Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Jack Sanders
Maybe you constantly work outdoors exposed to liquids, or even the rain, and you’re tired of feeling your feet wet after only a few hours of starting your work day.
Searching online, you come across a lot of articles but they are a bit confusing and hard to follow.
Due to this, I decided to make the following article that shows you how to quickly waterproof your leather work boots without actually buying a pair of waterproof work boots.
How to Waterproof Your Work Boots Fast
It’s very common to hear workers and colleagues asking “What can I use to waterproof my boots?“.
There are hundreds of methods available. However, in my experience, there are just a few methods for waterproofing your work boots.
Here are the most common ways to permanently waterproof a pair of work boots fast:
- Waterproof Wax Method
- Waterproof Spray Method
- Waterproof Sealant Method
- By Wearing Water-repellent Socks
Waterproof Wax Method
These types of insulation methods consist of a waterproof was which generates a waterproof membrane on the exterior of the work boots.
The pores in that membrane are small enough to keep water droplets out of your boots, but large enough to allow air flow and keep the boots breathable.
The wax not only waterproofs but also nourishes the leather, keeping your work boots looking as good as new for a longer period of time.
It’s also the most durable method of waterproofing your work boots, which explains why it’s the most popular.
Here’s the full process:
- Dust off the work boots
- Let the leather wax loose in a warm place
- Use a clean cloth to apply a light layer of the waterproof wax
- Massage the waterproof wax against the leather in a circular motion until there are no residues visible
- Leave the wax drying for about an hour (you can speed up the process with a fan or putting the work boots under the sun)
- Take another clean cloth and remove the excess wax
- Repeat until the work boots look as good as new
Waterproofing Spray Method
Have you ever imagined that your work boots can be waterproofed by only using a spray?
That’s possible thanks to polyurethane or silicone coatings, which form temporary membranes with tiny pores designed to waterproof work boots.
These sprays will make the boots waterproof while also ensuring that they are breathable.
Here’s how you do it:
- Thoroughly remove dirt from the work boots with a brush
- Apply waterproof spray all over the exterior of the work boots
- Let boots dry for 6 hours
- Apply a second layer of waterproof spray
- Let the boots dry overnight
Waterproof Seam Sealant Method
Another excellent method for waterproofing your leather work boots is to apply a waterproof seam sealant to their outer part, ensuring that no liquids pass through the boots.
It is frequently referred to as a “optional” method that can be used after completing any of the previous waterproofing methods.
However, I would like to recommend it as a stand-alone method for waterproofing work boots, as it’s very effective.
Sealants are typically applied in the form of a paste or powder and then dried to form a hardened barrier that is impermeable to water.
Waterproof sealants for work boots are loved among blue collar workers, as they are cheap, and not only provide a solid barrier against liquids, but also dirt and other contaminants. This is key to maximize the lifespan of the work boots.
Instructions may vary on the specific product, but here’s the general step by step process on how to waterproof your work boots with a sealant:
- Clean your work boots
- Once dry, take a clean cloth and put about a pea-sized amount of the waterproof sealant of your choice
- Lightly spray the sealant with a tiny bit of water
- Apply the sealant in circular motion across all the exterior surface of the boots
- Let the boots dry for about a day
- Buff the work boots with a brush
You can repeat this process as many times as you see fit or as the instructions tell you.
Wearing Waterproof Socks
Getting a pair of waterproofing or water repellent socks that will successfully keep your feet dry under wet conditions without demanding you to buy waterproof work boots is a great method if you are on a budget.
It’s important to note that these socks need to be breathable. Otherwise, your feet will end up sweating a lot which can lead to more serious complications like fungus or smelly feet
What water-repellent socks do I recommend?
DexShell Waterproof Breathable Merino Wool Socks
When asked for waterproof socks recommendations, I always say DexShell merino wool socks are your best bet.
They got the well-known “Porelle” waterproof hydrophilic membrane, which is a microporous surface that allows air to flow freely while preventing liquids from touching the feet.
That’s how you get a completely waterproof pair of socks that won’t stink up your feet.
Another significant benefit of these socks is that they are made of merino wool, which is known for being not only warm and breathable, but also for regulating body temperature for maximum comfort.
Finally, the socks have padded inners that cushion the base of the feet for a more comfortable wearing experience.
Quick Comparison Table
Here’s a quick comparison table that will let you quickly see and compare all the best methods to waterproof your work boots.
|Waterproof Wax Method||Best||Less than 15 minutes||3 months|
|Waterproof Seam Sealant Method||Good||Less than 15 minutes||2 month|
|Waterproof Spray Method||Good||Less than 15 minutes||2 month|
|Wearing Waterproof Socks||Good||Instant||Depends on the quality|
The Best Waterproof Work Boot
Timberland PRO Men’s Titan Waterproof Work Boots
- Waterproofing: 100% waterproof
- Outsoles: Oil, slip and heat resistant outsoles
- Safety toe cap: Alloy toe caps
Can you make leather work boots waterproof? Sure, you can. But nothing will be better than the real stuff, meaning a pair of waterproof work boots .
When it comes to waterproofing features, nothing beats the Timberland Pro Titan work boots in this context.
Their breathable waterproofing membrane is an industry standard that allows workers to work without getting their feet wet because it has pores that are small enough to obstruct water flow but large enough to allow air to flow.
Furthermore, the alloy toe caps are present to protect the toes from being crushed by any heavy tool that may fall.
Finally, what I loved the most was their heat, slip and oil resistant outsoles that provide superior traction to confidently walk on slippery surfaces.
- Alloy toe caps for maximum lightweight toe safety
- Timberland pro waterproofing membrane maintains the feet dry when exposed to exterior liquids
- Electrical hazard protection
- 24/7 comfort system included cushioned footbeds and shock absorbing midsoles to reduce foot fatigue
- Heat, slip and oil resistant outsoles
- Moisture wicking attributes to reduce odor and sweaty feet
- Laces are a bit short for my liking
Customer Reviews and Scores
There are more than 1,448 reviews on Amazon.com about these work boots at the time of writing, and they have given them a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. The reviews of this pair of work boots are positive overall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions that frequently pop up when discussing methods to waterproof work boots.
How frequently should I waterproof my work boots?
I’d say you should waterproof your work boots once every 4 to 8 weeks.
The rule of thumb is this, once you see that the work boots start to crack, then it probably means that the temporary waterproofing membrane you gave the work boots following any of the previous methods has stopped being effective.
It will highly depend on the method and how many times you performed it on your work boots.
Can I use Vaseline to waterproof my boots?
Yes, Vaseline can be used to waterproof work boots.
Vaseline will clog the pores of the leather on its epidermis layer once applied to the work boots. This is necessary because it prevents liquids from passing through the leather.
However, the “Vaseline waterproofing method” has a significant disadvantage in that it does not allow air to easily flow through the work boots.
This means your feet will sweat easily and odor buildup will be a major issue, which is why I don’t recommend this method of waterproofing.