Best Methods for Waterproofing Work Boots
Waterproofing your boots is a good idea if you’re often working in wet environments or tend to work through rain or snow. If that’s the case, you may also want to opt for a pair of boots that are built to be waterproof in the first place, like the EVER Boots Ultra Dry.
But otherwise, waterproofing is a solid way to upgrade and protect your current pair of workboots. Not only will it help to keep your feet dry and comfortable, it’ll protect your boots’ leather from damage. There are a few options when it comes to waterproofing. We’ll break it down for you:
But first, are your boots a good candidate for waterproofing?
It’s best to apply waterproofing products onto a shoe that’s already broken in. That way the leather is already softened and stretched in all the right places. Next, just make sure they’re clean. You don’t want any dirt or debris to get in the way and cause an uneven or incomplete application.
When it comes to boot material, be sure to verify that the type of product you plan to use is compatible with your boots whether it be soft leather, rough leather, or synthetic materials.
Wax treatments are the OG waterproofer. Kind of like waxing a car, you apply and buff the wax one layer at a time. It’s an ideal treatment for smooth leathers, like full grain leather. Wax works by repelling water on the surface of the boot and can fill any cracks in the leather.
Pros: Because applying wax is a more manual process, you can go the extra mile to make sure you cover every nook and cranny of your boot. Its waterproofing properties last longer than silicone sprays, and they can be strengthened by applying multiple coats.
Cons: It does require more time and effort to apply correctly. It’s also not recommended to use wax on new or newly resoled boots because you risk getting the wax in the welting as the seams can stretch while breaking them in. Wax also makes it harder to resole your boots since it can get in the way of new adhesives.
Waterproofing sprays are made for all types of boot materials. So you should be able to find the right product for any type of leather or synthetic material. They work by coating the whole boot with a protective layer of silicone, acting as an outward barrier to moisture.
Pros: They’re the easiest to apply. Simply spray the entirety of the boot from about 6 inches away to make sure you get an even coat. Be sure to do this in a well ventilated area. You can spray multiple layers, but double check with the product instructions.
Cons: The protection is not as durable as other products. So you’ll have to reapply more frequently than you would using other options.
Cream products work by absorbing into leather. They come with applicators that make the job a bit easier than applying wax. However, some creams are formulated with wax, oils, and other additives. Whether that’s a pro or a con depends on whether you’re interested in those additional features or not.
Pros: As mentioned, they’re more easily applied. The cream or paste consistency is more spreadable across the leather without having to buff out as much product. Cream products can also be made with additional benefits like conditioning or softening properties in addition to waterproofing.
Cons: Absorbing into the leather isn’t always a good thing, especially if you have to apply frequently. It’s a lot easier to mess up and apply too much product to the point that you can actually damage your leather. It’s also not the fastest of the three options since it requires a bit more work on your part compared to applying a spray.
The seams are the usual culprit when it comes to moisture getting on the interior of your work boots. You can get a seam sealer to effectively seal the seam with a urethane sealant. If this is something you want to do, be sure to apply it BEFORE waterproofing the rest of the boot.
- After applying your treatment, dry them overnight in a dry ventilated area. Once dry, give your boots some time out in the sun to let the treatments sink in and fully cure. It’s important you give the treatments an adequate amount of time to cure and dry before putting their waterproofing to the test.
- Some products can darken the appearance of your leather, especially waxes and creams. Be sure to do a spot test of the product before fully applying to make sure you and the leather are agreeable with the treatment.
WHEN TO REAPPLY
This depends on what treatment you use, how often you use your boots, and the type of wear you put them through. But generally speaking, you’ll have to reapply waterproofing treatment every 2-3 months. Spray waterproofing is the least durable, and you’ll probably have to reapply even more frequently - monthly if not more often.
Pro tip: If moisture no longer beads on the surface of your boots, it’s time to reapply.
All in all, waterproofing your boots is worthwhile when it comes to protecting your investment. Done correctly, you can extend the lifetime of your boots and use them comfortably in all types of jobs and weather.
Learn more about the styles and features of EVER BOOTS products here