I’m An Adult Now – Winter Boot Care

Today we’ll be going over how to take care of your winter boots, something that, surprisingly, many people don’t know how to do. Maybe it’s our attitude of fashion being disposable – we don’t care for and repair our clothes, we just buy new ones. But a bit of effort, at least on the waterproofing front, makes your footwear last longer and keeps your feet drier and warmer.

Beyond basic leather cleaner and polish, there are a variety of products to waterproof footwear for winter, and which one to use depends on what the boots are made of.

First, start with a clean, polished boot. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the boot. Clean the welt (the outside edge where the leather meets the sole) with a welt brush or an old toothbrush. Use a wax-based polish that matches the colour of the shoe and apply with the same soft cloth, using circular motions. Allow to dry for five minutes and then buff to a shine, first with the same soft cloth and then a horsehair brush.

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The Sweet Spot

Unlike most of Toronto, I’ve not been overly bothered by our cold, snowy winter. Also unlike most of Toronto, I’m out in the cold four or five times a day at least, which is what happens when you replace children in your life with two large drooling, fur-covered beasts. The huge gritty snowbanks can sometimes be an obstacle, and I will curse and wave my fist in the air with a zeal unknown to all but the emotionally disturbed upon encountering an uncleared sidewalk (shovel your snow, cocksuckers!), but the fresh cold air is bracing, the exercise imperative (for me and the dogs), and getting out of the house is a nice break in what can sometimes be a monotonous day.

Which is not to say that the experience is pleasant.

I try not to complain too much because I think of the other extreme. When the cold wind whips my cheeks to a scarlet red, and that little area above my eyebrows and just below the edge of my hat starts to go numb, I think of August. I look around me on the streets and remember the parched brown lawns, and the feel of sweat trickling down between my shoulder blades as I gasp for breath in the polluted Toronto air. I replace the shriek of wind in the trees with the eerie drill of cicadas. The energy to push on against the cold takes me back to the days when it felt too hot to put one foot in front of the other.

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