How to waterproof boots and shoes

How to waterproof boots and shoes?

You need boots ready for the long haul, able to handle whatever the great outdoors throws at them. When you head out on your next adventure, water resistance is essential to keep your feet dry when you need it most. Whatever type of boots you own, regular maintenance will be needed to sustain a waterproof layer. The choice of waterproofing method depends on the material of your boot. When choosing your method, it is important to consider performance, longevity, and the effect on the appearance of the shoe.


How can I make my shoes waterproof?

To waterproof your shoes, thoroughly clean the shoes and allow them to dry naturally, before applying a layer of wax or covering with a waterproof spray, depending on the material of the shoe. Allow the shoes to dry before wearing them.

It is essential to start with clean shoes or boots, ensuring that all mud, soil, and dust is removed. Then choose an appropriate cleaning product for the material of your footwear. To find the right cleaner for your boots, see our guide to cleaning Timberland boots and shoes.

After cleaning, you should allow the boots to dry freely in the air. Avoid the temptation to speed up the process with a hair dryer or radiator, as this can cause the uppers to blister and crack, breaking your waterproof seal.

Once the shoes are clean and dry, the waterproof barrier can be added to the shoes.


What can I use to waterproof my boots?

You can waterproof boots with Waximum and Balm Proofer, depending on the material of the boot.  

A longer-lasting water barrier can be achieved on waxed, oiled and full-grain leather boots with Waximum. Waxes are absorbed by the shoe, so they are not suitable for suede and other fabrics as they will change the appearance and damage the material. You can find waterproofing products to keep your Timberland shoes and boots in great condition on our website.


How do I waterproof leather boots? You may want to be more specific than ‘leather’ 

Over time, leather can begin to stiffen and crack as its natural oils start to dry out. By rubbing wax into a leather boot, the waterproof properties can be restored along with conditioning and softening the leather.

We recommend Timberland’s Waximum, made from beeswax and moisturizing coconut oil which will revive dry leather and replace water-resistance. It’s the fountain of youth for waxed and oiled leathers. Note that this product is NOT for use on suede, nubuck leather, or any kind of canvas!


Can I make suede boots waterproof?

Suede boots can be easily stained in wet weather. Wax will damage suede so keep your shoes clean and use a gentle waterproof spray to add a protective layer against the elements.

Using wax on nubuck leather or suede will damage the material and cause stains, but specialist sprays can be used for waterproofing. Remove any dirt before applying your spray all over the clean boot, then allow it to dry naturally.

To first clean your suede or nubuck Timberlands use a product like Timberland’s Renewbuck suede and nubuck cleaner and for quality protection without compromising looks, a spray such as the Balm Proofer Water and Stain Repellent, which will provide a lightweight shield against water and grime. Ideal for suede, it can also protect nubuck and canvas shoes, and almost everything else you wear!