Although it might cost a bit more than any other treatment one could substitute. There is no logical reason to chance something else with such a working piece of traditional bike art. Remember that cheap is one letter away from what you would be left with for poor treatment of your leather saddles. Heap of st.
I purchased this produce, Proofide, when I purchased a Brooks -B17 saddle. I have followed their recommendations and applied a coating after each ride to protect the finish and suppleness of the saddle. The saddle is comfortable and is breaking in nicely. Just shy of 100 miles riding.
It takes a while to break in a Brooks saddle so you want it to last as long as it can. Make sure to read the instructions well - don't wait until the leather is looking thirsty to apply, and don't apply just before you ride. You shouldn't need the big tin unless you're a shop.
Started using Proofhide decades ago to break-in Brooks saddles, now use it to periodically condition many leather products, including saddles, belts, leather ski gloves, work and snow boots, etc. The smell is an acquired taste ...
I use this product on all my Brooks saddles, top side & underneath, very happy with it. I liquefy it by using a hair dryer on high heat and low speed (to keep the tin from being blown around)...then use a small foam paint brush to paint the underside pretty effectively...then use the blow dryer to help penetration, Can use the same technique on the top side as well. Careful, don't overheat the leather.
Brooks saddles are full grain leather and thick-they are hard and need proofide to make them soften up for the breaking process. I have 2 Brooks Special saddles and the leather is extra thick. Apply the proofide more the first 2 months until the breakin is complete at about 20 rides. Then use it every few months to keep the leather soft. They will be very comfortable and look great. I have a total of 4 saddles and ride about 100 miles a week with no discomfort They also look great on old vintage Schwinn bikes. Enjoy the ride
This Proofide is easy to use. Can be difficult to apply to bottom of saddle due to rails and attachments. Once applied it seems to absorb quickly and dry. No smell like other leather products which is nice. Doing another application this week. Love my Brooks B17.