Basic Military, Combat, or Hiking Boot Care 101

Military Boot Care

Military Boot Care Kit by Kiwi

Boot season seems to go year round, but now is the time when your boots usually get the biggest workout. From tactical exercises to outdoor adventures, it’s important to have your boots ready to go, no matter what mission you may be sent on. To keep your boots looking in their best possible shape, be sure to follow some of these basics of boot care. Cleaning up your military boots, combat boots, or hiking boots has never been easier than with these tips.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when caring for your boots:

For Olive, Sage Green, and Desert Tan Military Boots and Tactical Boots: Start by brushing off any excess dirt with a soft bristle brush. Then, use warm water and a soft brush to clean any nylon fabric. Do not polish these boots or use any kind of soap! Once you’ve given them a good cleaning, let them air dry naturally. Do not expose to intense heat* to make them dry faster – they’ll be fine on their own.

For Black and Brown Military Boots and Tactical Boots: Start by removing dirt with a soft bristle brush and then, buff the leather with a high quality polish. Apply the polish directly to the leather and then buff until it looks uniform. However, be careful – excessive polish can affect the breathability  so use a little bit at a time. If there’s nylon fabric, use the soft brush with warm water approach to get it clean. Do not add polish to the nylon fabric! Finally, let the boots dry at room temperature naturally. Do not expose to intense heat* or use soap on these boots.

  • NOTE: What’s intense or excessive heat? Military boots and tactical boots should not be exposed to any outside heating source to dry, as it may damage the materials. Do not try to get your boots to dry faster after cleaning by using a hair dryer, heating vents, stoves, etc.

For Hiking Boots, Work Boots, or Hunting Boots: Clean your boots after every hike if you can. To do this, use a soft bristle brush to remove any excess dirt or debris. Then, use warm water and a soft brush to clean. Be sure to remove the insoles or inserts to help with faster drying. Do not expose to any intense or excessive heat – only let these boots dry naturally. If needed, you may want to add a waterproofing treatment to restore water resistance of your hiking boots or work boots or hunting boots over time. Do not use soap on your boots to clean them!

Additional Tips: Need a tougher cleaner than just warm water? Do not use soap to clean your boots. Instead, use a water-soluble cleaning product only – and use sparingly. Depending on what type of boot you have, you also want to consider using a conditioner (used with full-grain leather boots to keep the leather from appearing cracked or dry). As always, follow the manufacturer’s directions for any care or cleaning.

Need supplies to clean up your boots? Patriot Surplus has you covered with the essentials – brushes, polishes, cleaners, and conditioners – that are designed specifically for military boots, leather boots, hiking boots, work boots, and combat boots. Check out all of the must have cleaning supplies for your boots here:

Happy Birthday, Air Force!

Air Force PatchToday, the Air Force celebrates it’s 65th birthday and we have to say – 65 never looked so good.

The United States Air Force (USAF) was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. That’s right. It wasn’t until after World War II this military branch was formed. The air force was actually part of the the U.S. Army at first and was called by several different names since man was first able to take to the sky:

  • From 1907 to 1914, it was the Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps
  • From 1914 to 1918, it was the Aviation Section, Signal Corps
  • In 1918 for only a few days, it was called the Division of Military Aeronautics
  • From 1918 to 1926, it was the U.S. Army Air Service
  • From 1926 to 1941, it was the U.S. Army Air Corps
  • From 1941 to 1947, it was the U.S. Army Air Forces

The AAF controlled all parts of military aviation from 1941 to 1947 and at its peaks, included more than 2.4 million men and women in service, nearly 80,000 aircraft, and 783 domestic bases. By VE Day, it had 1.25 million men stationed overseas and operated from more than 1,600 airfields worldwide.

Even though the Air Force is the youngest branch in our military, it does not lack in either experience or ability. It is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced air force in the world with a focus on a variety of core areas. According to the branch’s 2010 Posture Statement, the USAF is focused on several core functions, including:

  • Nuclear Deterrence Operations
  • Special Operations
  • Air Superiority
  • Rapid Global Mobility
  • Agile Combat Support
  • Cyberspace Superiority
  • Personnel Recovery
  • Global Precision Attack
  • Space Superiority
  • Building Partnerships

According to Air Force Magazine, as of 2009, the USAF operates more than 5,500 manned aircraft in service under the USAF, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve. Additionally, as of 2009, it has 450 intercontinental ballistic missles, more than 330,000 men and women on active duty, 2,130 air-lauched cruise missles, and 180 unmanned combat air vehicles. It employs more than 150,000 civilians and the Civil Air Patrol, under the USAF, has over 60,000 auxiliary members. This makes the USAF the largest air force in the world – and it has one heck of a history.

Since its first inception, the Air Force has performed an integral role in the American military force during World War I, as Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps; World War II, as United States Army Air Forces; Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom , and Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, to name a few.

The USAF has also taken in part in a number of humanitarian operations, including the Berlin Airlift (Operation Vittles), Operation Safe Haven, Operation Unifed Assitance, Operation Unified Response, and Operations Babylift, New Life, Frequent Wind, and New Arrivals.

Today, take time to celebrate the contributions, the history, and the bravery of the USAF. Write a letter to a military family who has a son or daughter that serves in this branch. Say “thank you” to a member of the USAF when you see him or her on the street. Display pride for this branch by hanging a USAF flag on your porch or by wearing an Air Force hoodie, Air Force hat, or Air Force t-shirt. Support injured veterans by making a donation or purchasing Oscar Mike Foundation apparel. Take a moment of silence to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.


Lady Patriots, We Now Have Oscar Mike Foundation Apparel for Women!

If you haven’t heard about the Oscar Mike Foundation already, take a look back at this previous post announcing the introduction of their line to our store:

In a nutshell, the Oscar Mike Foundation is a charitable apparel line and foundation founded by a former U.S. Marine named Noah Currier, who was wounded in a tragic accident. It’s mission is simple: get veterans on the move again.

This line of military t-shirts and sweatshirts showcase awesome designs and 10% of the proceeds of your purchase go directly to benefit the Oscar Mike Foundation, which puts 100% of its donations to work helping disabled veterans. This clothing line is made in the USA, looks awesome, and is crafted with quality in mind. Simply put, there’s nothing better suited for a patriot than an item from their selection.

We’ve been carrying Oscar Mike Foundation apparel for awhile now and over that time, we’ve seen great interest from our customers in helping veterans through their purchase. We’re excited and pleased to announce that lady patriots now have their own selection of Oscar Mike Foundation apparel to choose from.

We’ve added some great Oscar Mike apparel for women to our store and we can’t wait to hear what you think. These ladies military t-shirts and shorts feature vintage styling and soft, comfortable fabrics that make these wardrobe essentials your favorite uniform at home, at the gym, or on the move.

Choose from ladies military t-shirts to support your favorite branch (we carry Army, USMC, Air Force, and Navy ladies military t-shirt varieties from Oscar Mike), plus retro-styled shorts in white, back, or olive drab green that are great for slipping on before the gym, the beach, or just bumming around at home. You’ll love the comfort and look, but more importantly, what purchasing these items mean.

When you purchase Oscar Mike apparel for women, whether it’s a ladies military t-shirt or a pair of shorts from the collection, 10% of the proceeds go directly to the Oscar Mike Foundation. From there, 100% of the donations the Foundation receives go directly to support disabled veterans. Doing good never looked so good.

Check out our selection of Oscar Mike apparel for women today and shop to support programs that keep disabled veterans on the move.