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SNO Seal vs Obenauf’s: Which One Should You Choose?

Fact checked by A. Thompson


Waterproofing leather wear should not be overlooked, since it ensures that our items can withstand harsh conditions without being subjected to severe damage. We surely want our leather boots to last for as long as possible. So, which product to use then?

It’s a simple answer if we narrow our choice down. Here are the most common, if not the best, products vouched for by many: SNO seal vs Obenauf’s. Read on to know which one should work better for your needs.

Obenauf’s vs SNO seal


The main difference between these two products is their main ingredients. Obenauf’s seal adds natural oils, propolis, and beeswax to its formula. Meanwhile, SNO seal has beeswax as its main component, along with some chemical-based solvents.

Indeed, these two also have their similarities in features since they are formulated for waterproofing leather. Furthermore, users can use the same application methods for these seals, typically with a clean cloth or a brush with soft bristles.

Below are details about these two leather seal products and more about their differences that often make buyers prefer one over the other.

1. What to know about Obenauf’s seal?

Obenauf is famous for its quality leather conditioning and protective products, all made from natural ingredients to avoid damage to the material fibers.

As stated above, they contain:

  • Beeswax – It is often used in most leather seal products for resisting water.
  • Natural oils – They are in the seal to add moisture, oil, and suppleness to the leather materials.
  • Propolis – This ingredient is good for work boots often subjected to moisture and dirt where fungi and bacteria thrive.

The brand owns its heavy-duty LP formula for leather seal products that protect against salt, chemicals, several types of acids, rainwater, moisture, and even petroleum.

Furthermore, with this Obenauf’s heavy duty leather protector formula, leather boots become more durable as they are less prone to tearing, cracking, scuffing, abrasion, etc.

2. What to know about SNO seal?

SNO seal products, on the other hand, are famous for their all-season protection formula. They are much more effective in protecting leather than remedies like oils, greases, and animal fats.

In their formula, we can find:

  • Beeswax – It is the same ingredient as Obenauf’s, and it is necessary for blocking the intrusion of moisture, snow, rainwater, etc.
  • Solvent-based chemicals – They are included in SNO seal’s formula to increase the consistency of the seal. The addition makes the product easier to apply and slightly contributes to the leather materials’

These products are used as a snow seal waterproofing solution, as they can block melted snow from seeping into your leather boots in the winter.

Furthermore, SNO seals protect the footwear from quick degradation, including cracking, staining, ugly watermarks, and more. They are also a perfect product to block UV rays from drying leather.

3. SNO seal and Obenauf’s: Which one is better?

  • Formula

Both products are considered leather seals with safe formulas to apply by hand if you wish. If you have a clean cloth or a soft brush, it’s also a breeze to smoothen these agents onto the shoes.

However, SNO seal has a thicker consistency than Obenauf products, mostly because of the added chemicals. Therefore, it takes longer to melt if we ever decide to liquify the seal and dip any leather items in it.

And due to the formula with natural oils, Obenauf’s can condition leather fabrics, making them softer and more supple than SNO seals can.

  • Water-resistance properties

Both products are formulated with beeswax, which is inherently good at resisting water intrusion. You can use Obenauf as an SNO-seal alternative and vice versa, as either of them is good for your leather shoes in wet conditions.

Obenauf leather oil review often shows that the product works almost immediately when applied due to its liquid form.

SNO seals are also praised for a quick-action formula like Obenauf’s. However, it seems to be better at protecting against snow. Therefore, you can totally use the SNO solution as a snow seal for boots.

  • Protective features

In terms of offering leather more durability, many will vouch for Obenauf’s. The patented heavy-duty LP allows protection against tears and cracks caused by extreme conditions.

That’s why Obenauf’s products are perfect for construction, firefighter, electrician boots, and other types of heavy-duty work shoes. So, for those who are looking for a resilient waterproofing seal with extra protection for harsh tasks, Obenauf is the choice.

Meanwhile, SNO is more of an all-weather shield. Therefore, it is used for casual footwear, gift shoes, boots for hunting, fishing, hiking, as well as dress shoes. So, if you want a good product for protecting your leather pairs against weather conditions, SNO’s seal is the favorable pick.

  • Resistance against oil and dirt

As we use any type of seal, we also expect it to establish a decent coating that oils and dirt cannot stick to.

In this aspect, SNO might have a slight advantage over Obenauf due to its thick consistency, as stated above. With a layer of SNO seal on the leather boots, oil and dirt are less likely to cling onto their surface.

It does not necessarily mean that Obenauf allows stains to easily get onto the shoes. However, if subjected to oily, mushy, and muddy conditions, shoes are likely to have some stain streaks that require cleaning right after.

  • Color change

One thing to note, though, is that Obenauf can darken the color of leather material more than SNO can. But the good thing is, its shade is a tad more similar to dark-colored leather than SNO. So, if your shoes are dark brown, Obenauf is the obvious choice.

However, some Reddit users prefer SNO seals as they do not darken too much the colors of their rather bright boots. They intend to maintain them as close to the original shade as possible.

How to Use Sno Seal and Obenauf’s?


As mentioned above, both types of seals are pretty easy to use, so you can follow this short guide to apply both solutions successfully:

  • Use sunlight, a lamp, or a wood stove to preheat your leather boot at around 110 – 125°F (43 – 52°C). This preparation step is for the seal to immediately absorb into the leather fiber during application.
  • Use a soft brush or a clean rag to apply the seal on the first boot, which is already heated. Make sure to apply an even layer.
  • Preheat the second boot and carry on dabbing the seal, just like with the first one.
  • Check both boots for any part that is slightly duller than the other parts, and reapply the seal to it.
  • Remove the excess seal with a clean towel.
  • (optional) If you want to correct the shoe color with leather polish, apply it afterward.


So, between SNO seal vs Obenauf’s, choosing one rather than the other depends on your current requirements. If you have heavy-duty work boots and wish to have excellent protection against water, wear and tear, Obenauf’s can be the better choice.

However, if you own a pair of casual shoes or hiking boots often subjected to different weather conditions, I recommend the SNO seal. Just remember that both of them are quality products for waterproofing leather, so you do not have to worry too much.

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