JH Berger Boots

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Konzert-Meister

JH Berger Boots

Post by Konzert-Meister »

Afternoon,

Just a review of the boots available from Lederarsenal.com. I ordered my pair of low boots in August 2013, knowing there was a 5 month waiting list. Ordering well in advance for the 2014 season. After paying a deposit of about 30euro, it was just a case of waiting in line. In the end they took 6 months from order to them being in my hands, however Jan replies to emails promptly and keeps you informed of the situation. The delay was partly down to the Holiday season.

The boots cost about 266euro including postage. I opted for no toe plates and non blacking. Which can be done for a small amount extra. Absolutely fantastic boots and the most accurate on the market.

I have since fitted original laces to mine (they come with leather laces), along with insoles and ATF original canvas gaiters. I have used them hiking around locally on the north downs, breaking them in for the new season and they are very comfortable and solid. I treated mine with neatsfoot oil and a natural dubbin.

Here is a picture and a video of them new from the box.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1BttihD ... pHc2b1u2yg
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Konzert-Meister

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Konzert-Meister »

Here they are after a few hours hiking.
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Konzert-Meister

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Konzert-Meister »

All clean again and treated.
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saddler
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by saddler »

Nice review. ..though I'd never suggest or approve of the use of
neatsfoot oil

There are MUCH better options, few worse.

I would suggest instead KoChoLine as THE leather dressing to use.
Not yet been contradicted on its purely positive effects.

The saddler that trained me was told to use it by the olde saddler that trained him.

I have also had good results using Fiebings Mink Oil Paste.
For both the Mink Oil Paste and the KoChoLine ignore the instruction about applying with a clothh, just use your finger. More control and less waste.

Konzert-Meister

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Konzert-Meister »

Can I ask what is wrong with neatsfoot oil? As I use it to feed the leather, making it soft. Applying it with my fingers. Then for a more waterproofing effect I use a natural clear dubbin all over, especially on the toe area and sparingly on the soles. Both products are natural and not like the petrol smelling ones that cause stitching and leather to degrade. Other than not being multi purpose, whats wrong with neatsfoot oil?

saddler
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by saddler »

Hi

Without getting too technical neatsfoot (the natural version) is too viscous/dense.
The short term results are ok, I agree.
The problem is longer term as it will degrade the cells in the leather if it continues to be used.

I have had reenactor customers with similar pairs of very dry original boots.
One owner used neatsfoot oil as a friend of a friend said it was the best thing to use.
The other used KoChoLine after asking ny advice
The first pair became supple for a short time then the leather became brittle, dry and cracked.
The second pair ended up as soft as new and totally wearable.

Neatsfoot has some uses.
I have colleagues who are full time rifle sling makers. They use it as a one-time-only treatment prior to sale.
As a product it is far too commonly misused, by over-application.
A standby substitute is olive oil...though this also has similar negative effects due to being too dense/viscous for the task.

Your use is ok as it was an initial treatment...

How about this?
PM me your address and I'll send you a tin at no charge.
Once you try it you'll see how good it is...

Konzert-Meister

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Konzert-Meister »

Afternoon,

It was indeed used for the first treatments of the boots from new. I've also used it on a new AFT Texled MP40 sling, the gaiters and other leather field gear. It's almost ran out now, so I'll switch to something new.

Thanks for the offer, I'll pm you my address now. :D

While on this subject of boot care, I am right in thinking one shouldn't over treat the soles? My old boots (the Polish made Heroes collection ones) were about 7 years old by the time they were knackered. Re-studded several times, eventually the half sole started coming off and also tore. I believe a part of this was due to over treating the soles to the point they became too soft.

I'm expecting 5-10 years from these boots. At least the 7 year mark before any major repairs. Depending on how hard they are used and how well they are looked after.
I'm not one of these turn up Saturday morning, put boots on and walk around a nice grass field for two days re-enactor. Depending on the event they don't come off my feet for the duration, especially at an event like Pippingford Park. However it's very beneficial to remove boots at night as we all should know. Where should one leave their boots at night? In a zeltbahn with you? Packed out? I always found the things were stiff as a board in the morning.

saddler
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by saddler »

You can use KoChoLine on the soles. If you dont they may dry out amd crack.

It is designed to replicate the natural oils/fats in hide, so will have ZERO adverse effects...unlike your experience with soles that become soft & spongy (due to the incorrect dressing destroying the cells)

I store my boots somewhere warm and dry if possible...but away from open fires etc.
I have even used the uppers as a pillow in rhe past...wrapped up in a jumper first of course.

The two most important bits of kit are your rifle and your boots.

soest
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:01 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by soest »

I have a question for Saddler re this. I assume you can use it on any leather items but if you have used dubbin, saddle soap, ordinary boot polish, neetsfoot oil etc over a period of time will it have any effect, i.e. does it form a barrier, and stop the KoCholine from being absorbed in to the leather?

Having spent over £200 on a pair of Jan's boots, which are worth the cost, I would like mine to last for as long as possible...

saddler
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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:22 pm
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by saddler »

soest wrote:I have a question for Saddler re this. I assume you can use it on any leather items but if you have used dubbin, saddle soap, ordinary boot polish, neetsfoot oil etc over a period of time will it have any effect, i.e. does it form a barrier, and stop the KoCholine from being absorbed in to the leather?

Having spent over £200 on a pair of Jan's boots, which are worth the cost, I would like mine to last for as long as possible...
Hope this is not becoming too much of a tangent/thread hijack.
Your question, plus the OPs review was what prompted my initial post here...
It's one thing to use an incorrect or inappropriate product on an issue item if you're just able to pop into the QM stores and get a free replacement.
Nowadays, quality costs...and mistakes could get expensive real quick.
Hence trying to get maximum servicable life from an item by taking proper care of it.

...anyway. Soest...
All the items you've listed are good items, apart from the devils home brew that is neatsfoot oil.
I do have the odd incident at times when I have to remind people that Saddle Soap is NOT a leather dressing; the clue I always tell them, is in the name = SOAP.

I wish more people used saddle soap for footwear and leather kit cleaning.
It'd be a case of brush off any dirt/grime with a soft brush when the item is dry.
Then use the saddle soap (froth/lather only is used to clean), then allow the item to dry naturally.
Finish the clean with whatever dressing you choose...BUT DO use a dressing!
If you don't then the saddle soap stage will have removed the salts dirt grime and oils from the leather, which when dry will be lacking in the required fats and the like that keep the water out and preserve the job done at the tannery .

If you've used saddle soap, then being a detergent it will have gone some way to also strip some of the neatsfoot from the hide.

None of the above will have formed a barrier. Some wax rich dubbing may do this, but this again can be removed/stripped if so needed.
KoChoLine will soak in without any trouble & over a period of time will build up a good level of protection.

Oh, another good thing to consider with footwear is stick to correctly constructed designs as back in the day they were meant to be resoled and rebuilt, possibly several times during their service life.
Some QM units did very little else aside from rebuild boots

Hope this helps soest, if not PM me or open a new thread maybe?

soest
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:01 pm
Location: Essex, UK

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by soest »

Thanks Saddler. That's a great answer and answered my query perfectly.

Sorry to Konzert-Meister for the temporary hijack of your thread...

Konzert-Meister

Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Konzert-Meister »

No worries at all, it's what the forum is for. The thread evolved into something useful to a broader audience. :)

Halle
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Halle »

Konzert-Meister wrote:No worries at all, it's what the forum is for. The thread evolved into something useful to a broader audience. :)

It has indeed - so , may I add , that I have used Lederbalsam as a boot protector for 10 years , it keeps them waterproof and soft , and , having applied it liberally to the sole , results in virtually no nail loss .

I should add that all the boots have been either Jokys or Svecs ..
Jäger Stefan Halle 3./I./Geb.Jag.Reg.100

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Steiner
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by Steiner »

I've got two pairs of boots from Jan, and he recommended boiled linseed oil for the soles.
"Stop that!!! Careful with my J-J!"

orey22
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Re: JH Berger Boots

Post by orey22 »

I also have a pair of Berger Boots and they are awesome to say the least, and the best out there. When you say "boiled" linseed oil is that linseed oil that is actual "boiled" on a stove or is it something else. I've used Mink Oil so far and they've done ok, but if there's something better I'd like to try it.

Cheers

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