Saturday, August 31, 2013

Meindl Perfekt and Sno-seal

Never ever will I do a hiking boots test and that is for one reason only. I would never be able to be impartial! Many years ago a friend of mine took me to an outdoor store, where I bought myself a pair of Meindl Perfekt boots.
Meindl is a fairly small company in the town of Kirchanschöring in Germany, near the Austrian border. They hand-make most of their boots, and they are therefore in the pricey end of the spectrum, but they are AWESOME. I've put them through mountaineering in Switzerland, Canada, England, & Sweden. Numerous hikes all over the northern hemisphere, where I've literately walked through fire and icy rivers and they are still holding up. I love my Meindl Perfekt!

Unfortunately I don't show my love too often. While on a small hike with my oldest son, last week, I realized how long it had been since I showed my boots some love. The leather was dry and unhappy looking, and even the shoelaces were starting to look like they needed soap and water (when do you ever wash shoelaces?). At home I gave them a good brushing with a stiff brush and took out the laces. Here is a before picture:
Meindl Perfect - Before care
Meindl Perfekt - Before care
Not happy looking at all, right?

So I grabbed a hairdryer, a cloth and a tube of Sno-Seal. Sno-Seal is my goto leather treatment product. I've never questioned if this what the best product, but a guy with leather knowledge (!) once told me that it was really good so I trusted him. Honestly, if you know of a better product, let me know in the comments!
After using the hairdryer to heat up the boots, I applied generous amounts of Sno-Seal and while using the hairdryer to soften/melt the Sno-seal, I rubbed it in with the cloth.
Some areas of the boots were like a sponge, basically sucking in the Sno-seal, and on those areas I added more. Good amounts were also applied to all the seams and special care was taken with the double-stitched seam, where the top of the shoe is sown to the sole.
After a good 45 minutes of work, my boots were happy again.
Meindl Perfect - After Sno-Seal
Meindl Perfekt - After Sno-Seal
  Look at that! Those are the same pair of boots, 45 minutes apart. Leather is now moist, flexible, smooth and waterproof!

So please! Treat your boots nicely and give them the care they need! They take good care of you!

7 comments:

  1. You might try Limmer Boot Grease from the Limmer Boot Company in New Hampshire at http://www.limmerboot.com . The Limmer Boot Company is famous for its custom made boots, but it also sells high end off-the-shelf boots made to Limmer specifications by Meindl.

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  2. Meindl makes its own waterproofing product called Sportwax. It can be mail ordered here - http://www.unterwegs.biz/en/meindl-lederpflege-sportwax-10252.html or here - http://www.jackson-sports.com/en/Meindl-Sportwax/m-1270.aspx . Meindl boots can also be ordered here - http://www.unterwegs.biz/en/meindl-perfekt-8084.html . These are the original European Meindl boots and not those specially made for Cabela's.

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    1. There is a big difference between the European Meindl and those made for Cabelas. I have had excellent customer service from Unterwegs in obtaining several pairs for me and my wife.

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  3. As the Meindl Perfekts are made from Sil-Juchten leather, maybe - just maybe - try the Meindl Sil Proof. That's what it is made for. ;-)

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  5. How about an update on your Perfekts?

    I just got a pair, ordered from Germany to the US and a can of Sil-Proof that Grangers makes for Meindl. Do you know if it is to be used while the boots are new, and how often Meindl recommends use? Thanks for interesting article.

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    1. First of all, congratulations on your Perfekts! You will not be disappointed!

      Meindl recommends not letting your leather dry out, as this weakens the leather and it might crack. It might also lead to the Gore-Tex membrane drying out and starting to 'flake' making it useless.

      Breaking your boots in requires the leather to be soft so I would suggest Sil-Proofing them right out of the box. Give them a good layer of Sil-Proof and let them sit for 30 minutes or so. Where the leather has absorbed the Sil-Proof, add more until it appears that the leather is nice and saturated. Then give the boots a good wipe-down and you should be good to go (so to speak).

      Depending on usage, give your boots a good look-over every couple of weeks and if the leather starts to loose its shine and look dry, its time to give them a new treatment.

      My experience tells me that you will need to treat them less and less often as the leather absorbs the care-product.

      Let me know how it goes and enjoy your boots!

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