Author Topic: (Full grain) leather walking boots - conditioner ?  (Read 754 times)

El Principe

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Quick Q on this topic: Is it okay to use "non-performance" type leather conditions on walking boots that feature a gore-tex, or proprietary, waterproof lining?

I have a couple of pairs of walking boots, one in full grain leather, and the other a nubuck/textile hybrid, both with waterproof linings.

I find that the performance type conditioners or waxes tend to overly darken and spoil the appearance of non-smooth leathers.


Therefore I'm thinking of just using my normal conditioners/creams when treating the leather, and then finishing with a water repellency spray (since my boots aren't leather-only, I figure I don't need to rely on heavy waxing for thorough impregnation anyway).

The cream I use for deep conditioning on my non-performance type boots is saphir renovateur. It does contain mink oil, though only in small amounts, and it's great for nourishing the leather after a season of use (you can then follow up with a colour cream if needed). Should I be okay using this kind of product on my walking boots?

Any particular reason one MUST use the performance type products?

Thanks,
EP

kinkyboots

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Re: (Full grain) leather walking boots - conditioner ?
« Reply #1 on: 09:26:47, 27/05/19 »
This link might be of interest (click on the various tabs for the type of boots you have) https://www.whalleyoutdoor.co.uk/walking-boots-care-guide/

In general you will find that most manufacturer's recommend particular products for use on their footwear. These have usually been tested on the type of leather used in manufacture to ensure that breathability is maintained and the waterproof liners are not adversely affected.

The type of leather used in the manufacture of normal everyday footwear is usually completely different to the leather used in the manufacture of outdoor walking/hiking footwear. The tanning processes used in the manufacture of the leather are usually completely different. The leather used to manufacture normal everyday footwear is not usually the high grade water repellent leather used in the manufacture of outdoor walking/hiking footwear.

What care products do Merrell and Solomon specifically recommend for use on your particular boots?

Each to their own but at the end of the day it's not a fashion show and a little darkening of the leather caused by the oils contained within the product being pushed down into the fibres of the leather is a small price to pay for increased waterproofing performance.

Nubuck leather needs treating differently to smooth leather if you wish to maintain the brushed finish of the nubuck. One point worth noting is that some American manufacturers don't appear to know the difference between between nubuck and suede with some actually calling suede nubuck in their advertising. I'm not sure if Merrell make this mistake or not.

ninthace

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Re: (Full grain) leather walking boots - conditioner ?
« Reply #2 on: 11:54:38, 27/05/19 »
Every day is a school day.  I always thought nubuck was just a new word for suede but apparently not:


"There is not much visible difference between the two. Suede leather has been sanded on the inner layer of the skin, while Nubuck is sanded on the outer or exterior skin of the animal, since the outside layer of a skin is tougher Nubuck tends to be more durable."


Next question - if nubuck is sanded outer layer - what is the point other than cosmetic? Does nubuck have any advantage over plain leather?
Supplementary question - should it have a capital N?
Solvitur Ambulando

kinkyboots

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Re: (Full grain) leather walking boots - conditioner ?
« Reply #3 on: 12:46:34, 27/05/19 »
Next question - if nubuck is sanded outer layer - what is the point other than cosmetic? Does nubuck have any advantage over plain leather?
Supplementary question - should it have a capital N?

To some people (and particularly the manufacturer's marketing departments) nubuck looks nicer on the shelf in the shop (cosmetic) which is aimed at selling more boots. In my opinion both nubuck and suede are a total [censored] to clean and maintain which is why I always wax any nubuck footwear I buy. I may be in the minority but I always steer well clear of all suede footwear as I believe it's not a suitable material to use for any outdoor wet weather footwear although I'm guessing some manufacturers use it because it's easier to dye in attractive colours and to save a few pennies on their manufacturing costs.

Nubuck can have a capital N when it begins a sentence or at any other time you want but it's definitely not compulsory.  ;D ;D ;D

Have looked at both Merrell's US and UK website and there doesn't appear to be any recommended specific named/branded proofing products although Nikwax and Grangers do get a brief mention under the 'washing" heading. I stand to be corrected but I also think the majority of Merrell footwear is suede based not nubuck. Merrell seem to totally rely on the waterproof liner in their footwear for any waterproofing.

https://www.merrell.com/UK/en_GB/content?caid=cs-faqs#care

https://www.merrell.com/US/en/content?caid=faq
Quote
7. FOOTWEAR CARE & MAINTENANCE To prolong the lifetime of our shoes/boot its very important to look after them and a vital part of that it cleaning and reproofing them. CLEANING Surface dirt such as mud and grit can be cleaned off with a shoe brush, an old toothbrush or nail brush, a little warm water and if needed a sponge/soft cloth. This should take care of the dirt and is fine to do once in a while WASHING Don’t wash your shoes in a washing machine. Remove the sock-liner or insole and wash it separately. This will help the inside of your shoe stay fresher. Laces can be washed and/or replaced. A number of brands have washing sprays/’dabbers’ that can also be used to assist the customer getting off all the debris i.e. Nikwax, Grangers etc. DRYING Don’t place them near a heating device such as a heater, radiator or in an airing cupboard. Direct heat will alter the shape of the shoe. Open out the shoe and then stuff the inside with kitchen paper or newspaper. The paper will absorb the water and leave to dry overnight. REPROOFING Whenever you clean a waterproof product its important to reproof it. A Merrell product with a waterproof membrane whether Gore-Tex or M-Select Dry will remain waterproof no matter what, however reproofing is still very important as it looks after the outer material and therefore you should reproof every time you clean your shoes as this will wipe away any remnants of a Durable Water Repellency (DWR coating) The outer on any footwear is there to give structure to a product and to protect the waterproof membrane. If we do not reproof the product and the outer degrades then it wont be able to do its job of looking after the membrane and giving structure to the product.