Waterproofing boots?

Discussion in 'Leather Working' started by Freyadog, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Freyadog

    Freyadog Member

    Does anyone know how to successfully waterproof a pair of leather boots?

    If something happened during the winter months dh would have a long cold, wet hike up the mountain.

    Mods if this is in the wrong place please move. thanks.
  2. md1911

    md1911 Member

    I start by washing them with saddlesoap. Get them really clean. Then I let them dry. I keep them warm using a heating pad or wood stove. Then I generously apply mink oil and rub it in hard with a old toothbrush. Then with a cotton cloth I keep rubbing until all the oil is obsorbed into the leather. It is time consuming and it is work. This method works really well. I do my boots twice a year.

    Caution this meathod will darken the leather!

  3. Freyadog

    Freyadog Member

    thank you for your response. I am gonna give it a try. The color doesnt matter when you have 25+ miles up a mountain to walk and need dry feet. thanks again.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  4. md1911

    md1911 Member

    No problem. The boots need to be warm to the touch. Also the harder you rub with the cotton cloth the more of the oil will sink in. When your done water should bead and roll right off. This methode also makes the leather softer.
  5. FatTire

    FatTire Member

    I've had good luck with Sno Seal, follow the directions, but remember, how waterproof your boots will be depends on construction.
  6. Magus

    Magus Scavenger deluxe

    Dry food grade silicone made by Misty or their belt dressing.needs 3 coats,let dry an hour between times.

    Long hunt oil works too but I doubt you wanting that on you.
  7. Immolatus

    Immolatus Just getting started. Always.

    When I was a younger lad and wore lots of combat boots (with a 5" 'hawk...) I used Crisco. Worked like a charm.
  8. Ncognito

    Ncognito Well-Known Member

    We used to use fat from the hogs we would slaughter. Worked pretty good too. I use mink oil now. I would caution against warming the boots next to a wood stove though. Excessive heat can cause the leather to harden and split.
  9. Davarm

    Davarm Texan

    Same here with the combat boots, But, we used bacon grease and it worked pretty good. You just had to keep the foot gear away from the dogs. Crisco probably would have solved that problem.
  10. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    I have a boot waterproofing story, I use dubbin (bear grease) on my leather work boots. so we had a pretty fancy electric kitchen range, and you could set the oven really low , like 110* so I set it at 110* put my boots in and 1/2 an hour or so later pulled them out 1 at a time to grease them, after, I put them back in to let the grease really soak in and maybe another coat. Forgot about them , the fancy stove had a timer, and unknown to me it was set to broil for 2:00 AM woke up to the smoke alarm and well done boots. I quickly turned off the furnace, but we opened our sons door to check on him and of course the smoke get in there.............. :gaah:
  11. LilRedHen

    LilRedHen Well-Known Member

    I've used Sno Seal, it is mostly beeswax. I've also used Mink Oil. The leather needs to be warm for either to really penetrate. I use a hairdryer.
  12. torqx

    torqx Member

    Muck boots are the only truly water proof boots if its leather or leather/rubber water will get in. I say muck but that's a brand name im talking the mid calf rubber boots. you can prolong the time it takes water to get in but it will. Mucks stop the water but you won't be hiking long range in them.
  13. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    I've been using a product called Snow-Proof for over 60yrs. I don't even know if it's still around, the can that I'm using now is one that i bought from Ames before they went out of buisiness. Just cked, they are still in business, anyone who ever worked in a cow barn knows that cow manure and pee will rot out a pr of shoes fast, this stuff will preserve them and waterproof them

  14. efbjr

    efbjr Well-Known Member

    Home-made waterproofing...

    I have made up a waterproofing compound from petroleum jelly (Vaseline, etc.) and paraffin wax. Take a can ( I used a new 1 quart paint can that I got from an auto parts store) and empty 1 pound of petroleum jelly into the can. Take 1 ounce of paraffin wax ( I used the Gulf Wax used for making jelly preserves, although wax from a candle would probably work as well) and cut it into flakes and add it to the petroleum jelly.

    Place the can into a pot and fill the pot with water until it is about 1/2 way up the side of the inner can (what you are making is a double-boiler to safely melt the wax/petroleum jelly mixture and not start a fire! :eek:, do not add water to the petroleum jelly/wax mixture.)

    Start the pot ON LOW HEAT and let the mixture melt. Carefully stir the mixture until the wax is thoroughly mixed and then shut off the heat and let the mixture cool down (usually takes a while).

    As the mixture cools, there is a reaction that causes the petroleum jelly and wax to bond together and have a consistency that is midway between the hardness of wax and the gooeyness :)confused: is that a real word? :rolleyes:) of the petroleum jelly.

    I don't know what effect this mixture will have on man-made materials, but I found it to be a very effective waterproofing for leather boots.

    Costs about $2 to make- will last a long time.
  15. Freyadog

    Freyadog Member

    All such good advice. Thank you so much. Besides leather boots we also were muckers so gonna look into all these. thanks again.
  16. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

    Hmmm...I have a pair of Chippawas that are nearly 15 years old. They are the climbing/logger boots. They have been re-soled twice. No leaks. Nothing but Sno-Seal.

    Old boot maker told me many years ago that using animal fats on leather was the worst possible thing you could do. It works for a short time, but in the long haul, it will render them back to untreated leather. He said that is why you dry leather out to start with and remove all fats, because that's what rots the leather. He said use beeswax and nothing else. I've had many boots thru the years and have done nothing but the beeswax/Sno=Seal. I get many years of service from them all.

    Seems to have worked for me. I know lots of folks that use the saddle soap/mink oil thing and are happy.

    But many ask me all the time how I get so many years out of a pair of boots.

  17. Magus

    Magus Scavenger deluxe

    Pretty much long hunt juice except it has lard in it.
  18. SlkVoom

    SlkVoom Member

    If you have to and do the leather breeches, would any of these techniques work as well? Just on the curious point.

    So far I'm liking the comments.
  19. Milord

    Milord New Member

    Many years ago in the Navy I learned a quick way to "candle wax" leather boots for both waterproofing and a spit shine. Clean them, apply shoe polish generously and heat it with a candle flame. The polish (usually mink oil based) melts into the pores and seals the boots. Finally, buff to a high gloss. Also, if you have soiled leather work gloves, you can scrub them clean, let them dry and then apply hand lotion to make them soft and water resistant.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  20. OldCootHillbilly

    OldCootHillbilly Reverend Coot

    Nothin gonna "waterproof" a leather boot. It'll be water resistant. I work construction, I use what be called bear grease, still available. Brush my boots off well, warm em infronta the electric heater an rub a good coat in. Back infronta the heater. Two more coats an there good quite a spell.