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Leather Boot Oil or Snow Seal?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Joe13, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Howdy y'all,

    I have 9" tall all leather boots that I use for outdoor anything; including hunting.

    I have always been happy with leather oil to keep my boots supple and waterproof / resistant.

    I started looking at snow seal since I will be in the snow this year and not just dealin with water.

    Does it let the boot breathe or does it seal it more like a rubber boot?

    I don't want to apply wax to my boots with a hair dryer only to find out that I ruined a $200 pair of boots.

    Anyone with some experience on this?
     
  2. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Afterthought, if it is good stuff but does not breathe I could just use it around the base where it meets the sole.
     
  3. winchester270

    winchester270 Lafayette Active Member

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    If your boots are $200 are they Gore-Tex ? if so then you are golden for the next 10 years with dry feet. I have an old pair of Georgia GORE-Tex that finally started to leak this year. they were used when I bought them 10 years ago so they have been well worth the $40 bucks lol..

    but, I snow sealed them friday night before hunting saturday, and it did not help much, they still leaked. A very slow seeping leak, but was still wet. My feet were wet so I could not tell you if it beathed or not..
     
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  4. winchester270

    winchester270 Lafayette Active Member

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    I put my boots in the oven at a low temp long enough to warm them up and that worked well..
     
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  5. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I had read that prewarming the boots will help soak up the wax better.

    I have stepped in large puddles with the boots treated with oil so I guess I will oil them real well and call it good. Maybe try and treat the sole seems with the wax after they are oiled.
     
  6. filsonhand

    filsonhand In the Silicon Forest Smooth as a Rhino 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Obenoufs boot grease or oil....
    Top notch stuff
     
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  7. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    Mink oil for me, it keeps the leather from cracking...o_O
     
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  8. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've used both oil, and Sno-Seal extensively. And I've worked with wet feet for decades. If you've got porous leather boots, then either product is only temporary, and at best will only slow down the fact that your feet are gonna be eventually wet.

    Like it or not, Gore Tex boots, when they work, are the best remedy to keep my feet dry. But even then, ya just never know if you're gonna get a good pair or not. Had a pair of Gore Tex Danner's a while back, and they leaked like a sieve. I've bought my last two pair of Gore Tex work boots from Red Wing, and they are miraculous. A pair of cheap slip-on Georgia Boots have also been pretty incredible.

    WAYNO.
     
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  9. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I used to use mink oil.

    Then I was told that the oil would degrade the leather and stitching.

    So then I used sno-seal wax. The main difference I noted was that sno-seal didn't smell as much as mink oil, but it did seem to work better.

    I especially used as much as I could around the seams/stitching. I would heat up the boots with a hair dryer, smear the wax on, then heat the boots up some more with the hair dryer for the wax to melt into the boots. I never had problems with Sno-Seal and leather, just fabric.

    Early Gore-Tex boots didn't work well for me - I too had a pair of Danners that not only leaked, but they fit very poorly. I have a pair of Merrells I bought about 2 years ago that were marketed as waterproof, but still my feet got wet - but that might have been because the socks got wet above the boot (I was wear cotton jeans) and they wicked the moisture down to my feet.

    I generally do not buy boots that have cloth outers as those don't seem to be as waterproof IMO.

    Another thing is to wear a pair of waterproof gaiters, insulated if you are in the snow - they make a big difference in how dry and warm your feet stay - even in the summer they will keep grass seed/et. from getting down into your boots.

    I used to do a lot of XC Skiing and the gaiters and all leather (or synthetic leather or something similar) made a big difference - that and synthetic socks. I used to have a lot of problems with my feet being cold due to circulation problems in my feet, but something must have changed because I don't have those problems anymore.

    YMMV
     
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  10. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    +1 on the gaiters! Very useful and handy items, indeed. We have some in our cool weather GHB's!
     
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  11. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Hubbard's Shoe Grease is a good deal; boots, slings, shoes, gloves, holsters, belts, & hats.

    2nd edit: a hunting buddy has the Mendl boots which he likes....

    If the water is running down pant-legs and into the top of boots, no amount of gortex will keep you dry.

    This being a temperate climate, and the hunting areas being close to camp/home, wet feet builds character.

    I opt for jungle-type boots until November, for their ability to push water out when walking.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
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  12. MightyCasey

    MightyCasey Snohomish Active Member

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    I apply snow seal over a dried in hubberd's shoe grease. My boot life has increased exponentially. I do it once a week.
     
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  13. Cryobot

    Cryobot Portland Area Member

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    Been using Huberd's shoe oil for 18 years. They are a long time local company in McMinnville. Great product for the wet NW. Best advice is to put a little in your hand and work it into the boot leather. I do this once per season.
     
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  14. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    This thread reminds me of a good friend who took his new bride on a cross country ski trip honeymoon.
    They skied over seven miles up to a remote mountain cabin and they placed their heavily greased leather ski boots in the wood cook stoves warming oven to slowly dry out.
    They then completely forgot about the boots while they were enjoying each others company for the night and when they woke up the next morning, they found that somehow the boots had caught fire and all that was left were the metal eyelets.
    Needless to say, it was a real challenge for them to get down off the mountain without any ski boots.
     
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  15. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I've used many of the products mentioned but found that split grain boot leather is hard to seal so now I carry snow packs in my rig. as for oiling I just spray olive oil on the leather occasionally:rolleyes:
     
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  16. filsonhand

    filsonhand In the Silicon Forest Smooth as a Rhino 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    They make good stuff, but I believe they shipped out to Arizona a good number of years ago. I've got cans from both locations..:confused:
     
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  17. filsonhand

    filsonhand In the Silicon Forest Smooth as a Rhino 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    There certainly is a time and place for goretex boots, but I have flipper feet so I blow out the sides. So good leather boots a nice coat of obenaufs with some comfy wool socks and I'm good to go for the great outdoors.
    And I'm not talking penny loafers and sitting behind a desk all day :D:D
     
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  18. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

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    Having lived in snow country with a Snow Season of Nine Months...

    I developed my own boot wax:

    Starting with snow seal, sitting in a larger capacity can, in a double boiler, it gets melted. I then added hard Wax, in reality it was Jewelers Wax, for lost wax casting, but all that is, is color (identification) and low melting point plastic (think plastic bags...)

    I mix together, 3 parts sno-Seal, One PART plastic. Increase the water temperature to help incorporate the to items. Then pick can up with pliers & pour into the old Sno Seal can...

    Warm boots by the fire place, apply liquid mixed product with a "Chip Brush" you know, cheap throw Away Brushes made with Hog Hair.

    The boot will never leak, will keep you Snow Safe, and last forever, One coat a Year, unless they get scraped by a log or something...

    You WILL NOTICE the difference.

    Variation use Canning Wax, not Quite as good as the harder Plastic Wax, as it was none of the harder wax developed by the plastic.

    You can MELT that PLASTIC, but not indoors!!!! And the difference in temperature from melt to On Fire is very little! So if fire happens, just snuff it out with an upside down can over your melting can....

    HTH,
    philip
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
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  19. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I used to have a pair of Mukluks that I used seal oil on exclusively. Wore them out after 5 years, but they rarely leaked despite snow, slush, walking through melt pools and runoff water. When they would leak, I believe it was because of my lace job.

    Riding year round, I used beeswax on my Red Wing boots and never had a leak, but cannot find it anymore. I'd remove the laces, pre-warm the boots by the heat register, rub it on, warm them for a few hours more and rub off any excess. Too much boot grease is like too much bearing or gun grease - it attracts dirt and turns your boots into a nasty mess.

    I've been using Obenauf's for three years now without complaint.

    My problem is my feet sweat inside Gore Tex boots. Doesn't matter how waterproof the things are, I fill 'em up from the inside. I may have solved that conundrum by getting some Danners 1 size too big and wearing two pair of wool socks. Plenty of room to breathe.
     
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  20. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    Kennetrek boots or bust. Freaking saved my feet.
    Danner can kiss it.
    There crap.
    Obenaufs is good