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Are Cowboy Boots Waterproof?

Leather, by nature, is inherently porous, which means water and other types of moisture can cause permanent damage.

Wet leather, without treatment, is prone to staining and can quickly dry out, leading to a loss of its natural oils, brittleness, and cracks. Short stints outside in the rain or walking through puddles won't harm most boots, but they aren't designed to be submerged in water or endure prolonged exposure to rain.

Pair of boots with rubber sole walking through water puddle

Fortunately, it's relatively straightforward to enhance a pair of boots' water resistance and even make them fully waterproof, allowing you to wear cowboy boots in any weather.

Leather Boot Care Tips

Even if you buy a pair of Tecovas water resistant cowboy boots, it's a good idea to take some extra steps to ensure they're protected against the elements.

Aside from making them more waterproof and all-weather-ready, protecting your boots will extend their lifespan and keep them looking their best. Here are some ways you can protect your leather boots:

Regularly Clean Your Boots

As long as you use a high-quality leather cleaner, making a habit of cleaning your boots will prevent permanent staining and keep them in great shape overall. It's important not to use soap, household cleaners, fabric stain removers, or similar products, as these may strip the leather of its natural oils and make your boots even less waterproof.

Treat Your Boots With Leather Conditioner

This step should be done every six months or so and more often if you live somewhere with exceptionally harsh weather. Leather is more absorbent when it's damp, so apply conditioner while your boots are still drying.

Conditioning cowboy boots has several benefits, including preventing stains, keeping the leather supple, protecting its color, and, best of all, repelling water, keeping them water-resistant. The more conditioning boots get, the more waterproof they are. With that in mind, however, remember that boots need to breathe. Use leather conditioner sparingly and resist the temptation to apply it too frequently.

Quick note: even with applying these techniques, you should avoid wearing exotic leather boots in the rain. Leather like alligator, crocodile, and caiman have unique natural oils that should be carefully preserved. These oils are what give exotic leather that distinct, eye-catching sheen, and it's important to avoid both excessive moisture and having to clean and condition too frequently.

Properly Store Your Boots

You may be wondering what boot storage has to do with the question, "are cowboy boots waterproof?" Well, a lot more than you may think.

In addition to cleaning and conditioning your leather cowboy boots, it's also important to make sure they dry properly and aren't unnecessarily exposed to the elements. Storing them indoors in a cool, dry place does exactly that, which keeps the leather supple, well-conditioned, and, yes, water-resistant.

Are Cowboy Boots Good for Snow?

Bottom of the Jason boot with Vibram sole

While cowboy boots can handle rain when treated and conditioned, they're not typically the best choice for snowy conditions. Traditional cowboy boots lack textured soles for grip on snow or ice. However, newer styles like The Stockton and The Bandera feature Vibram rubber soles with textured grip and water-resistant bovine leather, making them excellent winter cowboy boots suitable for winter use.

Remember, cowboy boots are not usually insulated, so they may not provide sufficient warmth in extremely cold or snowy conditions. They also become less effective when wet. However, for brief periods in the snow, they should hold up fine, especially if you regularly clean and condition them. Good thing because a chunky sweater or puffer vest paired with cowboy boots is a sight to behold!

Don't Go Gently, Even in the Rain

Whether you want to make sure your longtime favorites are as waterproof as possible or you're in the market for a new pair of water-resistant cowboy boots, Tecovas has you covered. Shop our large selection of both traditional and waterproof boots, including some suede options (yes, really). The Dax is made with treated, water-resistant roughout to combine rugged versatility and timeless style.

Photo of the dax boots propped up on a sled

Remember, no matter which pair you choose, regular cleaning and conditioning will help extend the life of your boots and ensure you're always walking tall.