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Old 01-01-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
tattoogunman OP
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Waterproofing leather boots

Going out on a limb here - I need to waterproof some boots. There seem to be any number of products on the market that all seem to do the same thing (more or less). They range from rub in pastes/waxes/oils to straight beeswax to aerosol sprays that you simply spray on (seems to be the easiest), etc.

Anyone have any real world experience with any of these? There is Nikwax, Aquaseal, Snoseal, All Dri, Kiwi products, Chelsea, etc. and I really can't find anything that indicates one is any better than the other.

This would be in conjunction with rain covers, I'm just looking for something that will add a layer of protection in light to moderate rain until I can get covers on.

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Skidmores-Bi...item1c2d33a025


Not affiliated with eBaY, Skidmore or the seller. Just think it's a good product.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:44 PM   #3
ak bike
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Been using snow seal for about 50 some years with pretty good results . Generally use a hair drier to warm up the boots and let the Sno seal soak in. I m sure there's lots of stuff that works. I've just had good luck with what I'm using.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
roostar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak bike View Post
Been using snow seal for about 50 some years with pretty good results . Generally use a hair drier to warm up the boots and let the Sno seal soak in. I m sure there's lots of stuff that works. I've just had good luck with what I'm using.
As a former Northern Michigan country boy I can attest to the waterproofing properties of Snow Seal. Nothing better. Just make sure you use heat to allow it to sink into the leather.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak bike View Post
Been using snow seal for about 50 some years with pretty good results . Generally use a hair drier to warm up the boots and let the Sno seal soak in. I m sure there's lots of stuff that works. I've just had good luck with what I'm using.
+1 for snow seal.
Also been using it for 40 years, since before it came in a plastic can, it used to come in a metal paint can,
and it's worked for me.
I sware it makes the boot last longer since it keeps the leather softer
I put it on cold and hold the boot over the stove untill it melts and soaks in better but I bet the hair dryer would work just fine.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Mink oil does a good job on my workboots. Just have to re-apply every couple of weeks, real easy to do though. Haven't done long rides in heavy downpours in them, but my 1/2hr commute I stay dry!
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:07 PM   #7
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Beeswax.rub on and around seams liberally.use sunshine or other heat to let it melt in.waterproofs,conditions,adds years to the item being treated.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:43 PM   #8
Walterxr650l
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Backpacker magazine did a test a number of years back. They tested most of the popular water proofing treatments on the market. I think it was the Military's standard they tested to. Anyway the leather had to not leak through 15,000 flexes to be considered waterproof. The only two treatments that passed were a spray from Tectron, and aqueous wax from Nikwax. I have used the Aqueous wax with good results. But anymore I don't try to waterproof my boots. I try to keep them oiled to keep the leather in good shape, and rely on a pair of sealskinz to keep my feet dry.

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
StuartV
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I got my Combat Touring Boots 14 1/2 years ago. I put on 3 coats of Aquaseal immediately and then a new coat every year or two. 100K+ miles later, my feet have never gotten wet in them and they are still in great shape. And I have never worn any kind of cover over them.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:04 AM   #10
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The nikwax stuff mentioned earlier was what I had the best luck with.
I had little luck with either of the two sno seal snow seal products blue and whit can and plastic tub with orange lid.
Today I don't seal my boots and the last longer. I use liner socks to keep my feet dry.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
StuartV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squish View Post
Today I don't seal my boots and the last longer.
How long do they last?!?

I've been treating my boots with Aquaseal for over 14 years. I just got them resoled and shined up and when my g/f saw them she exclaimed "wow! They look like new!"
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:12 PM   #12
squish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuartV View Post
How long do they last?!?

I've been treating my boots with Aquaseal for over 14 years. I just got them resoled and shined up and when my g/f saw them she exclaimed "wow! They look like new!"
Depends on the boot, the leather and the use.
My day to day workboots (Catapiller 2nd shift) last about a year of daily use but they get beat up.
My Combat Touring boots are 15 years old my Sidi Interstates are 20 years old
My current Docs about 10 years compared to the pair they replaced which was about 5 years, those were oild often and cracked at the flex point, the new ones never oiled and no cracks.

As for sno seal I like the stuff that came in the blue and white can with the snowflake on it better then the orange and blue with the bird. But neither came close to the nikwax stuff.
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squish screwed with this post 01-04-2013 at 12:26 AM
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #13
568V8
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SnoSeal

SnoSeal is a great product. Be sure your boots are bone dry and use a hairdryer to get as much wax soaked in as possible.
Avoid mink oil because it will rot some stitching; it does softens leather well but isn't for expensive boots.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 568V8 View Post
SnoSeal is a great product. Be sure your boots are bone dry and use a hairdryer to get as much wax soaked in as possible.
Avoid mink oil because it will rot some stitching; it does softens leather well but isn't for expensive boots.
Another vote with 40+ years of being a happy camper. I don't know that it's the best, but I know it works well enough that I've never had to try anything else.

And FWIW, I work outside as well as play outside so I'm outdoors 300+ days a year regardless of the weather.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:58 AM   #15
rboett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 568V8 View Post
SnoSeal is a great product. Be sure your boots are bone dry and use a hairdryer to get as much wax soaked in as possible.
Avoid mink oil because it will rot some stitching; it does softens leather well but isn't for expensive boots.
++1 snowseal, especially if you have boots with stiched welts
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