How to Waterproof Sneakers

You can use wax or special sprays to waterproof your sneakers. Wax might be a better choice for leather pairs, while sprays are great for other materials.

By 2025, the global sneakers market revenue might reach $102 billion. These shoes have become incredibly popular with all age groups and with people of all professions throughout the years.

It is safe to say that a good pair of sneakers is part of a daily ‘uniform’ for the majority of us. And, of course, we would want these shoes to serve for as long as they possibly can.

Waterproofing sneakers is one of the main hacks that will help you prolong the life of your favorite pair. Below, we will show you exactly what you need to do to make your sneakers water-resistant.

How to Waterproof Sneakers

Why You Need to Waterproof Your Sneakers

We wear sneakers always and everywhere. Whether it’s the morning or the night, the middle of the summer, or even a cold winter day – a lot of people prefer to spend most of their days in these super comfy shoes.

And that’s exactly why sneakers have to be waterproofed.

We want to be able to wear these shoes rain or shine and not think about getting our feet wet. Thankfully, some manufacturers started coming up with stylish waterproof models. So, you might want to get your hands on an Adidas Terrex Skychaser LT GORE-TEX or the Range Low from Forsake.

Adidas Terrex Skychaser LT GORE-TEX

Adidas Terrex Skychaser LT GORE-TEX

  • Synthetic-and-mesh
  • Imported
  • Rubber sole
Forsake Range Low

Forsake Range Low

  • Vibram Megagrip Outsole
  • Waterproof/Breathable Membrane
  • All Day Comfort and Support

And for those who have bought a cool model that is not waterproof – don’t worry. We have got you covered.

The Different Ways to Waterproof Sneakers

Modern sneakers come in a variety of different materials – leather, rubber, plastic, foam, synthetics, textiles…

You would want to choose an appropriate way to waterproof your pair depending on the material it is made out of.


Wax works great on leather. But will do the job on knit sneakers as well. Moreover, this thing will help you protect the sneakers from salt damage as well.

The only downside of wax is that it requires a bit of time and effort to apply.

Bonus: if you have leather sneakers, the wax will add a soft shine to the pair. Moreover, it nourishes the leather.

You can try out this Shoe Care Wax Oil by Ecco.

ECCO Men's Shoe Care Wax Oil

ECCO Men's Shoe Care Wax Oil

  • 100% Leather
  • Made in the USA and Imported
  • Leather sole


Unlike wax, sprays are not going to work wonders on leather shoes (they don’t allow the pair to breathe).

But this solution is great for other materials and it is extremely easy to apply. All you would have to do is spray an even coat on your sneakers – and that’s it!

Bear in mind that the effect of some sprays lasts for only a few weeks, so you would have to reapply the treatment regularly.

Kiwi Sneaker Waterproofer is a powerful spray that helps shoes last longer.

KIWI Sneaker and Shoe Waterproofer

KIWI Sneaker and Shoe Waterproofer

  • KIWI Sneaker Protector is a powerful waterproof spray for shoes that guards against rain, stains, salt and dirt
  • Waterproof spray and stain repellent create an invisible shield for your shoes while allowing them to breathe
  • Suitable for Full Grain and Patent Leather, Synthetic and Faux Leather, Canvas, Suede, Nubuck, Mesh, Nylon and Fabric

Rain covers

We know that you are proud of the way your sneakers look and the last thing you want to do is cover these beauties up. But if for some reason, you have forgotten to apply waterproof treatment, a rain cover will protect your precious pair.

That’s certainly the easiest way to keep your shoes dry. Slip the cover right over your sneakers and take it off whenever you are indoors.

The covers will also protect your shoes from mud and slush.

Here is a black option and a transparent one with a thick sole.

Pulatree Black Reusable Rain Shoe Covers

Pulatree Black Reusable Rain Shoe Covers

  • Non-slip & wear-resistant sole
  • High quality PVC waterproof material
  • Soft oldable and lightweight
ARUNNERS Rain Shoe Covers

ARUNNERS Rain Shoe Covers

  • Waterproof Storage Bag for Free
  • 60 Days Refund Guarantee
  • No More Wet Feet

How to Prepare Your Shoes for Waterproofing

Before applying any kind of waterproof treatment, you should:

  • Thoroughly clean your sneakers. Use a damp cloth or just wash the pair.
  • Wait for the sneakers to fully dry. If the surface is damp, the treatment might not work.
  • Remove the laces, so that you have access to even the hidden parts.

How to Apply Wax

Applying wax can be a bit tricky and the whole process requires quite some time, but the result is totally worth it.

Tip: test the wax for staining beforehand. Simply apply a bit to a small area of the sneaker.

  • Thoroughly rub your wax of choice on the outer surface. Pay extra attention to the areas around the toe, heel, laces, tongue, and sidewalls.
  • If you want to go the extra mile, rub the wax on your laces as well.
  • Don’t worry about the discoloration – it will go away once you have finished.
  • Melt the wax with the help of a hairdryer. In such a way, the wax will be able to get into every knit.
  • Let the wax cool.
  • You can test out the result – pour some water onto the shoe and enjoy the effect.

Use hot water and soap if you ever want to get rid of the wax.

By the way, you can use ordinary beeswax that will cost you only a few bucks. Such wax is colorless and completely stain-free.

Alternative Imagination Beeswax Bar

Alternative Imagination Beeswax Bar

  • Versatile & Sweet
  • Natural & Ethically Sourced
  • Perfect for Crafts

How to Apply Waterproof Spray

Warning! Ideally, you would want to spray your shoes in an open area. Make sure to wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling the aerosol.

  • Don’t hold the spray too close to the shoe, 6-10 inches is the perfect distance.
  • Pay extra attention to the heel, toe, heel, seams, and sidewalls.
  • One layer should be enough, but make sure to read the instructions.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to gently dab the surface and remove the excess product.
  • Let the sneakers dry overnight.

Tip: break in your shoes first. Wait for the fabric to stretch and apply the waterproof treatment only after that.

How to Waterproof Sneakers?

Waxes and sprays will create an invisible barrier that is going to protect your shoes and help keep them in pristine condition.

You might want to go for a wax in case you have leather sneakers. However, the chances are high that it will work on knit pairs as well, as the wax can settle in between the fabric and work its magic from there.

Sprays are a more universal option, so you should definitely consider getting one of those if you want your sneakers to be able to survive inclement weather and unnoticed puddles.