How to Waterproof Leather Boots for Winter

How to Waterproof Leather Boots for Winter

Having been handed down as a staple of fashion from one generation to another, leather boots are worn by all sorts of people for all sorts of occasions, regardless of the weather outside.

Of course, those who choose to don leather boots in the winter months must contest with snow and rainwater.

There are countless proposed methods of waterproofing leather boots, but few are effective. We’re going to be examining the most reliable means of waterproofing leather boots for winter in this article.

Waterproofing Leather Boots for Winter

Below, we will be discussing our two favorite means of waterproofing leather boots heading into winter. Each has been tested to ensure its effectiveness, so you can be certain of resilient boots and dry feet all year round.

Waterproofing Leather Boots for Winter

Waterproofing via Dubbin

Dubbin is a wax which has long been relied upon by dedicated hikers and outdoors people to keep leather boots resistant to water. But how does one go about applying dubbin to their boots?


Before attempting to apply dubbin to your boots, it is essential that you clean them with a damp cloth, ridding them of any and all dirt which may have accumulated over your outings. Debris, if not removed, will prevent the wax from connecting with certain portions of the shoe, leaving such areas susceptible to water.


One you have adequately cleaned your leather boots, apply a small amount of dubbin to a new cloth and gently spread it across the exterior of the boot. Run the cloth over the boot a number of times, moving it back and forth to ensure all areas are covered.



The waiting is, ironically, the easiest part of the process. After applying a satisfactory amount of dubbin to both of your boots, allow 30 minutes to an hour for the wax to dry. Store your boots in cool and dry spot during this phase of the waterproofing process as leaving them in direct heat will likely cause the leather to wrinkle and crack.


After allowing 30 minutes to an hour for the dubbin to dry, examine your boots for excess wax. Should you spy any, and you likely will, use a dry cloth to remove it from the leather. Once all unabsorbed wax has been scraped from the exterior of your boots, the process is complete and you are ready for winter.

Waterproofing via Spray

Dubbin is an effective means of waterproofing boots with an entirely leather exterior, but the wax can actually damage boots which feature a combination of leather and suede. If you own such a pair, we suggest turning to a spray in order to prepare them for the winter months.


The first step to using a spray to waterproof your leather boots is quite similar – in fact, entirely similar – to that of using dubbin to waterproof your leather boots. Ensure your boots are free of all dirt and grime before moving onto the second step of the process.


Leaving a distance of 5 centimeters between yourself and your boots, apply your chosen waterproofing spray. Much like using a cloth to apply dubbin, go over your boots several times to ensure every inch of their exteriors make contact with the spray.


Once you are satisfied that your boots have had adequate contact with your waterproofing spray, allow them time to dry. All boots are different, so there is no suggested amount of time that you should leave your boots while waiting for them to absorb the spray.

We recommend examining them every half hour until you’re certain they are completely dry. Again, we stress the importance of leaving your boots to dry naturally in a cool area with no extreme heat. Choose to do otherwise and the leather of your boots will likely warp.


Before we bring this article to a close, we feel it’s important to remind you that not all leather boots are waterproof to begin with. If a boot was not designed to withstand water, it is unlikely that dubbin or waterproofing spray is going to render it entirely waterproof.

The methods outlined above may increase the resilience of such a boot to water, but you should not expect anything beyond that. Dubbin and waterproofing spray are primarily intended to restore the waterproofing of a shoe that was originally designed to withstand water but lost its resilience over the course of a couple of years.