Breaking in New Boots, Caring for Your Boots and Best Motorcycle Boot Socks

Buy boots that fit snuggly.  On a day when it is not too cold, soak your boots in warm water until they are fully soaked.  As an alternative, a bucket of soft rain water will do a good job.  If you are out walking around, soak them in a convenient rain puddle, creek, pond or lake.  It will make the rest of your hike much more enjoyable.  Or simply wear them in the rain.  But once again, pick a day that is not too cold for you.  The objective is to get the boots totally saturated, inside too.

After the leather is completely saturated it will be soft.  Drain the boots out, lace your boots back up snugly but not so tight that you tear out the eyelets, and then simply walk around in your boots until they are dry.  They will then be molded to your foot.  I guarantee that these boots will be the most comfortable footgear you have ever owned.  The same principle works for dress shoes and athletic shoes, too.

Boot Socks

If you do much riding, you will ride in desert heat, freezing cold and rain.  What boot is the best?  Everything is a compromise and in my view when it comes to riding boots, a boot that is comfortable in warm weather, which is what I usually have where I live, will work in cold, rainy weather if you wear the right socks.  Pack some different socks and you can wear the same pair of boots and ride anywhere.

Wool or Wool-Blend Hiking Socks

Buy wool or wool-blend hiking socks for pure riding comfort in almost any weather.  Cotton is okay and plenty comfortable in moderate conditions, but when sweaty or wet can turn into a foul, soggy glob that will not dry out.  Wool and wool-blend socks let your feet breathe and dry out quickly.  They are expensive but you can buy one or two pairs and on a long trip wash them in a motel room sink and let them dry overnight.  If you are allergic to wool, there are some man-made blends that provide most of the same benefits.

GORE-TEX® Oversocks

Buy Gore-Tex over-socks for rainy weather.  Wear GoreTex oversocks for wind proofing over wool socks in extremely cold weather.  GORE-TEX® over socks keep water out yet allow your feet to breathe.  Most waterproof boots make your feet sweaty and miserable.  Gore-Tex boots are great, but GoreTex oversocks are a more affordable alternative and easier to take along on a motorcycle trip.

Boot Care, Storage and Drying

Okay, so now you get home from a motorcycle ride on a real hot day and stand your sweaty, smelly boots in the closet.  No, don't do that.  Lay them down on their sides, preferably on a chair or someplace where there is some natural air circulation.  Give the heat in them a chance to drain out and let them cool off.  A fan aimed in their direction will really help air them out.  This will keep your boots fresh and sweet smelling.

Now let's say that your boots are wet from riding in the rain.  The technique above, specially with a fan, will help but here is a better idea.  Have you ever noticed when you are standing bare-footed in front of your refrigerator when it is running that there is some warm air coming out from under the refrigerator onto your toes.  Or with the sole of your bare foot you may have felt a warm spot on the floor in front of the refrigerator.  That is the boot drying spot.

Lay your wet boots or shoes on their sides on that warm spot with the openings toward the refrigerator.  You may want to turn them or move them around once in a while.  The soft flow of warm air is just the right temperature to safely dry your footgear.  You can leave them there all night and have dry shoes or boots to wear the next day. 

Always remember, you may ride sitting on your butt, but comfortable boots make for happy feet.

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