Like any other footwear, the desert boots need maintenance as well. If you’re a proud owner of these distinctive shoes and looking for efficient ways to clean and care for them, then you’ve come to the right place.
I’ll guide you through all the necessary tricks and tips that’ll allow you to clean them without causing any damage. So, keep on reading.
Did You Know?
The Desert Boot was designed with a distinctive ankle height with crepe rubber sole by Nathan Clark, who happened to be the great-grandson of James Clark (one of the two brothers who founded C.& J. International Limited) and was launched in 1950.
They’re inspired by an unlined suede boot profile produced in Cairo’s bazaars and was worn by the British Army during World War- 2.
Clark Desert Boots come in two variants. The Suede variant and the Beeswax Leather variant. Both require a different approach to cleaning. Let’s have a look.
Table of Contents (Quick Navigation)
Approach-1: Use a Suede Brush
Approach-2: Use the Suede Eraser to Clean Your Boots
Approach-3: Clean Water Stains and Prevent Them
Factors to Avoid When Cleaning Your Desert Boots
Clean Beeswax Leather Boots
Factor to Avoid When Cleaning your Beeswax Leather Boots
Approach-1: Use a Suede Brush
A suede brush is an essential item if you own a pair of suede boots/shoes. It’s a cleaning brush designed especially for suede based footwear.
Keep in mind that you need to be gentle with a hard-bristle suede brush. Along with a suede brush, you’ll be needing two very humble items for this process. You’ll be needing some old newspapers and a butter knife.
Here are the steps to clean suede desert boots:
- Place an old newspaper on the floor, so they don’t fall on the floor.
- Using your suede brush clean off the dirt and dust particles.
- Brush softly, and make sure you brush in the same direction.
- If there are old scuff marks, brush harder.
- If you find stubborn marks or stains, gently scrape the stained area with a butter knife. Once the suede grains are lifted, carefully brush them off.
Point to remember:
If you find mud in your footwear, wait a couple of days and allow the dirt to dry. The hardened mud is relatively easy to remove. Once the dirt has dried, remove them and gently brush off the remaining particles with your suede brush.
Approach-2: Use the Suede Eraser to Clean Your Boots
It’s time for phase two of our operation. Let’s say the stains get a little more challenging and need the “next level” treatment. Who do you turn to?
In this situation, the “suede eraser” comes to your rescue. What is a suede eraser? Well, it’s pretty much like a regular eraser, only it erases stains of your Clark Desert Boots. Very handy, right?
What are the other requirements for this method of cleaning? Nothing extra! Good for you, right? Of course, it is! You’ll just need your suede brush, the eraser, and your stained boots.
Here are the steps that you’ll need to follow:
- Brush off any unwanted particles using your suede brush.
- Without applying too much pressure, rub the scuffed and marked areas using the eraser.
- Upon erasing, you’ll get remains; remove them using your suede brush.
- If the marks are visible again, use the eraser this time to apply more pressure.
- Clean off the remains; if you see the stains have remained, then repeat the process.
When should you use this technique? Use this technique when you seem to be unsuccessful in getting rid of stains using the suede brush.
Point to remember
Before using this particular eraser, try to remove stains with a regular eraser. If you’re unsuccessful, only then apply this specific eraser. A suede eraser should be able to remove most of the colors. It may not work on water stains, though.
Approach-3: Clean Water Stains
Water and suede are not the best of friends. Water stains in the boots can be quite a handful and can’t be dealt with using a suede brush. This process requires a different approach altogether.
- Bowl of water
- A soft-bristled brush
- Two clean clothes/ towels
- Any old paper
Follow these steps to clean water stains:
- Fill your shoes with old paper scrunched into balls.
- Dip one of the cloth/towels in a bowl of water.
- Using the wet cloth/towel, gently rub across the boot to get them wet.
- Now, using the other cloth, firmly rub your boots and soak up excess water.
- Remove the old paper balls from your shoes and put in a new scrunched paper ball.
- Now let your boots dry in a suitable area with exposure to sunlight (if possible).
You might want to avoid the heating vents for the drying process. Why avoid heating vents?
The heating vents tend to ruin the suede fabric.
If you see little remains of the stain after your first attempt, simply add a bit of mild detergent for the next one.
Waterproof Your Boots
You can prevent the accumulation of water-related stains in the first place! By simply waterproofing them.
This process requires an additional waterproofing spray for Suede shoes and nothing extra.
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Clean your shoes using the methods provided above, depending on the stain.
- Spray your boots using the waterproofing spray. Make sure there’s a distance of at least six inches between your shoes and the mist. Make sure you spray in an open area since the spray contains chemicals.
- Apply a total of 3 – 4 coats. Wait a couple of minutes after applying each layer.
- Now let your boots dry.
Now that your boot is all waterproofed, your chances of catching water stains are reduced to a fair amount. With the waterproofing method, you have given your shoes a new lease of life; you can expect them to last longer now.
Do keep in mind that if you spray with scuffs and stains on your boot, what you’re doing is you’re sealing them on the skin of your footwear. To avoid this, make sure to clean your shoes to the most significant degree possible.
Clean Clark Desert Beeswax Leather boots
Yes, Clark Desert boots are available in a beeswax leather variant. These are elegant, and the glossy appearance is quite stunning. Do you know what the best part is? These boots are effortless to maintain. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
The cleaning process is relatively easy and requires a very minimal amount of time. Get yourself two clean cloths, saddle soap (optional), and you’re set to go.
Follow these easy steps to clean your Beeswax leather boots:
- Use the clean cloth and nimbly rub the boots to clean them.
- Use the other cloth and dampen them; using this damp cloth wipe your boots gently. You should get your desired result by now.
- If you see the stains are quite persistent, use saddle soap on them.
- Use a mild detergent to clean the sole.
- For the final step, use good leather oil to restore that new glow.
Do keep in mind to oil your boots after cleaning them. The oil makes your boots waterproof to some degree as well.
Try to invest in a suitable leather protector. These protectors restore worn-out leathers and aids to attain that new-like look. While you may get nourished leather, do keep in mind that your boots may get a shade darker.
Factors To Avoid During The Cleaning Process
They’re quite a few things that you might want to avoid while cleaning your Clark Desert boots. If you fail to avoid these mistakes, there’s an excellent chance you might end up ruining your boots.
Here are factors you should avoid:
- Avoid using any sort of soap or detergent on your Beeswax Leather boots. These materials discolor leather and can’t be undone. You can saddle soap though
- Don’t forget to put an old newspaper on the floor during the cleaning process. You may have a hard time cleaning the mess that the dirt, oil, and other debris create.
- Don’t you rub your boots briskly? The contraction between the bristles and the dust particles might cause scratches that more or less can’t be fixed if you do.
- Don’t spray your boots in a closed area. The chemicals in the spray are harsh and are bad for your health.
Make it your daily habit to clean your suede boots with a soft brush and your Beeswax leather boots with a wet rag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wear suede desert boots in the rain?
No, suede isn’t a fan of water. When you walk through rain or snow in your suede desert boot, what they do is they soak in moisture. This deforms the leather and is unable to protect your feet.
Do Clark Desert boots break-in?
Yes, like most boots, your Clark Desert boots need a “break-in” period. Brand new Desert boots feel quite stiff and provide less support.
You don’t have to wear them (new ones) for 8-10 hours straight out of the box. You need to give them a few hours every other day to soften them up, and within no time, you’ll be ready to go.
Can you wear Clark Desert boots with a suit?
Desert boots are just not meant to be worn with suits. Don’t be disheartened as you can wear them with a whole other range of attire.
Desert boots have thicker soles and rougher stitching, which makes them ideal for casual wear.
Can you wear socks with Desert boots?
You should! As they’re tied up so close to the ankles, dropping socks won’t make your feet much cooler. You’ll just experience sweatier and smellier feet.
Socks protect your feet from unwanted blisters and fungal infections. Wearing a sock is considered a healthy habit by many.
Why are they called Desert boots?
Since a bazaar inspires them in Cairo, the term Desert Boot came into existence. The boots were light in weight and offered good traction on sand.
Desert boots offer a different profile to your feet. They’re strongly built and are tailor-made for the great outdoors. With time they, too, like any other shoe, will start to lose their appeal. In order to keep that appealing look, you’ll need proper maintenance.
Hopefully, with my guide, your job has been made easier.
What was your experience with my guide? Do let me know in the comment section below, and feel free to share your ways of cleaning your Desert Boots (if you know any). Stay safe, stay blessed.