Suede is a material that is not naturally waterproof.
It seems strange that we have worn material on our feet for many centuries that can be completely ruined and discolored by a bit of rain.
Originally suede was used for ladies’ gloves however the comfort and warmth it provided meant it was soon used to make boots and shoes.
Thankfully there are a number of ways you can waterproof suede boots:
1. Use Waterproof Spray
Waterproof spray is one of the easiest ways to waterproof suede boots.
Be aware not all waterproof spray is made equal when it comes to suede.
Some sprays can cause the suede to discolor so it is important to use a spray that is designed specifically to be used on suede.
A good choice would be something like KIWI Suede & Nubuck Waterproofer.
Be aware waterproof sprays contain toxins so you should use it in a well-ventilated area.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to waterproof your suede boots try using wax, petroleum jelly or olive oil as mentioned below.
To waterproof your suede boots with a spray follow these steps:
- Clean the boots with a suede brush so that all dirt and residue is removed.
- Spray a light mist over the boots until they are evenly and completely covered.
- Let the boots dry for 4-6 hours.
- Apply a second coat.
- Leave to completely dry for 24 hours.
- Best Waterproof Spray For Suede Boots
Some of the best suede-specific sprays include:
- KIWI Suede & Nubuck Waterproofer
- Nikwax Nubuck & Suede Waterproofing Spray
- Gear Aid Revivex Suede & Fabric Water Repellent
Be aware waterproof spray is not permanent, if your boots are used a lot then the spray will need reapplying sooner.
2. Use Wax
Wax is one of the best natural ways of waterproofing a suede boot.
While the process is time-consuming it is a tried and tested waterproofing method which will do a great job of protecting your boots from water damage.
You will need:
- Otter Wax
- Old newspaper
- Suede brush
- A heat gun (optional)
- A wax smoothing tool
To waterproof your suede boots with Otter Wax follow these steps:
- Remove the laces from your boots.
- Stuff the boots with newspaper so that it holds its shape.
- Use a suede brush to clean any dirt and debris off the boots.
- Take the bar of wax and gently start rubbing it into the boots, rub it to and fro to create friction which will help soften the wax so that it can be worked into the suede.
- Once you have covered a few square inches of suede use your fingers to smooth and even out the wax you could also use a heat gun to help with this step.
- Take extra care to ensure that any seams have been thoroughly covered.
- For a shinier look apply a second layer of wax.
- Use a wax smoothing tool to flatten out any waxy lumps.
3. Use Petroleum Jelly/Vaseline
Vaseline is an effective short-term way to waterproof boots. It will help protect and enhance the color of the suede.
Be aware it is only a temporary measure so will need reapplying frequently in order to remain effective, however it is a good choice if you are caught short and have no other option.
For longer-term waterproofing we recommend using wax or waterproof spray as mentioned above.
To waterproof your suede boots with vaseline follow these steps:
- Take a cloth or sponge and dip it in warm water, be sure to not over soak it, it should just be slightly damp.
- Take a lump of petroleum jelly and place it on the suede boots.
- Gently rub the jelly into the boots until it has all been absorbed.
- Repeat until the entire boot has been covered.
4. Use Olive Oil
Olive oil is an effective short-term way of waterproofing a suede boot.
Be aware it can be messy and will need regularly reapplying.
For longer-term waterproofing we recommend using either wax or waterproof spray.
To waterproof your suede using olive oil follow these steps:
- Take either a cloth or brush and dip it into the olive oil.
- Rub it into the suede boot, be aware olive oil requires a good covering to be effective so don’t use it sparingly.
- Leave it to dry off for 30 minutes once the entire boot has been covered.
- Take a cloth and dampen it with warm water.
- Gently rub the boot to remove any excess olive oil.