The guide to waterproofing your work boots

Have you ever had to spend a day at work with wet feet? best waterproof work boots

It totally sucks- guaranteed to ruin your day.

We all have to deal with water at some stage during work, and for some people its a daily battle.

If your constantly wondering how your feet got wet, again and again, maybe you need to look at getting a pair of the best waterproof boots around (which will typically be made of rubber).

If you don’t need such a hardcore waterproof type of boot, but are just looking for a way to improve the general waterproof-ness of your current boots, you’ve come to the right place.

There are 3 ways you can do this.

Before we dive in, its important to remember that you cant ever completely waterproof leather boots, but all you can do is slow the water coming in; you can never completely stop it.


The three best ways to waterproof your work boots

To waterproof your leather boots, you have three three options:

  1. Creams, pastes and waxes
  2. Waterproofing spray
  3. The desperate DIY way (temporary only)


Waterproofing creams, pastes, and waxes

This is the easiest and quickest way to waterproof your boots, but you must reapply every few weeks if you want to keep those toes dry. There is an ongoing debate about which product works the best, so its best you check this page for our top picks.

How to do it:

  • First things first, remove all that dirt and mud from your boots you dirty child. You can grab a tube of footwear cleaning cream to do this, but a little dish washing liquid and water will work fine. Scrub your boots with a soft brush and Make sure you rinse after scrubbing.
  • Using a CLEAN cloth (or if your a real man, your hand) generously apply the paste to your shoe, making sure to rub in a circular motion. DO NOT forget the seams.
  • After ‘working it in’ for a few minutes, use a cloth to rub off any excess.
  • Leave your boots to dry overnight

Waterproofing sprays

these are a good option if your a little lazy and time poor, just spray on and be done with it. Like cream, you should really reapply every few weeks to maintain the dryness. Use a silicone or oil based spray if your sporting tight-grained leather (which is smooth looking), or use acrylic co-polymer (known as ‘water repellent’) if your boots are nu-buck leather or suede (which has more of a rough, hairy look)

How its done:

  • Remove all dirt and mud from your boots using footwear cleaning cream or soap and water.
  • Hold the can 6 inches away from your boots and start spraying, making sure to apply a few thin coats, rather than one thick coat
  • Let boots dry overnight
  • Note: read the instructions on the can as some types require a second coat.


The desperate DIY way

if you need to waterproof your boots in a hurry and you cant get a paste or spray, you can try the following quick-fix methods. Be warned though, they are only temporary, and you must give your boots a damn good scrub before reapplying with a legitimate cream or spray next time.

  • Transmission oil– grab some and smear it all over your boots before you start work. This will repel water fine, but your boots may turn red!
  • Clear coat enamel spray– if you have a can of this lying around give your boots a few coats- it will crack and flake easily though, so don’t expect it to last
  • Vaseline cream– really only to be used as a last resort, rub it in like you would rub in a waterproofing cream, but don’t expect it to last long. Make sure you don’t use your girlfriends Vaseline cream or she will think your up to something creepy.


So, now that you know how to waterproof your hardcore work boots, which product will you choose?

Well, why don’t you check out our top picks on the best waterproofing products here, it will make the decision a lot easier for you.


Looking for other great work boot tips and reviews? click here to check out our top picks and resources

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Upkeep tips to make your work boots last | Work boot critic

[…] So once your boots start getting a little dry and cracked, start using a conditioner every 2 weeks, applying it the same way you would use a waterproofing wax (find out here) […]


Rain&Snow is an excellent waterproofer. It is safe to use with gore-tex, and works very well. It is easy to apply. I usually put on 3-4 coats. I have waded in streams with my boots and my feet have stayed dry. Some farm and ranch stores carry it, or i think you can get it off Bee Natural Leathercare’s website.

4 Prepping Skills You Master after Years of Camping - Dave's Homestead

[…] in case the weather turns unexpectedly humid. One thing that every seasoned camper needs to know is how to waterproof leather boots in case they don’t have ones that already possess that quality on hand. Add in a sturdy raincoat […]

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