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The Perfect Way to Waterproof Suede Cowboy Boots and Some Notes

The Perfect Way to Waterproof Suede Cowboy Boots and Some Notes

In addition to cowboy boots made from smooth leather, suede cowboy boots are always one of my favorite choices, especially for outdoor jobs.

What I love most about suede cowboy boots is that they are soft, flexible, durable, have a soft look, and especially keep my feet cool in the hot seasons.

Even so, the sudden rain always lurks and finds a way to bring down my suede boots. They wreak havoc with the suede look with watermarks or cause my boots to become damaged and worn out quickly.

It can be said that water is one of the most dangerous enemies of suede cowboy boots. However, with over 15 years of experience wearing cowboy boots, I know how to deal with this! It’s to create a waterproof barrier for your cowboy boots!

And this is also why this article was born, I will show you how to waterproof suede cowboy boots. Hope this guide will help you out.

Let’s check it out!

Key takeaways

  • The best way to waterproof suede cowboy boots made is to use a specialized waterproof spray. Nowadays, you can easily find them on e-commerce websites.
  • The 3 steps you need to remember are clean suede cowboy boots, use a waterproof spray on the surface of the boots and then use a suede brush to spread the waterproof spray. Don’t forget to re-apply waterproof spray after some time!
  • If the rain is too heavy or the weather is too nasty, it is best not to wear suede boots going outside.

A woman wears dress with over the knee suede cowboy boots

How Do You Waterproof Suede Cowboy Boots?

The best and most convenient way to protect suede boots from sudden rains is to prepare them thoroughly.

Today, you will find many products on the market to waterproof smooth leather such as conditioners, oil (mink oil), or beeswax.

However, it is only possible to find a few products with similar functions for leather types such as suede, nubuck, or rough-out leather.

Instead of looking for leather conditioners, waterproof spray products will be more reasonable choices. With liquid content, it can penetrate and create a protective coat on the suede surface, thereby providing better protection against water for suede.

However, to ensure the most effective use, you must clean cowboy boots first. Because dust or old stains can cause the membrane (that protects the boots from water) not to work at its full strength.

This is a step-by-step tutorial!

Step 1: Clean suede cowboy boots

Unlike smooth leather boots, for suede, rough-out leather, or nubuck, you will need specialized tools to clean them.

Usually, I will use 3 main tools: a suede brush, an eraser, and suede cleaner.

Tecovas suede cleaner, brush and eraser

Tecovas Suede Care Kit (Suede Cleaner, Brush and Eraser)

A suede brush is both like a comb but works to pull stains out of the nooks and crannies of suede without affecting the hairy surface smooth and soft.

Meanwhile, the eraser will ensure to clean the stains that cause the nap on the suede surface to change color. And finally, suede cleaner contains mild soap, enough to clean boots.

What you need to do is use a suede brush and eraser to pre-clean suede cowboy boots.

Use these 2 tools to scrub the suede’s surface evenly and thoroughly. Make sure all the mud and soil fall off.

A man is holding suede eraser and suede brush

Next, apply suede cleaner on top of the boot. Then continue to use a suede brush and eraser to rub evenly and thoroughly the surface of the boot.

Repeat this process 2 to 3 times until the boots are clean.

Many people often skip this cleaning step, but it’s not good and the waterproof spray may not work effectively in this case.


In maintaining the pristine look of your suede boots, always be mindful of the nap’s direction while using a brush.

By brushing along the natural lay of the suede fibers, you effectively remove dirt and maintain the material’s integrity.

This method not only cleans but also preserves the unique texture and quality of the suede, keeping your boots in top condition.

Cowboy Boot Suede Leather Cleaning

Step 2: Apply waterproof spray on suede cowboy boots

Now it’s time to use a waterproof spray to spray the entire surface of cowboy boots to create the first coat.

Then, use a suede brush to scrub the surface of the suede evenly. This ensures that the waterproof spray is evenly distributed over the surface of cowboy boots and into the nooks and crannies.

Not only that, many waterproof sprays can darken the surface of cowboy boots. So using a suede brush will limit that, or at least your cowboy boots will be more evenly darkened, not just dark in one place.

Apply a second coat of waterproof spray to the surface, and continue scrubbing with a suede brush.

Usually, I would repeat the third time and stop. This ensures my cowboy boots have the best protection from the water.

At this point, wait for the boots to dry and you can use them to go outside.

Waterproofing suede boots


When protecting your suede boots, it’s essential to use a waterproof spray specifically designed for suede.

Unlike leather conditioner, polish, or mink oil, which are not suitable for suede, a suede-specific waterproof spray will provide the necessary protection without damaging the delicate material.

This ensures your boots stay safe from water damage while maintaining their unique texture and appearance.

Step 3: Determine when to reapply waterproof spray for cowboy boots

This is a very important step and one that many people often question. In fact, the waterproof spray will fade over time.

If you use suede cowboy boots continuously in wet weather or in the rain, it will take about a month to reapply the waterproof spray (with the same steps).

If you don’t use it too often, you also need to reapply the waterproof spray every 3 months.

Also, I have a very thorough post on this here as well!

I complied some signs telling that cowboy boots need to reapply waterproof spray right below:

  • When suede cowboy boots get dirty easily or quickly: Most waterproof sprays will also create a film to protect your cowboy boots from dirt, so your cowboy boots will stay clean or you can clean them easily. But if they lose this ability, chances are you need to take action.
  • Water does not stay on the suede surface: Waterproof spray will usually protect water from penetrating the suede. You can see water droplets stay on the surface and slide away. You can try to pour water on the boot surface and observe the result.
  • Suede cowboy boots have lighter colors: Many waterproof sprays can darken your cowboy boots. So if you see that the dark color fades over time, then you may need to apply another layer of waterproof spray.

Some other notes about waterproof cowboy boots

You should keep suede cowboy boots from being exposed to the rain. Compared to full-grain leather, suede is more susceptible to water damage.

A waterproof spray can protect your cowboy boots from water, but not 100%.

Continuous contact with water will cause suede to wrinkle quickly, stick to watermarks, and lose shape.

Or, worst of all, being constantly wet and dry repeatedly can cause the suede’s hair to become brittle and break easily. And when they break, the surface of suede boots no longer looks soft and fuzzy but resembles smooth leather.

Many pairs of cowboy boots on the floor (2)

If your job requires you to be out in all kinds of weather, then you should buy a pair of cowboy work boots.

Many cowboy work boots have construction reinforced by the bootmakers to be very waterproof and also made from suede. That will be a good solution and save you a lot of time.

Also, if you use leather soles, you should dry them early with a dry towel. The leather sole is made of heavy leather and is very durable, it will still deteriorate faster if constantly wet.

Waterproof spray only protects the upper part, not the outsole.

On the flip side, there are a few other ways to protect your suede cowboy boots from the water, in case you haven’t prepared them yet.

One of the ways I often use it is to have a boot cover ready in my backpack when it rains. It works as a raincoat to protect the boots.

My wife uses this product every time she wears her suede boots. Since those boots are mainly for work, she doesn’t like to wear waterproof spray as it can change the look of her elegant boots.

a man wears shoe rain cover

Before you leave

In general, the way to waterproof suede cowboy boots is quite simple and does not take much effort. Clean them, spray waterproof spray on the surface and use a brush to spread evenly, then repeat a few times.

For vulnerable materials like suede, taking good care of them during the rainy season is essential. In addition to protecting them from contact with water, knowing how to care for and dry them is also essential. You should read more here on how to dry cowboy boots!

A pair of cowboy boots are very durable and can even serve you for more than 15 years. But only if they are properly protected and cared for. So don’t be lazy, they can make great friends.

That’s all you should know!