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Water-resistant vs. waterproof shoes and boots

Coming off a warm fall, it would be easy to believe that winter will be balmy.  But chances are good that the temperature will swing abruptly, and we’ll be pulling on our winter boots soon. And here’s a secret for you: don’t wait until the first freezing and wet day to pick out waterproof boots! Our winter-friendly selection ranges from casual sneaker styles to boots and even a few loafers for fun!  

First things first—have you evaluated your shoe closet lately to find out what kind of waterproof shoes you own? Even if you don’t need to buy a new pair or two, you definitely want to clean your existing pairs. Invest in suede cleaner, leather cleaner and water-resistant spray to freshen up your existing shoes. Donate or trash the shoes that don’t have enough life left for another season. Through November 15th, Plum Bottom is accepting donations of gently used shoes on behalf of Central PA  Animal Alliance, that will be refurbished and given a new life.  Read my blog on cleaning out your closet for more tips on tidying and donating.  

With the knowledge of what you have, it’s time to determine what you need.  Do you need something truly waterproof?  Or will water resistant do? Shoes that are labeled waterproof typically mean that they are lined with a waterproof material, such as Gore-Tex®. The leather or suede may also have been treated so that water will bead on the surface. This makes it less likely to stain.  

Choose something waterproof for: 

  • Warmth. A waterproof shoe with a Gore-Tex® lining will retain heat, making it a warmer choice. 
  • Long periods in questionable weather. Even if you get caught in a shower or snowstorm, your feet will typically stay dry unless your shoes get saturated.  Water does not quickly pass-through leather or suede. It will, however, flow in through the seams.  It’s a waterproof lining that prevents leaks. 

 Dolce Vita waterproof Caster boot

 The Caster boot from Dolce Vita gives you waterproof confidence while offering a fashion forward choice! We love the lug soles for the looks as well as the traction in slippery weather. 

 

Remonte waterproof lace up sneaker boot

Remonte offers several choices that straddle the line between sneaker and boot--while being waterproof, comfortable and stylish. 

 

Rieker waterproof black suede shoe

A waterproof loafer would really be a welcome addition to any closet! Rieker offers this handsome choice. 

 

Naot waterproof Maestro leather boot

This waterproof leather boot from Naot is a classic that you'll wear for years.  

Choose something water resistant for: 

  • Running errands.  Typically, shoes don’t get wet enough while running between your car and your house to create a problem.  
  • Keeping feet cooler.  Some people run hot.  If your feet like to overheat, a water-resistant shoe might be better for you because the shoes aren’t sealed by the lining, trapping in warmth.  

PRO TIP: YOU can make it water resistant! If something isn't noted as being water-resistant, a water and stain protecting spray, such as we sell at both stores, should be enough to keep leather or suede looking good in wet weather conditions.  Water-resistant spray can be used on suede, nubuck or leather.  Hold the can about 8-10 inches from the shoe (or handbag, or leather jacket, etc.) and lightly spray the item.  It's better to do 2 or 3 light coats rather than one heavy coat to avoid accidental staining. Light colored leather or suede is more prone to getting water marks if not treated, so be sure to apply a water resistant barrier BEFORE getting caught in the rain. Mink oil is another great option to add a fresh shine to leather as well as providing a water-resistant barrier. Apply it to leather with a soft cloth, then buff it to a shine.

 Shop our winter collection of boots right here, most of which are water-proof , but if not they can easily be made water resistant. Do you live in Central PA? Both the Harrisburg and Camp Hill store are well stocked to take care of your wet weather needs! 

 

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