Can Leather Boots Get Wet? (6 Simple Steps To Dry Them!)

Can Leather Boots Get Wet?

Leather boots are a popular choice for many individuals, known for their durability and timeless style.

But one question often arises whether leather boots can get wet. It’s a valid concern, as leather is a natural material that can be easily damaged by moisture. 

So, can leather boots get wet, or are they better off staying dry? The answer is not as simple as a yes or no.

While leather is susceptible to water damage, some steps can be taken to prevent it and maintain the integrity of the boots.

With the proper care and maintenance, leather boots can withstand getting wet and retain their quality and appearance. 

So, your leather boots don’t have to be off-limits, whether caught in a rainstorm or wading through a puddle.

Leather boots can get wet, but proper care must be taken to prevent damage. Investing in waterproof boots is an option for frequent wet conditions.

Can Leather Boots Get Wet?

It’s true; leather shoes and boots can get wet, even if it’s a complete soaking. However, proper care must be taken for the leather to remain unscathed.

If you find that your leather shoes are frequently drenched, it may be a good idea to invest in a waterproof pair to spare yourself from the hassle of continual maintenance.

Remember, with the proper treatment, your leather shoes can withstand the elements and maintain their appeal.

Common Reasons Why Leather Boots Get Wet. 

Here are some common reasons why leather boots may get wet:

  1. Rain or snow
  2. Puddles or standing water
  3. Muddy or wet terrain
  4. Accidentally stepping into the water
  5. Sweating of the feet
  6. Exposure to humid environments
  7. Not wearing waterproof boots in wet conditions
  8. Wearing the boots for extended periods in wet conditions.

What Happens When Leather Boots Get Wet? Just List them

Here are some of the things that can happen when leather boots get wet:

  1. Stretching or warping of the leather
  2. Discolouration or staining of the leather
  3. Loss of natural oils and drying of the leather, leading to cracking
  4. Growth of mould or mildew inside the boots
  5. Development of an unpleasant odour
  6. Loss of shape or structure of the boots
  7. Weakening of the leather and potential for tears or holes.

Can Leather Cowboy Boots Get Wet?

Leather cowboy boots can get wet, but it’s important to note that prolonged exposure to water can damage the leather, causing it to dry out, crack, and lose shape. 

To minimize the damage, you can treat the leather with a water-repellent spray before wearing the boots in wet conditions, and be sure to dry them thoroughly if they do get wet. 

It’s also a good idea to condition the leather regularly to keep it soft and supple.

Tips to Protect Your Cowboy Boots

Here are some tips to protect your cowboy boots:

  1. Waterproofing: Before wearing your boots in wet conditions, treat them with a waterproof spray to help repel water and minimize damage.
  2. Regular cleaning and conditioning: Clean your boots regularly to remove dirt and debris, and condition the leather to keep it soft and supple.
  3. Avoid excessive exposure to heat: Excessive heat can cause the leather to dry out, crack, and lose shape, so be sure to store your boots in a cool, dry place.
  4. Rotate your boots: Alternating between different pairs of boots can help extend the life of each team and prevent them from becoming worn in the same areas.
  5. Proper storage: When you’re not wearing your boots, store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  6. Avoid sharp objects: Be mindful of sharp objects that could puncture or scratch the leather, and avoid wearing your boots in rough or abrasive terrain.

How To Dry Wet Leather Boots – Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you’re aware of the symptoms that can occur with wet leather boots, it’s time to take action to minimize the damage.

The first and most crucial step is to dry your boots promptly and effectively. Here are our top recommended methods for drying leather boots:

Step 1: Remove Excess Moisture & Debris

The first step in drying wet leather boots is to remove any excess moisture and debris.

You can gently wipe the boots with a clean, dry cloth. Be sure to remove any dirt, mud, or other debris that may have accumulated on the boots during the wetting process.

This will help prevent further damage to the leather and make the drying process more efficient.

Step 2: Remove The Laces

The next step in the process is to remove the laces from the boots. This will allow for better air circulation inside the boots, which will help them dry faster and more evenly.

You can untie the laces and set them aside for now. If your boots have zippers, you can also unzip them to increase airflow inside the boots.

Step 3: Remove The Insoles

Once the laces are removed, you should remove the boots’ insoles. This will allow the interior of the boots to dry more thoroughly and prevent mould or mildew growth.

If the insoles are wet, you can air dry them separately or stuff them with paper towels to absorb the moisture.

Please do not use a heater or direct heat source to dry the insoles, as this can cause them to warp or damage.

Step 4: Elevate The Shoes

After removing the insoles, it’s essential to elevate the boots so that air can circulate freely around them.

You can do this by setting them on a newspaper-covered surface or using a shoe tree to help maintain their shape.

Avoid placing the boots directly on a heating source, as this can cause the leather to dry too quickly and become damaged.

By elevating the boots, you’ll also help prevent any water from pooling inside the soles and causing further damage.

Step 5: Stuff Them With Crumpled Newspaper

Once the boots are elevated, you can stuff them with crumpled newspaper to help absorb the moisture.

This will help speed up the drying process and prevent the leather from becoming misshapen.

You can replace the newspaper as it becomes damp until the boots are fully dry.

You can also use clean, dry cloth or towels if you don’t have the newspaper.

Just be sure to avoid using newspaper with any coloured ink, as this can transfer to the leather and cause staining.

Step 6: Elevate & Air Dry

The final step in drying wet leather boots is to let them air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct heat sources.

Elevating the boots will help ensure that air can circulate freely around them, speeding up the drying process.

It would help if you allowed the boots to dry completely before using them again, which can take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the temperature and humidity levels.

Once the boots are completely dry, you can use a leather conditioner to restore their natural oils and prevent cracking.


What to do with leather boots that got wet? 

Remove excess moisture, stuff with newspaper, air dry in a well-ventilated area, avoid heat sources, and use a leather conditioner once dry to restore oils and prevent cracking.

What happens when leather gets wet?

Leather can stretch, warp, discolour, lose natural oils and crack, develop mould or mildew, develop unpleasant odours, and weaken when wet leading to potential tears or holes.

Do leather boots need to be waterproofed?

Yes, it is recommended to waterproof leather boots to protect them from water damage, maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan. This can be done with a waterproof spray or wax.

Are leather boots good for water?

Leather boots are not inherently waterproof and can become damaged when exposed to water for an extended period. It’s best to waterproof them or opt for waterproof leather boots to protect them from water damage.


In conclusion, the question “can leather boots get wet” has a complex answer.

While leather boots can get wet, prolonged exposure to water can cause severe damage to the leather, leading to stretching, warping, discolouration, and more. 

However, by adequately drying your leather boots quickly and safely and waterproofing them, you can help protect them from water damage and extend their lifespan.

Extra care can go a long way in keeping your leather boots in top condition, whether caught in a rainstorm or wading through puddles.

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