How-Tos, Western

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Are cowboy boots waterproof? The answer is yes and no. Ariat is here to shed some light on which types of cowboy boots are waterproof. Learn more here.


Not all cowboy boots are waterproof, and they can become stained when they get wet. In recent years, waterproof cowboy boots have become more popular as a result. However, well-maintained, quality leather cowboy boots can still do a fantastic job of keeping your feet clean and dry and protected from the elements. As mentioned, cowboy boots made from leather or suede can stain if they get wet, but this doesn’t mean that they’re ruined and have to be thrown away and replaced. It just means that they’ll look more “rough and tumble” than “Sunday best”. Fortunately, there are ways to remove or diminish water stains, ways to treat your boots to avoid future stains, and also many options to purchase waterproof cowboy boots.

What About Ariat - Are Ariat Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Yes, some of Ariat’s cowboy boots are waterproof. As mentioned above, traditional leather cowboy boots are not all completely waterproof, but Ariat makes cowboy boots that are waterproof and specifically designed to keep your feet dry and protect your boots from water staining.

What Types of Cowboy Boots Are Waterproof?

If not all cowboy boots are waterproof, then which ones are? A lot of boot manufacturers sell waterproof boots now, and Ariat is no exception with boots that feature Waterproof Pro technology. Alongside the premium leather upper, we’ve added a tough waterproofing membrane to the boots. Waterproof Pro technology is strong enough to hold up to hard use, but still breathable to keep your feet cool on even the hottest of days. Aside from specifically waterproof cowboy boots, full-grain leather boots will be the most waterproof. Anything with suede or Nubuck leather should be avoided if you’re looking for something waterproof.

man doing ranch work in snow

Are Cowboy Boots Good for Snow?

A natural follow up question to “are cowboy boots waterproof” is whether or not they are good in the snow. Not all cowboy boots are good for wearing in the snow. There are a few factors to consider when wearing cowboy boots in the snow.

Warmth- While traditional cowboy boots will keep your feet warm for short stints in the snow, an insulated cowboy boot like the Ariat WorkHog Composite toe work boots will keep your feet warm for hours. The height of the shaft will prevent snow from getting inside your boots, but won’t do much else to keep you warm.

Stains- For cowboy boots that aren’t specifically waterproof, snow will create water stains on your boots as the snow melts.

Ice- Cowboy boots with leather soles don’t provide much traction on ice, and could lead to a slip and fall. If it’s icy out, try boots with a rubber, textured sole versus smooth, leather soles.

How to Remove Water Stains from Cowboy Boots

Some of you may be wondering if all cowboy boots are waterproof, while others may have already learned the hard way. Water stains are almost unavoidable on leather boots, so it’s important to know how to remove them. When removing water stains from leather, time is of the essence because the longer the stain sits, the more apparent it will be over time. To remove water stains from leather cowboy boots, you’ll need a damp cloth or sponge. Here’s how to remove water stains:

  1. Brush off your boots: Dirt and dust can interfere with the cleaning process, or cause scuffs and scratches in the leather while you’re trying to remove the water stain.
  2. Dampen the cloth or sponge: Add water to your cloth or sponge, then wring it until it’s nearly dry. Less is more, too much water and you could stain the boots even further.
  3. Remove the stain: Starting from the center of the stain and working out, lightly buff the stained section. The objective is to get the stain to dry evenly with the rest of the boot and remove the hard edge that water stains leave behind.
  4. Let the boots dry: Let the boots dry completely for about an hour. Once the boots are dry, you’ll be able to tell if the stain has been removed. If you still see hard edges from the stain, repeat the process one more time.
  5. Condition your boots: Leather is a porous material, and when it comes into contact with water, it absorbs it. When the water eventually evaporates, the oils that protect the leather begin to evaporate too. To avoid cracks and splitting, use a quality leather conditioner on your boots after the stain has been removed.
  6. (Optional) Waterproof your boots: Waterproofing your cowboy boots is an easy way to prevent stains from happening in the future. Options for waterproofing include sprays, waxes, and conditioners. Be sure to read the instructions before using them, and keep in mind that most waterproofing solutions will darken the leather.
WorkHog XT VentTEK Waterproof Carbon Toe Work Boot

How to Choose the Right Pair of Waterproof Cowboy Boots

Instead of gambling on whether or not your cowboy boots are waterproof or not, consider purchasing a pair of truly waterproof cowboy boots. If you’re accustomed to wearing ropers, the Ariat Hybrid Rancher may suit you best. If you prefer traditional cowboy boots, Ariat’s Ironside H2O has a 12” shaft and an angled kickoff heel. Then, of course, there are waterproof western work boots, like the WorkHog XT. Whatever your reason for needing waterproof cowboy boots, Ariat has dozens of waterproof boots to choose from.