High-quality footwear isn’t cheap. A great pair of dress shoes, climbing boots or work boots can run you $100-$200 or more. Unless you live in the desert your expensive shoes are going to spend much of their life being dunked in and out of puddles, slopping through slush and walking down sidewalks that have been treated with ice-melting salt and other chemicals. And even the highest quality leather is going to suffer as a consequence. Fortunately, there are a number of spray sealants you can use to protect your high-quality footwear from environmental hazards. Below are the best shoe protection sprays on the market today.
The Best Shoe Protection Spray
Crep Protect is an easy to apply spray sealant that works on all types of suede, canvas and nubuck shoes, gloves, bags and other items. It’s easy to apply, dries quickly, gets into all the nooks and crannies of your shoes and bags and seals them effectively against all types of environmental hazards. For best results the manufacturer recommends you apply 2 coats. But unless you live in an area where you are likely to encounter lots of snow, slush and salt a single coat is probably all you realistically need. Protect your suede work boots and gloves, your canvas high tops or Chuck Taylors, your designer bag and more in a cost-effective manner with Crep Protect. A typical application will last about 2 weeks before it starts to lose its effectiveness. So just be aware of that and don’t wait until it’s too late to re-apply.
Compatible with suede, canvas and nubuck.
Repels all manner of liquids.
Complete protection against stains.
Easy to apply.
Dries quickly and lasts for months.
- BrandCrep Protect
Doesn’t change the color of the shoes you apply it to.
Does a great job repelling all kinds of liquids in all 4 seasons.
Dries fast so your shoes aren’t going to be collecting dust.
Works on virtually any shoe material including leather, suede and nubuck.
Be careful with the nozzle as it can sometimes be a bit touchy.
Scotchguard from 3M has made its reputation on producing high quality, highly effective weatherproofing products and their nubuck and suede protector is no exception. It generates a soaking mist that is sure to get into all the crevices of your shoes, bag or gloves and it dries (relatively) quickly. That means if it’s snowing out you can spray your shoes when you get up, go shower and have some breakfast and your shoes will be ready to wear when it’s time to leave for work. Scotchguard Suede and Nubuck Protector is just that. Which means you shouldn’t try and use it on your patent leather dress shoes. But when used as directed on compatible materials it provides the kind of fast, effective protection you need.
Ideal for leather, suede and nubuck.
Easy to apply regardless of material.
Protects against rain, sleet and snow.
Dependable long term protection.
Effective protection against salt.
Use on bags, jackets and gloves too.
- Weight9.1 ounces
Another predictably reliable product from 3M.
Does a great job of providing no hassle no mess protection..
You don’t need to apply multiple coats to get outstanding protection.
Make sure not to use it on smooth leather by mistake.
Rust-Oleum NeverWet Boot and Shoe Spray provides easy and effective protection against all types of environmental moisture and makes your shoe waterproof. While some may question what Rust Oleum is doing in the shoe protection business it actually makes sense that they’d expand into this field. After all, the company made its name producing high-quality paints that quickly became the industry standard for protecting various types of metal from corrosion. So it’s not that big a leap to protecting shoes. NeverWet goes on easy and its non-silicone formula won’t yellow or otherwise discolor your expensive footwear. What you get is reliable 4 season protection from the elements at a very reasonable price.
Clear, silicone-free formula.
Single step application.
Compatible with suede, nubuck and canvas.
Great for all types of work and sporting footwear.
A high degree of salt protection.
- Weight10.4 ounces
A dependable 4 season waterproofing spray from a reliable brand.
Can be used on any type of leather, suede, nubuck and even canvas.
Doesn’t require more than a single application to be effective. Big plus.
Doesn’t change the appearance of items as long as you don’t lay it on too thick.
Some people won’t be thrilled with the non-aerosol application.
Apple Brand sealants have been around for some time. They’re well-known for providing outstanding protection against water for all types of leather bags. And now they bring their sealant expertise to bear on the task of protecting your expensive footwear. Their Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent provides robust protection against water, slush, salt, grease and sweat. It’s among the easiest waterproofing sealants to apply and among the fastest to dry. So if you have to do a last minute touch up before heading out on a rainy day waiting for it to dry shouldn’t cause you to be late for work.
Goes on clear and won’t discolor over time.
Protects your footwear from water and salt stains.
Ideal for shoes, bags, gloves and more.
100% satisfaction guarantee.
Dries fast regardless of surface.
- BrandApple Brand
- Weight7.2 ounces
Keeps its word and doesn’t affect the appearance of your shoes, gloves or other items.
Dries fast so you don’t have to worry about your shoes becoming dust magnets.
Works equally well on handbags, gloves and leather or suede jackets.
Using more than recommended runs the risk of changing the color of items.
If you have polished your own shoes at any time in the past 50 years you’ve probably used Kiwi shoe polish. They’ve been the industry standard for decades. It’s only natural then that they would expand into the business of providing straight up water protection for all types of footwear. Their Protect All Rain and Stain Repellent comes in a tiny 4.25 ounce can that may have you thinking it’s a ploy keep you buying more. But the can is actually a bit deceptive because just a little bit of this stuff goes a long way. One thin coat should be enough to protect your shoes from whatever environmental challenges you encounter and it will also make your work boots last longer. Be aware though that if you give your shoes a good soaking that – once they dry thoroughly – you’ll want to apply a fresh coat.
Solid protection from water damage.
Prevents water and salt related stains.
Ideal for leather, suede, nubuck and fabrics.
Protects shoes, bags, jackets and more.
Dries exceptionally fast.
Single coat coverage.
- Weight6.4 ounces
Quick and easy to apply and stays on a long time.
Doesn’t change the appearance of your items unless you use too much.
Can be used on leather and suede as well as raincoats, jackets and more.
The 4.25 oz can isn’t going to go very far if you have large boots.
Some waterproofing sprays tend to harden once in place. This can make your shoes hot and have a negative effect on their flexibility. Bickmore Gard-More Water & Stain Repellent, however, is one of the best when it comes to remaining clear and allowing your shoes to remain pliable. Part of that has to do with the fact that you only need a single thin coat to obtain full coverage. But part of it is also in the formulation. Fortunately, you don’t have to compromise performance for flexibility as the water repelling qualities of this sealant are also the first rate. It’s also non-yellowing so it’s safe to use even on your light colored shoes, bags, gloves and more.
Use on leather, suede, nubuck, felt and more.
Very breathable. Won’t become brittle.
Special non-yellowing formula.
Also great for bags, gloves, jackets and more.
Made in the US.
- Weight8.8 ounces
Doesn’t make your leather or suede items feel stiff and sticky.
A little bit goes a long way. And at this price it makes it an outstanding value.
The non-aerosol spray is a solid choice for environmentally aware.
The action of the spray is sometimes uneven.
ForceField Waterproof and Stain Resistant Protection is easy to use and will provide up to 1 year of protection from water, salt and sweat stains. The hydrophobic formula causes water to bead in the same way you would see on a car after it is waxed. It allows your shoes to retain their breathability, which is important for their long term health. It also sets up an effective barrier against UV damage that can wreak havoc on natural fabrics. Just a word of caution: You would be wise to check the state of the protection every month or so just to be sure you’re not exposing your shoes to needless water damage.
Great for leather, suede, canvas and more.
Typically dries in about 20 minutes.
Single application is good for 1 year.
Causes water to bead up.
Effective protection from salt stains.
Robust UV protection.
- ModelForcefield Protector
- Weight8 ounces
Provides the added benefit of protecting against UV damage.
Does a good job sealing without becoming brittle like some shoe protectants.
Dries in a hurry so it won’t seal in lots of dust.
Not the largest bottle on the market but a little goes a long way.
If you live in a 4 season climate you know how hard the environment can be on your leather and suede shoes. Moneysworth & Best Pro-Tex provides state of the art sealant protection against all manner of water-related damage. Including damage from snow melting salts and sweat on hot summer days. The aerosol spray provides fast, effective coverage on all types of shoes and the non-silicone formula prevents the waterproofing from discoloring your leather, suede or canvas items. It can also be used to provide a shot in the arm to older Gore-Tex items whose weather resistant qualities may be fading.
Guards against water and salt damage.
Prevents cracks and premature aging.
Ideal for leather, suede, nubuck and canvas.
Use it on shoes, bags, jackets and much more.
- BrandMoneysworth and Best Shoe Care INC.
- Weight13.6 ounces
True 4 season protection for your leather, suede and nubuck items large and small.
Won’t discolor leather, suede or nubuck. But be careful with fabrics.
Does a good job protecting against salt damage, which isn’t easy to do.
Provides a reasonable level of protection against UV damage.
Not for use on your patent leather shoes.
You’re going to pay a bit more for Reshoevn8r Shoe Water & Stain Repellent. But the level of protection you’ll get from just about every conceivable type of liquid will be worth the price. The folks at Reshoevn8r understand that threats to your expensive footwear don’t only fall from the sky. Sometimes they spill from your glass or are splashed up on you in the form of greasy, chemical filled effluence by passing cars. Reshoevn8r will keep water, soft drinks, liquor, grease, tar, salt and other stains effectively at bay in a way lesser shoe protection sprays simply can’t.
Dependable, comprehensive water protection.
Ideal for all types of leather, suede, canvas and more.
Dries to a usable state in just minutes.
Provides robust UV protection as well.
True 4 season protection.
Blocks stains from spilled drinks as well.
- Weight4.8 ounces
You get plenty of product.
The non-aerosol character of the spray makes for more precise application.
Won’t alter the color of your shoes, handbags, gloves or jackets.
This is a concentrate so be careful how much you apply.
The final item on our list of best shoe protection sprays is also the 2nd item on our list from Kiwi. That shouldn’t be a surprise as they have more experience polishing and protecting shoes than any other company on our list. Their Select All Protector 2 Pack produces a fine mist which permeates every crack and crevice of the shoe (or bag, or jacket or glove) and settles in to provide outstanding protection from water, slush, mud and more. In most cases you’ll want to spray your shoes twice to achieve optimal protection. Just make sure you wait about half an hour between coats.
Ideal for suede, leather, nubuck and canvas.
Resists salt stains and UV damage.
Special non-yellowing formula.
Dries quickly protects thoroughly.
Light aerosol mist.
Money back 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Weight1.2 pounds
Easy to apply and does a reasonably good job protecting leather, suede and nubuck.
The aerosol spray gets into every nook and cranny for true 4 season coverage.
We didn’t have any issues with it discoloring shoes or other items.
It’s likely that one coat is not going to be enough.
Shoe Protector Spray Buying Guide & FAQ
How We Chose Our Selection Of Shoe Protector Spray
Shoe protection sprays are relatively simple products. You spray or wipe them onto your shoes and other leather, suede and cloth items and they provide a waterproof barrier that works like wax on a car. As such, while a particular name brand like Kiwi might provide warm fuzzy feelings of familiarity we’re not really bowled over by warm fuzzies and are more concerned with whether or not the product actually works. Which in this case is pretty easy to determine. You put it on and your shoes either get wet or they don’t.
Because of the straightforward nature of the product, we don’t find ourselves relying too heavily on 3rd party reviews either. Not that we ever do. But in this case, sifting through hundreds of customer reviews is especially pointless because, as we say, the product either keeps your shoes dry or it doesn’t. And no amount of glowing or scathing reviews is going to change that. As for price, well, there’s nothing here that’s going to cost more than a large pizza. So the price is not a major concern either. At the end of the day, all we care about is if the product keeps your shoes dry. And whether it does so without turning your shoes some funky shade of yellow-green.
Features To Look For In A Trainer Protector Spray
Quantity/Effectiveness - The quality of this type of product is inexorably tied to its effectiveness. You simply can’t separate the two. Its primary purpose is to keep water from penetrating and damaging your shoes. Not to raise your social standing, help you become more productive at work or taste great. If it keeps the water and stains and wet socks at bay and does that reliably without a lot of effort, then it’s effective and therefore a quality product. On the other hand, if you apply it and find that water gets through and stains your shoes anyway then it is most definitely not effective and can only be considered a poor quality product. The kind that would not have made this list.
Suitable Application - Before you purchase a shoe protection spray make sure it is intended to work on the type of item I want to apply it to. It may be you’re looking for a way to waterproof your canvas Chuck Taylors. In that case, the waterproof spray for shoes will need to be made for fabrics as well a leather, suede and other animal products. Conversely, if you want to waterproof your new blue suede shoes you need to be sure the leather protector spray was formulated to handle suede. Not all are. And lastly, if you’re looking for a way to improve the waterproofness of your old rain slicker keep in mind that many types of shoe protection spray are not formulated to handle vinyl.
Discoloration - Discoloration is where we separate the men from the boys when it comes to shoe protection sprays. There are any number of sprays on the market that will prevent water from penetrating and ruining your shoes. Unfortunately, many of them add a very unwanted yellowy film on your shoes that’s unattractive and could actually remain with your shoe for a good long time even after the shoe protection spray wears off. There are 2 main issues when it comes to this type of sealant: does it work and does it turn your shoes a funky color? All other considerations are secondary or tertiary.
Smell - This type of product is formulated from chemicals that the world spelling bee champion would have a hard time spelling. As such it’s a bit unrealistic to think that it’s going to smell like freshly cut roses. In fact, it’s often going to have an aggressively unpleasant smell to it. One whose unpleasantness will be all the more magnified if the delivery vehicle is an aerosol can. If you have purchased an aerosol shoe protection spray make sure you always use it in a well-ventilated area. A) Because it will help dissipate the smell and B) because it will minimize the amount of shoe protectant you wind up inhaling.
Number Of Applications - In a perfect world we could take everyone’s word for everything and that would be that. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where, as a former president once said “trust, but verify” is what reasonable people do. Many shoe protection sprays claim that they will provide months and months of protection with just a single application. The fact is that some will. Others won’t. And still others won’t provide any real protection with just a single application. The only way to know is to try the recommended number of applications and see what happens. Since we didn’t have years to verify the accuracy of manufacturer claims regarding the number of applications this is one area where we had to fall back to some extent on user reviews and feedback.
Re-Application Time - This is closely linked with the number of applications. And like the number of applications you can’t just take the manufacturer’s word on how long the product will last before it needs to be re-applied. Some will say a year. Others will say a few months. The fact is that, since no two people are going to apply precisely the same amount of shoe protection spray the re-application time is likely to vary at least some from manufacturer claims.
Shoe Protector Spray FAQ
Q: How Can I Make The Application Dry Quicker?
A: Most producers of these shoe protection sprays recommend that you allow the protectant to dry naturally. This will ensure that the material sets in the way it’s intended which will allow for it to last as long as possible and deliver the most thorough protection possible. That said there are a couple of workarounds you can use if you are in a hurry that will dry the film faster. Although be aware that the manufacturer makes no guarantees as to the effectiveness of the material if you do. The first is to simply set the shoes or bag or jacket in front of a fan. This will certainly dry the material faster but it’s also likely to project dust into the film that will wind up drying into the protective coating. The other method is to use a hairdryer. Although again, if you heat the material up too much you run the risk of compromising its composition and, by extension, its effectiveness.
Q: Do different climates and conditions affect shoe protector spray?
A: Unless it says on the package that the spray material is only intended for warm or cold weather (and the best shoe protection spray will never say something like that) the weather should not in any way impact the effectiveness of the sealant. The only caveat being that the material must be applied in the recommended way under recommended conditions and in the recommended amounts.
Q: Should I wear a respirator mask when applying a waterproof spray?
A: For the most part it depends on the type of water repellent spray for shoes you’re using and where you are when you apply the spray. If you’re using an aerosol spray in a closed room then you should definitely wear a protective dust mask. If you are using a non-aerosol spray outdoors or in the garage then there is no compelling reason to use a mask. Some people will want to err on the side of caution and wear a protective mask no matter what. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that approach. The only time it may be necessary to consider an actual respirator is if you are applying the material in a tiny, completely enclosed space, like a walk-in closet. That said, however, you should not be applying any type of chemical sealant in such a tiny enclosed space.