Simple Ways on How to Waterproof Leather Boots

Are you lately experiencing soggy feet when you wear your favorite pair of leather boots? Then don’t worry, there are great ways on how to waterproof your leather boots. Leather boots are and have always been considered expensive. For example, in the ancient world, leather boots represented ruling power such that the Roman empowers were known to wear colorful jeweled boots with precious metal soles.

Furthermore, the boots were also popularly worn by the highest-ranking military offices and some senators in ancient Rome and Egypt.

So, how do you keep your favorite leather boots from getting your socks wet?

Waterproofing them is the answer. I know you may wonder why this has never happened before but that’s because your boots may have been designed to withstand water. However, over time, the boots tend to lose their protection thus the little situation and that’s why we are here to help you on the simple ways to waterproof leather boots.

Things to Consider Before Waterproofing the Leather Boots

Before you start waterproofing your leather boots there are several things you need to consider such as:

Type of boots you own:

There are many types of boots in the market such as hiking boots, riding boots, ankle-length boots (Chelsea boots) among others. Therefore, before you start waterproofing your favorite boots you need to know which type of boots they are. For example, dubbin wax or sealants are great for walking boots or hiking boots.

The material of leather used for your boots:

There are different types of leathers based on their quality. For instance, your boots might be Genuine Leather, Top Grain Leather, Full Grain Leather, and Suede Leather among others. Keep in mind, each material needs a different product to help waterproof and it’s essential to use the right product for your boots.

Which condition are your boots:

The condition of your boots matter on how often you need to waterproof them? If you wear your leather boots often in rain or snow, you should waterproof them a few times a month. However, if you rarely wear them four or five times a year should do the trick.


Another factor to consider before waterproofing your boots is their durability. If your boots are made of a durable material then you may need to waterproof them more frequently than the less durable material. This means the full-grain leather material is more durable than the genuine leather which is the lowest quality out there.

Number of years the boots have been used:

Though it should be common sense, the number of years you wear the boots should also be a determining factor when waterproofing. Remember, newer boots should be treated quite often as compared to older and more fragile boots.

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Step by Step Guide on How to Waterproof Leather Boots

Homemade boot waterproofing can be a simple process if only you follow the required steps. Therefore, since there are different materials of leather, it is advisable to know which best stuff to waterproof boots is. That’s why we are going to look at some simple but effective techniques when looking for the ideal ways of how to waterproof leather boots.

Types of Waterproofing Methods


Wax is one of the most popular waterproofing products used. Being the most effective product for leather boots, you can either add a single coat on your boots or several thin coats depending on how much you wear your boots. Therefore, with no further ado, here is how to waterproof your leather boots with wax.

  • Remove the laces and clean off the dirt and grime with a brush: Before you start waterproofing your boots its essential that they are clean. Dirt and grime can get in the way of applying wax causing you not to waterproof the boots fully. Note that, if the laces are dirty, soak them in some water for a few hours and then remove any remaining dirt by spraying it with a hose.
  • Wash the boots with saddle soap and water to remove any scratches: You may wonder where the scratches on your boots may come from. Nonetheless, there are many ways it happens such as walking, running or working on rough surfaces. Another way may be from your pets such as cats which loves scratching your boots. Don’t forget that you should never submerge the boots in the water as this would cause irreversible damage.
  • Allow the boots to semi-dry: To prevent the boots to form any cracks, avoid drying them out in the direct sun or hair drying them. Ensure you place them under shade to dry naturally for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Do a patch test: Before you apply your waterproof wax product, you should do a small patch. This is done because both of them can alter the appearance of your boots especially if they are light in color.
  • Find a soft, clean and dry cloth and apply the wax: Mostly used when applying wax on full-grain leather boots, it’s important you don’t use too much wax.  The reason being is that too much wax can cause the boots to harden. Start by rubbing the wax in circular motions to get satisfactory results. After you are done applying all over, then use another clean cloth to wipe any excess wax. Most noteworthy, if the wax is too solid to be rubbed on the boots, gently melt it using a hairdryer.
  • Leave the boots to dry naturally: Just like you dried the boots naturally after washing them before for 30 to 60 minutes, do the same after applying the wax. However, for better results, you can leave the boots to dry overnight before you wear them. Just remember to place them in an area with average temperature, low humidity, and good ventilation.

There are many waterproof sprays for different materials. The sprays are perfect for anyone who is pressed for time and looking for a quick solution to keep their boots protected and dry. Nonetheless, the sprays tend to last longer than other waterproof methods which are a couple of weeks after being applied.

How to Waterproof the Leather Boots with Spray
  • Before you begin using the waterproof spray, ensure you clean your boots to remove dirt and debris. The best way to do this is by using soap and water or special cleaning cream.
  • Once the boots are fully clean, prepare a clean area by laying out some newspapers to protect the surrounding area from overspray.
  • Afterward, apply the spray on the boots. Note that, if your boots are made of smoother leather, it’s suitable to use an oil-based or silicone-based spray. Additionally, for rougher material such as nubuck leather or suede, an acrylic copolymer spray is the best.
  • Remember that, you should ensure the spray matches the color of the material of your boots before you hold the spray can 6 to 8 inches away from the boots while pointing the nozzle away from your face.
  • Press the spray can button steadily over the entire surface of the boots and when done leave the boots to dry overnight. Notably, don’t forget to read the instruction on the spray can to confirm if you need to apply more than one coat before wearing the boots.

Creams have been long used for waterproofing leather boots because they become thicker when applied which leads to deeper treatment. The most popular cream used is known as lanolin which is made from oil extracted from sheep wool. What’s interesting, the oil becomes a solid substance once it becomes cool therefore making it be referred to as a cream.

How to Apply the Cream Polish
  • Make sure the boots are clean.
  • Confirm if the cream matches the color of your boots.
  • Place a great amount of cream on a piece of soft cloth or an applicator brush.
  • Rub /brush the cream all over the boots.
  • Finish up with a quick buffing using a horsehair brush.
  • Dry the boots for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • After it’s dry, check if the cream has been fully absorbed before you wear the boots. Keep in mind, the cream polish does not make the boots shine as wax-based polish. However, it adds extra moisture and nourishment as well as brings back the natural color to your boots in case your leather has started to fade.

If you are looking for an easy way to waterproof your boots, then using oil products will work for you. The oils come in liquid form and therefore easy to spread onto your boots. Furthermore, the oils will keep out unwanted moisture which helps increase the boot’s lifespan. Note that, there are different kinds of oils such as mink, neatsfoot, and mineral which are all derived from natural sources.

How to Use Oils on Boots
  • Just as above, make sure the boots are clean.
  • Apply the oil to a soft clean cloth.
  • Rub the oil evenly into the leather boots.
  • Let the boots dry before you wear them. Remember; repeat this process every four weeks if you wear the boots constantly but one week if you don’t wear the boots too often.
  • Also, don’t forget that too much of the oil products on your boots may lead to discoloring as well as the material to degenerate.

It’s not unusual when some leather waterproofing products come in paste form either from online purchases or retailers. However, it’s not difficult to waterproof your leather boots using the pastes since there is a wide range of different brands to choose from.

How to Apply Pastes
  • Assure the surface of the entire boots is clean and dry.
  • Apply a liberal amount of paste to a clean cloth.
  • By starting on one side of the boots, rub the cloth using a back and forth motion until you cover all the areas.
  • Allow the boots to dry before wearing them.

More Related Article: How to Soften Leather: Shoes, Gloves, Boots, and Other Accessories

How to Waterproof Leather Boots

Benefits of Waterproofing the Leather Boots

It Keeps Your Feet Warm and Dry

First and foremost, one of the reasons why you should waterproof your boots should be to always keep your feet warm and dry.  Aside from preventing certain health situations like trench foot you also get to walk comfortably especially if you are hiking.

Waterproofing Keeps the Boots Looking New

I know you love your boots and want them to stay brand new. However, no matter how you tend to take care of them the shape and appearance of the boots start to change. The great news is that you can try to keep your boots as good looking as possible by waterproofing them.

Enables You to Stay Blister Free

No one likes blisters on their feet, there are painful and annoying especially when on the move. So, how does one get the blisters? Wet feet are the reason. When your feet get wet, the skin is likely to become soft and more vulnerable to rubbing or friction when walking or running. Nonetheless, by waterproofing the boots, you get to keep water out thus staying dry and blister-free.

Prevents Cold Feet and Diseases

When water enters your shoes, your socks and feet don’t only get wet but also you feel cold. It said that when this happens you don’t just feel uncomfortable but are also exposing yourself to all sorts of contamination. This usually leads to various diseases such as flu symptoms, upset stomach, headaches, and intestinal problems.

It Saves You Money

Do you love to save money? Then waterproofing your leather boots will just do that. You will get to enjoy wearing your boots longer thus avoiding the hassle of replacing them with another pair.

Increases the Lifespan of the Boots

Cleaning and waterproofing your boots regularly will not only cost you next to anything but the return s will be great. The lifespan of the boots will definitely be lengthened significantly.

Maximum Comfort

Waterproofing your boots will bring your feet maximum comfort. If you are wearing work boots or hiking boots which requires you to be on your feet for hours, then you need all the comfort you need. Aside from that, your waterproof boots will be great shock absorbers as well as support your ankles. On the other hand, the boots stay flexible, even at low temperatures thus providing maximum comfort.


Even if you have bought your hiking boots for summer exploration, when you waterproof them you get to even use the boots to hike in the wintertime. Being multipurpose boots, you will get to enjoy all the activities at any weather without any restrictions.

Chemicals, Oils, and Solvent Resistance

Apart from water, waterproof boots are resistant to chemicals, oils, and solvents. By providing the protection you won’t worry about the spills on your path that might pose great health risks. Therefore, to avoid this, you should always go for the best stuff to waterproof your boots. Moreover, don’t forget to waterproof the boot seams which are also vulnerable to leaks.

Enables You to be Sleek and Stylishness

No matter how much you wear your leather boots, by waterproofing them, you are guaranteed to always look sleek and stylish. Even if you are dressing casually or officially, it’s likely you will get to stand out of the crowd. Also, good looking leather boots make you feel confident about yourself no matter where you are at any season. Therefore, make sure you waterproof your boots regularly for a great sleek and stylish look.

Watch YouTube Video How to Waterproof Boots

Leather Waterproofing FAQ

Q: What is the best product to waterproof leather boots?

Ans: There are several options when it comes to waterproofing your boots but the best product for waterproofing leather boots is spraying (silicon treatment). Even if they are not as durable as an oil or wax, they are easy to use. For example, Kiwi Boot Waterproofer10.5 Oz provides great silicon protection for work and outdoor boots such as hiking and walking boots. However, you should know you are required to waterproof several times especially in the winter season.

Another great way to keep your feet warm is by waterproofing your boots with wd40. The product will act as a barrier to prevent the water from penetrating the material.

Q: Can leather be made waterproof?

Ans: Yes, it can, one option is by using a waterproof spray which is best used on lots of different leather materials.  The reason sprays are popular is that they are usually many for different materials. Nonetheless, they are most convenient for Suede and unfinished leather mostly as they are the only method that works best as they don’t damage the soft materials.

Wax and Beeswax are also great for all kinds of leather boots. In addition, dubbin wax is best used when waterproofing fabric boots although you will need to finish up with waterproof spray instead.

Q. Should you waterproof leather boots?

Yes, you should. Since you will be wearing the leather boots at all seasons and need your feet to stay dry, it’s good to waterproof them. Although you may have bought boots designed to withstand water, with time they do lose their protection with results of your feet getting wet. This is especially on the winter season. Therefore, with waterproofed boots, you get to prevent any water getting into your boots which means your feet stays dry all the time. That is good news, right?

Q: Is Vaseline bad for leather?

Ans: No, it’s not, Vaseline is great for leather since it will not only soften it but also help prevent the leather from cracking. However, Vaseline is ideal on leather and patent leather shoes, bags among other stuff. Therefore, if you own any rawhide leather boots you should avoid applying Vaseline on them. But hey! For other leather, just simply put a small size on a clean cloth and rub into the shoe and you are good to go.

Q: Is Wax good for leather?

Ans: Yes, it is especially Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP  which restores dried and sun-faded leather boots. Once applied the boots not only become waterproof but also extremely durable. That’s because the beeswax provides enough lubrication to prevent the hardening of leather.  However, wax in general works best on boots with a smooth leather finish or hiking and hunting boots. Don’t forget, never heat the wax but if it’s too hard to rub onto your boots, use a hairdryer to soften it. Afterward, just apply a small amount of it to a cloth and rub gently over the leather.

Final Words

Have you been wondering how to make your boots stay longer? Then now you have the answers. The good news is that it’s never too late to start waterproof your boots. It does not matter which kind of boots you own, whether they are working boots or hiking boots, the above guide will definitely come in handy.

If you own hiking boots, the above steps will guide you on the best waterproofing products for hiking boots. If you own a pair of leather boots for the winter season, that’s not a problem, you will get to learn how to waterproof your leather boots for the winter season.


I am an Architect Engineer by profession with great interest in web and content creation. I have used leather products for a long time, which has increased my enthusiasm, knowledge, and understanding of leather. I am here to shed light on the leather and guide you on choosing the best leather products.

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