3 Principles of Successful DIY Footwear Impregnation. Your Shoes Won’t Let a Single Drop In!

    3 Principles of Successful DIY Footwear Impregnation. Your Shoes Won’t Let a Single Drop In!

    3 Principles of Successful DIY Footwear Impregnation. Your Shoes Won’t Let a Single Drop In!
    Greg
    7:12 AM EST, November 10, 2023, updated: 8:25 AM EST, November 13, 2023

    In the winter a number of unfavorable weather factors badly affect our footwear. Snow, ice and salt might all result in premature wearing off of our favorite shoes. The best way to prevent it is impregnation.

    rawpixel.com/freepik
    rawpixel.com/freepik

    Impregnation is nothing but protecting your footwear against negative impact of weather conditions. This is how your boots can win the battle against snow, paddles, salt and sand so that you can enjoy wearing them much longer. Impregnation, however, only makes sense if applied on winter footwear made of natural materials or trekking boots made with GORE-TEX® membrane. Poor quality footwear cannot be helped here.

    When is the best time to impregnate your shoes?

    New footwear is pre-impregnated. However, while they are already in use, it is a good idea to watch the water drops sitting on the surface. If they sink in, it means that your shoes need some attention.

    CLEANING

    It is essential to clean the shoes properly so that all dirt, mud and sand is removed. Depending on the material your shoes are made of, use a damp sponge or a brush. Don’t forget to clean the sole, wash the laces and refresh the insoles.

    gurichev/freepik
    gurichev/freepik

    IMPREGNATION

    Always check what your materials your footwear is made of. Suede, grain leather or nubuck call for different way of impregnation.

    GRAIN LEATHER

    In case of grain leather shoes, you need to use dedicated impregnation agents. Usually these are creams or polishing agents containing bee wax. Rub the agent until the material stops absorbing it. Pay attention to the edges and the tongue of the shoe. These elements are very sensitive to wet conditions and therefore are more likely to absorb more impregnating agent than other pieces. Wax and cream is best applied with a soaked cloth. Once it sinks in well (it might take a few hours), you can give the shoes a good polish.

    pinterest
    pinterest

    Suede, nubuck, velour

    Rough leathers have mossy texture. To preserve it, use spray agents. From the distance of 6-7 inches apply them onto the surface and wait until it gets absorbed.

    stanislav71/freepik
    stanislav71/freepik

    GORE-TEX® membrane

    Footwear with GORE-TEX® membrane need to be impregnated with dedicated products only. Normally they come as sprays or with a sponge applicator, which helps to apply the agent evenly. You can use the spray to impregnate the shoelaces, too.

    goffkein/freepik
    goffkein/freepik

    DIY ways of impregnation

    If you don’t want to resort to chemical agents, you can fall back on home-made solutions. Grain leather shoes can be impregnated with Vaseline, glycerin, olive oil or castor oil.

    If you have candles made of bee wax, you can rub them in, too. You may also use a standard white candle; melt one and apply a thin layer of the wax on the shoes, of course as long as the candle contains no additives! Remember to dry the shoes well with a hairdryer so that the wax gets absorbed better.

    Interestingly, you will find some impregnating agents in your fridge. Rub your boots with a banana peel, half a potato or a cloth soaked in milk. The last method is strongly recommended for bright-colored footwear. Banana works best on suede shoes.

    pinterest
    pinterest

    REMEMBER

    Once you finish impregnation, let the shoes dry. It might take up to 24 hours. Never dry them near fireplaces, radiators or heaters. Don’t forget to take out the laces and pull the tongue out.

    Have you got your own ways of impregnating footwear?

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