Because almost all walking boots are factory-treated with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, new boots rarely require treatment out of the box.
But that finish will eventually wear off and need replacing. You’ll know it’s time when you see that water no longer beads up and rolls off the boot’s surface and that water is consistently absorbing into the outer layer of your boots.
The main steps to waterproofing your hiking boots are:
Waterproofing products work best on clean, damp boots. You don’t want dirt or grit to compromise coverage and penetration and you need water inside that exterior layer of the boots to help draw the waterproofing treatment fully in.
To clean your hiking boots: