waterproof cowboy work boots in water
Western, How-Tos

Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Are your cowboy boots waterproof? Maybe not, but they can be. The experts at Ariat are here to offer recommendations and sage advice, like how to waterproof cowboy boots to prevent damage. Read on for all you need to know about waterproofing leather boots.

Well-maintained, traditional leather cowboy boots will keep your feet clean, dry and protected from the elements. But for more extreme weather conditions, waterproof cowboy boots are now a popular modern adaption to the traditional leather boot.

Can Cowboy Boots Get Wet?

Since they’re typically made of leather, not all cowboy boots are waterproof. Without proper treatment for waterproofing, leather boots may keep your feet dry enough, but they can get stained if they get wet.

If you’re a fan of the “rough-and-tumble” cowboy boot look, staining might not bother you. But for your “Sunday best” pair of boots, you’ll want to learn how to waterproof cowboy boots to avoid future stains, or browse our recommendations for new waterproof cowboy boots.

Waterproof Western Boots

Ariat’s line of waterproof cowboy boots features Waterproof Pro technology to keep your feet dry and your boot protected. Alongside the premium leather upper, we’ve added a tough waterproofing membrane. Waterproof Pro is strong enough to hold up to hard use, but still breathable to keep your feet cool on hot days.

Browse your options for men’s waterproof boots and women’s waterproof boots.

Are Leather Boots Waterproof?

After purpose-built waterproof cowboy boots, full-grain leather boots are the next best bet for water resistance, though they can be susceptible to staining. Material matters in waterproofing. Choose your type of boot carefully for your intended usage: anything with suede or Nubuck leather will look incredible in the right setting but could stain if worn in muddy or wet environments.

man doing ranch work in snow

Are Cowboy Boots Good for Snow?

Consider these factors when you wear cowboy boots in winter conditions.

Warmth: While traditional cowboy boots will keep your feet warm for short stints in the snow, an insulated boot like the Ariat WorkHog Composite toe work boots will keep your feet warm for hours. The height of a boot’s shaft can also prevent snow from getting inside your boots.

Stains: Cowboy boots that aren’t specifically made to be waterproof may get water stains as snow melts. The same holds true if you’re wondering: can you wear cowboy boots in the rain? Walking through puddles and getting caught in a downpour can stain your boots if they’re not properly waterproofed.

Ice: If it’s icy out, choose boots with a rubber, textured sole versus smooth, leather soles.

How to Waterproof Cowboy Boots (and Remove Water Stains)

Since not all leather boots are waterproof, water stains are almost unavoidable. It’s important to know how to remove them. The longer the stain sits, the more damage it can cause to the leather grain, so act quickly.

Here’s how to remove water stains and waterproof cowboy boots:

Brush off your boots: First, remove dirt and dust that can cause scuffs and scratches in the leather.

Dampen a cloth or sponge: To remove water stains from leather cowboy boots, you’ll need a damp cloth or sponge. But wring it out — too much water and you could stain the boots even further.

Remove the stain: Start from the center of the stain and work out, lightly buffing 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.

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.

Condition your boots: Leather is a porous material that absorbs water. When the water eventually evaporates, the oils that protect the leather also begin to evaporate. To avoid cracks and splitting from dry leather, use a quality conditioner on your boots after the stain has been removed. In the long run, this will help keep your feet dry!

Apply waterproofer:While optional, waterproofing leather boots is an easy way to prevent stains and future damage. The best option for how to waterproof cowboy boots includes applying waterproofing agents. These come in sprays, waxes and conditioners. Be sure to read the instructions, and keep in mind that most waterproofing solutions will darken the leather.

WorkHog XT VentTEK Waterproof Carbon Toe Work Boot

Finding the Right Pair of Waterproof Cowboy Boots

If you’re not sure how waterproof your old boots are, consider purchasing a pair of truly waterproof cowboy boots. There are tons of different cowboy boot styles available, designed for every purpose and lifestyle. If you’re accustomed to wearing ropers, theAriat Hybrid Rancher may suit you best. If you prefer traditional cowboy boots, Ariat’s Ironside H2Ohas a 12” shaft and an angled kickoff heel. Then, of course, there are waterproof Western boots for work, like theWorkHog XT.

Whatever your reason for needing waterproof leather boots, we’re here to help. Ariat has dozens of Western boots, waterproof and traditional, for you to choose from. Shop online or visit one of our Brand Stores to view our full collection of waterproof cowboy boots.