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How To Clean Gore-Tex Hiking Boots

Knowing how to clean your GORE-TEX hiking boots and keep them waterproof means they'll always be ready for the next adventure.

Nothing says 'great hike' like that layer of trail dust on your GORE-TEX hiking boots. But did you know that dirt and mud get in the way of the performance and lifespan of your boots? When mud dries on the GORE-TEX fabric, tiny bits of dirt wear your boots down faster and can also reduce their breathability.

STEP BY STEP GUIDE: HOW TO CLEAN YOUR GORE-TEX HIKING BOOTS



A close-up view of an adidas TERREX hiking boot with a muddy upper being scrubbed with a brush.




STEP 1: HOW TO CLEAN YOUR GORE-TEX HIKING BOOTS

Before you wash your GORE-TEX hiking boots, get as much dirt and mud off as you can.

- Brush off loose dirt with a dry sponge or brush

- Bang the soles together to dislodge dirt from the lugged soles

- Always clean your boots by hand, not in the washing machine







STEP 2: HOW TO WASH YOUR GORE-TEX HIKING BOOTS

A wet adidas TERREX boot above a bowl of soapy water being scrubbed with a brush.Make sure you have a brush or sponge, a capful (approx 30ml) of liquid detergent in a bowl or sink with lukewarm water, and a boot dryer or newspaper ready.

- Remove laces and insoles

- Shake out dirt from inside the boots    

- Wash and rinse the insoles. This can really help reduce smells from the boots

- Dip a brush into the soapy water and scrub off all dirt from the outside of the boots

- If your boots are smelly, wash the inside as well by squeezing soapy water through the cushioning.

- Rinse boots thoroughly to remove any soap residue

- Do NOT use bleach or stain removers, as these can permanently damage the Gore-Tex fabric.

Marcel stuffs newspaper into the freshly washed and wet boots. The orange insoles are laid out to dry next to the boots.

STEP 3: HOW TO DRY YOUR GORE-TEX HIKING BOOTS

It's important to let your GORE-TEX hiking boots dry out completely before you put the insoles and laces back in place.

- Air dry boots and insoles at room temperature in a well-ventilated area

- Stuff your boots with newspaper and change it frequently to speed up the drying process

- Avoid heat sources like campfires, hair dryers or direct sunlight

- A convection-style boot dryer is a good way to dry your boots quickly




STEP 4: HOW TO TEST IF YOUR GORE-TEX HIKING BOOTS ARE WATERPROOF

If water no longer beads up on the surface of your hiking boots, or worse, water is absorbed, it means the water repellent coating has worn off. Testing this is easy:

- Drop water onto the GORE-TEX fabric

- If the water beads and runs off, your water repellent coating is good

- If the water is soaking into the fabric, you need to re-apply your water repellent coating

A side-by-side of a boot with water droplets pooling and running off the GORE-TEX fabric, next to a boot where water soaks into the fabric.

A close-up view of the DWR treatment sprayed onto a pair of blue adidas TERREX hiking boots.
 

STEP 5: HOW TO RE-WATERPROOF GORE-TEX HIKING BOOTS

It's time to find out how to re-waterproof GORE-TEX hiking boots. Before you start, read the instructions on boots and durable water repellent (DWR) spray carefully.

- Spray a water-based DWR pump spray onto your boots

- After 3 minutes, wipe off any excess with a damp cloth

- Follow the steps above on how to dry your GORE-TEX hiking boots





How to store your clean GORE-TEX hiking boots

Before you find a well-ventilated place away from heat and moisture to store your hiking boots, make sure they are completely dry.

- Store GORE-TEX hiking boots where temperatures are stable and moderate

- Keep them in a place with good air circulation and don't place them in plastic bags or airtight boxes

- Avoid trunks, garages, attics, and damp or unventilated places

A side view pair of clean, blue boots in an open metal shelf.

What is DWR? 

adidas Terrex GORE‑TEX hiking boots are treated with an ultra-thin durable water repellent (DWR) coating that makes water turn into droplets and run off the surface instead of being absorbed. Regular wear and tear, dirt, and exposure to impurities cause the water repellency to wear off. However, you can use a DWR spray to re-waterproof your GORE-TEX hiking boots. Always read the DWR spray's instructions carefully before starting the reapplication.

A bird's-eye view of cleaning supplies surrounding a dirty adidas TERREX boot with its orange insole removed.

Extra info on how to care for your GORE-TEX hiking boots

Can hiking boots be washed?

Yes, you can wash them by hand to ensure the performance of all parts and materials. Follow our guide on how to clean GORE-TEX hiking boots above for a step-by-step look at how to care for your GORE-TEX hiking boots.

How often should hiking boots be cleaned?

After each hike, air your boots and remove the insoles to prevent odors caused by sweat. After a muddy hike or when your hiking boots look dirty, remove as much mud as you can before it dries. Then follow the steps in our guide above on how to clean GORE-TEX hiking boots.

How do you clean smelly hiking boots?

Follow the blog article above to learn how to clean GORE-TEX hiking boots and get rid of odors that can build up on the insole inside the shoe. If your shoes still have a bad smell after washing and fully drying the insoles and the boots, use a disinfectant anti-odor spray inside the boot.

Marcel holds the blue hiking boot as he sprays a disinfectant anti-odor spray into it.

How do you clean waterproof hiking boots?

Our blog article on how to clean GORE-TEX hiking boots gives you a step-by-step guide on how to care for your GORE-TEX hiking boots from washing to re-waterproofing them.

How often should I re-waterproof my hiking boots?

If water no longer beads up on the surface or your feet start to feel cold and wet with sweat, the waterproof coating on your boots has worn off. This also means the breathable fabric is no longer pulling sweat away from your feet. It's time to find out how to re-waterproof GORE-TEX hiking boots. Always read the instructions on your boots and the DWR spray carefully.

How do you remove stains from hiking boots?

Whether it’s mud, grease, or a mysterious stain, read the footwear manufacturer's instructions first. After that, follow our guide on how to clean GORE-TEX hiking boots.

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