Once issued military boots it’s extremely imperative that you take great care of them. It is vital for your foot health. It is also vital because you don’t know when you’re going to get another pair, so you need to make them last. You’re going to be expected to have all of your equipment in working order and that includes your boots, this means keep them clean. After a long march, you’re going to need to get them cleaned up and ready to go for the next day and you can’t afford to waste time messing around. It’s also important to understand how to protect your feet from the boots.
When you’re issued new boots it’s important to break them in slowly if possible. Obviously this won’t be possible sometimes if they’re your first pair and you’re going to be doing an insane amount of training in the next short while, but again boots should be broken in over time. Do not use radical methods to try and work in the boot because if you over do it you might end up destroying the boot or destroying the support which would be worse than having blisters.
Preventive Measure Everyone Should Know
It’s important to take preventative measures against getting blisters, rather than waiting for them to happen. The most common and most painful blister location is right at the back of your heel where the hardest part of the back of the boot meets the softer material. Simply take a plain bar of soap and rub some on the back of the inside of the boot, where your problem spot would touch. Then take a damp (not wet) toothbrush and rub it in slightly. You don’t want to lather up the back of your boot, but you do want to soften the soap. This will help to prevent you from getting blisters while you break in your boots.
When it comes time to clean your boots, remove the extra dirt with a stiff brush. After you’ve removed excess dirt rub the surface of the boot with saddle soap and use a moist cloth to develop a slight lather. Rub the compound into the leather and then wipe off the remainder with a damp cloth. Once the leather is dry, buff with a soft cloth gently.
To keep your boots conditioned and soft you can use mink oil, use it on the seams and crevices of the boot. Wipe off any extra that drips away from the seams and let it sit for a few hours.
Polishing Your Own Boots
Polish the boots with a dauber or cloth. Allow the boots to dry and then buff it. It’s important to keep your boots in tip top condition especially if you’re going to be involved in anything ceremonial. If you’re going to be doing a parade or any other exercise of this nature it’s important that you do a polish and shine the night before.
To keep your boots looking great and working great keep dust and mud off of your boots, obviously you cannot when you’re using them, but anytime the boots get muddy you’re going to need to go through this process, do not slack. Every once and awhile rub down the inside of your boot with a soapy rag to get any possible bacteria out of them. Obviously don’t soak the inside, but get it clean. Apply firm soap to any of the parts of your boot that might be causing you blisters.
It’s important to note that this upkeep regimen will actually help you to break in the boots, so if you get a new pair of boots and have time, going through the polishing steps does help to soften the leather so that your feet will suffer less from the initial uses. Make sure that you always wear the proper socks with your boots, I think this goes without saying.
If your feet are still blistering in your boots make sure that you have the right size if it’s possible. You should have half an inch of room after your big toe. Another option is to add an extra thin layer of protection. Put on a thin nylon sock underneath your boot socks and then make sure that your feet still fit securely in your boots. This can be enough to reduce the amount of jarring that goes on while you move in your boots which can reduce damage to your feet.