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Sno Seal vs Obenauf’s

Sno Seal vs Obenauf’s

We love leather shoes for their durability. However, we must admit that as they age, they tend to look unsightly. Not until you get into the habit of reviving them with a high-quality seal. This applies to your new leather footwear so that they can retain their shape and shine.

So, which seals should you use? Let us help you out with that here:

Obenauf’s Seal

Obenauf’s seal was created for waterproofing and conditioning leather footwear. The creator, Marv Obenauf’s, was looking for something to help preserve his boots as he fought Idaho’s wildland fire. He was fed up with his boots being damaged prematurely.

Soon, loggers, ranchers, bikers, boot-making companies, and hunters were asking for this seal since it proved effective in conditioning and protecting leather shoes.

This seal is made from propolis, beeswax, and natural oils. Propolis is antifungal and antibacterial. It inhibits the growth of mildew and molds on your shoes. It is glue-like, helping the seal to stick and not be washed off easily. On the other hand, beeswax is waterproof, while the natural oils seep into the leather to give it deep conditioning and moisturizing.

The seal helps to repel water, harmful chemicals, and acids. It keeps the leather rejuvenated and oily, perfect for preventing drying, cracking, and fading.

SNO Seal

SNO was first produced to help protect leather shoes during hiking, mountaineering, and skiing. It is excellent for waterproofing leather without taking away its breathability. It integrates beeswax and chemical-based solvents in its formula.

Beeswax is used to waterproof leather, while the solvents are used to improve its consistency to make it effortless to apply.  The seal is superb for conditioning leather, protecting it from stains, watermarks and cracks.

Obenauf’s vs SNO Seals


Obenauf’s incorporates beeswax, propolis, and natural oils, while SNO is primarily beeswax. This naturally makes Obenauf’s seal win in this category, since it has more components to help in the treatment and protection of your leather footwear.


Both seals are easy to apply even with your bare hands. They spread fast, and the effect is instantaneous. However, SNO has a thicker consistency than Obenauf’s seal. If you need to liquefy them, SNO then takes longer to melt.

You will notice that Obenauf’s seal tends to darken the color of your footwear whether you melt it or not.  However, once you heat SNO, it also makes the color look slightly darker.

Once the seal penetrates the leather, it gives it a richer color. That explains why SNO darkens after melting it since it does not penetrate well before heating due to its thick consistency.

Both products leave a shiny finish and a perfect waterproof surface. Obenauf’s seal does better as a conditioner. Since it requires less heat to melt and penetrate, it may be better for use in the field where it melts under natural heat.

SNO, on the other hand, is best suited for waterproofing leather footwear. It may not effectively prevent your leather shoes from drying and cracking.

In addition, SNO’s thickness may make it lodge into crevices on the shoe, needing you to wipe the shoes thoroughly to remove excess layers. This applies if you have not melted the seal or heated the leather shoes.

Water Resistance

Since both use beeswax as their main ingredient, they perform equally well when it comes to waterproofing your leather shoes.

Oil and Dirt Resistance

If you frequently wear your leather shoes in muddy and mushy environments, you know how they can damage your leather footwear. You, therefore, need a seal that will protect them from these substances.

In this regard, SNO is better at protecting your shoes. It forms a thick layer over the surface of your leather shoes, inhibiting the other substances from lodging on the leather. Besides, SNO does not stain your leather.

In the same way, SNO resists oils better than Obenauf’s seal, and for the same reasons. The thick costing it forms is protective, inhibiting other substances from reaching and dirtying your leather shoes.

You will notice that after wearing your Obenauf’s seal-treated leather shoes on mucky or oily surfaces, there will be traces of stains even after cleaning the shoes. This indicates that the substances penetrated through the coat of Obenauf’s seal to get to the leather and soil it.

Effect on the Interior

Once you apply Obenauf’s seal and SNO, you will notice the leather will look different. They both give your leather a darker hue. However, Obenauf’s seal tends to look closer to the original color of the leather than SNO.

When using them, be prepared to lose the current shade of your leather footwear, though other people may not notice that there is a change. Notably, Obenauf’s seal leaves a white waxy deposit on your leather that is not observed in the SNO seal.

Ease of Use

Both products are applied the same way. You can rub them onto your leather shoes with your fingertips, a soft brush, or rag. If you are applying them on heated leather, you may want to avoid using your fingers as they can blister over the warm leather.

You will love using Obenauf’s seal more because it spreads faster. Nevertheless, the biggest reason why you will love it is its pleasant smell. It has a flowery smell that stays on for a while. This is unlike SNO that has a strong chemical odor.

Even though it is honey-based, there is no trace of the smell of honey as the chemical odor overpowers it. You may need to air your leather shoes after applying the SNO seal for the smell to subside.


Both Obenauf’s and SNO seals are effective in waterproofing leather footwear. Obenauf’s seal penetrates deeper and conditions your leather more effectively. It is ideal for reviving worn-out leather shoes and restoring their looks. You can also use it to protect leather footwear from drying and cracking. It is also perfect for long-term protection against mold and mild

On the other hand, SNO is better for protecting the leather from water damage, dirt, and stains. Even though both are easy to apply, SNO has an overbearing chemical smell. You will appreciate the flowery smell of Obenauf’s seal.