I have snow boots that I just pulled out of my garage. I live in Los Angeles, so it's rare when I go to the snow. I'm not sure what caused it, but my boot hooks rusted and looked bad. I used a toothbrush and steel wool and got as much rust as I could off. They look so much better, however, they're not perfect. It's good enough for me but how do I protect them from getting worse again? Especially if they only see the light of day for maybe a few weeks every other year.
Rust is iron oxide (Fe2O3) so it is produced by exposure to oxygen in air. To protect, you need to prevent air from getting to the hooks/loops.
The easiest way to do this will be to oil them - spray some light lubricating oil onto a cloth/paper towel, rub over all surfaces of the hooks.