Contributors to this thread:
Leather Boot Maintenance – Best Dressing
For you gear junkies out there… I’m sure this has come up before but what product do you recommend for leather conditioning and waterproofing on higher end GORE-TEX leather boots (i.e. Lowa, Kenetrek, Chrispi, Zamberlan, etc.)?
Snoseal Obenaufs Heavy Duty LP Montana Pitch Blend Grangers Waterproofing Wax Grangers G-Wax Nikwax Waterproofing Wax
I know each boot manufacturer sells their own product but I’m guessing it’s pretty similar to one of the above and just relabeled.
There’s a lot of conflicting information on what products are safe for GORE-TEX and what ones are not.
Saddle soap then mink oil
Let's make this more legible... Snoseal Obenaufs Heavy Duty LP Montana Pitch Blend Grangers Waterproofing Wax Grangers G-Wax Nikwax Waterproofing Wax
Okay I guess it doesn't like the separate lines... so here's they are separated by commas... sorry for the multiple posts:
Snoseal Obenaufs Heavy Duty LP, Montana Pitch Blend, Grangers Waterproofing Wax, Grangers G-Wax, Nikwax Waterproofing Wax
I used Nikwax on my Kenetreks and I’ve walked through creeks while they stayed completely dry
Grey Ghost's Link
Obenaufs for me. I have a good friend who was a senior guy at Rocky for a long time. He said SnoSeal has a petroleum base with the silicone and the petroleum breaks down Goretex. He also said SnoSeal is responsible for more "leaky" Goretex leather boots than any other cause. Not sure whether it is true, but he got paid a lot of money to be an expert on boots.
Lou, I think your "expert" was selling you a line of BS. According to the Atsko's website, Sno Seal is made from bees wax not silicone, and it does not affect Gore-Tex.
I like the Lowa system, it seems to work better than anything else I have tried including most of the above.
Grangers does not seem to affect the rand like others do. So, if you have a Rand on your boot, you need to be careful what you put on them. Obenhauf's was especially hard on my rand. I've heard that sno seal can be very hard on some rands as well, but have not tried it on a boot with a rand.
Montana Pitch blend or Foggy Bear Grease
I've used Obenhauf's on a lot of work boots and leather gloves and even some chaps. It's awesome stuff. It used to be recommended for GORE-TEX boots and even said on the can, but then that statement was removed a few years ago. I used Snoseal a lot in my younger years on all leather boots with good results but I don't think it's recommended for GORE-TEX boots??? I have heard of the rand issue and also soles that are glued on can start to separate based on the chemicals in the dressing breaking down the adhesive in the boot. I've used Nikwax a few times on GORE-TEX boots and it seems to work pretty well but doesn't last as long. I've never used a Granger boot wax product. I saw some Kenetrek Waterproofing Boot Wax last year and from the consistency and odor I would of sworn it was Obenhauf's LP.
"I used Snoseal a lot in my younger years on all leather boots with good results but I don't think it's recommended for GORE-TEX boots??"
According to the manufacturer of Sno Seal, it's perfectly fine to use on Gore-tex lined boots. See the link I provided earlier.
Matt, I refered to silicone instead of beeswax and know better. But it isn't 100% beeswax. If it was, it wouldnt be spreadable. He didn't have a dog in the preservative fight, was only going by what the "real" experts at Rocky found in their testing. I'm sure the marketing people at Sno Seal will insist it is safe for Goretex. And maybe they changed the composition. But lets not forget how the folks at Philip Morris used to insist that cigarettes were not only safe, but had many health benefits. :-)
Kenetrek wax or Grangers G wax for me. I emailed Granger and asked the difference between their paste wax and their G wax. One of their quality engineers emailed me and said the only difference between the two was that the G wax is thicker, the paste is thinner and breathes better but also wears off easier.
I have used sno-seal on all of my boots with no problems. I was told by the owner of the Boot Box to take a hair dryer an melt the sno-seal into the boots. Rubbing them as you heat them up. I have done this with no problems. Even before gore tex came around. I usually have to put 3-4 coats on, because the stuff melts right into the pores.
Obenhaufs LP for the second season on Crispi Guides and I’m very impressed. I was a Snoseal user for years but it often seemed to wear off before a mountain hunt was over.
In order for Sno Seal to negatively affect a Gore-tex lined boot it would have to fully penetrate the leather and the various backings used around the Gore-tex bootie. Yes, Sno Seal does penetrate the leather *slightly*, but I can assure it doesn't penetrate all the way thru the leather, and certainly not thru to the Gore-tex liner. To demonstrate this, just scratch a leather boot that's been treated with Sno Seal. It will be obvious that Sno Seal is primarily a surface treatment.
I have a pair of Gore-tex lined Lowa boots that I've used Sno Seal on for years, every year. They are just as waterproof as the day I bought them.
FYI, my wife and I own an ad agency. Our only clients are shoe manufactures. So I happen to know a little about this subject.
Kenetrek boot wax for me as well.
Another for Kenetrek Boot wax.
"Saddle soap then mink oil" x2. This is what I've always used and it has not let me down.
Never a problem with sno seal on my Crispis. One pair is over 6 years old with hundreds of miles on them. Always dry.
The big advantage of GORE-TEX is that is retains its watrerproofing ability while also breathability correct? I agree with Grey Ghost that the membrane itself might not be compromised by the product on the outside of the leather but I would question the breathability of the leather itself? If the big pro with GORE-TEX is that is breaths... then the leather must breath to some degree as well...??? If you use a heavy product like SnoSeal or Obenhaufs LP will it make the leather not breath very well, therefore holding more moisture inside the boot when worn? Not sure a lighter product like Nikwax or Grangers would be much different but I do know that heating up a boot and really melting in some SnoSeal or Obenhaufs LP will really clog up the leather itself which makes it waterproof. Just some of my random thoughts...
Old School - great info in your post, I was wondering that on Grangers.
If gore-tex actually worked you wouldn't need any waterproofer on the outside of the boot.
It's to protect the leather as well, from dry rot.
If you use sno seal you might as well buy a boot with a rubber exterior. secondly if you plan to ever have your boots resoled sno seal or grease based products can cause problems with the glue binding properly. If you have Gore-Tex boots you want them to breath so you should use the product recommended by the manufacturer. A trick for getting better penetration is to soak the leather in water first before you apply the product. As the water evaporates it draws the product into the pores. I wear kenetreks and only use their product to maintain the leather not to water proof. That’s the job of the gortex.
Snoseal liberally applied in the heat of the summer as many times as the Meindl Perfekt Hunters keep soaking it up...usually twice. Good stuff and very reasonably priced if you buy a quart can of it...lifetime supply. No rands or soles falling off the Meindls over many years of use.
Snoseal makes a good bowstring wax too...penetrates the string better than beeswax. I carry a very small tin (Burt’s Bees container) of Snoseal on backpack hunts and remote hunts to touch up the boot toes and bowstring as required.
Anybody have good experience between Grangers Waterproofing Wax, Grangers G-Wax, and Nikwax Waterproofing Wax as far as durability and effectiveness?
Bear lard can’t beat it. Put it in auto shotgun still kicks them out at 5 below good stuff.
I use grangers boot wax and it seems to work but does wear off. It can cause your boot/laces to squeek.