Nikwax Aqueous Wax

Waterproof leather/synthetic sealer

I’ve lived in Michigan for 20 years and know that whether you’re hiking, sledding, skiing, mountain biking, or dog sledding, one thing is certain: parts of your body will get wet and cold. This year I discovered a sealer that makes that less of a certainty: Nikwax Aqueous Wax.

In prior years I put the previously-reviewed Sno-Seal, Mink Oil, or other waterproofers on my boots. While these can last the better part of a season, I found my toes eventually got damp. Nikwax Aqueous Wax is meant for leather boots, and and is approved for use with Goretex or Sympatex membranes.Though it will darken leather, it leaves a very light feel and the leather still breathes. I’ve found it penetrates better than Sno-Seal and Mink Oil and any of the silicone treatments that are, in my opinion, intended for keeping your dress shoes looking nice, not for protecting your outdoor gear.

Unlike most waterproofers, Nikwax Aqueous Wax can be applied when the leather is wet. On one particularly nasty dog sledding trip, I tried reapplying Mink Oil and Sno-Seal, but the leather was already soaked and neither would penetrate. The rest of trip was miserable. For my toes at least. Not an issue with this stuff. Since Nikwax Aqueous Wax
is water soluble, it naturally concentrates in areas which are more porous and prone to leak. It’s available in brown or black, and more or less restores your boots to a factory look, not greasy at all.

After trying Nikwax Aqueous Wax on several pairs of boots, I decided to try it on my SympaTex gloves. The leather palms and fingers were always getting soaked while I was igloo building. Though my hands stayed dry, the leather was soaked, which was compromising my grip on tools. This stuff solved the problem. I’ve since put it on several
pairs of roping gloves, two pairs of ski gloves, a pair of driving gloves and two pairs of leather work gloves. There is a waxy residue, but after buffing the gloves off with a dry towel, the leather has little to no tacky feel. It’s worth noting that Nikwax also makes
something called “Glove Proof,” but I have never tried it.

-- Yitah Wu 02/7/09

© 2022