Does Water Damage Tactical Boots?

In fact, not all tactical boots are 100% water-proof even though most of them are advertised as such. So “Does water damage tactical boots?”. Read out this article above to find out a reliable answer.

The main purpose of getting a pair of tactical boots is to fulfill your demanding requirements related to carrying out tough tasks while working or doing outdoor activities.

If you are facing some situations that force you to deal with water or mud, you definitely should opt to purchase the best waterproof tactical boots.

However, in fact, not all of them are 100% waterproof. Some may only deliver 30% – 60% efficacy. Wondering if water may damage tactical boots and how to waterproof the tactical boots, we’ll let you know.

Does water damage tactical boots?

Tactical boots are often made of high-quality full-grain leather, suede or nylon fabric. Yet, all can still unfortunately get wet, even soaking wet in some conditions, leaving water marks or stains on the outer surface.

Over time, the water (without being dried out) will penetrate deeply into the internal parts of the boot, causing a decrease in the effectiveness of heat-retention, durability and also safety.

When the leather gets soggy, the water molecules will bind to the oils in the skin fibers. Once the water evaporates and dries out, the oils are also drawn out accordingly, making the leather brittle, stiff and less supple.

As a result, it will decrease the level of durability, comfortability and longevity of your expensive tactical boots quickly. Thus, it can be concluded that, if the tactical boots are exposed to water for long periods of time, they can get damaged.

For that reason, we highly recommend purchasing good waterproof tactical boots for better performance and maintenance.

Waterproofing is one of the most important elements that makes this type of boots excellent to challenge different terrains and climate conditions (including snow and rain).

Waterproof tactical boots are essential to keep your feet warm, comfortable and moisture-wicking.

If you unfortunately put money in an inappropriate water-resistant tactical boot, there are still protection solutions to handle the situation as shown below:

For full-grain leather tactical boots

There are usually 4 types of special products that assist to waterproof your leather tactical boots, including: gel, wax, cream and spay. One thing you must do before applying any of these products is cleaning your boots thoroughly at first.

Waterproof leather gel

GEAR AID Revivex Leather Water Repellent Shoes and Boots, 4 fl oz
  • Protect leather shoes and boots from moisture with a gel water repellent that soaks into fabric and...
  • Apply the 4 fl oz protectant to repel dirt, oil and stains all season long; works on all types of...
  • Add water repellency and enhance performance of natural and technical fabrics on hiking boots, UGGS,...

There are several options of waterproof gels for different types of leather. But we suggest you use this gel for full-grain leather only as it is specially made for this material.

You can rub the gel all over the boot’s outer surface (except the laces part) then leave it overnight for better absorption.

Water-proof leather cream and wax

Ray Holes Leather Care Products Vaquero Rawhide Cream, Ideal For Conditioning And Water-Proofing Rawhide and Other Fine and Exotic Leathers, Pint Container
Nikwax Waterproofing Wax - Liquid - Neutral
Ray Holes Leather Care Products Vaquero Rawhide Cream
Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather Liquid
Ray Holes Leather Care Products Vaquero Rawhide Cream, Ideal For Conditioning And Water-Proofing Rawhide and Other Fine and Exotic Leathers, Pint Container
Ray Holes Leather Care Products Vaquero Rawhide Cream
Nikwax Waterproofing Wax - Liquid - Neutral
Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather Liquid

Both cream and wax will form a water-resistant coating to protect the leather from water and dirt. It penetrates deeply into the skin fibers making the leather more supple, moist enough and breathable.

Rubbing the cream or wax all over the surface once or twice or even more, depending on the condition of the boot, then leave it overnight for deep care.

Waterproof leather spray

Bickmore Boot & Shoe Professional Leather Stretcher Spray - Stretch Tight Fitting Boots, Gloves, Bags + More | Suede & Nubuck | for Women and Men
  • PREMIUM LEATHER STRETCHER: Bickmore Boot Stretch is specially formulated to stretch out firm, tight...
  • EASES PINCHING OF TIGHT FOOTWEAR: The spray is designed to soften stiff leather making new boots...
  • SAFE FOR MENS AND WOMENS FOOTWEAR: Safe for use on a variety of western and cowboy boots, dress...

This product doesn’t require a complicated preparation for the boots, you don’t even need to take off the laces. Just spray the product evenly on the surface from front-to-back. The coating may dry out after hours later.

For suede/ rough-leather tactical boots

If you are not sure about what kind of leather materials that have been used to make your tactical boots, let’s just use the nubuck and suede spray to waterproof the boots. The process is pretty easy, convenient and powerful.

Waterproof nubuck and suede spray

GEAR AID Revivex Suede, Nubuck and Fabric Boot Care Kit with Spray, Cleaner, Brush and Eraser
  • Protect footwear from water and stains and keep them looking new with this all-in-one suede and...
  • Use the concentrated suede cleaner to safely remove dirt and grime from suede, nubuck, canvas and...
  • Maximizes breathability of waterproof-breathable shoes to keep your feet feeling cool and dry

To begin with, you need to clean your boots thoroughly. The second step is spraying the product consistently all over the boots for the first time then using the brush to brush the outer surface.

Next, you may want to repeat the process again for a high-performance coating. Lastly, you need to leave your boots overnight to completely dry out.

For nylon textile tactical boots

Just like the leather/suede/nubuck methods above, using water-proof nylon fabric spray products is also the easiest way to form a water-resistant seal on your nylon textile tactical boots.

Water-proof fabrics spray

The first thing to do is cleaning the boots well. Next, you need to spray the product thoroughly on the surface then leave it a few minutes to dry out. Then you repeat the process once again and leave the boots overnight.

Rust-Oleum, Clear 280886 Shield H2O Boot and Shoe Spray, 11 oz
  • Repels and protects from damage caused by water
  • Crystal clear, silicone-free formula will not change appearance or feel of items
  • Easy single step trigger spray application

Are tactical boots waterproof?

Many tactical boots are waterproof, but their effectiveness may vary depending on the quality and performance of the boots. The best waterproof boots will completely protect your feet from water while keeping the feet warm, comfy and breathable.

The upper part should be crafted with a highly waterproof membrane to make sure water has no chance to penetrate deeper inside. As a result, it keeps your feet dry and warm all the time in all-weather conditions.

The outer surface of the boots is highly recommended using the material that combines high-performance full-grain leather and nylon, making it a far better waterproofing.

The outsole also plays a big role in making the boots waterproof. The sole will directly contact the water surface, thus, it should be made from high-performance oily and water-resistant materials such as rubber or hard plastic. This prevents water from seeping back into the sole, making your feet humid.

Tactical boots are generally divided into two types: tactical boots for hot weather and wet / nasty weather.

Tactical boots for wet / nasty weather are often waterproof. Meanwhile, tactical boots used for hot weather like desert tactical boots are not waterproof.

So, whether the tactical boot is waterproof or not depends on the type of tactical boot you use, read carefully the description of the boot’s manufacturer.

Other Questions

Do you need to waterproof Bates tactical boots?

Bates tactical boots are often well-made with an excellent full-grain leather & nylon surface, an advanced textile upper part section and a good-graded rubber sole.

As a result, they provide a good level of waterproofing right from the moment you purchase them.

But you still can waterproof Bates tactical boots if you may find it not effective enough as much as you wish.

Are 5.11 tactical boots waterproof?

In fact, not all 5.11 tactical boots are made from materials that are highly waterproof, so the answer is, it depends.

You may need to research carefully what kind of 5.11 tactical boots that meet exactly your requirements. We suggest you should directly contact the store for a better decision.

Before you leave

If you are searching for a pair of high-performance shoes that give you both function and fashion, the all-purpose tactical boots are the best choice for you.

Tactical boots were designed particularly to withstand all weather conditions and hash terrains, making them one of the most important military gear of law enforcement professionals.

Today, everyone can wear them on a daily basis. Investing in waterproof tactical boots is definitely worth your money.

But if you are finding ways out to waterproof your tactical boots, we hope this article is helpful to you.


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