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Is it Okay to Wear Cowboy Boots in the Rain?

Is it Okay to Wear Cowboy Boots in the Rain?

Wearing cowboy boots on rainy days is really not a bad idea. Because if you only face light rains, cowboy boots will ensure your feet stay dry and warm.

However, I’m pretty sure that most cowboy boots are just water-resistant, not 100% waterproof. So when faced with heavy rains, they can still get completely wet and leave your feet soggy.

Therefore, although it is possible to wear cowboy boots in the rain, you should know a few caveats. For example, you need to protect your boots from the rain and take care of them as soon as you get home.

This is also the main content of today’s post! Let’s check it out!

Key takeaways

  • You can use cowboy boots for the rain, but you need to know the methods of waterproofing, drying as well as moisturizing your boots to retain their best properties for a longer time.
  • Cowboy boots for rain should have non-slip soles to bring better balance while walking. Rubber soles would be a better choice than leather ones. Rubber soles are also more durable, insulated, and waterproof.
  • If you often work in the rain, you should consider using cowboy work boots. The good news is that today’s boot makers have developed specialized lines of waterproof cowboy boots for your choice.

Is it Okay to Wear Cowboy Boots in the Rain?

In addition to style, many people love cowboy boots for their durability and excellent resistance. Cowboy boots stand the test of time. If properly preserved, they can last more than 10 years.

Besides, the primary material that forms the cowboy boots is leather (mainly cowhide). This is a very durable material that can provide comfort for the wearer.

Leather has good resistance. Actually, rainwater doesn’t destroy the leather cowboy boots immediately. But it gradually destroys your boots if you don’t have proper care for them.

cowboy boots have dry leather

You should know that water can seep into leather and degrade cowboy boots in the long run. This discolors cowboy boots, causes mold and watermarks, and shortens their lifespan.

Regular cowboy boots can keep your feet dry and warm, but they are only suitable for use in light rain. In heavy rains, your feet can still get wet.

Traditional cowboy boots are made from 100% full-grain leather and can resist water quite well, but there is still a gap between the upper and sole for water to get in. Besides, rainwater can also enter the boots through stitching on the vamp and shaft.

Another thing I like about cowboy boots is that they don’t have laces, which means you don’t have to spend a ton of time cleaning mud off your eyelets, tongues, or laces like in other laced boots.

However, traditional cowboy boots with leather soles are also quite slippery when used in the rainy season.

So the answer is: It’s okay to wear cowboy boots in the rain, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

cowboy boots and cowboy hat on the road

Most cowboy boots are water-resistant, but not waterproof!

In order to use cowboy boots during the rainy season, you need to have a way to protect them before going out. After they get wet, you should dry them properly and as quickly as possible.

Using conditioner, mink oil or beeswax to make cowboy boots waterproof is a good choice to protect them during the rainy season. If you regularly work outdoors and face heavy rains, consider using waterproof cowboy boots instead of normal cowboy boots.

mink oil texture

Also, it is better to use cowboy boots with rubber soles for the rainy season than to use leather soles. Because rubber soles are non-slip and give you better balance. Leather soles with high slippage are really not a good choice for the rainy season.

Rubber soles are also waterproof and don’t easily get damaged by rain like leather soles.

Western work boots can be a suitable type of boots for you.

Men and women wearing cowboy work boots

Western work boots (or cowboy work boots) are usually waterproof and slip-resistant. They are very durable and comfortable. So, I believe they are suitable for rainy and keep your feet totally warm and dry!

Here are some other things you need to keep in mind when you want to wear cowboy boots in the rainy season!

How does rain affect smooth leather cowboy boots?

If you are observant, you will notice that most smooth leather cowboy boots are made from high-quality full-grain leather.

This type of leather retains most of its natural properties after the tanning process, so they have natural moisture (thanks to natural oils and waxes). They are very durable, soft, comfortable, and mold to the feet well.

Even so, rainwater can completely wash away those natural oils and waxes over time. From there, cowboy boots gradually become dry and prone to cracking.

dry rot cowboy boots appear with cracks and fade color

Therefore, you can prevent that by using a waterproof spray to create a protective film to help boots fight against rainwater.

Or, if your boots are already wet, dry them as soon as possible. Then apply a leather conditioner to restore moisture and nourish the leather to help the boots retain their outstanding characteristics.h

We have a more detailed explanation below!

How does rain affect suede cowboy boots?

Unlike full-grain leather, suede, nubuck or rough-out leather has been modified and treated quite a bit during the tanning process. While most of them are very durable, it is a wise choice to leave them at home during the rainy season.

The thing that gets the most feedback is that boots made from suede, nubuck or rough-out leather are extremely prone to water marks when exposed to rainwater. That gives a very bad look.

a woman cuffs her jeans to wear with suede boots

Not to mention, the hairy surface of the above leathers is also very susceptible to dirt and water accumulation. And they will soon be destroyed.

If you still want to use suede, nubuck or rough-out cowboy boots in the rain, I recommend wearing them in light rain and protecting them with a waterproof spray.

Read more: How to Clean Suede Cowboy Boots?

How does rain affect the leather sole of cowboy boots?

Cowboy boots have one feature that many other boots don’t have: leather soles.

Traditional cowboy boots mostly have leather soles. Many people love these soles because they are durable.

They are quite comfortable and convenient for line dancing (slick and create click-cluck sounds) and riding horses (easily slide into stirrup while riding).

However, leather soles are not as durable as rubber soles, especially when exposed to water for too long.

Therefore, you should keep the leather soles always dry to prolong their lifespan.

Don’t worry, the method to dry the sole is very simple. Just use a dry cloth to wipe the sole and it’s done.

How to protect and take care of cowboy boots in the rainy season

During the rainy season, the most common method to protect leather or suede cowboy boots is using a conditioner to make them waterproof.

Conditioner is a product for caring for cowboy boots. It can make them soft and smooth, keep color longer, and increase cowboy boot life. There are many types of conditioners for waterproofing your cowboy boots.

Leather Care Kit includes Leather Cleaner and Conditioner with Cloth from Tecovas

Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

What you need to do is:

Many conditioners on the market can waterproof cowboy boots such as Mink Oil, Bickmore, Saphir, and Beeswax …

Besides, you can also use a Rain Boot Cover to protect cowboy boots from sudden rain.

a man wears shoe rain cover

How to Take Care of Cowboy Boots

Of course, the most effective way to take care of wet cowboy boots is to clean them and keep them dry.

After you walk out in the rain with your cowboy boots, use a horsehair brush and leather cleaner to clean your cowboy boots. Then apply the following methods to dry out your cowboy boots:

  • Use a boot dryer: This is the right product for die-hard fans of boots. If you have multiple boots in your house, the boot dryer can dry multiple boots at the same time.

Boot dryer

  • Use boot trees: Boot trees are used to help cowboy boots stay in shape and avoid shrinking. Also, boot trees have good moisture absorption to keep your boots completely dry.
Womens boot tree from Tecovas

Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

  • Use a cedar boot shaper: a cedar boot shaper keeps your cowboy boot shape intact (especially leather around the calf), absorbs moisture and keeps them dry. Besides, it has an insect-repellent scent.
  • Use a hair dryer: A hairdryer can dry out cowboy boots. However, don’t use the hair dryer to dry suede or your suede boots can become hard and cracked (remember not to set the dryer temperature too high)

a hair dryer

  • Use newspaper: If your cowboy boots are not completely dry, put newspaper (or toilet paper) inside the cowboy boots to keep their shape and absorb moisture.
  • Use household powder: sprinkle some household powder inside your boots. Household powder can also absorb moisture very well.

Household powder

  • Use sunlight or wind: Wind and sunlight are two natural ways to make wet boots dry quickly. Take advantage of the sun, natural wind or wind from your desk fan to dry them out.

dry leather cowboy boots

Is it bad for cowboy boots to get wet?

Cowboy boots getting wet for a short time may not be a big deal. It will gradually become serious if they are wet by rainwater for a long time.

As mentioned above, water can wash away the natural oils or waxes of smooth full-grain leather, causing the boots to dry out, crack, lose color and lose shape.

Meanwhile, they can cause suede, rough-out or nubuck cowboy boots to have ugly water marks and easily get damaged.

If cowboy boots get wet for a long time, mold, rot or mildew will also appear, which creates bad odors and destroys your cowboy boots over time.

dry rot cowboy boots that are not stored properly

Therefore, make sure you waterproof your cowboy boots with mink oil (or specialized products) before going out in the rain.

After that, if they get wet, let’s dry them as soon as possible. You will probably need to apply a leather conditioner to the boots to help them restore their natural moisture. This helps retain the original and best characteristics of your boots.


You can use cowboy boots during the rainy season if you know how to protect them and take care of them properly.

Regular cowboy boots can keep your feet dry in light rains, but that can’t happen in downpours. You should consider using cowboy work boots with good waterproof ability to protect your feet more comprehensively.

Leather cowboy boots can withstand rainwater somehow, but don’t let dampness destroy your cowboy boots gradually. Make sure they are completely dry.

Be careful when using suede cowboy boots during the rainy season, you should spray a layer of protection on the suede surface before going out. But if it were I, I would leave my suede cowboy boots at home during the wet season.

If you regularly work outdoors and encounter sudden rains, you should use waterproof cowboy boots (western work boots…)

Make sure you protect your cowboy boots from the rains and dry them out as quickly as possible after they get wet.

Alfred Stackpole

Thursday 10th of September 2020

GAWD... REALLY.!?!?!? If We Couldn't Wear Western Boots In The Rain, Cowboys Would Never Have Existed.!!!

Of Course YOU Have To Care For Your Leather Boots Properly But, We As A People, Riders or Soldiers or Farmers, Etc., Have Been Protecting Our Boots For Millennia... Celtic Warriors, Roman Legionaires, Musketeers, British Redcoats & Royal Guardsmen & Naval Officers Around The World.

Leather Boots & The Elements Are Close Bedfellows Indeed. This Question & Answers Clearly Speaks To Those "MODERN FOLKS" Not Accustomed To Actually Caring For Real Leather Shoes & Boots.

Back In The 1960'S & 1970'S We Lived 30 Minutes From The "Florsheim" Shoe Factory" 👞 🏭. We Bought New Shoes About 3 Times A Year.

No Vinyl In Those Days... I Learned To Take Care Of Leather Before I Was School Age. Today There Are So Many "Cheap Quality" Shoes That It's Disgusting.

Even Expensive Designer Shoes Are Made From Inferior Goods.

Even Bootmakers Are Turning Out Useless Boots. NEVER Buy Boots With Manmade Shafts Or That Are All Manmade As The Shaft and/or Manmade Foot Will Peel And You Will Have A Good Boot Foot With An Irreparable Shaft That Costs More To Fix Than To Replace.!!!

The ONLY Manmade Upgrade On Western Boots Are Soles. Manmade Soles On Western Boots Have Become So Good That They Actually SAVE YOU MONEY Because They Last So Long And Are Inexpensive To Replace When Worn. The LAREDO Brand Flex Sole Is A Fine Example Of This.

Cowboys Would Never Have Crossed One Single River If They Had To Always Keep Their Boots Dry. Start With Quality Leather, Treat It Right, Protect It Well & Rain, Puddles, Streams and Rivers Won't Ruin Your Boots.