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Reviews > Do It Yourself > Grangers Footwear Care Kit > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes
Grangers Footwear Care Kit
Review by Coy Starnes
Tester: Coy Starnes
Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Height: 5' 11" (1.8 m)
Location: Grant Alabama USA
I live in Northeast Alabama. I enjoy backpacking, hunting, fishing and kayaking. I enjoy hiking with family and friends but also hike solo occasionally. Most of my hiking has been in the Southeastern US. I hike throughout the year but actually enjoy late fall or early spring the most with some winter hiking mixed in. I don't like the hot and humid weather of summer unless I can escape to the mountains where it is cooler. My style is slow and steady and my gear is light. I will sacrifice weight for comfort and durability to a degree. A typical 3-season load for me is around 20 lb (9 kg) not counting food and water.
Item: Grangers Footwear Care Kit
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 1 lb 14 oz (858 g)
The Granger’s Footwear Carekit comes packaged in a small box that contains the four items that make up the kit. I’ll break these down below but they include a spray bottle of cleaner, a bottle of waterproof spray, a cleaning brush, and a tube of leather conditioner. The instructions are written on the spray bottles but also says that complete instructions are available online. The cleaner and waterproofing spray also have the "bluesign approved" seal which indicates they are environmentally friendly. Of course there are still chemicals involved so each product basically says to avoid contact with skin or eyes, to wash skin if contact is made, and to keep out of reach of children. Here are the basics according to the website.
Gear Cleaner: The gear cleaner is in a 9.3 fl oz (275 ml) spray bottle. It is designed to clean and deodorize clothes, footwear and gear without having to run it through the washing machine. It also mentions that it is safe on all fabrics including GORE-TEX. The directions are to clean zippers and velcro flaps, spray onto affected areas, wipe clean with a damp cloth. The additional instructions online said remove shoelaces before cleaning and to dry naturally after cleaning. My only concern is how will I clean the inside of boots down in the toe area. It will be difficult to spray that area and nearly impossible to clean with a cloth. On the plus side, I love that I will be able to clean shoes or gear without having to wash them in my machine as I believe this is the fastest way to wear stuff out.
Footwear Repel: This product is supposed to waterproof what it is applied too. It comes in an identical size and shape spray bottle as the cleaner. The directions are to remove any loose dirt, shake bottle, apply spray evenly to footwear and remove any excess from soles and welts. The online instructions add that you should leave footwear to dry naturally before use. As with the cleaner, it is safe for all materials including GORE-TEX.
Leather Conditioner: The leather conditioner comes in a 2.6 oz (75 ml) tube. I opened it and the product is a cream looking color. It is hard to describe the texture but diaper rash cream comes to mind. It didn’t leave my hand feeling greasy. It is designed to give leather protection, nourishment and maximum breathability and is suitable for full grain and smooth leather. I didn’t see anything about suede leather. There are no instructions on the tube but I found them online. They are; Apply conditioner sparingly to clean leather footwear. Rub in a circular motion, ensuring all seams and joins are treated. For best results apply 2 or 3 thin layers, allowing to dry between applications.
Brush: The brush is shaped with a pointy end to facilitating reaching in tight areas but broadens quickly so won’t reach far. There is also an interesting bevel at the other end of the wooden part. I think this might be to scrape caked on mud away but there is no indication of this in the instructions which are only online for the brush. They are; Hold brush tightly and apply a light pressure to remove dirt. For dried on or harder to remove dirt, use the pointed end of the brush, being careful to avoid scratches.This concludes my Initial Report.
Long Term Report: January 24, 2019
Test Locations and Conditions
Not that they are important but I did most of the testing inside my house, some on my deck and some out in the yard. I used the Gear Cleaner and applied the Leather Conditioner Repel to a pair of leather shoes in the house at 68 F (20 C). I applied the Repel to my bike frame bag on my deck at 50 F (10 C). I used the Gear Cleaner on some low top hiking shoes in the yard at around 50 F (10 C).
Long Term Test Results
The Granger Footwear Care Kit proved to be easy to use and did a good job on the things I used it for. I’ll start with the Gear Cleaner. I have a pair of Zero TerraFlex shoes I have been wearing all spring and summer that were getting pretty nasty and had developed a mild odor. I removed the insoles and liberally sprayed the Gear Cleaner all over (inside and out) the shoes and on the insoles. I waited about ten minutes and proceeded to dunk the insoles in a white bucket of clean water. I swished them around a few minutes and the water turned darker but not too bad. After removing the insoles from the bucket I dunked the shoes in and swished them around. This time the water turned much darker. I removed the shoes, dumped the water and refilled the bucket with clean water. I rinsed the shoes a final time and the water stayed almost clear. After that I left the shoes on my deck for several hours to air dry. It was cool and cloudy so I brought them inside and finished drying them in front of a fan overnight. The shoes looked much better and the smell was gone. I considered applying the Repel to them but these shoes are so porous I decided against it. I like my summer hiking shoes to breathe and this seemed counter-intuitive.
On the same day I applied the Repel to a frame bag on my bike. Actually, I took the bag off the bike. Anyways, I just soaked the bag with the spray bottle to the point a little was running off the bag. The Repel had a faint white color (like watered down milk would look) once applied but quickly became invisible. I left the bag setting on my deck several hours to dry. I put it back on my bike and haven’t really ridden the bike in rain except once. I did notice water beading up on the sides of the bag. The bag is made of a non-waterproof ripstop nylon and the zippers are not waterproof either so this was an attempt to just make the bag less susceptible to absorbing rain but not a guarantee things inside couldn’t get wet. I think I achieved that goal.
bike frame bag treated with Repel.
My other use was cleaning and treating a pair of leather shoes. I actually hadn’t worn the shoes lately so they were only slightly dirty but really dusty. Here are the shoes before cleaning.
shoes before cleaning
I first used the brush to knock off what it would, then sprayed the Gear Cleaner on them and wiped them down with a couple of paper towels (one per shoe).
paper towel after cleaning one shoe
I then applied the Leather Conditioner using my fingers. It felt greasy as I put it on the shoes, but surprisingly, made my fingers really dry by the time I finished. And by dry, I mean it felt like it stripped all the natural oil from my skin. The directions said to wash skin thoroughly after contact so I did once I finished both shoes (about 10 minutes). I washed my hands and then looked the shoes over. There was some white showing in the paces the leather was wrinkled as well as at the stitches.
the Leather Conditioner on shoes
After washing my hands I took the brush and gave the shoes a good going over, working the areas that had excess Leather Conditioner on them with an extra vigorous brushing. The directions said apply two coats for best results but I felt like I had enough on. I then applied the Repel to the shoes and wiped with a clean paper towel. They looked almost new except for the scuffed areas at the toes.
shoes after cleaning, conditioning and waterproofing
I have since worn the shoes a few times in wet conditions and am pleased with how the rain literally jumps off them.
This concludes my Report. I would like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and Granger’s for this testing opportunity.
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Reviews > Do It Yourself > Grangers Footwear Care Kit > Test Report by Coy Ray Starnes
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