Fabiano boot care

3:12 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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I have read some posts about leather boot care, which have all addressed the topic of care for the exterior of Fabianos. No one has as yet talked about the inside. I've had Fabianos for 30 years. After buying them I had an old school european bookmaker modify them to better fit my specific foot shape. Best move I ever made. Well, he told me how to care for my new boots.

The outside needed to be cleaned periodically, as dirt and moisture are leather's worst enemies. After cleaning then a good leather conditioner is applied and, when dry, put on Sno Seal for protection. Important to re apply Sno Seal periodically dependent on use. Every few years, again dependent on use, they need to be washed with soapy water then when dry apply conditioner and Sno Seal. That's the outside.

Now the inside. Because Fabianos are leather on the inside too they need to be cleaned with soap and water also, only it's imperative to use a PH balanced soap to neutralize the salt buildup from sweat. When dry apply the leather conditioner. This is all crutial otherwise the leather interior will rot, then you're screwed. This should be done at least once a year before putting them away for the season. Most people don't realize that the interior needs to be cared for just as much as the outside.

I've done all this for the life of my boots and they have provided me with bomb proof protection for much longer than any modern day constructed boot would ever provide. My boots have been up all 54 of Colorado's 14ers, and many other peaks in other countries. The only thing they've ever needed additionally are insulated expedition gaiters for high altitude winter ascents. They're much more versatile than plastic boots because with a 1/2 steel shank they flex so you can hike day in and day out with a heavy pack, and when fit with a rigid crampon they are suitable for scaling vertical ice. Try finding a modern day boot that does all that!

Lowa used to make a similar single and double boot, just like Fabiano. Anyone know if they still do?

9:02 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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Yes, Lowa does make a similiar boot. Fabiano, as I am sure you know, goes by a different name these days. They are now Scarpa. Scarpa uses a last that almost exactly matches my feet, so I can wear them right out of the box with no modification, unlike most other boot brands. They are here on the Trailspace gear review pages.

10:07 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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Welcome John Hill,

There is at least one thread here where another member, Dewey, advised me to waterproof the inside of my leather lined Alico's. I have been using Obenauf's Heavy Duty LP leather preservative which he recommended. I also get a good fit with Scarpa, I didn't know they used to be Fabiano though.

10:10 p.m. on November 24, 2010 (EST)
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Those are fine boots and you are correct in your treatment of the lining as well as the outer leather. I have several pairs of hoarded fullgrain leather moun tain boots and treat mine twice per annum at least.

I dislike Snoseal and find Obenauf's HD LP Boot Treatment to be far and away the best stuff I have ever used. I do the outer shell first, at least twice and then the liner and allow the boots a week before wearing them again.

Most gear now is superior to what we had when I began backpacking on day hikes in 1956 and even what was available in the '80s, '90s and so forth. However, boots have declined in quality and very few are worth owning; I loath Gore-Tex boots and will wear only FGL in the mountains.

Good post, good info. keep it up.

7:01 p.m. on November 25, 2010 (EST)
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Good suggestions! I have always used Sno-seal as well, but I'm sure that there are plenty of equal or better products. Except for a six year stint in suits and "appropriate footwear", I have worn FGL boots every day since 1973. For pure comfort, the padded leather lining can't be equaled, IMHO.

I have never treated the inside of my boots, yet the linings last. Of course, we are all different. I can handle my scrapers, chisels, and metal-bodied planes all day and never worry about rust; yet a fellow i once worked with could touch a plane and the next morning you would find his fingerprint etched into the metal. Our body chemistries may require use to use more caution than others. Certainly, it is better to err in being overprotective of a good pair of boots than to watch them needlessly rot.


2:32 p.m. on November 27, 2010 (EST)
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As I have posted on Trailspace before, my preference for years for treating leather hiking, skiing, and climbing boots was Biwell. I have been unable to find it for a couple years. I just found out why. It's the old story of companies merging. Biwell Red (the type for top quality leather boots) is now part of Toko, the top manufacturer of ski waxes (among other things). Not surprising, since for so many years the XC ski racing waxes have been so competitive. Not that I am anywhere near Olympic standards, but I have found that I prefer Toko's waxes to Swix.

June 19, 2018
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