Most helpful critical review
80 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Excellent product, however ...
on April 6, 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.