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How to waterproof leather school shoes

Girl in leather shoes

Beyond any doubt, children put their shoes through their paces. And so does the British weather! Long, cold, dark, wet months are followed by April showers and summer storms and the whole time, kids are running, jumping, scuffing and skidding their way through each day. Our shoes are proudly outgrown and never outworn, so how can you protect their footwear from all these forces so that it continues to protect your child throughout its usable life?

First let’s address a key question:

Are leather shoes waterproof?

We often get asked if our shoes are waterproof. Some of our boots have Aqua-Rite technology which provides an enhanced layer of water-resistant uppers with breathable liners. Our leather shoes are weather resistant, but leather is not waterproof. It’s a natural material so over time it will lose its natural oils and moisture and can dry out and crack. This is enhanced by water, salt, dirt and grease picked up through everyday wear. Sun damage can also ruin a pair of leather shoes.

We do everything we can to make the toughest shoes available, and our leather shoes are made to be strong with dyed through leather for scuff-resistant colour, anti-corrosion fastenings, D-rings and stitch strength that are double industry standards and we use super strong nylon bonded threads.

How to make leather shoes waterproof

To waterproof leather shoes you will need a Waterproof Protector Spray. These repel water, mud, and oil and will provide you with the best protection when used weekly. Our leather shoes will keep looking after you, if you can spare a few minutes each week looking after them.

Preparation is important before you use any spray to protect your leather shoes. You must start with a clean shoe surface. Any mud, soil or dust will break down any of the existing water repellency. Here’s how to prepare your shoes for the spray:

1. Remove the laces and lightly brush down loose dirt

2. Combine a little soap and water and gently rub away any scuffs you can see

3. Allow the shoes to dry naturally

4. Polish the shoe before you apply the spray using a soft, clean cloth and circular motions

5. Once the polish is dry, buff with a polishing cloth to a high, optimum shine - lighter strokes tend to make for a quicker result. Try our Shoe Cream Polish which is great at renovating and conditioning leather

Now you are ready to apply our Waterproof Protector Spray in two simple steps. All you do is:

- Hold the can 15cm from the shoe and spray

- Leave to dry before wearing them

Please don’t be tempted to speed up the drying process with a hair dryer or putting leather shoes on a radiator as the direct heat can harm the leather and compromise the waterproof seal.

Also note, sometimes the spray will darken the look of the leather while it is still wet. Good quality sprays do this and the normal colour will resume once the spray is dry.

When is the best time to waterproof leather shoes?

The old adage, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ certainly applies to shoe care. We create robust shoes, ready for wear, but if you can spend a little time preparing them for the rough and tumble of daily life, before your child enjoys stepping out in them, then they will be better prepared for any surprise British downpours.

To get the best protection from our leather shoes, clean and polish regularly to keep the leather supple and protect and conceal scuffs and scratches. And keep our waterproof spray handy so you can give the shoes a weekly top up.

Encourage your child to take off their shoes properly. This will help them keep their shape and last longer. And we recommend involving the children in their shoe care too, to instil these habits early. By looking after your shoes the best you can, you will save money in the long run.

We have recently been working with Kate Hardcastle who is a big advocate for looking after clothes and including her children in their upkeep. She has a weekly ritual every Sunday morning and incentivises her children to get involved with small pieces of stationary that she has picked up in the sales. Read more about Kate’s ideas and tips on our blog.

For the best in leather shoes, check out our popular Isaac style.