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hikr
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 3:14 pm 
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I haven't used any waterproof coating on my boots in 20 years.  I usually avoid getting my boots wet.  A few years ago I went for a hike wearing a pair of waterproof Asolo boots.  It was my first time hiking in snow which sapped more energy than I was used to so I think I just walked out about 100 yards and back.  But when I got back my socks were slightly damp.  I plan to start hiking in the snow so I want to apply some waterproof coating to my boots before I go.  What are the latest and greatest coatings people are using to waterproof their boots?
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Ski
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Obenauf's LP

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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North Cascades
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 3:36 pm 
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^  This.  Most folks here prefer Obenauf's.
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hikr
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 4:21 pm 
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I'm looking to add some waterproofing to a pair of Scarpa R-Evolution GTX boots like these:

https://www.switchbacktravel.com/reviews/scarpa-r-evolution-gtx-hiking-boot

It looks like Obenauf's website might be saying that only their "Water Shield" product should be used on suede:

https://www.obenaufs.com/leather-care-problems-and-solutions-s/153.htm

Am I understanding this correctly?  Are there any other protectants you would recommend for this type of leather?
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 4:32 pm 
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You can put the regular Obenauf's LP on suede. Your boots just won't be 'suede' anymore. And they'll be darker. The Obenauf's will saturate the leather and give it a dirty looking finish that's a little rough - won't be soft and fuzzy like suede is.

I've never used anything else for the last 30 years so I have no idea how the other stuff would work.

Ask Alex:

Ardesson's Shoe Repair
253 588 8949

or get ahold of Dave Page up in Seattle. don't know his phone number off the top of my head.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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hikr
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 4:44 pm 
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Can anyone here post pics of suede hiking boots which have been coated with Obenauf's LP?
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 4:47 pm 
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I did it to a pair of "La Sportiva" boots years ago but they got returned to the seller.

Seriously... .call Alex in the morning. 253 588 8949

Or talk to his wife Karen.

Tell him Brian told you to call. He'll know the answer to your question.

and be patient waiting for answers from anybody else here. nice weather today means anybody who had the opportunity got out of the house!

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Damian
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 7:31 pm 
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I've found that keeping feet dry requires strategies other than leather treatment.  The design and style of the boot makes a difference.  Simple gaiters help a lot and there are many types available.  Likewise, rain pants that cover the boot tops.  It's amazing how much water actually comes in the top of your boots even in light brush.  Smartwool or synthetic socks help keep the water that makes it through the leather from reaching your feet. For a while.

I know real cowboys and hikers use all kinds of products on their hats and boots.  And the treatments smell and look good.  But I've never found a product that would keep water completely out of leather/Gortex boots when slogging though slush or mud for days.  And as far as protecting leather, I've never found the leather to fail on a boot before other things eventually did.  In extreme wet hiking conditions in the Olympics or on the ocean in the winter I use boots with rubber soles which come up higher than regular boots. Good luck with this.
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hikr
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PostSun Nov 11, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Has anyone here tried Saphir Super Invulner?:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o203BygJuwE

Saphir usually makes top-quality products and the demo in the vid looks pretty legit.  I'm guessing that a single treatment would probably provide decent protection for a 2-4 hour hike on packed snow.
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InFlight
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 7:17 am 
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I've used the insulated LL Bean Boot for years for the winter season.  By moving the sole to leather attachment point higher up (where your gaiters normally cover) you eliminate almost all of the waterproof issues.

LL Bean currently has those 25% off.

I'm on my second pair of their similar Moccasin sized waterproof shoes.  Perfect for the wet season dog walks.

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...  ― Henry David Thoreau
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JonnyQuest
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 8:43 am 
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hikr wrote:
Has anyone here tried Saphir Super Invulner?:

Looking at the video, they're showing water repellency and not water proofing.  Water repellency is what causes water to bead up and run off the material.  Water proofing is what would keep water from penetrating through to the inside of the material.  Repellency treatments alone will help deflect water in the short term, but if you're stomping trough puddles they won't do much.  Most "rainwear" provides a combination of both, as without water repellency the exterior of the fabric can wet out, stay damp, reduce any "breathability" properties, and feel cold & clammy on the inside.  Even if it's still waterproof and not allowing water to pass through the material...  The challenge with water repellency is that it's usually not very durable.  This is compounded even more now that many reputable companies are being more environmentally responsible and moving away from long chain DWR chemistry to short chain DWR chemistry.

Based on the video, I'm guessing Saphir is targeted for in-town suede shoes - walking to work in the rain.  It would certainly add some amount of short term water repellency to suede boots.  Whether or not just improving the water repellency of your boots will meet your needs I can't say.  Try it, and report back.
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mike
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 9:00 am 
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SnoSeal
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 10:12 am 
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In the Amazon Basin all that seemed to work were Wellies.

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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 2:35 pm 
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hikr wrote:
A few years ago I went for a hike wearing a pair of waterproof Asolo boots. It was my first time hiking in snow which sapped more energy than I was used to so I think I just walked out about 100 yards and back. But when I got back my socks were slightly damp.

Most likely it was sweat that made your socks damp.
Asolo uses Gore Tex and GTX boots will be waterproof until the membrane is compromised somehow. Adding a coating of wax, oil, grease, or synthetic whatever, to the boot's upper/shell won't help with sweat and will inhibit any breathing that will occur.
Do a search on this forum and you can find pages and pages (and pages) of discussion about top grain leather uppers vs. Gore Tex lined boots. There are loyalists in each camp.
Regardless, soaking wet socks are not always the result of leaking through the upper/shell but can actually stem from water wicking in from above the ankle cuff and soaking down into the boots via the socks. (Don't ever tuck your pants into your gaiters if you want dry feet)
The best defense is to begin with a good seal around the top of the boot (gaiters, long pants that don't ride up in the wet brush, deep snow, etc.), then move on to boot construction and decide for yourself what keeps water out.

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Nature exists with a stark indifference to humans' situation.
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 5:38 pm 
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Schenk wrote:
Most likely it was sweat that made your socks damp.

From walking 200 yards?

hikr wrote:
A few years ago I went for a hike wearing a pair of waterproof Asolo boots. It was my first time hiking in snow which sapped more energy than I was used to so I think I just walked out about 100 yards and back. But when I got back my socks were slightly damp.

Not enough info. What kind of "waterproof" boots? Goretex? How old were the boots, i.e., how many days had you hiked in them? Did you wear gaiters? Were the socks damp on the outside of the sock or the inside of the sock?

The only way to make leather hiking boots truly waterproof in snow is glued-on supergaiters like these:
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