How to Waterproof Hiking Boots

By Amy Johnston | Guides

Aug 23

The Need to Waterproof Hiking Boots

Lots of people want to know how to waterproof hiking boots. While people usually aren’t going to want to go hiking on rainy days, they might still end up hiking through relatively moist areas. Most mountainous areas will have a tendency to be slightly damp even if it’s been sunny for a relatively long period of time. It’s often a good idea to use waterproof hiking boots as a matter of course. However, people who plan on hiking in certain areas will really need them, and it is possible to convert some hiking boots into versions that are more waterproof.

Waterproofing Treatments

There are different waterproofing treatments that people can use in order to get the results that they want for waterproofing hiking boots. Most of these treatments were designed for suede and leather hiking boots. Depending on the material of the hiking boots, it might be more difficult to successfully administer the waterproofing treatments. However, they should all usually work for the leather and suede hiking boots on the market.

Cleaning Hiking Boots

Before people add the waterproofing treatments, they need to make sure their hiking boots are clean enough. This involves removing the laces, brushing away the dirt and dust, and potentially using a boot cleaner. People might need to use running water if their hiking boots are particularly dusty or dirty and they want to get them to be more sterile. The cleaner the hiking boots are at this stage, the better. Ideally, people should apply the waterproofing treatment directly after cleaning the hiking boots.

Applying the Waterproofing Treatment

In order to successfully apply the waterproofing treatment, it’s necessary to soak the boots first. The boot leather needs to be completely dampened with water to the point where the dampness almost seems to weigh down the leather. People need to let everything stand like this since they can’t just drizzle water on the boots. They really need to be soaked. Sometimes, wrapping them in a wet towel is necessary before people can really achieve this effect.

From there, people can apply the waterproofing treatment according to the specific directions of the product. Typically, this means manually applying the waterproofing treatment thoroughly. The boots need to be wet in order to ensure that they will truly absorb the product.

Drying the Boots

After thoroughly applying the waterproofing treatment, people just need to make sure that they let the boots dry normally. Having the boots air-dry will work well enough. By the time they air-dry, they should be completely ready. Using a fan might be able to speed up the process associated with the waterproofing, but it is important to avoid using an active heat source.

An active heat source could interfere with the waterproofing process. People are better off being patient in general and letting the boots dry naturally and slowly. By the time they are dry, they should seem new again in a way. However, the process of actually wearing them should generally not feel different.

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