It's time to celebrate muddy shoes.

Here, at Oboz, we consider a dirty hiking shoe as a sign of days well-spent on the trail.

After a long day of trekking it's easy to pull off your hiking shoes and toss them out of sight and out of mind. While we encourage the use a post-hike comfort shoe, we'd ask you to think twice about tossing your footwear.

Just like you need a shower after a muddy trail day, so do your hiking shoes. With time, caked on mud and dirt can dry out the fabric and leather, abrading the fibers of the footwear. This ultimately leads to your hikers wearing down faster. We recommend cleaning and waterproofing your footwear frequently, and at least once seasonally. This helps to prolong the lifespan of the shoes and keep them in tip-top trail shape. 

Caring for your footwear is simple, just follow these three easy steps: 

  1. Clean
  2. Waterproof
  3. Dry


Clean shoes start on the trail. At the conclusion of each hike brush off your boots to remove dried mud AND prevent the spread of invasive species from one trail to another.

Start cleaning your shoes by brushing off all the dirt and mud that you can. Next, remove the shoelaces, and O FIT Insole and rinse your footwear. We recommend using Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel (green cap) for a gentle and effective clean. The Nixwax gel cleans the breathable surface of your hiking shoes and prepares them for any waterproofing treatment. It's best to avoid solvents, petroleum, and detergents on your shoes. Once you have generously applied the gel, rinse the boots once again.


No one enjoys wet feet, no matter the adventure. Avoid soggy socks by re-applying a waterproofing product regularly.

All Oboz footwear has a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish on the outside leathers and textiles, which can benefit from occasional retreating. If the surface of your shoes is absorbing water, it’s time to re-waterproof. Even styles with a B-DRY membrane will benefit from re-waterproofing. 

Apply Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Proof all over your footwear. Drying takes a few minutes - and a couple funky dance moves. Wipe off any excess proof. This process revives breathability, reduces sweaty feet, and eliminates the “false leaking” sensation when excess perspiration can be confused with water coming in from the outside environment.

Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Proof next to an Oboz Bridger boot being washed in a sink.


Let the boots air-dry completely. Do not put your shoes in a clothes washer or dryer. This will send your footwear to an early grave and can even alter the fit of your shoe. To expedite drying trying stuffing your shoes with dry cloths to soak up excess moisture.

Lace up your clean and dry footwear and hit the trail!

Oboz Bridger hiking boot with water droplets on it next to Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel and Nubuck & Suede Proof




At the heart of everything we do are the folks who make the magic happen. A group of likeminded footwear-industry vets who left our big-brand jobs back in 2007 intent on doing business a better way.