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Alternative to mink oil?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by Buck268, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. Buck268


    Nov 5, 2006
    Well I've been using mink oil on my leather boots for a long time to keep them sealed as well as to keep the leather conditioned nicely. But I have noticed it doesn't take long wearing them in bad weather (eg: wet snow) before the mink oil wears off/dries out in some critical spots, especially at the flex points.

    Now, I've used camp dry a lot on hats and stuff; btw it is GREAT for ball caps! But I don't think it'll work so great on smooth leather. What are some good alternatives that will outlast mink oil per application? I would love to retain as much breathability as possible, but even mink oil doesnt provide that well.
  2. Neanderthal


    Oct 30, 2001
    Sno-Seal. I also use a home made variety using 50% by volume melted beeswax mixed with 50% Neats foot oil. Melt the beeswax in a double boiler or microwave. Use pure Neats foot oil, not the type poluted with petroleum products.
  3. reconranger


    Sep 23, 2007
    The product you should pick will depend on how the manufacturer of your boots cured the leather (all mine take Snow Seal). I would contact them, or do a lot of google searching on the topic and you should come up with something. Maybe try REI or someone like that.....
  4. skammer

    skammer Banned by Moderators

    Jan 18, 2005
    As was said Snow Seal nothing better for leather boots. Heat the boots very warm with a hair dryer and rub it on till it soaks in. Repeat till it wont soak in or you get tired.

    Lasts months of normal wear.

  5. Stickman


    Dec 25, 2006
    Buck268, I've used Snow Seal and Mink Oil and found the same thing you did. For the last 10 or more years I've been using Nikwax...either the aqueous wax on new leather or the paste wax and found that it lasts much longer, especially in rain or snow. The process is the same as Skammer described, just keep moving the hair dryer so you don't fry the leather :)
  6. skammer

    skammer Banned by Moderators

    Jan 18, 2005
    Never had this problem with snow seal and I put a 2000 hrs a year off trail in them. There will be what looks like cracking in the flex points but that is the surface wax only. If applied properly its sunk into the entire thickness of the leather. I reapply every 3 months and water beads up like a ducks back.

  7. Zombie Zeke

    Zombie Zeke

    Nov 26, 2006
    Rawlings Glovolium is good stuff!
  8. Buck268


    Nov 5, 2006
    Well i never thought to use heat *duh* (even better since I used heat to sink mink oil into my ka-bar handle to tighten it up!). A little while with a hair drier and the tin of mink oil and the boots seem much better. Now they all match my toes! I guess the multiple fires I have every week took care of melting the oil into the tips of the boots. I'll bet this lasts a lot longer than my prevous method (hand rub into room temp leather).
  9. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Sno Seal works great.

    BUT - Check with the boot manufacturer. I used it on some Vasque boots, and had the soles come off. Vasque told me that using Sno Seal voided the warranty, and refused to cover it. I told them that nothing that came with the boots, and nothing on their website, said not to use Sno Seal, but they wouldn't budge. I'll never buy Vasque again.

    Since then I have done two things - switch to another brand, Merrell (better boots anyway, as I have found out), and I now use Nikwax for waterproofing, as Merrell instructed me to do.
  10. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    Sno Seal is an OUTER coating, not a leather preserver. Sno Seal EXCELS at waterproofing your boots.

    but its best to apply a leather preservative such as OBENAUFS to the leather, prior to an application of sno seal.

  11. c00per


    May 13, 2007
    Mink oil and other animal fats weakens the stitching in your boots after a while.
    I changed to Huberds boot grease and I absolutly swear by it. Preserves the leather very well, no animal fats, so it keeps your stitches nice and tight, softens the leather nicely, but keeps enough stiffness for support, and makes your boots nice and waterproof...smells good too:p.

    I know its not long, but I have been using it exclusively on my Danner loggers boots for a couple years new since I got them and they are still going strong, like new (Appart from some scuffing...I did work at a lumber yard for quite a while!) and I have worn them most days.
  12. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    I used Snoseal with perfect satisfaction for a lot of years, then switched to Nikwax, which is easier to apply and IMHO works even better. I still use Snoseal on sheaths and leather belts.
  13. AF


    Jan 14, 2000
    I heat up the Sno Seal in my toaster before applying it. Not too hot or you'll melt the container! I use it on my boots and sheaths.

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