How To Make Your Vans Shoes Waterproof

I am so glad you are wearing a pair of Vans in the first place! One unfortunate thing about these shoes though is that most of them are not waterproof. I mean they were built for skateboarding and not stepping in puddles but that is besides the point. 

Let’s make sure you know how to waterproof your Vans after this!

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There are many reasons why you might want to waterproof your Vans. For one water will not soak into the shoes causing your feet to get wet. If you walk through things like wet lawns a lot then this will be good for you.

Adding a waterproof layer to your shoes will help repel all liquids from staining your shoes as well. Other things like dirt and grime will come off of your shoe easier whenever a waterproof layer is applied.

Clean shoes

Waterproofing is best to be done with a brand new pair of shoes when they are clean. But if you are working with a pair of not new shoes you’ll want to clean them very good.

First of all you will want to make sure that your shoes are completely clean and dry. Start by knocking off all of the mud, dirt, and other contaminants from your Vans. Using an old toothbrush or medium to hard bristle brush will do the job just fine.

Make sure to wipe ALL of the mud and dirt from your shoes. You may even consider taking the hose to those dirty things. 

If you have stains you can use a mild blend of water and laundry detergent (make sure to use the free of dyes and perfumes kind) along with using your brush to scrub the stains to come out.

Dry your shoes

Once your shoes are completely clean next you want to make sure that they are completely dry.

Your shoes must be all the way dry to apply the waterproofer effectively. If your shoes are still wet the solution will not adhere to the material like it should.

You should let your shoes dry for at least 24 hours before you attempt to go any further. Ideally you want to leave your shoes outside or somewhere with a breeze. You can use a fan to dry and speed up the drying process. 

After the 24 hours use your fingers to squeeze some of the material to feel for any moisture left. If your shoes still feel a bit damp then let them sit for additional time to dry.

Applying waterproofer to your shoes

Once you have a completely clean and dry pair of Vans you are ready to get down to it. 

I recommend using Vans “Water & Stain Shield”. This formula is specifically designed for Vans shoes. Any waterproof spray will do something similar but the Vans brand should be your first choice.

A lot of these waterproof sprays contain elements like silicone to help repel water.

Now that you have your can of spray you are ready to apply. Start by applying a liberal even layer to your shoes. You should remove your shoe laces for maximal benefits. You can even spray your laces once they are off if you would like.

Do not be afraid to spray the waterproofer on your shoes just make sure to get the whole shoes evenly. Places on your shoes like where the stitching is should be given a little bit extra.

After you have a nice even layer on you should let your shoes dry for an additional 24 hours (unless the product states otherwise). 

After this period you can apply another layer and repeat the drying process if you would like. Water should bead up and run off of your shoes if done properly.

Depending on how much you wear your shoes you may want to repeat these steps every couple week to a couple months. Whenever water is not beading up on your shoes then it is time to re apply. 

Clean up those shoes really good, let them dry, then spray on your waterproofer and let it dry. It’s not rocket science, anyone can do this. Now go waterproof your Vans shoes and get back into the world!