by Roger

October 15, 2021

How to Waterproof Hiking Boots

If you are an avid outdoor lover, waterproofing hiking boots is very important. When you waterproof hiking boots, they can handle different weather conditions. Moreover, having wet feet isn’t fun at all unless desired. 

While new boots come with a waterproof guarantee, it eventually wears off. And, a time comes when you need a replacement. 

When you notice that water no longer rolls off the surface of the boot and gets absorbed into the boots, it’s time that you need to waterproof your hiking boot. But how to waterproof hiking boots? Continue reading the post to learn more about it.

Step-By-Step Procedure on How to Waterproof Hiking Boots

How to Apply the Waterproofing Treatment for Your Boots

Waterproof hiking boots can keep your feet dry. It is wise to buy hiking boots with a waterproof guarantee. 

If your boots don’t come with that, waterproofing them might be challenging. So, buy one that comes with such a guarantee. 

Moreover, you can use some tips to make them waterproof even further. That way, you can have extra peace of mind. Here are the main steps involved in waterproofing hiking boots.

  • Choose the right waterproofing treatment;
  • Clean the hiking boots thoroughly;
  • Apply the waterproof treatment;
  • And, dry the boots.

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Treatment for Your Hiking Boots

You can find lots of materials that you can use to waterproof hiking boots. And, below are some techniques that you can use to waterproof boots. 

Choose the one that suits your needs better and read our guide on how to choose mountaineering boots. However, before you use the technique, make sure that the boots are clean and dry. 

If there is dirt or some parts are too wet, waterproofing won’t work properly. It will miss the spots and your hiking boots won’t be 100% waterproofed. 

Preparing the Boots for Waterproofing
  • In general, different types of waterproofing treatments can take care of rough leather such as nubuck or suede, or full-grain leather. Hence, read the product descriptions thoroughly before buying the right waterproofing treatment. Also, read the instructions carefully about how to apply the same on your boots.
  • Wax-based treatments for waterproofing are out of fashion these days. They were popular once. Moreover, if you are planning to re-sole your boots later, avoiding wax-based treatment is a must. That’s because the waxy residue reduces the ability of the new adhesive to bond with the new sole.
  • Sometimes, hiking boots consist of a Gore-Tex membrane or other kinds of breathable/waterproof membrane. If your boots have them, there is no need for waterproofing treatment in those areas. All you have to do is clean the fabric. 

Preparing the Boots for Waterproofing

As said, waterproofing treatments work best on clean and damp boots. You won’t allow dirt or grime to compromise the coverage area. 

That’s because the exterior layer of your hiking boots will draw the waterproofing product fully in. Here are the steps to clean and prepare your hiking boots for the treatment.

Step-By-Step Procedure on How to Waterproof Hiking Boots
  • Remove the laces before cleaning the boots (and learn how to lace hiking boots after that);
  • Make use of a soft brush to clean dirt and dust accumulated;
  • To make the boots thoroughly clean, use running water on them. Also, you can use your favorite boot cleaner during the process.

How to Apply the Waterproofing Treatment for Your Boots

Follow these steps on how to apply the waterproofing treatment effectively. 

  • Make sure that water is soaked into the inner layers of the boot’s leather. This is the first important step that you should take. The perfect time to apply the treatment is when you have just cleaned them.
  • You may think that running water on the boots might be helpful. But it’s not sufficient. Keep in mind that it needs a lot of time for the leather to soak water.
  • If the boots are not wet enough or dry after cleaning, use a wet towel and wrap around them. Allow it to sit for some time until the leather soaks water.
  • When the boots soaked enough water, it is the right time to apply the treatment. Different products may have different techniques to apply. So, follow the instructions carefully before applying the same.

How to Dry and Store After Application

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Treatment for Your Hiking Boots
  • Dry the boots in a place with normal temperature and high humidity;
  • Never use a separate heat source to dry the boots;
  • You can use a fan to dry quickly;
  • Also, you can stuff newspapers inside the hiking boots to speed up the drying process. If the paper becomes damp, change them;
  • Store the boots at a normal and stable temperature. Never store them in car trunks, garages, attics, or hot, unventilated, or damp places.

If you are looking for hiking boots suggestions, read our reviews about the best approach shoes for men and the best approach shoes for women.

The rankings on rappellingequipment.com are curated to save you time by aggregating the best reviewed products from the most reputable companies. We may receive a commission if you buy something using a link on this page.

About the author 

Roger

Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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