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Should You Waterproof Your Cowboy Boots? Pros, Cons and Your Best Answer

Should You Waterproof Your Cowboy Boots? Pros, Cons and Your Best Answer

Jingle bell, jingle bell… Winter is coming!!! I just came up with the idea to write this article at the end of this year, Christmas and also the shopping season!

This is the time when many people want to prepare for the next year with a good pair of cowboy boots for casual wear, working, dancing, etc.

This is also when people have the most trouble of the year with hundreds of questions like how to buy a good product. And cowboy boots are definitely on that list!

One of the features that many people look for in cowboy boots is the waterproof ability. Why? Because now is winter, it’s too nasty out there!

Cowboy boots, Guitar and Xmas

Sadly, not all cowboy boots are fully waterproof, they are just water-resistant.

It’s more trouble when you find a great pair of cowboy boots that have a nice, sharp look but they are not waterproof, and vice versa.

Honestly, you don’t need to find a pair of waterproof cowboy boots! You can waterproof your boots at home – very quickly, easily and cheaply!

However, besides the benefits that waterproofing cowboy boots bring, there are also many disadvantages.

So, should you do that?

Should you waterproof your cowboy boots?

You should waterproof your cowboy boots in the rainy and snowy season! It can protect your feet and cowboy boots better!

A good pair of cowboy boots is always made from 100% leather (full grain), so it can resist water pretty well but is not fully waterproof.

If you work in the heavy rain or somewhere that is full of water, your feet and cowboy boots still can be attacked by water through the gap between the upper and the sole or through the stitches of cowboy boots.

If you want to wear them in the rainy, snowy weather or in wet and nasty places, then it’s better if you waterproof your boots with mink oil, beeswax, leather protector or some other conditioners.

A man holding mink oil bottle

Water is a big enemy of leather, and so do cowboy boots! Don’t let it destroy your boots!

Apply a sufficient amount of waterproofing product on the entire surface of cowboy boots (don’t forget the welt). This will make your cowboy boots stronger and can fight against the rain and snow better.


If you wear cowboy boots in the hot weather with harsh sunny weather, you shouldn’t waterproof them. When you waterproof them with a coat of mink oil, beeswax or something else, they will be more airless, which makes you feel hot and uncomfortable.

Regular cowboy boots inherently make you quite uncomfortable in the hot season because of their high shaft and all-leather construction. And that can be worse if you give them an extra waterproof layer.

Do you need to waterproof new cowboy boots?

The above things are not enough!

In the introduction, I mentioned that you can’t find a good pair of cowboy boots for the winter or rain, for example, a pair of cowboy boots that both have a nice look and feature waterproof ability.

In case your new boots are not fully waterproof, you totally can waterproof them with milk oil, leather conditioner or beeswax to create a coat that prevents water from damaging your boots.

Your new cowboy boots may be well water-resistant, but I’m not sure they are 100% waterproof. In heavy rain or snow, your feet still can feel wet and cold.

However, you need to pay attention to one thing:

Waterproofing products can darken your new cowboy boots. And you don’t want your new cowboy boots to change the original color that took you 2 weeks to choose.

a cowboy boot is darkened

Yes, mink oil, beeswax, leather conditioner or some other products for protecting leather can also darken them.

How to deal with it?

Before starting to waterproof your cowboy boots, just apply a small amount and wait for the result. If they darken your cowboy boots, then you can stop it!

From my experience, mink oil or beeswax often darkens your cowboy boots. So you should use conditioner (such as Bickmore) to waterproof your boots rather than using mink oil and beeswax.

The second way is to read the experience of customers who used waterproofing products before you! This is the best way to buy items on e-commerce sites, read these reviews, they will tell you whether these products darken your boots or not.

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

Leather Cleaner and Conditioner | Image copyright Tecovas Boot Company | #CommissionEarned | Click image for more info

Some notes

In fact, even when the bootmaker describes their cowboy boots as waterproof, after a period of use, the waterproof ability of cowboy boots still can be lost.

So, your cowboy boots can be waterproof today but I’m not sure about tomorrow.

Anyway, waterproofing your cowboy boots is always a good way to protect your cowboy boots and make them last longer.

How to Waterproof & Condition Leather Boots


cowboy boots on the truck

Okay, so to wrap it up, here is all the answer!

  • You should waterproof your cowboy boots in the rainy and snowy season, but shouldn’t do it in hot weather.
  • You can waterproof your new cowboy boots in case the manufacturer does not mention the waterproof ability, but be careful, it can darken your boots. Try with a small amount first or read carefully the customer review to get the best waterproofing product.

I think it’s enough! Good luck!