Hunting Boot Care / Tips
I just got done putting a fresh coat of Sno Seal on my hunting boots. While doing so I was thinking how well they've held up for me. For Cabelas leather boots, I'm impressed actually. I purchased them in 2003 for elk hunting and they've been about the only boot I've worn since for hunting and quite a few outdoor adventures. However, I've up until now I've mostly hunted in dry areas and these are not the boots I'd want in wet areas or in the rain. I'm considering a pair of Kenetrek pac boots (wish I could find a pair locally to try on).
I was wondering what everyone up here uses to care for their leather boots? Any tips that you've found to work well over the years? Leather care products? Prefered drying methods?
I've always used gore-tex lined boots so sno seal was out for me. I used pretty much all the goretex safe coatings and all seem to work well. I do use sno seal on the threads and cork portions of my irish setter soles tho; I dont know if thats necessary.
As for drying, I always try to take out the insoles and I also use the boot dryers (white, stand-up type) quite a bit.
I've been using Obenauf's for a couple years now and I'm very impressed with their products. I use the leather oil on knife sheaths, leather belts and other leather items.
I use both the oil and the heavy duty LP on my boots.
here's what I do...
Good point ripnlip... putting the wrong stuff on goretex will defeat the purpose.
I gently warm the boot with either a hair dryer or if you dryer is so equiped on a drying rack... Just warm enough it feels warm.
Wipe on Obenauf's, work it in, warm the boot another 5 minutes...
I've been doing that for years with my goretex lined boots. So far, no failures and no problems.
I do this before every spring season and again before every fall... (that is if I have a hunt planned)
Everything I have tried has not worked. I've tried nikwax, I've tried obenaufs and nothing stays on and my boots eventually get wet on the inside. I don't see how people can put it on once at the beginning of the season and not worry about it, my boots last about two hikes and boom they're leaking again and the leather is dried out.
I just set the boots on their side and let them air dry, making sure to flip them and remove the insoles.
I use the following...
For my Kenetrek pacs I use Montana Pitch Blend for the leather uppers.
For my Kenetrek Hardscrabbles and Mountain Extremes I use Nikwax paste.
For my White's Smoke Jumpers I use Obenauf's LP.
Sno-Seal is a great waterproofer, but it's actually a poor leather protector because it seals out moisture so well that it can cause the leather to dry out and crack over time. The above work well at keeping out moisture, but they also contain leather conditioners that help prolong the life of the boots.
Bought a couple of pair of Cabela's leather boots lined with "gortex" (which is a copyright name but lots of products on the market that are exactly the same) a few years back and Cabelas included a can of Sno Seal with the boots. We been using it once a year on the boots and they are fine. I don't see how the Sno Seal could penetrate more than a few hundredths of an inch into the leather.
Been using it on all my leather boots and holsters since the early 70's and highly recommend it.
What boots are you using? Cuz as you know not all boots are made equally.
Originally Posted by hotdiggity
sno seal + gore tex
I may be misunderstanding the above quote (if so, I apologize) but:
Originally Posted by Snowwolfe
I dont think that the problem with the sno-seal is plugging the actual gore-tex, but it clogs the pores of the leather and that prevents the gore-tex underneath from breathing, thus defeating the purpose of gore-tex. Most people dont have a problem with using snoseal on their leather/goretex boots unless their feet sweat alot.
I have been told by several boot dealers to avoid sno seal on leather with goretex underneath.
Originally Posted by AlaskaCub
Lowa Sheephunters, Chaco Beckwiths and Vasque Breeze. None have stayed waterproof more than a couple hikes.
It also doesn't help that I don't avoid water and plow through whatever gets in my way, and no it's not from overtopping.
I do the same thing you do and have had no problem keeping dry feet using Lowas and Meindls and treating em with Nikiwax. Unless of course when I fall in the water and they fill up with water!...grin
That's probably a good point to highlight. When it comes to drying a leather boot, the leather will last longer if you slowly (gently) dry them.
Originally Posted by WinMag
I use mink oil paste in the tin and it works well for me. A buddy swears by sno seal, but I'll stick with what's worked for me so far.
I'd bet if you went to Danner's, or any of the other large boot company's web page, you'd find a lot of information on care for their product.
I just bought a pair for hiking with my old cumfy boots. Now I don't care if my boots leek, my feet stay dry. Kinda spendy, but I like the fact my feet stayed dry on a recent hike, even in the salt.
Just thought I'd share.
I've got a pair from REI (REI brand) about 5 years ago, all leather with Gortex lining and Vibram soles. I rub Nikwax on them two or three times a year and wear them often. They are still pretty close to new. I'm quite surprised as I didn't think they would hold up this long. I'm about ready to replace the inserts though.