How to Waterproof Boots & Shoes

Water and leather don’t always play well together, which can make the snowy winter and rainy spring seasons tricky for your favorite shoes. Luckily, with a little waterproofing, you can show off your leather, suede, and canvas shoes fearlessly through these wet months. Here’s how you can easily waterproof your favorite shoes and boots to make sure they stay stunning as you transition from winter to spring.

Why Waterproof Boots?

Waterproofing your boots is often something you don’t think about until you’ve already damaged them by accident, which is why applying a waterproofing treatment right when away when you buy a new pair of leather shoes or boots is a great idea. There are a couple of different things that can happen to leather and suede shoes when they come up against water or snow.  


When leather gets wet, it can darken or change color. Sometimes this goes away as it dries, but not always. No one wants splotches of other colors on their brand new leather boots. Spots like these will be more visible on shoes that feature a lighter color of leather on the upper, so it’s especially important to waterproof these before wearing them out in wet conditions. 

Cracking and Warping

While a few snowflakes or a little splash of water likely won’t cause a lot of physical damage, too much moisture can cause leather can make the fibers of your boot weaken and stretch. As the leather dries, the stretched material might lose its shape, ending up warped or cracked.  

How To Waterproof Leather Boots

When it comes to waterproofing leather boots, you have a couple of different options to choose from. First, you can wax seal your boots. These treatments are typically made from beeswax and need to be heated up before they’re applied to your shoes. Use a clean cloth to work the waterproofing wax into the leather, let dry completely, then buff off any excess. For a quicker and easier approach, you can also use waterproofing sprays. All you have to do is apply a couple layers of the spray, waiting for the shoes to dry completely between coats, and you’re good to go! Some sprays need to be reapplied, so make sure to read the instructions to make sure you always keep your boots covered.  

How To Waterproof Suede Boots

Waterproofing suede shoes is very similar to waterproofing leather boots, the main difference being that you have to pay close attention to what products you use. Always make sure that whatever you choose is made specifically for suede, not just any old leather waterproofing product will do. Once you’ve found the right formula, apply it to your shoes before wearing them for the first time. This will keep any dirt or debris from getting caught under the waterproof layer. If you have already worn these shoes a time or too, no problem. Just clean the suede as well as you can before applying the waterproof layer.  

How to Waterproof Canvas Shoes

Wax is your best option when it comes to canvas sneakers since it can melt into your shoes’ fabric, but there are sprays you can use, too. No matter what method you end up using, though, it’s a good idea to do a test patch on a small part of the shoe to make sure that the wax or spray doesn’t have any effect on the color. Clear wax like beeswax shouldn’t do anything to the color of your fabric sneakers and slip-ons, but it never hurts to check!  

Where Can I Find Waterproofing Treatments For My Boots?

You’re probably familiar with Masseys for their grand selection of fashion, footwear, and beauty products, but did you know they also carry shoe care essentials too? Be sure to check it out next time you snatch up a new pair of shoes at one of Masseys’ many savings events! You’ll find waterproofing treatments, shoe care kids, heel grips for a better fit, and even tools to help you stretch out your shoes.  

With your favorite boots and shoes protected against the elements, you’re ready to walk the sidewalk like a runway all winter and spring long! No need to worry about puddles and stray flurries when you’re out and about, your boots are ready for everything.  

What do you use to protect your shoes? Let us know in the comments below, then tag us in pictures of your favorite waterproof looks on Facebook and Instagram!

Tags: Boots, canvas shoes, dress boots, leather, shoe care, suede, waterproof, Winter Boots

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