Smooth leather perfectly repels water, beautifully shines and is resistant against damages. nubuck repels water worse. Nevertheless, it is very resistant against damages, it retains good appearance for a long time, and does not have requirements to special care. Relatively bad water resistance can be compensated by impregnations. Actually, in cases of hiking tours I would advise nubuck , rather than smooth leather. It is not by chance that major manufacturing lines of footwear for outdoors are presented by models out of nubuck . nubuck is far more resistant to unfavorable weather conditions: constant wetting, drying, and temperature changes as compared to smooth leather, and it cracks considerably less. This is one of the main reasons for its use when manufacturing outdoor footwear.
Edited: Roger Caffin, Online Community Monitor, BPL