I currently own three pairs of Rocky Boots, and Amber owns a pair of Redhead boots. They are all hunting boots and have varying amounts of leather on them. Leather needs to be taken care of and protected to insure that it lasts longer and keeps you dry. For this article, I am going to talk about sealing my three pairs of Rocky boots. They each have different amounts of leather on them and they are all Gore-Tex. The picture above shows what condition my boots were in after last hunting season, sealing these boots is something that I do each fall to make sure my boots last longer.
Well, I will start by showing you a few pictures that give you an idea of what condition my boots were in, as well as giving you a “before” picture so that you can see the difference when we are done.
We will start by taking a lint free cloth (I normally use paper towels) and cleaning the boots of any mud or dirt. For this step, use only water, as you never want to use a cleaner on Gore-Tex because it could affect how well it works and can discolor the leather or fabric. Allow the boots to dry completely before you start the sealing process.
Next you will be applying the sealer, I have used a product called Sno-Seal Original Beeswax (pictured above), Sno-Seal is a bee’s wax based product, so you will notice in the picture below that it looks just like wax. To start, get paper towels and a hair dryer (yes, a hair dryer), so you do not have to stop in the middle of the process. You will start by putting a generous amount on the paper towel (pictured below) and just put a nice even coat of on all of the leather on your boots. Make sure you do not miss the seams or any areas that have been worn.
Pictured below are all of my boots after I put a good coat over all the leather. **NOTE: Remember that this is wax based so do it over something that you can clean wax off of easily.
Now that I have coated all the leather on all 3 pairs of boots, I move on to the actual sealing part. You will need to get a lint free rag, I like using old t-shirts. Then, you will arm yourself with the hair dryer and on the high heat setting start melting the wax into the boots as shown above. You will notice that once it is melted into the boots, it no longer looks as wet or shiny. Now sometimes you apply more than you need (pictures below), do not try to keep the heat on this area until it melts. Take your lint free rag and wipe the wax smooth around that area and re apply the heat will it melts in evenly.
The big things to keep in mind is that you DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE THE HEAT IN ONE SPOT TOO LONG or you could burn the leather or dry it out too much. The other thing I want to stress is DO NOT USE anything like a heat gun, a hair dryer is about as hot as you want to get, anything hotter and you risk burning or destroying the leather.
Now that you have done that, if you have any areas that still look dry or have not deepened in color, you can apply a second coat, just follow the same directions. After you feel that you have a good seal on the leather, wipe it down with your lint free rag and make sure you do have any excess, re-visit any of the areas that you wiped excess off with the heat to make sure everything is melted in. Then, you are left with the final product as shown below.
Now that you have sealed your boots, if you used Sno-Seal (as I did on the boots above) it has very little odor, which is why I like it so much. The fact that it has very little odor is nice when it comes to hunting, but I still normally let my boots air out for a week or two, and then apply a scent eliminator such as,
Dead Down Wind ScentPrevent Evolve Field Spray . Finally, I will spray a cover scent such as the Wildlife Research Premium Masking and Cover Scents - Earth the day before the hunt and right before I enter the woods.
Did you seal your boots this fall? What product did you use and how well did you like it? How did it compare to what I showed above?