Women's football: cleaning your boots

Cleaning your boots may not be one of your everyday priorities but it's essential if you want to keep them in good condition for a long time.

Here are some tips on looking after your boots. It'll stop you from getting a telling-off from your coach for turning up with dirty ones.

Cleaning and looking after your football boots

Cleaning your boots in the shower: not as good an idea as it sounds

It's the easiest solution and definitely the quickest, but you really need to avoid washing your boots in the shower after a match. Not only will your coach tell you off for blocking the shower with mud, you won't be doing your boots any good at all. If you completely soak them, you run the risk of damaging the material that keeps them in shape, which means they won't support your feet as well as they should. Then there's also the fact that it will encourage mould and mildew, which can't always be seen, to grow inside your boots.

Cleaning and looking after your football boots

A fail-safe method:brushing, cleaning and buffing-up

This is THE best solution when it comes to taking proper care of your boots.

1. Start by brushing them to get rid of the worst of any mud stuck to the soles and uppers.

2. Then use a cloth or sponge and some soapy water to remove all traces of mud and dirt.

My little tip: use Marseille soap if you can. It's the most effective and non-aggressive product you can use on leather, synthetic materials and fabrics.

3. Give your football boots some tender, loving care: after you've washed them don't forget to buff them up. This will make sure they last longer. Football boot manufacturers always buff their boots up before packaging them to remove any imperfections and marks (traces of glue, etc) and to deliver a perfect product. To keep them in perfect condition, put a little water on an old toothbrush and give the laces, seams and little nooks and crannies a good scrub before rubbing the whole boot with a dry cloth.

Cleaning and looking after your football boots

Storing and drying your boots

Never put your boots in a plastic bag at the bottom of your kitbag and leave them there. You have to let them breathe. Take them out when you get home, take the insole out and leave everything in a dry and well-ventilated place. It's very important to leave your boots out in the open but not in direct sunlight or beneath a radiator, as this will cause the materials in the upper to harden and crack.

If you're playing again the following day, stuff them with newspaper to absorb any dampness.

And if you want to avoid any complaints at home about smelly boots, sprinkle talcum powder or baking soda inside them and on the insole.

Cleaning and looking after your football boots

The leather: one last important step

All this advice also applies to leather football boots.

The only difference is that when they're dry, leather boots need a little nourishing to keep them strong and flexible.

Leather is a natural material, so you'll need natural products to feed it, such as grease, beeswax or aloe vera. Use a soft dry cloth to apply them, rubbing in a circular motion to ensure the product penetrates the surface.

You now have all the information you need to take proper care of your boots, which are your main working tool. Cleaning your boots doesn't need to be a chore. It should be a post-match ritual, a special moment. Try to make that ritual a routine after every training session and every match. It might be something you can do with the rest of the team as well.When you clean your boots properly, you'll be giving yourself every chance of turning in a good performance the next time you step out on the pitch.

Cleaning and looking after your football boots

This article was co-written with:
andy gallego

Product engineer (boots) at kipsta:

A football fan and a registered player for more than 20 years now, I've spent most of my career in the green and white of Escaudoeuvres, a club in the north of France. I make the nets shake and the fans behind the goal too! I joined the Kipsta team in 2014 to bring my two passions together: football and boots.

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