My poor old Anatom Q2 boots have a hard life. They get woken up at stupid o’clock and made to trudge through brambles, mud, chalky mush and whatever weather the gods choose to throw at them during search & rescue operations, and often come home damp, cold and distinctly tired-looking. Unfortunately for them, they’re the boots I chose to run a long-term test using Nikwax’s Waterproofing Wax for Leather.
Sold in a squeezy dispenser with a foam applicator on the end, the Waterproofing Wax for Leather is a peanut-butter like substance which you rub on to clean boots in order to protect and feed the leather, keeping it supple, waterproof and breathable.
Made entirely from non-nasty substances, the Waterproofing Wax seems to last 3-4 sessions of muddy walking before needing a top up, and requires 2-3 minutes per boot to unlace and properly rub-in a covering.
The applicator works really well. I thought it’d snag and tear on the eyelets of my Q2’s but it has remained undamaged over what I’d guess has been a dozen applications.
Nikwax say you can apply the Wax to wet or dry boots, and use them again straight away. I have always applied it to freshly washed boots and left them to dry for a few hours. You can see that the initial milky coating of wax soaks in to the leather and leaves it shiny over this time.
It certainly helps with waterproofing; taking far longer for a treated boot to show signs of soaking in water than an untreated boot. And the condition of the leather on the Q2’s after so much abuse is surprisingly good. They’re still soft and flexible with plenty of nicks and scratches but no sign of cracks.
What it doesn’t do is form a complete, permanent barrier against water. It’s a coating, and it will wear off eventually. If you are planning a long distance excursion over multiple days it would be worth taking the applicator (50ml) with you to do a top-up.
I only have one complaint about the Waterproofing Wax for Leather, and that is that it has seemed to separate in its tube into what I can only describe as curds and whey. A couple of times I have forgotten to give the tube a good massaging before applying, and been greeted with a squirt of watery liquid instead of a tendril of wax.
SUMMARY: Nikwax’s Waterproofing Wax for Leather is a cheap and effective solution to prolonging the water resistance and life of leather boots. It’s very easy to apply to wet or dry boots and works immediately. It even returns old boots to a shiny, new look.
Price: Around £2 for 50ml, which has served me over a dozen applications