Boot care made easy – How to best care for your LOWA boots

Good care will keep your shoes comfortable and water repellent for a long time. The following tips are designed for all LOWA models made of smooth, nubuck and split (suede) leather. To make sure that the leather stays this way and that you enjoy your high-quality boots for many years to come, you need to care for them regularly. New boots require no addi­tional care before you wear them for the first time, but they will benefit from regular leather condi­tioning treatments.

Learn how to clean your boots with this short video! Or scroll down for more detailed instructions!

Step 1: Preparation and prevention

If your boots have become wet or dirty, allow them to air dry in a well-vent­ilated room. Do not place your boots near any heat source, which can cause the 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 your boots

Thor­oughly brush off your boots. This will help make the leather breathable once again. Then clean the boots with warm water and a brush. If your boots are very dirty, you should use a soft soap solution (e.g. LOWA Shoe Clean) or a boot care product, which will open the pores of the leather, and then thor­oughly rinse the boots. The leather is now in an unpro­tected condition: It will imme­diately absorb any water that comes in contact with it. You will need to treat the boots after drying with a water­proofing agent after this step.



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.)



Step 4: Care for your boots

If you wear your boots frequently and often get them wet, you should use a boot-care product on them, even on boots with GORE-TEX linings. Poorly main­tained leather dries out, becomes brittle and cracks, and ulti­mately, the boots will become irre­parably damaged. Apply a waxy shoe paste (e.g. LOWA Active Cream) or cream with a soft brush (LOWA Shoe Care Brush), and give your boots enough time to dry out. You should treat your boots once again before your next trip. Do not use any pure oils or fats on your boots. These treatments may indeed make the leather very soft and nearly waterproof – but they also close the pores of the leather, causing boots to lose their stability and breath­ability. These oils or fats can also loosen the adhesives used to bond the boots’ soles to the uppers.


A note about nubuck and split (suede) leather: The surface of these types of leather will become smoother, shinier and darker when wax is applied to them. The surface of suede leather can be brushed out with a suede brush (e.g. LOWA Triangle Brush), but the original look will suffer to a certain degree.



Step 5: Drying

Take care when drying your boots: Let them air dry in a well-vent­ilated room. You should never dry them in the sun, in a bathroom, next to a heating unit, in an oven or in a hot car, as wet leather can “burn”, becoming brittle and prone to shrinking and cracking. Conversely, your boots can develop mildew if you store them in a damp area.



Step 6: Storing

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.

Additional care tips


GORE-TEX linings require no special care, but they can be cleaned occa­sionally with lukewarm water and a gentle soap solution. Also, please regularly clean and condition the leather on GORE-TEX boots as the GORE-TEX membrane will lose its effect­iveness if you do not keep the leather uppers in good condition. It is not enough to apply water­proofing or shoe-care spray to intensively used GORE-TEX shoes!


Never wash leather shoes or boots in the washing machine. The mechanics of the wash cycle along with the high temperatures can wash out leather pigments, damage the upper materials, and loosen cementing, which will irreparably destroy the boot.


If you sweat profusely, a special leather-care lotion should be applied from time to time to leather linings because the salty sweat produced by your feet can dry out the leather, making it brittle and hard.


With nubuck or suede leather, the surface may become darker after the application of a shoe wax, but it can be brushed out again with a wire brush. However, the original look won’t be totally restored. In order to avoid a change in the appearance, a liquid shoe care product can be used. Smooth leather and waxed leather are easier to care for and are more highly resistant to water and dirt.


Even textiles used in your boots should be regularly impregnated to improve their ability to withstand water absorption or the adherence of dirt.


Boots should be thoroughly aired out and dried after every use. Take out the footbed and open the lacing wide to accomplish this. Don’t forget this step on multi-day treks. Never allow boots to dry next to the heater or near an oven, under the car’s windscreen, or in the car’s boot. Wet leather “burns“ very easily, i.e. it becomes brittle, cracked and contracts. This can often result in irreparable fissures in the leather where it creases during walking. Even hooks and rivets can be pulled askew during the process.


Acids, petrol and manure impact the outsole materials and cements particularly hard. A degradation process can begin that can destroy your LOWA boots. Try to avoid contact with these substances, and be sure to thoroughly clean your boots if you do come in contact with these substances.