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Reproduction WW1 1917 trench shoes; Who has the best
Topic Started: Aug 5 2005, 10:22 PM (9,137 Views)
Blood & Iron
Feldwebelleutnant
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Captain John Jarrett
Aug 10 2005, 06:32 PM
Everyone,

Try this site- Mattimore Harness- for French Boots, scroll to the bottom of the page. I know they make excellent Civil War shoes and boots, can't imagine these would be any different.


John.


http://www.civilwarboots.com/shop_new/ente...get=dept_1.html

I've got a pair of the WWI low boots on order from Civil War Boots. I hope they will hold up. Anyone else have a pair?

Whatr is the best product to waterproof boots?

mike
"We're gonna hit the French and we're gonna hit the French hard" Sgt. Max Stiebritz IR459 2006
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Schmidtski
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First Lieutenant
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Hallo!

An easy question, but with many views and opinions...

Here is one.. . IMHO, there is no such thing as "water-proof" leather- just leather that is treated in various ways to make "water resistent" for longer periods of short time... ;-)

In brief and to over-simplify...

Leather is hygroscopic and allows water to pass through it. Folks for centuries have been trying to make leather for footwear that resists water- not only to keep the feet dry to to extend the life of the leather in the shoes/boots.

"Leather" is just skin that is treated with stuff (ex: tannins) to prevent it from rotting. As part of the currying process following tanning, various finishes (oils, greases, compounds) and layering techniques were applied to improve water resistence.
Leather as it comes from the tannery has a certain moisture content I believe 16 to 19%. Oiling, may take that up to 20-some %.
But if leather is over oiled, the oil fills the skin cells in the fiber and changes their shape, placement, and arrangment in the leather. It also can swell them to bursting.

IMHO, a light oiling with cold pressed Neatsfoot Oil (NOT Neats Foot Oil COmpound) on the new leather followed by a greasing with a beeswax/tallow mix is a good start.
IMHO it is not so much what one does initially (other than dangerous to the leather over-oiling) that is so important, but rather what one does as on-going MAINTENANCE.
Meaning, boots and shoes will get wet.
What REALLY stresses and destroys leather and footwear is the repeated cycles of wetting and drying where the skin cells in th eleather swell and dry. Wetting leaches out tannins in the leather speeding up its natural return to a pile of loose skill cell dust as well.
Repeated wettings causes not only destruction by cracking and splitting. Not to mention wettings and darkness leaves the leather vulnerable to rot- mold, and mildew.
Harsh or extreme rapid drying too near a heat source such as a fire can kill leather as well.

At any rate, IMHO, and shoe/boot experience, a light oiling followed by after-event maintenance in slow drying in the sun (although excess sun will fade and weaken the leather) , brushing off the dried mud, and moderate greasing with a "drubbing" type mix (I like beeswax and beef/mutton tallow).
Some lads like "Pecard's Leather Dressing." Some lads go with paste black shoe polish on their black leathers such as "Hubbard's."
Some lads like products with petroleum distilates and silicons like "Kiwi" snow-proof..
Some lads like a 1/3 mix of beeswax, 1/3 Neatsfoot Oil (cod oil, olive oil) and 1/3 Crisco. Some a roughly 50/50 mix of beeswax and "oil."
Some lads like to find "drubbing" types as used in WWI.

Again, one view among many...

Schmidtski
Still wearing CW shoes from 1976...
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Kurt Schmidt
3K./IR 63
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Tuckahoe Doughboy
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Personally I like a 50/50 of bees wax and olive oil to maintain my boots with.

Vincent Petty

"I pressed forward with the others to watch the United States physically entering the War, so god-like, so magnificent, so splendidly unimpaired in comparison with the tired nerve-racked men of the British Army. So these were our deliverers at last." British Nurse Vera Brittain

318th Infantry, 80th Division AEF
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Schmidtski
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Hallo!

Yes, for many years I used a beeswax and Crisco mix.

Schmidtski
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Kurt Schmidt
3K./IR 63
Rewartink. Wery, wery, wery rewartink!
Unwashed Lederhosen Gruppe
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