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Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof? | Useful Tips for You

Cowboy boots are one of the most popular boots used in Western due to their strong, durable, cool look and multi-purpose features.

You can wear cowboy boots for work (farming, ranching, dancing) or casual use (walking, hiking, motorcycling).

Farming, ranching, motorcycling, and hiking are all outdoor activities, not indoors. Therefore, you will face sudden rains very often.

Many people will think about a pair of waterproof cowboy boots.

Coming to the cowboy boot world, “Are cowboy boots waterproof?” is the common question of many people, especially newbies.

Today I will give you the answer, and I believe my advice will be useful to you too!

So, don’t close this post too soon!

Cowboy Boots 1 video

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Most cowboy boots are water-resistant, not waterproof.

Because most cowboy boots are made from leather, so they can resist water to a certain extent. Overall, most cowboy boots are not completely waterproof.

Why do I say “most cowboy boots”? Because some cowboy boots still have the waterproof ability.

Understand the needs of customers, many boot makers launch cowboy boots that are completely waterproof.

Such waterproof cowboy boots can make your feet completely warm and dry when facing sudden rains.

Waterproof cowboy boots are produced mainly to serve outdoor work. They come with features such as short heels, square toes, rubber soles, etc. Such features ensure comfort and better balance for the wearer.

Regarding balance, most traditional cowboy boots have leather soles, they are quite slippery and not suitable in wet environments.

Therefore, waterproof cowboy boots often come up with anti-slip rubber soles.

Western work boots or stockman boots are often waterproof. Because these types of boots are primarily used for working outdoors.

ARIAT Hybrid Rancher Waterproof Western Boot – Men's Leather, Western Boots
Ariat Men's Workhog H2O Work Boot, Aged Bark/Army Green, 8.5 M US
ARIAT Hybrid Rancher Waterproof Western Boot – Men's Leather, Western Boots
Ariat Men's Workhog H2O Work Boot, Aged Bark/Army Green, 8.5 M US
ARIAT Hybrid Rancher Waterproof Western Boot – Men's Leather, Western Boots
ARIAT Hybrid Rancher Waterproof Western Boot – Men's Leather, Western Boots
Ariat Men's Workhog H2O Work Boot, Aged Bark/Army Green, 8.5 M US
Ariat Men's Workhog H2O Work Boot, Aged Bark/Army Green, 8.5 M US

However, if buying cowboy boots online, you should read through the customer reviews to know if those cowboy boots are really waterproof or not.

It’s not hard to realize that many boots are described as waterproof, but it turns out they are not.

Another thing you should notice is that suede cowboy boots are not waterproof at all! Just a few of them are waterproof.

Suede is an ideal material for hot weather because of its breathability.

Many people may wonder: “But I can waterproof suede cowboy boots with waterproof spray.”

Yes, you can. But there are still many risks!

You can waterproof suede cowboy boots with a protector spray. However, in general, suede is not as durable and strong as leather, and not water-resistant.

The waterproof spray will support suede cowboy boots for a short time, not too long. So, you should be careful when thinking about waterproofing them.

The nature of leather is water-resistant, but suede is not. I personally won’t use suede cowboy boots to go to the fields during the rainy season.

On the contrary, I will take my suede cowboy boots for light walking in a little rain with the help of waterproof spray.

suede cowboy boots

One more thing, cowboy boots can lose the waterproof ability after some time!

Yes, and don’t be surprised! Because most cowboy boots are not completely waterproof, so to make them waterproof, bootmakers need to add a protective layer on the surface of the leather.

As time flies, this waterproof layer is gradually faded and lost and until one day… Boom! Your cowboy boots can resist water anymore.

How to restore the waterproofness of your boots?

There are many methods to make your cowboy boots waterproof again!

The most common ways are using a leather conditioner, shoe polish, or waterproof spray.

Leather conditioner, mink oil, beeswax, shoe polish, or waterproof spray can form a waterproof layer to protect your cowboy boots against wet conditions.

Just make sure your cowboy boots are clean, then spray a thin layer on the boot surface! Done!

We have very detailed instructions on how to waterproof your cowboy boots here!

Bickmore Leather Conditioner, Scratch Repair Bick LP 8oz - Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative | Leather Protector, Softener and Restorer Balm for Dry, Cracked, and Scratched Leather | Made in USA
Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula (4oz)
Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather, 3.5-Ounce
Bickmore Leather Conditioner, Scratch Repair Bick LP 8oz - Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative | Leather Protector, Softener and Restorer Balm for Dry, Cracked, and Scratched Leather | Made in USA
Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula (4oz)
Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather, 3.5-Ounce
Bickmore Leather Conditioner, Scratch Repair Bick LP 8oz - Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative | Leather Protector, Softener and Restorer Balm for Dry, Cracked, and Scratched Leather | Made in USA
Bickmore Leather Conditioner, Scratch Repair Bick LP 8oz - Heavy Duty LP Leather Preservative | Leather Protector, Softener and Restorer Balm for Dry, Cracked, and Scratched Leather | Made in USA
Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula (4oz)
Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP Leather Conditioner Natural Oil Beeswax Formula (4oz)
Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather, 3.5-Ounce
Sof Sole Mink Oil for Conditioning and Waterproofing Leather, 3.5-Ounce

How about the leather soles of cowboy boots? Is it suitable for wet weather?

Another thing that people often forget is cowboy boots have leather soles. Do you ever wonder if leather soles are suitable for wet weather?

Note that the leather used to produce the soles of cowboy boots is not the same as leather used for the upper! I call it heavy leather.

The leather for the sole is very durable and stronger than that of the upper. So, they can withstand water better than the upper.

Overall, leather is still leather. You should keep your leather soles cowboy boots stay away from the wet environment for two main reasons:

  • Leather soles are inherently slippery, and they become even more slippery in the rainy season
  • Leather soles are not as durable as rubber soles in the rainy season, they will not last long if exposed to water for too long

If it were me, I would not use leather soled cowboy boots in rainy or snowy weather. Instead, I choose rubber soled ones.

Cowboy boot with rubber sole

Some other advice

Whether your cowboy boots are waterproof or not, equipping yourself with knowledge of protecting them in the wet weather is never superfluous.

Know how to drying cowboy boots

You need to pay attention to this, seriously! Dry your cowboy boots right after going home to prolong their lifespan.

Why? Cowboy boots can be water-resistant (or waterproof) outside, but their inside is a different story!

If your cowboy boots get wet inside, they will lose shape and degrade quickly.

So, I recommend using a boot dryer or boot trees to dry your cowboy boots inside out.

Or you can use some household powder to dry inside your cowboy boots.

And you can read dozens of other practical ways here!

DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer
Stratton Cedar Western Boot/Shoe Tree For Men - Aromatic Red Cedar (X-Large / 11.5-14 D, Basic)
DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer
Stratton Cedar Western Boot/Shoe Tree For Men - Aromatic Red Cedar (X-Large / 11.5-14 D, Basic)
DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer
DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer and Garment Dryer
Stratton Cedar Western Boot/Shoe Tree For Men - Aromatic Red Cedar (X-Large / 11.5-14 D, Basic)
Stratton Cedar Western Boot/Shoe Tree For Men - Aromatic Red Cedar (X-Large / 11.5-14 D, Basic)

Know how to make your cowboy boots clean from muddy

Rain and mud always appear together, and it’s one of the most annoying things in the world!

If your cowboy boots have the waterproof feature, you can easily clean them with water! Just spray directly on the surface of cowboy boots.

If your cowboy boots are not waterproof, it will take you more effort.

You should remove mud only when it gets dry as wet mud will easily spread all over your boots! Your cowboy boots surface and the stitching just become dirtier by wet mud.

After removing dry mud, clean residual mud on cowboy boots with a leather cleaner and horsehair brush.

Here is it, your savior on how to clean muddy cowboy boots!

Know how to winterize your cowboy boots

Most of us like using cowboy boots in the autumn and winter.

Due to their higher shaft than other boots, cowboy boots are perfect for keeping your feet warm in the cold weather.

But, this is not always true in conditions where the temperature drops below 0 degrees.

To keep your feet warmer, you may need the support of thick socks or thermal socks.

Besides, toe warmer or thermal insoles are also necessary for the cold winter.

We have gathered some methods to protect your feet and cowboy boots in the cold winter here. Don’t miss it!

In fact, I really enjoy wearing waterproof cowboy boots in the winter. It’s warmer, easier to clean, and doesn’t make my feet get wet!

Know how to store your cowboy boots

I always told people to store cowboy boots at cool, breathable and dry places. And I stand by that statement in this article.

Don’t throw your cowboy boots at the lobby like what you do every day. Even your cowboy boots are waterproof, dampness and moisture can still attack your cowboy boots inside out.

So, please follow my advice, store them in a dry, cool, breathable place and keep them always straight. And your cowboy boots will be grateful for that!

Conclusion

In short, most cowboy boots are not totally waterproof, they are just water-resistant.

But you can still find some cowboy boots that offer the waterproof feature, such as western work boots (cowboy boots for working) or stockman boots.

In addition, in case you don’t want to buy new boots, you can still make your cowboy boots waterproof with special products like a conditioner, shoe polish, mink oil, beeswax or protector spray.

After a period of time, waterproof cowboy boots will lose their waterproof ability, you can restore this feature with the products I mentioned above.

Cowboy boots with leather soles are not a good idea for the wet weather and environment. Instead, you can opt for cowboy boots with rubber soles for better balance and durability.

What’s more? Let’s prepare yourself with knowledge about caring for your cowboy boots in the wet weather (drying and cleaning methods) and maybe how to winterize your boots.

Good luck!


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