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#127470 - 03/16/08 03:44 AM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: OldBaldGuy]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2690
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I know a couple of guys who have these boots. Both love them -- best boots we've ever had, they say.

One of them got them on the Queen's Shilling. According to him, standard practice (20 years ago) was to impregnate them with liquid silicone, over and over and over. This was a guy who would stomp heedlessly through rivers and laugh at us prissy hikers with our ankle boots and our sandals for wading. Sheesh.

(One time, while he was in his cups -- overproof rum -- I more-or-less duct-taped him on top of a rock the size of a house, and invited the ravens to come pluck out his eyeballs. Alas, the ravens didn't want him. I remember those camping trips fondly.)

Anyway, back to the point: in years past, I would have said spray them with ScotchGuard, over and over and over, when the stuff was more effective and less green (not sure now). I'd had it with beeswax preparations that didn't actually penetrate the stitching (which is where boots leak first).

For the past seven+ years I've been using Biwell from MEC, which is the best stuff ever invented. It's cheap, it goes on smoothly, it penetrates deep past the surface of the leather and stitching, and you can even put on a parade gloss shine over top.

Apparently it's too good: MEC has just stopped carrying it (if the website is accurate). I need to snap up old stock while I can.

You should do the same. Enjoy the boots.


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#127481 - 03/16/08 02:41 PM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: dougwalkabout]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Like Hacksaw wrote , lanolin was supposed to be the real thing for keeping leather sound - for hundreds of years - according to the shoeshine guy.

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#127482 - 03/16/08 02:51 PM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Frankie]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Ok thanks everyone, so far my strategy is to just use water and sponge/terrycloth/horse hair brush to clean and that maybe if I had a Porsche with luxurious leather seats I would bother cleaning and conditioning with an alkaline free cleaner and a lanolin based conditioner like Lexol. And I'll use plain old Kiwi shoe polish to protect (and polish)... or should I just use Kiwi Protector!? (I don't need a parade shine...)

But theoretically there's four steps and maybe it's better to use a dedicated product for each step:

1. clean (with alkaline free but with stuff containing glycerin)
2. condition (lanolin based, apply when boot is dry)
3. polish (cream based)
4. protect (wax or silicone... apply when slightly damp since it's water-based most of the time)

Our local stores seem to sell products from the Canadian manufacturer Moneysworth & Best. Anybody can recommend it? It contains lanolin which is good... They claim it helps clean condition and polish all at the same time?! I'm skeptical cause I know there's no magic in life:
http://www.sears.ca/gp/product/B000W21OKG?searsBrand=core

In short my question is, if I limit myself to cleaning with water and polishing with Kiwi Shoe Polish, will the shoe polish also help protect? I guess it will but since I live in a dirty environment I should enphasize on protection.

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#127508 - 03/16/08 09:51 PM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Frankie]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Ok, I went out there and found out that Moneysworth & Best is actually a mall chain of shoe repair. I went to Canadian Tire and they don't have Lexol but do have 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 leather care products. Should I trust these cleaner and conditioner in one step products or should I keep looking for Lexol? And can I use instead a pH balanced shampoo? And I learned that I also should wash also inside the boots to eliminate salty sweat that can be even more destructive to the boots.

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#127509 - 03/16/08 09:58 PM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Frankie]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
Frankie, my fellow forum friend..... They're cowhide leather. Wash them with saddle soap, rinse well, let dry, put some Kiwi on them, and strap them on your feet........


Edited by Stretch (03/16/08 10:00 PM)
_________________________
DON'T BE SCARED
-Stretch

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#127510 - 03/16/08 10:10 PM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Stretch]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
I hate to see that the industry always try to capitalize on laziness of people by selling 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 step stuff. Like convenience stores which actually are capitalizing on laziness of people 99% of the time because people don't want to go to the grocery store that's a couple of streets farther rather than helping out when you're in trouble (Dépanneur in french).

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#127511 - 03/16/08 10:36 PM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Stretch]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
I guess you're right, they are probably what we call "full grain leather".

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#127523 - 03/17/08 12:54 AM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Frankie]
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
Now, there is another step you can take if water-proofing (or rather, water-resisting) is your goal. It's time consuming, but worth it. Spit shine them. Now I'm talking (after they're clean) old-school spit-shine. Military and some law enforcement guys will know about this. Using a worn, soft, cotton handkerchief, wrapped tightly around one or two fingers so the end is nice and smooth, you rub a little in your Kiwi can, then onto the boot in small, tight circles. Over and over, over and over, all around the boot. It's like french polishing to woodworkers. The buildup is slow but sure, and when it starts to shine you know you're getting there. What's happening is the polish is being forced down into the pores of the leather, in tiny increments, and is building up to where the surface is smooth and level, not pebble-grained.

I always kept the Kiwi lid with a little water in it, so I could dip the handkerchief tip into it every so often, helping the wax glide and settle into the pores. Another trick was to light the wax on fire with a match (Zippo for military guys), let it burn for 3 or 4 seconds, then snuff it out. After the wax cools for a few moments, it's nice and soft. This is good when you first start, so you can get more polish on quickly.

I'm not suggesting shiny boots. After you've built up your spit shine, then you can buff out some of the shine with a stiff brush. Wearing them out in the boonies will help scuff and dull them even more. Every so often, when you think they need more protection, apply the Kiwi with a small, round brush, then buff it out as you normally would with a shoe brush. The boots stay protect because of the underlying spit-shine.


Edited by Stretch (03/17/08 01:00 AM)
_________________________
DON'T BE SCARED
-Stretch

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#127525 - 03/17/08 01:07 AM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Stretch]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Ah, the dreaded spit shine. Been there, done that. A lot. For water, use cold water. I used to put an ice cube in my water (in the lid of the Kiwi can of course) to keep it cool. As for "burning in" the polish, I had better luck with heating, but not setting on fire, the polish. Used my trusty Zippo (back when I smoked). But years later I finally discovered that the burning in polishing seemed to dry the leather more than not burning in, ruining the boot before its time. Must be the flame to the leather thing. Best cloth ever is a well used cloth diaper. Kinda hard to find in a barracks. Next best is a well washed high quality tee shirt cloth. Cotton balls are OK too, but you have to replace them often. Given the current rough-out boots and plastic shoes the military, even the USMC, is going to, spitshinning may be a dieing art...
_________________________
OBG

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#127526 - 03/17/08 01:38 AM Re: How to properly take care of leather boots [Re: Stretch]
Frankie Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 734
Loc: Montréal, Québec, Canada
Thanks Stretch. But is it all right to apply Nikwax waterproofing over the Kiwi polish layer or is it overkill and doesn't make sense and in really damp and slushy conditions use rubber overboots instead?

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