Hiking is an outdoor activity that requires good preparation, including the right gear and equipment. One of the most essential pieces of gear for a hiker is a good pair of hiking boots, and waterproofing them can make all the difference when it comes to comfort and protection. In this article, we will explore the best ways to waterproof your hiking boots, so you can enjoy your hike, no matter the weather conditions.
Why is Waterproofing Your Hiking Boots Important?
Waterproofing your hiking boots is important for several reasons. Firstly, it keeps your feet dry and comfortable, which is essential for a good hike or if you are camping in the rain. If your feet get wet, they are more likely to blister, which can make your hike uncomfortable, and even painful. Secondly, waterproofing your hiking boots protects them from damage. When leather or fabric boots get wet, they can become stretched and damaged, which can reduce their lifespan. Finally, waterproofing your hiking boots can improve their performance, as they will be better able to grip wet or slippery surfaces, which can be especially important on difficult hikes.
How to Waterproof Your Hiking Boots
There are several methods for waterproofing your hiking boots, and the best method for you will depend on the type of boots you have, and the level of protection you need. Below, we have outlined three of the most popular methods.
Method 1: Using a Waterproofing Spray
One of the easiest and most convenient ways to waterproof your hiking boots is by using a waterproofing spray. These sprays are designed to penetrate into the material of your boots and create a barrier that repels water. To use a waterproofing spray, simply follow the instructions on the label, and spray the boots evenly, making sure to cover all surfaces, including the seams. Allow the spray to dry completely before using your boots.
For synthetic hiking boots, I recommend a product like Gear Aid Revivex Suede and Fabric Water Repellant.
For Nubuck and suede hiking boots, I use Nikwax Nubuck and Suede Proof.
Method 2: Using a Waterproofing Wax
Another effective method for waterproofing your hiking boots is by using a waterproofing wax. This method involves applying a thin layer of wax to the surface of the boots, which creates a barrier that repels water. To use a waterproofing wax, simply follow the instructions on the label, and apply the wax evenly to the surface of the boots, making sure to cover all seams. Allow the wax to dry completely before using your boots.
For leather hiking boots, I recommend Nikwax Waterproofing Wax Liquid. It is easy to use and absorbs into the leather fast.
Method 3: Using a Waterproofing Membrane
A third option for waterproofing your hiking boots is by using a waterproofing membrane. This method involves adding a waterproof and breathable layer to the inside of your boots, which can provide excellent protection against water and moisture. To use a waterproofing membrane, simply follow the instructions on the label, and insert the membrane into your boots, making sure to position it correctly.
Maintenance and Care of Your Waterproofed Hiking Boots
Once you have waterproofed your hiking boots, it is important to take care of them to ensure they remain waterproof. To do this, you should:
- Store your boots in a dry place when not in use.
- Clean your boots regularly, especially after a rigorous hike, using a mild soap and water. I’m a big fan of the Gear Aid cleaning kit .
- Avoid exposing your boots to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, which can damage the waterproofing.
- Reapply waterproofing sprays or waxes as needed, following the instructions on the label.
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Waterproofing your hiking boots is an essential step in preparing for a good hike, and it can make all the difference when it comes to comfort, protection, and performance. With the methods outlined in this article, you can easily waterproof your hiking boots and enjoy your hike, no matter the weather conditions.