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Thread: Has Nubuck replaced Full Grain Leather

  1. #1
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    Default Has Nubuck replaced Full Grain Leather

    In my quest (obsessive as it may be) for the best pair of alpine hunting boots for blacktail and mule deer, sheep, and goats, I am having a difficult time finding boots that are built for rough and tumble use, that are not nubuck. My understanding of the difference between nubuck and full grain is that nubuck is a cheaper, easier break-in product where the take several layers of the tanned leather and treat it for durability and stiffness. The thickness also helps. Full grain leather is the top grain and the full thickness, which lends itself to durability and, to a certain degree, water resistance. Then there is the rough-out leather that is used in some of the LaSportiva and Scarpa boots (even Asolo), to protect the top layer of leather, which is on the inside of the boot (stitching the leather on, kind of inside out).

    On one of the www.huntingbc.ca forum threads about boots, there has been some seriously dissatisfied hunters that bought premium Handmade in Germany boots (not Lowa), and found they are not holding up to their prior pairs of the same boot, for the same terrain. So in my quest, I have seen the large number of BC hunters and now you Alaskan hunters using (of all things) plastic mountaineering boots, but also the heavy-duty Lowa boots.The Lowa boots say right on their website they use nubuck leather. I have also seen my hunting buddy's boots last through some pretty steep and tough stuff (Meindl Island Pro GTX) with the leather lasting fairly well. This is with regular waxing.

    So the short and simple question is, what sort of durability do you guys (and girls?) get out of $400 nubuck boots? Would I be better off going with a rough out leather and waxing the fuzz off it?

  2. #2
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    good point to bring up. i have owned both. my wife's Asolo nubuck boots have been kicking around for close to a decade without problems and she never even treats them! i treated my lowa sheephunters with nikwax aqueous wax and that really helps add a layer of protection to the leather. i do that solely for leather treatment and longevity, not to add "waterproofness" to the boot. i have had nubuck shoes that crack after getting wet, dry, wet, dry and so on, but they were never treated. i do tend to think that nubuck perhaps requires a little extra care with leather treatments etc, compared to full grain leather boots i have owned.

    any other opinions out there?

  3. #3

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    Tarp, Take a peek at Schnees website. Schnees Sheephunters, I have these boots and I believe mine are full gain leather uppers. Their website also states"Full Grain leather uppers". For what it's worth, I love these boots!. Ken
    I also have Lowa Banff's and those are nubuck leather,

  4. #4
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    the schnees lowa's are full grain leather vs the regular Lowa's which are nubuck.

  5. #5
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    Default Schnee's

    Good to know about the Schnee's. I have heard a lot of feedback from other forums as well, and the Lowa Sheep Hunters seem to have swayed popular opinion away from Meindl or other general mountaineering boots. Now to take the plunge and do it the mailorder way...

  6. #6
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    yeah, mailorder is what i did. my foot is around a 9.5 and is wide. i ordered the 10W and one boot is just a wee bit too narrow, but i am working on stretching it out with a boot stretcher. (will see if that works with the rubber rand around it). check schnee's website. if they don't have your size, i think they were getting more in later this month? i ordered mine online from bakers shoes (?) which i found online, they are located in oregon. good service.

    so go with a 1/2 size larger, and if you are borderline wide, i would go with the wide.

    good luck

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