Gear Care & Repair
How to Waterproof Leather and Suede Boots
Waterproof boots and shoes are a must to repel water, keep feet warm, and get another five years out of them. Whether you live in the moisture-loving Pacific Northwest like us or walking on the snow-laden pavement of an urban metropolis, protecting footwear from the elements makes good sense with a leather, suede, or nubuck water repellent that works all season long. Learn how to protect prized boots and shoes by following these basic steps.
Why Protect Leather and Suede?
Full-grain leather boots need regular re-proofing treatment and conditioning. As leather loses its natural oils and moisture, it tends to dry out and crack. This is typically caused by a combination of water seepage, salt, dirt, and grease. A leather conditioner ensures that it stays supple and resists water penetration. Using a gel leather water repellent and conditioner is the 2-in-1 solution to prevent further damage to leather boots. Similarly, suede and nubuck boots last longer when treated regularly with a fabric stain and water repellent to help maintain the boot’s original color, softness, and breathability (e.g., GORE-TEX® boots).
Wash & Waterproof
Before applying water repellent, start with a clean boot surface. Just like outerwear fabrics, dirt and debris can break down any existing durable water repellency (DWR) on footwear. That’s why it’s essential to pre-clean footwear first with a gentle, low-suds soap. Choose one of our boot care kits that includes all the tools you need to prep and treat footwear properly. After it’s clean, pick the appropriate waterproofing formula for your type of boot or shoe. For tips on how to repair boots and shoes, read this blog article.
- Revivex Boot and Shoe Cleaner
- Revivex Leather Water Repellent or Revivex Suede and Fabric Water Repellent
- Soft-Bristled Brush
Estimated Time: Cleaning and Application: 30 minutes | Air Dry: Overnight
1. Check footwear manufacturer’s care instructions and clean boots and shoes as recommended.
2. Select the right formula depending on the type of footwear fabric you want to treat. For example, use Revivex Suede and Fabric Water Repellent for suede or nubuck (e.g., UGG® boots).
3. To protect and restore leather or keep hiking boots breathable, use Revivex Leather Water Repellent.
4. Apply Revivex water repellent liberally and directly on the surface of the boot or shoe, especially where the boot bends. Make sure it is fully saturated.
5. Air dry overnight before using footwear.
Pro Tip: Stuff newspaper into the shoe or boot to absorb moisture and make it dry faster. Doing this will also maintain its shape after cleaning and waterproof treatment.
There are many different footwear styles and fabrics, yet most can be washed and re-proofed with Revivex cleaners and water repellents. It doesn’t matter if they’re new or old, protect quality boots and your feet from moisture. With Revivex, your fave leather boots, suede shoes, and even sneakers will be shedding water in no time and stay looking good as new for years of adventure in the city or the trails.