Photo shows LOWA Z-8 GTX® boots after hard use in open country – the split leather uppers are wet and covered with dirt.
Dirt and moisture have little effect on LOWA Boots if they are properly taken care of. Your boots lifespan can be significantly extended with proper care. Leather is a natural, raw material and in order to maintain its exceptional qualities, proper care is essential.
NEW boots, right out of the box that have just been purchased, DO NOT need to be waterproofed. The leather already has been pre-treated. We recommend applying Water Stop to your boots based on usage. Heavily worn boots need to be waterproofed more often. You will notice that the water is not beading/rolling off any longer. 3/4 months would be our first recommendation, again based on use.
Step 1: Preparation - Remove the insole and laces
Air dry wet or dirty boots in a well-ventilated room. Do not place boots near any heat source. This can cause leather to shrink and crack. Remove the laces, which will help the leather care products reach the recessed areas of the boots, and remove the insole. Removing the insole is very important, particularly after a multi-day hike, since moisture tends to collect under the insole.
Step 2: Cleaning - Removing dirt from your boots
Thoroughly brush your boots, using a LOWA Polishing Brush. This helps make the leather breathable once again. Clean boots with warm water. If boots are very dirty, use a lukewarm soap solution like LOWA Shoe Clean, this opens the pores of the leather, Thoroughly rinse the boots. The leather is now in an unprotected condition: It will absorb any water that comes in contact with it. Do not dry boots in the sun, in a bathroom, next to a heating unit, in an oven or in a hot car. Damp leather can become brittle and prone to shrinking and cracking. Boots can develop mildew if you store them in a damp area.
Step 3: Waterproofing
Your boots should be slightly damp when you apply waterproofing spray (e.g. LOWA Water Stop PRO). The pores of damp leather are wide open, enabling the waterproofing spray to penetrate deeply into the material. The spray reaches its greatest level of effectiveness after 24 hours – at that point, your boots will then be water and dirt-repellent once again. Regular waterproofing treatments will repel water and dirt. The breathability of the leather will be maintained, but the leather will not absorb water and it will be water repellent, making the boots completely protected. You should treat your boots once again before you set off on your next outing. (The spray’s effect begins to wear off after about three weeks.)
Long Term Care
If you wear your boots frequently and often get them wet, regularly treat your boots including GORE-TEX footwear. Poorly maintained leather dries out, becomes brittle and cracks, and ultimately, the boots will become irreparably damaged. Apply LOWA Active Cream with a LOWA Shoe Care Brush, allowing enough time to dry out. Treat your boots prior to your next trip. Do not use any pure oils or fats on your boots. These treatments close the pores of the leather, causing boots to lose their breathability. Oils or fats can loosen the adhesives used to bond the boots’ soles to the uppers. Use of this kind of products will null and void your warranty.
Nubuck and split (suede) leather footwear will become smoother, shinier and darker when LOWA Active Cream is applied. Polish the suede leather with the. LOWA Triangle Brush. Please note: the original look will change to a certain degree.
Store your shoes in a shoe bag or box in a dry, well-ventilated place. Use a wooden shoe tree to maintain your boots’ form. It will preserve the boots’ shape and prevent creases from forming. As an alternative, you can stuff crumpled newspaper in the toe of the boots. The paper will absorb moisture and help preserve the shape of the boot. Change the paper every day until the boots are dry.
Take Good Care of the Lining
If you sweat profusely, LOWA Active Cream should be applied, periodically, to leather linings. Salty sweat produced by your feet can dry out the leather, making it brittle and hard. GORE-TEX linings require no special care, but they should be cleaned occasionally with lukewarm water and a gentle soap solution. Regularly clean and condition the leather on GORE-TEX boots. The GORE-TEX membrane will lose its effectiveness if leather uppers are not treated. It is not enough to apply waterproofing or shoe-care spray to intensively used GORE-TEX shoes!
- DON’T use oil or fat-based care products
- DON'T use any wax based products
- DON’T speed-dry near a heat source or direct sunlight
- DON’T expose to farmyard waste, acids or petroleum-based products
- DON’T store in damp, closed areas
- DON'T use regular shoe polish on nubuck or split-leather