Instructables

Improvised Sledding Shoes

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Picture of Improvised Sledding Shoes
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I don’t go snow sledding all that often. But when I do, the last thing I want is cold wet feet. Instead of putting down the money for a pair of snow boots, I improvised with a $7 can of rubberized undercoating and an old pair of boots. After the day was over the coating had come off where the leather creases but my feet were still dry and warm. How’s that for being a cheapskate, I mean cheap boot.
The problem seems to be the cracking.
There are many shoe "greases" such as "Dubbin". Even petroleum jelly can be worked into the leather. Lots of outdoor workers use this to keep boots in condition for years.
That's an understatement.

It dries out almost immediately (after cured/whatnot), it's not the least bit flexible, and it ends up flaking right off.

If you haven't tried it, don't.
hollimer2 years ago
If the tread is a bit bare (and even if it isn't, really) you can put some super-short hex-head screws into the heel and ball of the foot for better traction. When picking out screws, make sure they're shorter than the thickness of the sole, otherwise you'll have some uncomfortable poking going on.
jimbru hollimer2 years ago
I had a pair of winter boots where there were pre-drilled holes for studs like they use in studded winter tires so I went to a tireshop and had them put in some - worked like a charm.
One other time I wasn't able to go to a tire shop so I used pop rivets after drilling holes, it worked well too.

Regarding the water proofing of leather boots, we usually use special grease for this application in Sweden. There are several kinds, sold in any shoe store or shoe makers/mending shop. It makes the leather supple and water proof. Just clean and dry the leather, smear the grease on thick and let dry/soak in. Wipe of the excess and polish with regular shoe polish. Then you can walk in puddles all day long without getting wet.

Cheers, Jim
I bet bed liner would waterproof them just as well and not crack and come off like the undercoating did. It's much hard and less rubbery.
Mythbusters tried a bunch of myths about bedliner and they all worked. :)
Isn't it bright red or something though?
It comes in many different colors. Mostly you can find it in black though.
jkimball2 years ago
Did the undercoating soak into the leather, or did it just stick on top? Do you think polishing the boots to a high gloss first would make a difference?
Mrballeng (author)  jkimball2 years ago
I wouldn't polish them. The coating probably sticks best to bare leather.
Mrballeng (author)  jkimball2 years ago
I'm thinking it soaked in because my feet never got wet.
l8nite2 years ago
or slip your sock covered feet into plastic bags before putting on your shoe, also works under mittens and if u have bread bags you can cover your lower legs but still a pretty cool idea
matthewabel2 years ago
I will expect a pancake recipe involving that Presto griddle at some point. :)

This is a pretty solid idea for the folks who don't need snow boots every day - nice thinking!
jradi2 years ago
This might be a good way to waterproof some old motorcycle boots - just have to touch up the "paint job" before a ride in the rain...
f5mando jradi2 years ago
I wish I'd thought of this during my eight years as a motorcycle messenger!
Wasagi2 years ago
Sweet! How's the grip?
Mrballeng (author)  Wasagi2 years ago
Good. I only slipped climbing the steeper sledding runs.
tqwerty2 years ago
Great idea!