How to Waterproof Suede Work Boots? (4 Simple Steps)

Ever wondered how to keep your suede work boots looking sharp and ready to take on the elements? Well, you’re in the right place! Suede boots are not only stylish but also durable, making them a popular choice for work environments. However, when it comes to water, suede can be finicky. Don’t worry, though – waterproofing your suede work boots is easier than you might think. In this guide, we’ll walk you through simple steps about how to waterproof suede work boots.

When working in environments that expose your boots to wet conditions, waterproofing work boots becomes crucial especially if you have suede work boots. Moisture can lead to discoloration, staining, and even damage to the integrity of the boots. Keeping suede work boots in excellent condition and extending their lifespan is possible by following the steps outlined in this guide.

So let’s take a look, but first it’s important to take a quick overview about suede work boots.

Understanding Suede Work Boots

Suede is a type of leather with a soft and napped finish. It is known for its luxurious appearance and velvety texture. Due to their comfort, flexibility, and style, suede work boots are commonly used in various industries, including construction, landscaping, and manufacturing.

Importance of Waterproofing

Waterproofing suede work boots is essential for several reasons:

  1. It prevents water from penetrating the material, protecting it from damage and discoloration.
  2. Waterproof boots are more resistant to stains and marks caused by spills or splashes.
  3. Waterproofing can help extend the lifespan of your boots, ensuring they remain functional and look their best for longer.

Now it’s time to take a look at waterproofing process:

How To Waterproof Suede Work Boots?

A Quick Overview:

How to waterproof suede work boots? To waterproof your suede work boots, start by cleaning them with a suede brush. Once clean, use a waterproof spray designed for suede, applying it evenly to the entire surface. The boots should be allowed to dry thoroughly before being worn. For added protection, consider repeating the waterproofing process periodically, especially if you frequently expose your boots to moisture. This simple routine helps maintain the stylish look and water resistance of your suede work boots.

Here is a complete step-by-step process:

Preparing the Boots for Waterproofing

Before applying any waterproofing products, it is important to prepare the boots properly. Follow these steps to ensure optimal results:

Cleaning the Boots

If there is any loose dirt or debris on the boots, gently brush them with a suede brush. Waterproofing products adhere better to surfaces if they are applied in this manner.

Removing Stains and Marks

If there are any stains or marks on the boots, use a suede eraser or suede cleaning solution to treat the affected areas. Follow the instructions provided with the cleaning product for the best results.

Drying the Boots

Ensure that the boots are completely dry before applying any waterproofing product. Please leave them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat sources, until thoroughly dry.

Choosing the Right Waterproofing Method

There are several methods available for waterproofing suede work boots. In terms of which method is best suited to your boots and your personal preferences, it depends on both. Here are 4 waterproofing methods:

  1. Use Suede Protector Spray
  2. Use Silicone
  3. Use Suede Wax
  4. Professional Waterproofing Services:

Applying Suede Protector Spray

Suede protector spray is a popular choice due to their ease of use. Follow these steps to apply spray-on waterproofing to your suede work boots:

Clean the Boots:

Before applying the protector, make sure your suede work boots are clean and dry. Use a suede brush or cloth to gently remove any dirt or debris. This ensures that the protector can be applied to a clean surface.

Test in a Small Area:

To be on the safe side, it is best to test the Suede Protector in a small, inconspicuous area of the boot. This allows you to check for any possible color changes or unfavorable responses. Once you’re happy with the test, you can move with the entire boot.

Shake the Suede Protector:

In the next step, give the Suede Protector a good shake before use. This helps ensure that the formula is well-mixed and ready to provide even coverage.

Hold the Can at a Distance:

The distance between the suede protector can and your suede work boots should be 6 inches. This distance allows for an even application without oversaturating the suede.

Spray Evenly:

In a well-ventilated area, spray the Suede Protector evenly over the entire surface of each boot. Particular attention should be paid to seams and exposed areas.

Allow to Dry:

After applying the suede protector spray, let the boots air dry thoroughly. You should avoid direct sunlight and heat sources because they can damage suede. Before wearing your boots, ensure that they are completely dry. Typically, the drying time can range from 2 to 24 hours.

Apply Multiple Coats (Optional):

The Suede Protector can be applied multiple times if you wish to increase the level of protection. Before adding the next coat, allow the previous one to dry. This step is particularly useful if you expect heavy exposure to water.

Reapply as Needed:

Depending on usage and weather conditions, reapply the Suede Protector periodically to maintain optimal water resistance. This ensures that your suede work boots stay protected in various environments.

Use Suede Wax

Clean And Test:

Start by cleaning your suede work boots to remove dirt and debris using a suede brush or cloth. Ensure the boots are completely dry before applying suede wax. It is recommended to conduct a test in a small, inconspicuous area to check for any potential color changes or adverse reactions before proceeding with the full application. Once satisfied with the test, go ahead with the complete application.

Apply Suede Wax:

To apply the suede wax, always use a clean cloth or applicator, and apply the suede wax evenly across the entire surface of each boot. Work the wax into the suede in circular motions, paying attention to seams and creases.

Let it Set:

The product instructions recommend allowing the suede wax to set for a certain amount of time. Brands vary in terms of how long they take, but it usually takes between a few minutes and an hour.

Buff the Boots:

After the wax has set, use a clean, dry brush or cloth to buff the boots. This not only enhances the suede’s appearance but also helps distribute the wax evenly, providing a protective layer.

Reapply as Needed:

Depending on usage and exposure to moisture, you may need to reapply suede wax periodically. Keep an eye on your boots, and when you notice diminished water resistance, it’s time for a touch-up.

Avoid Heat Sources:

While drying, keep the boots away from direct sunlight or artificial heat sources, as excessive heat can affect the suede. Allow them to air dry naturally.

Applying Silicone-based Waterproofers

Silicone-based waterproofers offer reliable protection while maintaining the natural look of suede. Follow these steps to apply silicone-based waterproofing:

Step 1: Cleaning the Boots

Before applying the silicone-based waterproofing product, ensure the boots are clean and free from dirt or stains. Use a suede brush to remove any debris from the surface.

Step 2: Applying the Silicone-based Waterproofing Product

Apply the silicone-based waterproofing product to the boots using a clean cloth or sponge. Spread it evenly across the entire surface, paying attention to seams and other areas more susceptible to water penetration.

Step 3: Drying and Curing

Allow the boots to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this may cause damage to the suede. Follow the instructions provided with the product for the recommended drying time.

Get Professional Waterproofing Services:

Several do-it-yourself techniques exist to waterproof suede work boots, but professional waterproofing provides a higher level of expertise and assurance. Here’s what you might expect from professional waterproofing services for suede work boots:


Professional services typically begin with an assessment of your suede work boots. They’ll examine the current condition of the boots, including any existing water damage, and assess the type of suede material.

Selection of Waterproofing Method:

Based on the assessment, professionals will choose the most suitable waterproofing method for your specific type of suede. This could involve using specialized waterproofing sprays, waxes, or treatments designed for suede materials.

Cleaning and Preparation:

The boots will be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt, stains, or residues. This step is important to assure that the waterproofing agent sticks adequately to the suede surface.

Application of Waterproofing Agent:

Professionals will apply the selected waterproofing agent evenly across the entire surface of the boots, paying attention to seams and creases. They have the experience to ensure optimal coverage without over-saturation.

Drying Process:

After applying the waterproofing agent, the boots will be allowed to dry in controlled conditions. Professionals may use specific equipment to expedite the drying cycle while preserving the goodness of the suede material.

Quality Assurance:

Professional services often come with a quality assurance guarantee. This means that if the waterproofing treatment does not meet the expected standards, they may offer a reapplication or additional services to rectify the issue.

Education and Tips:

Professionals may provide advice on how to care for your suede work boots to maximize the longevity of the waterproofing treatment. This can include guidance on cleaning, storage, and when to consider reapplying the waterproofing agent.

Additional Services:

Some professional services may offer additional treatments, such as stain removal or color restoration, as part of a comprehensive suede care package.

When considering professional waterproofing services, look for experienced cobblers or footwear specialists who have a proven track record in treating suede materials. While professional services may come at a cost, the expertise and quality assurance they provide can be valuable, especially for high-quality or specialty suede work boots.

Caring for Waterproofed Suede Work Boots

To maintain the effectiveness of the waterproofing treatment and ensure the longevity of your suede work boots, follow these care tips:

  • Regular Cleaning: Brush your boots regularly with a suede brush to remove dirt and maintain the nap of the suede.
  • Brushing the Nap: Use a suede brush to brush the suede in one direction to restore its original texture and appearance.
  • Stain Removal: Treat any stains or marks on your boots immediately using a suede eraser or cleaning solution. Follow the instructions provided with the cleaning product.
  • Reapplication of Waterproofing: Over time, the waterproofing may wear off. Monitor the water repellency of your boots and reapply the waterproofing treatment as needed.

Other Tips for Maintaining Suede Work Boots

In addition to waterproofing, there are a few other tips to keep your suede work boots in optimal condition:

  • Avoid excessive exposure to water: While waterproofing provides protection, it’s still important to minimize prolonged exposure to water to maintain the integrity of the suede.
  • Store boots properly: Store your suede work boots in a cool and dry place when not in use. Use shoe trees or stuff them with newspaper to help them retain their shape.
  • Rotate your boots: Alternating between multiple pairs allows each pair to dry thoroughly between uses, reducing the risk of moisture buildup.
  • Seek professional cleaning: If your suede work boots require deep cleaning or stain removal, it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional suede cleaner to avoid potential damage.


So, here are the final words about how to waterproof suede work boots. Waterproofing suede work boots is essential in maintaining their longevity and protecting them from water damage, stains, and discoloration. By following the proper preparation methods and selecting the appropriate waterproofing product, you can ensure that your suede work boots remain in excellent condition, providing comfort and style for your work needs. Regular cleaning and maintenance will enhance their durability and keep them looking their best.


Q1: Can I use regular shoe polish on suede work boots?

No, regular shoe polish is not suitable for suede work boots. Instead, opt for suede-specific cleaning and protection products to maintain the appearance and texture of suede.

Q2: How often should I waterproof my suede work boots?

The frequency of waterproofing depends on the usage and exposure of your boots. As a general guideline, it is recommended to waterproof suede work boots every few months or as needed.

Q3: Can I wash my suede work boots to remove stains?

Washing suede work boots can damage the material. It is best to use specialized suede cleaning solutions or seek professional cleaning services for stubborn stains.

Q4: Can a hairdryer speed up the drying process after waterproofing?

While a hairdryer can dry the boots after cleaning, it is best to allow them to air dry naturally after applying waterproofing products. Excessive heat can damage the suede.

Q5: What should I do if my suede work boots get soaked in water?

If your suede work boots become soaked, remove any excess water with a dry cloth and let them air dry naturally. Avoid using direct heat sources, as they can cause the suede to become stiff or damaged.