It’s 6am, the dog is awake and demanding a walk with imploring eyes and a persuasive bladder, and there’s a heavy dew in the nearby field.
It’s way too early to have to suffer the penetrating cold of wet shoes, but alas your boots are no longer as waterproof as they once were and you know you’re going to come home with damp socks.
Well, that’s where those clever guys and girls at Nikwax come in.
After our last review of their Cotton Proofer, Nikwax were good enough to send us a box of different products which we’ll be putting through their paces as and when we think of suitably demanding tests.
I have a 4 year old pair of Hi-Tec V-lite trail boots. They’re my favourite pair of boots and I’ve worn them into the exact shape of my feet, so they’re like slippers. Alas, however, they’re knackered. They let in water at the seams, they soak up puddles like sponges and they stay damp for days. The perfect test-bed then for Nikwax’s gear.
I chose to treat one boot, and leave the other one untouched for comparison.
First off, I gave the test-boot a clean with a damp cloth and then a rub down using Nikwax’s Footwear Cleaning Gel. A 1-minute job thanks to its built in applicator – just press the bottle on your boot and rub it around.
After a quick rinse I simply sprayed the boot all over with the Nubuck & Suede Proof and left it to dry overnight outside.
The only ‘problem’ with this process was the slight coating of wax I got on my hand during application (the arm holding the boot). It made my toast taste funny despite washing afterwards. Next time I’ll wear a rubber glove.
The next day, testing time arrived so I put on both boots and went for a walk around a very wet field.
Within a minute, the un-treated boot was sodden and starting to leak at the seams.
Within 10 minutes, my sock was wet and getting uncomfortable. On a longer hike it would have caused blisters.
However, the Nikwax proofed boot remained dry inside and out. Any water simply beaded on the shoe and rolled off. Even the vent holes in the toe area remained dry.
SUMMARY: Nikwax continues to impress with this Nubuck and Suede Proofer. Easy and quick to apply, with clear instructions. Results speak for themselves – very impressive. Revive any old boots in minutes. Just don’t spray your arm, because it smells a bit funny for a while.
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