How to Waterproof Boots: The Ways to Protect Your Adventure Boots

If you are constantly trekking, you march on the marsh, damp meadows, puddles, swamp and muddy soil. The inclement weather doesn’t help at all. So how’s your boots now? Perhaps the beating from the elements is leading it to wear and tear.

Most boots are made of leather like the cattle. The leather is made of polymers. Its criss-cross structure creates a more bonded and stronger membrane.

Most high-quality boots are made of waterproof skin like Gore-Tex or something with similar lining. These kinds of boots have good water-resisting capabilities. However, the constant battering of the unwelcomed stern weather or the environment’s wrath could make your beloved boots lose it all. 

Why You Need Waterproof Your Boots

The activities of running around in the camp and hunting for animals result not only in stress for you but it reflects your shoes also. The climbing on steep slopes is causing natural flexing of the boots that creates shedding of the protective sheets from the boots. To add to that, being exposed to constant heat melts the waterproofing sheets on the shoes. These are inevitable.

These active on-the-go rough activities are itself the reasons why we wear boots. And we couldn’t really 100 % stop the water from entering our boots.

For those aforementioned reasons, the boots that have waterproofing capabilities like Gore-Tex could be gone over time.

Cleaning and Re-proofing

Regular cleaning and reproofing are essential in prolonging the life of the boots. Dirt can result in wear and tear. Fibers can shed away as a result of being dry. Cracking ensues also because of lacking enough moisture and being dry. As the result of dirt, it blocks the waterproof features of the boots.

The care to the every kind boot is different and it depends on what material the boots are made of. For instance, the fiber made boots have the difference from leather or from suede.

I have helpful tips for you on how to waterproof boots for the specific types:

Full Grain Leather Boots

How to Waterproof  Full Grain Leather Boots


Leather have the inherent waterproof characteristic. However, it has limitations too. The leather can repossess the water repelling capacity and recondition it as well through the application of dubbin wax.

Over time, through constant use, battering, lack of care and abuse, the leather will end up being dry and cracked. The natural oils are lost as it ages. Worry no more because of the leather conditioner, the boots can be brought back to life by moisturizing and softening it.


  • Step 1. Clean the boots thoroughly
  • Step 2. Apply as small amount of dubbin wax on the shoes. This should be used sparingly. This would be enough to reproof your booths. If the dubbin wax is dry and hard, apply moderate amount of heat from the hair dryer to soften it
  • Step 3. Reapply wax as needed
  • Step 4. For 30 to 60 minutes, leave it to dry naturally. You must not be tempted to dry it forcefully in haste such as applying direct and high heat. This will cause the leather to crack
  • Step 5. Buff the wax away. Polish it. Enjoy your sparkling “new” boots again


Conditioning aids the leather boots to be supple. A word of caution, apply only if you feel it is dry and seems to be cracking and chipping. Do not overdo it and not just apply the conditioner whenever you like it. The leather is designed to be firm and not to be too soft. 

The leather boot conditioner is best applied when the leather is a little wet as it would better absorb the conditioner through its pores as the water evaporates.

  • 1. Apply a little amount of conditioner evenly on the leather boots. You may use your fingers or a soft cloth to rub on. Don’t forget to condition the welts and the seams as well
  • 2. Let it settle in a room temperature for a few minutes.
  • 3. With the usage of soft cloth, rub away the spare conditioner. And then let it dry naturally. Again, never supply a direct, high heat towards the shoe as to prevent damaging it

Nubuck Leather and Suede Boots

How to Waterproof Full Grain Leather Boots

Look for a waterproofing spray that can specifically be used especially for nubuck and leather shoes only. Never apply the dubbin wax on these as it is only appropriate for the smooth leather. The dubbin wax can damage the furry texture of the nubuck leather and suede boots. It also has a staining effect.

  • 1. Clean the boots well
  • 2. Avail the nubuck leather and suede boots re-proofing spray. It is manufactured specifically for these types of materials only
  • 3. From a 5cm distance, spray towards the nubuck leather and suede boots utilizing the specialized re-proofing chemical. Evenly apply leaving no part behind
  • 4. Let this sit to dry before using. Never force to dry using a hair dryer or direct heat. Leave it to air dry naturally
  • 5. A suede brush can be used to bring back its original texture and appearance

Fabric Boots

How to Waterproof Fabric boots


The fabric boots are harder to clean when compared to leather boots. It’s worth the effort though because thereafter, you can ensure that you have restored its appearance, quality, and state. The dirt particles stuck in the boot fibers cause it to decay and make the boot unusable after a shorter span of time than you have intended.

The aerosol or spray on proofer can be used to maintain the water repelling quality of your fabric boots.

  • 1. Clean the boots thoroughly
  • 2. Pick either a spray re-proofer or an aerosol. Most users prefer purchasing the spray over the aerosol as it is denser and more concentrated than aerosol. Also, the spray can be visibly seen where it goes and covers
  • 3. The fabric boots have advantages also. You can either re-proof whether the fabric boots are dry or wet. Wait for the following day before you spray onto the clean and dry boots. Leave overnight for it to dry. It may take a little longer but it is an easier and more convenient chore. Alternatively, you may spray on the fabric boots while it’s wet. Some users believe that the re-proofer is much more effective when applied damp because the treatment is more absorbed by their fibers
  • 4. Whether you prefer a wet or dry kind of re-proofing, leave it to be dried by natural air breeze while preventing high direct heat. Wear and enjoy

Common Way on How To Waterproof Boots

  • 1. Remove the dirt by scrubbing or patting the boots using a soft cloth
  • 2. Wear gloves as you don’t want to waterproof your hands
  • 3. Apply wax with the use of fingers or with a soft cloth
  • 4. Avoid applying wax on the rubber and plastic parts of the boots
  • 5. After spreading the wax, keep the boots in a warm dry place. Don’t expose your boots to extreme heat. Do not rest in a very hot location such as exposure to direct sunlight. Just keep it relatively nice and warm to touch
  • 6. After 1 and a half hour, buff the spare wax away. Polish it using the soft, clean cloths

This should now be as waterproof as a duck. The leather material would eventually result in a supple condition. It will be relatively as good as new. This re-proofing can last for weeks of hard usage. If again it becomes scuffed, thirsty and appears dry and chapped, apply the wax all over again.


How to Waterproof hunting boots

Waterproofing can be done in any kinds of boots including working boots, hiking boots, hunting boots and even cowboy boots.

More than learning how to waterproof boots, you ought to not forget to provide due care for your boots or shoes. Because being responsible with our stuff can make those prolong their life spans.

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