Now before we begin, I just want to clarify one thing. When I say waterproof, or products claim they can fully waterproof your shoes, it's a little white lie. Footwear can only be fully waterproof and leak proof if they have a special lining. You’ll remember that last week I spoke about waterproof and water resistant shoes and mentioned that fully waterproof footwear only ever comes from the lining. The material and outside of your footwear can only be made water resistant, not waterproof.
Basically, when reading this blog, remember, you can never fully waterproof your shoes yourself. You can only make them highly water resistant at home.
Now that’s been cleared up we can get to the good part. How to make your shoes water resistant at home. There’s a few different ways and thankfully, all of them are quite simple. Say goodbye to your feet getting soaking wet if you’re caught out in a rain shower.
Before you do anything though, you must know what material your shoes are made of. Different shoes require different methods of treatment and using the wrong product on your shoes can damage the material instead of protecting it.
There are three common ways in which you can make your shoes water-resistant at home:
- Wax-based Polishes
Wax-based polishes used on your footwear create a shine and by doing so, create a thin protective layer on top of the shoe that can provide high resistance to water and salt. The key to this protection is to reapply the polish after every few wears.
- Speciality Waterproof Compounds
The main purpose of these compounds and products, which you can buy in most stores, is protection. They do a solid job when applied PROPERLY and have longer sticking periods than polishes. Be aware though that these protectants are not meant to create a shine but are used to seal out moisture – they may need to be used in conjunction with polish once the seal has been set.
- Spray on Waterproof Compounds
These are again not meant to penetrate the leather or material of your shoes but form a protective coat on top of it but are usually classed as the least stringent method of making your footwear water resistant. A common complaint of these products are that it doesn’t allow the leather to breathe and the silicone used in the spray can dry end up drying your shoes out, especially if they're leather. They also tend to lose their effectiveness after a short amount of time.
These products are all ones you can buy online, in a retail store or your local supermarket. There are some other nifty little ways you can make your shoes water resistant which are cheaper and there's a bigger chance you'll have whats needed lying around in the house. The Candle or Beeswax methods.
What do you need for this simple method? A candle or beeswax, a blow-dryer and of course, your shoes. Depending on how dirty these shoes may be, you might also need a clean cloth to clean off your dirty boots.
- Rub the candle or beeswax over the entirety of your shoe.
- Use a blow-dryer to seal in the wax and melt it all over the shoe material. Let it set for approximately five minutes before wearing or testing the shoes.
- Wear your shoes in the rain, you’ll be surprised at how dry your feet stay.
So there you have it, how to waterproof your shoes at home. Here’s some extra tips you should consider when deciding to make your boots water resistant yourself for the DIY water resisting your boots:
- Apply any water protecting products on before the first wear
- Apply the compound you choose evenly and ensure a protective barrier is formed
- Always make sure that you have a clean and soft cloth to clean your shoes with before applying any product
- If your footwear has laces, take the laces out before you apply any products to your footwear
- If your shoes aren’t black, CHECK THAT THE PRODUCT WONT STAIN YOUR SHOES. Do a patch test in an unnoticeable place if you're even unsure. Always make sure you read. the. instructions. carefully.
- If the shoes have any extras on them such as jewels or gems (this one is more for the women) make sure that they are protected before any product is applied.
- Reapply treatment every year to your shoes as it also preserves the life of the shoes
- Care for expensive shoes or they will be ruined. Upkeep of your shoes and boots is essential and make sure that it is relative to your environment
- Water and salt damage is expensive and can stain your shoes.
- Waterproofing your shoes can also help with comfort as nobody wants to walk around with wet and cold feet!
Why don't you connect with us on social media?
At integra.boot we pride ourselves on our boots being comfortable, high quality and durable. That's why we offer waterproof footwear such as our Fusion and Ultimate boots and water resistant footwear like our T-Light shoes and Traction boots.