All You Need to Know about Dubbin for Waterproofing Boots

Posted In : Boots Care
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Do your boots always end up getting wet no matter how often you waterproof them? If you’re using the wrong waterproofing material, that’s probably why.

If that is the case, then Dubbin should be your go-to solution for keeping your boots dry and comfortable.

Dubbin is a type of wax that not many people know about, but it’s one of the best materials for waterproofing leather boots. It’s easy to apply, but lasts up to two years! You can even use it on leather jackets, shoes, or other garments that are prone to water damage. This is also easy to clean after any type of weather conditions, including rain, snow, hail, and more!

The best part? It won't leave behind any residue on your boots as many other products do. Just one application will last all season long!

In this post, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about dubbin for waterproofing boots. So read on, learn something new, and keep your toes nice and dry all season long!

Dubbin for leather boots

Before going to the dubbin part, let us know the boots waterproofing basics 101 a bit first.

Water might get inside your footwear for several reasons:

  • The welt isn’t waxed, so water gets through the unstitched part of the upper.
  • The stitches aren’t sealed or they’re loose, allowing water to seep in between them.
  • The seams might be damaged or poorly sewn, allowing water to get in.

What to Do When Your Boots Get Wet

Unfortunately, if you’re a rider, or your type of work requires frequent contact with water bodies, your boots will eventually get wet.

However, this shouldn’t be a big problem since agents like dubbin are waterproof and the advantage of dubbin is – it doesn’t need to be reapplied as often as regular waxes or leather conditioners. You can simply wipe off any rain or mud that gets on the boot with your good old cotton towel.

Then, if they’re still wet, simply dry them with a hairdryer on the lowest heat setting. This will take several hours but it’ll give your boots the longest life possible!

Of course, you don't need to be a rider to appreciate waterproof leather boots. Whether you enjoy fishing or hiking in the rainforest, and waterproof boots with dubbin applied will come in handy.

What is Dubbin, and What Does It Do for Boots?

What is the best waterproofing agent for leather boots? .. Well, that may be a debatable issue and mostly depends on the users’ situation and perspective. But if I consider the benefits and easy-to-use features, dubbin is the best waterproofer for leather boots to me.

Dubbin is a wax that is used for waterproofing leather boots and other items. It coats the leather, making it waterproof and protecting you from any weather conditions that come your way. It typically lasts all season long, with only one or two applications needed for an entire year of protection.

However, this is more than just a wax; dubbin also contains oils to make the leather flexible and easier to clean. For example, you can use dubbin to waterproof your riding boots, or you can also use it on your baseball mitts. Once the oil is added, the leather becomes much softer and more comfortable for daily wear. It’ll be easy to make quick repairs, too!

Types of Dubbin

dubbin products for leather boots

There are three main types of dubbin: Waterproofing Wax (a solid wax), Regular Leather Dressing (a liquid wax), and Leather Conditioner with Oil (a solid wax with oil mixed in).

  1. Waterproofing Wax – This is the hardest type of dubbin. It’s made of heavy-duty leather and comes in a jar, so it’ll be easy to spread over your boots or other items. It contains a higher concentration of wax, so it’s harder to clean off. However, it also lasts the longest and won’t need repeated applications throughout the season.
  2. Regular Leather Dressing – This is a wax as well but with a lower concentration of wax than the waterproofing variety. It comes in a bottle, just like a regular liquid leather conditioner. It’s messier, though, and will need to be reapplied at least once or twice during the season. However, it is easier to remove after wearing your boots in wet conditions, so you won’t get caught up in dirt and mud while out on a ride.
  3. Leather Conditioner with Oil – This comes with an added oil to make the leather softer and easier to care for. It comes in a liquid form so it’s messier than wax varieties, but it also contains less wax so it’ll need to be reapplied more frequently during the season. This is good for those who ride regularly or engage in other types of outdoor sports that will lead to water damage.

The wax is available in several colors, with the most popular being black wax (which is suitable for all kinds of boots).

It also smells better, which is a nice bonus!

How to Apply Dubbin to Your Boots

Apply dubbin on boots

Dubbin is extremely easy to use. Before you buy, make sure you pick up some cloth or wool polishing pads for your fingers. You’ll also need a toothbrush and a soft cotton towel, as well as another dry cloth you can use after the treatment is done.

  1. First, take a small amount of dubbin and place it on the polishing cloth. Take the toothbrush and spread it around to coat your fingers with wax.
  2. Then, simply apply the wax to your boots by rubbing it into all of the seams and stitching. It’s best to use circular motions for this step!
  3. Next, grab your dry cloth and rub all of the excess wax from your boots. You’ll want to get it all off, so you can use a slightly damp cloth if needed.
  4. Then, grab your cotton towel and buff everything until it shines.
  5. Finally, apply a thin layer of leather conditioner over the entire boot for added protection!
How to apply dubbin

How Often Should You Apply Dubbin?

You should apply some dubbin before using your boots in wet weather conditions. Since this product prevents water from soaking the upper layer, it also protects against wrinkles that might appear on the material.

Pro-tip: When applying dubbin, make sure you get it all over the uppers and don't forget to cover the welt. Also, take care of any stitching that might be in contact with wax because rubbing can cause damage.

Where to Get Dubbin for Waterproofing Boots

Dubbin can be found at any tack shop or Western wear store. You can also buy it from any local tack dealer or find it online.

Recommended Dubbin Products

What is a Good Substitute for Dubbin?

If you’re looking for a simple replacement for dubbin, then plain beeswax is an excellent option. It’s also easy to melt in your hands and apply it all over the boots without any problems.

If you want a more complex alternative, you can mix castor oil with beeswax or use mink oil instead of wax. These ointments will make your footwear waterproof and require less frequent application.

Who can Benefit from Using Dubbin

  • If you are a regular rider, or your work type requires frequent contact with wet, watery bodies, then dubbin should be your go-to waterproofing agent.
  • If you want your boots do not soak or leak water during winter or rainy days, go for dubbin to make your favorite boots more comfortable.
  • People with disabilities will especially benefit from using a product like this, as it’s important for them to have waterproof footwear that isn’t damaged by water or stains.
  • Elders will also enjoy the benefits of dubbin wax, but they should take extra care when applying and removing the wax. It can be hard to get off if it’s applied in excess amounts, and it can be difficult to remove when there’s too little.
  • Elderly people who suffer from arthritis or other mobility issues will enjoy the fact that dubbin wax is easy to apply and won’t need frequent reapplication during the season.

Why You Should Use Dubbin on Your Boots? What are the Advantages?

You should choose dubbin to care for your boots if you use them in contact with water regularly and need good waterproofing. The main benefits include:

  • Dubbin is one of the best waterproofing solutions for your boots and shoes since you can apply them at home without having to take them somewhere else.
  • The wax also protects against other types of stains while maintaining the boot’s structure and form, so it’ll stay strong even when exposed to water, mud, dirt, salt – anything that could cause damage over time!
  • It’s easy to use and very cheap!
  • Dubbin is easy to apply and remove, so you don’t have to worry about it hardening or sticking on your boots.
  • Your boots will shine after you apply dubbin wax, which is always a plus!
  • Another great benefit is the way dubbin smells! The wax has a nice, fresh smell that’s appealing to people who are sensitive to perfumes or other scented products.
  • Dubbin is easy to apply by yourself and doesn’t need frequent reapplication, unlike regular conditioners or leather sprays. Your boots will remain looking gorgeous for much longer!

When Do You Need to Reapply Dubbin?

After you’ve applied dubbin on your boots, it should be enough to maintain your boots for another few weeks or months, depending on how often you wear them.

Of course, this also depends on how much contact they have with water during that time – if they’re soaked in rainwater every day, then the dubbin will get washed away quickly and will need to be re-applied more often.

If you want to keep the appearance for longer, it's best to apply a thin layer of dubbin wax at least once or twice per season. You can simply buff them out with a cotton cloth when they're completely dry, and your boots will look just as shiny as the day you applied the wax.

Dubbin vs Other Waterproofing Agents for Boots

You may want to know how much better dubbin is compared to other waterproofing agents, especially since they’re usually more expensive.

This product has several advantages over the rest of the competition on the market today. Let us know about the features and effectiveness comparison of dubbin with other waterproofing agents.

1. Regular Wax vs Dubbin

There are some differences between regular waxes and dubbin, but both of them have the same goal: to waterproof leather boots.

  • While regular waxing has a harder result and might need daily reapplication, dubbing is easy to apply and maintain, so you don’t have to worry about it fading or chipping after prolonged use.
  • Both wax products come in several colors, so your boots will look great no matter if they’ve been dyed in the traditional manner or not!
  • Dubbin is also perfect for keeping suede boots in good condition. Regular waxes are usually meant only for leather materials, but dubbin can be used on suede boots as well.

2. Dubbin vs Mink Oil

Sure, mink oil does a commendable job of waterproofing your boots. The hitch? It’s like that needy friend who constantly demands your attention – it soaks into your boots’ leather, pleading for frequent reapplications to keep the water at bay.

In plain words, mink oil is a good waterproofing solution for boots, but it isn’t as durable as dubbin wax. Since the oil is absorbed into the leather, it may need frequent reapplication in order to maintain your boots’ water resistance.

But let’s flip the script. Enter dubbin wax, your boots’ silent yet resilient protector. Unlike mink oil, dubbin operates from the exterior, throwing up an impenetrable beeswax barrier between your boots and the water. Mink oil might toughen up your boots from within, but dubbin holds the fort on the outside.

A bonus? If you’re the kind who loves the sight of gleaming boots, dubbin wax adds that irresistible shine, whereas mink oil remains more the humble, unseen hero (though nothing a bit of cloth buffing can’t sort out!).

And here is the comparative table for dubbin vs mink oil:

AspectMink OilDubbin
Method of ProtectionAbsorbs into leather and provides internal protectionWorks from outside to create a waterproof barrier
DurabilityRequires frequent reapplication for continued protectionMore durable, requires less frequent reapplication
Effects on AppearanceDoes not add shine to boots (buffing can be done for shine)Adds a shine to boots
Protection LevelMakes boots sturdierMakes boots water-resistant

3. Dubbin vs Leather Conditioner

Conditioners typically don’t need to be applied that often, which makes them perfect for boots. The treatment is easy and won’t take more than a few minutes – you just have to apply the conditioner evenly on your shoes with a cotton cloth or directly on the leather material.

There are two types of conditioning products – some contain ingredients meant to soften the leather, while others have ingredients that will waterproof it. Dubbin is perfect for both of these purposes, but if you want to only use a single product on your boots, you’d better go with a conditioner since they’re more versatile!

And here is the comparative table for dubbin vs leather conditioners:

AspectDubbinLeather Conditioner
Method of ProtectionCreates a waterproof barrier on the leather’s surfacePenetrates the leather to protect and restore flexibility
DurabilityLong-lasting, less frequent reapplicationVaries depending on the brand, frequent application typically
Effects on AppearanceAdds a shine to bootsEnhances the natural look of the leather, some may add a shine
Protection LevelProvides water resistance and conditions leatherPrimarily for maintaining, restoring and protecting leather

4. Saddle Soap vs Dubbin

In comparison to saddle soap, dubbin is easier to use and less harsh.

That doesn’t mean that it won’t help you clean your boots – a conditioner or polish should be used after a regular cleaning job, even if you’re only going to put on a water-resistant product like dubbin wax.

Here is the comparative table for dubbin vs saddle soap:

AspectDubbinSaddle Soap
Method of ProtectionCreates a waterproof barrier on the leather’s surfaceCleans and prevents leather from drying and cracking
DurabilityLong-lasting, less frequent reapplicationRegular use is needed to keep leather hydrated and clean
Effects on AppearanceAdds a shine to bootsNo shine, but restores and maintains the natural look of leather
Protection LevelProvides water resistance and conditions leatherUsed for cleaning and conditioning, no water resistance

5. Dubbin vs Balsam (e.g. Wonder Balsam by Doc Marten’s)

Balsams, like Doc Marten’s Wonder Balsam, works as a conditioner and waterproofing agent for all kinds of shoes.

Since it penetrates the leather, it won’t last as long as dubbin wax – you’ll have to apply this product regularly if you use your boots in wet weather conditions.

On the other hand, Balsam is easier to apply than dubbin, and it doesn’t have a strong smell that some people find unpleasant.

As for the protection properties of these products, you shouldn’t expect them to be as effective at keeping water out as dubbin wax – if your boots are soaked in rainwater every day, they’ll need more frequent applications or an alternate waterproofing product.

6. Dubbin vs Leather Spray

A leather spray is another good solution for boots, but it isn’t as easy to apply as dubbin wax. You’ll need to spray the product on your shoes evenly and let them dry for at least an hour before you can put them on.

On the other hand, some leather sprays are meant for immediate use, so you don’t necessarily need to wait that long for the product to dry.

If you choose a water-resistant spray, your boots will be easy to maintain and keep their appearance for quite some time. Of course, this depends on how often you wear them – if they’re soaked in rainwater every day, then the waterproofing won’t last as long as it would with dubbin wax.

7. Dubbin vs Leather Cream

Leather cream is a popular product, and it works great for softening and polishing the leather.

However, you shouldn’t use a conditioner that has petroleum ingredients on your boots – these substances will make them stiff, waterproof materials won’t work as intended, and you’ll need to maintain your shoes more often.

On the other hand, dubbin is a great conditioner that will also waterproof your boots and make them more durable overall.

8. Dubbin vs Beeswax

Beeswax is a natural conditioner that can soften leather. It’s easy to apply both on boots and other leather items, but it isn’t waterproof.

Since beeswax works mainly on the surface of your shoes, you shouldn’t expect them to stay waterproof for long, especially if they get soaked in rainwater every day.

On the other hand, dubbin adds water resistance to your boots while also polishing them and making them last longer.

Here is the comparative table for dubbin vs beeswax:

Method of ProtectionWorks from outside, creates a waterproof barrierCoats the leather to protect against water and other damage
DurabilityLong-lasting, less frequent reapplicationNeeds reapplication but not as frequently as some other solutions
Effects on AppearanceAdds a shine to bootsTypically doesn’t add shine, maintains the natural look of leather
Protection LevelExcellent for water resistance, also conditions leatherPrimarily used for water resistance, minimal conditioning

9. Dubbin vs Nikwax

Nikwax is a good waterproofing agent, but it isn’t as effective as dubbin wax at making boots shine. On the other hand, you will need to apply Nikwax quite often if your shoes are soaked in rainwater every day.

Dubbin wax also has advantages over powder sprays – it’s easier to apply and dries faster.

However, a powder spray will give the leather a matte finish that’s similar to waterproofing, while dubbin may add shine to your boots.

10. Dubbin vs Oil Based Boot Cream

Oil-based boot cream is easy to apply like beeswax, but that’s its only advantage – it doesn’t add shine or protect your shoes from water.

Since oil-based cream penetrates the leather, it won’t be as durable and waterproof as dubbin wax.

However, if you just want to soften your boots without making them shine or protecting them from water, then it’ll be a good choice for you.

11. Dubbin vs Water-based Boot Polish

Water-based polishes are easy to apply and they’ll add visible changes to your boots in a short period of time.

Although they usually don’t have water-resistant properties, these polishes are perfect for normal use or if your boots are only exposed to dry weather.

On the other hand, dubbin is an excellent resistant agent that will keep your shoes safe in all kinds of weather conditions. It may take more time to apply than a polish, but it’s easier to maintain and will last longer.

How to apply dubbin wax

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dubbin better than polish?

This really depends on the boots you’re planning to use it on.
Polish is easy to apply and makes your shoes look shiny, but it doesn’t waterproof them or make them more durable overall.
Dubbin will increase the water resistance of your boots while also protecting them from wear and tear. It won’t make them as shiny as polish does, but it’ll make them last for a long time.

Can I use olive oil instead of dubbin?

Yes, based on the purpose, you can! Olive oil is a good alternative and it adds shine and protection to your shoes.
However, olive oil has lower resistance than wax so it’s not the best choice for wet weather conditions.

Is Dubbin good and safe?

Yes, dubbin is made from natural ingredients, so it won’t cause any health problems or damage your footwear if you use it properly.
That being said, there are some precautions you should take to prevent potential negative effects on your boots, shoes, or other items made from leather. Since dubbin has oil elements, it may darken light-colored boots over time – this is why it isn’t recommended for white items. You should also avoid using dubbin on suede or nubuck because it could damage the upper layer of these materials.

Does dubbin damage stitches?

No, dubbin does not rot the stitches, if used carefully. If applied carelessly, it might get caught in the weal and lumped around the stitches, where it attracts debris. It’s the detritus that causes stitching damage, not the dubbin.

Can I use dubbin on Blundstones?

Yes, Blundstones are excellent shoes that can be used outdoors all year long.
To protect your boots against wet weather conditions, you should apply some dubbin. This will also keep the upper layer free of cracks and other damage that might occur over time if not treated properly. You can use this type of wax on other types of shoes, but make sure that the wax you’re using is suitable for leather products.

What color of dubbin should I use?

The color doesn’t affect its performance, so you can select a colored wax to match your boots. Most brands offer several versions in terms of appearance and scent, which also vary in price. The price isn’t always associated with durability or efficacy, so you should check the analysis of each product before purchasing it.

How do you waterproof suede boots?

You can use any waterproofing product on suede boots, including dubbin and other water-resistant waxes. However, we recommend using a specific product made for suede shoes because it won’t damage the upper layer of your footwear.

Parting Words

If you want your shoes to be protected from any wet weather conditions, try using a dubbin wax. These waxes are easy to apply and they’re suitable for use on leather boots and various other items made from this fabric.

But as mentioned earlier, make sure you select the right product based on the kind of footwear you want it for. There are several types of waxes and conditioners for leather items, so make sure you choose the best option to keep your boots in good condition.

Also, remember that it’s important to read reviews and check analyses before purchasing a dubbing wax. This will help you find the perfect product for your needs without wasting time or spending extra money on something that won’t benefit your shoes.

The most popular dubbin is the Kiwi brand, which offers a wide range of waxes and conditioners for all kinds of leather products.

In any case, make sure you choose a product that’s suitable for your footwear and see how it works, so you can determine whether or not it will be effective for your boots.

As you know now how easy it is to use, what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the season!

Keep your footwear shining beautifully with dubbin!

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Lance 'LeatherMan' Hackney

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