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How To Waterproof Boots DIY_ DIY Waterproof Shoes

Have you ever had to go to work or play with damp feet? Wet feet are unpleasant. Water may seep through your shoes and ruin your day, whether it’s spring showers, winter snows, or pools and creeks on a trek.

One walk outside results in a whole day of agony, complete with damp socks and freezing feet. It’s completely disgusting and will undoubtedly spoil your day.

We all have to deal with water at some point throughout our adventures, and for some, it’s a daily fight. Or Playing on a damp tennis court, or with tennis shoes saturated by an errant puddle placed out by the club, is not anyone’s idea of a good time.

Water may damage your tennis shoes as well as your enjoyment of the game. What are you going to do about it? Is there a method to keep your feet dry at all times?

If you’re always wondering how your feet got wet, perhaps you should consider investing in a pair of the best waterproof boots available (which will typically be made of rubber).

If you don’t require such a tough waterproof boot and are only searching for a solution to increase the overall waterproofness of your present shoes and you wonder how to waterproof boots DIY, you’ve come to the correct spot.

There are various approaches you may take. Before we get started, keep in mind that you can never totally waterproof leather boots; all you can do is slow the water from seeping in; you can never completely stop it.

How Do You Waterproof Shoes?

How Do You Waterproof Shoes_
How Do You Waterproof Shoes?

Waterproofing materials all function in the same way: they seal up any pores, gaps, or holes in the shoe that may allow water to flow in.

The holes are filled with materials that will adhere to them and prevent water from passing through.

The optimum waterproofing ingredient is determined by the material of the shoe, the amount of water the shoe will be exposed to, and how important its look is to you. The following are some of the best waterproofers for various shoe materials.

First and foremost, test! Some waterproofers might cause discoloration of your shoes. Test whatever material you want to use to waterproof your shoes first.

Apply a little amount of waterproofer to a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe. The shank of boots or high-tops, or the inside of the heel, are both good places to evaluate. Most of the time, these patches are not apparent.

While your shoes are new, most waterproofing materials will alter their look. Allow the test location to dry before inspecting it again.

Go ahead if the spot has faded or if you don’t mind the color change. If you don’t like the new hue, keep browsing for an alternative.

Preparation is a critical first step. Waterproofing shoes may be accomplished using a variety of materials, including wax, spray waterproofers, and improvised ways.

Each of these approaches has its own set of procedures to follow, but they all begin the same way.

***See More: How to Protect Leather Shoes From Rain? The Right Way to Using Leather Shoes From Rain

Prepping Your Shoes for Waterproofing

Proper preparation is the first step in making your shoes waterproof. If you do not properly prepare, the waterproofing treatment will not adhere as effectively. Follow these guidelines to ensure the success of your sneakers.

#1. Check to see whether your shoes can be waterproofed.

Check to see whether your shoes can be waterproofed
Check to see whether your shoes can be waterproofed

Waterproofing your shoe is possible if it is constructed of sturdy leather or fabric. Some shoes include elements that are intended to keep your feet fresh.

These shoes cannot be made waterproof since there are too many entry points for water. Among these characteristics are:

  • Mesh panels for ventilation:

If the mesh is too loose, there is no way to keep water out; it will constantly leak. Mesh panels can be seen on running shoes and mountaineering boots.

  • Ventilation holes:

Leather shoes with numerous little vent holes will be difficult to waterproof since the holes are difficult to cover.

  • Holes for drainage:

Vent holes are provided for ventilation and water drainage in some military-style boots and cotton shoes. You can’t fill these holes since they’re lined with metal grommets.

If your shoes contain any of these characteristics, you probably won’t be able to make them waterproof.

You’ll have to utilize other methods to keep your feet warm and comfy while wearing these shoes. 

#2. Clean the shoes before DIY Waterproof shoes.

Clean the shoes before DIY Waterproof shoes. (2)
Clean the shoes before DIY Waterproof shoes.

Unless your shoes are brand new, they have accumulated dirt and filth from your daily wear.

Any debris on the exterior of your shoes will obstruct the absorption of your waterproofer, so you’ll need to clean them before treating them.

When you add waterproofing to filthy shoes, you are actually waterproofing the dirt rather than the shoe. Before waterproofing, take the time to clean.

  • Scrub fabric shoes using a solution of baking soda and powdered laundry soap.

Make a paste out of the mixture by adding just enough water, then rub it into the fabric of your shoes. Rinse with lukewarm water to remove it.

After this treatment, your shoes should appear as good as new. This treatment works best on cotton shoes, but it also works on leather. There is, however, a better technique to clean leather.

  • Use saddle soap to clean leather shoes.

Leather is rich in oils that make it smooth and supple. Regular soaps and detergents can be used to eliminate these oils and dry out the leather.

Dry leather will fracture and break over time. Saddle soap locks in the oils, making your shoes smooth and supple. If you clean them with saddle soap, they will last much longer.

Saddle soap is a tried-and-true method for cleaning leather. To use saddle soap, gather a soap cake and a gentle brush.

To make a lather, wet the brush and work it over the soap. Scrub your shoes with a soapy brush and then remove the foam with a wet towel.

Allow the shoes to air dry before applying the treatment.

  • For suede shoes, use a suede cleaner.

Saddle soap, as well as detergent and baking soda, may clog the nap of your suede shoes, making them seem worn and ragged. To keep your suede shoes looking new, search for a suede-specific solution.

  • Vacuum shoes if they are not prominently marked.

To remove small quantities of dirt or caked-on muck, press the vacuum hose firmly against your shoe and move it around.

This approach is not as comprehensive as others, but it is the gentlest way to remove dirt off shoes. It’s also good for dried mud and grime since the suction takes the worst of the mud off and keeps it confined.

If your shoes are dirty, you should consider combining cleaning procedures. Begin by vacuuming to remove large pieces of dirt, then use soap to eliminate any remaining residues of the problem.

***See More: How to Protect Fabric Shoes? How to Cleaning White Fabric Shoes?

#3. Allow them to dry!

When you wish to make your shoes waterproof, they are frequently damp. It might be because you get them on a rainy day.

Sometimes the shoes are damp because you recently washed them. In any case, this takes us to the next point:

  • Avoid waterproofing damp shoes.

Every technique of waterproofing shoes relies on filling the shoe material’s leaking pores with something that rejects water.

If the pores are already clogged with water, the waterproofing substance will not be able to penetrate and accomplish its work. Allow your shoes to dry completely before applying a waterproofer.

  • Get your wet shoes dry.

If you get your shoes wet while wearing them, there are certain techniques you may do to dry them quickly.

    • First, clean them. Wiping away mud is simpler than scraping away caked-on filth. The cleaning procedure can also assist remove some of the water from your shoes, so it’s a win-win situation.
    • Take out the insoles so they can dry independently.
    • Wrap your shoes in the newspaper, inside and out. The newspaper will absorb moisture from the shoe, allowing it to dry faster.
    • Place your cloth shoes in the dryer (but check the label first). Most fabric shoes may be dried in the dryer; this will rapidly remove the wetness.
    • The heat from the washing dryer, hairdryers, or simply placing the shoe close to a heater vent can cause the leather to crack and split.

Now that your shoes are clean and dry, you may apply something to resist water and keep the material dry indefinitely.

***See More: How to Dry Sneakers in The Dryer? What Are The Things You Should Consider?

How to Waterproof Boots DIY?

The Three Best Methods for Waterproofing Work Boots

You have three choices for waterproofing your leather boots:

– Waterproofing spray

– Creams, pastes, and waxes

– The desperate DIY way (temporary only)

#1. Waterproofing Sprays

Waterproofing Sprays
Waterproofing Sprays

These are a fantastic choice if you’re lazy and short on time; simply spritz on and go. To keep the dryness, you need to use it every few weeks, much like cream.

If your boots are made of tight-grained leather (which appears smooth), apply silicone or oil-based spray, or acrylic copolymer (often known as “water repellent”) if they are made of nubuck leather or suede (which has more of a rough, hairy look).

How to do:

– Using footwear cleaning lotion or soap and water, remove any debris and mud from your boots (like I mentioned in the preparation part).

– Hold the can 6 inches away from your boots and begin spraying, being careful to apply several thin coatings rather than a single heavy layer.

– Allow boots to dry overnight.

#2. Waterproofing Creams, Pastes, and Waxes

Waterproofing Creams, Pastes, and Waxes
Waterproofing Creams, Pastes, and Waxes

This is the simplest and quickest method of waterproofing your boots, but you must reapply it every few weeks if you want to keep your toes dry.

How to do:

– First and foremost, you filthy youngster, get all that dirt and muck off of your boots. To accomplish this, you may use a tube of footwear cleaning cream, but a little dishwashing liquid and water will be enough. Scrub your boots with a gentle brush and rinse well thereafter (read more in the preparation part).

– Apply the paste generously to your shoe with a CLEAN towel, rubbing in a circular motion. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE SEAMS.

– After a few minutes of rubbing it in, use another towel to rub out any excess.

– Allow boots to dry overnight.

***See More: How To Clean Your Shoes With Toothpaste? How To Clean White Shoes?

#3. The Desperate DIY Way

The Desperate DIY Way

If you need to waterproof your boots quickly and don’t have access to a paste or spray, consider the quick-fix techniques listed below.

But keep in mind that they are just transitory. You must clean your boots well before reapplying a genuine cream or spray the following time.

– Transmission oil — get some and put it on your boots before you start working. This is effective in repelling water, but it may cause your boots to become red!

– Clear-Coat enamel spray – if you have a can of this lying around, apply a few coats to your boots; however, it will crack and flake rapidly, so don’t expect it to endure.

– Vaseline lotion – used as a last option, massage it in like you would a waterproofing cream, but don’t expect it to stay long.

How To Waterproof Tennis Shoes?

Tennis shoes can be waterproofed in three ways:

– Applying A Silicone Spray

– Waxing

– Spraying It with Scotchgard

Learning how to waterproof your tennis shoes can not only enhance your game, but will also extend the life of your favorite pair of shoes. Here’s how to get the most out of your tennis shoes by taking good care of them.

#1. Using A Silicone Spray

Using A Silicone Spray
Using A Silicone Spray

The most frequent method for waterproofing a pair of tennis shoes is to purchase a silicone spray (available on Amazon) and spritz your shoes. After spraying, simply let the spray dry for a couple of hours. Silicone repels water and plugs holes in your shoes while remaining breathable.

– Silicone sprays are harmless. Silicone is a non-toxic ingredient that is completely safe to use. It is non-carcinogenic and may be used around pets.

– Are reasonably priced. Budget-friendly? Yes. A single can cost between $10 and $20 and may be used to spray down many pairs of shoes.

– They are non-allergenic. If you’re allergic to particular materials, this is an excellent method to acquire waterproofing that won’t bother your skin.

– They are simple to use and do not interfere with the style of your shoes. Silicone sprays are clear and will not interfere with the color of your shoes. You may use silicone spray wherever you want without having to worry about making a mess.

Is silicone spray a good alternative?

For most shoes, using silicone spray is an excellent method to guarantee that there is some waterproofing in the material. This is why silicone spray is regarded as the go-to for most shoe aficionados, and why most big shoe stores sell it at their checkout lines.

***See More: What Are Clog Shoes? Tips for Walking on Clogs 

#2. Using Wax

Using Wax
Using Wax

You may waterproof your shoes with beeswax, which is an older approach. This approach is more complex, but it is still a tried and tested one that people use today. However, this can limit ventilation and (mildly) interfere with the look of your shoes.

If you want to try the wax technique, here’s how to do it:

  1. Collect some beeswax. The optimum wax to use is one that is 100 percent pure beeswax with no additives.
  2. Rub your hands together with the beeswax. This heats the beeswax and makes it easier to distribute. This is the simplest technique to shorten the waxing session.
  3. Perform a spot test. Not all tennis shoes are resistant to beeswax. It’s a good idea to start with a spot test in an inconspicuous place. If everything goes as planned.
  4. Rub the beeswax on the sole of your shoe. The wax will fill the pores of the shoes and coat the cloth. Because beeswax repels water, you won’t have to worry about water after your shoes are completely covered.
  5. Put your shoe in the water. Spray a little quantity of water on your shoe using a mister. Water will practically slip off your tennis shoes if they are properly waxed.

How long does it take to wax tennis shoes?

By far the most time-consuming way of waterproofing is the use of wax. It might take anything from five to twenty minutes of rubbing time, depending on your pace. Furthermore, getting into all those nooks and crannies might be difficult.

#3. Using Scotchgard

Using Scotchgard
Using Scotchgard

If you have a lot of upholstery in your house or want to keep your carpet clean, you might not need to acquire any materials to waterproof your shoes. Perhaps you already have a can of Scotchgard on hand!

Scotchgard is a 3M specialized fabric protectant spray that may be used for stain-resistant and waterproof tennis shoes.

Scotchgard is applied to shoes in the same way as a silicone-based spray is, by spraying them down and then allowing them to dry.

Scotchgard Waterproofing: How effective is it?

Scotchgard is a popular choice among professional cleaners since it is effective.

However, ordinary Scotchgard may not be completely effective against significant amounts of water. If you are concerned about its effectiveness, use Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield spray.

Despite the fact that it is simple and inexpensive, many individuals prefer not to use Scotchgard as a protectant.

Why is Scotchgard a controversial product?

Though official FDA studies state that Scotchgard has no hazards to humans or animals, other research disagrees.

Several of Scotchgard’s major components have been linked to significant health concerns, including an increased risk of cancer.

***See More: What are Dansko Shoes? Why are Danskos Good for Your Feet?

Maintaining Waterproofing on Your Tennis Shoes

Regardless of the method, you select to waterproof your shoes, you will need to keep their waterproofing covering in good condition.

Because the substance used to coat your shoes might ultimately wear off the shoe material, no waterproofing technique on the market is permanent.

To keep your waterproofing in place, simply treat them again. If you see any “trouble places,” a little more spray or wax will do the trick.

How Often Should You Maintain Your Waterproofing?

Maintenance will not be difficult, nor will it be very frequent. Assuming you use your shoes on a regular basis, you should only need to touch up your shoes every four to six months.

You might be able to get away with an annual treatment if you use your shoes rarely.

If you discover a patch on your shoe that is no longer waterproof, you should treat it right away. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a soggy shoe in the near future!

***See More: Why Do Shoes Get Moldy? How To Remove Moldy on Your Shoes [Expert Explained]

Can You Just Buy Waterproof Tennis Shoes?

Can You Just Buy Waterproof Tennis Shoes_
Can You Just Buy Waterproof Tennis Shoes_

There is some good news for you if you don’t want to bother with waterproofing your shoes on a regular basis. Tennis shoes are no longer always the water-resistant sneakers you may recall from your childhood.

Most major shoemakers, including well-known brands such as Vans, Nike, and New Balance, now sell waterproof tennis shoes.

Chemicals are not used in the production of these shoes. Rather, the materials and design of the shoe are intended to be waterproof.

Waterproof tennis shoes may require less care, but they can also be much more expensive.

A pair of waterproof tennis shoes may easily cost upwards of $90, so if you’re on a tight budget, DIY waterproofing will be far more cost-effective.


There you have it, some helpful techniques for DIY waterproof shoes for yourself. You have the expertise to keep your feet comfortable in every condition, regardless of the material your shoes are made of or the circumstances.

If you’re prepared to put in a little effort, it’s not difficult to keep water out of your shoes. There are several methods for sealing water out of your shoes, including wax, commercial spray, traditional oils, and items found in the tool cupboard.

Your shoes can be waterproof no matter what substance you use. If you’re tired of having chilly, damp feet, sizing up your shoes, grabbing your waterproofer, and getting to work. Thank you for taking the time to read!

Florsheim Esquivel

Florsheim Esquivel

This is the brand that Florsheim partnered with the innovative George Esquivel. The purpose of the brand is an effort to return to those humble roots and continue the brand’s rich, longstanding reputation for quality, craftsmanship, and expertise.

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