Do You Need to Waterproof New Cowboy Boots?

The popularity of cowboy boots is no less. Seen as a style statement, these boots are used for both work as well as casual purposes.

However, one of the biggest enemies of these footwear is water as it can be really brutal and can end up damaging them.

Whether made of leather or suede, you have to take good care of them especially if you are exposing them to moisture or water.

Do You Need to Waterproof New Cowboy Boots

Yes, it is important to waterproof cowboy boots. Most of these are made of leather or suede which are hydrophobic and easily get damaged when exposed to too much moisture. Prolonged contact with water not only can affect the life expectancy of boots but also makes them prone to damage.

I am sure you must be looking for ways to waterproof your new cowboy boots. Worry not, this guide will tell you everything you need to know in the simplest way possible. So before you place your precious boots in water or snow just read this article.

Are cowboy boots waterproof?

Most of you have a notion that all cowboy boots are waterproof. Actually, you are wrong! Most cowboy boots are water resistant and not waterproof.

Most cowboy boots are designed using leather, a material which has the capability of resisting water to a certain extent. 

If you are buying cowboy boots for the outdoors then I am sure you might find some options as waterproof but these options feature short heels, square toes or rubber soles.

If we talk about traditional cowboy boots then those are made of leather soles and are extremely bad in wet environments.

When it comes to Suede cowboy boots, those aren’t waterproof at all because those are designed keeping hot weather in mind and not the moisture. However, you can make them waterproof by adding a protective layer on their surface.

5 Effective Ways of Waterproofing Your Cowboy Boots

If you want your boots to last longer then take my advice and apply some form of water protectant on its surface. You can follow these effective ways to treat your cowboy boots.

Initial Steps:

1.) Take a dry rag and brush and thoroughly clean your boots.

2.) Before applying anything to the surface of cowboy boots, read the manufacturer’s guide to see if they suggest any specific protectant for their brand.

3.) Before applying all over, test on a small area with a waterproofing method of your choice. 

Method 1: Making Use of Mink Oil 

When it comes to leather, how can we forget about mink oil? It is one of the most commonly used products for leather cowboy boots.

It not only makes your boots shiny and soft but also extends their life along with waterproofing them. While applying mink oil just follow these steps:

1.) Properly clean your cowboy boots.

2.) Apply the oil in small segments, covering all the surfaces. Make sure you cover welts and seams as well.

3.) Keep the boots overnight to dry so that the oil gets properly absorbed. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.

4.) Use a newspaper to remove excess oil.

Method 2: Use Waterproof Spray

Waterproofing sprays are a quick and easy way of protecting your boots from water but you have to be a bit careful. These products might contain silicone and might dry out the leather. So, whenever you are opting for sprays, always look for non-silicone or low-silicone ones. 

You can use the spray whenever you want, at your ease after conditioning the cowboy boots. It will create a clear, transparent and waterproof shield around your boot. After applying leave it for 30 minutes to dry and you are good to go. 

The advantage of this method is its convenience and you don’t risk discoloration. Moreover,  sprays are great for suede and leather. They not only save your boots from water but also from UV rays so the colour remains intact.

Method 3: Combining Conditioner  with Shoe Polish 

Did you know that shoe polish can help to make your leather cowboy boot waterproof? Well, now you do! And if we talk about conditioners then those are water repellents in themselves so they not only make your boots look good but also stops water from entering into the fibres.

Steps to follow:

1.) Take a soft towel, soak the conditioner into it and gently rub the conditioner on the surface using circular motion.

2.) Apply depending on the dryness of the leather till the conditioner stops getting absorbed and a thin layer appears on the surface.

3.) Allow the boots to soak overnight or for a minimum of 12 hours.

4.) Wipe off the excess conditioner using a dry rag.  

5.) Don’t forget to polish the boots after conditioning. It will give an ultimate layer of protection to your cowboy boots.

Method 4: Cover Your Boots with Rainbow Shoe Cover 

This particular method will not make your boots waterproof but it is of immediate use, just in case you get caught in sudden rain. It is more like a raincoat to keep your boots away from water, dirt and grime.

Most of these covers come with reflectors. Interestingly, these are quite compact and are reusable. When not in use, you can just simply fold them and put them in your bag.

Method 5: Using Wax 

Along with above protectants, many types of wax can also waterproof your cowboy boots. You just have to follow these steps:

      • Clean your cowboy boots
      • Apply the wax after polishing in circular motion.
      • Make sure you cover all the areas equally

Does snow ruin Cowboy boots?

You can wear your water-resistant cowboy boots for a brief walk in the snow but not for extended periods because these boots are not meant for that.

Leather cowboy boots aren’t suitable for a wet environment and that gives us the straight answer that most cowboy boots are not good to wear in snow.

If you wear your precious boots in snow then excessive moisture can cause the surface of your untreated boots to dry and finally crack.

The longer you expose your boots in snow, the shorter they will take to get ruined. If you have no other option than you can use methods like application of wax, conditioner or mink oil to protect the footwear from snow.

Final Thoughts

Your cowboy boots are not waterproof but that shouldn’t stop you from purchasing them. With the above mentioned products available in the market, you can definitely protect both your boots and your feet.

Just apply one of the methods told above and walk in attitude with your classic cowboy boots.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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