Waxing my boots?
QWhy and how should I wax my leather walking boots?
You don’t need to reproof your boots after every use, but it’s good practice to treat them after every few trips – even if your boots have a waterproof lining such as Gore-Tex. This is because if the outer materials absorb water, they will reduce breathability, so you’ll end up with sweatier feet and the boots will be heavy and slow to dry. Furthermore, wet leather stretches and then weakens and becomes brittle when it dries.
It is important you don’t use normal household detergent products, as these can damage the materials. Instead, go for dedicated products from brands such as Nikwax, Grangers and Storm. Each brand makes specific treatments to optimise performance on different materials such as nubuck leather, suede leather or boots made from synthetic fabric. Liquid treatments are easy to apply and soak into the materials but don’t cause the boot to lose its support. These liquid treatments also do not change the look of the materials too much.
Another option for smooth leathers and full-grain leather is to apply soft beeswax products, which require rubbing in by hand. These take a little more work to apply, particularly around the seams, but they are marketed as offering higher levels of water resistance.