In what will probably be the subject of its own upcoming post, I've got a pair of dark brown Sebago Brattles that I have completely stripped of their finish. All that's left is the raw leather with a hint of brown dye soaked into it. After reading this, I thought I would simply re-dye the leather and then polish them. But then I saw this and I've decided to darken the leather with some sort of waterproofing.

Unfortunately, shoe care can be a mine field for those who tend to over-think things. I've narrowed my choices down to three products: Obenauf's LP, Huberd's Shoe Grease, and Sno Seal. My sense is that Obenauf's and Sno Seal are essentially the same thing (beeswax plus fillers), while Huberd's is a slightly different product because of its inclusion of pine tar. The internet is full of praise for all three products, but there are also vocal minorities who claim that each has rotted their shoes, dried the leather, dissolved the stitching, etc.

Right now, I'd love to hear from anyone who has personal experience using any of these products. Below, I've described some of the specific characteristics that are most important to me and that I'd love to hear about specifically.

1. Effect on leather color. Some people complain that waterproof treatments changed the color of their shoes, but for me this is a plus. All other things equal, I'd be more interested in a product that darkens the leather more.

2. Effect on stitching color. Despite what I just said above, I'd prefer a product that does not dye lighter stitching. Although it's not an issue for my current shoes, it would prevent me from using it on other shoes with contrast stitching.

3. Durability. How long can I expect the effects to last. If I need to constantly reapply the product to maintain the dark, oiled look of the leather, I'd rather try something else. If the shoe tends to look flaky or waxy after being treated, I'd like to know about that, too.

4. Finish and smell. I've heard that Huberd's has a strong smoky smell. And I've heard some complaints that beeswax can leave shoes sticky. All are negatives if long-lasting or permanent.

5. Waterproofing. This is actually not a major concern for me. I assume that all three products will leave my shoes far more waterproof than they are untreated. And since I'm not wearing my shoes in extreme conditions, I'm not terribly concerned about which product makes the shoes most waterproof. But I suppose it could be a tie breaker.

So that's everything on my mind this morning, and I'd love to hear what you all think. And of course, if there's anything else you think I'm missing, please bring it up.