Hiking Boots

Why Buy Hiking Boots from the 80’s

You should definitely buy hiking boots from the 80’s holds a special place in the hearts of outdoor enthusiasts. The era was marked by distinctive styles, and one of the most memorable trends was the old school hiking boots adorned with red laces.

We’ll take a nostalgic journey back to the 80’s hiking boots, exploring the charm of vintage hiking boots and dive into the world of iconic brands like Dexter and Danner.

Moreover, It’s important to address the common challenge of hiking boot odour and provide effective solutions to keep your footwear fresh and odour-free.

What Will You Learn?

Old School Hiking Boots with Red Laces

Old School Hiking Boots with Red Laces

The 80’s Fashion Revival

As trends tend to cycle back into popularity, the 1980s have made a triumphant return to the forefront of fashion. The old school hiking boots, adorned with their distinctive red laces, are at the heart of this revival.

The style and craftsmanship of these boots speak volumes about the era’s unapologetic individualism and spirit of adventure.

Iconic Red Laces

The 80s were a celebration of bold choices, and hiking boots with their striking red laces were no exception. These vibrant laces were more than just a functional accessory; they were a symbol of the era’s audacity and a nod to individualism.

One cannot discuss hiking boots from the 80’s without addressing the vibrant red laces that graced these footwear marvels.

These laces were not just a visual accessory; they were a proclamation of one’s distinctive style. With their vivid hue, the red laces became an emblem of the era’s audacious approach to fashion.

Every step taken in these boots was a declaration of independence and a celebration of uniqueness.

The Iconic Brands

The Iconic Brands

Dexter Hiking Boots

Dexter hiking boots emerged as a testament to durability and meticulous craftsmanship. 

Crafting Durability Through Expertise: Dexter’s commitment to durability wasn’t just a claim; it was a promise backed by expert craftsmanship. From selecting premium materials to employing intricate stitching techniques, every detail was designed for resilience.

Innovating Style and Functionality: In the 80’s, Dexter’s hiking boots didn’t merely stand as utilitarian gear. They were a fusion of style and functionality. The brand’s innovation led to designs that not only tackled rugged terrains but also turned heads on city streets.

Danner hiking Boots

These boots embraced the 80’s with a unique blend of artistry and performance. 

Artistry in Every Stitch: Danner’s commitment to artistry was evident in every stitch, every contour of their hiking boots. The 80’s marked a period of crafting boots that were not only reliable companions but also masterpieces of design.

Empowering Explorers with Performance: Danner hiking boots were more than just a fashion statement; they were tools for exploration. The brand’s focus on performance ensured that wearers could tackle challenging trails with confidence.

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Where to look for these Vintage Boots

Where to look for these Vintage Boots

If you’re on the hunt for vintage Dexter or Danner hiking boots, you’re in for a rewarding adventure. These iconic boots hold a piece of history, and locating them adds a touch of nostalgia to your journey. Here’s where to begin your search:

Thrift Stores and Vintage Shops

Thrift stores and vintage shops can be treasure troves for finding 80’s hiking boots. Explore these local gems, where you might stumble upon a well-preserved pair that tells its own story.

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Online Marketplaces

Online platforms like eBay, Etsy, and specialised vintage marketplaces offer a wide range of options. You can browse through listings from around the world and find boots that match your preferences.

Antique Fairs and Flea Markets

Antique fairs and flea markets provide an immersive experience, allowing you to discover hidden gems in person. These events often have vendors offering a variety of vintage items, including hiking boots.

Outdoor Gear Enthusiast Communities

Online forums, social media groups, and enthusiast communities dedicated to hiking and outdoor gear might have members looking to sell or trade vintage boots.

Reviving Vintage Boots

Reviving Vintage Boots

Once you’ve acquired your cherished Dexter or Danner hiking boots, it’s time to restore them to their former glory. 

Understanding Hiking Boot Odour

The combination of sweat, moisture, and bacteria creates an environment conducive to the proliferation of odour-causing microbes. To combat this, a systematic approach to cleaning is essential to ensure your old 80’s hiking boots remain fresh and odour-free.

Begin by removing the laces and insoles, which allows for thorough access to all parts of the footwear. Use a soft brush to gently remove dirt and debris from the exterior, paying special attention to the seams and crevices.

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Eradicating Stubborn Stains

Mild detergent mixed with warm water forms a powerful cleaning solution that effectively removes stubborn stains without compromising the integrity of the old boot’s materials.

Dip a soft cloth into the solution and gently wipe down the exterior of the boots. For areas with particularly stubborn stains, create a paste using baking soda and water, and apply it with care.

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After thorough cleaning, proper drying is paramount to prevent the resurgence of odour. Air-drying is the recommended method, as excessive heat from sources like radiators or hairdryers can cause the boots to warp or crack.

To expedite the drying process, stuff the boots with crumpled newspaper, which absorbs excess moisture and inhibits the growth of odour-causing bacteria.

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Tips for Keeping Hiking Boots Fresh

Tips for Keeping Hiking Boots Fresh

The Role of Moisture-Wicking Socks

Designed to draw moisture away from your feet, these specialised socks create an environment less conducive to the growth of odour-causing bacteria.

By keeping your feet dry and comfortable, moisture-wicking socks contribute significantly to odour prevention.

Proper Storage

Optimal storage conditions involve a cool, dry environment with ample ventilation. Avoid confining your 80’s hiking boots to damp spaces, as moisture exacerbates odour issues.

If feasible, employ boot trees to maintain the boots’ shape while promoting airflow.

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Let Your Boots Breathe

Rotating your hiking boots is a simple yet effective strategy to prevent and manage odour. Alternating between different pairs of boots allows each pair ample time to air out and dry completely.

This practice not only curbs the buildup of odours but also extends the lifespan of your hiking boots.

How to Clean Smelly Hiking Boots and Shoes

Essential Materials

Before starting on the cleaning process, assemble the necessary materials to ensure a thorough and effective cleanse:

  • Soft brush
  • Mild detergent
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth
  • Newspaper

Step-by-Step Cleaning Guide

Preparation: Begin by removing the laces and insoles from the boots. This facilitates unrestricted access to all parts of the boots during the cleaning process.

Brush Off Debris: Employ a soft brush to gently eliminate dirt, debris, and dust from the boots’ exterior. Focus your efforts on seams and crevices where dirt commonly accumulates.

Preparing the Cleaning Solution: Fill a basin or container with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Mix the solution until it’s well-dissolved.

Cleansing the Exterior: Dip a soft cloth into the cleaning solution and wring out any excess liquid. Gently wipe down the exterior of the boots, paying close attention to areas with visible stains or grime.

Tackling Stubborn Stains: Create a paste using baking soda and a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the stained areas and delicately scrub with a soft brush or cloth. Baking soda’s natural cleaning properties will work wonders.

Revitalizing the Insoles: To address the source of odour, focus on cleansing the insoles. Form a mixture of warm water and baking soda to create a paste. Apply this paste to the insoles and scrub gently to remove accumulated dirt and odour.

Rinsing for Freshness: After cleaning both the boots and insoles, thoroughly rinse them with clean water. Ensure that no traces of detergent or baking soda remain.

Air-Drying: With the cleaning process complete, allow your boots to air dry in a cool, well-ventilated space. To maintain the 80’s hiking boots’ shape and expedite the drying process, stuff them with crumpled newspaper.

Reassembly and Renewal: Once your hiking boots are completely dry, reinsert the insoles and lace them up. Your boots are now rejuvenated, ready to embrace new adventures with a fresh and odour-free demeanor.


The legacy of hiking boots from the 80’s continues to resonate with outdoor enthusiasts and fashion aficionados alike. The battle against odour remains a constant challenge.

By mastering the art of cleaning, practising preventative measures, and embracing the allure of hiking boots from the 80’s, we forge a connection between the past and the present.


Can I use regular soap for cleaning hiking boots?

While mild soap can be used, it’s advisable to opt for a detergent formulated specifically for footwear cleaning. These detergents are tailored to maintain the integrity of hiking boot materials while effectively removing dirt and grime.

How often should I replace the insoles of my hiking boots?

Insoles should be replaced when they show signs of wear, such as loss of cushioning or shape. On average, consider replacing them every 6 to 12 months, depending on the frequency and intensity of usage.

Can I use a hairdryer to expedite the drying process?

The use of a hairdryer is discouraged, as the high heat can potentially damage the materials of the boots. Opt for air-drying in a well-ventilated area to ensure the longevity of your hiking boots.

Are baking soda and vinegar effective for tackling boot odour?

Baking soda is indeed effective for neutralising odours, while vinegar is not recommended due to its potentially adverse effects on certain materials. Baking soda’s natural properties work to absorb and eliminate unwanted odours.

Can I machine wash my hiking boots?

Machine washing is not recommended for hiking boots, as the mechanical agitation and water pressure can compromise the structural integrity of the boots. Opt for gentle, manual cleaning methods to ensure the longevity of your beloved footwear.

Are hiking boots from the 80’s still available for purchase today?

While vintage boots from the 80’s may be challenging to find in brand-new condition, some brands offer modern interpretations that capture the essence of 80’s style.

Can I wear 80’s hiking boots for contemporary outdoor activities?

Yes, you can wear them for certain activities, but keep in mind that technology and design have evolved since the 80’s. Vintage boots may lack modern features found in current hiking footwear.

How do I restore the colour of old hiking boots with red laces?

To restore the colour, clean the boots gently using a mild solution of water and soap, then apply a leather conditioner or polish to enhance the colour and shine.

Can I clean hiking boots with red laces using a washing machine?

It’s generally not recommended to clean hiking boots with red laces in a washing machine. Hand-cleaning is safer to preserve the integrity of the materials.

Are Dexter hiking boots from the 80s suitable for extreme outdoor conditions?

Dexter hiking boots from the 80s were designed for durability, but technology has advanced. For extreme conditions, consider modern boots with specialised features.

What’s the best way to store vintage hiking boots to prevent damage?

Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. Use boot trees or stuff them with newspaper to maintain their shape.

Can I find vintage Danner hiking boots from the 80s for collection purposes?

Vintage Danner hiking boots from the 80s are sought-after collector’s items. They might be available through antique shops, online auctions, or specialised vintage stores.

How do Danner hiking boots from the 80s compare to modern versions in terms of quality?

Danner’s commitment to quality has remained consistent. While 80s boots have historical value, modern Danner boots incorporate contemporary technologies and materials.

Are there any DIY methods to remove odour from vintage hiking boots?

Yes, you can try placing baking soda, activated charcoal, or cedar shoe inserts inside the boots to absorb odours. However, professional cleaning might be more effective for deep-seated odour.

Can I wear vintage hiking boots with red laces for casual fashion purposes?

Absolutely! Vintage hiking boots can add a unique and nostalgic touch to your casual outfits, giving you a distinct style statement.

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Meet Fahad Sajjad, the founder and creative force behind Meraki Writes, a dynamic content marketing agency that helps businesses grow their online presence through engaging and persuasive content. With years of experience in the industry, Fahad has honed his skills in crafting compelling stories that connect with audiences, no matter the topic or niche. He is a true wordsmith, with a passion for language and a talent for turning complex ideas into accessible, easy-to-digest content that resonates with readers. Fahad's expertise in content marketing, SEO, and social media strategy, combined with his dedication to quality and customer satisfaction, make him a valuable partner for any business looking to improve its online presence.

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