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Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof? Useful Tips for You

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof? Useful Tips for You

Cowboy boots have earned a reputation as one of the most versatile footwear options available today. While they have long been associated with Texas farms, their popularity has expanded to include various settings such as construction sites, motorcycle rides, camping adventures, and even everyday casual wear.

This remarkable versatility enables cowboy boots to endure a wide range of environments and terrains, including rainy and damp conditions. Consequently, people often wonder if there are any waterproof cowboy boots available.

The truth is, while such boots do exist, they are not plentiful, and there are several essential factors to consider before making a purchase.

In this article, we will delve into the topic, providing you with a detailed answer to this common query. So, without further ado, let’s explore the world of waterproof cowboy boots!

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

It’s important to note that the majority of cowboy boots are water-resistant rather than fully waterproof.

Due to their leather construction, most cowboy boots possess a certain degree of water resistance. However, it’s crucial to understand that they are not entirely impervious to water.

If you find yourself wearing cowboy boots in heavy rain or areas prone to flooding, it’s highly likely that your feet will still get wet. This is because water can seep through the leather soles, welts, and stitches of most cowboy boots.

Therefore, I recommend using regular cowboy boots in light rain or damp environments, but not in areas where they may become completely submerged in water.

Now, when I mention “most cowboy boots,” it’s because there are exceptions. Some cowboy boots do offer waterproof capabilities.

In response to customer demands, many boot manufacturers have introduced fully waterproof cowboy boots into the market.

These boots feature reinforced construction and superior sealing properties, leaving no gaps between the upper and sole. Additionally, they often incorporate waterproof materials such as rubber outsoles and full-grain leather uppers.

Waterproof cowboy boots excel in keeping your feet warm and dry, even during unexpected rain showers.

Primarily designed for outdoor work, waterproof cowboy boots typically come with features like short heels, square toes, and rubber soles, ensuring optimal comfort and balance for the wearer.

Speaking of balance, traditional cowboy boots with leather soles tend to be quite slippery in wet environments. Therefore, waterproof cowboy boots often feature anti-slip rubber soles.

Western work boots or stockman boots, in particular, are often designed to be waterproof, as they are primarily intended for outdoor labor.

However, if you are purchasing cowboy boots online, it is advisable to read customer reviews to determine whether the boots you’re interested in are genuinely waterproof.

It’s not uncommon to come across boots marketed as waterproof, only to discover that they fail to live up to the claim.

Another essential point to consider is that most suede cowboy boots are not waterproof. While there are waterproof suede boots available, their water resistance typically diminishes over time.

Suede, due to its nature, easily absorbs water and becomes wet. If you seek boots that offer long-lasting waterproof capabilities while retaining their original appearance, it is best to opt for boots made from smooth full-grain leather instead. However, suede remains an ideal material for hot weather due to its breathability.

You might be wondering, “Can I just use a waterproof spray on my suede cowboy boots?”

Yes, you can, but there are risks involved.

While protective spray can enhance the water resistance of suede cowboy boots temporarily, it’s important to note that suede is not as durable or water-resistant as leather.

The waterproofing effect of the spray is short-lived and not as reliable. Therefore, caution should be exercised when considering waterproofing suede cowboy boots.

Keep in mind that the nature of leather itself is naturally water-resistant, whereas suede is not. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend wearing suede cowboy boots in the rainy season or when traversing wet fields.

However, I would feel more comfortable wearing my suede cowboy boots for light walks in a drizzle, with the assistance of a waterproof spray.

suede cowboy boots

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that cowboy boots can lose their waterproof ability over time.

Given that most cowboy boots aren’t initially designed to be completely waterproof, boot manufacturers apply a protective layer to the leather surface to enhance water resistance.

As time passes, this protective layer gradually fades and wears off until, one day, your cowboy boots are no longer capable of repelling water.

It’s essential to understand these limitations and maintain realistic expectations when it comes to the waterproof capabilities of cowboy boots.

How to Restore the Waterproofness of Your Boots?

If you find that your cowboy boots have lost their waterproofing capabilities, don’t worry! There are several methods you can employ to restore their water resistance.

The most commonly used techniques involve utilizing a leather conditioner, shoe polish, or waterproof spray.

By applying a leather conditioner, mink oil, beeswax, shoe polish, or waterproof spray, you can create a protective layer that effectively shields your cowboy boots from moisture.

Apply mink oil on cowboy boots

Before applying any product, ensure that your boots are clean and free of dirt or debris. Once cleaned, follow the instructions provided with the chosen waterproofing agent.

For instance, if you opt for a waterproof spray, simply spray a thin, even layer onto the surface of your cowboy boots. Allow the boots to dry completely, and you’re done!

To provide you with detailed instructions on how to waterproof your cowboy boots, we have a comprehensive guide available. You can refer to it for step-by-step directions and further information.

By restoring the waterproofness of your cowboy boots, you can confidently venture into wet conditions while keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

How about the Leather Sole of Cowboy Boots? Is it Suitable for Wet Weather?

It’s crucial to remember that cowboy boots typically feature leather soles, which raises the question of their suitability for wet weather.

It’s important to note that the leather used for the soles of cowboy boots differs from the leather used for the upper part. This particular type of leather is commonly referred to as “heavy leather.”

Heavy leather soles are exceptionally durable and stronger than the leather used for the upper portion of the boots. As a result, they can withstand water better than the upper leather.

However, despite their durability, leather soles still have limitations when it comes to wet environments. There are two primary reasons why it’s advisable to keep your leather-soled cowboy boots away from wet conditions:

  1. Slipperiness: Leather soles are inherently slippery, and this slipperiness becomes even more pronounced during the rainy season. When exposed to moisture, the traction provided by leather soles significantly decreases, posing a higher risk of slipping and falling.
  2. Durability: Leather soles are not as resilient as rubber soles when it comes to prolonged exposure to water. They are prone to deteriorating and wearing out faster if consistently exposed to moisture. Therefore, using leather-soled cowboy boots in wet weather can lead to a shorter lifespan for the soles.

If it were up to me, I would opt for rubber-soled cowboy boots rather than those with leather soles when facing rainy or snowy conditions.

Rubber soles offer superior traction and durability, ensuring a safer and more long-lasting experience in wet environments.

By choosing rubber-soled cowboy boots for inclement weather, you can mitigate the risks of slips and falls while also ensuring that your boots endure through the elements.

Some other advice:

In addition to understanding the waterproof capabilities of your cowboy boots, it’s essential to equip yourself with knowledge on how to protect them in wet weather.

Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:

Know How to Dry Cowboy Boots

It’s crucial to dry your cowboy boots promptly after returning home to prolong their lifespan.

Even if your boots are water-resistant or waterproof on the outside, moisture can still accumulate inside, leading to shape distortion and faster degradation.

To dry your boots, consider using a boot dryer or boot trees to ensure thorough drying from the inside out. Alternatively, you can use household powder to absorb moisture.

For more detailed methods, you can explore various practical options available.

Tecovas Men's Boot Trees

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Know how to Make your Cowboy Boots clean from Muddy

Rain often brings along muddy conditions, which can be quite bothersome. If your cowboy boots have a waterproof feature, cleaning them with water is a simple solution.

Just spray water directly on the surface of the boots. However, if your boots are not waterproof, cleaning off mud requires a bit more effort.

Wait until the mud dries, then remove it. Use a leather cleaner and a horsehair brush to clean residual mud from the boots.

You can refer to our guide on how to clean muddy cowboy boots for additional tips and techniques.

Know how to winterize your cowboy boots

Cowboy boots are popular choices for autumn and winter seasons due to their higher shafts that provide warmth.

However, in extremely cold temperatures below freezing, additional measures may be necessary to keep your feet warm. Consider wearing thick or thermal socks for insulation.

Toe warmers or thermal insoles can also provide added warmth. We have compiled some methods to protect your feet and cowboy boots in the cold winter, so be sure to check them out.

Know how to Store your Cowboy Boots

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the condition of your cowboy boots.

Avoid tossing them in damp or moisture-prone areas, as even waterproof boots can be affected by excessive dampness.

Store your boots in a cool, dry, and breathable place, ensuring they are kept upright. This will help prevent moisture buildup and maintain the shape of your boots.


In conclusion, while most cowboy boots are water-resistant rather than fully waterproof, you can still find cowboy boots specifically designed with waterproof features.

If you prefer to make your existing boots waterproof, certain products like conditioners, shoe polish, mink oil, beeswax, or protector sprays can help.

However, keep in mind that the waterproof abilities of boots may diminish over time, requiring reapplication of the mentioned products.

Remember, leather-soled cowboy boots are not ideal for wet weather and environments. Opting for cowboy boots with rubber soles can provide better traction, balance, and durability.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with proper care techniques for your cowboy boots in wet weather, such as drying methods and cleaning procedures.

Additionally, consider winterizing your boots to ensure maximum comfort and protection during cold temperatures.

Armed with these tips, you can confidently enjoy your cowboy boots while keeping them in excellent condition, regardless of the weather. Good luck!