DIY Boot Waterproofing at Home 2019
- When to waterproof work shoes
- Preparation for boot waterproofing
- Different Methods for Waterproofing Construction Boots for Men
- Protect your investment
Your work boots serve you well, so it's time to return the favor by waterproofing them. All year round, rainfall can dampen construction boots for men. Even so, moist weather happens most often in the wintertime as it brings with it rain, snow, sleet, and hail. During that time, nature's elements put a beating on work boots. The winter season is where it's evident that there is a significant difference in how long men's waterproof work boots last.
When to waterproof work shoes
The best time to waterproof your boots is in good weather such as late summer or early fall. This way, they'll be good and sealed before cooler, more damp weather arrives. You can waterproof work boots at home and shield them from outdoor moisture.
Preparation for boot waterproofing
Whether your boots are new or worn, they can be waterproofed using different methods. Before you begin any waterproofing process, get your boots ready.
Clean off your boots
First, take out your boot laces. Remove all surface debris because it degrades the leather. What's more, excess dirt can become attached to the boots forever during the waterproofing task if it's not cleaned away.
Dry the boots completely
Dry your leather boots and then apply a conditioner specially made for leather or use mink oil. Allow drying before moving on to the waterproofing treatment.
Working outdoors: Wear gloves and a nose guard
Apply waterproofing solutions to your work boots outdoors because there, it is well-ventilated. You may or may not be allergic to any chemicals from the solutions, but it's always safe to lean on the side of caution and not allow fumes in your home. Be sure to wear gloves and a nose guard if you wish.
Different Methods for Waterproofing Construction Boots for Men
Applying a seam sealant is optional, but often recommended for new boots or boots that have been re-soled. You can use one for your worn boots as well though if you want to have added protection.
Use a urethane-based footwear seam sealant by applying it around the seam of each boot to keep moisture seeping in through the seams. If you avoid this step, over time, an accumulation of moisture can tear the boot apart by weakening that area causing the seams to rupture or pull away from the sole of the boot.
The wax polish sealing method
Waxing to seal the leather boot is the traditional way of protecting from wet weather. It's also the most durable waterproofing method. As long as the boot has been sufficiently worn and the soles haven't been replaced, waxing is a great option. That's because the seams have been stretched a bit and the polish can work its way in all around the boot.
In a circular motion, take a soft, lint-free cloth and rub a thin layer of the leather boot wax polish all over each boot, including the tongue flaps and seams where the soles and boot coverings meet. Note that you can also use an old, clean cotton tee-shirt to rub in the wax. To get a better idea of how you would apply the wax, think of how you would wax your vehicle. The only difference is that you'll only need to exert the least amount of pressure when you waterproof your boots.
Wait until the wax dries and then wipe it dry with another clean cloth. If possible, let your boots dry outdoors in the sun. Do it again up to two more times. You'll apply another thin layer of wax, wait until it dries, and then wipe away any dust from the curing process. The best way to tell when your boots are completely dry is that they shouldn't feel sticky when you touch them. Don't rush the drying time. The sticky substance will grab dirt particles if sufficient curing isn't allowed.
You can spread out the sessions of waxing the additional two times over a few days if you find it to be more convenient. It's important to seal the leather properly though so you won't have to repeat the process too frequently during the winter season.
Wax waterproofing should last the season, but it really depends on the conditions and frequency of your winter activities. When the leather starts to lose its luster and begins to look dry, it's time to use the wax polish sealant method again. Apply one to three coats. Take care to waterproof your boots sufficiently to meet your specific needs.
The silicone spray method
New boots and re-soled boots can be waterproofed; however, a silicone spray is advised them. Silicone spray wears off in a few days; therefore, expect it to last no longer than two weeks. The spray won't go into the seams because the boots won't have a stretch that occurs after boots have been worn for a while.
You can choose to use the silicone method which will be discussed here or you can opt to wait, break them in first, and then proceed to the wax waterproofing steps given earlier. If you decide to use the silicone spray method, be sure to apply a seam sealant as discussed prior to starting the waterproofing steps.
To begin using the silicone method, read the label. Always follow the instructions listed on the silicone spray bottle or can to successfully waterproof work boots. Spray evenly, and allow at least 24 hours to dry. After one to two weeks, look for changes in the color of your boots. When they look darker than they did after you applied the silicone spray, perform the steps again.
Protect your investment
Waterproofing your construction work boots adds to their longevity. Use a silicone spray for new boots, or apply a leather wax sealant for boots that you've had for a while. Either way, waterproofing them is a wise choice for adding comfort and dryness to your feet every day. Take time to protect your work boots from moisture and you'll be able to depend on them for years to come.