The best boots oil for your leather hunting boots should work as both a protection and a conditioner for your footwear and should extend their lifespan.
Most oils will also make them water-resistant and are an essential part of hunting boot maintenance.
However, if you want to get back to the chasing game right away, you need to make sure your boots are still flexible enough to put on.
I did all the research, so you do not have to.
- 1 Leather Conditioner vs. Oil for Boots
- 2 Top 7 Best Hunting Boot Oils
- 2.1 Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather Boots
- 2.2 Red Wing Heritage Mink Oil Conditioner
- 2.3 Obenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Conditioner Natural Oil
- 2.4 Leather Honey Conditioner for Hunting Boots
- 2.5 Huberd’s Leather Shoe Oil
- 2.6 Danner Boot Dressing & Conditioner
- 2.7 Fiebing’s Mink Oil Paste for Leather Boots
- 3 What are the Benefits of Oiling Your Boots?
- 4 How to Oil Your Leather Hunting Boots
- 5 How to Determine the Best Oils for Leather Hunting Boots
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
Leather Conditioner vs. Oil for Boots
Sometimes mink oil is confused with regular leather conditioners. They are distinctive and have some different properties.
What is Mink Oil?
Mink oil comes from the fat layer in a mink. It works as a leather conditioner, which makes it perfect for a hunter’s leather boots.
They can add waterproof properties and replenish the appearance of the leather. Over time, it may cause your leather to harden. So, you might want to use it sparingly.
You can use mink oil for items that get a lot of tough use – such as your hunting equipment. Without mink oil, your leather boots will dry up a lot quicker than they need to.
What is Leather Conditioner?
Brands design leather conditioner to be easily absorbed by leather; it has properties that moisturize the fibers.
This process also allows them to have flexibility restored, which is great if you spend a lot of time wearing your hunting boots.
If the leather starts to lose its natural oils, it becomes less flexible and will start cracking. If that were to happen, the dryness would drastically shorten the lifespan of your boots.
You will want to condition your leather at least every two weeks for them to stay nice.
Also, if your hunting boots seem worn out, you can try a quality leather conditioner on them before you replace them.
Often, this is just what they need to look newer and become more flexible again. Plus, it is cheaper to condition your equipment than it is to replace it entirely.
Which One to Use?
The most significant difference between the two is that leather conditioner is meant for regular use.
The leather conditioner is a regular maintenance item you use for your leather boots. It is designed for use with materials with limited exposure to dirt, mud, and water.
On the other hand, mink oil is more for leather that sees a lot of use. If your hunting boots are often exposed to mud, grease, and dirt, you should use this option regularly for maintenance.
Mink oil will also cause your boots to darken, while leather conditioners do not adjust the color.
Mink oil is made to preserve, waterproof, and protect your leather from mold and other damages. Leather conditioner mostly will just keep the leather soft and flexible.
Top 7 Best Hunting Boot Oils
I researched all of the best products for maintaining the life of your hunting boots. These are all the currently available products that will make your boots last much longer. Let’s get started.
Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather Boots
This mink oil is the best option for waterproofing, conditioning, and preserving your leather hunting equipment. Plus, you can use it on any other leather items that you have at home.
The tin that you get is a pretty good size, especially for the low cost you pay. The brand states that the product creates a water-resistant barrier, which also protects leather against salt and sweat stains.
The best part is that the oil is super easy to use. After you apply it, the product should completely dry in a few short minutes.
The company does say that it is worth doing a spot test in a hidden area since it might darken some types of leathers more than others.
Sof Sole makes a very high-quality mink oil. Many users brought up that it restored their boots to look brand new, even after wearing them for many years.
Just keep in mind that a little bit of this product goes a long way. You need to remove the excess after application, so you want to be sure you do not waste more than you should.
Overall, this is my top pick for hunting boot oil. It works wonders, and I’m confident that you will love the impact it has on your equipment.
Red Wing Heritage Mink Oil Conditioner
This Red Wing oil and conditioner protects and extends the life of your boots. Users appreciated that the product does not have a noticeable odor.
They also say that you should let your leather dry for at least two days since the oil takes a while to soak in and may make your boots feel sticky.
The product is also great for deepening the color of your items. For instance, if your once black boots have faded to gray, you can simply apply a coat of this product to restore the color to a rich black.
Users also said that their boots felt reinforced after using the oil. It helped with wrinkles and was able to remove some scratches.
Obenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Conditioner Natural Oil
Obenauf’s offers another highly reviewed conditioner. It is a little more expensive than the previous options, but it uses premium ingredients.
For example, it contains beeswax and plant oils. These materials melt, allowing you to spread them easily with your hands.
This product conditions and restores flexibility and improves the color in faded leather. The product works excellent at removing scuff marks and scratches, making your hunting boots look good as new.
Finally, this heavy-duty conditioner is amazing for applying a waterproof coat to your footwear.
Users who applied it to shoes that were not water-resistant said their feet stayed warm and dried out in the rain and snow.
Leather Honey Conditioner for Hunting Boots
The honey ingredient allows the conditioner to penetrate your leather boots deeply. It could revive old leather and restore moisture and flexibility if air dried it out.
This product also is non-toxic and does not use silicone or any type of animal product.
Not only does this product work wonders on hunting boots, but you can also use it on a ton of other items. The company says that it works on furniture, car interiors, upholstery, gloves, purses, jackets, and saddles.
Like other conditioners, make sure you never apply it to faux leather, suede, and vinyl.
You get a good-sized bottle in this order. Plus, your purchase will go a long way since you only need to use a small amount of the conditioner at a time. The brand says that a quarter-sized drop is best.
People who have used this product said that it should be part of everyone’s leather care kit. However, you will need to ensure your boots are spotless before you apply the conditioner.
This product is not water-based, like some other oils and conditioners. That means that dirt and mud will stay stuck to your footwear if you apply it without cleaning them first.
Huberd’s Leather Shoe Oil
The packaging of this product represents their original design from the late 20s; so does their formula.
The brand states that their oil’s formula will give you the best restoration and waterproofing, delivering the results people had from this product back in 1929.
On top of leather hunting boots, the brand says that you can use this oil for saddle and tack, sports equipment, and other work shoes.
Their product softens, waterproofs, and restores flexibility within the leather. They also stated that their product is non-toxic and made with safe ingredients.
Users mentioned that their leather footwear looked to be about ten years younger. It successfully restored cracked, dry, faded boots with ease.
However, they also said that it might darken boots too much, so you will want to be careful if you have a lighter footwear shade.
Danner Boot Dressing & Conditioner
The company says that their product is good for breaking in your leather hunting boots. It also brings leather back to life and helps extend the lifespan it has.
Users mention that you do not have to use this product solely on Danner boots; any leather hunting boot will be acceptable.
Customers also mentioned that the product’s consistency is more oily than mink oil, making it feel more like a cream than a conditioner.
However, they also felt that it did not provide them with many benefits, aside from waterproofing.
When you follow the directions given, the product does not absorb well. You might have to spend some time working it into your boots, which can get a bit messy.
You will want to set down some newspaper. Otherwise, you risk straining yourself, your carpet, or your clothes.
Fiebing’s Mink Oil Paste for Leather Boots
For the price, you do get a good amount of this product. The brand says that it is a natural animal byproduct that can soften and preserve vinyl and leather.
Plus, it will also help to waterproof them and prevent stains from setting in.
Besides hunting boots, you can also use this on car interior leather, horse saddles, baseball gloves, furniture, handbags, shoes, and just about any other leather item you have at home.
So, if you want to keep your boots in great condition, this would be a good product to test out. Users do warn that it will darken your material.
If you want to keep your boots light, this may not be the best choice since it always seems to darken them at least two to three shades.
What are the Benefits of Oiling Your Boots?
Oiling your hunting boots can provide you with many benefits. First of all, the oil helps to restore the quality and color of the leather. They will become more flexible and help to stop cracking.
Also, oiling helps increase the life of your boots as well. They will last you much, much longer when taken care of.
It also adds a protective layer to your footwear, making them waterproof and resistant to scuffing and scratches.
Overall, if you want your hunting boots to feel like new and last you years, you will want to make sure you are maintaining them with oil.
Protects Leather Hunting Boots
Let’s cover these benefits in more detail; we will start with the protection that oils can provide you.
When your boots dry out, they are more prone to cracking and getting scuffed. Oil helps to restore their flexibility and repair any damages to the leather.
If you are trying to break in new boots, the oil can soften them enough that they become more comfortable to wear.
In short, oil provides your leather hunting boots with a protective coating and moisture. When your boots are moisturized, they are less likely to succumb to abrasions and cracking.
Plus, the protective layer keeps away salt, dirt, and other damaging grime from making contact with the leather.
However, the length at which the product protects your boots will depend on the quality of the brand you purchase.
You will want to ensure that you are buying oil that will work well with your hunting boots since you will likely want to use them for a long time.
Waterproofs the Boots
Oil naturally repels water, which means that it can be used to keep your feet dry when you are trekking through the elements.
The leather needs to be waterproofed. It is a natural material, which means that it wants to absorb all of its moisture. You can help protect your boots from the environment by maintaining water-resistant qualities by applying oils.
If you do not want to use mink oil, which is an animal byproduct, beeswax is another great ingredient for keeping your feet dry.
It provides you with a natural waterproof and aids in protecting your equipment. Some leather conditioners include this ingredient, so be sure to check them out if you are interested.
Overall, your leather boots are not going to come waterproofed on their own. You will need to apply for that to protect yourself.
Without it, your leather items will lose their natural oils, causing them to become stiff over time.
Extends the Life of the Boots
This process is also referred to as conditioning. The oil restores the natural oils that are lost from the leather as you use them. When they have lost their natural oil, leather boots become dry, which leads to cracking.
If your boots start cracking, you will not be able to wear them. Luckily, maintaining your hunting boots with oil keeps them well-moisturized, keeping them from drying out and becoming too stiff.
Dry boots also have a problem with their fibers and strings pulling apart. This process causes the leather’s lifespan to drop drastically.
So, if you want to ensure that your investment in your hunting boots does not go to waste, I recommend that you oil them often.
If you want to further extend their lifespan, apply the mink oil, then allow it to soak into your boots for at least 15 minutes. After that time has passed, you can remove the excess that did not absorb with a towel.
How to Oil Your Leather Hunting Boots
Start by removing your laces, and this makes it easier to reach everywhere on your boots. You can wash the laces in some warm, soapy water if you need to remove grime from them.
Next, take some time to remove any loose pieces of salt and dirt with a towel or brush. Dirt can damage your boots over time, so it is best to clean them when you can.
Use a slightly damp rag to help remove any stubborn dirt and let the boots air dry.
Now you are ready to use oil! Apply the oil to your leather boots in a small unnoticeable spot if this is the first time using a new product.
Allow the oil to sit for at least 15 minutes or however long the packaging on your product states. Here, you are testing to see how the oil reacts with your boots. It may darken them, so keep that in mind.
If the test was fine, apply your oil in circular motions all over your boot. You do not want to push the oil in, so try your best to be gentle. Ensure that you get the product into all the cracks and wrinkles.
If your boots are really dry, you might need to repeat the application process. You will know you are finished when the leather stops absorbing the oil.
Wipe off all the excess and allow your boots to dry for at least 12 hours.
Your hunting boots are now restored and protected with the oil! You may need to dry them with a towel again before you put them on.
How to Determine the Best Oils for Leather Hunting Boots
What is inside of the product is the most crucial aspect to consider. There are plenty of ingredients that need to be inside a leather oil to be considered high-quality.
Mink oil and neatsfoot oil are both priority ingredients that you should be looking for.
You should also be able to find a great product that does not break your bank account. Leather oils and conditioners can be cheap to buy, but you will also want to be certain that you are getting a good amount.
There is no point in getting a good deal if it only lasts you one use since you will need to be maintaining your hunting boots often during the season.
It also is important to read reviews of those who have experience with a product. This process can help you determine what oils are worth buying and what ones you should avoid.
Users often will leave helpful tips in their reviews that you can use when testing out the product for the first time yourself.
Finally, you will want to know what effects the product will have on your hunting boots.
Some oils darken the leather or absorb it easier than others. Most apply a level of waterproofing, although some give you more protection than others.
Frequently Asked Questions
You may have a lot of questions about leather conditioners and oils. I made sure to answer some of the more popular ones. If you do not see your question below, feel free to reach out for more information.
How often do I need to oil my hunting boots?
It will depend on how often you wear them and what the external conditions are like. If you are out in a dry climate, you may need to apply it every other month. With wet conditions and a lot of mud, you will need to apply it more often.
What is the most common ingredient in the best oils for leather boots?
The best ingredients that make a high-quality oil would have to be mink oil and neatsfoot oil. They are both animal byproducts and provide a lot of protection to boots.
Neatsfoot oil has been around since the 18th century, while mink oil became widely used in the 1950s. Both have had time to develop the perfect formula for use with leather.
What’s the difference between mink oil and neatsfoot oil?
The first difference is their origins. The neatsfoot oil comes from the hooves of cows. On the other hand, the mink oil comes from the fat in minks.
Neatsfoot oil is better used for conditioning and softening leather. It will come in a liquid form, which does not add any waterproofing to your equipment. It also will darken your leather as you use it more often.
Mink oil is usually in the form of a paste. This allows it to add water resistance to your leather efficiently. Plus, it brings life back to dull leather, and you do not need to reapply it as often as neatsfoot oil.