There’s nothing worse than walking around in wet, muddy shoes. Some natural ways we show how to waterproof shoes. But before you get into it, make sure you know the right steps to take before waterproofing. Read on to learn our tips!
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What are the advantages of impregnated shoes?
There are many reasons why you should waterproof shoes. Below are the top 4 reasons to waterproof shoes and boots.
- Keep your feet dry
- Prevent cold feet
- Prevent blisters that form when wet feet slide around in your shoes
- Protect your shoes from stains and water while extending their life.
How to prepare shoes for impregnation
Before you begin any of the waterproofing procedures listed below, be sure to do the following 3 things:
Break in your shoes
If your shoes are new or have never been worn, it’s important to break them in. Not only is breaking in a good way to get your shoes to conform to your feet, but it also stretches them to prepare them for waterproofing. Many waterproofing methods can stiffen your shoes, making it difficult to break them in afterwards.
Clean your shoes
Before waterproofing your shoes, they should be clean, free of dust, dirt or removable stains. A damp rag or shoe towel for most genuine and synthetic leathers will do. You don’t want dirt to get trapped under the waterproof layer!
Make sure shoes are dry
Place your shoes in a mesh bag in the dryer. After they are as clean as possible, let them dry. Most methods of drying shoes require a dry surface. Air drying is best.
Do a spot test first
As with any alterations to shoes, always do a test on a small or invisible spot. Especially if you are just learning how to waterproof shoes! Wondering which spots you should do a test on?
Preferably on the inside of the shoe, such as the tongue, on the inside wall of the shoe near the bottom, or on a low part of the heel. You don’t want to waterproof an entire shoe only to find that it’s ruined or the material has changed its appearance!
Making shoes waterproof with wax
You can use beeswax, soy wax, carnauba wax, laurel wax, candelilla wax or any other type of wax you can find. Now rub the wax into the shoe or boot by brushing the wax over the surface of the shoe. Make sure you cover the entire surface and don’t leave any spot out.
Make sure you have adequately covered all the outer parts of the shoe, including the heel, the toes, near the laces, the seams and the outsole. You should apply the wax in thin layers so that it doesn’t build up too much on the shoe. Most wax becomes translucent when melted. Place your shoes or boots on a few layers of newspaper. Heat the wax with a hair dryer pointed at the shoe surface. The wax will melt when you run the hair dryer over it.
Proceed slowly and allow the wax to melt as you move along the surface. Work your way from the top to the bottom. When you’re done, let the wax cool and put on your shoes. Bend the toes to see if the wax cracks. The layer should be thin enough that it will not crack. If it does, melt the same area again.
Pour water on a small portion of the shoe to see if the impregnation was successful. If not, you can always apply a second or third coat of wax to make sure the material is thoroughly impregnated.
When reapplication of wax is necessary?
If you wear your shoes frequently, you may need to re-wax them from time to time. A single application should last you six months to a year with average use. Don’t be afraid to re-wax your shoes anytime they start to leak.
Make your own natural leather oil
There are leather oils that can restore and waterproof your shoes. Leather oil is convenient and easy to use. You can make your own leather oil.
This is what you need for your homemade leather oil:
100 g coconut oil
120 g beeswax
Weigh out the coconut oil and beeswax and melt the two together. If you prefer, you can also melt it in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Once melted, pour the mixture into silicone molds or a metal can. Allow the mixture to harden. You can speed up this process by placing the mixture in the freezer or refrigerator.
Warm the wax disk in your hand to use it. Spread it liberally on your shoes or boots. Use a horsehair brush to brush the wax into the leather. Continue brushing your shoes until the wax is worked into the leather. There is no need to wait. Put them on immediately!