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on June 4, 2012
I began using LP in 1996 when I started fighting forest fires in Northern Idaho. Funny enough, thats where and why it was invented. The store where I bought my fire boots (huge, bomb-proof logger boots) told me that this was what I should use.
The boots took five years of every kind of abuse from submersion to heat to wood ash and LP kept them soft, waterproof and wearable. I tromped through fire and ash, planted trees in spring rains, crossed creeks and slogged through knee-deep mud and as long as I wasnt actually working in the creek all day, my feet stayed pretty dry--no blisters.
I use it on my work and hunting boots now and, though it will darken lighter leather, there is nothing better. I have used mink oil (terrible), pure lanolin (not bad), sno-seal, pure bees wax (a close 2nd), and silicone (smelly) and this is the real deal. I also use it on leather gloves and baseball mitts; anything leather that needs moistened, softened or waterproofed.
Don't expect anything to permanently waterproof boots. This will not give you the same protection of rubber boots and if they are cheaply made no grease or wax will keep water out of loose stiching.
I don't usually melt it; the heat from your fingers applying it is usually good enough though once in a while I set them near the wood stove (3-4 feet away, no closer) to let it penetrate.
Clean leather is better of course but even if you can't get them clean it can be applied to dirty leather with pretty good results.
I will never use anything else.
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on August 10, 2014
This is a great leather heavy duty protector and conditioner but it comes with some minor problems. I also own and use Obenauf's leather oil and have a review of that as well. Basically, the HDLP is for heavy use such as for work and hiking boots while the leather oil is better for lighter duties such as dress boots.
I've been using these solely for my heavier boots and belts so I can't say much else for other leather products but I see a few problems with such use.

Application: This is a wax, so it has the consistency of a soft runny wax that will melt with body heat. I usually apply this stuff by hand and it works very well since it allows you to massage the wax into the leather. After application, it takes about a day to dry or a bit faster if left in a warm(not hot) place. After it's dry, use a rag to wipe off the excess and a Qtip to get into the nooks and crannies. I then use horsehair brush to buff off the excess. This will leave a dull sheen that can be polished if you want to. It works well but tends to leave an annoying sticky and waxy residue longer than other conditioners. It took almost a week for a pair of boots to dry before it wasn't sticky to the touch anymore. I don't know how people can use it for leather couches or anything you regularly touch.

The smell: Obernauf's formula is obviously made from a base of bees wax and other proprietary leather conditioning oils(often animal products but may occasionally be saps or plant based) so there is a smell. A pretty a strong smell. It's not unpleasant and smells like honey but it actually remains around for some time. I waxed my Red Wing work boots about 3-4months ago and it still smells of honey when I lace them up. This makes me doubtful about its utility on other leather products such as jackets you'll reek of honey for weeks if not months.

The color: It will darken leather. Basically all leather conditioners will but this will significantly darken it until it totally dries. Even dry, it will still be a few shade darker. It took several months before my Red Wing work boots came back closer to its original copper color. Personally I think it is worth it unless you have a very light pair of shoes. It works best for dark brown or black leather. I'd avoid using these in dress shoes, the leather oil is better for that use.

The protection: It works very well. It revitalized several old dry leather belts and boots. It has brought some measure of life back to those shoes and boots. I'm expecting a few more years of life from those old worn boots and belts.
It works great at waterproofing. My Danner leather hiking boots have been through treks through muddy trails and streams and after a good rinse, the muck and water slides off. It's not magic but it comes close. When I hose off my Red Wing work boots, the dust easily washes off and the boot itself looks untouched beneath. I've been using the HDLP on my hiking shoes for almost 3years with weekly day hikes, my Danners look worn in but the leather still looks great. I've had to reapply the HDLP every 3-4months.

Overall great product with some caveats. Caution because of the darkening of leather, smell and sticky residue. Great leather protection from heavy dirty situations.
However, if you just need a good boot oil with decent protection without as much darkening, I'd suggest the Obenauf's leather oil.
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on January 8, 2015
This stuff improves the look of your boots, makes them softer, and makes them last.

I saw someone at a coffee shop wearing the same pair of Red Wings Iron Rangers that I had on and we complimented each other's choice of footwear. He asked me how long I had owned them and I told
him almost two years. He didn't believe me because mine looked nearly new and his looked trashed after less than a year.

He complained about how his feet were alwas wet and cold in the winter as well. I told him to get some Obenauf's LP and his problems would be solved.

I recently bought some new Chippewa steel toes for work. They aren't as nice as my Red Wings but they look 1000 times better with the first treatment of Obenauf's. I'm a customer for life.
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on January 12, 2015
Essential for fine leather care. I was able to restore a pair of 25 year old boots with this, in combination with some saddle soap for initial cleaning. I apply this to all leather footwear.

It will slightly darken your leather, so if you care about that, be aware of that. I'm more concerned about maintaining moisture and natural water resistance in my working boots than a specific shade of mahogany.

Use your fingers to apply - the heat from the friction and your body help the product to be absorbed. You can also use a hair dryer on low.
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on December 19, 2012
I picked up Obenauf's when my last type of oil ran out. The price was the same and as someone who does wildland fire fighting I had heard good things. The differences is incredible. Obenauf's feels much nicer on your skin then many other treatments and washes off very easily when your done. I have found that Obenauf's last much longer and does a better waterproofing then the synthetic stuff I had been using before. It also seems to take less to treat a pair of boots

One funny side effect of being made with bees wax, is that at first your boots will smell like honey. This quickly wears off, but I wouldn't head into bear country until then.
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on March 7, 2014
I own a pair of Red Wing boots that I paid almost $300 for and I have been looking for the right product to protect them from the elements. I tried some garbage made by Timberland called Waximum leather protector and it was useless. All it did was leave an ugly waxy residue on the leather. I then tried mink oil, which I came to learn was very popular for leather boots, but was not quite satisfied. It protected better than the Timberland stuff but still left a bit of a waxy residue even after trying to use heat to get it to penetrate better. It was decent, but I knew there had to be something better out there. That's when I found this gem from Obenauf's. When I read that this product was developed for firefighters to use on their wildland boots to keep them protected and help them last as long as possible I figured this stuff had to be pretty good. Well...yeah...pretty good is a big understatement. I don't think there is anything on the market that can compete with this product. After cleaning my boots with some saddle soap and applying a generous coat of Obenauf's LP my boots look absolutely amazing. It didn't even really darken the leather that much. After applying a little heat to help it soak in I can honestly say this is the best my boots have ever looked...even better than the day I bought them. It conditioned the leather beautifully while retaining the broken in look they have acquired over the year or so that I have had my boots. While I got this primarily for my leather boots, I will probably use this on other leather items I own as well. If you have anything made out of leather this product is sure to bring out the best in it. I can not recommend this enough for restoring, conditioning, and protecting your leather item. Whether it is a pair of boots, a leather belt, a wallet, a purse (for the ladies), a leather whip (for the kinky folks out there), a gun holster, knife sheath, work gloves, whatever it may be...this leather protector from Obenauf's will work wonders for it.
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on April 5, 2013
First off let me say I really dislike having to rate this fine product at 3 stars, but if you are a leather fanatic like me you must state your opinion based on years of observation.

Obenaufs LP Boot Preservative does what it claims to do. It preserves and protects leather. However, for me, it changes the appearance of the leather more than I like. I buy well crafted leather shoes and boots and I like to take care of them. I buy footwear based on appearance and after wearing shoes and boots for awhile I would like for them to look about the same as when I bought them. Even after the first application of Obenauf's LP the leather darkens considerably. It also never seems to dry leaving a slightly greasy film. I have tried buffing repeatedly with a horse hair brush, but the surface of the leather still appears greasy. I have tried the hot method, the cold method and every method in between -- same results.

Many previous reviews of this product here at Amazon and other sites mostly compare Obenauf's to Sno-Seal, a very similiar product. Obenauf's LP is 100% natural and that is a plus. Sno-Seal does contain mineral spirits, but from the gas I put in my cars to the various oils and cleaners used on my sporting equipment there is a long list of things that show up on a MSDS sheet as hazardous that I use every day. (follow the precautions)

Obenauf's LP is very soft and "wetter" than Sno-Seal. Sno-Seal is mostly bee's wax, just like Obenauf's LP, but it contains mineral spirits. I believe many decades ago that Sno-Seal used turpentine instead of mineral spirits. Many fine floor waxes and bowling alley waxes, today, still contain such solvents. The end result is the solvent is a carrier and it evaporates leaving the bee's wax to dry to a solid wax that "stays put" on the leather. In other words it is a dry finish, but it is still flexible.

Overuse of leather conditioners and oils sink into the leather penetrating and permanently softening the leather causing the heel counters and box toes to change shape. So, before the application of these non-drying products you had a firm and well shaped boot or shoe and now after "preserving" them they look like an oversized pair of comfy bedroom shoes. Soft and squishy.

I like the appearance of fine leather casual shoes as well as hunting boots that have a soft or mellow patina that can be buffed. Obenauf's LP is a good product, but it changed the "finish" on several of my shoes and boots that I didn't care for -- a little too oily and greasy. It left a muddy finish. Keeping this in mind it waxes down to what you prefer.
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on October 11, 2011
This is the best leather conditioner I know of for boots and outdoorsy-type shoes. I use them on desert boots, Wallabies, LL Bean Moccasins (leather, not suede), etc. It helps to melt it into the leather with a hair dryer to make it absorb, or just leave them in the sun for a few hours. Highly recommended for anything you don't want to be too shiny, but want to take care of.
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on July 18, 2011
I love this product! I use it on my cowboy boots that I actually wear at the barn to ride horses. Those boots see mud, dirt, animal droppings, you name it...and they wipe off cleanly and my boots still look fantastic and new! (You can even still see the green threaded designs on the top of the foot as being green! The mud couldn't stain the thread!)

The only negative I've found with this product is that you rarely ever have to reapply it! (Which isn't really a negative!) I reapplied after a few months (like I would with cheaper, not-as-good products) and the finish on my boots got waxy and the wax cracked from too many layers of the product. (Which I easily washed/lightly scrubbed off the excess and the boots looked great again.) So basically, don't use too much! You'll be surprised at how little you really need to make it work...don't put it on thick! I ordered the larger tub offered and I will honestly never use it up. (And trust me...I have A LOT of shoes.) If you only have a few pairs you're thinking of using this product on, get the smaller'll still have plenty left over for all your friends and family.

This stuff is so good, I put it on a very old pair of boots that I had and later took the boots into a shoemaker to be repaired and he couldn't apply his special chemicals too the boots...the chemicals rolled right off! (Possible negative...he couldn't get the product OFF the boots to put the chemicals on, so he ended up not being able to repair them.) He had never seen anything like it so he ordered a hug tub himself to use in his shop for firefighter boots!
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on May 22, 2013
I purchased Obenauf's LP to winterize a new pair of Red Wing boots. I applied it to the unworn boots with a bit of heat and the LP went on easily and soaked in within 12 hours. Once dry, the color of the boots was almost exactly the same as prior to applying the LP. After one winter, the leather still looks brand new with very few scratches.
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