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Waterproofing for nubuck leather hiking boots?

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Waterproofing for nubuck leather hiking boots?

Postby Yury » Mon May 03, 2010 4:50 am

I just bought a pair of nubuck leather hiking boots similar to http://www.rei.com/product/804864.
There is a label "Waterproof nubuck leather".

What waterproof treatment would you recommend for these boots?
Maintaining breathability is my first requirement and they should survive stream crossing and up to several hours of hiking in snow.
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Re: Waterproofing for nubuck leather hiking boots?

Postby mconnell » Mon May 03, 2010 4:33 pm

Yury wrote:I just bought a pair of nubuck leather hiking boots similar to http://www.rei.com/product/804864.
There is a label "Waterproof nubuck leather".

What waterproof treatment would you recommend for these boots?
Maintaining breathability is my first requirement and they should survive stream crossing and up to several hours of hiking in snow.


Nothing waterproof is going to breath enough to make any difference. If you want waterproof, use SnoSeal.
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Postby MoapaPk » Mon May 03, 2010 5:04 pm

Nixwax for nubuck (applied liquid) is surprisingly good. But nothing will work on slushy, wet eastern snow for very long -- not even the venerable SnoSeal, which I used for 20 years. NixWax for nubuck works reasonably well on drier western snow.

Good gaiters will make a big difference.
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Techtron Boot Spray

Postby robertjoy » Mon May 03, 2010 5:53 pm

Many years ago I found Sno-Seal very unsatisfactory and I switched to a product called Tectron Footwear Water Repellant sold at REI. I have used this on split leather hiking boots, and nubuck covered light gortex hikers (Asolo Fugitive) with great success. I can gauge the effectiveness on my nubuck/goretex mid weight mountaineering boots (Lowa Mountain Expert) by the fact that the suede keeps shedding the wetness rather than wetting out. It is important to re-apply the day before any outing in the snow. That is not so important in the summer for occasional stream crossings.
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Re: Techtron Boot Spray

Postby mconnell » Mon May 03, 2010 7:14 pm

robertjoy wrote:Many years ago I found Sno-Seal very unsatisfactory


Why?
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Re: Techtron Boot Spray

Postby MoapaPk » Mon May 03, 2010 7:20 pm

mconnell wrote:
robertjoy wrote:Many years ago I found Sno-Seal very unsatisfactory


Why?


A guess: SnoSeal on split leathers makes the boots stretch a bit, and also closes up the pores enough to make the shoes essentially unbreathable, but not enough to be waterproof.
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Re: Techtron Boot Spray

Postby dskoon » Mon May 03, 2010 7:22 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
mconnell wrote:
robertjoy wrote:Many years ago I found Sno-Seal very unsatisfactory


Why?


A guess: SnoSeal on split leathers makes the boots stretch a bit, and also closes up the pores enough to make the shoes essentially unbreathable, but not enough to be waterproof.


That's pretty accurate, I think. I did used to snoseal my ol' Sorels, many years ago when working at the ski area. That was pretty much the only product available at the time, and the one everyone used. But, I'd be curious to see what Caribou/sorel recommend now.
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Re: Techtron Boot Spray

Postby mconnell » Mon May 03, 2010 9:50 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
mconnell wrote:
robertjoy wrote:Many years ago I found Sno-Seal very unsatisfactory


Why?


A guess: SnoSeal on split leathers makes the boots stretch a bit, and also closes up the pores enough to make the shoes essentially unbreathable, but not enough to be waterproof.


Interesting. I've never had a pair of boots treated with snoseal leak, except that the soles of my old One Sports are coming apart from the uppers so they ain't so waterproof anymore. :-(
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Re: Waterproofing for nubuck leather hiking boots?

Postby Yury » Tue May 04, 2010 5:43 am

mconnell wrote:Nothing waterproof is going to breath enough to make any difference. If you want waterproof, use SnoSeal.
In a previous century I treated my old full grain leather mountaineering boots with silicon dressing.
They had good enough breathability (my feet were comfortable) and good enough waterproofing (up to several hours in wet snow).
So I believe that quality leather can be waterproof and breathable.

P.S. Today I just checked a couple of local stores and it happened that they did not sell NikWax brand. :(
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