Conditioning / Refreshing Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots With Lexol Leather Cleaner And Obenaufs Conditioner

These boots haven’t seen conditioner for months. Shame on me. It’s about time they get some attention. I figured I would document the process photographically so you can see the transformation and effect produced by the products.

All of the products featured here were all purchased by myself on Amazon.

What I use; and not very much of it either. Leather care products should last a long time.

Here they are, in pretty rough shape. I can’t say if I’ve walked 1000 miles in them, but I’ve certainly done some walking. The only serious damage is one of the soles is separating since I walked in too much water (shown below). The rest of the scarring and dings disappear when I condition these suckers.

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You can read about the sole separation here. It is quite disappointing for boots that cost $300 with the name of 1000 Mile Boots.


Brush your shoes down very thoroughly. Get all the dirt and debris off the leather you plan to love.

Pour some of this Lexol Leather Cleaner on a rag and wipe every bit of leather down. Let the leather dry once you have applied.

On the instructional label it says not to use the Lexol Leather Cleaner on suede or soft leather. Not sure why this is so I sent them an email. I’ll post when I hear back.

apply the Lexol Leather Cleaner

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The Cleaning Results

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time for the Obenauf Leather Oil

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Now this stuff is interesting. Obenauf’s Leather Oil applies extremely greasy but dries really fast. Just a few minutes after it was this shiny the oil dried up and the leather went back to its matte black color.1000 Mile Boot Obenaufs Conditioner Review14

the results

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time for some Kiwi Shoe Polish

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finished product

1000 Mile Boot Obenaufs Conditioner Review01They look great!

How do you clean, condition, and polish your boots?

About Author

I'm just your average guy with an appreciation for above average goods. My goal is to introduce you to products that will see you through thick and thin, and then some.

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[…] Update: After a year of use, this is what they look like as I clean and condition them. […]

Travers Alvirez
Travers Alvirez

Looks way too ugly when you put the Kiwi wax on.

Now, I’m not trying to be mean, but seriously, CXL don’t take a wax polish. And better be it two coats of oils for summer (better breathability) or a coat of grease following later after the oil. The leather is oiled leather and should only be nourished, protect and coated with heavy leather oil and leather dressing/grease.

Another point is, don’t use the Obenauf’s applicator. It leaves hair all over the leather and sometimes are impossible to get rid of.


I’d have to agree with Travers Alvirez. The boots need only be conditioned with natural wax to protect it from the elements. I suggest Snoseal, which I use for all my leather shoes. Note that the wax conditioning should be done prior to first use, and regularly (e.g., once a year, or more frequently depending on wear) thereafter. I also cannot stress the importance of using shoetrees (if you’re not wearing your boots/shoes, have shoetrees in them) to absorb humidity from wear and reshape the leather post-wear. This will give your boots a longer life. As for the sole separation,… Read more »

Travers Alvirez
Travers Alvirez

Sno seal is kinda much like an overkill. Furthermore, its sealing ability exceed requirements, so much that it could impede breathability of the boot. I’d go with Obenauf grease or any other leather dressing. And as always, brush the leather up several times before use, as this could remove dust, and also act as an activation for the impregnated oils. Shoe trees is necessary, but don’t overreact with their importance. If shoe trees aren’t lying around, I’d say a day or two being ventilated is just about sufficient. I’ve never had sole separation with many of my antique military boots… Read more »


[…] Update: After a year of use, this is what they look like as I clean and condition them. […]

Brian Ober
Brian Ober

I have been wearing chippewa 6″ boots for awhile now… After trying a number of combinations, I pretty much use Lexol cleaner and their conditioner products only. I strongly recommend not ever using mink oil and will use the Heavy Duty LP stuff once per year only. I prefer the non-polished look, so I avoid that as well, but it’s only because of the look…


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It’s bad design to a degree to not have a groove for the sole stitching to recess in but if you then walk in them without putting a rubber tread on top the stitching will get eaten up pretty quickly. I’m not sure if boots would have originally come this way but if they did they can’t have lasted very long.


pretty much everything about this process is wrong.

Todd Oppenheimer

Good discussion here. General rule of thumb: avoid any dressings that contain petroleum derivatives. Unfortunately, this includes a surprising number of highly tauted leather care products, Snoseal being one of them. This leaves you with products that can actually prove they are made only with oils and waxes from plant and animal oils — Neatsfoot oil (only if pure), Lexol (maybe, since they won’t disclose their ingredients), that natural wax out of Oregon, and of course Obenauf’s. If you’d like to learn the whole, fascinating story of how Marv Obenauf came up with his remarkable leather dressings, see this story… Read more »