Most hunting and hiking boots are made with a waterproof and Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, but over time it will break down little by little and, therefore, will not be as good to protect your feet. This is when your feet get wetter often after several hours of walking in wet areas or swamps, and as a result your feet may get cold over time and you may even get a flu.
To avoid all these unpleasant consequences and keep your feet comfortable, warm and dry, you will have to protect your boots in a different way. In this article, you will learn how to waterproof your boots efficiently and thus prolong their useful life.
Another quick way to protect your boots from breaking the thin membrane is to simply avoid direct heat, from fireplaces and fire pits to heating systems in your home or home.
Useful tips and ways to keep your boots waterproof.
If you have leather boots, you can protect them with a common wax. It is common for many people to try different oils and other specific sealers for boots, but common wax is miraculous when it comes to keeping your boots waterproof. Here is how to apply the wax so you can be sure of having the desired result.
An excellent and very popular beeswax that you can easily find in the market is the dried beeswax Kiwi Camp. It is also very useful not only for leather, but also for fabrics and even synthetic materials. It can practically help to repel water from any possible product, from boots to tents and outdoor equipment.
Take the wax and your pair of boots and place them in a warm and pleasant place. Make sure your boots are clean of dirt or dry mud. As we said earlier, the heat will damage the boots, but for the wax to work as intended, you must warm it and the boots lightly. Let them simply remain in soft heat for some time.
The boots should be warm to the touch, but not hot, of course. Then take the wax and apply it with a handkerchief or cloth over the leather area of your boots. Be sure to avoid contact with fingers and hands (or make them waterproof). Also, do not apply the wax on the rubber part (or any other plastic part) of your boot, but only on the leather area.
When you’re done with that, put the boots in the same warm place as at the beginning. Let them stay for an hour to a night, until the wax is well absorbed and remove the excess wax. You can do this procedure once every month or two. You will definitely be able to recognize when the wax no longer protects your boots in the same way as at the beginning: your boots will look drier, slightly cracked and worn.
Optionally, you can remove the wax with a damp cloth and a special soap for the leather (which is not detergent or normal washing soap). Brush the old wax and then reapply a new dose, as explained above. Beeswax can successfully protect your boots from several months to a year.
In addition to the previous method, you can also Mix beeswax and petroleum jelly. Together and when you melt them, apply them with a brush. Use a heat gun for several seconds to allow the wax and petroleum jelly to absorb into the leather. That’s a much more efficient way to make sure your boots are waterproof for longer than with ordinary wax.
Here is an instructional YouTube video, which can be followed in any of the two previous versions.
Another great way to protect your boots so they do not get soaked is to simply use a waterproof spray. These are very quick to use and, if you do not have the additional time to follow the instructions above, you can get a waterproof sprayer and finish with it.
Then, clean the boot, use a brush to remove dirt or dry mud and then wash with running water. Dry the cover with a clean cloth, but do not allow the boots to dry completely (they should be slightly damp), then measure approximately 6 inches away from your spray and press the spray button.
Keep in mind that humidity helps the spray absorb better and easily penetrate the fibers of the leather. Spray in small amounts all over the boot, so the spray will be absorbed more evenly. When you’re done with that, you have to leave the boot rest for one night, or at least several hours.
When applying any of the above products, do not forget to pay special attention to the areas of union and union, as this makes any boot is susceptible to water leaks. You must ensure that the gaskets and seals are properly soaked with the raincoat. Spray, conditioner or wax you use.
In addition to the previous wax-based protective pastes, you can also use waterproof composite solutions. Their main objective is to protect, since they do not give special shine or polish their boots. They also tend to wear out more slowly, thus protecting for longer periods. Therefore, if you want to shine the leather, you can also apply a little special wax or leather polish.
When you apply the conditioner for the first time, you can let it work for a while; several minutes should do it. However, do not let the conditioner work for too long, as it may soften the skin too much. This is also another reason why you need to clean up any excess wax or conditioner that you apply.
A good example of waterproof compounds is Obenhauf heavy duty compound cream. This type of conditioner also protects your boots against mold and mildew, which is definitely a plus point, since leather can retain water and thus promote the buildup of mold. The conditioner also prevents the leather from cracking and keeps it fresh and long lasting. The application is not different from the previous methods: you can apply a cloth on your clean boots and then clean the excess conditioner.
Another composite conditioner of this type is the Sno-Seal Weather Protectant. It is made of beeswax. It is an excellent waterproof product without softening the leather too much and can preserve its properties even at low freezing temperatures. It allows the leather to breathe, so there is no risk of moisture accumulating inside the boots, while you are using them.
It is also important to keep in mind that, while cleaning and washing your boots, before applying any of the solutions, conditioners and previous wax, if you discover mold somewhere on the outside of the leather, you should remove it. You can mix water with vinegar (4: 1) and then use this solution to clean the mold. Use any type of brush (old or vegetable brush) to clean the mold.
However, be careful with brushing, as it has an abrasive effect and may slightly damage the outer layer of your leather boot. Whenever you move gently with the brush, you should do it several times until the mold disappears.
Also, if you want to make sure your boots are clean enough, you can also wash them in a small container and use a water hose to remove accumulated dirt and dry mud. Let the boots dry at room temperature or use a fan to speed up the process.
Remember to keep the insoles and laces removed (removed) from the boots so that their cleaning is effective. If water enters the boot, you can put some paper inside the boot, which will absorb the remaining moisture. When the paper is soaked, remove it and place a new piece. You can be sure that there will be no more moisture when the paper is dry when you remove it.
Special attention should be paid to leather such as nubuck and suede. These need more attention when it comes to making them waterproof, without damaging the soft surface. Then, first of all, you can start by removing any dirty stains, brushing the dry mud, etc. Then you can go to a well-ventilated area and use a waterproof sprayer, especially used for suede and nubuck leather, and spray up to 6 coatings
Spray lightly and from a distance of several inches so that the solution can gently cover the surface of the boot, without accumulating too much in one place. When you did this first procedure, let the boots dry a little for several minutes and repeat the same procedure. Before applying the third and last coating, let the boots remain for 20 minutes so that the spray is well soaked and then apply the final coating.
You can perform this procedure every several months, depending on the climate in which you live or the frequency of your hiking or hunting excursions. To give special care to your suede and nubuck boots, you can get a Meltonian suede and nubuck kit. It has everything you need, from the brush to remove dirt and prepare the cover for the spray, and the spray and cream itself. The brush is on the top of the can.
Optionally, you can choose to use the Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Proof spray. It is often considered one of the best products that protect your nubuck and suede leather boots. You just need to remove the dirt with a very soft brush or with a slightly damp cloth.
You can use a Nikwax cleaning gel for this; otherwise, washing with soapy water and soap is sufficient. Then take the Nikwax spray, shake it well and then press the sponge to break the seal on the lid. Make sure your boots are slightly damp and then place a generous amount of spray on the surface of the boot. Spray from an average distance of 5 to 6 inches. If there is any excess spray solution in the boot after several minutes, clean it and let it dry completely before testing your boots.
Keep in mind that suede and nubuck can change their colors and darken slightly. Usually, it happens with any product that you decide to use.
Tips and final considerations to waterproof your boots.
In general, if you tend to spend a lot of time in muddy areas and have to go through swamps or lots of water, then the best option is to use products based on grease and sprays. Do not use grease-based aerosols in suede or nubuck. This can create unpleasant stickiness in your leather boots and can take much longer to remove and reapply. In addition, grease attracts dirt more easily and in combination with nubuck and suede, this means more mud and dirt in general in your boots, which is exactly what you want.
You can also consider silicone aerosols. They create smooth surfaces, especially in ordinary leather boots. Silicone is widely used in hiking equipment and in tents, as it repels water and moisture. If you want to use silicone in your suede or nubuck boots, choose a water-based silicone spray and do not spray it too much, since silicone tends to dry the leather too quickly and can cause cracks on the surface of the boot.
The last invention in the market is the so-called acrylic copolymer. Creates an invisible and very thin net on the boot, and prevents the water from the outside from penetrating the net and entering the boot. But it’s porous enough to let moisture out of the boot.
The good thing about this spray is that it does not affect in any way the color or texture of the leather and does not make it slippery like silicone products. It is even often used to restore the color of some older leather shoes.
Finally, the best thing you can do is try these methods and previous products in your shoes and see what works for you. And a word of caution: do not use sprays or conditioners for suede / nubuck in traditional leather boots, and vice versa.
CAMPING AND Hiking