What to Know About Waterproof Shoes

During rainy season or winter, your outfits always change. For instance, if you love to wear short sleeves or sleeveless tops on sunny days, long-sleeved shirts and layering would become your go-to outfit when it’s cold. And if leather or suede shoes are your best bet during sunny seasons, you’ll find yourself opting for waterproof shoes.

a pair of waterproof boots

This is because water can cause much damage to your shoes. And if you’ll be spending most of your time outdoors, investing in waterproof footwear is an excellent way to ensure your shoes are safe and sound.

one leg of waterproof shoe

Sounds like something you’ll love to try? Of course! It’s the reason you’re on this page in the first place. So, let’s move straight ahead to learn more about these shoes and how to make your other shoes waterproof in wet seasons.

Why Wear Waterproof Shoes?

wearing waterproof material over shoes

Any type of footwear for men and women that don’t allow water or any liquid to pass through is waterproof. Apart from coming through for you when it rains or snows, these shoes are a must-have if you work outdoors in wet conditions for a long time.

They come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. While some are small and flat like tennis shoes, running shoes, or any athletic gear, others are like knee-high boots

a pair of rainboots

A common example of this type of footwear is the rain boot. Everybody knows rain boot is the go-to footwear for wet conditions. But when you don’t have one, you can always invest in other waterproof shoes and enjoy these perks:

Walk in Water Without Worrying About Your Shoes

Since it’s waterproof, no matter how long your legs stay in water, your shoes won’t get soaked. This means when you have them on, you can comfortably walk in the rain, puddles, or any wet environment without damaging your shoes.

ALSO READ: Wardrobe Essentials for Rainy Season

Keep Your Feet from Getting Wet

This applies to waterproof boots and athletic gear. No matter how wet it gets, your feet will always be warm and dry in your cozy waterproof boots.

Keep Your Feet Warm in Winter

You know how cold and snowy it gets when winter comes, don’t you? Well, you don’t have to worry about cold feet in winter if you have these shoes. They’ll protect your feet against the frosty snow when you step out and help you feel warm too.

What are Waterproof Shoes Made from?

a leg of waterproof Timberland shoe

Most waterproof shoes are made of materials such as:

  • Rubber
  • Neoprene
  • Vinyl
  • Nylon
  • Polyurethane

Waterproof vs Water Resistant Boots: What’s The Difference?

a pair of waterproof shoes

While waterproof shoes are completely impervious to water, water-resistant shoes are only resistant to water to a certain degree. Though a few splashes of water wouldn’t damage water-resistant footwear, they can easily get wet if they stay in water for long.

Here’s how to easily spot the differences:

man wearing water-resistant sneakers in the water

Shoes that have an IP rating (Ingress Protection) of six and above are waterproof, not water-resistant. So, when the IP rating is low, it’s water-resistant. And when it’s high, it’s waterproof.

Before buying any waterproof footwear, check for the IP rating lest you should buy a water-resistant one unknowingly. Though this isn’t always easy to know, if you research, you’ll be able to tell the shoe’s rating on the IP scale.

Furthermore, while the materials stated earlier are used in making waterproof shoes, water-resistant shoes are usually made from natural water-resistant materials like leather, nylon, or suede. 

In addition, water-resistant footwear is more breathable than its waterproof counterpart. However, there are some exceptions. 

For instance, manufacturers of waterproof athletic gear sometimes use GoreTex technology, a highly breathable waterproof membrane. Other times, they install vents in the shoes so air passes through easily while protecting against water and dust

Types of Waterproof Shoes

black waterproof shoe

Ready to invest in this footwear but don’t know which one to go for? Look for any of these but make sure they’re waterproof:

  1. Rain boots
  2. Crocs
  3. Mules
  4. Sandals
  5. Chukka boots
  6. Running sneakers
  7. Rubber ballet flats
  8. Hiking boots/shoes, etc.

ALSO READ: What to Wear When the Weather is Hot

Top Brands that Manufacture Waterproof Shoes

a pair of black waterproof shoes

If you want top value for your money, you should invest in a brand that assures you of that. Though they may be expensive, if you get any of their waterproof footwear, rest assured they’ll last long enough to serve you during cold climates.

  1. Nike
  2. Vasque
  3. Asics
  4. Merrell
  5. Saucony
  6. Allbirds
  7. Columbia
  8. Adidas
  9. The North Face
  10. New Balance
  11.  Hoka One One
  12. Ecco
  13. Salomon
  14. ON
  15. Arc’teryx
  16. A-Cold-Wall

How to Make Your Shoes Waterproof

How to Make Your Shoes Waterproof

If you don’t wanna buy a new pair of waterproof footwear, you can make your regular shoes waterproof by using any of these methods:

1. Use Waterproofing Spray

Use Waterproofing Spray

Most footwear materials have their spray. So go for the one that suits your shoes and use it to waterproof them.

But keep in mind there are many waterproof spray brands in the market. Instead of getting confused about the best ones for your shoes, check for ingredients such as silicone or acrylic polymers. They help block water and prevent mildew, mold, and other water-related damage.

And when you get the spray, hold the can six to eight inches away from your shoe and spray it around every part of the shoe where moisture can sneak in. If you don’t want to stain your hands, hang the shoe while spraying it.

Furthermore, shoes like nubuck or suede may take more than one spray coating to become waterproof. So if you want to apply multiple coats, give each one time to absorb before applying the next.

And when you’ve done that, wipe off excess spray gently with a hand towel or microfiber cloth. Avoid using a paper towel because the shedding fibers can get strapped in the spray and alter your shoe’s look.

Once you’ve sprayed your shoes to satisfaction, let them dry overnight. Don’t try to speed things up by using a hairdryer or open fire. Leave the shoes to dry on their own to avoid ruining your effort.

Above all, don’t forget to reapply your waterproof spray after a few uses. Unlike wax, sprays don’t last long enough for multiple wears.

2. Waterproof with Beeswax

Waterproof with Beeswax

You can either use colorless beeswax or a candle to achieve this.  Here’s how to go about it:

After cleaning your shoes and wiping them dry, test the wax on a part that’s not easily noticeable to be sure it won’t stain. This part could be the heel or sidewall of the shoe close to the outsole. 

Once you’ve tested, rub the wax all over your shoes. While at this, concentrate on the toe, heel, sidewalls, and laces where water can easily seep in.

As the wax gathers on your shoes, it’ll discolor them. But you can remove the discoloration by using a hairdryer to melt the wax at a high temperature. Do this until the visible wax disappears and integrates with your shoes to block moisture.

You can use colorless or off-white wax for this. They are less noticeable and blend easily with the shoe materials and colors. But if you’re using a colored wax, ensure it matches the color of your shoes.

3. Wear a Waterproof Shoe Cover

Wear a Waterproof Shoe Cover

These shoe covers are made of waterproof materials like rubber, silicone, nylon, etc. You can easily slip them on after wearing your shoes and be sure no water-related harm will come to your footwear.

How to Care for Your Waterproof so They Last Long

wearing Timberland boots in melting snow

Whether you invest in these shoes or waterproof your regular shoes, if you don’t take good care of them, especially in rainy or snowy weather, they won’t last long.

So, how do you go about caring for your shoes? 

We have a guide that details how to care for your shoes during the rainy season. Check it out and use the tips we shared in the article.

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Mkpoikana Otu (Vincent)
Articles: 6

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