Preparing Your Non-Waterproof Shoes for Winter

Preparing Your Non-Waterproof Shoes for Winter

Posted by Kristin on Nov 1st 2019

While we carry many excellent waterproof options at ShoeFly, there are those times when you find the perfect shoe that is not waterproof.  Don’t let that deter you from buying the shoe you desire.  With these simple tips you can protect your shoes against winter wear and tear.

Let’s start off by clarifying that there is a difference between suede and leather, which means you need to take different approaches to preparing them for winter.  Leather is animal hide that has undergone a process to make it smooth and durable and is treated with a chemical.  Suede is a type of leather that does not undergo the same level of treatment and is obtained from the underside of the animal hide.

Follow these simple steps to waterproof your non waterproof shoes:

  1. For both leather and suede make sure the shoe is clean and dry before you start any type of treatment.
  2. To clean a suede shoe, use a soft bristle brush (even a toothbrush will do).  Brush in an upward motion which will lift the suede fibers up.  For a leather shoe, use a clear shoe polish/conditioner.  We recommend Frye’s leather conditioning cream.  Apply to the boot and after letting it dry, use a clean towel to buff the shoe.  Your shoes are now available for waterproofing!
  3. Use a spray such as Ralyn Aquatec water repellent spray to waterproof your shoes -- you can find this at our Pearl Street location.  We recommend this brand because it’s good for both suede AND leather shoes.  It’s important to note that some sprays are good for only leather or only suede, so buying one that is good for both allows you to treat all shoes in your closet with the same spray.  Spray the shoe and allow it to dry for up to 24 hours.
  4. Repeat, repeat, repeat.  As you will hear us say in the store, these waterproof sprays are like deodorant, they wear off.  For the best results we recommend you spray your shoes up to every week when the winter is bad.

Shoes are an investment so make sure to follow these tips to protect your investment throughout the winter.  If you purchase a pair of non-waterproof shoes at ShoeFly, ask us to waterproof them for you before you leave the store.  We are happy to provide our customers with this service.  And remember... service like this can’t be bought online… however if you do shop us online feel free to add a comment to your order, and we will waterproof your non-waterproof shoes before we ship them to you!!