Riding your motorcycle can be fun, but not when the interior of your boots is cold and wet. When moisture starts to penetrate your boots, the discomfort can be unbearable. Besides, damp boots can create the ideal environment for the formation of blisters.
Thankfully, you can avoid soggy feet by waterproofing your motorcycle riding boots regularly. Waterproofing your footwear also helps extend its lifespan. So, are you giving your boots the TLC they deserve?
In today’s guide, we show you How to waterproof leather motorcycle riding boots so that you have the best experience wearing them.
Let’s delve right in.
How About You Start by Cleaning Your Boots?
Before you begin the waterproofing process, you need to make sure that your boots are clean. Get rid of dust, dirt, and grime, as they can prevent the waterproofing product from being fully effective.
For thorough cleaning, remove the laces and use a brush to get rid of all dirt and grime. You may need to place your boots in an inch of water to loosen dirt that may have caked on your boots’ soles. Use a damp cloth and a suitable cleaning product for the best results.
I recommend saddle soap as it nourishes leather, besides cleaning it. Practically, most people choose Fiebing’s or KIWI as the best saddle soap. Personally, I use Fiebing’s Saddle Soap. I trust it in removing stains and lightening the color of the leather.
|CAS Number||Ingredient Name||Functional Purpose|
|67701-06-8||Tallow Fatty Acid||Conditioner|
|8050-09-7||Tricyclic Monocarboxylic Acid||Rosin|
|1310-73-2||Sodium Hydroxide||pH Modifier|
But that doesn’t mean other brands don’t clean well enough. Saddle soap is basically just a bar of soap with an astringent, some wax, and has a bit more fat in it. So, most products, especially those that list all their ingredients, should serve the purpose.
However, if you’re going to buy any saddle soap product, you should use it as sparingly as you can while still getting the dirt out.
Use a hose to spray any remaining dirt. Once you’re through cleaning your boots, allow some time for them to air dry before you start the waterproofing treatment.
What Is The Process of Waterproof Leather Motorcycle Riding Boots?
Waterproofing motorcycle boots is a five-step process:
- Sealing welts
- Applying the waterproofing product
- Maintaining your boots
Let’s look at each step more closely.
1. Sealing Welts
To seal your boots’ welts, apply a top-quality seam sealer compound around them.
I have tried Shoe Goo before, and Seam Grip is also a great choice. But currently, I use Atsko Welt Seal, a special adhesive produced to solve unique problems in the seams, welts, and stitching of outdoor shoes, including leather motorcycle boots.
Atsko Welt Seal Features:
- Resistant to almost everything, from water and oil to abrasives, corrosives, and fuels
- Outstanding sealing ability
- Protects your footwear against abrasion
- Welt-Seal matches the flexibility of urethanes and silicones, yet it has the high strength usually found only in rigid adhesives
- 2 fl. oz
- Excellent adhesive quality
Once you’ve applied your sealer compound of choice, run a small bead around the welts and stitch. Wipe away any excess using a clean cloth. Allow some time for the sealer to dry.
After sealing the welts, it’s time to add an appropriate leather conditioner. You can use leather oil, such as Lexol, for this purpose. It’s a famous, versatile, and nontoxic conditioner suitable for most leather uses, excluding nubuck and suede.
Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of conditioners for leather motorcycle boots, and I daresay the following brands are my recommendations:
- Best Conditioner Overall: Cobbler’s Choice
- Runner Up: Venetian Shoe Cream
- Best Waterproofing Conditioner: Huberd’s Shoe Grease
- Best Color Preserving Conditioner: Bickmore Bick 4
- Also Consider: Saphir Renovateur
Remember conditioning is meant to hydrate the leather and keep it supple. It also seals the pores on the leather.
Once you’ve applied the conditioning, allow it some time to dry fully. Note that this may take several days, so it’s best to condition your boots during the off-season as you may not use them for a while.
3. Applying Waterproofing Treatment
A waterproofing treatment is meant for coating your boots’ surface, creating a waterproof layer between the leather and the elements. Besides keeping moisture out, waterproofing treatment also protects your boots from mild abrasion.
The treatment also keeps leather both hydrated and supple. Without this treatment, leather can dry out, get brittle, and crack.
Best Motorcycle Leather Boots Waterproofing Product:
Always make sure that you’re using the right waterproofing product for your motorcycle riding boots. Different types of waterproofing treatments are applied differently.
Among the most popular treatments are:
|Silicone or Acrylic Spray||
1. Silicone or Acrylic Spray
You can find a variety of silicone or acrylic sprays that are specifically meant for leather boots. Here are our recommended sprays for waterproofing:
- Sof Sole Waterproofer Spray
- Tarrago Hightech Nano Protector Spray
- Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent
- KIWI Boot Waterproofer Spray
To apply your choice of treatment, hold the can six or so inches from your boot and spray it with an even coat. The can should have directions on whether or not to apply a second coat.
Wax is also quite effective for waterproofing leather boots. Some of our recommended wax products include:
- Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather
- Leather Endure Waterproof Leather Wax
- Otter Wax Boot Wax
To apply it, you’ll need to warm it slightly first. Apply the treatment using a clean cloth, and remove any excess wax. Next, buff the boot to shine.
To apply cream, use the applicator that comes with the treatment. You can also use a clean cloth for this purpose. Be sure to rub the cream across the entire leather boot, including hard-to-reach areas. Among our recommended waterproofing cream products include:
- JobSite Premium Mink Oil Leather Waterproof Paste
- FeetPeople Premium Shoe Cream
- Moneysworth & Best Instant Shoe Shine Cream Kit
Note that some waterproofing products can make your boots have a darker shade. Before you apply the product to your entire boot, you may want to test it in a smaller area to see whether it’s to your liking.
Once you’re sure that you have the right product, use it on the entire boot, paying close attention to the boot’s creases and seams.
The next step of the waterproofing process is allowing your boots to dry completely. That entails placing the boots in the right conditions to allow proper drying. Ensure that the room you place your boots in has low humidity, good ventilation, and average temperatures.
Don’t use direct heat, such as from a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. Doing so can loosen up the glue or cause the leather to crack. The same applies to placing your boots in direct sunlight. If you really need your boots to dry faster, use a fan instead.
5. Maintaining Your Boots
Maintain your leather shoes, especially if you regularly ride on dirty surfaces.
Normally, you can clean the boots using spot cleaning methods. For filthy motorcycle leather boots, saddle soap is a better option to keep them clean.
When Should I Waterproof My Boots Again?
It’s easy to tell when your boots need waterproofing. You’ll notice that the previous layer of finish has broken down. When you use a silicone spray to waterproof your boots, you may notice that areas in your leather have darkened or are moist.
For wax, you may notice that the leather is starting to look dry. Simply follow the procedure we’ve described above to waterproof your boots again.
Generally, silicone sprays and cream last up to two weeks, depending on the specific product you’re using and how often you use your boots. Wax waterproofing lasts the longest. One treatment can take you through the entire winter.
Verdict: Is Motorcycle Leather Boots Waterproofing Worth it?
Absolutely! Your motorcycle boots deserve proper care, given the huge role they play in protecting you when riding. As you’ve seen, waterproofing the boots is the best way to keep them in good shape for a long time.
Besides, waterproofing your boots ensures that you never have to worry about moisture inside your boots, which can take the fun out of your riding experience.
What are you doing to take care of your boots? Please share in the comments below.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.