How to Waterproof Sneakers: 3 Effective Methods

Soaked through trainers do not feel nice.

Thankfully it is relatively simple to waterproof your sneakers, you can do this using waterproof sprays, waxing, and sneaker covers.

1. Use Waterproof Spray

The most common and easiest method for waterproofing sneakers is to use waterproof spray.

waterproof spray on sneakers

What Type of Spray to Use

The most reliable sprays to waterproof sneakers are silicone sprays.

You can also use acrylic sprays as they provide excellent waterproofing qualities.

How to Prepare the Sneaker for Spraying

To get an even coating, you must first prepare your sneakers before spraying them. Here’s how to prep them:

  1. Clean your sneakers thoroughly because you won’t be able to clean them for a while after spraying.
  2. Let them dry completely.

How to Apply the Spray Safely

To spray your sneakers safely, you need to:

  1. Spread some newspapers on the floor of a well-ventilated area, such as the garage or outside.
  2. Hang your shoe by its laces for easy access to all shoe sides.
  3. Hold the spraying can six inches away from your sneakers. Otherwise, you may overspray one part, which will take longer to dry.
  4. Use a microfiber towel to carefully dab any excess spray when you’re done spraying the shoe. Don’t use paper towels, or they’ll get stuck to your sneakers.
  5. Leave the sneakers to dry in the sun for 24 hours.

How Effective Is It?

As long as you recoat your sneakers frequently, using waterproof spray ensures that they stay dry and clean. If a certain part gets wet, it most likely wasn’t sprayed correctly.

How Long It Will Last

Most waterproof sprays last around three to four weeks. If you use your sneakers frequently, you may need to reapply the spray every four to six wears.

2. Wax the Sneakers

Waxing your sneakers is one of the oldest waterproofing tricks in the book.

This method has proven to work efficiently, producing the desired result with little to no consequences.

waxing sneakers

What Type of Wax to Use 

The most common type of wax is beeswax, but you need to ensure that the one you get is 100% pure beeswax with no additives to achieve maximum waterproofing.

You can also use wax beads or odorless paraffin wax candles. 

Just make sure that the wax used is both colorless and odorless, or at least choose a color that would fit the sneakers’ hue.

This way, you’d be sure the color of the wax won’t ruin your sneakers’ design.

How to Prepare the Sneaker for Waxing

Before applying the wax to your sneakers, you need to prepare the sneakers first. You can prepare them as follows:

  1. Clean your sneakers thoroughly. Make sure there are no spots that affect how the sneakers look.
  2. Leave your sneakers to dry completely. This step is crucial to ensuring that the wax adheres to the sneakers.
  3. Remove the laces from the sneakers so that the wax can reach every nook and cranny.

How to Apply the Wax

In order to apply the wax, you need to follow the next steps:

  1. Try the wax on a small and hidden part of your sneakers to make sure that it won’t stain.
  2. If it didn’t stain, rub the wax over the rest of the sneakers and try to not miss a spot.
  3. Melt the wax using a heat source. You can use a blow dryer on high heat for this step.
  4. Once the wax is all melted, let the sneakers cool so that the wax hardens and forms a waterproof layer.
  5. Test your newly waterproofed sneakers with some water.

How Effective Is It?

Waxing is the most reliable when it comes to waterproofing sneakers. Unless your shoes get wet frequently, you won’t need to reapply a wax coat for a long time.

How Long It Will Last

The best perk to using wax is that it lasts the longest of all methods.

You can reapply whenever you feel that it’s starting to lose its effect, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

The wax layer can take from six months to eight months before it loses its effect.

3. Use Sneaker Covers

Another short-term option you can use is to get your sneakers some sneaker covers.

sneaker covers

What Type of Cover to Use and Where to Get One

You can waterproof your sneakers using silicone or PVC shoe covers.

These materials are completely impenetrable, making them very useful for when it’s raining outside.

You can easily buy them from Walmart or Amazon.

How to Fit the Cover 

If you get a 100 percent elastic cover, you can simply wear it like a sock on top of your sneakers.

However, if the cover has a zipper, there are a few steps you should take to avoid tearing the cover. 

  1. Wear it first before the sneakers.
  2. Slide it up your ankle.
  3. Wear your sneakers and slide down the cover to cover up your sneaker.
  4. Zip the cover.

How Effective It Is

These sneaker covers are 100 percent reliable and can be used if you’re going on a hike where there may be lots of water puddles.

They won’t only protect your sneakers from water, but also mud and any debris.

How Long the Cover Will Last

It will take around 12 uses for a sneaker cover to last with you. However, if you use it carefully, it may stick with you for around 20 uses.

Avoid These Methods:

There are a few methods that you should avoid when waterproofing your sneakers.

Mink Oil

You might find a lot of people telling you that mink oil works wonders when waterproofing sneakers.

However, mink oil is known to only be used on leather shoes.

They help them toughen up while waterproofing.

However, in our case here, using mink oil will change the hue of your sneakers. It also won’t provide you with the waterproofing result you want for your sneakers.


Hairspray can be used to protect some kinds of shoes.

However it is not advised as hairspray can cause colors to run damaging your shoe, so please don’t use these on your sneakers unless you don’t care about them.


WD-40 doesn’t work well with sneakers as they don’t have a smooth surface.

Thus, you shouldn’t be considering it as it won’t waterproof your sneakers properly.

What’s more, it would ruin the fabric of your shoes.


Knowing how to waterproof sneakers should be no secret to any sneaker enthusiast, especially those who live in rainy climates.

Luckily, it’s an easy process that saves you a lot of time washing and drying your sneakers after every run in the rain.

Waterproof spray, beeswax, and sneaker covers are all reliable methods to waterproof your sneakers. So, choose the one that speaks to you the most, and enjoy your clean, dry sneakers!

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