Waterproofing Canvas Shoes | Bearfoot
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Waterproofing Canvas Shoes

Learn to waterproof your canvas shoes with a straightforward waxing process. Understand the essentials of prepping, applying, and maintaining wax for durable, weather-ready footwear. Get your shoes adventure-ready with a simple yet effective method, ensuring a lasting, protective finish.

DISCLAIMER: This process will change the color and texture of your canvas shoes.

  1. Heavy-Duty Canvas Wax
  2. Horse Hair Brush
  3. Wax Smoothing Tool
  1. Start the process by removing the laces from the shoes. This will provide unobstructed access to the shoe surface and ensure thorough cleaning and waxing.
  2. To maintain the shoe's shape and prevent any potential deformities during the cleaning and waxing process, gently stuff the shoes with crumpled paper or a suitable material that offers ample support.
  3. Ensure the sneakers are clean and free from dirt, dust, or debris. Use a brush to gently remove any surface contaminants. If the sneakers have mud, grime, or stains, it is recommended to clean them with a spot cleaner before applying the wax. This step is crucial to ensure a clean surface for the wax to adhere to.

Position the wax bar against the canvas surface and apply moderate pressure while rubbing the bar back and forth across the shoe. This will ensure an even distribution of wax and facilitate its absorption into the suede.

While applying the wax, be mindful of getting the wax in the seams and creases of the shoe. You may use a smoothing tool to get the wax in these hard-to-reach areas.

After applying the wax, proceed to smooth it out for an enhanced finish by employing a firm and deliberate motion with your finger against the suede, effectively working the wax into the material. This process will promote a consistent appearance.


Pay attention to corners, seams, and other hard-to-reach spots by using the sharper corners and edges of the wax bar. Apply the wax to these areas to ensure thorough coverage and protection.


Once the sneakers have been adequately coated with the wax, take the time to rub the wax into the fabric's upper layer with your finger. This step helps to even out uneven spots and creates a smooth layer of wax, enhancing both appearance and functionality.


Keep in mind that the sneakers may feel slightly tacky to the touch for approximately a week. Although you can wear them immediately, take care to prevent dirt and pet hair from coming into contact with the fabric during this curing period. The curing time can vary based on factors such as temperature and humidity. Thicker wax layers and colder, more humid conditions may extend the curing time, while thinner wax layers and hotter, drier conditions can expedite it.


Avoid washing, soaking, submerging, or dry-cleaning waxed fabrics. These fabrics require special treatment and should not be subjected to traditional cleaning methods. Spot-cleaning with Canvas Spot Cleaner is the recommended approach to address specific stains or dirt buildup.

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