Monday, September 17, 2012

Hunter Boot Buffing

When I moved to Victoria last August I was excited to embrace a rainy city!  After spending most of my first 26 years in a semi-arid desert it was exciting to move somewhere were it would actually get wet and rain for longer spouts than a half hour or so.  It also meant that it would be practical for me to purchase rain boots and frankly I don't need much encouragement to rationalize buying a new pair of shoes. As soon as September hit I was stoked to find myself some Hunter boots (after all, the Queen recommends them and when is she ever wrong?) and as soon as Lindsay spotted them in Oak Bay we made a trip to purchase! Hooray! For the next few months I wore those things with glee each time I took a long trek in the rain and really enjoyed the fact that my feet were remaining warm and my pants/leggings were splash free. Oh Hunter boots - you were such a great purchase.

After a while my gorgeous black boots turned grey. They were no longer shiny and adorable and instead looked scuffed, dingy, and covered with a white gross film. Rats. What happened? I splurged on those babies and after half a year they looked awful! Time to bring on the internet and see what's up. As it turns out pretty much all natural rubber oxidizes over time and gets white residue blooming. Time to bring on a whole slew of home remedies I saw on the internet and their results:

1) wiping with a warm cloth  = does absolutely nothing

2) erasing the white bits with a rubber eraser = a ton of effort, with little to show for it

3) rubbing with olive oil = helps a smidge, but requires an enormous amount of elbow grease

4) wiping off the white with goo gone = also a lot of effort req'd for this one, takes ages, and you still need to oil afterwards

Well poo. I ended up doing to goo gone and olive oil solution for the boots and although it wasn't perfect, it seemed to sort of do the trick (but also took a HUGE amount of effort and a good hour or so). Soon enough summer arrived in Victoria and by home remedy boots made it to the back of the shoe closet. 

I had pretty much forgotten about my boot woes until I came across a rubber boot store in Cook Street Village. It's an entire shop of adorable rain wear and an enormous selection of Hunter wellies. Surely they would have a solution to the white film! The skies cleared and some beaming sun rays landed on one special bottle of boot buffing solution (enter angelic singing voices)...

Time to put it to the test. I grabbed a rag from our rag bin (which, by the way, is pretty much 100% Fraser's hole-y old champion socks), spray a little on, and wipe it away. Check out the difference:

Ahhhh!! How fabulous! That right boot looked like new again! If only I had heard and found out about last year! It was so little effort too! All I needed to do was spray it on, wait about 30 seconds, and give it a gentle wipe with the rag. Just like that! I really wish I hadn't spend hours with my own internet attempts of cleaning that film off so you could see a true "before and after" shot and not an "after I goo gone/oiled those suckers and after boot spray" shot instead. Here's a full boot view:

Yay! I really think Hunter should just include the spray when you buy the boots because I'm sure I'm not the only one that has spent countless hours working on cleaning those things up. Heck, I'd be thrilled to just raise the $100+ price tag up another $10 (which is how much the spray seems to cost) and save everyone out there a little pain. I mean you're already spending a small fortune on wellies I'm sure you could include the spray in there. Oh well. Hopefully some of you out there will learn from my mistakes and appreciate the rubber tips of this blog post as much as I would have if I found it last year. So how about you? Have you ever splurged on something to find out months later that it was annoying not what you expected? Any other Hunter boot owners out there with better cleaning tips? I'd love to hear!


  1. This is a great post, mostly because it's practical, but also because I just sent you an email of a little piggy in rain boots. Hooray!!!

  2. Dad says next time you should just use armor-all!

  3. They look amazingly better! Yay for you!

  4. As soon as September hit I was stoked to find myself some Hunter boots (after all, the Queen recommends them and when is she ever wrong?) ...