Can You Wear Leather Boots In The Rain? | A Detailed Overview

Written By Sunny

Leather’s one of the most durable, elegant, and classy materials out there. Available in a lot of varieties it’s widely used to construct different types of boots, which are extremely popular.

But, there’s this niggling doubt about their compatibility in the rain. And, if you’re seeking a proper answer, then you’ve come to the right place.

So, let’s get to the point first: Can you wear leather boots in the rain?


The answer’s, Yes! You can wear your leather boots in the rain as long as you follow some proper guidelines. Exposing leather to direct rainwater will undoubtedly damage the material. Thankfully, with some proper precaution, leather boots have the potential to serve you well during the rainy season.

Don’t you worry! It’s not the end of the world. There are proper ways to protect your leather boots during the rainy season. And, what are those?

Patience, my friend! In this article I’ll explain everything there’s to know about leather boots in the rain. With a bit of patience, go through each line carefully to know it all.

Can You Wear Leather Boots in the Rain?

You’re bound to experience rain, even though it’s once a year, and let’s not mention the rainy season. It is something you have to accept, no matter where you live. The rain’s inevitable.

If you’re a boot enthusiast like me, then I’m afraid it may be a hard pill to swallow. But hey! Why am I here? Exactly, to give you a solution.

Let’s focus on the topic, then. It has been found that leather boots getting exposed to small amounts of moisture won’t have any significant issues. However, when the boots got exposed to a significant amount of moisture over a long period, there were some changes in the texture of the leather.

To be more precise, other parts of the boots got more affected than the leather. The embellishments, glues, metal zips, and insoles gave away when thoroughly wet.

I took two pairs of leather boots. I coated one pair with waterproof material and left the other pair bare.

The first thing I noticed was that the fibers started to get off some portion of the un waterproofed boots.

It was not some with the waterproofed pair, however. There was also the case of dis-coloring in some portions of the un waterproofed pair.

Therefore it can be concluded from this experiment that leather boots can be worn during the rain, but some precautions must be taken. I will be shedding more light on this matter as you dive deep into this article.

Check out my new post on how to Distress Leather Boots.

Tips for Wearing Leather Boots in the Rain

Another fact about the rain is that it’s unpredictable. While going out, the weather may seem perfectly fine, but there’s rain all over you when you go out.

I know that feeling! As I, too, have fallen victim. To ensure you don’t suffer from this situation again, there are some techniques you can apply.

Here are the tips:

keep Your Boots Clean


To start things off, you’ve to keep your precious footwear clean. I know this isn’t directly associated with saving your boots from the rain. But a clean pair of boots will not catch mud or other harmful elements easily.

Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to keep your boots clean whether it rains or not. There are other ways to safeguard your boots from the rain, but a clean pair of footwear’s a prerequisite to this entire process.

Read more on how to Blouse Boots.

Waterproof The Boots

Waterproofing is arguably the most popular method of protecting any footwear from rain. But don’t get carried away as it’s not a permanent solution. It is something you have to do regularly.

Waxing Is done to new pairs of footwear to protect them from dust, water damage, and many other things. Unfortunately, the wax starts to wear off with passing time, and the footwear loses its ability to protect itself from the water.

You’ll need to apply a new layer of wax after every two weeks. Even though it depends on how much you use your boots! Two weeks is the maximum amount of time you can delay.

Another thing that you can do is get yourself a pair of waterproof boots in the first place. It may sound expensive, but trust me, it’s not! In the long run, it’s way more convenient than maintaining a pair of regular boots. But this is a decision you’ve to make, and I hope you take it wisely.

Related content you should read: How To Get Creases Out Of Leather Boots.

Use Waterproof Covers

Some of you might have the option of staying home, wrapped in a cozy blanket on a rainy day, but some may not have such a luxury.

If you’re the latter, you’ve to make a habit of keeping waterproof shoe covers during the rainy season. You easily keep it folded in your car’s dashboard or inside your bag. It’s one of those things that’ll have an immediate impact.

Is It Alright for Your Leather Boots to Get Wet?

Leather is sensitive to salt and moisture. You must be wondering, why? Allow me to explain in detail.

Products made of finished leather are highly durable and water-resistant, keep in mind, “water-resistant,” waterproof, and water-resistant are not the same thing.

Leather boots’ water-resistant capacity doesn’t mean they’re 100% waterproof. They can repel a certain amount of water, after which water will seep through the leather, one way or another.

And if the water has salt mixed in it, then it’s time to start praying! Leather getting exposed to a combination of salt and water directly is just wrong. What happens when water seeps through your leather boots?

You must know leather’s absorbent in nature. At first, water enters through the porous leather and the large salt molecules get attached to the surface; when the boots dry, the salt will lose its moisture.

A funny thing about salt is that it’s an active preservative for raw leather and a proper defoaming agent for processed leather. It will ultimately lead to cracks on the boots’ surface. This is something you’ve to always keep in mind.

Another fact you’re to keep in mind is that leather and water are the worst of enemies. They simply do not go well together. Why so? This is because leather is a porous material and water will seep through it upon direct exposure to water.

The brisk incursion of water will hamper leather lining, and When the leather dries, it hampers the leather’s surface. You won’t recognize your footwear due to the damage done by salt and water after a series of such events.

Do check our latest post on how to Get Creases Out Of Leather Boots.

What Should You Do if Your Leather Boots Get wet?

Remember when I said about the rain’s unpredictability? Let’s say you heard the weather forecast and it said it’s going to be a sunny day. When You finally hit the street, Splash! There’s rain all over you.

What can you do in such situations? Well, don’t worry! I’ll tell you exactly what to do in these conditions.

Here’re the things you can do once your boots get wet:

Dry Off The Shoes Quickly

When you reach a safe, dry place, slide out of your bout immediately, and drain all the water. Once done, let your boots dry. Hanging them down will fasten the process. After 10 minutes, shake the shoes to clear out the assembled water at the toe end.

You can use a hairdryer or an air blower but use cold air only. Heat doesn’t go well with leather too! Exposure to direct heat will do more damage than rainwater.

Apply Moisturizer

15 apply moisturizer

Once the footwear has dried, it’s time to apply a moisturizer (explicitly meant for leather boots). The moisturizer will carefully restore the boots’ lost glamour. Do your boats have laces?

If yes, then remove them from your footwear then apply the moisturizer. Removing the laces and putting them back again may be a lengthy process, but it helps spread the moisture at every footwear corner.

Apply a small amount at the surface, then dab it to the remaining parts of the shoe with a soft cloth.

Follow our guide to know Can You Wax New Leather Boots.

What Happens to Leather, When Exposed to Water?

By now, I think you know leather’s water-resistant and not 100% waterproof. There are some techniques you can use to increase the water resistance but the leather will succumb to water at the end of the day after a certain time.

So what exactly happens upon prolonged exposure to water?  The leather will be left with water stains, discoloration of the dyes, and stretching out of the leather fibers.

There will be less damage if the leather is vat dyed and consists of a thick part of the hide. However, thin and smoother leather will suffer more damage.

If you have a pair of boots that consist of thin, smooth leather, certain things are meant to happen! With light exposure to moisture, there will be minor marks on the surface that’ll be easy to eliminate.

If exposed to wet- damp moisture, there will be watermarks and color fading. And last but not least, if the leather’s exposed to heavy moisture, it’ll puff up, wrap, shrink, become limp and start to tear off.

How Can You Protect Leather Shoes from The Rain?

Well, there are several ways of protecting leather shoes from the rain. I’ll mention some of the most popular ways that boot enthusiasts follow.


Here they are: 

Use Water Repellents

There are some leather conditioners available in the market that also do the job of a water repellent. You can easily use one of these conditioners before going out. First of all, they’ll give your boots a much-needed shine, and secondly, they’ll safeguard your boots from the rain.

Use Waterproof Covers

These handy equipment are readily available in the market and are inexpensive as well. You can easily carry them with you. Plus, you’ll be happy to know most of them are re-use and washable. That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

Cover Your Boots With Plastic Bags

Just like waterproof covers, plastic bags are readily available and are cheaper. Just grab a pair and cover your precious footwear to save them from the rain.

How Can You Prevent Your Leather Shoes from Water Damage?

You’ve set out wearing a fine pair of leather shoes, but the inevitable happens and you get drenched along with your precious shoes. What will you do?

Here are the things you can do:

  • If your shoes are drenched, towel dry them as soon as possible. Don’t use any kind of heat; it’ll do more damage than good. Now, clean the shoes with a leather cleaner and let them dry at room temperature. Once done, make a solution of 1/2 water and ½ vinegar. Apply the solution onto the leather surface. It will help to restore the water damage.
  • You can use a wax-based polish or a nano protector spray before setting out during the rainy season. The wax /spray will seal off the leather pores to prevent water from seeping in.
  • Another smart thing that you can do is get yourself a pair that’s 100% waterproof. An ideal combination will be a waterproof upper combined with a durable rubber sole.

Common Questions People Ask

How long should leather boots last?

Frankly speaking, it depends. If you buy low-quality bonded leather or pleather shoes, you can expect them for about six months or so upon regular use. However, if you wear the same pair of shoes on the carpeted floor, you can expect them to last three to five years. Good quality high-end leather shoes will last for an indefinite time upon proper care.

Can you over-condition leather boots?

You can. A certain amount of leather can absorb only a certain amount of conditioner. After that, the leather will start to regurgitate.

Is Vaseline suitable for leather boots?

Yes, vaseline will do a good job. It’ll soften the leather and protect it from cracking. However, it’s effective only on leather and patent shoes, bags or other accessories. It’s ineffective on rawhide leather.

Final Verdict

Using leather boots in the rain may not be a good idea, to begin with; however, if you must, then there are some much-needed precautions you must take. They aren’t any permanent solutions, and you’ll need to apply them regularly if you want to ensure proper protection during the rain.

Hopefully, with the techniques, I mentioned your job of protecting your precious leather boots has become much more manageable.

Let me know if you face any confusion. I’m always there to assist you.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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