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Author Topic: Boots/Leather/Gore-Tex/Lanolin/Silicone/Oil/Water&Snowproofing.  (Read 8962 times)
tgp
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« on: April 12, 2011, 05:48:32 PM »

Thought I'd share my experiences. I have 2 pair of work boots, summer and winter.
Light and heavy.  Brands?  Depends what's on the shelf.  Look for real leather and
Vibram soles. Personal preference.  Red Wing makes good stuff, but it comes dear.
Go for sewn-on soles instead of glued if you can.

Gore-Tex breathes, leather doesn't. Much.

Waterproofing?  Mink oil or neatsfoot oil work well.  Wear the boots dry for
a couple of days, oil the stitching and seams lightly, wear another day,
oil the rest, wear 2 or 3 more days, clean frequently, re-oil every 6-8 weeks or so.

Words of caution: if your soles are glued on rather than sewn, by careful with pure
"brush-on" silicone or some brands of mink oil which contain a little bit of silicone.
Silicone will dissolve and eat glue. Seen it happen. Been there.  Walked a couple of
miles back to camp once in my bare feet. Uphill. Both ways. :-D No fun. BTDTGTTS!

For snowproofing, there's a wonderful beeswax product in a blue and white can
called "Sno-Seal".  It's also called "Imper" if the can happens to be facing the
other way on the shelf.  Tedious to apply, but works its ass off.  One or two
applications a winter will keep your toesies warm and dry.

I was just fourteen years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Cheney shot my
father down and robbed him of his life and his horse and two California gold pieces
that he carried in his trouser band.

Just seeing if you were paying attention.

Wayne/Campbell/Darby: Good.
Bridges/Damon/Steinfeld: Better.
The book by Charles Portis, 1968: Best!

Anyway, back to boots. Light applications of whatever you choose, about once a month.

Caveat: I've heard that libraries stopped using neatsfoot when it was found that
it cracked leather book covers after 50-60 years or so.  If your boots (and you) last
that long, God Bless Ya!

Caveat 2: some places will tell you to heat up your boots before applying waterproofing.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. You'll overly dry the leather, and if there are any synthetics
there, they will crack and disintegrate over time.

Caveat 3: Don't apply anything to Gore-Tex, it's already waterproof.  If you waterproof
it your feet will sweat like Aunt Jenkins' decolletage when cousin Jasper comes to visit.

Socks?  2 pair. Cotton dress socks inside and wool or wool/cotton hiking
socks on the outside.  Draws out moisture like a madman and prevents friction blisters.

Caveat 4: If you're averse to applying any of these products to your new expensive
boots you probably ought to ask your valet or nanny what to do and maybe call Dr. Phil for a
second opinion.  Cheesy Cheesy

Trust me.

Edit: Caveat 5: If you want to preserve the suede finish on your new boots, don't apply
anything to them.  Just buy a new pair if they get wet and Carlos won't let you in to Spago's anymore.



« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 06:04:48 PM by tgp » Logged

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sflscooper
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« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2011, 03:42:35 AM »

Great info tgp.  Especially on the silicone eating the glue off the sole.

I trusted a shoe guy here.  My $180 Vasque boots with Vibram soles and Goretex were starting to dry out.  Just the leather on the uppers was getting a little light.  They were still dry as a bone inside and super comfy.  I asked him what to treat them with.  He sold me a silicon waterproof spray.  The soles are now peeling away from the upper.

I bought some mink oil from Shepplers and gave them 2 good coats.  The first week they were great.  Water beaded off like a hand wax job on a '72 Corvette hood.  Now they are sponges.  Especially where the sole is peeling away.  I can only wear them when the ground is totally dry.   Huh   

It is very hard for me to find boots because I need a 13 EEEE.  Good luck finding something waterproof, sturdy and comfortable that size.  Right now I am wearing a Dunham Cloud.  Dunham is an offshoot of Newbalance.  They make a great true to width boot.  It is 1" shorter than I'd like.  (shut up, wise guy!)  But so far totally waterproof.  (not Goretex)  I would like a more firm sole, but I am about out of options.  The sole is glued, not stitched, so re-soling will be 'spensive. I may try and find someone who can put a Vibram on them when the time comes.   I'm prolly better off just buying a new pair when I need them.

http://www.amazon.com/Dunham-Mens-MCR6630G-Cloud-Boot/dp/B002JVWOO8
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toober
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« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2011, 01:30:40 PM »

Just throwing out a suggestion I had come across.... I have not tried these. Cement boots at your local home improvement or hardware stores. They run around $20, chemical resistant, and have deep grooved soles. The link is to size 12, but maybe they could order a larger pair if you ask them.

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/building-materials/concrete-cement-masonry/pvc-boots-black-12-79523.html
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sflscooper
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« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 03:57:27 AM »

They look waterproof for sure.  But I don't think they will be nearly as comfortable or supportive as I need.  Also if they don't have specific widths, they may not work for me.  I have a Morton's Neuroma in one foot.  If the bones get squeezed from a tight shoe, the swelling and pain are too much. 

No laces means a slip-on fit.  That's no good for walking in uneven yards with dips and holes. 

Thanks for the link, though.
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tgp
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« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 05:47:03 AM »

I can't imagine how sore my dogs would be after walking 20 or 30 yards in those puppies.   Shocked
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The Doo House
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« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 10:05:47 AM »

This is what I wear in the rain and snow of Wyoming and my feet have never got wet, use a mink oil on any leather and it should protect your feet from getting wet (sorry I sold shoes for years). The bottom of these are overall easy to clean also if you get a little bit on you. The second best part is little dogs can't bite at my ankles neither.  Grin

http://www.shopshoebiz.com/product.asp?name=Wellington---Tan&pfid=SBZ00448
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