Do you find yourself dreading your hunts because of the misery that sopping wet hunting boots bring? Whether it’s through dew-heavy grass, shallow puddles, or torrential downpour, waterproof hunting boots can make or break a successful hunt. Thankfully, there are several simple steps you can take to ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable while on the trail.
In this blog post we’ll discuss how to best waterproof hunting boots for optimal performance in any weather condition. Keep reading and never miss out on another hunt again!
How to Waterproof Hunting Boots (15 Methods)
Using products like beeswax or specialty boot wax can create a water-resistant barrier on the surface of the boots. Apply the wax evenly, paying extra attention to seams and stitching. This method can last up to 6 months and is more cost effective than store-bought waterproofing sprays.
Hot wax treatment:
This method involves melting wax (such as beeswax) and then applying it to the entire surface of the boots while they are warm. The heat helps the wax penetrate the material, providing a more effective waterproof barrier.
Mink oil works similarly to a wax-based waterproofer, but is specifically designed for suede and other delicate materials. It’s important to note, however, that mink oil can darken the color of the boots so it’s not ideal for lighter colors.
Spray-on waterproofing products offer the convenience of quick and easy application. They’re also often odorless, which ensures that you won’t spook game with strong scents as you hunt.
Nikwax is a popular brand that offers various waterproofing agents designed for specific materials. These can be applied to the boots to enhance water repellency. Additionally, Nikwax products are often odorless and won’t leave your feet smelling like chemicals. However, it’s important to note that these sprays should be reapplied every few weeks for best results.
Silicone-based sprays or treatments:
Silicone sprays or solutions can be applied to the boots to create a waterproof layer. This method is best used on leather boots, as silicone can damage other materials. It should also be noted that these products can have a strong odor and may need to be reapplied more frequently than wax or waterproofing sprays.
Nubuck/suede waterproofing spray:
If your hunting boots are made of nubuck or suede leather, use a waterproofing spray specifically designed for these materials. These sprays help maintain the appearance of the material while also adding water repellency.
Some hunting boots come with built-in waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex® or eVent®. These membranes are breathable and effectively block water from entering the boots while allowing moisture to escape.
Gore-Tex® or similar membranes:
Similar to waterproofing membranes, Gore-Tex® (or other brands) offer an additional layer of protection against water. These are specialized fabrics that are applied directly to the boots and are designed to be breathable while keeping water out.
Adding a Gore-Tex liner to your boots is an easy way to increase their waterproofing capabilities without making any permanent changes. These liners are lightweight yet durable and often come with a warranty.
For those who don’t want to mess with applying wax or sprays, waterproof socks are a great alternative. These socks slip over your regular pair of hunting boots and can provide an extra layer of protection against water.
Sealing the boots can help keep moisture out by creating an airtight barrier on the surface of the boots. This can be done with a combination of wax, spray-on sealant, and waterproofing agents.
Check for any gaps or unsealed seams in the boots and use specialized sealants or adhesives to close these gaps and prevent water from seeping through.
Gaiters are a great way to keep the legs and feet dry. They’re lightweight, easy to put on, and can provide extra protection against water and debris.
Rubber boot covers:
These easy-to-slip on covers offer short term protection from the elements. They’re a great option if you’re just looking for some occasional protection while out in the field. Depending on the cover, they can last up to a few days and can even be used after you’ve applied wax or sprays.
Boots with rubber/neoprene uppers:
Some hunting boots have rubber or neoprene uppers, which are naturally waterproof. Ensure that the seams and any potential entry points for water are properly sealed.
Alternate boot drying:
After using your boots in wet conditions, avoid leaving them damp for an extended period. Stuff them with newspaper or use boot dryers to help remove moisture and maintain their shape.
How often should I waterproof my hunting boots?
Depending on the method used, you’ll likely need to re-apply a wax or spray every 1-3 months. If using a product like Gore-Tex®, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for best results.
Is there a way to waterproof boots without using sprays or wax?
Yes! Waterproof socks, rubber boot covers, and gaiters are all easy ways to keep your feet dry while out in the field. Additionally, some hunting boots come with built-in membranes like Gore-Tex® for added protection against water.
Are there any products I should avoid when waterproofing my boots?
Avoid using petroleum-based products on leather boots, as this can cause discoloration and damage the material. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that any sprays or sealants used are specifically designed for your boot type (e.g., leather, suede, etc.).
What is the best waterproofing for hunting boots?
Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference and the type of material your boots are made from. Wax treatments, waterproofing sprays, and membranes like Gore-Tex® are all great options for keeping your hunting boots protected from water.
Do hunting boots need to be waterproof?
Yes! They need to be waterproof in order to keep your feet warm and dry while out in the field. Waterproofing your boots is also important for maintaining their appearance and extending the life of the material.
How can I make my boots waterproof?
There are a variety of methods for waterproofing hunting boots, including wax treatments, sprays, membranes, and sealants. Depending on the type of material your boots are made from, use the appropriate product or technique for best results.
Can you spray water repellent on leather boots?
Yes! There are a variety of waterproofing sprays specifically designed for leather boots. However, note that these products may need to be reapplied every few weeks for best results. Silicone-based sprays should also be avoided on leather materials.
Waterproofing your hunting boots is essential for keeping your feet dry and comfortable on the trail. With so many methods available, there’s no excuse for having soggy hunting boots ever again! Follow these steps and never miss out on a successful hunt due to wet feet.