Three Ingenious Boot Care Tips

Dry Out Boots Overnight

Handwarmer pack
Load up on handwarmers especially for the fall and winter classes!

After going through wet or muddy courses at OCS, you’ll have to run your boots under a shower to clean off the dirt. Even if you’ve properly applied Camp Dry as instructed in “Wet is the Enemy,” you’ll end up having thoroughly soaked boots eventually. The best way to dry out boots is leave them in dry room temperature air for a couple days. Unfortunately, you might average a four hour sleep per night schedule, and be expected to run the next day in the boots. If they’re still wet, prepare for blisters! The secret is to pop a handwarmer in each toe of the boots. Leave them in the open, and the heat generated by the handwarmer will dry out the boots overnight. Boots extremely soaked? Set the handwarmer on top of its wrapper so the water doesn’t seep directly into it and quench the dry warming powder.

“Clean” Your Boots With a Sanding Block

Sanding Block
Example Sanding Block

The rough-out style of boots worn by today’s Marine Corps no longer need to be spit-shined to pass inspection. However, dirt, oil, and scuffing can cause stains or unsightly smooth spots. And if you think your boots will pass an OCS inspection being anything short of perfect, let me scream some sense into your face with some flying spittle. The secret to cleaning out deep stains or re-roughing up the spots worn smooth is to use a nice heavy grit sanding block. You can control how rough the spot is by how much pressure you put on the block, and if you need some deep scratching to wear out a deep stain, you’ll have it.

The Indispensable Boot Sock Liner

If you’re going with the terrible government-issued boot sock (you probably would eat “government cheese,” wouldn’t you?) then you’ll definitely want to follow the last tip. Wear some silk or nylon dress socks under your boots. They will significantly lessen the chafing, and since they’re more porous than cotton or wool, the dampness will be pulled away from your foot. Until you hit the Quigley… But regardless, Marines have used this trick for generations, because it works. Do it. And good luck!

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