Are Leather Shoes Afraid Of Water?

Are there many articles on caring for leather goods online? A lot, but the quality is really bad. For example, it is said that luxury leather bags and shoes are very afraid of water. What to do when these garments encounter water? Immediately wipe the water with a cotton cloth and let it dry in a ventilated place without direct exposure to sunshine. It seems water is a monster to leather goods and once you get wet you are already ruined.

First of all, is leather afraid of water?

The answer is no. In principle, there is only one degradation of leather not counting purely physical cuts, scratches and so on, that is dry out and if severe, cracking. Leather is very resistant to rot. Because the process of tanning is to turn the proteins that are still denatured into inactive proteins. So what damage does water actually bring? It is after the water penetrates into the leather fiber, and then in the process of evaporation, it will accelerate the evaporation of the oil in the fiber then the leather dries faster. But for a person who has the habit of caring for leather goods, always replenishing the oil, this will not be a problem at all.

Next, wipe the water immediately with a cotton cloth.

This is actually not wrong, there is just a little problem that good bag and good shoes are high likely made of aniline leather. The characteristics of aniline leather is water is absorbed very fast. Basically, there is little chance at all that you have time to wipe the water still on the surface. Look at the shoes I’m wearing today, after the rain walk.

Water stain is already inside, no water on the surface, at least not in vamp area.

Ventilated to dry

This is perfectly true, there is little need to speed up the process of moisture evaporation unless you are in a hurry to wear it.

Waterproof Spray

This product does prevent water to soak in and still provide good breathability, however, it is only suitable for suede and nubuck, those open pore leathers, for smooth leather, the surface is matte and not shinning again.

How to fight water stains

This is what the leather shoes looked like when they were completely dry, and the water stains were very visible.

How do you deal with water stains? Many conditioners state they are all in one with both cleaning and conditioning effect, so is it enough to use them to get rid of water stains? The answer is no. They do have a cleaning effect, but for water stains, they are not very effective. Here’s a demonstration of Leather Milk No.1 conditioner.

Give it a try.

After applying the conditioner, the water stains did not come off at all.

Conditioner easily darkens light colored leather.

It is verified that although conditioners claim to be a cleaner and conditioner at the same time, it can’t help with things like water stains and salt stains.

In fact, the water stains on the left foot still improved, but the right side worked better with RenoMat.

So the right way is back to the four steps of leather shoe care. Deep cleaning, care for oil replenishment, shoe cream for color replenishment, and shoe wax for polishing.

After the standard steps, it was as if it hadn’t experienced heavy rain.


In the future, when the bag or shoes get wet, don’t panic. If there is no water stain, apply some conditioner, that is it. If there are water stains, use a cleaner to remove them, and then apply a little conditioner on it. It’s a piece of cake.