How to Waterproof All of Your Shoes, From Leather to Canvas

Is there anything more miserable than wet feet — apart from the knowledge that you’ve ruined another pair of shoes in the rain? There’s no need to accept your fate when you get your favorite pair of leather boots wet. Instead, just learn how to waterproof shoes

Everything from canvas to leather can benefit from waterproofing. Learn the right techniques and best products to use on your shoes to protect them from weather, puddles, and everything else in between.

How to Waterproof Shoes

  1. While some products work better for different materials, you can’t go wrong with these basic steps for waterproofing shoes:

    1. Clean your shoes, and let them dry.

    2. Do a patch test before you apply anything; both wax and spray can alter the appearance of your shoes, particularly if they are light in color.

    3. If using a spray, do it with a light touch: Mist it on evenly in a thin coat.

    4. Let the product dry naturally before stepping out.


Tips for Leather Waterproofing

Chic and breathable, leather shoes for women belong in every wardrobe — and they’ll look great for years if you protect them carefully. A pair like our Work It High are a true classic that are as comfortable as they are stylish. Featuring the Curves & Pods® premium removable footbed and a luxury leather upper, these can be made even more durable and long-lasting with the right leather waterproofing technique. Spray and wax both work well to waterproof leather boots like this or even other types of shoes, like Mary Janes.

 Taos Work It High Lace Up Combat Boots

Want to know how to waterproof shoes using a wax product? Simply rub it into your shoes in circles using a clean cloth, and wipe off any excess. 

As for spray, you have some choices. Waterproofing spray for shoes creates a barrier to stop water from getting in, but it can also stop leather from breathing, and prevent it from absorbing polish or conditioner. So consider spritzing on a water-repellent spray every few weeks instead.

Make Your Suede Shoes Water-Resistant

Wax and suede? Not friends. With their soft texture, suede shoes like our Future Mid prefer a waterproofing spray. Invest in a waterproof spray for shoes that’s designed for suede, and spray it on lightly. As for the prep work, suede shoes should always be cleaned with a brush.

Taos Future Mid Suede Bootie Sneaker Hybrid
How to Waterproof Boots

Designed for colder weather, urban boots like Taos Crave need stronger protection than everyday shoes. After cleaning, warm them with a hairdryer to help absorb the sealant. Spray and dubbin wax are both good to use to waterproof leather boots, but whatever you choose, pay particular attention to the seams so that water doesn’t seep in.

Taos Crave Lace Up Ankle Boots

Choosing the Right Canvas Waterproofing Spray

Canvas sneakers like Star go with everything, but it’s no fun when they get soggy. Luckily, you don’t have to buy separate canvas waterproofing spray; some suede and leather sprays also work on canvas (just watch out for silicone, which doesn’t always agree with acrylic fibers). If you prefer wax when waterproofing shoes, coat your canvas shoes with beeswax and heat with a hairdryer while you work it in. We hear that candle wax makes an effective alternative.

Taos Star Canvas Lace Up Sneakers

It’s always a good idea to know how to waterproof your shoes before you think you need to; follow our tips and you’ll be prepared for any rainy day.

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