Our Sno Seal review will tell you all you need to know to help protect your precious leather footwear. Sno Seal is an old school favorite that has stood the test of time as a treatment to waterproof and condition leather goods. When applied to boots and shoes, it can prolong their lifespan, helping you make the most of your investment.
Here is a quick overview of what we will cover:
- What is Sno Seal?
- What are the Sno Seal ingredients?
- How to apply Sno Seal.
- Sno Seal application tips and instructions.
- Frequently asked questions about Sno Seal.
What is Sno Seal? A Quick Review
Atsko has manufactured Sno Seal since the 1930s as a product for waterproofing leather goods, including boots and shoes.
Developed by Omer Daiber, an avid outdoor enthusiast, it promises to waterproof your footwear without compromising the leather. It can help protect against the effects of sun, rain, snow and salt, which can cause havoc with untreated leather.
Made primarily from beeswax, once applied, the formula dries on the surface of the leather without clogging the natural pores. It can prevent your boots from soaking up water while still allowing the leather (and your feet) to breathe. This means you’ll be lighter on your feet as you won’t be carrying extra water weight.
As well as waterproofing, Sno Seal can help prevent your boots and shoes from staining. This is great if you wear them in rain or snow—no more white or salty watermarks. This waterproofing treatment won’t soften the leather, so it doesn’t compromise your boots’ ability to support your feet.
On the downside, you need to patch test the product first as it can darken the color of the leather. It also might not be suitable for nubuck or suede. It can change the nap and feel of the surface of these two types of material and could affect their color.
- Waterproofing properties for full-grain and soft grain leather.
- It helps protect against stains.
- Odorless once dry.
- The formula isn’t greasy.
- It could affect the original color of the leather.
- Compatibility is questionable with use on nubuck and suede leather.
|Sno Seal obtains waterproofing properties from beeswax. Its non-greasy formula protects full-grain leather from the effects of the weather and helps prevent stains. However, it can darken the color of footwear, and may not be the best solution for suede or nubuck leather.
Sno Seal Ingredients
What is Sno Seal made of? As we mentioned above, beeswax is the primary ingredient. This versatile natural substance has been used for millennia in many applications, including cosmetics, candles polishes, and pharmaceuticals.
A temporary solvent is added to allow you to use the product with ease. This evaporates after application, leaving the beeswax behind to protect your boots and shoes.
How to Apply Sno Seal
Waterproofing your boots and shoes should be a breeze if you follow our simple steps. Remember to do a patch test first. Apply Sno Seal to an inconspicuous area, such as inside the collar or under the tongue. That way, you’ll be able to make sure that it doesn’t adversely affect the color of your boots.
What You Need
- Sno Seal.
- Shoe brush.
- Clean rag.
- Hairdryer or heat lamp (optional).
- Using a shoe brush, remove any dirt or debris from your footwear.
- If your boots are particularly dirty, you might need to use a dedicated leather cleaner such as this saddle soap from Fiebings. You can read more about this leather cleaner in our article, all about saddle soap.
- Alternately you can use a damp cloth, but make sure your boots are dry before applying Sno Seal.
- Once your boots are clean and dry, they need to be warmed before Sno Seal is applied. You can place them in a sunny spot for an hour or so, but for speed, use a hairdryer or heat lamp.
- Do not let the boots become too hot. You should be able to hold them comfortably (a suggested temperature of below 120 degrees Fahrenheit). The product absorbs better on leather that has been warmed, penetrating the fibers and pores.
- Using your fingers, rub Sno Seal on the leather using a circular motion.
- Apply the Sno Seal to the whole of your boots and then examine them.
- If areas remain dull in appearance, then you might need to apply more.
- Ensure that the stitching, seams, and welts get extra attention. These areas can let water into your boots.
- You will know when you have applied enough by checking for a shine on the boots a minute or so after application. This indicates that the leather cannot absorb any more of the wax.
- Using a clean rag, remove any excess product from the boots or shoes.
- Finish by buffing to a shine with a shoe brush like this one from Kiwi.
Application Tips and Instructions
Here are some tips and instructions that can help you when waterproofing your leather.
- You can use leather gloves to apply the Sno Seal. This will help waterproof and condition the gloves at the same time, especially if they are work gloves.
- If you don’t want to get your fingers messy, you can use an old rag to dab on the product. Wrap it tightly around your fingers, so any excess cloth doesn’t get in your way.
- Make sure you heat the boots and not the product in its original container. Heating the product can cause the temporary solvent to evaporate, and the Sno Seal will become hard. That being said, you could remove some product from the jar and warm it in a microwave to make it easier to apply.
- Reseal the container properly after use to prevent it from drying out and hardening.
- For a high shine finish, apply shoe polish after the Sno Seal and buff.
- Remove the laces from boots or shoes before using Sno Seal. This ensures they won’t come into contact with the product during application—reducing the risk of ruining them.
- Leave your boots overnight to dry thoroughly before wearing them.
- For further tips, read our comprehensive guide on how to waterproof your leather boots.
Check out this video demonstrating an application on a pair of leather boots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sno Seal Bad for Leather?
Sno Seal is a natural product and should not damage the leather, seams, or stitching on boots and shoes. While it doesn’t soften leather, it provides enough lubrication to prevent them from drying out and hardening or cracking. This can help prolong the life of your leather footwear.
What Else Can You Use Sno Seal On?
Sno Seal is great for waterproofing full-grain leather goods. It’s not just for footwear, think about things like gloves, jackets, and handbags. It can also be used to waterproof waxed cotton and the seams on tents.
Can I Waterproof My Nubuck Boots With Sno Seal?
Like suede, nubuck is leather from the underside of a hide. It’s brushed, so the nap is raised, which gives it a soft feel. Using Sno Seal on nubuck can flatten the nap and alter the feel of your boots.
It should work to waterproof nubuck boots. So if you don’t mind changing the feel or color, then you could use it. Just remember that once you have applied it, there is no turning back—you won’t be able to remove it once it’s on there.
For suede and nubuck leather, you might be better off using a product like Scotchgard, which is specifically designed to waterproof these materials.
You can find out more about aftercare for nubuck in our article, how to clean nubuck shoes and boots.
Can I Use Sno Seal on Gore Tex Lined Leather Boots?
Sno Seal keeps moisture from entering through the leather of your boots, but the manufacturer advises us that it still allows the leather to breathe. This means that the moisture absorbed by a Gore-Tex liner can still escape, keeping your feet dry and fresh.
Ready to Face the Elements!
Trudging around in soggy wet boots is no fun. Our Sno Seal review indicates that it can prevent the leather from absorbing water keeping your feet warm and dry—and your boots lighter. The natural beeswax repels water while allowing the leather to breathe.
Leather boots and shoes are an investment that can be costly. It makes sense to use a product that is reliable, like Sno Seal, to protect them, and possibly prolong their life. After all, most of us have a favorite pair of leather boots or shoes that we would be loathed to consign to the footwear graveyard.
We hope you found our review helpful and picked up some tips on how to waterproof leather with Sno Seal. We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment and don’t forget to share.