Snowboard Boots & Liners Care Guide

how to clean snowboard boots

Snowboard boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment we have as snowboarders. When properly maintained, the right pair of boots can maximize on-mountain performance while keeping our feet dry, comfy, and safe.

Regular maintenance practices, such as washing snowboard boots and proper drying techniques, help them last much longer.

You may have some questions about how to clean snow boots, but by the end of this care guide, you’ll know everything you need to keep your boots looking and performing at their best.

How To Clean Snowboard Boots

Cleaning snowboard boots is a straightforward process that requires some basic equipment and a bit of time. Set aside at least one hour to properly clean your boots, and allow at least 24 hours of drying time.

What You’ll Need for Cleaning:

cleaning snowboard boots

Some basic tools we use to clean our snowboard boots include:

  • Bucket
  • Detergent
  • Waterproofing conditioner
  • Toothbrush
  • Sponge
  • Drying cloth

Once you have the basic equipment, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning. The following sections will cover everything you need to know about boot, liner and insole care.

“Can You Wash Snowboard Boot Liners?”

Yes, you can absolutely wash your snowboard boot liners. The most important thing is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding machine-washing, detergent type, and sensitivity to heat.

Generally, hand washing is preferred as snowboard boots run the risk of being damaged if washed in a machine. Boots run the risk of shrinking or deforming if washed or dried with heat, so use cold water and air dry if possible.

For most boots, laundry detergent is fine to use, however, if your boot has GORE-TEX®, SympaTex® or any other waterproof membrane, it is best to use a special cleaner like NikWax.

snowboard boot care

How To Wash Liners & Shells

The first step is to separate the shells from the liners. To do this:

  1. Loosen your laces, BOA®, hook and loop, or whatever fastening system your boots have.
  2. Pull the tongue of your shell forward to make room.
  3. Slide your hand down the back of the boot between the shell and the liner and grab the liner as far down as you can.
  4. Pry the liner out of the shell by gently leaning it towards the tongue of the shell.
  5. Lastly, pull the insole out of the liner.
  6. Repeat with the other boot.

Next, it’s time to wash the shells, liners and insoles separately.

How To Wash Boot Liners and Insoles

    1. Fill your bucket with cool water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent (gentle detergent recommended). Use cool water as liners are often heat-sensitive and might shrink or deform if heated.
    2. Place the liners and insoles in the soapy bucket and allow them to soak for at least 15 minutes. Stir the water with your hand every few minutes.
    3. After soaking, scrub the liners with a sponge.
    4. Rinse out the soap with cold water.
    5. Dry your boots by placing them in the sun, in a well-ventilated area, or on a boot dryer (if you have access to one). Never place your boots directly on a heat source as they can get damaged.

How To Wash Snowboard Boot Shells

      1. While your liners and insoles are soaking, rinse the shells with water to remove loose and excess dirt.
      2. Next, use a sponge with soapy water to clean the boot shells. Use the toothbrush for hard-to-reach areas or stubborn stains.
      3. Use your cloth to dry the boots and apply the waterproofing conditioner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
      4. Note: Some conditioners go on a damp boot, while others work better when applied to a dry boot. Conditioning the boot shells with a leather or mixed-material conditioner rejuvenates waterproofing and revitalizes the material.
      5. Dry your snowboard boot shells in the same way as the liners using direct sunlight or a boot dryer, but never place them directly on a heat source.

After about 24 hours, when your boots, liners and insoles are dry, reassemble your boots and lace them up for storage. Lacing your boots helps maintain their shape when not in use. You can place some newspaper inside your liners to ensure that the inner toes dry out completely.

snowboard boot lining cleaning

How Do I Take Care of My Snowboard Boots and Liners?

The following maintenance tips can keep your boots feeling fresh and protect you from the elements for longer.

During the Winter

Knowing how to dry snow boots after riding is key to helping them last as long as possible. To properly dry your boots, use the following steps:

      1. Take the liners out of the shells and dry them separately.
      2. Dry them in the sunlight, a well-ventilated area or on a boot dryer. Never dry them directly on a heat source as this can damage your boots.
      3. Once the separate parts are dry, reassemble the boot and tighten the lacing system to help maintain their shape.

To extend the life of your boots, keep the following tips in mind:

      • If your boots feel like they’re getting too soft or they don’t fit as snugly as they used to, work with a boot fitter and install J-bars, C-bars or a tongue stiffener on the liner to give your boots a few more miles.
      • Try to walk on snow rather than on pavement whenever possible to conserve the soft rubber treads under your boots.
      • Try not to rest your board on your boot while sitting on the chairlift as the sharp metal edges can wear down and fray the boot’s upper. Try sliding your toe under the heel cup of your binding instead.
      • If your feet get cold every time you go out on the mountain, try putting a layer of aluminum foil under your insoles to reflect warmth back at your feet.

For Storage

The most important thing for storing your snowboard boots is that they are dry and properly laced before putting them away, especially when storing them during the off-season. Follow the steps previously mentioned to ensure your boots maintain their shape during the off-season.

how to store snowboard boots

“How Do I Prevent Snowboard Liners from Smelling?”

Smelly snowboard boots are the result of bacteria making a home in your boots. Bacteria like damp areas, so your first line of defense is to properly dry them using the steps outlined above.

Other tips include using shoe powder to wick away excess moisture. This can be used before and after riding to help keep your feet and your boots dry. Moisture-wicking, snow-specific socks can also help reduce foot odor.

If your boots become excessively smelly, your best solution is to wash and dry them thoroughly as described in this article.

How Do I Know When to Buy New Snowboard Boots?

When your snowboard boots no longer work as they were designed to, it’s time to buy a new pair.

It might be time to replace your boots if they are:

      • Leaking because of cracks in the shell, the sole or at the seams.
      • So stretched out that your boot feels one size too big.
      • Unable to keep your feet warm because the liner has become too compressed.
      • The upper is so stretched out that it becomes harder to activate turns when riding.

Snowboard boots are designed to keep you warm and dry, and give your ankles the support they need to make your snowboard turn. After reading this article, you now know how to increase the lifespan of your boots and make the most of your investment.


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