Boot Waterproofing Question.

1:38 a.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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A large number of years ago, Backpacker Magazine did a test of a bunch of boot waterproofings. There was one that was incomparably better than any of the others. Most of the others got 15,000 to 35,000 steps before they started to leak. The one that was ranked the best got something like 100,000 steps before leaking. Or something like that. I could be off by a huge number, but the difference between the best and the rest was extraordinary. So... Does anyone have a 10 year collection of Backpacker they feel like going through? ; ) Or a REALLY good memory. Thanx much!

8:46 a.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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I can't remember that particular issue, Their gear guide is the march issue. I personally take their advise with a grain of salt, I feel like they may be influenced by market trends rather than strictly performance. They also seem to play to their advertisers a bit.
Best thing to do is get in touch with your boot manufacturer and ask what they recommend. All leather is not the same.
Anyhow I will dig through my stack, maybe I have that issue.

12:17 p.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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You brought this up in another thread just recently - http://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-repair/topics/45738.html

As trouthunter said, and as I said in the other thread, follow the boot manufacturer's recommendations. And as I also said over there, those numbers seem way too small - 100,000 steps is less than 100 miles (original definition of the mile was the "millia", 1000 steps by the Roman Legions). That would have thru-hikers reconditioning their boots every couple of days for the poorer products.

The comment in Backpacking.com http://www.backcountry.com/store/newsletter/a205/When-to-waterproof-boots.html is that good products last about a season, which means several hundred miles of hiking. I prefer Biwell, which is a bees-wax based product, which the BP guru recommends. Unfortunately, it has gotten hard to get ahold of in the last few years. Nikwax, which the BP guru recommends, seems to work fairly well. That's what I treated my leather boots with for Kilimanjaro last December. That involved a fair amount of hiking through the aptly named rainforests and a fair amount of snow hiking after I got back (Kili was about 30 miles of hiking, and there was around 35-40 miles of snow hiking this winter after my return, a bit of a short season for me, though it doesn't include the hiking in the Dolomites in lots of rain in the fall).

3:55 p.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanx all! Couldn't remember if I had posted that question before... D'oh! And I'm obviously totally unsure about the numbers. Coulda' been 100,000 to 300,000. I dunno. As for Backpackers' "slant" on things... Some tests can't be flubbed up too much. Such as buying 10 pairs of the same boot, waterproofing using the reccomendations on the product, and walking in water till they leak. Thanx again! TJ

5:14 p.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill S.
The Dolomites are on my short list for the period in my life when I am freer to travel. My boots where made there also.
What was your overall impression?

TJ, I'm digging through my stack friend.

8:55 p.m. on July 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Trouthunter.
Thank youuuuuuuu.
TJ

12:10 a.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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trouthunter -
The Dolomites are fantastic. They are not what we consider wilderness here in the US, but more like "Frontcountry". Lots of huts, mountain hotels, and hostels. You really don't need to camp. If you want, I can give you a recommendation of a place that rents apartments (owned by friends of one of my son's colleagues) in a small village called Nova Levante, about 20 km from Bolzano (home of the Iceman).

You can choose your activities from day hikes, hut to hut week-long hikes, via ferratas, serious climbs, etc. One hike we did near Nova Levante was the Agatha Christy Weg ("Way" or "Path") through the Labyrinth. The conclusion of her story, The Big Four, took place in the Labyrinth, and she stayed in a big hotel on the pass above Nova Levante on a regular basis.

If you are an experienced mountain hiker (which you are), the via ferrata are a great way to go. These were largely built by the Italians and Austrians during WWI, as they were fighting over the Tyrol (the Italians were awarded the area, but many people there speak German, and there are villages that speak Ladino - luckily, there are plenty of people around who speak English, or if you know Spanish, it's close enough to Italian to get along, except for a few very critical words!). The VFs are basically hiking paths with cables and ladders in critical parts. For the hard parts, you wear a regular climbing harness along with a special via ferrata attachment device that acts as a load limiter in case you fall, and has two branches so you can move the clip around the attachment points or rung to rung of the ladder, staying always attached. The Austrians and Italians dug fortifications into the rocks (dolomite is a form of limestone, so fairly soft), including bunkrooms, and artillery and machine gun emplacements. A lot of these are preserved as historical monuments, complete with signs explaining the particular location. One of the VFs I wanted to do (but got stormed off) is known locally as the "Cliffhanger Route", since part of the movie was filmed there (remember the falling helicopter?)

And of course, you are close enough to Venice, Florence, and others of the "arts and antiquities" places to definitely spend a few days doing that as well. My son and I were overwhelmed in prowling through Florence (Firenze) and discovering where ALL the famous renaissance figures hung out (many are buried in one of the churches - Galileo, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Donatello, Dante, and a few dozen more of the famous names). Just astounding to see so much of our Western Heritage in a single small town - oh, yeah, ya gotta go to the Science Museum and see Galileo's mummified middle finger! As well as some of his original telescopes with which he discovered the craters on the Moon, the moons of Jupiter, and so much more.

And in the Dolomites, go to Bolzano to the Ice Man museum and Messner's mountain museum (if you are lucky, like we were, you might even get to meet Reinhold himself). Cortina is another interesting Dolomite town.

Did I say that I highly recommend visiting the Dolomites?

Oh, yeah, Italy is not cheap, especially with the Euro being so much higher than the dollar these days. Our in-town hotels were in the 150 euro range per night, which is something over $200 these days. But by eating in restaurants frequented by the locals, we kept the meals down to something close to eating out here in the SFBay Area. For hikes, you can get bread, cheese, local sausages, fresh fruit, and such and keep those costs down pretty much.

8:50 a.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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Sounds Fantastic as I am very interested in every aspect of what you described. I love mountainous areas, museums, history, art (real art). I was aware it would not be cheap and I have read some, but talking with someone who has visited an area is the way I prefer to get good info.
Yes, I would be interested in an apartment in Nova Levante, I know where some of this stuff is on the map, but that is about all. I am trying to get my kids educated so they can get good jobs and pay me back so I can travel. HA-HA
So it may be five years before I can do any real traveling.
Sounds like a place where my wife would have a great time too, as she is not much of a hiker, short ones sometimes.
Thanks much!

8:54 a.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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TJ, Sorry friend I must not have that issue. But Sno-seal, Aqua-seal, and Nik-wax seem to be good products, depending on the type leather you have.

4:34 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I used Sno-Seal on a pair of full leather Asolo boots and it worked fine. One way to apply it is to smear it on with a rag, then use a hair dryer to melt it into the leather. It may darken the leather, so be aware of that. My boots went through a lot of water, so I redid them at some point.

New boots have a lot of synthetics on them, so no idea what works with them, plus I think if you apply Sno-Seal or something similar to a boot with a Goretex lining, you have effectively sealed the boot, so you may as well have saved the money and got something without it.

6:32 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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I live in the wettest region of North America and have used various products to waterproof boots for working in the bush all year long. Snoseal is garbage, just crap, Biwell is fairly decent, Montana Pitch Blend is better and Obenauf's is about as good as it gets, unless you soak a FGL boot in melted beeswax and use a heat gun to do so, this is a touchy process and not the best idea for most, IMHO.

I think that Obenauf's is what Backpacker Mag. may have recomended and it is about all I will use now on any boots needing treatment. After a couple pairs, I detest Gore-Tex in boots and consider it a marketing gimmick. FGL boots properly treated with Obenauf's work fairly well, but, NO leather boot is waterproof and sometimes pacboots or NEOS overboots are the best option.

7:33 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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kutenay,
I have not tried Obenauf's, but I will give it a try as it is time for me to seal my new Alico's. I have been using Aquaseal, mostly because they also make seam seal, stitch seal, and map seal. I just order it all at one time, and pay for shipping only once. Haven't tried the gammit of products really, but I will take your word for it.
I do not like gore-tex either, I like old school, one piece FGL with norwegian welt. They are getting hard to find, but they are hard to beat. IMO

8:28 p.m. on July 16, 2008 (EDT)
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Thank you everyone. I'll give the Obenauf's a shot. Thanx again!

6:41 p.m. on July 19, 2008 (EDT)
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Kutenay, Which product where you referring to?
They have several for boots.

I like to get my conditioner and sealer from the same place.
Are you using one of their combo packs?

2:27 p.m. on July 22, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm beginning to think different leathers need different treatment. I mean, some lightweight leather boots don't seem to hold proofing or they are just too soft a leather. I thought I had the hang of it all but I've just been treating some good leather boots to find that they are cracking even though I was taking care of them. It may be the storage (another factor to figure out!).

Nikwax used to make a tin of liquid wax and I remember there being a warning about its ability to oversoften leather and loosen stitching. They seem to have discontinued that a while ago. I use the Scarpa HS12 (expensive) boot cream when I find my boots have gotten too dry; it is absorbed well and has the fantastic smell of almond oil or something. Normally nikwax for full tanned leather, and on the more mundane suede and *tex boots I just use the nikwax brush-on-wet stuff, aqueous wax etc. In fact, I don't even bother proofing the *tex three season cloth boots most of the time as there is nothing enjoyable about handling those things ;-) Aqueous wax (is that silicone suspension in water?) is recommended for reversed leather (like a tough suede?)as well but I think that is just because normal wax would make them look shiny etc.

I was looking at a wonderful pair of boots made in Italy a couple of weeks ago and it brought back memories of what craftsmanship used to mean in connection to mountain gear. I hope traditional boots don't disappear with the membrane obsession and the lightweight craze.

3:37 p.m. on July 22, 2008 (EDT)
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Here is my understanding, but it is incomplete.

Different leathers require different products. Leather for boot uppers might be "chrome (mineral) tanned" or "vegetable (oak) tanned".

Chrome tanned leather resists water, is usually used for uppers, and should not be oiled (e.g., Mink Oil), soaped (e.g., Saddle Soap), or the pores blocked with silicone compounds.

Vegetable tanned leather is used for some boot uppers, these are usually not our rigid single-piece leather hiking boots, and should be treated with oils to prevent drying and cracking.

Obenauf claims to provide the wax coating necessary for breathability, while allowing an oil to slowly leach into the leather. They suggest that both types of leather benefit from their product. This doesn't make sense but reeks of simple hype. SnoSeal, which has never failed me yet, has no silicones and provides a good wax coating.

2:30 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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overmywaders, it is a little more complex than that. There are more ways of tanning leather than just the 2 you listed, and after tanning, a number of ways of treating the leather. The best method for a given pair of boots is the one prescribed by the boot manufacturer. Unfortunately, most of the boots found in places like REI and EMS do not have any information with the boots. The best quality boots from the top manufacturers do come with care instructions (you get what you pay for).

6:26 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill,
I agree that there are other methods of tanning, but chrome tanning produces 90% of the leather used in the US and vegetable tanning is used for a lot of sole leather, so I thought it safe to introduce these two methods.
And, treatment after tanning differs. I would not buy hiking boots with split-grain, nor would I buy boots with an artificial nap like Nubuck. [But I assume most of the readers are wise to such as Nubuck.]
Yes, you get what you pay for, too true. And one size does not fit all -- just as one waterproofing does not work on all leathers.
It was said that "All creatures are given just enough brains to tan their hides." I wonder if this is also true of boot manufacturers? :)

6:42 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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90% of the boots made in the US are inferior to European boots, IMO
Mine are Oil tanned, made in Italy, you are right about Nubuck.

7:14 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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If, you attempt to "waterproof" a boot with OIL, you will soften and then stretch the leather to the point where the boot will not give you the support you require.

For any type of leather, Obenauf's LP WILL work and probably BETTER than almost any other type of proofing. It works best on FGL, but, quite well on Nubuck and many good boots are now made from Nubuck, for economic reasons.

I have never seen Snoseal standup to long hikes in deep, wwet snow and it usually means wet boots/feet if you use it under such circumstances.

For really wet conditions, ANY leather boot is a compromise and the other options are preferable.

7:58 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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kutenay,

I welcome your opinion. Neither of us has produced evidence (beyond experiential) based upon sound science; so we can only offer opinion.

You said: "If, you attempt to "waterproof" a boot with OIL, you will soften and then stretch the leather to the point where the boot will not give you the support you require."

That would be true of chrome-tanned leather, but vegetable-tanned leather likes oils. And some leathers are treated with oils. I had workboots with soft, flexible, comfortable uppers that cried out for mink oil. See http://www.schnees.com/catalog/powder-horn-outfitters/hunting-boots/cat_boot-and-shoe-care.html for different oil-based boot care products -- including Obenauf's.

My hiking boots are chrome-tanned, both those made in Italy and those in the US. This gives the thick, one-piece, leather upper rigidity. The manufacturer (Pivetta) advised (thirty years ago) a wax (e.g., SnoSeal) -- oils would soften the leather, as you mentioned.

You said: "and many good boots are now made from Nubuck, for economic reasons."

I disagree. The reasons are simply that the manufacturers CAN convince a gullible public that scratching the previously waterproof leather in order to hide imperfections and blend cheap leathers is a *good thing*. Good boots are not made from Nubuck -- *adequate* boots may be, but any craftsman worthy of the name is not going to use Nubuck. If I want good leather boots I expect them to be made of good leather; not some scraps that are scraped.

You said: "I have never seen Snoseal standup to long hikes in deep, wwet snow and it usually means wet boots/feet if you use it under such circumstances."

I imagine there are many things you have never seen -- Julia Robert's boudoir and the dark side of the moon come to mind -- but we both believe they exist; based upon the evidence of others. (Julia also looks well-rested.) I have feet -- two in fact -- that experienced the long-term positive effects of SnoSeal use in deep, wet snow. Sometimes I even put the SnoSeal on my boots.

You said: "For really wet conditions, ANY leather boot is a compromise and the other options are preferable."

All materials currently used in boots represent a compromise. I often used knee-high rubber pacs with my snowshoes -- then my feet were dry from outside influences, but my feet were wet from condensation. I have found that properly-treated leather performs as well in cold wet conditions as any other affordable option. ["Affordable" because I can think of ways to create waterproof double-boots with warm, dry air circulated around the feet. The total weight would be less that thirty pounds and I could bring them to market for less than $7000.00 per pair. $250,000.00 per pair for US government buyers.]

9:08 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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One minor point, to correct your expert commentary and it is that the uppers or vamp of Schnee pacs are made of RUBBER.

The shafts are leather, however, this has little to do with support and they also will sag badly if oiled. Obenauf's LP, a wax-based product works very well on them and Montana Pitch Blend is good, as well. My Schnee's were purchased in 1991 and are still perfect with this type of treatment.

Among my several pairs of mountain boots are the ones I am currently wearing, these are Scarpa Concordias built from Nubuck leather. I have found these to be VERY good boots in the seven years I have owned them, since I retired from my position as bootfitter at a major Canadian mountain gear store. I particularly enjoy these boots in steep country as they are lighter than my custom, FGL Van Gorkums, my FGL Kastingers, Meindls and give far more support than the custom High Country Hunters from Russell that ARE FGL and leak like hell.

Obenaufs LP is NOT an oil-based compound, it is formulated from beeswax and "propolis"often called "bee glue", which are plant resins that bees use in building hives; the reddish sap from certain deciduous trees, i.e., Cottonwoods, is one source. The oils you refer to are NOT for boots, but, are used on horse tack and so forth as OIL softens boots and THAT ain't good.

But, why not talk to Charlie Van Gorkum or Randy Merrell about using oil on leather boots and get the opinion of a master custom boot maker.

10:53 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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kutenay,

You said:"One minor point, to correct your expert commentary and it is that the uppers or vamp of Schnee pacs are made of RUBBER."

I never mentioned Schnee pacs, mine are Sorel and made entirely of rubber. I don't know what you are referring to.??

You said:"...I am currently wearing, these are Scarpa Concordias built from Nubuck leather. I have found these to be VERY good boots in the seven years I have owned them,..."

I'm glad you like them. And the Scarpa marketing team is glad they caught another one : ) Do you think a good boot craftsman would use inferior leather for uppers?

You said:"Obenaufs LP is NOT an oil-based compound, it is formulated from beeswax and what is often called "bee glue",..."

Well, please look more closely at their specs as on the Schnee site:
"Obenauf's blend of beeswax and Propolis Suspension Formula™* protects leather against caustic fire retardant chemicals, heat, water, and abrasion. Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP natural OILS gradually release into the fibers as a long-term lubricant. Heat and continued flexing cause the oils to release faster allowing the leather to get OILS where it needs it most." [emphasis mine]

But if you don't believe me that Obenauf's contains oils -- read the Obenauf site where it says "Obenauf's is a natural miracle protectant for leather and contains no harmful chemicals that can damage your leather. Natural oils are suspended in a Beeswax/Propolis formula. In the leather, these oils gradually seep out of the Beeswax/Propolis as a time release lubrication that restores fibers. If exposed to heat or constant flexing, the oils are released faster; so instead of getting parched, your leather gets oiled when and where it needs it most." -- http://www.obenaufs.com/lp.php?osCsid=f7d470e9b62d293eecee7ef4af5e1a00


You said:"The oils you refer to are NOT for boots, but, are used on horse tack and so forth as OIL softens boots and THAT ain't good."

The oils I referred to were on the Schnee site. Look again:

"MONTANA PITCH Blend Dressing 4oz
Montana Pitch Blend is an all-natural BOOT dressing made with a unique blend of pine pitch, mink oil, and beeswax to offer great conditioning and waterproofing for any heavyweight oil-tanned leather."

"FILSON BOOT Oil Finish
Oiling your BOOTs regularly is very important upkeep and Filson's BOOT Oil Finish is the perfect choice. Repeated wetting and drying robs oil-tanned leather of its natural lubrication."

And from http://www.russellmoccasin.com/care.html
"The easiest way to preserve leather is through proper oiling or greasing. Water and wear remove the original oil from the leather. When the tiny fibers are allowed to dry out, they become hard and brittle and break easily - greatly shortening the life of the leather. Pecard leather dressing is made from the same ingredients used by the tanner in waterproofing the leather originally. Its frequent use will maintain the original softness, flexibility, and water-turning qualities of the leather. Its use is strongly recommended."
...
"After the boots are dried, oil them with Obenauf's or Pecard. The oiling is most effective if rubbed on with a brush or by hand. Obenauf's and Pecard will work into the pores by the heat generated from vigorous rubbing."

************************
Kutenay, personally, I will continue to use waxes (e.g., SnoSeal) on my hiking boots as they are all chrome-tanned. I would not, however, hesitate to use an oil product on oil-treated leather boots -- maybe even Obenauf's LP.

11:13 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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Well...I have had a pair of Montrail Morraines that I'm sure were Nu-buck. The Nu-buck did not seem to offer as much support as my FGL Scarpas, or my current boots a pair of FGL Alicos.
The Nu-buck was 2.8 mm but the support was not there after I broke them in. I do think the Nu-buck is cheaper for the boot manufacturer according to what I have read. The first two pair of boots I had were water proofed with aquaseal creme, seemed to work ok, but I kept them clean and maintained.
Bill S. says he likes Biwell, but it is hard to find, I don't want to use mink oil.
I plan on getting some Obenaufs, I have also read it works good on welted boots like mine for sealing the stitch holes,

Have you had that experience kutenay? I'm sure you have had welted boots, they didn't always glue the soles on.

11:25 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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The oil in suspension is NOT the same as fluid oil when applied to boot leather, but, you can think what you wish.

I have had Russell's since 1988 and Pecard's since that time, it is crap in wet weather and especially when you are walking for hours in snow while working in the bush. You mentioned your ...work boots... in a context with Schnee's and now you do not own/use Schnee's? Frankly, I am confused by your rather odd references.

But, use whatever you please, it is not my affair what you choose to walk in. If, you wish to put fluid oils containing petroleum conponents on your footwear, well, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

As to ...caught another one..., yup, me and a hell of a lot of serious mountaineers wear Scarpas as do many successful BC mountain hunters I know and quite a number of pro. forest fire fighters and foresters.

11:35 p.m. on July 23, 2008 (EDT)
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Yeah, of course Nubuck is a substitute for FGL, no argument from moi, BUT, GOOD boots CAN be and ARE made from it. In much trail hiking, FGL boots are heavier and hotter than one needs and why buy clodhoppers that weigh 5+ lbs. per pair when much lighter boots will do what you need?

I much prefer welted boots and have three pair of highgrade FGL mountain boots so built at present and am trying to get Hanwag to ship me two more pairs from Germany....about like getting Hillary to go target shooting.....

But, for most hiking, even in the steep terrain here at Vancouver, I find the Nubucks do just fine and cost a LOT less. My Van Gorkums are $1600.00 per pair plus taxes, so, you can see why I use cheaper split leather boots for a lot of hiking.

In any case, so far, the most effective leather waterproofing I have ever found is Obenaufs LP and Biwell is good, but, MEC has not had it for a long time and I never saw it anywhere else. I wear hiking boots all day, every day, all year long due to orthopaedic issues and my former occupation, have for nearly 40 years and that is why I have had so many and tried different treatments.

8:17 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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kutenay,

Well, it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong.

#1 -- you said Obenauf's does not contain oils, yet their website says it does. Who is wrong? Must be Obenauf's.

#2 -- you said "The oils you refer to are NOT for boots, but, are used on horse tack and so forth as OIL softens boots and THAT ain't good." yet the three manufacturers mentioned the use of their oil products specifically for boots (including Obenauf). Who is wrong? Must be the manufacturers.

#3 -- you said "The oil in suspension is NOT the same as fluid oil when applied to boot leather, but, you can think what you wish." But the Obenauf people tell us it is oil and that it becomes fluid (flowing) -- ergo it is the same. As for your statement about petroleum products, that was the first mention of rock oil. Who is wrong? Must be those dang physicissies.

Yes, Kutenay, it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong. Perhaps it takes a bigger man than me to listen and not comment; but bad advice on a forum lasts longer than in the real world.

10:36 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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The term oil is a very broad term. It refers to unrelated compounds that share similar qualities such as viscosity and the ability to repel water.
It is important to note that a lot of times the labels on a product just say "oil" but do not indicate what type.

There are mineral oils, including the petroleum derivative paraffin wax. Petroleum oils damage boot leather and should be avoided. Makes them soft because it breaks down the fibers.

There are also organic oils, (lipids) and beeswax does contain organic oils.
Obenaufs LP contains natural oils, and natural oils are compatible with the oils found in leather.

The term "oil" is reserved for compounds that are in the liquid state at room temp. Although solids can contain various types of oil.

There is also silicone wax, I think it was a mineral, but I might have been absent that day!

Help Bill S.
I've been out of the books too long!

11:01 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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trouthunter,

You said: "The term "oil" is reserved for compounds that are in the liquid state at room temp. Although solids can contain various types of oil."

Actually, the liquid state at room temp is not necessary to the definition. For example,
"Main Entry:
oil
...
1 a: any of numerous unctuous combustible substances that are liquid or can be liquefied easily on warming, are soluble in ether but not in water, and leave a greasy stain on paper or cloth" -- Merriam-Webster Online

It is precisely this liquefying through heat of an oil in suspension that Obenauf is promoting.

11:14 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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It depends on where you get your definition, I got mine from the chemistry classes I took at Clemson University, not a dictionary written in layman's terms.

You are splitting hairs, if you look at what kutenay is saying in general, he is correct. In your first post you said chrome tanned leathers should not be waterproofed with oils such as mink oil, mink oil is a substance found in the belly fat of a mink, it is a lipid, not a petrochemical, yet you classified it as an "oil"
That is the same thing you jumped all over kutenay for doing!

11:19 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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trouthunter,

Unfortunately, I was writing my reply as you were editing : )

I don't see that we disagree. I have never advocated the use of oils, in any form, on chrome-tanned leather. I have used natural oils on other leathers , for example, Greb Kodiak boots (it was a fine era, those Grebs!).

Perhaps even the term "natural oils" is too loose -- rock oil (petroleum) is naturally occurring. Are there supernatural oils? I don't know. Even if we say "oils from organic origin" we must still include the squished dinosaurs (petroleum).

This brings up mink oil -- usually a difficult segue. How do they get mink oil? I assume you find a batch of minks and squeeze each one. The minks that squeak need oil -- the others give oil. But I prefer squeezing a minx.

11:26 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I think kutenay is referring to mineral oils being bad for boots when he said "oil".
Natural oils are non synthetic, and can be both mineral & organic.

I have used aquaseal for years, and it contains both silicone, and paraffin.
They claim it is good for oil tanned & chrome tanned leather. Who knows for sure?
Maybe we should just be glad we don't all have to use bread bags.

HA-HA

11:37 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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trouthunter,

This is an attempt at a reply to your second reply, which came as I was replying to your first reply but which you have now edited so I don't know what I am replying to (whoo!)

Can we agree not to edit our statements? It will make it easier.

You said, in your edited version:
"You are splitting hairs, if you look at what kutenay is saying in general, he is correct. In your first post you said chrome tanned leathers should not be waterproofed with oils such as mink oil, mink oil is a substance found in the belly fat of a mink, it is a lipid, not a petrochemical, yet you classified it as an "oil"
That is the same thing you jumped all over kutenay for doing!"

Mink oil is an oil. It fits the properties of an oil. And, since you don't want to use layman's terms - "oil (oil) an unctuous, combustible substance that is liquid, or easily liquefiable on warming, and is not miscible with water, but is soluble in ether. Such substances, depending on their origin, are classified as animal, mineral, or vegetable oils. Depending on their behavior on heating, they are classified as either volatile or fixed.
a fat that is liquid at room temperature." Dorland's Medical Dictionary

Mink oil is, according to the above definition an "animal oil". I used it on Greb work boots because the boots were vegetable tanned and treated with natural oils to prevent drying and cracking. IIRC, it was recommended. Grebs were a supple, soft leather that came high and wrapped lovingly around the ankle. They did not provide the stiff support of hiking boots.

BTW, I didn't "jump all over" kutenay. I presented to the forum, not specifically to kutenay, what I considered compelling evidence of different types of leather requiring different treatments. He denied my assertions. I backed them with fact. After that I waited...

11:52 p.m. on July 25, 2008 (EDT)
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I just think kutenay was using the term oil loosely.
Even on some horse sites they refer to their saddles as "chrome oil tanned"....What?
Sno seal is a beeswax product, and they claim that it is free of grease, oils and animal fats. But beeswax does contain organic oils, they are simply playing to the fact that most people have heard that petrochemical derrived oils are bad for leathers.
Mink oil is an animal oil, (organic) but I have also saw it sold in a paraffin base. (petrochemical)

So what is it?
That makes it a compound.

Yeah I edited, and I'm typing while enjoying a cold one, and talking to my daughter. I'm sure you understand.

12:36 a.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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trouthunter begged

Quote:

Help Bill S.
I've been out of the books too long!

Sorry, you guys are throwing terms around so loosely that you have thoroughly muddied the waters. The only thing I will say here is that "oil" is an extremely loose and general term that is applied to a wide variety of mixtures of compounds. Some of the compounds are organic (in the sense of organic chemistry, which is NOT the way "organic" is used in the health food stores) and some are inorganic (in the chemistry sense). Some of these compounds are compatible with some methods of tanning and treating leather for boots, or clothing, or car seats, or furniture, or gloves, or dress shoes, or the costumes some people out of the mainstream wear, some are not. Some of the mixtures of the compounds work for some types of leather, while others do not (your comment on mink oil "that makes it a compound" is incorrect - it is a mixture, which is a mix of 2 or more compounds).

So, what it comes down to is that the animal skin is processed in a variety of ways, with the goal of making it suitable for a particular use. Maintenance for the purpose you are using the skin calls for a mixture of compounds that is compatible with the original processing and the purpose. You want long-term waterproof, well, you could encase the boot in plastic. But it would not be breathable, and while providing lots of rigid support, might not be flexible enough to be comfortable, thus loosing the purpose of having the boot made of leather. Since you do not know how the manufacturer and his suppliers treated the leather during the journey from animal to your foot, the best thing is to follow the manufacturer's advice. If the bootmaker says use recycled motor oil that has been run in Ferrari engines for 5000 miles, then use that. If he says use pure beeswax, recovered straight from the hive by light of the full moon, then use that.

"Oils" can come from mineral sources (petroleum or coal, for example), animal sources (beef tallow, sheep fat, sheep lanolin, bees wax, squashed minks), or plant sources (corn oil, palm oil). They can be liquid at room temperature or solid (wax or grease) at room temperature. They can be synthetic, contain silicon or other elements (like chlorine, which makes for some rather toxic oils) in the molecular structure. For the most part, "oils" are mixtures of a number of compounds, tailored for a particular use.

Someone said "never use saddle soap". You might not realize that saddle soap is not a pure soap (lye plus beef tallow, for example), but contains a variety of oils that are absorbed by the leather. Like any other leather cleaner or leather treatment, it is appropriate for some leathers (including some used for boots) and inappropriate for others.

What works for your boots in particular conditions is something you have to determine empirically, after first trying the manufacturer's recommendations. For the most part, I personally prefer Biwell (except that I can't get it anymore). I have found that SnoSeal works for short durations (one or maybe 2 days in the snow, or a half-dozen stream crossings) - emphasis on "short" durations.

On the question of chrome-tanned vs Nubuck vs split vs other variations - each has a suitable range of application. As long as you stick with that, you will be fine. Blanket statements like "Nubuck is no good for anything" ignore the fact that it works well for its intended range of applications. To carry it to a bit of an extreme, my trail running shoes work better than anything else for the majority of my daily hikes, but would be a disaster when climbing Denali. My plastic double boots work very well for climbing Denali and for moderate ice climbing, but are way too heavy for a 6 mile hike up and down Mission Peak on a nice sunny spring day. Neither would be appropriate for wandering the Florida swamps with Ed G.

Pick the appropriate footgear for the application.

12:49 a.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Thank you Bill S. ....It's fun to muddy up the water sometimes, how else to know if you have used the right waterproofer?
You are correct, I was using the term compound LOOSELY. ( a combination of more than one element) But I did miss a few classes like I said.
Everyone uses the term OIL loosely. Who the heck knows whats in this stuff if all they say is "oils"?
Every manufacturer has their own definition it seems.

Tell you what, I'll put Biwell on one boot, and Obenuafs on the other. I'll also make sure I walk straight through all water and mud puddles as recommended by LNT.

Can you get Ferrari oil in the 4oz. size?

Also the mink oil for use in make-up is gently extracted via syringe, not causing any harm to the animal. (I bet they squeeze them too!)

12:56 a.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Quote:

Can you get Ferrari oil in the 4oz. size?

Yes, at 50 Euros per bottle. But it is only to be used for hiking through snow in the Italian Alps.

1:03 a.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Sorry for the editing, I am multi tasking, which is apparently hard for the male of the species, I'm told...by my daughter who is reading over my shoulder, and says that using the spell checker is cheating.

7:43 a.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Bill,

You said:
"Blanket statements like "Nubuck is no good for anything" ignore the fact that it works well for its intended range of applications."

No-one made such a statement in this thread; but you are right, I just don't know what those applications are. Some people seem to assume that Nubuck is "lighter" than unscraped, unpigmented top-grain leather -- why? You could use top-grain leather in the same thickness as Nubuck and the unpainted leather would probably weigh less.

Nubuck doesn't look like leather, at least to me. First the highly water-resistant top-grain is scratched and scraped to create a nap and obscure any natural scarring (which *might* be a weak point in the leather) then it is blended to all the same color (by batch) through use both of dyes (no problem there) and pigments (read "paint") which fill the pores. So, first you destroy the natural water-resistance of leather, and then you remove the appearance of leather.

Run a patent search for Nubuck and you come up with a number of inventors creating an artificial Nubuck. After all, why use real leather to *simulate* leather when you can produce it cheaper artificially? ( http://v3.espacenet.com/results?AB=nubuck&sf=q&DB=EPODOC&PGS=15&CY=ep&LG=en&ST=quick )

I searched sierratradingpost.com for Nubuck. The first two hiking boots - this thread is about boots, not sneakers - using Nubuck were Scarpa Delta M3 and Chaco Beckwith; both of these models were intended as single-piece leather uppers. Chaco pitches the use of Nubuck -- "Soft-to-the-touch nubuck is specially tanned to dry faster than normal leather boots." Sure it probably does dry faster, the scratched surface provides more surface area; but it also gets wet faster, the top-grain is broken. Scarpa doesn't even try to justify their use of Nubuck.

The above is just one opinion. As you noted, you get what you pay for.

11:19 a.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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This thread has become something QUITE different than it originated as, the comments made here about the type of man I am, is one example of that. After some thought, I have decided to not respond to such remarks, as I understand that the site providers do not want to see "pizzing matchs" between posters.

I think that this reminds me of a certain poster we all remember and the subject is best left for another time.

1:13 p.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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kutenay, yes it does, doesn't it.

3:02 p.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Everyone does know the waterproofing goes outside the boot right?

3:12 p.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Actually, if you prefer FGL boots with leather linings, it is a VERY good idea to treat the INSIDE or leather linings with a WAX compound and this will tend to offset the deleterious affects of sweat on the leather. So, I will lightly wax my linings and I usually use whatever product I am putting on the outside.

Another trick here is to wash your boots inside in a baking soda solution as this neutralizes the acidic sweat, however, I find that this really irritates my skin, so, do not do it. You need to thoroughly rinse if you use this and then, when all is dry, lightly work in a wax to keep the leather resistant to sweat.

This is NOT BS, it actually does work and very well. Charlie Van Gorkum suggests this on his site and he knows a bit about boots.

3:40 p.m. on July 26, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks kutenay, my new boots do have a leather lining, I have used a cleaner/conditioner before inside the boot.
I'll have to look at the info again but I think my lining is sheepskin.

Just trying to lighten things up!

4:37 p.m. on July 29, 2008 (EDT)
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Just spoke with Obenauf's this morning, really nice people and they are familiar with my home area of the West Kootenays here in BC and go up there every so often to enjoy the natural beauty and wilderness of it.

I ordered three 8 oz. containers of HD-LP waterproofing as I spend a lot of time hiking in pouring rain, as in today's walk and also wet snow. It costs a bit more to get this into Canada, but, field experience trunps "research" where serious outdoor activities are concerned and, to me, the cost is worth it.

4:51 p.m. on July 29, 2008 (EDT)
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There have been times I would've given a days pay for dry feet and dry boots. I'm still learning, but there's nothing like being comfortable in miserable conditions.

11:51 p.m. on October 15, 2008 (EDT)
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Hadn't been here much or for very long, but I found this thread searching for hope on waterproofing and preserving the 3new pairs of boots I'm getting.

Montrail Moraines- Full grain leather

Montrail Torres GTX- Nubuck

Addison Military Combat GTX- Split grain/Suede

I called a local bootsmith shop this afternoon and he'd recommend two products....each differing for the type of leather and accommodating for the Gore liners where applied.
For the Nubuck, he recommended Black Rock waterproofer and for the split grain, Angelus waterproofer.

Has anyone ever heard of and/or used these products?

I'll never use Niksuxs again. No intention of offending, but with the past two pair of boots I've had the leather still water logged and eventually cracked causing the uppers to seperate from the rand. I followed manufacturers recommendations to a T.

I've been considering making my own waterproofer/preservative for the Moraines with rendering tallow and beeswax and some form of resin (propolis or pine.......not sure). However, I read that this prevents boots from breathing very well.

Anyone with comments and/or experience?

Thanks

9:06 a.m. on October 19, 2008 (EDT)
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Love the avatar I was (automatically?!) given!

Doesn't anyone have some input? Come on guys/gals. Someone's gotta know something.

11:40 a.m. on October 19, 2008 (EDT)
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Hi thook,
Maybe the reason you did not get much of a response is that the issue had just been debated to death in this very thread.
The Montrail Morraines I use to own were Nu-buck, pretty good boot, they held up well for three years till their untimely demise, but that is another story. I have also had FGL Scarpas & FGL Alico's & FGL Asolos. I personally detest Gore Tex and multi layered, over stitched boots.

If you read through this thread you will get a good idea of what most people think of boot sealer, and how incendiary the subject can be.
The base line of advise is to start by asking the boot manufacturer what THEY recommend.
If they can't or won't give you advise on this subject I would think of going with a different boot maker if you can.

Both Alico and Scarpa make their own boots ( at least they did at time of purchase) and gave me good customer service, and were patient with my many questions.
I,m sure other companies will too, but not all.

I have personally switched from Aquaseal to Obenaufs this summer after taking part in this very thread.
I contacted Alicosport of Italy and they gave me the thumbs up on Obenaufs.
I would contact Montrail and press the issue.
Good luck.

4:48 a.m. on October 22, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks for replying.

I understand topics debated over and over to the point of utter redundancy. However, I have read through this thread, others on other forums, and perused a host of advertisements on product websites....including Obernaufs.

I was asking specifically about these two commercial products and the tallow/wax, though. Sounds great, but Obernaufs is not available around here (so far that I've found) and I'm trying to keep my expenditures down to the minimum by avoiding a shipping cost, anyway.

Ah well...no matter. The stuff the shopmeister recommended is probably just fine. It's a local boot shop that's been around for years and, as I'm told, many of the out of door working class (electric co., construction, etc) frequent them and rely and on the advice and products. I was just curious to get some feedback from others who had nothing to sell....like this group.

Oh...and as far as following manufacturers recommended advice, I've not had great success with that so far. I've called Gore, Montrail, and Mtn Hardwear on a number of occasions for various products I've had and they all run the same number. It's rather textbook like, if you know what I mean. Nikwax is almost always recommended. That, or Gore revivex or whatever. Leather always ran short on life from my expectations (not unreasonable ones, either) or my Gore jackets always failed to really repel water as claimed. As well, none of the customer service people could really explain my experience.

Gore is mediocre stuff....not worth it's price, but these recent two boots with their liners I bought used, in good shape, and at a VERY hard to pass up price. The only way I'd pay for Gore from here on.

Next time around, I'll probably try harder to find some Danner, Scarpa, Vasque or something in full grain with Norwegian welt. Just couldn't find any in my size at the right price at present. And, I needed boots now. Cold, wet weather is upon us, eh.

8:14 p.m. on November 3, 2008 (EST)
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If, you want a genuine FGL hiking boot, you will find that few of these are now made, due to cost and availability of good hides. The problem is that MANY "talk the talk" on forums, but, FEW, are willing to PAY for really good boots ot other items of gear.

Meindl makes SOME FGL boots still, the "Perfekt" and "Super Perfekt" are and the former is among my all-time favourite boots. I had my last pair from 1973 to 1976 until they were thrashed....this was wearing them to fight fire, plant trees and even go drinkin' and dancin' in, so, with that level of fulltime wear, I was satisfied.

I am getting another pair and, if Meindl ever ships them to AJBrooks, a pair of "Super Perfekts" for serious use in high places carrying a pack. These boots are not cheap, but, are very good.

I did not respond to your query concerning H20 proofing as I was not around and, I have never heard of the products you mention. I also avoid Nikwax and just use Obenauf's, it is so superior to anything else I have tried that I stick with it. I guess I am more "country" than "cool".......

12:03 a.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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I've always wished I could afford the very best, hand crafted, lushest, warmest most spectacular gear ever! All these years of backpacking, climbing, skiing, fishing, hunting and working in whatever I could afford....the hundreds of pounds, carried through the worst areas in the heat, cold, wet and snow would have been so much better for it!

Errr....

Honestly, if I could afford it, I'd buy it, but I can't say my experiences are any different from the canvas half-shelter I carried as a kid in the Ozarks to the Government issued sleeping bag used as my only recourse from the sub-zero temperatures of the mountains.

I know it's severely off topic, but I'm sometimes baffled by the eliteish name dropping that these threads come to...we all know the best is the best for a reason, but there's plenty of other reasonable choices for the 'regular guy' outdoorsman.

(And yes, I've made my living out in the elements, not of just one region, but different climates and circumstances around the World)

5:50 a.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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There are some people on this forum who often go into circumstances and regions that require a level of gear/expertise that is not needed in suburban hiking/camping.

Some of us actually are/were working professionals for decades in some of the most remote wilderness regions on the planet and others have explored Denali, Antarctica, Africa and so forth.

To assume that those who can, through experience, offer advice on name-brand gear are somehow being ...eliteish...is as valid as the spelling employed to post it.

I could go on, but, perhaps my point is made and the thread will return to an honest discussion of water-proofing boots.

I will say that I have found working two jobs, 60 hour weeks and being willing to endure months alone in wilderness work without a break helped enormously in being able to afford the best gear..........

11:01 a.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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rdavis,

It is a matter of priorities. You paid for your computer and your Internet - both non-essential - because they are your priorities. Add boots to your priority list and bump something else off and you can afford the best - maybe not the most expensive, but equal in quality.

For example, http://www.limmerboot.com/ has the Standard for about $325 (last I heard). That is made by Meindhl to Limmer specs. How many restaurant meals does that replace? :)

1:37 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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What the last two posts have said is stuff I learned the hard way, partly due to the fact that I used to be headstrong, and partly due to a lack of access to knowledgeable people.

You have to trust the advise offered by those with a lot of experience, whether you understand it all or not.

The first time someone told me that my 65.00 boots would not stand up to the rigors of the type of trekking I was interested in doing, I thought, gee, these were expensive boots and very soft and cushy too.
Now I look back and laugh at my ignorance, I just didn't know any better.
Now, 23 years later, I still don't have the very best boots money can buy, but I refuse to go on my trips now with anything less than FGL single piece welted boots, well broke in, and well sealed.

I simply am not satisfied with traveling on trails that have seen thousands of hikers, Where is the adventure in that?
Cheap boots just don't hold up long off trail, and don't offer adequate support for my needs.
I paid 240.00 for my last pair, and that was discounted.
There is no way I would travel in rough terrain with cheap boots. The FGL boots are just so superior to the cheaper multi part, over stitched, over hyped, fall apart crap.

Just my two cents worth, I think good boots are a wise investment for comfort, safety, and good foot health.

5:06 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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To clarify a little, $1600 boots are exactly for what you, Kutenay, are speaking of: wilderness professionals in extreme circumstances. The average weekend hiker can more than make due with less.

"Eliteish" wasn't a misspelling, it was a matter of grammatical construction: I didn't like elite-ish, or elite(ish) or elite like, or any other form I considered, so I took some liberty with the language since what I wanted to say was important to me, similar to how Kutenay adds CAPS for EMPHASIS on HIS posts, despite it being grammatically horrific, because it really is a useful tool on discussion forums.

For the finances, I guess I have to clarify that I don't own the very best, not because I choose to spend my money on a computer and internet connection, but because what I have is adequate for what I do in it.

My profession does have me in some remote regions, climates and circumstances that require a level of experience and training that FEW men have. However, $100 boots have done me just fine. Maybe some day when I'm old and broken (:P) I'll go spend $1600!

As a caveat, let me add this isn't a rebuke or "flame;" just letting folks know where I'm coming from. I do respect everyone's experience on this board, from the OGBO to the newest hiker.

Oh, and I've used Nikwax on my Scarpa's for the past year and they do well, but I'm going to give the stuff Kut recommends a try now.

8:39 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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May I enquire exactly what your profession is? I find it rather unusual that you spend so much time in such circumstances and can do so with boots of the type you use.

I would add that the $1600.00 boots are FULL CUSTOM Van Gorkums and ANYONE who simply wants a pair is welcomed by Charlie and treated exactly the same courteous way he does with all of his customers.

One does not have to be a ...wilderness professional... to buy and use the finest gear, it is very often a matter of being practical and frugal, thus enjoying a level of performance that cheap equipment cannot give you.

I do not see anyone here, ESPECIALLY Bill or I, as being, "elitist", the correct term for your context. If, someone simply wants to buy ID, Hilleberg, Valandre, Leica, Rolex, WM, Dakota Rifles, Filson, or whatever, so what, it's THEIR money and their right....maybe Obama will "change" that?????

11:26 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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Some people.

Elitist is not the context I wanted, thank you. Eliteish, elite-ish, elite(ish) IS what I meant. The meaning is nuanced, but important since my way does not imply anything derogatory, but actually complimentary. Elitist, used in the form you're attempting to make me, makes it sound as if I was implying you were name dropping to make yourself seem superior. "Eliteish", as I so carefully selected, was meant to say that those who needed and could afford the very best were discounting the usefulness of less than top of the line gear. Again, not an insult, as you so easily took it.

Frankly, I don't see you and Bill in the same category. Over the months I've come to highly respect Bill's experience and willingness to share his knowledge, while I've found you to also be experienced, but more willing to ram that experience down people's throats while discounting their own knowledge or experiences.

My profession isn't something to discuss in a public forum, however much you doubt it. Some numbers might be helpful though: 300 people started with me when I began this facet of my career and there are 7 of us left. We make up 1/10 of 1% of some of the best America has to offer. And yes, I wear $100 dollar boots in places that you can't even begin to fathom.

I recommend this thread be locked after Kutenay's obvious response, however. Let us go our separate ways, both knowing that we probably won't respect each other in the morning.

rdavis

7:31 a.m. on November 7, 2008 (EST)
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I disagree, I see no valid reason for this thread to be locked and I merely asked you a simple question, as you had referred to your experience in support of your opinion, as we all quite naturally do. However, your right to privacy in that respect is certainly not something I would question and everyone has a right to their own viewpoint and opinion.

So, while I might take this further and comment upon your epistolary technique, I think that little would be gained thereby.

My reference to Bill, tho', was simply because he and I are usually the posters here who tend to have used the more specialized and highend gear and thus frequently mention it. Obviously, our backgrounds, education, lifestyles and probably politics are VERY different.

I have found it interesting, however, that so many of our choices and preferences in gear and gear makers are exactly the same after decades of personal experience in various remote and wild areas of the planet. No "biggie", simply an observation.

3:30 p.m. on November 7, 2008 (EST)
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No comment - other than, I think I will stay out of the rest of this one.

3:48 p.m. on November 7, 2008 (EST)
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I have absolutely NO intention of becoming mired in an internet slagging contest with this gentleman or anyone else here.

I am both cognizant of the forum rules and too busy with other things to do so; I am packing for an 8-day trip to the Kootenays where it is presently snowing like blazes and the Mule Deer and Whitetails are rutting.......

My Hilleberg Saivo plus XP20 tarp is ready to go and I am even more so!

5:30 p.m. on November 7, 2008 (EST)
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I think the real question that needs to be asked, and that is being overlooked here, is what brand of shoe strings do you use in your boots? ;-)

7:38 p.m. on November 7, 2008 (EST)
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Kutenay, don't forget to seal your boots, and good luck with the hunting.

10:03 a.m. on November 8, 2008 (EST)
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Dare I say it, the simple truth is that I wear rubber bottomed "pac" boots on trips like this, so, the leather boots are seldom used during late Oct./Nov./Dec. trips.

I cannot resist adding, in good humour, that MY "pac" boots are plain, ordinary Schnee's exactly the same as everyone else buys and have served me well since 1991, when I paid $150.00 for them.

There are times and places where costly gear is FAR superior to the average REI/MEC grade stuff and I will buy/use what seems best to me, with price as the last consideration while safety, function and dependable quality are first.

However, I do not blithely trip about BC's primeval glades in custom gear as a regular practice....I have worn LOTS of "army surplus" clothing, just like many others here and WISH I could find more of the West German woolen pants I bought in 1982 for $25 per pair and wore for 20+ years........

I will say it here again, "horses for courses"

10:40 p.m. on November 8, 2008 (EST)
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See, that's the spirit. I caught a wicked case of trenchfoot once because the only thing I was ALLOWED to wear were open-toed sandals in 40 degree weather and non-stop rain. Luxury is just that sometimes...

7:55 a.m. on November 9, 2008 (EST)
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I might add to that, TH and anyone else interested in functional cold weather footwear, that the Schnee's pacs available now are quite inferior to the originals such as I have. The problem is that the orignal owners sold out and the new ones use an inferior type of rubber boot bottom in current production. Mine have lasted for many years and I do not think that the current type will.

Also, they no longer have heel counters and a boot without these is useless in the mountains, actually can be dangerous as you quite easily slip and can fall sideways. So, I would not buy these again or suggest that others do so.

There is a small company in Idaho, Hoffman's Boots and they are where I would buy both pacs and also North American style bush boots from and will, this coming year. They can/will do custom work for those who want it and can also rebuild your older footwear; again, these are not "cutrate" folks or products, but, they will keep your feet in good shape and will last, so, IMO, the initial cost is actually good value.

Brands change continually and one of the most useful aspects of this type of forum and the 'net in general, IMO, is to exchange current info. on just what is/is not currently the best gear. Boots are SO crucial to this activity that one wants to buy the most effective type for what one does and the 'net can really assist with that.

12:36 p.m. on November 9, 2008 (EST)
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I have a pair of US Airborne pac boots, solid welded rubber outer, they are watertight but not as warm as my Sorels which I prefer for sleet/snow. Not that I use them much since I moved to the coast.
I do like the Sorels a lot, and I like the removable / replaceable felt liner. The felt liners can be worn alone on cold cabin floors, or as a camp shoe in dry cold conditions.

11:34 p.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
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35 forum posts

I'm considering a custom fit pair of Peter Limma mountain boots and have been pondering on which proofing to use.

Obenaufs is not a product I am amiliar with but looks very good.

regards
Andrew

September 23, 2014
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