If you are in a part of the world now undergoing a snow/slush/rain season you probably have some waterproof boots made of rubber/plastic/Gortex/etc. But since you don’t always want to look like you are going on a backwoods expedition you probably also have some nice leather footwear (I’m partial to Fluevogs, though recently got some Durango boots as well). Here are some tips for protecting your leather from the elements:
For leather protection my go-to products are from Obenauf’s:
– Their Heavy Duty LP was developed for the severe conditions endured by wildland firefighters. It is especially useful for any leather that gets worked hard and is regularly exposed to harsh environments. Three natural oils are suspended in Beeswax and Propolis. In the leather these oils gradually seep out of the Beeswax/Propolis suspension formula. I apply it to my boots with my bare hands (the body heat helps melt and spread it) and find that it’s a great skin conditioner too!
– For less severe weather exposure, and for applying to other leather items such as jackets and furniture, Obenauf’s Leather Oil is a gentle blend of natural oils, waxes, and propolis that extends the life of leather and also rejuvenates neglected, dried, faded leather. Easier to apply than the Heavy Duty LP, it provides fast convenient protection that also preserves.
Whatever you use for protecting your leather footwear, you also want to allow it to dry between wearings. And by “drying” I mean not only if the boots get soaked from snow or rain, but also from any internal perspiration that accumulates from wearing them all day inside at work due to the boots’ insulation, wearing wool socks, etc. I have cedar trees for all of my good boots and shoes – the wood both absorbs moisture and provides natural odor-fighting.
I’ve been buying Woodlore cedar trees at Zappo’s, but right now Sierra Trading Post has a much better price on both women’s and men’s sizes. If you haven’t shopped from STP before, use this link to get a $10 coupon.