Now Playing: Snowproofing 101
Leather, suede, rubber and cloth boots and gloves need extra protection from the revages of winter. One of the easiest ways to insure they will perform for you year after year is to waterproof them when they are new. Even if your apparel has been neglected, doing some maintenance before the new season begins can prevent and even restore damage.
Nikwax Glove Proof: This sponge on product was a new one for me but it can be used for both leather and fabric based gloves. It is recommended for Gore-Tex, SympaTex and Entrant lined gloves. You'll want to be sure that your gloves are clean before applying and shake the container well as the liquid tends to separate. Apply with the built in sponge applicator being sure to work it into the seems and stitching. After 2 minutes, remove any excess with a damp cloth. Nikwax Glove Proof waterproofs while maintaining breathability and grip.
TIP: If your leather gloves are very dirty, I would suggest using Meguiar's Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner/Condition first. You can find it in the automotive section with the car polish but it contains Aloe and other nutrients that clean moisturize and preserve your "skins".
Sno-Seal All Season Leather Protector: I first started using Sno-Seal on my ice skating boots before mounting the blades. It is excellent for keeping your feet warm and dry out on the ice both for indoor and outdoor rinks. It is a stiff beeswax based product which makes it easy to apply without running all over the place. Since it doesn't contain grease, oil or animal fat, it won't cause your boots and gloves to deteriorate. You'll need to warm up your leather products first by placing them in a sunny window or use a hand held hair dryer. Once the leather is warm, rub the Sno-Seal in and you'll see that it melts like butter. Wipe off any excess product and you're done! I usually reapply once a year at the very beginning of the winter season.
TIP: I use Snow-Seal for my ice skates and snowshoes but it can also be used for hiking boots, cross country skiing, leather gloves and work boots. Really anything leather that comes in contact with snow or rain will benefit from Sno-Seal which also comes in a tube for easy traveling.
Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather : This product comes in a squeeze tube so you'll need to watch the application. This also has a built in sponge applicator but I found that when packaged in a tube, the product is very hard re-mix once separated. All the same, this is a waterbased leather waterproofer for smooth leather and footwear. If you have suede UGG Boots you'll want to use the following products below.
The Walking Company Sheepskin Care Set includes Cleaner, Rain & Stain Repellent: This set comes in its own brown sheepskin tote and includes a handy little suede brush. This perhaps the best way to protect your investment of sheepskin suede boots. If the boots are dirty, use the Cleaner first as directed. After that you can apply the Rain and Stain Repellent. You will notice that the suede will become smoother after treatment with these products which may effect them aesthetically but not in function.
The Wrap: Different materials need different products for protection. Here I've given you some suggestions based on what the pros use plus my own experience. When all is said and done, the best product is the one you will use regularly to protect your outerwear from the elements.