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Topic: Waterproofing Leather Boots, What Products for Hiking boots< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 1:50 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey guys.  Found this site and wanted to start a new topic about care of full grain leather hiking boots.  Have a new pair of Alico Summit Boots currently on the way from STP, and would like to provide proper care.  

Online research has been very confusing on what are the best products for proper care of hiking boots.  A quick search in a few local area stores has the following products available:  Sno Seal, Nikwax, Neatsfoot, Lexol Leather Conditioner and Mink Oil.  STP recommends using only a leather conditioner.  Other sites recommend a bees wax/conditioner mix.

What do you guys use to care for leather hiking boots?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 2:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Welcome aboard.  Vasque says nikwax for my wasatch's

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 3:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been using Sno Seal for over twenty years on various pairs of leather hiking boots. Never a problem and always good waterproofing.

Best technique I've found is to heat the boot with a hairdryer and apply the Sno Seal while the leather is still warm.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 4:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am glad this topic came up. I was going to ask the same question. I always used Camp Dry to waterproof and to keep the boot breathable. I know it does little to keep the leather soft and durable, but I have always been skeptical about wax and its "smothering" qualities. Do wax products keep the leather "breathable"?

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 6:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(solonomad @ Sep. 22 2012, 3:12 pm)
QUOTE
I've been using Sno Seal for over twenty years on various pairs of leather hiking boots. Never a problem and always good waterproofing.

Best technique I've found is to heat the boot with a hairdryer and apply the Sno Seal while the leather is still warm.

Thanks for that tip.  I saw a youtube video of a guy doing that.  Here's some good videos I found on Nikwax.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ09GNQz3Go
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfcYrHSIHkU

I have used Lexol cleaner and conditioner on the seats of my old 944 Porsche and it really makes the leather smooth and glove soft, but I suppose that's not a good thing for boots.  

Wonder if the soft inner linning on the Alico Summit's ever needs to be conditioned.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 22 2012, 7:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I use boot oil once a year and Kiwi Campdry for waterproofing (once in Fall and again in Winter/Spring).

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 24 2012, 10:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I received the Alico Summit boots today and I must say I'm very impressed with the high quality and chaftsmanship.  They are comfortable out of the box and should have only a few days breakin.  They are stiff, but the half shank support allows enough toe flex to be comfortable and not feel like walking on boards.

I got them with a 35% off email flyer and free shipping.  Best deal I have seen on a high quality hand made leather hiking boot.  I've found the best way to get deals at STP is to put items you want in a cart and just let it ride a few days/weeks.  Then when you see an nice email flyer, click the email link and check to see if it applies to item in the cart.  

Only downside is tolerating the email flyers every day.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2012, 10:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Be cautious with snowseal or oils. They can oversoften leather if not applied carefully. The Alicos as far as I know have a fairly thick leather so they can probably handle it better than others. But it depends on what you want.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 5:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

At REI I looked at both Snowseal and Nikwax, and the staffers told me that they both do an equally well job, but once you use Snowseal, you should never use anything else. Which I guess does not make much of a difference. I have always been monogamous when it comes to boot care products. Also according to the staff, some oil based products can be harmful to Gortex. That is why I pay a few extra bucks to shop at REI. Their staff knows their stuff.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2012, 5:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Tigger @ Sep. 22 2012, 7:55 pm)
QUOTE
I use boot oil once a year and Kiwi Campdry for waterproofing (once in Fall and again in Winter/Spring).

I have always used Kiwi Camp Dry, but I went to do my shopping in the middle of the night. So, I had to go to
Hell-Mart and they did not have it. Snow Seal has a spray that I bought and really liked the way it applied. We will see how it holds up to the weather.


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My first impression of the the Grand Canyon was from Bright Angel Trail... When I descended the trail to where the canyon opened up wide, I knew I would never be the same.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 28 2012, 9:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I decided to use Aquaseal Waterproofing and Leather Conditioner that's available at a local Boot Shop.  It's a silicone based cream product that's designed for full grain leathers.  It does not require heating the leather and will not clog the leather pores or leave a greasy surface.

http://www.campmor.com/aquasea....r.shtml

Actually bought some Sno Seal, but will see how the Aquaseal works out first.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 28 2012, 10:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm a convert to Obenauf's. I've found that it lasts longer for my FGL boots and lets them breathe better. Anecdotal, I know,but it works appreciably better for my than sno-seal, nix-wax or any of the other stuff I've tried.

I would think that the best option would be a waxy type waterproofer for long term hold up, but be gentle with it or else risk over softening. The spray on will wear off faster, but okay if you aren't out in the wet often.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2012, 1:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Going on a day hike tomorrow in the Smoky Mtns.  Have been breaking in the new Alico Summits all week, so they should be ready.

Have discovered a problem with the Superfeet (green) insoles I just bought.  The top edge of the new insoles are very rigid and sharp around the heel, and it's already made deep indentations in the soft leather liner with less than 1/2 mile walking.  I trimed the edge some with scissor, but it's still may damage the liner.  May have to go with another type of insole that's easier on the liner.  Any recommendations.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2012, 7:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well my Alico Boots are waterproofed and ready for travel, but are sidelined until I can obtain insoles that will not destroy the soft leather liner.  The Superfeet insoles are being returned.  

Anyone have any experience with Birkenstock BirkoSport Arch Support Insoles?  It's a 3/4 cork bottom with a full length foam insert on top.  That insole should not harm the leather liner and provide the much needed arch support.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL5pktTnXIc
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2012, 8:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

a few thoughts.

first, i think that if you dull the edge of the insoles, they probably won't damage a full leather lining.  they could, however, damage a synthetic fabric.  i have worn leather boots with hard plastic & leather orthotics for several years, and while they make an impression on the lining (i have two pair of Limmer boots), they haven't put any holes in them.

Second, your goals in conditioning a leather boot are waterproofing, softening the leather a little (but not too much), and maintaining the breathable qualities of the leather as much as possible.  Treatments that are very oily can over-soften leather, and highly waxy treatments can clog a boot's pores.  A good leather conditioner & waterproofing treatment will have some silicone, some oil, some wax.    

La Sportiva, another Italian boot manufacturer that makes its heavier boots from Perwanger leather, like Alico's heavier Guide boot, recommends Nikwax Aqueous Wax Leather Waterproofing plus occasional conditioning with Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather.  Obenauf's, another quality manufacturer of leather treatments, has a similar two-product approach.  Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP uses oils mixed with beeswax and propolis; it is a leather conditioner but not a true waterproofing agent.  Obenauf's sells a separate silicone treatment, water shield, that you would use in addition to the Heavy Duty LP.  Limmer recommends its own proprietary boot grease, which is a mix of lanolin, silicone, oils, and "natural hydrocarbons," that conditions and waterproofs leather boots.  I have used the Limmer boot grease for years; it is excellent.  Any of these three would probably be fine for your boots, and the Aquaseal product you chose seems to fit the bill - a mix of oils, wax products, and silicone.  You could also contact Alico and ask what they recommend.  

info@alicosport.it
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2012, 2:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks a lot Leadbelly.  I've cut off and sanded more of the sharp edges on the Superfeet insoles and they don't seem to be slicing into the leather liner now.  Will give it another go.  

Really like the arch support on the Superfeet Green insoles.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2012, 9:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fair to say that most full grain leather boots don't provide much arch support - the footbed is usually pretty flat.  

i have extremely flat feet, superfeet green used to last about 3-6 months for me.  also, they didn't really correct how i walked.  the insoles i use (langer sporthotics) have to be made by a doctor or podiatrist after taking measurements or a casting of your feet, but they last a lot longer, 4-5 years.  if you're using superfeet to provide a little cushioning and arch support, great; if your feet are sufficiently different from the norm that you experience pain or other symptoms with some regularity, consider seeing a doctor and a pair of custom-made insoles.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 29 2012, 10:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sno-Seal.  I've use the Nikwax stuff on my Raichle's and those products work very well but for seriously hard-duty boots I still prefer beeswax, probably because once upon a time long, long ago I was a logger.

By the way, Sno-Seal works really well as a long-term-storage protectant for high-carbon knives.

Drake
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 2:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Got to try out the new Alico boots on a day hike in the Smoky Mts, and they are great.  The aquaseal waterproofing and conditioner also worked well.  Would like to have acces to Obenauf products, but don't want to pay the high shipping cost.

I could not get use to the Superfeet Green insoles and returned them.  Felt like walking on a golf ball.  Bought some Powerstep Pinnacle insoles that I like much better.  Not much talk about the Powerstep's on this forum.  They have great arch and heel support and are more comfortable than Superfeet.  Also cheaper and have no sharp edges that may damage the boot liner.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 2:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On my Rocky Ridgetop Hikers that I am now using for work boots, I used the Kiwi Wet Pruf product that comes in a tin, and you rub it into the leather. Its labeled as  "protection for leather seems and stitching". But it also turned my boots much darker than they were, which I personally dont mind, but others may.

I bought it to waterproof my boots, but whether its technically a leather conditioner, I dont know. I have previously used the spray on waterproofers, but they dont always last very long IMO.

I dont typically use all leather boots for hiking. I like boots that are mostly Cordura, with leather sewed to the heel and toe for reinforcement. They still give great support, but are much lighter than an all leather boot. However, they will not hold up to hard core abrasion for nearly as long as leather will, as I used a pair of Rocky Lynx boots as work boots after a backpacking trip, and they didnt hold up as long as leather boots do.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 10:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(CharlesTheHammer @ Oct. 06 2012, 2:03 pm)
QUOTE
On my Rocky Ridgetop Hikers that I am now using for work boots, I used the Kiwi Wet Pruf product that comes in a tin, and you rub it into the leather. Its labeled as  "protection for leather seems and stitching". But it also turned my boots much darker than they were, which I personally dont mind, but others may.

I bought it to waterproof my boots, but whether its technically a leather conditioner, I dont know. I have previously used the spray on waterproofers, but they dont always last very long IMO.

I dont typically use all leather boots for hiking. I like boots that are mostly Cordura, with leather sewed to the heel and toe for reinforcement. They still give great support, but are much lighter than an all leather boot. However, they will not hold up to hard core abrasion for nearly as long as leather will, as I used a pair of Rocky Lynx boots as work boots after a backpacking trip, and they didnt hold up as long as leather boots do.

Me too.  My Asolo Fugitives are much better for hiking.   I am certainly no hard core backpacker and have no need for stiff full leather boots.  I'll use the Alico's mostly for working outdoors.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 07 2012, 3:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

This stuff is sick.

https://www.obenaufs.com/index.p....t_id=30
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