Kids Hiking Boots: Shoe Care for Little Adventurers

Kids don't need head-to-toe premium outdoor gear, but you shouldn’t cut corners with their hiking boots. Here are some care tips from the blogger behind

Every trek through the mountains is an adventure for kids, especially when you take them on interesting trails beyond wide, cleared forest paths. They like to discover nature on snakey routes, rocky climbs and off-road explorations – and if a stream or two crosses their path, all the better! However, adventures like these do demand quite a bit when it comes to cleaning and caring for kids hiking boots.

Waterproofing: Extra protection for young explorers

Before heading out on a trip, you should give your children's hiking shoes a solid waterproofing treatment. As you know, your kids won’t pass on any opportunity to splash in a puddle or walk straight through a stream. Mud and muck are also tempting places for children’s feet to explore. Instead of constantly reprimanding your children to keep their boots dry, simply treat their footwear with a quality waterproofing spray. The treatment will also make the boots easier to clean later on.

Kids hiking boots are typically made of a combination of light mesh and suede. Many also include a Gore-Tex membrane or similar water-resistant material. Make sure to use waterproofing spray that is suitable for these materials (i.e. SPORT PROOF).

Kids hiking boots: Cleaning made easy

If your little adventurers fall into bed exhausted, mucky hiking boots cast into a corner somewhere not to be found till morning, there’s no need to panic. Even if the dirt and mud has dried, you can apply specialised cleaner (e.g. OUTDOOR CLEANER) to the suede with a brush and the rest nearly takes care of itself.

If, despite your best efforts, their hiking boots do manage to get wet during a trek, remove the inner soles and stuff the boots full of absorbent paper to soak up excess moisture. Do your best to keep your kids hiking boots warm and dry; that way, they are less likely to develop unpleasant odours.

Children’s hiking boots smell too

In midsummer, when temperatures are at their peak, even kids shoes can start to stink. To make sure your children can don their hiking boots for the next trek without wrinkling their noses, treat their shoes with a shoe deodorant. No scents will remain in the way of your next adventure.

Ute Watzl, age 41, loves exploring in the mountains, whether by foot, mountain bike or skis. For the past few years, she’s been bringing her children along with her. She is the family group leader for the German Alpine Association and blogs about her mountain experiences at: (in German).