Properly taken care of, a pair of good quality hiking boots can last for decades. They don't need to be polished every day or kept out of the mud. All you need to do is clean the outer every time you come home from a hike and make sure the material stays supple and waterproof. In most cases it's best to wait until the mud has dried (if necessary, which is probably is) then brush it off with a soft cloth, damping it down if you need to. These spray-on proofers will make sure that your boots will outlast all of your other footwear put together.