Being a Seattle resident, my rain boots get a ton of use throughout the year. I often wear them to and from work (as I am lucky enough to be able to commute on foot) and then change into my “work shoes” when I arrive at the office. I also wear them after work and on weekends when the weather isn’t friendly for other pairs of shoes. The Hunter brand is the name your trust in rain gear (we also have their clear bubble umbrellas and they are A-MA-Z-I-N-G). With proper care, your Hunter “wellies” can last for years.
You don’t want to store your rubber boots in a hot place (read: near a warm air floor vent or in direct sunlight); keeping them in a dry, cool place is best. And, like all things we want to “live” for a long time, rubber rain boots need a little extra care… especially when it comes time to clean them! Hunter recommends using only cold water and gentle soap to clean your boots — don’t use solvents as they may deteriorate the rubber!
I try to only use a soft cloth for cleaning the boot’s upper, but sometimes a little gentle scrubbing from an old toothbrush is necessary.
I will also use the old toothbrush to remove anything that may be caught in the tread on the bottom of the boot, but don’t spend too much time trying to make the sole of your shoe look pretty… as long as it’s clean, that’s all you should be worried about. (Splashing in a few puddles could rinse the sole off too! 😂 )
Once your boot is cleaned and rinsed (remember, cold water!), dry the boot with a soft cloth — never store your boots wet or folded!
Occasionally, you may notice a white, powdery “bloom” on your boots — this occurs because Hunter makes their boots with natural rubber and in certain conditions some particles that are a naturally occurring part of the rubber might rise to the surface of the boot. It’s totally normal to see this. If you’re like me and you’d like to remove the powdery look, Hunter sells a special buffer solution that is safe to use on your boots and remove the “bloom” so that they look as good as new! (and at $14, it’s definitely worth the purchase to keep your wellies in tip-top shape). Hunter also sells a $7 boot shine solution for those of you that own a pair with a glossy finish.
Let me know if you have any Hunter boot questions. I’ve had this pair for at least 4 years now and they’re still going strong! (I have also previously had a pair of high gloss navy in high school and matte hunter green in college – both lasted for a really long time and I loved them both! I was just ready for a “fun” color this go around.)