Many of us are still so into leather-soled cowboy boots, though we all know they are super sleek and slippery.
Appearing on the market around the 18th century to the present, leather soles have been associated with cowboy boots throughout history. That’s why they can’t be replaced by any other more sophisticated industrial material, like rubber.
The special thing is that leather soles sound very fun and interesting when you walk on a smooth surface. They are also extremely soft and breathable, especially in hot conditions.
However, wearing leather-soled cowboy boots in the rainy season is a nightmare. Although I’m really a die-hard fan of the design, I still have to admit that wearing leather-soled cowboy boots in the rainy season without falling is like winning the lottery; the probability of winning is extremely low.
No worries, we’re here to help. There are also ways to overcome this disadvantage.
Let’s figure it out in this article.
- Can You Wear Leather Soled Cowboy Boots In The Rain?
- Final thoughts
Can You Wear Leather Soled Cowboy Boots In The Rain?
Yes, you can. However, let’s consider their benefits and drawbacks first.
The first and almost the only benefit of wearing leather-soled cowboy boots in the rain is that leather soles are soft, breathable, and comfortable. You can move quicker in the boots.
However, there are a ton of drawbacks that personally I don’t suggest wearing leather-soled cowboy boots in the rain:
1. Sleek and slippery
Obviously, leather soles are super slippery due to their sleek shape. The reason why leather soles are usually smooth is that they are not sturdy enough to be able to shape some grooves or deep lugs (even the smallest ones) like with rubber and synthetic materials.
The leather itself is a porous and breathable material. Even when they are compacted in several layers to form leather soles, this porous characteristic remains unchanged.
Therefore, if you use sandpaper or a carving/grinding knife on leather soles, you will see the surface appear uneven with microscopic tears due to friction.
This will reduce the life of leather soles significantly. As a result, manufacturers will keep the smooth surface of leather soles instead of providing them with extra traction by forming lugs or grooves.
This frictionless construction makes leather-soled cowboy boots extremely slippery when walking on these soles in the rain. If you’ve been using these boots for so long that they’ve worn out, you’ll almost certainly be at risk of falling from their inferior leather soles.
2. Wear down faster
When it comes to durability, leather soles are definitely not comparable to rubber and synthetic materials.
Most cowboy boot wearers will need to resole their leather-soled cowboy boots every 2-3 years, while it takes 4-5 years for rubber soles.
If you wear leather soles in a humid environment or during the continuous rainy season, you will notice a noticeable reduction in the height of the heels and soles.
This is due to the fact that when leather soles come into contact with water, they will have the ability to absorb moisture deep inside, contributing to compressing the structure of the material. Even after drying, leather soles cannot return to their original perfect shape.
Besides, if the leather soles get soaked in water a few times and after that, put them back on and walk on them, you’ll notice the soles make some squeaking noises when they come in contact with the floor. I guess it sounds really awkward somehow.
3. Waste money
Leather soles are much more expensive than rubber and synthetic soles. Quality leather soles are usually made by hand by experienced cowboy bootmakers.
Therefore, if you wear leather-soled cowboy boots in the rain and cause them to wreak havoc, you are really burning your money. After only a few times like this, you will need to reboot again without having to wait 2-3 years later.
4. Need maintenance after being exposed to rainwater
It’s fine to wear leather-soled cowboy boots in very light rain if they don’t have to be soaked in water. You just need to use a hair dryer or a boot dryer to dry the leather soles. Then you can feel free to continue using them the next day.
But if you get your leather soles wet when you walk in the rain, it will take a few days to a week to get your cowboy boots back on. In some worse cases, you will need to see a cobbler to repair your leather soles.
What do you need to prepare for walking leather soles in the rain?
Although leather soles are not a reliable choice when it comes to walking these soles in the rain or wearing them through the rainy season, we still have temporary solutions for your case.
Keep in mind that these are only temporary solutions to help you get through the rainy season safely and healthily.
1. Anti-slip sole stickers
The first method is to use anti-slip sole stickers. These are thin rubber patches, shaped to provide good traction when exposed to rain water.
They are usually large egg shapes in different sizes, and you can trim them down to shape these stickers to make them fit your leather-soled cowboy boots. Using them is also extremely simple and easy.
You just need to remove the protective outer layer of the sticker and you will see a strong adhesive surface. Then apply this adhesive side to your dirt-free leather soles. The material of these stickers is also very flexible and elastic.
Therefore, they will not cause any pain to the areas of the foot that are padded with this patch below. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that even though they are water resistant, the glued structure can still come apart when soaking in water for a long time.
2. Traction spray/Shoe grip ice spray
This is the simplest, fastest, and cleanest solution you can use to handle slippery leather soles. All you need to do is shake the traction spray bottle gently and spray it over the entire surface of the leather soles.
They are researched and manufactured with the aim of effectively increasing the traction and grip of the soles on the ground.
However, wearing leather-soled cowboy boots in frequent rain can wash away these sprays quickly. You will need to re-coat continuously afterward.
3. Go for a cobbler
There are 2 purposes when it comes to meeting professional cobblers to handle slippery leather soles.
First, you may need them to restructure your leather soles by adding a thin layer of rubber to the bottom of the soles. This also has the same effect as when you glue anti-slip stickers to leather soles.
However, you won’t waste time re-sticking new stickers after they have worn off. These new rubber layers will stay fixed at the bottom of the leather soles forever.
The second purpose of going to the cobblers is that you can ask them to replace leather soles with rubber soles or man-made soles that have a better grip on wet, slippery surfaces.
This can be considered the best solution to improve 100% of the soles’ slip resistance, but you will have to stay away from leather soles forever.
Technically, it’s not okay to wear leather soled cowboy boots in the rain. They bring up to you rather more drawbacks than benefits afterward.
However, if this is your only choice, we’ve got some solutions for you. Hope you really enjoy this article.
Howdy y’all, and welcome to From The Guest Room, your ultimate guide to all things Western! I’m Jay Gatz, a lifelong cowboy boot enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in the Western style world. I’m excited to share my knowledge with you and help you discover the perfect cowboy boots and western gear to elevate your style. Let’s explore the rich history and timeless appeal of Western fashion together!