Are Knit Shoes Waterproof

Preface

Knit sneakers take really well to moisture-repellants because of their fabric. In fact, that’s the plus side of knit sneakers; the good ones can be 100% waterproof by virtue of their material alone completely waterproof footwear, but sometimes the shoes fail to walk the talk.

Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? In other cases, you might want to boost your shoes’ waterproof factor. Either way, you’re probably wondering if there is a surefire way to waterproof your knit sneakers.

The answer is yes! You can use waterproof sprays and wax treatments to lay down an extra layer of protection to keep the moisture out. Each shoe was selected with comfort, style, and utility in mind.

Best Sustainable knit shoes for women and men

Before diving deep into this post, here are the best sustainable knit shoe brands I’ve found:

Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? Vessi and Allbirds both make outstanding knit shoes for men and women. Vessi’s “creature-free” vegan shoes are completely waterproof while Allbirds’ shoes are made from sustainably-harvested merino wool. (Some of Allbirds’ knit sneakers are water-resistant.) They each have a unique style.

The most stylish knit shoes for women and men are Wolf and Shepherd’s Swift knit Derbies

I adore my Swift knit Derbies from Wolf and Shepherd. The California-based company has put a ton of thought into the design and execution of its minimalist, lightweight knit sneakers for men and women. I find the Swiftknit Derbies to be dressier than brands like Allbirds. They also now make a waterproof version.

 

The emergence of sustainably-made knit sneakers

While minimalist knit shoes are not new, the emergence of sustainable fashion brands like Allbirds, Baabuk, Rothy’s, and Vessi, alongside continued investments from Cole Haan, has created a lot of options for men and women (and kids).

The selection can be overwhelming depending on where you’re looking. Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? In addition to well-known brands, a quick search for knit sneakers on Amazon reveals a dizzying list of minimalist shoes from a bunch of brands I’ve never heard of.

There’s a lot to unpack across minimalist knit sneaker brands from Allbirds to Vessi:

  • Materials: “Knit” is a catchall term, so be clear about what you’re buying. Some knit sneakers are made from wool while others are made from recycled plastic bottles and still others are from a patented vegan material.
  • Features: Some knit shoes are waterproof (while others are most definitely not).
  • Style: Some knit sneakers are more minimalist or stylish than others.
  • Comfort: One of the brands below has been referred to as “the world’s most comfortable shoe.”
  • Price: Prices for knit sneakers range from under $100 to nearly $200.

 

How to Waterproof Your Knit Sneakers?

Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? Knit sneakers take really well to moisture-repellants because of their fabric. In fact, that’s the plus side of knit sneakers; the good ones can be 100% waterproof by virtue of their material alone.

Innovative technologies such as the H2-Go knit layer used in Loom Waterproof Sneakers ensure that your feet remain both dry and aired out.

Still, if you’re looking for ways to waterproof your knit sneakers, wax treatments are an excellent option because the wax can easily settle in between the fabric.

Additionally, you can resort to temporary, makeshift rain covers. As they are lightweight and reusable, you will find them very convenient to waterproof your knit sneakers.

Waterproof Wax Treatment

Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? It turns out that wax treatments are the best way to waterproof knit sneakers. This is because the wax can seep into the woven fibers and settle into each and every microcavity.

Then, the hardened wax seals your knitted sneakers to barricade unwanted moisture.

●     DIY Waxes

While you can use store-bought waxes that are meant for waterproofing footwear, it’s easier (and cheaper) to just use beeswax, odorless paraffin wax candles, or wax beads.

Basically, you’ll rub the wax onto the surface, kind of like you’re coloring minus the stain. That’s why beeswax is perfect because it is stain-free and colorless.

●     Prepping Your Shoes

Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? The first thing you need to do is prep your shoes for the wax.

Clean the shoes thoroughly. The wax needs a clean, fresh surface to adhere to. You can do this with a damp cloth or simply wash them to be extra safe.

Wait for them to dry completely – this step is imperative. Wax is hydrophobic and won’t stick to damp surfaces.

Remove the laces. This way, you’ll get easier access to all areas of the shoe.

●     Applying the Wax

This is where it gets a little tricky, but believe us, the result is worth it.

Apply some wax to a small area of the shoe. This is just to test for staining.

Rub the wax on the outer surface of the shoe. You want to do this as thoroughly as possible. Particularly, be extra thorough around the heel, toe, sidewalls, tongue, and laces.

Rub the wax on the laces. This is just an extra step you can choose to skip.

Ignore the discoloration

Whether you’re using clear wax or colored wax to match the shoe, some discoloration is expected. This will go away after the process is completed.

Use a hairdryer to melt the wax. When heated, the wax will melt and seep into every knit.

Let it cool. The wax will harden and form a protective, impervious layer. Any initial discoloration will disappear at this point.

Test it out. Gently pour some water onto your shoes; it should roll right off.

After this, you should be good to go. You can easily wash off the wax with hot water and soap.

Water-Resistant Sprays

Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? Waterproof Sprays are the most common way to waterproof any shoes effectively. These sprays work best for absorbent fabrics, such as the ones used in knit sneakers.

The key ingredient to look out for is silicone or acrylic polymers. Beyond that, you can go with any brand you like.

Finally, be sure to do this in an open area, and wear a mask to prevent yourself from accidentally inhaling the aerosol.

 

Prepping Your Shoes

Waterproof sprays are fairly straightforward to use, but you still need to prep the shoes so that you can get an even coating.

Wash and dry the shoes thoroughly. Since the spray is long-lasting, you won’t be able to wash your shoes for a good few months, at least not without washing away the spray.

Remove the laces. Again, this is for more access to every corner of the shoe.

 

Applying the Spray

You need to use a proper spraying technique for an even coating. Follow these steps to get the optimal results.

Hold the spray at least 6 inches from the shoe. If you hold it too close, you might end up saturating one spot, which will take longer to dry.

Get all the trouble areas. These include the tongue, heel, toe, sidewalls, and seams.

One layer is enough for knit sneakers. However, you should follow the instructions on the bottle just to be safe. Careful not to saturate the shoes, though.

Wipe off the excess with a microfiber cloth. Gently dab the surface and get as much of the excess spray off as possible.

 

Let it air dry overnight

If you get the shoes wet before the spray dries off completely, you’ll ruin all your hard work. That’s why it’s best to let them dry overnight.

And you’re done! On average, waterproof sprays will last for up to a few months. However, if you want to wash it off, you can. You can easily reapply it later.

Some Additional Tips and Precautions

 

When you’re waterproofing your knit sneakers, you should keep the following pointers in mind:

Break in Your Shoes before Waterproofing

The fabric tends to stretch and move as you wear them, which means the wax or spray might be compromised. This is why you should never treat them straight out of the box.

Stay Clear of the Hairspray

Some people might recommend hair sprays as an easy DIY alternative to waterproof sprays. But the truth is they will most likely damage your shoes without making them even slightly waterproof.

Use a Damp Cloth for Cleaning

This will make the waterproof treatment last longer. Washing them will get rid of the protective layer.

Reapply the Treatment

You can reapply the treatment but don’t overdo it. Applying a fresh layer of product every other week will reinforce the waterproofing. But if you do it too much, it might make it hard to wash off.

Conclusion

So there isn’t anything as unpleasant as wet, cold shoes on your feet, right? Not only are they incredibly uncomfortable, but they’re also super tedious to wash and dry.

Luckily, now you know that you can waterproof your knit sneakers using so many different methods. Are Knit Shoes Waterproof? We recommend using DIY wax; it’s as effective as it is cheap.

And remember, always get the trouble areas of the shoe. This way, you can easily waterproof your knit sneakers and avoid squishy, drenched shoes.