There are few things more depressing than wearing a new pair of shoes on a bad weather day, then coming home and finding water stains or rings of salt after they have dried out. While there are plenty of ways to deal with stains after the fact, the best defense against water damage is prevention (waterproofing), especially for shoes you plan to wear often or in unpredictable weather.
Waterproofing is most useful for shoes made from animal hide, especially nubuck and suede, which show damage quickly. These materials soak up water like sponges! A good rule of thumb is that a shoe made of a material you would dry-clean is sensitive enough to moisture that it would benefit from waterproofing. What materials do you not have to worry about? Rubber and patent leather. For all else, take a look at these fantastic waterproofing products for all types of shoes!
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$15.29 at the time of publication.
This spray is our best overall pick. Spanish leather-care company Tarrago’s nano protector spray has developed a cult following over the years. It’s best for shoes of all types from suede bucks to sneakers. Leather is porous. It’s essentially a skin, and like our skin, it has pores, so it breathes and takes in water through its pores. This protector waterproofs with a coating that won’t allow water into those pores. You do NOT want to use this spray on nylon, lycra, and silk.
$16.99 at the time of publication.
Garde will make sure that your handbag and shoes are safe if you get caught in the rain. By forming an invisible protective layer, Garde keeps your products free from water spots, salt stains, body oil, grease, perspiration, coffee, wine, and any other dangers to your leather goods. This works on just about any leather product but if you are using it for shoes you wear often, you should reapply the spray every few weeks.
$30.70 at the time of publication.
French brand Saphir has a devoted following, as does its waterproofing spray, which is reliable and versatile. It can be used on high-end leather and suede shoes but also on bags and clothing including more delicate textiles like cotton and silk. You can basically spray this on any new pair of shoes and will have that great waterproof seal.
$18.89 at the time of publication.
For a budget pick, this spray (pack of two) from Kiwi does a fine job. Kiwi’s silicone-based spray for leather shoes really works best for darker leathers and black leather. It is not best for lighter colors and if you want to try it anyway, we suggest testing a small area before spraying the whole shoe or boot.
$22.99 at the time of publication.
This spray is amazing on almost any sneaker but it is especially great for suede as well. Some waterproofing products can make suede feel hard but this leaves it feeling naturally soft.
$21.98 at the time of publication.
We’d like to introduce you to one of the best heavy-duty waterproofing products, Skidmore’s. It deeply penetrates leather and leaves a strong waterproof seal. It’s great for snow boots and other leather shoes that see a lot of use.
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$7.69 at the time of publication.
Do you have a pair of snow boots that you expect to see a whole lot of snow in the upcoming season? This is the best heavy-duty waterproofer if you live in a really snowy climate. After applying, it dries as a solid wax that seals out moisture. It leaves a pretty visible layer so this is not the best product for your finer items.
There you go! We hope you found this list of waterproofing products helpful. Don’t let the bad weather ruin your good shoes! Grab some of these waterproofing products and step out into the rain or snow without fear.
- 1 Tarrago Nano Protector Spray
- 2 Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent
- 3 Saphir Medaille d’Or Suede Renovateur – Suede Protector Spray
- 4 KIWI Boot and Shoe Protector (2-Pack)
- 5 Reshoevn8r Sneaker Water Stain Repellent
- 6 Skidmore’s Premium Beeswax Waterproofing
- 7 Atsko Sno-Seal Original Beeswax Waterproofing
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