If you actually spend much of your time in the great outdoors probably working or hiking, then you are likely to encounter harsh weather conditions such as rain and snow, which can easily damage boots.
To keep your boots looking great and prolong their life, it is highly recommended that you waterproof the boots against moisture damage. Whether they are working boots or leisure boots, they’ll serve you best and longer if you prevent water damage on the exterior parts of the boots.
Waterproofing your boots not only takes care of them but protects your feet as well. For instance, when you spend the whole day roaming muddy fields or snowy grounds, your boots will definitely be soaked in water and your feet will consequently be damp, cold, and probably numb.
There’ll be no seal between the damp boots and your feet inside and the cold water will penetrate straight to your toes. Do not get caught in such a situation in cold winter months. Your feet could freeze and cause fever, sore toes, and generally make it too painful to walk. You can easily avoid such problems by learning how to waterproof boots and ensuring that your boots always remain neat and free of moisture.
There are many ways of waterproofing boots to prevent water from soaking in and affecting your feet. The methods that we will cover in this guide are easy to implement and will take minimum time to apply.
It is important to first ensure that your boots are clean before you start waterproofing. Make sure that you have removed all the mud and dirt before you apply the waterproofing agent.
1. Waterproofing Boots Using Pastes, Creams, and Waxes
One of the best methods of waterproofing boots is the use of creams and wax. This is the simplest way to ensure that your boots and your toes stay dry at all times. There are a number of wax and creams products on the market today that you can use to waterproof your boots. Some will give you the best waterproofing results while others might not work so well.
Our top pick of the best waterproof wax and cream for boots is the Skidmore's Premium Beeswax Waterproofing cream.
Skidmore's Premium Beeswax Waterproofing cream
- Deeply penetrates leather and leaves a durable waterproof seal
- Made from natural ingredients, no harmful/toxic chemicals
- Protects your boots from rain and snow
I use this to add extra waterproofing to my winter riding boots and it’s amazing!!! Completely repels not only water, but the thick mud in the pasture that normally sticks like glue
Made in the US, this is one of the strongest boot-waterproof creams. It is made of bee-like wax and works much better than most waterproofing creams. The bees wax ingredient has a sealing agent that will keep the boot safe from moisture. This is because the cream penetrates inside the outer part of the boot to strengthen the leather against the effects of water. The cream ensures that water doesn’t penetrate the sealant, keeping the boot free from water and dampness.
Skidmore premium beeswax has the power to protect the boot from damage by water, mist, and snow. It does not contain harsh chemicals that are likely to damage or discolor the boot after long term use.
Your boot will maintain its original color and strength when you use this waterproofing sealant on its leather upper, unlike most waterproofing agents which contain a high amount of chemicals that can erode the top of the boot after several applications. Boots are expensive which is why it is important to protect them from damage caused by water and harsh chemicals.
Take a look at the video below to see it in action.
How to Waterproof Boots Using Creams and Wax
- Ensure the boot is clean from mud and dirt
- Rinse the boot well with clean water to ensure there are no marks left by dirty water
- Using a clean cloth or brush, apply the cream generously on the boot
- Rub the cream in a circular motion to make it soak evenly on the boot
- Remove any excess cream using a clean dry piece of cloth
- Allow the boot to dry for several hours or preferably overnight
- For extra protection apply a second coat once it is dry
This simple method is for applying the Skidmore Premium Beeswax, but you can still follow the same process when using any other cream.
2. Waterproofing Boots Using Sprays
If you ever find yourself in a hurry with no time to let your boots dry in the waterproofing process, you can simply use a waterproof spray to make things fast and easy. Sprays work magic and in no time the boots will be waterproofed effortlessly.
Waterproof boot spray can be a lifesaver, well, a boot saver actually, if you find yourself in wet conditions that you had not anticipated to find yourself in. A bottle of your favorite waterproof spray is all you need to keep your boots dry walk on the wet ground without fear of water seeping in dampening the boots.
There are many types of waterproofing sprays in the market but we recommend the Rust-Oleum NeverWet Boot spray.
Rust-Oleum NeverWet Boot Spray
- Repels and protects from damage caused by water
- Sprays on clear
- Works on leather, suede, nubuck, canvas and other boot material
I sprayed my lug nubuck boots with it and let it sit outside to dry overnight in early spring. I put them on the radiator to dry another day and a half and you couldn’t get any liquid to stick to them.
This is an invisible spray for boots and shoes. When sprayed on boots or shoes, it creates a seal or waterproof cover that will change the color of your boot. The ingredient in the spray creates a seal that prevents water from penetrating inside the boot or shoe. Rust-Oleum NeverWet protects the boot from damage by repelling water from the boot’s surface.
The spray has no silicone ingredients which are known to damage the outer cover of your boots and giving them an unsightly appearance. It can be used on all types of boots including leather, suede, canvas and other types of boot materials.
You can see this spray in action in the video below (the video demonstrates it on a shoe, but it works just as well on boots too!):
How to Waterproof Boots Using a Waterproofing Spray
- Clean the boot thoroughly and remove mud, stains, and dirt from the surface
- Rinse the boot with clean water to ensure that there are no dirty water marks left
- Spray the boot from a distance of 6 inches to ensure there is an even spray
- Leave the boot to dry for a short time and then spray another coat for the best results
- In case you are in a hurry, just wait a few minutes after the first spray and then spray another seal on top
Other DIY Waterproofing Methods
There are other methods, which although not specifically designed to waterproof boots, can help in cases of emergency. These are waterproofing agents which can only be used in an emergency where you don’t have any other alternative.
For instance, if you find yourself in wet conditions without a waterproofing spray, you can apply Vaseline cream on the boot to waterproof it temporarily. This is not a long lasting solution and will only work to a limited extent. All you need to do is just apply the cream on the boot upper and you are good to go.
You can also apply transmission oil to the boot and prevent water from seeping into your feet. The oil simply repels all the water that gets into contact with the boot. The only con is that the boot will change color and cleaning will be a tough job later.
You simply apply the oil on the boot and it is ready. Some sprays such as the clear coat enamel spray will give a waterproof seal but can only last for a short time before it starts cracking and peeling off.