How do I properly impregnate my leather shoes? With what and how often? And does impregnating shoes make sense at all? You are probably asking yourself one of these questions…
In our clear guide you will find all the answers and additional tips.
What does impregnate mean?
Derived from the Latin verb “impraegnare”, which means “to impregnate” or “to saturate”, “impregnation” today means making fabric or leather resistant to external influences.In short, a surface is moistened with a protective agent to prevent it from becoming saturated with liquid.In the case of leather shoes, impregnating means protecting them from rain, snow, salt and grease stains with an impregnating spray. Wetness can not penetrate into the leather thanks to an invisible protective film and oil rolls off the surface. You can “seal” smooth leather in this way just like all types of suede. However, this does not mean that you can wade through deep mud puddles with your newly impregnated leather boots without any problems!
Impregnate new shoes
Immediately impregnate your leather shoes after purchase and repeat the process at regular intervals. Even before the first use, the shoes should be well protected from moisture and dirt. Otherwise you will regret it if it suddenly rains or a mayonnaise roll falls headfirst onto your new suede boots!
How often should leather shoes be impregnated?
That depends on how often you wear your shoes. No waterproofing lasts forever, but it obviously makes a difference if you put your shoes on 3 times a week or just 1 time a month. We recommend spraying the waterproofing again after about ten times of wear to refresh the coating.
Tip: The drop test
This test shows you if it is necessary to re-proof shoes: Wet your hands with water and drop two or three drops onto the leather. If they drip off, there is sufficient protection. However, if the water is absorbed by the leather, reimpregnation is necessary.
What do I use to impregnate leather shoes?
Effective and practical is a modern universal spray that works on smooth leather and suede as well as on outdoor fabrics. Unlike a pump sprayer, the spray can ensures an even application of the impregnating agent.
Waterproofing spray or wax?
For most types of leather, it is recommended to use either only waterproofing spray or spray and wax in two steps. In this case, smooth leather shoes should first be treated with a waterproofing spray and only then with a leather grease. In the case of shoe wax, it should be remembered that it usually makes the leather a little darker.
How do I impregnate leather shoes?
Rule of thumb: First foam cleaner, then impregnation spray and only then apply a leather care. This applies to both smooth leather and suede:
First, clean the shoe with a grease-free shoe cleaner, such as cleaning foam. Here you can find instructions for thorough shoe cleaning.
Then spray the impregnation spray evenly over the clean shoes at a distance of 20 to 50 cm. Do not do this in a closed room, but on the balcony, in the garden or wherever you can find a place in the fresh air!
Then let the shoes dry by themselves in the house or in the fresh air. Do not use a heater or hair dryer.
Don’t worry if the waterproofing spray darkens the surface of the shoe when you apply it. As soon as the leather dries, it will regain its original appearance.
Why impregnate leather shoes?
If you want to motivate yourself to routinely waterproof your shoes, we’ve summarized the biggest waterproofing benefits for you:
- Your feet stay dry when you walk in rain or snow.
- There will be no snow or salt marks, no water or grease stains. If they do, you can remove them more easily.
- Durability: Waterproofing prevents wear and tear. Drenched leather loses its breathability and becomes brittle and fragile.
- Non-impregnated leather needs to be cleaned and cared for much more often to keep it looking good for longer.