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Top tips for waterproofing shoes
Four steps to weatherproof shoes: find out here how to protect your shoes against wetness and dirt.
Let’s take a leather shoe as an example. Leather has pores that allow moisture in. Impregnation forms a protective layer on the leather. This prevents wetness from getting in or dirt from accumulating in the pores. Effective impregnation also allows leather and membranes to retain their breathability. This means that water vapour from perspiration can escape without any water getting in, so your feet stay nice and dry. It also works very well on shoes made with GORE-TEX®, synthetics, and membrane fabrics.
New shoes are often not pre-impregnated. Shoes look like new for longer if you waterproof them before you wear them for the first time. Double impregnation is particularly recommended for light-coloured, delicate leather shoes. After the first impregnation, allow the shoe to dry thoroughly and then waterproof it again immediately. An impregnation spray makes this especially easy.
Even the best impregnation wears off over time (and after a lot of rain). So that you can keep enjoying your high-quality leather, sports, and outdoor shoes, you should refresh the impregnation regularly—the precise interval depends on the frequency of use and material. If the shoes are used frequently or exposed to a lot of water, you’ll need to refresh the impregnation more often than with pumps you only wear in nice weather. The pores in suede and buckskin leather are more open than those in smooth leather and are therefore more susceptible to wetness and dirt. Shoes made from these materials must be waterproofed with extra care.
It’s easy to protect your shoes from wetness and dirt.
1. Dry your wet shoes
If your shoes are damp or wet, dry them first. Don’t put them directly on a radiator or heater as leather and fibres can be damaged by excessive heat. Very wet shoes can be stuffed with newspaper, which helps to draw water out of the shoe. Replace the newspaper from time to time.
2. Clean your shoes
Remove dust and dirt with a brush or a slightly damp cloth (then leave to dry again if necessary).
3. Care for your shoes
Shoe polish can be applied before impregnation. Leave to work for a few minutes.
4. Waterproof your shoes
Now it’s time to apply the impregnation product. Spray each shoe evenly from a distance of around 30 centimetres. Do not saturate the material. Then leave the shoe to dry before respraying heavily worn areas. Once the final application has dried, smooth leather can be buffed and suede can be brushed if desired.
Impregnation spray should be used outdoors and must not be inhaled. It is not suitable for synthetic or patent leather as it may destroy the colour layer. Do not spray on wood, rubber, or plastic.
Properly waterproofed, your shoes should stay dry even on wet days. Your high-quality shoes will also look good for longer. You won’t get damp feet if you’re running for a train, and you’ll be able to enjoy walking your dog even in bad weather.