Nothing is more frustrating than donning a new pair of leather booties only to be ruined by some predatory puddle or rain. Let us admit it, leather shoes are expensive, much more when they need to be retired earlier. However, if you take good care of them, they last for many years. Waterproofing your leather shoes is the answer to its longevity. Check out below the six easy steps you need to take to waterproof your leather boots.
1. Thoroughly clean your boots. Set aside the laces in a safe place. Knock them off firmly against each other to get rid of any loose soil or mud. Use a stiff brush to make sure that there are no particles or dust left on the shoe surface. It is best to do this outside, so dirt and small stones will not pile inside your house.
You can simply wipe the shoes using a clean cloth for new pairs. Meanwhile, for boots that have previously gone waterproofing or conditioning, ensure that the previous conditioning layer has been removed to avoid buildup.
2. In case you plan to use a seam-seal, apply it before you start the waterproofing treatment. Seam sealing is coating the seams of the shoes using a specialized adhesive. This protects the holes and the threads used in the stitching process. Here is a tip: using a syringe is the best way to apply a neat and consistent bead of sealer.
3. Apply a small amount of dubbin wax to a cloth and then run this over the leather boots thinly. Work the cloth in a circular motion and fully rub the wax into one section before moving to the next area. You can use a hair dryer to soften the wax. Repeat this step as necessary. Waxes suit boots that have a smooth leather finish. On the other hand, oil treatment is preferred on new leather boots. It will soften the leather, which is a good thing if you still need to break in your boots.
Consider using silicone spray treatments if you do not have the luxury of time. Waterproof sprays work for both leather and synthetic boots. All you need to do is spray it directly onto the leather boots. Read the direction of the product you are using and check if rubbing is needed or not. Waterproof sprays do not soak into leather and are not as long lasting as oil and wax. You will need to re-apply it from time to time.
4. Let your leather boots dry naturally between 30 and 60 minutes, although overnight treatment is highly recommended. Do not attempt to apply direct heat to the boots like a blow dryer. This will only cause cracks and discoloration. You can use a fan blowing room temperature air instead to speed the drying process. See to it that the tongue is propped open.
5. Wipe off excess moisture, wax, and oil using a dry cloth.
6. Expose the newly treated boots under the sun to let the treatment absorb fully. Check that the boots do not feel sticky. If so, this means that the conditioner has not completely cured and this will only attract dirt and moisture.
Voila! You can now confidently brace the winter or rain now that your leather boots are safely and securely waterproofed. By the way, make sure you test out your method first on a small area of your shoe surface before full application. While not always the case, some products tend to change the appearance and color of the shoes. Also, repeat this procedure every few months, depending on how often you wear your leather booties. We’re hopeful that this guide on how to waterproof leather boots will be of great help to you!
I believe that boots are the perfect footwear for a gentleman. Polish them well enough and they will feel right at home at any high society event with their understated elegance and style. Here, at DukeWinston.com, we are more than happy to help men obtain the perfect boots that they deserve.