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Thread: Boot care, what do you do?

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    Member bgreen's Avatar
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    Arrow Boot care, what do you do?

    What do you do to take care of your leather hunting boots?

    I bought a pair of Danner Pronghorns this year and would like them to last a very long time. I've had lots of leather work boots, and have always used something like mink oil or sno-seal when the boots were new, but since I work around nasty chemicals and oil products boot care is pretty much pointless after the first few weeks.

    These have a gore-tex thisulate liner if that makes any difference.

    Also, do you think a person should avoid leather boots around salt water? If the boots did happen to be exposed to salt water, is there any specific procedure that should be used to clean them afterwards?
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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    I was just researching the conditioning of new boots. Meindl has a section on their website about the treatment of boots. They speak of specific materials and how to treat them (not specific to Meindl boots) so it might be a place to start. They get into the "why" as well.
    http://www.meindl.de/english/

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    I have used the NikiWax products with great success. Just got done putting 2 coats of the Nubuk Treatment on my new Lowa SheepHunters, the stuff has always worked well, just read the instructions on the bottle and let her rip its nothing complex.

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaCub View Post
    I have used the NikiWax products with great success. Just got done putting 2 coats of the Nubuk Treatment on my new Lowa SheepHunters, the stuff has always worked well, just read the instructions on the bottle and let her rip its nothing complex.
    Cub, I take it you like the Lowa and are going to keep them! Mine haven't arrived yet. What do you think of them? Have you made a comparison between them and the Meindl boots yet? PM me when you've got time.

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    New member mtcop71's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Nikwax

    I also use Nikwax on my Lowa GTX extremes (aka) "The Sheephunters".. I conditioned them them waterproofed them.. Worked really well. and those boots arre the bomb!!!!

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    I live on the coast and have exposed my Danners to saltwater getting in and out of beached boats and generally walking along beaches and tide lines. I always make sure to flush my boots with fresh water at the first opportunity and dry them slowly if they've become water-soaked.

    I've been very pleased with Obenauf's. They are made with beeswax and propolis. There are now petroleum products or animal fats in it.
    Their LP helps protect boots exposed to nasty chemical environments and recommended for leather firefighting boots. It's also Gore-Tex "apporoved".

    Sportsman's Warehouse is selling it now for those close enough to make the trip.

    http://www.obenaufs.com
    Last edited by stevelyn; 12-02-2006 at 08:12.
    Now what ?

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    Default Boots RARE done please...

    I have found nothing better for gortex boots. I wear leather Danner boots at work. I'm outside rain or shine, cold or hot. I often wear leather Danner boots when I'm off. And I wear leather Scarpa Liskamm GTX boots when hunting.

    Depending on use - I re-apply the Obenaufs on my Danner's a couple times a year and my Scarpa's before every hunt.

    I find if you warm the boot slightly the leather just "drinks" this stuff in... I've used direct (hot) sunlight, blow drier and even an oven on the lowest setting. Be careful with the oven you don't want to melt stuff. I usually set the oven to the lowest setting and then leave the door cracked open. I frequently reach in and feel the leather with my hand. When the leather is warm to the touch, lather the Obenaufs all over the boot. Pay special attention to seams.. Then put the boot back in. The Obenaufs liquifies and soaks in. I will apply a couple of coats depending on the boot.

    It has worked well for me... give it try.

  8. #8
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default Be cautious about "heat/treat"

    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag View Post
    ...I find if you warm the boot slightly the leather just "drinks" this stuff in... I've used direct (hot) sunlight, blow drier and even an oven on the lowest setting. Be careful with the oven you don't want to melt stuff. I usually set the oven to the lowest setting and then leave the door cracked open. I frequently reach in and feel the leather with my hand. When the leather is warm to the touch, lather the Obenaufs all over the boot. Pay special attention to seams.. Then put the boot back in. The Obenaufs liquifies and soaks in. I will apply a couple of coats depending on the boot.

    It has worked well for me... give it try.
    WinMag, you've got to be careful here. I have been a long time believer of warming/applying/warming to saturate the leather. After recent research, I've learned to be careful. By applying, via this procedure, you are really softening the leather and inadvertainly loosing the structure and strength of the boot. Kind of like applying neatsfoot oil to soften a ball glove to make it workable. This is all fine and dandy if you are not concerned with support. I follow the very same "oven method" that you do on all of my winter boots and work boots because I am not concerned with ankle support and I believe this is the best method for leather care and waterproofing. But I do not warm the leather when conditioning my hiking boots because I want that support, just apply loads of the stuff on the outside. I like paste products like SnoSeal for the "oven method" because they saturate the leather well. BE CAREFUL not to "burn/overheat" the leather because it will become brittle (like sunburned skin). I do not like paste products for cool application because it tends to clog the poors and does not allow the boot to breath. I am going to try the nikiwax products on my sheep hunters when they arrive.

    btw, don't forget about the boots in the oven...it'll smoke up the house like a Goodyear factor fire! Don't ask...

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    Default tru'nuff

    Quote Originally Posted by BucknRut View Post
    WinMag, you've got to be careful here. I have been a long time believer of warming/applying/warming to saturate the leather. After recent research, I've learned to be careful. By applying, via this procedure, you are really softening the leather and inadvertainly loosing the structure and strength of the boot. Kind of like applying neatsfoot oil to soften a ball glove to make it workable. This is all fine and dandy if you are not concerned with support. I follow the very same "oven method" that you do on all of my winter boots and work boots because I am not concerned with ankle support and I believe this is the best method for leather care and waterproofing. But I do not warm the leather when conditioning my hiking boots because I want that support, just apply loads of the stuff on the outside. I like paste products like SnoSeal for the "oven method" because they saturate the leather well. BE CAREFUL not to "burn/overheat" the leather because it will become brittle (like sunburned skin). I do not like paste products for cool application because it tends to clog the poors and does not allow the boot to breath. I am going to try the nikiwax products on my sheep hunters when they arrive.

    btw, don't forget about the boots in the oven...it'll smoke up the house like a Goodyear factor fire! Don't ask...

    true'nuff... the obenaufs is a paste and was developed for breathable leathers. As you pointed out... Some products that have petroleum, solvents or neatsfeet can weaken the leather. I have NEVER experienced this with Obenaufs.

    As for the heating method... I CAN't emphasize enought that all you want is warm leather... NOT hot, NOT kind of Hot, NO WERE near HOT... Just warm... I used the oven method but found the sun light or hair drier just as easy.

    Anyway - words well spoken... knowledge from experience yields wisdom.

  10. #10
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Talking boot-baking education!

    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag View Post
    true'nuff... the obenaufs is a paste and was developed for breathable leathers. As you pointed out... Some products that have petroleum, solvents or neatsfeet can weaken the leather. I have NEVER experienced this with Obenaufs.

    As for the heating method... I CAN't emphasize enought that all you want is warm leather... NOT hot, NOT kind of Hot, NO WERE near HOT... Just warm... I used the oven method but found the sun light or hair drier just as easy.

    Anyway - words well spoken... knowledge from experience yields wisdom.
    After that post, I just have to share the story of my lesson well learned. Here it goes if care to have listen...

    When I was in college, my brother and I hunted hard everyday. His work schedule and my class schedule worked out perfectly so that we could do either an evening hunt or a morning hunt together everyday and we took a campout trip nearly every weekend. Needless to say, our gear took a beating. I have a ton of boots, but I always go for my lucky boots. Well, did…

    During this time I lived with three girls, which was not all bad. One was a good cook, one was a good cleaner and the other was lazy as a button on a blue shirt-she made me look real good in the eyes of the other girls so I was okay with her. They all loved me except for the fact that I tracked snow and mud and (on a good day) blood into the house.

    Well, it came time to recondition the boots. It was early to mid afternoon. I laid newspapers on the floor, got my paste and rag ready and thought “what am I going to use to heat up this leather.” I used to use my sister’s hair dryer for heating up the leather in the past, so I grabbed the lazy girl’s hair dryer and began to heat the leather. Soon after I got the first coat on, the lazy girl came home. Now the only thing the lazy girl was good at was having bad days, and I just happened to be using her hair dryer on one of them. She threw a hissyfit and there I sat with a half-conditioned boot and no blow dryer…what’s a guy to do? Well, when all else fails, ask the old man. Father knows best!

    “Set the oven on the lowest temp. Place the boot on a roasting pan. Crack open the oven door. Only get it warm to the touch. Don’t overheat.” I followed his directions precisely. I remembered just how he did it with our ball gloves. One in, out to butter, back in, back out. Beautiful. One down, one to go… Phone rings and I answer, it’s my brother on the other end, “Josh, I got out of work early. Get ready I’ll be there in five minutes.” “But I’ve got boots in the oven,” I told him…

    Meanwhile the good cook girl comes home and notices an awful stench in the air. I am hustling to get ready. The lazy girl starts bickering about the blow dryer, I start defending myself, the house fills with smoke, and I have one deep-fried Danner to go!!

    I didn’t have my lucky boots on that night; the heat melted the sole, separated the stitching and burnt the leather. We didn’t get a buck that night. And I didn’t get fresh baked bread for five days! Man that was a bad week.

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