Winterproofing Blunnies
December 6, 2010 5:39 PM   Subscribe

How should I prepare my Blundstones for winter in Toronto?

I'm not sure if I should be using an oily leather treatment or a wax one. Specifically, Blundstones used to come with a little sample packet of Nikwax, but the Australian Boot Company here, who specialize in Blunnies, recommend R.M. Williams Saddle Dressing, which contains tallow and neatsfoot oil in their ingredients list before "waxes". I've used the saddle dressing a couple of times already but I'm not sure it's going to be the best defense against salt.

My goal is to keep my feet dry and to make my boots survive the salted streets of a Toronto winter. The salt is probably my biggest concern, I know both will make the boots passably waterproof, and if it's slooooshy out I wear rubber boots anyhow.

(Also I keep typing "salad dressing," but that's something else.)
posted by mendel to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I always just used a regular leather waterproofing spray.. never had any problems. Incidentally, Blundstone has a new 'winter' model this year, lined with thinsulate and sheepskin -- I've not tried it, but I always found that the regular models were pretty chilly in the dead of winter, so I'm thinking about getting the new version.
posted by modernnomad at 5:59 PM on December 6, 2010

Response by poster: new 'winter' model

I saw that and was very tempted, but I've got thick socks for the chilly days and a pair of Sorels for the real cold days.
posted by mendel at 6:27 PM on December 6, 2010

It's not great for the leather, but white vinegar gets rid of the salt stains. Then we do a good cleaning with whatever saddle-soapy product we have around, and I think my husband uses mink oil on just about everything, so he'll do that. We just keep the spongy oily buffer thing that they sell along with Blunnies handy for quick clean-ups. I bought these sheepskin insoles at the one of a kind show for $5, and they're a big help for warmth - but I wouldn't wear them in the worst weather anyway, as you've said. And, well, it depends on the style you've got, but I like Blundstones to look a little distressed. Not sloppy and salty - but worn. Brand-new shiny ones look strange to me.
posted by peagood at 8:20 PM on December 6, 2010

Best answer: Sno Seal is your friend. When applied correctly, your boots will still buff up great.
posted by scruss at 4:21 AM on December 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Dittoing Sno Seal. Works great on split leather, not so great on suede. Can darken colours a bit though.
posted by bonehead at 9:56 AM on December 7, 2010

Response by poster: So I liked the SnoSeal idea but having the saddle treatment already in the house won out. It's been a cold winter so not that much goopy salt, but so far things seem to be holding up fine.

Definitely storing SnoSeal in the corner of my brain for later though, thanks.

And peagood: my Blunnies are pretty distressed, but on my last pair, the leather started cracking away after a particularly salty winter. On the other hand, that was in the boots' eighth year. Definitely not shiny though.
posted by mendel at 7:33 PM on January 5, 2011

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