cold shed won’t do them a lot of good; bring them in and maybe invest in a boot rack. If you keep your boots in the same place, there’s a better chance you’ll find them in the pre-walk melee. Scarves, gloves, hats and woolly socks always like to go missing right when you need them – having your boots in their rightful place will give you more time walking and less time looking.
- What’s that bloom? - Occasionally, on high-quality boots such as our Le Chameau and Barbour wellingtons at Gun Hill, you might notice a white powdery "bloom" on the boots. This is actually quite normal – it’s insoluble particles that have risen to the surface, which is mainly due to the characteristic of a premium product made from natural high-grade rubber. Fortunately, this will not compromise the durability or performance of the boots and will disappear. Take care of it with a little silicone spray.
- Treat your boots like royalty. - You may wear the same boots as the Windsors (Le Chameau and Dubarry boots have both been worn by Kate Middleton) but you might not have a butler – the next best thing is a dedicated boot bag – this will keep them away from sunlight and help with regulating temperatures too, plus you’ll be able to carry and store them on weekends away.
Follow our 10 tips for caring for your wellies and your wellingtons can last months or years longer. If you’re thinking of buying a new pair and starting out the right way with your new rubbery friends, check out wellies at Gun Hill Clothing Company. Being in the heart of all the great country and seaside walks, many of our customers come to us for luxury, high-quality wellingtons and we can now share the tips we give them for tip-top welly care.
The Gun Hill team.