How to Maintain Winter Boots in Extreme Cold?

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Like anything else, your winter boots will have a longer lifespan with the appropriate shoe care techniques. Just in the same way your car requires regular maintenance, is the same way you need to take good care of your boots. The time of the year is here again when we prepare for a long month against nature’s elements. Getting good winter boots often requires research and a significant amount of investment. This is because such boots often have specialized designs to accommodate the thick snowy terrain and to keep the feet warm. This separates them from fashionable kinds of boots, which have lesser requirements. As such, taking good care of winter boots shoes often requires a different approach than conventional brogues. Beyond taking good care of your favorite brogues until spring, here is a simple guide to help you take good care of your shoes.

Side Effects of Extreme Cold on Your Feet

Failing to take good care of your winter shoes means that you are prone to various health issues that affect the feet. Among some of these common health issues include:


This is commonly experienced among individuals who have poor circulation in the body. The condition occurs when the skin is exposed to extremely cold weather, and then introduced to warm settings. The hot and cold air compromises the flow of blood to the skin as well as the blood vessels. Blood will then leak into the surrounding tissue area, and result in itchy and sometimes red skin.

Raynaud`s Phenomenon

Named after the famous French doctor Raynaud, this disorder is also a common issue in extreme cold. It occurs when the skin is exposed to extreme cold, thereby constricting the flow of blood. As such, the individual experiences pain, blistering and discoloration. The condition affects up to 4% of the population, and especially women.

Skiers Toe

If you come across a black toenail, then you might be suffering from skiers toenail. The dark color that you come across comes as a result of bleeding that occurs under the nail. The pain associated with the mark relates to the pressure of the blood against the nail area. Wearing tight shoes in cold conditions often causes this condition.

Tips for Maintaining Winter Boots in Extreme Cold


The most important aspect of maintaining winter boots is to learn about shoe material care. For instance, leather boots might require high levels of care, especially when exposed to snow. You might have to consider using a weekly plan, such as dedicating specific days to condition and polish the leather. This helps prevent the chances of damage before wearing occurs. However, there is no “magic pill” for protecting shoes in such conditions. Conditioning the shoes regularly helps your shoe cope with the adverse conditions.

Use Waterproofing

Waterproofing before a snow storm can also go a long way in protecting winter boots in extreme cold. Consider coating your snowshoes, especially those made with leather. You can use the typical water and stain repellants found at local stores. Consider applying waterproofing that blends well with the color of the shoes. Let the shoes sit for some few hours, before wearing them outdoors. For the best results, consider applying the coat after every few weeks. Another recommendation for extending the lifespan of shoes is to alternate on the days you wear them. This helps to aerate the shoes and to dry as well.

Dry the Shoes Naturally

Usually, exposure to water has adverse effects on the structure of the shoe. Water damages the seams and stitches in shoes. For this reason, investing in shoes that wick of moisture quickly is beneficial. Also, consider stuffing the shoes with newspaper as a useful alternative for drying. You can also place your shoes close to a source of heat such as a fireplace or radiator. However, ensure that you don’t place delicate shoe material such as plastic close to extreme temperatures. This might easily increase the likelihood of wear and tear.


Moreover, you can also consider using DIY techniques that you can think of on the spot. Ensure that you know the unique care requirements for your sure type. This way, you never expose your shoe to any issues such as high temperatures, or abrasive substances that might affect the material. A good example of troubleshooting would be the use of wine to clean leather boots. In particular, white vinegar is powerful in removing salt stains. Test our different detergents, before you settle on the ideal one for your cleaning needs.

Things to Avoid

Broadly speaking, you want to avoid putting on delicate shoes during a snowstorm. The ideal winter boots are durable and come with a specialized sole to move through thick snow terrain. Usually, shoes made of leather are important because it requires high levels of care, especially when exposed to water. Generally, consider these tips for taking off shoes in extreme cold:

  • Never put your shoes close to extreme heat sources-putting your shoes to areas that have extreme heat can damage the material. More so, extreme heat might also increase the likelihood of wear and tear.
  • Avoid using abrasive chemicals for cleaning- using abrasive chemicals such as bleaches and more are also sometimes excessive for winter boots. Use regular detergents and keep the shoes in a warm, dry place.
  • Never leave your boots outside in the snow- once you come back home from spending time outdoors, remove the snow from the shoes and store them well.
  • Keep away from wet shoes- wet shoes are a leading cause of various foot complications. They include frost bite, smelly feet, fungal infections and more. Always ensure that you wear winter boots that are completely dry.


The winter season is an exciting time of the year, and you can only enjoy the outdoors when you have the appropriate gear. Temperatures during winter are usually under zero degrees, and you need to take care of winter boots. Otherwise, you may have to spend extra on a new pair of boots each time, and this can be inconveniencing. You may find it useful to troubleshoot with various shoe care approaches until you find a solution that suits your needs. Taking good care of winter boots requires an informed approach to achieve the best results.

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