Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Winterproofing Boots & Gloves

NikWax, Sno Seal  compound and my Walking Co. suede cleaner kit.

Keeping extremities warm and dry is always a challenge in winter.  Whether riding a bike, hiking or walking, having cold feet and hands makes the excursion, well, miserable.  Add in snow and ice factors which only makes matters worse as you feel the cold wetness creeping into the joints of your hands and feet.  Someone say "rheumatism"?

I GloveThee
Nikwax Glove Proof is a bit messy but Sno Seal spray is a quick fix.

Well, I believe in making a preemptive strike so this time of year, I make a point to waterproof my gloves and boots before precipitation even hits the ground.  Some of my favorite gloves are leather.  Very warm but if they get wet, the comfort factor drops significantly.  I mean, what's the use if you can't make a snowball and hurl it at someones head while you're out?  Waterproof those gloves and you'll be ready.   Nixwax Glove Proof is a liquid and comes with its own sponge applicator.  Apply evenly over the entire surface of your gloves, paying close attention to the seams.  After two minutes, wipe with a clean cloth.  It can also be used on cloth gloves so it's pretty versatile.

Boot Me
Suede Boot Care Kit for UGGs
I practically live in leather boots during winter.  My UGGs require a bit of special care because water stains on suede are nearly impossible to remove.  So I have a special little Sheepskin Care Kit from The Walking Company to deal with them.  The stain and water repellent that comes with this kit is incredible for making water bead up on suede.  Otherwise smooth leather boots and athletic shoes get an application of Sno Seal which is a very thick beeswax based compound.  I heat the boot with a hair dryer and apply the Sno Seal allowing it to melt into the seams.  Once it cools, you have a watertight seal on your footwear that lasts the whole season.

You can do the same with your leather gloves, ski boots and ice skate boots as Sno Seal works on them as well.  I add the Sno-Seal before my ice skate blades are mounted so the entire sole is protected from ice and water damage.  Water just beads up and your feet stay so much warmer.

If I just want to apply a light water proofing on my athletic footwear, Sno-Seal's Shoe & Boot Water Repellent Spray is my choice.  Very easy to apply.  Just spray it on in a well ventilated area.  Do not use this spray product on suede though.  The label says not recommended for light suede but I'd steer clear of it even on darker colors.  Do this once at the beginning of the season and you'll be amazed at how warm your feet and hands will feel and how long your gloves and boots will last.  If you are like me and see your gear as an investment, it will really pay to maintain it.  Be sure to enter to win the Holiday Polar Bottle Giveaway Giveaway Details & Entry Here!

The Walking Company Sheepskin Care Kit has suede stain / water repellent, cleaner, eraser & brush

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