Canvas shoes are extremely fashionable right now. Converse, Vans, Toms, Hey Dudes and a huge range of other brands are manufacturing canvas shoes. However, are canvas shoes waterproof and are you going to find that your fashionable footwear is going to get ruined in wet weather?
If you want to keep your canvas shoes looking good then you need to understand if you need to keep your shoes dry in the rainy season in case water causes permanent damage to the shoes on your feet.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your fabric shoes looking good when you are out and about.
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Are Canvas Shoes Good For Water?
So can canvas shoes get wet and are they good to wear when it is raining?
Well, the answer is a resounding no. I have just bought a pair of canvas plimsoll pumps to wear on holiday in Australia. They are going to be perfect to wear in the warm weather in Adelaide but would absolutely be no use in a location with wet weather.
Canvas shoes are primarily footwear to wear when the weather is warm and there is a very low likelihood of rain. Wear them on a rainy day outside for any significant period of time and the canvas will start to get wet and eventually seep through to your feet.
They might be able to cope with a light shower if you are lucky but canvas can be for the most part an absorbent fabric especially if it is left untreated.
They are also not shoes that are going to keep your feet warm. This is why most people choose to wear their canvas shoes in the summer months and wear leather boots and shoes when the weather is cold and wet.
Do You Need to Waterproof Canvas Shoes?
Are canvas shoes waterproof? Well, most will not have been treated with any kind of waterproofing spray or product to help make them water-resistant. This will obviously however depend on each individual manufacturer.
Some shoe brands like Hey Dudes can be machine washed in cold water so are more able to cope if they get wet.
If you discover that the brand of shoes that you have bought is not waterproof shoes then you can do things to make them more water-resistant.
It is worth noting that even if you use waterproofing products on canvas shoes they are unlikely to be truly waterproof. This means that if you were to stand in water for any length of time moisture will eventually seep into the shoes.
Also if your fabric shoes have mesh, vent holes, or other features to help them be more breathable this leaves them vulnerable to water. This means that they will never be fully waterproof or even water resistant as moisture will find its way inside the shoe.
Usually, waterproofing sprays and household products will enable your fabric shoes to become water-repellant providing they don’t have ventilation features. In other words, if you are wearing them in the rain providing it is not a total deluge the water is far less likely to seep through the material they are made of.
As with any waterproofing product for shoes, it is not going to be 100 percent reliable if you choose to wear your shoes in incredibly wet conditions for long periods of time.
Waterproofing products also need to be used regularly to keep protecting your shoes. Each product will have a different time span for it to work optimally before it will need to be reapplied.
How To Waterproof Canvas Shoes?
As I mentioned already when people talk about waterproofing shoes we are really talking about using products to make your shoes more water-resistant.
There are a number of ways to waterproof your shoes. I’ll talk about using shop-bought products first and then move on to how you can waterproof shoes using household items as well.
My personal belief is it always makes sense to use products that have been designed for the purpose first instead of trying some of the cheaper methods.
Why? Because these will have been tried and tested by the manufacturers first before they are sold. They will be the best materials for helping you to keep your shoes completely dry and are far less likely to damage or discolor your footwear.
Remember that if you try to use some of the household items that I mention you do so at your own risk and there is the possibility you could ruin a pair of fabric shoes.
So what is the most popular method to use? Well, the one that I regularly use is a waterproofing spray.
Using Canvas Shoes Waterproof Spray
The easiest and simplest way to help waterproof shoes is with a waterproofing spray. This is the method that I use and I don’t just use sprays on my canvas shoes but on my leather and suede shoes as well.
Many of the waterproofing sprays out there don’t just help to keep your feet drier but they also help to prolong the life of your shoes. I find they are useful as they can also help to repel dirt and prevent staining which keeps my boots and shoes looking good for longer.
There are lots of different waterproofing sprays that will work well with canvas and other materials and some of my favorites are:
If you are going to waterproof shoes using a spray or pump always make sure that you have cleaned your footwear first and removed any dirt or debris.
If you feel that you have used too much product simply dap the excess away with a clean cloth or paper towels. Remember that most sprays need to dry properly before being suitable to wear in any kind of rain. This may take up to 24 hours for some products.
How to Waterproof Shoes With Household Items
Whilst I personally prefer to use a waterproofing spray there are some household products that you can use if you want to create a water-repellent.
Here a just a couple of items that you can use to keep your feet dry without buying a product that is designed for the job.
Use Candle Wax
If you have a candle lying around the house then this can be used to waterproof your shoes.
Simply rub the candle over your canvas shoes and then start to heat the product with a hairdryer to allow the product to seep into the fibers in the fabric.
When the product has melted leave it for 24 hours before testing to see if they are not waterproof.
Waterproof Fabric Shoes with Beeswax
Beeswax works in a similar way to a candle.
Rub the beeswax into the canvas shoe fabric in a thick layer. When you have covered the shoes use a heat source like a hairdryer on a high heat to melt the product into the shoe canvas.
A word of warning is that some people find that beeswax can stain white sneakers and shoes in some cases so use it with caution. Remember waterproofing sprays should be relatively foolproof.
Waxing Canvas Shoes With Canvas Wax
Cobbler’s Choice Canvas Wax is another great method for waterproofing shoes. This particular product has been designed specifically for waterproofing canvas and it comes in a bar contained in a tin.
The idea of this wax is to help the canvas become water-resistant. It is not designed specifically for shoes so you can use it on other products as well such as coats or bags.
In order to use the product make sure your clean off any dirt or debris from your shoes first. Then rub the canvas wax into the fabric and smooth it over the fabric to try and even out where the product is. You can use a hairdryer or other heat source to help. Then leave for 24 hours to settle into the fabric.
If you are worried that it may impact the color of your canvas shoes test it first on an inconspicuous area first before proceeding.
Using Otter Wax as a Water-Repellent for Shoes and Sneakers
Finally are canvas shoes waterproof if you use a product like Otter Wax?
Whilst they will certainly be much more water resistant they will not be fully waterproof in extreme conditions but this product can go a long way to protecting your shoes from ordinary wet conditions.
Otter Wax is another product that works like canvas wax to keep your feet dry. Just note that it is relatively pricey in comparison to some waterproofing sprays but one bar can last for a long time. Potentially you could be using this product for years to help waterproof your shoes.
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