Impregnating sprays are the easiest way of waterproofing shoes. If your shoes are of smooth leather, you can also opt for a concentrated impregnation fluid for in-depth protection of your footwear. Applied with a brush, this product is significantly more effective and is particularly useful for hand-crafted welted shoes. Impregnation sprays are the only choice for suede, brushed or nubuck leather; regular reproofing of these leathers is vital as their open-textured surface makes them particularly vulnerable to the effects of moisture.
As a further benefit of regular impregnation, the fine spray creates such a dense film on the surface of the leather that dirt and dust have no chance of penetrating into the texture. For this reason, thorough impregnation – not forgetting the soles! – is advisable even before the shoes have their first airing. When using impregnation spray, make sure to choose a well-ventilated place or – preferably – go outdoors, keep a minimum distance of 30 cm from the shoe, and never drown your shoes in spray. Allergy or asthma sufferers who are unable to use sprays for health reasons can choose impregnating foams instead.
To check whether smooth leather shoes are still adequately protected against moisture and dirt, perform the “droplet test”: simply flick a few drops of water onto the shoes and watch whether the water beads and runs off the leather. If it does, the shoe is still well protected; if the water trickles or even pools on the leather, it is high time for some shoe TLC – including reproofing.