Best Boot Treatment Product?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gear, Survival Equipment & More' started by BOSS1, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. BOSS1

    BOSS1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Greetings all,

    What are you liking for boot treatment these days? Both leather and synthetic? I've used Grangers, which is tends to be a bit runny and somewhat beige-ish colored from my experience, but on the plus side, it is a spray on application and seems to get in all the nooks and grannies. I really don't want something that will take me 2 hrs to apply, and I obviously don't want something that will compromise the strength/integrity of the boot, including rubber, stitching, etc.

    I've also used Atsko silicone waterguard, but mostly on jackets. It seems to do pretty well, with only a slight color change.

    There's Snoseal, and oldie but goodie, as well as several others all on the market, all claiming to be the best.

    So what say you? Easy to apply, works with all colors, effective, and works with both leather and/or synthetics...

  2. Brad "the butcher"

    Brad "the butcher"

    Dec 15, 2008
    For leather Nikwax is a good one that I use and still use Snoseal, one of the best products around.

    The australian beeswax mix in the yellow tin might be better than snowseal for smooth leather(can't find it to get the name right now!)
    I use it on my blundstone's
  3. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    The best I have used is Snoseal, but you should know that at least one major boot brand says that the use of Snoseal voids their warranty (they don't include this info with the boots or on their website, but just try to get a delaminated sole fixed under warranty of you have used Snoseal). Snoseal is fine for boots with non-glued soles.

    Nikwax works fine, too.
  4. Bo T

    Bo T

    Feb 12, 2011
    Snoseal, although a friend that works at a boot store/shop suggested an alternate product out of England (can't remember the name) that he said was better.
  5. buckeyejake


    Dec 28, 2013
    Snoseal !
  6. seth2915


    Feb 13, 2007
    I use straight beeswax. It takes the two hours to apply, but I have not had to reapply yet, and it has been about a year.

    Set the oven at about 200 and melt the wax on your stovetop. use a paintbrush to apply it to one ho boot, then put that boot back in the oven while you apply it to the other boot. Keep this up until they won't absorb any more wax. It made the leather on my Twisted X work boots a hell of a lot tougher, and I have not had any sole problems at all.

    The only drawbacks are the time and having to basically break your boots in again afterward, but they are very comfortable now that I have done it.
  7. sykes3170


    Feb 18, 2010
    I like Obenauf's.
  8. woodibly


    Apr 7, 2005
    I vote Obenauf's LP or their oil, depending on the boot.
  9. D2FB


    Aug 14, 2009
    I have used Montana Pitch-Blend with good success. They have two conditioning/ protective products as well as a leather soap. The Leather Oil and Conditioner is liquid and has easy application; great for the more frequent treatments. The Leather Dressing is a paste more like Snoseal, as it also includes beeswax, but much easier to apply in my experience than Snoseal. I still have and use Snoseal but I find myself more often going to the Pitch-Blend.
  10. lmalterna

    lmalterna Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 12, 2002
    Another vote for Pitch Blend.

  11. lightleak


    Jun 11, 2009
    And a third vote for Montana Pitch Blend. I order that stuff from the USA and have it shipped to Germany, I think it is THAT good. I use it since roughly two years.
    Best regards :)
  12. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    Leather and synthetics are entirely different.

    In terms of synthetics, are you talking about pleather or nylon cloth? Nothing I've found helps pleather. Eventually it cracks and that is that.

    For leather, it really depends on what you want to accomplish.

    Beeswax acts like a cork in between the grain of the leather. I'm not sure I believe that wax lubricates leather well in high flex zones, like at the toe. I've seen plenty of boots that were treated with SnowSeal for most of their life crack.

    Silicone based treatments like AquaSeal keep water out like crazy but damage the leather over time. I tried an experiment with a pair of boot treating the left with AquaSeal and the right with SnowSeal for about 5 years. The AquaSeal kept out water better but damaged the leather.

    I've not had good luck with Nikwax wax based boot stuff.

    If waterproofing boots is the goal, I would stick with SnoSeal. For gloves, I use AquaSeal. I'll wreck the gloves before the AqauSeal will.

    I no longer try to waterproof my boots. Instead, I only moisturize the leather in hopes of extending the life. I've been having really, really good luck with Limmers Boot Grease. Boots are water resistant, breath better and last longer, IME.
  13. Mongo


    Nov 5, 2001
    Obenauf's LP
  14. TLR


    Oct 5, 1998
    I use Obenaufs oil or LP on all my leather.
  15. Grateful

    Grateful Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 5, 2002
    I use mink oil. Seems to work well.

  16. ohen cepel

    ohen cepel Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Be careful if you are sealing boots with Gortex liners in them. They are designed to be able to breath. If you seal the leather up tight you have wasted the gain of Gortex. For those, I use Danners product since it allows the Gortex to work as it should.
  17. sastrugi


    Nov 16, 2006
    Joseph Lyddy dubbin warm your boots in the sun or by the fire ,apply generous coat let soak in.Repeat til it doesn't soak in anymore
  18. BOSS1

    BOSS1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    That's a good point, and thus far the Danner product seems to be the only one working on that concept. Good to know.

  19. Unicorn161


    May 20, 2008
    Camp Dry silicone spray for water repellency. A few coats over a couple days, then a refresher every couple months. Works great, and doesn't hamper breathability at all. Great stuff.

    I also use Obenauf wax and oil. The was is one that stays kind of gooey and sticky on the leather though, so better for field boots. It also helps to preserve the leather. The oil is a good treatment, but not nearly as water repellent as the wax.

    Sno-seal has a problem because of the instructions, and people who don't have an oven that can maintain a low temp. Shouldn't only be 110 or so to get the wax to melt, but a lot of people think you need to bake it in, or use too high a temp damaging the leather and any synthetic materials like thread or glues used.
    Warm, not hot. A PEET shoe dryer would be ideal to use with it, and any wax based treatment too as it would help the leather absorb the wax instead of it just sitting on top of the leather.
  20. pinnah


    Jul 28, 2011
    I don't think that is entirely accurate. Traditional grease based products that contain no wax will allow the leather to still breath. This is why I prefer Limmer's Boot Grease, which is primarily based on lanolin.

    As I understand it, there are 3 ways to dress leather.

    SILICONE - Silicone is hydrophobic and helps water run off of the boot before it can become absorbed. In large quantities though, it has the reputation of damaging leather. AquaSeal and bottled silicone have the most. Limmer's has a touch of silicone and I've not seen any damage from leather dressed with Limmers.

    WAX - Wax seals the gaps between the cells in the leather. Shoe polish is essentially wax and waterproofs (and shines) by putting a hard shell of wax on the outside of the leather. SnowSeal and Nikwax attempt to get the wax into the leather (between the cells) either with heat, solvents which bake off or water-soluable wax which doesn't penetrate deeply. These will render the leather non-breathable and can trap water in the boot, which can lead to drying out and cracking.

    GREASE - Grease lubricates the leather by coating and being absorbed by the cells in the leather. Some grease can cause the leather to stretch. Neats Foot Oil and pure Mink Oil both have this reputation. Lubricating oils prevent cracking but can attract dust, which when pulled into the leather can lead to cracking.

    My sense is that lanolin offers the best long term bet for preserving leather when it is constantly in use and flexed. The point is to keep the leather from drying out and cracking, not to prevent water from passing through. Limmer's Boot Grease seems to have a reasonable mixture with mostly lanolin and a bit of silicone with a small bit of camphor to help it penetrate.

    FWIW, the wax vs grease debate also rages hotly among cyclists with respect to chain lubrication. Wax does well in dry dusty conditions (won't attract as much dirt, which causes wear) but oil does better in wet conditions (stays on longer, lubricates and prevents rust). The other issue is how to treat leather saddles like Brooks saddles. Too much oil based treatment will soften and wreck a good saddle prematurely.

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