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Shoes for snow and salt

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I made a thread about this recently, but didn't really get the answers to all my questions, didn't want to resurrect that one because it went off topic.

 

I'm completely ignorant on shoe material and my question is whether there is any material that is of suede-like texture (anything that isn't just plain leather) that casual shoes are typically made of and that can withstand snow and salt without having to be treated with various sprays?

 

EDIT: Sorry, I was unclear in the original post, I'm curious as to whether the shoes will get damaged if untreated, not whether your feet will get wet.


Edited by Alfred001 - 10/1/12 at 2:09pm
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

I was told today by a lady at a store that even shoes made of standard leather need to be treated with the spray/cream otherwise they soak up water which supposedly damages them.

 

I can't believe that this is true.

 

Anyway, someone please help me out with my original question.

post #3 of 5

The short answer is no.

 

While it's lightly water-resistant, leather is skin, and it's porous, and it will soak up oil/water/salt etc. All leather shoes, if worn in harsh winter environments, should be treated. Most folks on this forum use something like Obenhauf's Leather Preservative, which is a beeswax-based compound developed for backcountry firefighters. It works great (I used to live in Chicago, and treated my boots with it every winter). Some modern leather boots have Gore-Tex liners that make them more waterproof without the need for treatment, but salt will still stain and dry out the leather.

 

Suede is trickier, as almost anything worth using will alter the texture/color and remove the nap, which is the "suede-y-ness" part of suede.

post #4 of 5
Leather needs to be treated somehow if you want it to hold up to slush and salt. The wax from Drew's works great for me. You could probably use it on rough out but smooth leather is better for winter wear (easier to clean too). http://drewsboots.com/product/drews-oregon-trail-boot-wax
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I was unclear in the original post, I'm curious as to whether the shoes will get damaged if untreated, not whether your feet will get wet.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DixonJ View Post

The short answer is no.

 

While it's lightly water-resistant, leather is skin, and it's porous, and it will soak up oil/water/salt etc. All leather shoes, if worn in harsh winter environments, should be treated. Most folks on this forum use something like Obenhauf's Leather Preservative, which is a beeswax-based compound developed for backcountry firefighters. It works great (I used to live in Chicago, and treated my boots with it every winter). Some modern leather boots have Gore-Tex liners that make them more waterproof without the need for treatment, but salt will still stain and dry out the leather.

 

Suede is trickier, as almost anything worth using will alter the texture/color and remove the nap, which is the "suede-y-ness" part of suede.

 

When suede soaks up the water does it get damaged or does it just dry out and is back to normal?


You say that salt stains and dries out the leather, can these stains be brushed out of suede? Would a suede shoe affected by salt and dried out look unwearable (I've never seen what happens)?

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