How to Waterproof Running Shoes? Find Out the 4 Best Ways You Can!

For a runner, wet feet are not a pleasant experience. Whether it’s winter snow, spring rains, or hiking, water can sock through the shoes and make distracted and super uncomfortable. Eventually, you will end up spending a whole day with frigid feet and soggy socks. And that is why you should learn how to waterproof running shoes without damaging their integrated materials.

You can waterproof a new pair of running shoes with waterproof wax, spay, waterproof socks, and silicone shoe cover. Besides, you can even buy a waterproof shoe if you want to avoid the extra hassle.

However, any of these methods I mentioned above require following a definitive guideline. And this article will help you in that regard. But before starting our main topic, there are a few things we need to discuss. So, let’s get going.

Can You Waterproof Your Running Shoes?

The answer is a loud and decisive yes! With proper methods, you can waterproof running shoes. There are a few methods that anyone can try out effortlessly. We will talk about those methods in detail later.

Can You Waterproof Your Running Shoes

Most running shoes are made from Nylon mesh or knit Polyester. Even though both of these materials are perfect for running shoes, they are not waterproof materials by any means. It means the water will go inside the shoes without any obstacles in its way. However, waterproofing mesh running shoes will add an extra protective layer that will keep away moisture from getting inside the shoes.

How to Clean Your Running Shoes?

Before starting the waterproofing, you should clean the running shoes first. Otherwise, our waterproof treatment process won’t be successful. Because any dust, mud, or other stuff on the running shoes will affect the waterproof treatment. Debris and dust will block the shoes from absorbing the waterproof wax or spray. So, first, you need to properly clean the running shoes.

However, for new running shoes, this cleaning process is not required.

How to Clean Your Running Shoes

Step 1: First, start the cleaning process by wiping off grass, dirt, and mud. Use a soft brush for this process.

Tip: If you are running on a grass surface, we highly recommend using specially designed shoes for running on grass securely. These shoes will ensure the runner’s safety.

Step 2: Then, remove the shoelaces.

Step 3: Mix water with some eco-friendly laundry detergents. Scrub the stains using a soft brush.

Step 4: Rinse the running shoes with a clean cloth. Now, let the shoe air dry at room temperature. Don’t dry it outside; sometimes, shoes might show yellow staining if you dry it outside.

How to Waterproof Running Shoes?

Now, we can start with how you can waterproof your running shoes. In this section, we will discuss several proven methods that can help immensely with the process.

How to Waterproof Running Shoes

Waterproof Wax Treatment for Running Shoes

Starting off, we will discuss how you can waterproof shoes with wax. It is the best method to waterproof running shoes. This wax can seep inside every microcavity. So, the wax will prevent any water from getting inside the running shoes.

For this process, we need the following materials.

Materials List: Waterproof wax, soft brush, a hairdryer, clean water

  • Step 1: First, do a test run. Doing a test run is always an excellent idea. Apply some wax to a small part of the running shoe. For this process, use a soft brush.
  • Step 2: Then rub the wax thoroughly. Particularly, you will have to put some extra wax on areas like heels, sidewalks, toes, laces, and tongues. Use the same soft brush for the rubbing process.
  • Step 3: You may see some sort of discoloration. It doesn’t matter if you use clean wax or colored wax; this discoloration will happen. But, it will go away after the process is completed. So, do not worry about that.

Note: When using colored wax, we suggest using matching colors for the running shoes.

  • Step 4: Melt the wax using the hairdryer. With enough heat, the wax will melt and seep inside every microcavity.
  • Step 5: Now, wait until the wax gets hard. Harden wax will create a protective layer around the running shoe. At this point, any discoloration that occurred previously will go away.
  • Step 6: Now test the effectiveness of the wax. Pour some water onto the treated area. The water should roll right off.

After this, you are all set to run. If you need to wash off any excess wax, use soap and water.

How to Use Waterproof Spray for Running Shoes?

Water-resistant sprays are one of the common methods to waterproof any running shoes. Most of the time, these sprays include silicone or acrylic polymers. Therefore, it will work perfectly with absorbent fabrics. Also, do this treatment process in an open area. To avoid inhaling these sprays, wear a protective face mask.

Materials List: Water-resistant spray, a microfiber cloth

  • Step 1: First, wear a face mask before starting the process. Then hold the shoe at least 6 inches away from the spray bottle. If you hold the bottle too close, you might end up targeting one spot. When that happens, it will take longer to dry.
  • Step 2: Now, continue with the spraying process. Cover all the troubled areas of the running shoe, including heels, sidewalks, toes, laces, and tongue.
  • Step 3: Even though spraying one layer is more than enough, it will vary according to the brand. So, follow the instruction on the bottle. Sometimes, you might have to apply a second layer.
  • Step 4: Wipe off the extra spray using a microfiber cloth. Make sure to wipe all the excess spray off the shoes.
  • Step 5: Let the running shoes air-dry overnight. Do not wet the running shoes until they are dry. Otherwise, all the hard work you have done will go in vain.

And you’re done. Usually, a waterproof spray will last two or three months. However, you can wash it off if needed.

More Methods to Waterproof Running Shoes

The above two methods are the best options for waterproofing running shoes. However, there are several alternative methods that you can try out.

More Methods to Waterproof Running Shoes

Silicone Shoe Cover

Using silicone shoe covers is a simple and convenient way to waterproof running shoes. Even though this method is not advanced like earlier methods, it will get the job done.

A silicone shoe cover will give your shoes 100% protection from the water. They are handy during the rainy season; you can slip them on easily. After properly slipping the silicone shoe cover, you can enjoy outdoor activities without concerns.

silicone shoe cover

Wear Waterproof Socks

Even though silicone shoe covers are a great alternative to waterproof treatments, they won’t work for everyone. For swimming activities, these silicone shoe covers won’t be a good fit.

For a situation like that, wear waterproof socks. These waterproof socks won’t protect the shoe, but they will protect the feet. They are easy to use and affordable.

Wear Waterproof Shoes

If none of the above waterproofing methods does work for you, as a last resort, wear waterproof shoes. But, most waterproof shoes are not 100% waterproof as advertised (there are exceptions). So, you might have to waterproof the shoe. Back to square one. Right?

That is why we highly recommend buying reliable products while choosing waterproof shoes. Otherwise, you will end up searching on the internet about how to waterproof running shoes.

Benefits of Waterproof Running Shoes

Never underestimate the value of having waterproof running shoes. Proper waterproof running shoes come with many benefits. Here are those benefits.

Benefits of Waterproof Running Shoes

Keep Your Feet Dry

Although most people do not take this seriously, keeping the feet dry is crucial for a runner. When water gets inside the shoe, it will wet the socks first. Then the feet. When that happens, you won’t be able to focus on running and feel utterly annoyed.

Protection from Bacteria and Fungus

When the socks get wet, they will interact with your sweat. A combination of water and sweat will create a perfect environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. So, there is a good chance that you will get some infection because of this. But, when wearing waterproof shoes, the socks won’t get wet. Eventually, it will prevent the growth of any bacteria and fungus.

Note: Good waterproof running shoes will repel water and wind. On the other hand, it will allow the feet to breathe. So, there won’t be excess sweat on the feet.

Comfortable and Safe Running Sessions

Have you ever tried running in wet shoes? If so, you probably know that it is a very uncomfortable experience. On the other hand, you might slip while running because of the water. But, when the running shoe has a water-resistant layer, it won’t absorb any water from the outside. Therefore, you can run more comfortably and safely.


This article aimed to cover all related grounds regarding how to waterproof running shoes. With proper technique and execution, you can waterproof running shoes quite easily. We highly recommend waterproofing shoes with wax or spray. Both methods are highly effective and will give you the best results possible. Also, these methods are long-term solutions.

On the other hand, you can choose simple alternative methods such as silicone shoe covers or waterproof socks. Even though these methods are simple, they are short-term solutions for waterproofing running shoes. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

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