SNO-SEAL Original Beeswax Best Waterproofing For Boots


This morning I used the infamous ‘SNO-SEAL’ beeswax on my crusty old Timberland leather work boots. In my experience it is the best waterproofing for boots all season long.

Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing

As you can see in the picture above, they were used and abused this past year (actually I’ve had these boots for a number of years – although I somewhat rotate what I wear), and they were badly in need of some protection and waterproofing.

Protection for one’s feet (boots!) is VERY important when it comes to preparedness acquisitions, especially since in a time of (collapse?) SHTF, or even normal times while living more self-sufficient (rugged?) – you will certainly be using your feet more often and probably in harsh conditions.

Regularly treating your leather work boots (any leather, not just work boots) with SNO-SEAL is cheap insurance to help keep your feet dry – and to help protect the leather…

Here’s how it works:


While the picture above showing my boots after being treated with SNO-SEAL still shows the leather’s wear-and-tear, the boots are now coated and penetrated with a soft beeswax that will keep the moisture out. My boots were so dry that I will probably do them a second time. The instructions say to apply as much as the leather will absorb…


What is SNO-SEAL made from?

It is really made from Bee’s Wax. Not grease or oil or some other product.

It’s made in the USA by a company named ‘ATSKO’, in Orangeburg, SC.


What’s so good about Beeswax (SNO-SEAL) and how does it work?

It is superior from the combination of its ability to remain fixed in the outer layer of the leather and the superior water resistance of Beeswax. It dries to a solid wax that stays put on the surface.

Grease, oil, animal fat, and many other wax formulas are liquid (or at least soft enough to migrate thru leather), and they’re not as good as beeswax because they soak away from the surface and migrate through the leather.

Beeswax provides just enough lubrication to prevent hardening of leather in typical use. It does not soften leather.

It maintains flexibility in freezing temperatures.

It does not interfere with the natural breathability of leather (or Gortex).


How do you apply SNO-SEAL beeswax?

You just smear it on. I use a small piece of cotton (cut from an old t-shirt) and squeeze some of it on the cloth – and then rub it into the boot. I apply it especially thick to the seam-sole areas! The directions say to simply keep applying it until it won’t absorb anymore.

They also say that it helps to heat up the boot (e.g. with a hairdryer or leave them in front of the wood stove or radiator, etc..) so that the wax absorbs better. It does help, although I’ve done it both ways.

This has been a public awareness tip which may inspire some of you to get your hands on some of this stuff for the sake of your work boots and dry feet…

Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing

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  1. Melt it first if you buy it in a can. Then it soaks into the leather as well as coats..

  2. Good stuff. Don’t use it on boots or shoes that you mind if they go a couple shades darker.

  3. Wondering if this stuff works on Tennis Shoes? JKing of course :-)
    I also use this stuff on me leather gun holsters and rifle scabbards, works GREAT!!!!!

  4. Now would be a good time to accumulate a few pairs of ‘camp shoes’ to extend the life of your ‘zombie apocalypse’ footwear :^). Because I’m not sure how well those DIY tire tread sandals would do in knee deep snow.

    Good call on the Sno-Seal treatment – works well on your leather knife sheaths too.

  5. Have a pair of hunting boots that just celebrated their 20th birthday thanks to Sno Seal! Great stuff.

  6. I found sno-seal when I was 10 YO, 56 years ago, and have several partial cans. Might melt them all together. I will be getting more. Good barter item. Also if you get rough or chapped hands get Bag Balm. They make it in small cans.

  7. This is new to me. When I found water proof deer hides from my tanner as an experiment, wow! I made mocs outer layer with them and deerskin capes for the leather dusters I produced and sold. Looked and felt just like leather. You can put the whole hide under water over night in the bathtub and the hide never got wet even with pieces cut out of it. When I took it out of the tub, the water just beaded off. I believe they were cured with the regular tanning solution but they added silicone to permeate the hide. Even dirt washed off with a wet sponge. I wondered why it wasn’t used commercially in boot leather, it would make the crèmes and beeswax companies go out of business. Since then, I haven’t been able to get them again and the tannery went out of business when the stock market crashed.

  8. I’ve been using this for over 30 years. Excellent product. Best to use Saddle Soap before you use Sno-Seal.

  9. I can attest this is good stuff, I’ve been using it for 25 years. I prefer to clean the leather with a damp cloth first, then heat them up on warm in the oven, and apply the sno seal with my bare fingers to work it well into seams. After the seal dries, I buff it out with a soft shoe brush or horse brush, it seems to resist picking up dry dirt better after buffing (you will notice after applying that your boots will initially pick up more dirt)

  10. Got pairs of Danner, Hanwag and Timberland boots for all of us. They all have been waxed and waterproofed. The wax works great. Also, for extreme cold weather, I have a box of the Grabber (I think) foot warmers, hand and body warmers.
    My best experience to layer for cold weather is with RedRam or Icebreaker base layers. We also have winter parkas with at least a 750 down rating and for up to -45 degrees and thermal wool socks. We are pretty set for really cold climates…

    1. @Texas
      Ok, I have to say it. You have a h3ll of a lot of cold weather gear for living in Texazzzz. LOLOL
      NRP, from NM hahaha, you know how we-all feel about Texazzzzz LOLOL

      1. NRP….hmmm…I am very, very close by lol….True, they are heavy boots for this corner. But we do travel up in northern climates so rather be prepared.
        NM…I love NM, it beats the heck out of the big city south of you.
        PS: Spent years in New England, Missouri and late husband was a cheesehead, plus Germany got really cold in the winter…so, lots of cold weather gear. Going next week to Las Cruces and Mesilla Valley…Used to be often in Kirtland and Socorro…

        1. @ Taxes
          NW Texas huh? that’s not really in Texas so your probably ok HAHAHA
          Dalhart is still a State away, (in Cedar Hill area) so I’m covered :-)
          But your right ABQ is a sucky city of a million crazies almost as bad as the foreign city of Las Cruces, it’s been overrun and taken over with illegals.
          Will admit Socorro is an old stomping ground, NM Tech. Spent many of hours up on Magdalena Mountain helping with Lightening research. Zap Zap, fun stuff.

          1. My daughter is getting her chem eng degree from Tech. Good school, son is going to switch over to ERAU soon. I am here in EP and can’t get a job even in Walmart because of all the illegals…sigh….out in the boonies would be great for me :)

          2. @ Texas
            El Paso? Holy “bat-cave-batman”, your only about 4 feet from Ciudad Juarez, you be careful down there girl. Not a friendly place at all.

            Embry-Riddle and NM Tech? WOW, y-all have brains in the family HAHAHAHA. Late wife did 5 years at Tech. Physics, she had the brains, I’m just a dumb old construction worker, well and computer science. LOL

          3. Ken
            And yes I know, this thread has do with SNO-SEAL :-) Will end it.

          4. Small world :) I hope Ken will not get upset too. Now as to Sno-Seal, I plan once I get my old job back to add on the outside of my truck the military grade Line-X. This product was actually tested at NM Tech ( MythBusters are there often ) to provide protection of small exo and is bulletproof for small calibers. If one could afford to Line-X the bug out vehicle with that, it is a great idea. Maybe Ken can make a weekend post as to what would be the ideal bug out vehicle? This is a kind of Sno-Seal for my truck :)
            As to the kids…yep, I still get cranky for socks laying around, they are smart, but still kids in a way ( Thank God for that-I would go bonkers if they were just too geeky :)

  11. Sno-Seal is some really good stuff. Another one I like, especially in a shop environment (machine shop) is Mink Oil. In an environment where lots of chemical/petroleum products are used, Mink Oil seems to protect longer.

  12. Apply on boots, thick, bake them in the oven(watch them the whole time) when they get glossy pull them. OR Apply then blow dry with a hair dryer until the leather absorbs it. Worked for me both ways.

  13. Got to try it,,,,
    Ive been using Obenaufs on my boots for about 30 years or so,,, real good stuff

  14. Best way to apply is after heating it up, put on a rubber glove and then pull a sock over your hand. Then you can apply it and force it into the seams. Just keep it off of your gortex.

  15. I’ve been meaning to try out those hydrophobic sealant sprays for my boots back when I saw videos of it on Facebook, but I have never gotten around to actually finding them. It’s good to know that it’s basically made of beeswax, probably a cheaper and more organic solution. Thanks for sharing this! Any other handy boot maintenance tips you have up your sleeve?

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