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Waterproofing boots

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Hi! I just got some new boots, and was wondering if there's a downside to waterproofing them. I've heard that conditioning the boots should be enough, but is there a downside to also waterproofing them? Thank you!
 

breakaway01

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What kind of waterproofing agent do you plan to use and what are the boots made of? Wax-based waterproofers will darken most leather and will flatten suede nap, for example.
 
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What kind of waterproofing agent do you plan to use and what are the boots made of? Wax-based waterproofers will darken most leather and will flatten suede nap, for example.
I think probably wax. What if it were a spray? Also, is waterproofing bad for conditioning?
 

SonnyUte

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As @breakaway01 said, the answer to this question depends on many factors. It would be helpful if you provided more information. What kind of boots and leather?
There are a variety of strategies for waterproofing boots. Impregnating the leather with waxes and oils can be very effective. I use Obenauf’s LP on roughout leather with excellent results. The results are much more durable and long lasting compared to waterproofing sprays, in my experience. As was pointed out, however, this will darken the leather considerably, and flatten the nap.
Limmer hiking boots are a smoother leather, but also provide excellent service in wet conditions when properly waterproofed.
Obviously dress boots pose a different situation.
 
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johnnymiz

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What kind of boots? Lets see a picture... then guys can give you relevant advice.
 

SonnyUte

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Sorry that I didn't give the boots before. I don't have them with me right now, so I can't take a picture. But these are the boots: https://www.chippewaboots.com/footwear/footwear/original/general-utility/1901M25.

I'm sorry for my general cluelessness. These are my first pair of leather boots.
Recommendations depend a bit on your goals. Are you trying to keep your feet dry while wearing the boots in very wet conditions? If so,
Obenauf’s LP would do a great job of waterproofing those boots, though it would likely darken the leather somewhat. If you are concerned about this, you could test an inconspicuous spot in the back of the boot first. Here is some more info:

If you re simply trying to preserve the boots in normal urban use, an alternative is a good leather conditioner. Bick4 is a StyleForum favorite. I use it on all my fine leather shoes. It will not significantly change the leather color anymore than time will. While it will not waterproof the boots like the Obenauf’s product will, it will make them a bit water resistant, keep them looking good even if exposed to a bit of water.
 

johnnymiz

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for that type of boot, i second the Obenauf's LP recommendation.
i put that on my Redwing heritage and Russell's boots.
put it on with your fingers, rub it in well then leave in a warm spot (by a heater of some kind) so it soaks in. i then wait a day before i wipe them down to get rid of any possible excess and youre good to go. do it at least once a year
 
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Recommendations depend a bit on your goals. Are you trying to keep your feet dry while wearing the boots in very wet conditions? If so,
Obenauf’s LP would do a great job of waterproofing those boots, though it would likely darken the leather somewhat. If you are concerned about this, you could test an inconspicuous spot in the back of the boot first. Here is some more info:

If you re simply trying to preserve the boots in normal urban use, an alternative is a good leather conditioner. Bick4 is a StyleForum favorite. I use it on all my fine leather shoes. It will not significantly change the leather color anymore than time will. While it will not waterproof the boots like the Obenauf’s product will, it will make them a bit water resistant, keep them looking good even if exposed to a bit of water.
I've heard elsewhere that I should just condition. Do you know if there's a downside to Obenauf's other than darkening or if there's a downside to conditioning? Would I need to condition my boots if I am using Obenauf's?
 

johnnymiz

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you can just condition if you like.
i dont put obenaufs on my alden boots. but the ones i do work in, i do.
that is why i wanted to see the boots you were asking about.
if they were fancier boots like alden indys, i wouldve said bic4, but theyre not.
if those chippewas were mine, and i was gonna work them and i wanted them to be water resistant, they would get obenaufs.
neither will make leather boots water PROOF if youre gonna be standing in water.
for that you need rubber boots.
obenaufs will make them more water resistant and condition the leather.
bic4 conditioner wont do shit other than keep the leather nice.
 

SonnyUte

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you can just condition if you like.
i dont put obenaufs on my alden boots. but the ones i do work in, i do.
that is why i wanted to see the boots you were asking about.
if they were fancier boots like alden indys, i wouldve said bic4, but theyre not.
if those chippewas were mine, and i was gonna work them and i wanted them to be water resistant, they would get obenaufs.
neither will make leather boots water PROOF if youre gonna be standing in water.
for that you need rubber boots.
obenaufs will make them more water resistant and condition the leather.
bic4 conditioner wont do shit other than keep the leather nice.
Agree with all of this. I only use Obenauf’s on my work boots. No need to use any other conditioner.
On my dressier boots, Bick4.
 
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Agree with all of this. I only use Obenauf’s on my work boots. No need to use any other conditioner.
On my dressier boots, Bick4.
you can just condition if you like.
i dont put obenaufs on my alden boots. but the ones i do work in, i do.
that is why i wanted to see the boots you were asking about.
if they were fancier boots like alden indys, i wouldve said bic4, but theyre not.
if those chippewas were mine, and i was gonna work them and i wanted them to be water resistant, they would get obenaufs.
neither will make leather boots water PROOF if youre gonna be standing in water.
for that you need rubber boots.
obenaufs will make them more water resistant and condition the leather.
bic4 conditioner wont do shit other than keep the leather nice.
How often should I apply Obenauf's?
 

johnnymiz

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you should be good once a year if you just use them casually. thats what i do.
if you really work them in wet environments, you may need to do it as often as monthly.
i read that loggers in the pacific northwest do that.. they use huberds, which is similar.
 

SonnyUte

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you should be good once a year if you just use them casually. thats what i do.
if you really work them in wet environments, you may need to do it as often as monthly.
i read that loggers in the pacific northwest do that.. they use huberds, which is similar.
Agree. Once a year is plenty unless you are working them hard. Make sure they are completely dry before treating with Obenauf’s. I use a hair dryer to warm the leather as I work the Obenauf’s into the leather. I treat once, let them sit overnight and repeat once a day later.
 

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