Dedicated to Mara's travel and hiking adventure journals as well as her words of wisdom and suggested resources for hikers and travelers.
In response to a question about whether to warm boots with a hair dryer before applying waterproofing, I wrote:
Be very, very careful if you use any sort of mechanism to warm the boots. You never want them to get any warmer than just a bit warm to the touch. It's really easy to overheat them in an oven or with a hair dryer. Doing so will overdry the leather, make it more prone to cracking, and will reduce the life of the boot. You're better off just pulling the insole out and trying to leave the boots in a breeze somewhere and exposed to a bit of sun.
If your boots get more wet from the inside out, then waterproofing them is only going to make them take longer to dry.
Get waterproofing instructions from the manufacturers of the boots you have. Only they know by what process the leather they used was tanned and therefore which waterproofing products are best for those boots. For my boots, I was told to only waterproof them when they were completely dry - even if that meant that they didn't get waterproofed for longer than generally recommended.
If Nikwax is recommended for your boots, check the product you are using. Some of the Nikwax products require that the boot be wet when you apply the Nikwax.
As for applying a second coat, that may be OK. If the boot can take it, then apply it. Perhaps you only need it in the areas like the crease over the ball of your foot. In any case, you should wipe off the excess waterproofing anyway. Otherwise, the excess can collect dirt and grime and once again, cause undo wear and tear on the boots.
Another note: Boots should always be clean before applying waterproofing. An old, soft toothbrush can be really useful to clean boots. Especially in those hard to get places along the welt of a Norwegian welted boot.
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