How To Waterproof Leather Boots

There’s absolutely nothing worse than stepping into a puddle with brand new leather boots, only to feel the water pour in, causing a bad case of soggy feet.

Leather boots are stylish, sturdy boots that can last forever when you take care of them. The only problem is that they are far from waterproof. Luckily, there are a handful of different methods on how to waterproof leather boots.

When you treat them right, leather boots can last forever. Part of taking care of your leather boots is learning how to waterproof leather boots properly. Keep reading to learn more about how to waterproof leather boots with 4 different products and how you can keep them that way.

How To Waterproof Leather Boots

Why You Need To Waterproof Your Leather Boots

Water damage is what ruins most leather boots, instead of usual wear and tear. It doesn’t matter how thick the leather is or where the leather is from.

Typically, leather is made from the hide or skin of a cow, goat, deer, or buffalo leather. None of these animals can repel water even when they’re alive.

Since leather is skin, it soaks up water just like it would as if it were still alive on whatever animal it came from. So, you’ll have to apply a barrier that repels water from the boots, instead of letting the water soak in, which ruins the leather in the long term. 

How To Waterproof Leather Boots

Weatherproofing leather boots couldn’t be simpler. All you’ll need is a good waterproofing sealant like wax, cream, or spray to waterproof leather boots, and you’ll be able to keep them in good condition for years to come.

Skidmore's Premium Beeswax Waterproofing cream

Skidmore's Premium Beeswax Waterproofing cream

  • Natural Chemical Free Formula
  • Simple and Easy Application
  • Proudly Made in the U.S.A

I use it on my boots, leather shoes, whatever needs a quality conditioning. Thx Keep up the good work.

Using a Wax

While waterproof wax, like Skidmore’s natural beeswax, lasts much longer than a spray, it is a bit more work. It’s also the best method for lighter tan leathers because it doesn’t change the color of the leather, like many other waterproofing solutions.

  • Warm up the wax and your boots with a hairdryer to make sure the wax is at the perfect spreading consistency.
  • Apply a coating of the wax all over the leather boots.
  • Buff on the wax, including all the seams and cracks in your leather boots.
  • Wipe off any excess.
  • Let dry naturally for 24 hours.
  • Reapply every year or as needed.
JobSite Prime Neatsfoot Oil Leather Waterproof Compound

JobSite Prime Neatsfoot Oil Leather Waterproof Compound

  • Protects, preserves & restores dried-out leather keeping it looking new
  • Waterproofs shoes and other leather articles to repel water and protect from stiffness that naturally occurs through wet and dry cycles
  • Ideal for leather and vinyl boots, shoes, purse, belt, luggage, gun cases, saddlery, baseball gloves, safety belts, gloves, car auto upholstery and furniture

Neatsfoot oil is great, sinks right into leather, whether waterproofing new sue or leather boots or old and cracked up leather.

Using Mink Oil

Mink oil is another great natural conditioner and waterproofing agent for leather. It comes from the natural oil in mink fur that allows the semi-aquatic mink to stay dry and warm in cold water, much like beavers.

Mink oil comes in different consistencies. There is raw mink oil, mink oil paste, and mink oil aerosol sprays. If you choose the oil version, like Jobsite’s Neatsfoot Oil, it needs to be applied lightly and delicately, since it will likely darken the leather of the boots somewhat, making it better for darker brown and black leather. 

Here’s how:

  • Put some of the mink oil on a clean rag.
  • Coat every inch of your clean and dry boots in oil.
  • Let dry for a day.
  • Apply a second coat of mink oil.
  • Let dry for another day.
  • Reapply every 6 months.
AQUA SEAL Aquaseal Leather Waterproof Cream

AQUA SEAL Aquaseal Leather Waterproof Cream

  • Formulated for waterproofing and conditioning the leather portions of lightweight hiking boots
  • Will not harm waterproof boot liners beneath the leather
  • Allows the leather to still breath Odorless

Best boot waterproofing product out there. Always easy to apply, and keeps leather soft.

Using a Waterproof Cream

Before you start, note that some waterproofing creams may cause your leather boots to darken a bit, so it’s important to read the instructions before applying waterproof creams like Aqua Seal. It’s also very important to clean your boots before using waterproof cream.

  • Wipe off all dirt from your boots.
  • With a clean rag, apply a small amount of cream at a time to coat the entirety of both boots. Be sure to concentrate on the seams and wrinkles of the leather, as these are the areas that are most susceptible to leaks.
  • You may need to apply a second coat, depending on the instructions.
  • Let them dry naturally for 24 hours before wearing them. 
M&B Pro-Tex Water and Stain Shoe Protector

M&B Pro-Tex Water and Stain Shoe Protector

  • Prevent cracking, fading, discolouration and premature aging
  • Repels water, soil, oils and stains
  • Preserves, softens and conditions leather

Great product, works great on my boots.

Using a Sealer Spray

Using waterproofing spray like M&B Pro-Tex is usually the quickest way to waterproof leather boots but doesn’t last as long as the waxes or creams. Also, when using sprays, it’s safer and cleaner to do this outside to avoid slippery floors or fume inhalation.

  • Thoroughly clean your boots with a damp rag and let dry.
  • With waterproofing spray, spray 6-9 inches away from the boots and spray a thin coat all over the leather.
  • Let dry for at least 2 hours
  • Apply a second coat.
  • Let dry again. This time, overnight. 

The Drying Process

After you’ve applied the waterproofing solution of your choice onto your boots, make sure that you dry them in a well-ventilated room with a small amount of humidity for up to 24 hours, depending on the product’s instructions.

Also, do not try to speed the drying up by placing the boots near an air vent, direct sunlight, or with a hairdryer. This will only dry out the leather, which destroys crack the waterproof barrier. Instead, stick them on your porch or by an open window. The air will take care of the rest.

How To Waterproof Leather Boots

Other Tips For Maintaining Leather Boots

The best way to keep your leather boots in tip-top shape is to show them a little TLC. Here are some other tips to help you waterproof your leather boots and to keep them waterproof.

Fixing Cracks or Sealing Seams

To prevent leakage in the seams and soles of your boots, you can use a hot glue gun or shoe goo to seal them off. Simply follow the line of the seams, as if you were caulking them.

Seasonal Care and Upkeep

In the wintertime, pavement is full of salt, which breaks down the waterproof solutions. Make sure to wipe off your boots when they’ve been exposed to salt to keep them waterproof and clean.

Reapplication Is Important

For the best level of protection, you have to regularly reapply waterproof sealant every six months to a year. If you don’t, your boots will lose their water resistance and you will end up with soggy feet again.

Moneysworth & Best Shoe Goo Adhesive Glue Vinyl Rubber Leather

Moneysworth & Best Shoe Goo Adhesive Glue Vinyl Rubber Leather

  • Coat and protect shoes and gloves
  • Contact adhesive and sealant
  • Seal rubber and work boots

Excellent glue for fixing shoe!