Choose Between Two Options
- $15 for $30 toward repair services
- $25 for $50 toward repair services
Waterproofing: Dry Feet, Happy Shoes
Cobblers can repair your shoes, but they can’t prevent water damage outright. Read on for a rundown of the importance of regular waterproofing.
Waterproofed shoes wear a sort of invisible raincoat that lets them splash through puddles and slosh through snowdrifts without soaking the feet. In more technical terms, the waterproofing process creates a tight, hydrophobic seal around their exterior, which causes water droplets to harmlessly bead and roll off—much like they would off a freshly waxed car or a sponge covered in plastic wrap. Here are a few waterproofing tips that will not just protect your socks but also help extend the life of your shoes.
Match Materials: Which waterproofing solution you should use largely depends on the type of shoes. Oils or wax-based polishes often work well on soft leather, while sprays are better suited to soft material such as suede, silk, or snakeskin. Be sure to read the product label and to do a test run on an inconspicuous area (such as under the laces or the side of the tongue) before attempting a full application. Otherwise, you may end up altering the shoes’ color.
Prepare Your Canvas: Before applying the waterproofing product, remove the shoelaces and clean all dirt and buildup from the shoe with a brush and rag. If the shoes have been conditioned or waterproofed previously, wipe off any remaining residue before moving on to the next step.
Create a Seal: Unlike polish, which only needs to cover the part of the shoe that casts your reflection while your legs are crossed, waterproofing products should form a complete barrier by thoroughly coating the entire shoe—except any jewels or trims that the product might damage. Once the product has dried, the kicks should typically repel water for up to a year, preserving them throughout autumn’s rainstorms and summer’s swimming-pool pranks.