Yenya's World

Tue, 17 Nov 2009

Footwear Waterproofing

This year's Tmou with its almost start-to-finish rain has made me to think again about my approach to waterproofing my boots. I have about eight years old Hanwag Alaska Nubuk leather boots with Gore-Tex membrane (which is definitely not functional anymore after these years). So the leather is now the only barrier between the outer wet conditions and the inside of the boot.

In the last few years, I have used wax-based water proofing (e.g. Granger's G-WAX). It worked, and the boots remained water resistant for several times of usage. However, I often had my feet wet from the inside, as I tend to sweat a lot.

Recently I have bought Granger's G-MAX Leather conditioner, which is not as "thick" as a wax, but apparently the boot is still water-resistant. I have however had no chance to test it in rainy weather until this year's Tmou. Expecting heavy rain during the competition, I have applied several layers of the leather conditioner on my Alaskas.

I was rather surprised that this time not only the boots remained water resistant, but I also had not my feet wet from the inside. Probably the wax, unlike the leather conditioner, keeps the boot air-tight, causing the feet getting wet because of sweating. So far so good, but there was another rather unpleasant surprise after Tmou: when my boots dried, the most exposed parts of the leather (namely foreparts) were completely dry as if it were just to crack.

Is it expected? Do I need to waterproof my boots again only after a day in a rainy weather? How do you waterproof your outdoor boots, my dear lazyweb?

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