Boys' Life magazine

How to waterproof hiking boots

Q. Help, Gear Guy! What do you do if your waterproof hiking boots have become un-water resistant? My boots shoe bottoms are coming off too!
— Peter Wetfoot, Eatonville, Wash.

A. Your feet get wet! Just kidding, Pete. Fixing your boots should actually be pretty easy. You just need to apply a waterproofing spray or rub-on wax. Try Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather ($6; or ReviveX Nubuck, Suede & Fabric Spray Water Repellent ($8;

1) Clean your boots. Grab a soft-bristled brush. Rinse your boots with cool water and brush the dirt and grime off the seams and stitching. Clean the insides too.

2) Dry the boots. Pick a warm, dry place where they can air dry. You can stuff newspaper inside the boots to help them dry out more quickly.

3) Waterproofing. Finally, spray on or rub in a waterproofing product.

Now, onto the soles of your boots which are peeling off. That’s an easy fix too. They make glues just for this called Shoe Goo ($6; and McNett Freesole Urethane Formula Shoe Repair ($8;

1) Clean the area. Use a brush to clean out any dirt, rocks, whatever that might be caught between your sole and the boot. Rubbing alcohol will help it get really clean.

2) Glue the sole. Follow the directions on the glue you buy, but basically you just apply it to the sole evenly and then reapply the sole.

3) Keep it in place using a C-clamp, or can of beans or a full waterbottle sitting inside your boot to weight down on the sole.