How to Waterproof Leather Work Boots

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In the ever-demanding construction industry, your footwear is one of the most vital safety gear. Usually, your work boots are an essential part of the entire safety gear that most workers, as well as other professionals, use all around the world.

How to Waterproof Leather Work Boots
How to Waterproof Leather Work Boots

However, its importance in challenging work industries such as construction job sites, logging, electrical companies, and buildings are higher than the other workplaces. In these workplaces, your shoes make up around 30 percent of your “gear,” and you need nothing but the best work boots to conquer this battleground.

Similarly, injuries are common in these workplaces. Even if you work in a safe and covered office environment, you might come across that delivers a painful blow to you. Sometimes, injuries happen due to change in natural conditions, while sometimes they can occur due to the carelessness of others in your surroundings. If you are working in a water-exposed environment, you need nothing but an entirely waterproof work boot to keep you safe and comfortable in those harsh environments.

Having said that, if you are working in a water-exposed environment and you have leather boots, here is how you can make those boots waterproof and protect your feet.

Enemy of Leather Boots

Perhaps the biggest thing that destroys your leather shoes more than any other thing is moisture, or in simple words, it is water. Moisture inside the air might not be damaging initially, but with the constant exposure, you will see its never-ending effects.

Here, we are talking about wetness of all kinds. Natural leather shrinks with water. After it gets dried, you will see that the outer part of the shoe starts to get cracks and eventually break apart.

Learn more about these hazards at You might not see this thing with high-quality leather shoes instantly; they will occur gradually.

Thus when purchasing the new work boot, you should look for waterproof work boots. Many reputed manufacturers such as Timberland offer entirely waterproof work boots.

However, if you don’t plan to buy the new work shoes and have non-waterproof boots, you will have to make some efforts to turn them into waterproof leather boots.

Related: 10 Best Chelsea Boots Under 200

How to Waterproof Leather Work Boots

Follow this process to make your leather pair waterproof:

  • First, you need to get dubbin wax as it is one of the best ways to waterproof your leather shoes. However, don’t apply dubbin wax to artificial leather shoes. Instead, use it on your premium work boots. For regular leather footwear, you can use any other conditioner.
  • Then, clean your shoes and ensure no visible dirt or grime on them. This is because these elements can prevent the wax from penetrating the leather shoes.
  • Ensure that your work shoes are entirely waterproof before using the wax. When using the wax, you will have to heat it with a hairdryer. It is the easiest way of doing so as other heat sources can damage the leather.
  • Now apply the wax to the surface of your leather shoes. Too much of the wax will soften the leather and damage its quality.

NOTE: Besides, you need to remember that not all leather work shoes are the same. So, if you are not confident in doing all that stuff by yourself, you can reach any shop or cobbler for this purpose. This might be expensive for some users, but it helps. The whole process takes about an hour.


After applying the treatment, your work boots will need some time to dry completely. Please place them in a shaded area with average temperatures and high ventilation.

Never use a direct heat source such as to speed up the process, as by doing so, your boots can get too soft, and leather might crack.

However, you can use a normal fan on your shoes to speed up the process. During the process, you can also place balled-up newspaper in your boots to absorb moisture, and this method is highly effective in helping to dry the soles and insole.

Once you clean the leather boots, ensure that your work boots are clean; just treat and dry them. You can comfortably wear them tomorrow and get ready to conquer all the winding trails, looming mountains.