Improvised Sledding Shoes

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Introduction: Improvised Sledding Shoes

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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?

I wouldn't polish them. The coating probably sticks best to bare leather.

I'm thinking it soaked in because my feet never got wet.