How to Waterproof Canvas Shoes

by Hubert Oresco ; Updated September 28, 2017

Canvas shoes are a comfortable, casual yet stylish addition to any wardrobe.

Although canvas is somewhat water-resistant due to the acrylic fibers used in canvas materials, additional waterproofing treatments are an easy way to ensure your canvas shoes remain durable and clean for as long as you wear them. Waterproofing your footwear not only protects the fabric from stains, dirt and debris, but also serves as a water barrier against rain and icy weather conditions.

Begin with clean or freshly-washed and dried shoes. If your shoes are dirty, the waterproofing product can trap dirt and odors into the canvas material.

Choose the correct spray-on waterproofing product. You need a spray that's fluoropolymer-based as opposed to silicone-based. Silicone will break down the acrylic fibers within the canvas and result in a material that's more susceptible to moisture.

Remove the shoe laces. You don't need to waterproof the shoe laces and they will prevent you from applying an even coat of waterproofer on the shoes.

Spray a thin but even coat of the waterproofer on the entire canvas surface of the shoes.

Allow shoes to completely dry.

Test the shoes to ensure they're waterproof. Drip a small amount of water on the canvas surface of the shoe. If the water does not bead up on the canvas, apply another coat of spray-on waterproofer.


  • Waterproof your canvas shoes again after a year of regular use

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About the Author

Hubert Oresco is a writer with over one year of experience. He has written for Demand Studios and several other online clients, including He has a degree from SUNY New Paltz. He lives and works in New York City.