Boot Care and Maintenance

The landscape of the football boot market is ever-changing, with boots becoming more modernised with each launch. This leads to new innovations and technologies, some never thought to have been possible on football boots some years ago: however, it also means that the way we care and maintain the longevity and life of our boots changes to. We’ll dive into the different steps to be taken for each type of boot and it’s upper, and how to care for them in the best possible manner.

The following images of boots is the result of not adhering to SPTFootball's recommendations and advice on how to properly care for your football boots.

Leather.

The material which most definitely needs most caring, is without a doubt: leather. What needs to be understood, is that leather is a natural product. Not man-made, leather is derived from either kangaroos or calf/cows, and is deemed more ‘traditional’ in its approach to football boots. This means that like any other natural product it does wear down over time if not well looked after. 

Before we begin, understand that discolouration and slight fraying on the edges of the leather where it meets the sole, is completely normal. As long as the leather is not splitting away from the sole making the boot UNWEARABLE, you’re all good to keep playing.

 

Moisture and Water, Playing in the Rain:

Water can destroy leather. If left wet for long enough or for several instances, leather will harden up and crack. This has been observed with boots which have been neglected and left in a boot bag, were moisture and dampness soaks into the leather, bringing a wide variety of issues. It can grow bacteria and mold, which is extremely detrimental to upper and lining of the boot. Most harmful, it weakens the leather by making it harden and become very stiff: so when you go to flex the boot, they essentially fall apart.

 

Hot and Cold environments:

The most common way that a boot can split from sole and upper, is through exposure to high amounts of heat. Heat can melt the glue which holds the boots upper to its sole, weakening the bond and eventuating to separate fully. Cold environments lead to the hardening of leather, making the boot uncomfortable to wear, and the touch on the ball becoming less desirable and awkward feeling.

 

The above Nike Tiempo Legend was exposed to oversaturated amounts of water and moisture, never cleaned, never treated with leather food, and was most definitely exposed to high amounts of heat. The results included: extremely stiff and hardened leather, split sole/upper, support systems splitting, and extreme decay of leather.

Measures to take:

  1. After every use in which the boot becomes soaked, wet, or damp: wipe the outer layer of the boot so that it is dry. Remove all mud and build-up, using a hand towel or coarse brush.
  2. After every use in which the boot becomes soaked, wet, or damp: DRY OUT THE INSIDE. This is vital. To ensure healthiness and longevity, stuff paper towels, tissues, or towels within the boot itself. This absorbs the water and moisture, leaving the boot and it’s leather/lining fresh and clean.
  3. Once a week, or AT LEAST once a month: apply dubbin or leather cream/food to the leather. This is basically just adding needed nutrients to the leather, feeding it and keeping it healthy. It also ensures the finish on the leather stays put, so it doesn’t get too slick, or too dry. Rub with cloth thoroughly on leather parts of boot, NOT on synthetic.
  4. DO NOT leave outside: whether it be cold or hot, leave boots in an area which is always a mild temperature.
  5. DO NOT dry wet boots in-front of heater or expose to heat from hair dryer or any instruments as such.

 

Synthetic/s.

'Synthetic', does not mean 'immune to any wear, tear, and care problems'. Because it is man-made, there a problems a consumer can run into which haven't been brought to light in recent years.

There are two types of synthetics on the market these days: traditional synthetics, often seen made from Nylon/Polyester/Tejin/MicroFiber materials AND knitted yarn synthetics, most notably FlyKnit (Nike) and PrimeKnit (adidas).

The way you should treat these two variations is the exact same. However, your knitted yarn synthetics like FlyKnit for example, need extra treatment and attention, because of their nature and qualities. The measures to take are exactly the same as a leather boot, but first we must explain a major difference.

With knitted yarn uppers and synthetics, they all have a Polyurethane or TPU (or more commonly known as, plastic) coating on the knit or lining itself. So for example, Nike's boots have the FlyKnit structure, then on top of that is a plastic coating. The whole reason for this coating is to stop water getting into the knit and the boot, causing these major problems as mentioned before. But, theres no way for the water to get out: that's where the owner of the boot comes into play. After every use, ESPECIALLY if damp of wet, you MUST dry the insides by stuffing the boot with tissues, soft paper (newspaper), or towels/cloth. Or, this will happen:

This is not a Nike Mercurial SuperFly V that has been set on fire: this is simply neglect and refusal to dry your boots. Although they have been wiped of mud and dirt, water and moisture build-up on the inside has eaten away at the knit, and the plastic coating. 

 

In the above instance of this adidas X 16.1, the dampness of the inside suggested that the water and moisture build-up ate through the stitches and layering of the synthetic. This goes to show that moisture and water within boots, simply have no mercy and will destroy your football boots.

So: combat it. Dry your boots, so you can rock them for longer and keep them in tact.

Measures to take:

  1. After every use in which the boot becomes soaked, wet, or damp: wipe the outer layer of the boot so that it is dry. Remove all mud and build-up, using a hand towel or coarse brush.
  2. After every use in which the boot becomes soaked, wet, or damp: DRY OUT THE INSIDE. This is vital. To ensure healthiness and longevity, stuff paper towels, tissues, or towels within the boot itself. This absorbs the water and moisture, leaving the boot and it’s leather/lining fresh and clean.
  3. DO NOT leave outside: whether it be cold or hot, leave boots in an area which is always a mild temperature.
  4. DO NOT dry wet boots in-front of heater or expose to heat from hair dryer or any instruments as such.

 

And that's it. The main lessons to take away are:

-Keep the boots dry as much as possible.

-Ensure the boots aren't exposed to high amounts of heat.

-Keep mud and dirt of the boots as much as possible.

-Apply leather food/cream to leather boots AT LEAST once a month.

 

 

If you want more details and advice, feel free to speak to our friendly staff in-store who wil always be happy to help you out.

SPTFootball.

 

 


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