3 Easy Ways To Waterproof Your Tennis Shoes


Let’s face it. Playing on a wet tennis court isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun time, nor is playing in tennis shoes that were soaked by an errant puddle left out by the club. Water can ruin tennis shoes and your game enjoyment, but thankfully, there’s a way to waterproof your shoes.

How do you waterproof tennis shoes? There are three main ways to waterproof tennis shoes:

  • Using A SiliconeSpray
  • Wax
  • Spray It Down With Scotchguard

Learning how to waterproof your tennis shoes won’t just improve your game; it’ll make your favorite pair of shoes last longer. Here’s how you can get the most out of your tennis shoes, all by treating them well.

Waterproof Your Tennis Shoes

How Do You Waterproof Tennis Shoes?

Tennis shoes are fairly easy to waterproof, especially when you take into consideration their breathable material. Each of these methods have their own steps for use, but they still all will start the same…

Prepping Your Shoes For Waterproofing

Before you try to waterproof your shoes, make an effort to clean them first. If they’ve never touched mud or similar methods, this means that you should brush away any debris that may be caught in the canvas.

If your tennis shoes’ tops hit mud, things can get dicey. If the material allows for it, you may need to pop them in the laundry for a quick clean. Otherwise, you may need to get them professionally cleaned.

Once your shoes are prepped, you can waterproof them.

How To Waterproof Tennis Shoes Using A Silicone Spray

The most common way to waterproof a pair of tennis shoes is to buy a silicone spray(buy one on amazon) and spritz your shoes down. Once they’re sprayed, just leave the spray to dry for a couple of hours. Silicone deters water and fills in the gaps in your shoes while maintaining breathability.

Silicone sprays:

  • Are hypoallergenic. If you’re sensitive to certain materials, this is a good way to ensure that you get waterproofing that won’t irritate your skin.
  • Are nontoxic. Silicone is a neutral element that is deemed totally safe for use. It’s not carcinogenic and is safe for use around pets.
  • Are affordable. Budget-friendly? Yes. A single can costs anywhere from $10 to $20, and can spray down multiple pairs of shoes.
  • Are easy to use and don’t interfere with your shoe’s design. Silicone sprays are clear and do not interfere with your shoe’s color. You can use a silicone spray anywhere without worry about leaving a mess.

Is Silicone Spray A Good Option?

For most shoes, using silicone spray is a great way to ensure you have some waterproofing in your material. This is why it’s considered to be the go-to for most shoe enthusiasts and why most major shoe retailers sell silicone sprays at their checkout lines.

How To Waterproof Tennis Shoes Using Wax

An older method you can use to waterproof your shoes is through beeswax. This method is more involved but remains a tried-and-true method that people still use today. That being said, this can reduce breathability and can (mildly) interfere with your shoes’ appearance.

If you want to give the wax method a shot, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Get some beeswax. The ideal wax you choose should be 100% pure beeswax, no additives included. (buy one on amazon)
  2. Rub the beeswax during your hands. This warms up the beeswax and makes it more spreadable. This is the easiest way to make the waxing session quicker.
  3. Do a spot test. Not all tennis shoes can handle beeswax. It’s good to do a spot test on a nondescript area first. If all works out well…
  4. Rub the beeswax against your shoe. The wax will fill in shoes’ pores and cover the fabric. Since beeswax is water-repellant, you won’t have to worry about water after your shoes are totally covered.
  5. Test your shoe against water. Use a mister to spray a small amount of water on your shoe. If your tennis shoes are properly waxed, the water will literally slide off your shoe.

How Long Does It Take To Waterproof Tennis Shoes With Wax?

Using wax as a waterproofing method is the most time-consuming by far. Depending on your speed, it can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes of rubbing time. Moreover, getting all those nooks and crannies can be a chore.

How To Waterproof Tennis Shoes Using Scotchgard

If you have a lot of upholstery in your home or like to keep your carpet pristine, you might not have to buy any supplies to get your shoes waterproofed. You might already have a can of Scotchgard at home!

Scotchgard is a specialty fabric protectant spray made by 3M, and it can be used for stain proofing and waterproofing tennis shoes. Much like using a silicone-based spray, Scotchgard is used by spraying shoes down and then leaving them to dry.

Though it’s easy and affordable, there are reasons why many people try to avoid Scotchgard as a protectant.

Why Is Scotchgard Controversial?

Though official studies from the FDA claim that Scotchgard doesn’t pose any risks to people or animals, other studies argue against it. Several key ingredients in Scotchgard have been linked to potential health risks, including an increased risk of cancer.

Many people say it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are extremely health-conscious, Scotchgard might not be the best option for your tennis shoes or sports gear.

How Effective Is Scotchgard For Waterproofing?

Scotchgard is a go-to among many professional cleaners because it works. That said, regular Scotchgard might not be totally effective against large quantities of water.  If you are concerned about its efficacy, using Scotchgard Heavy Duty Water Shield spray is your best bet.

Maintaining Waterproofing On Your Tennis Shoes

Regardless of the method you use to waterproof your shoes; you’re going to need to maintain their waterproofing coat. No waterproofing method on the market is permanent since the material used to coat your shoes can eventually wear off the shoe material.

The way to maintain your waterproofing is simple: treat them again. If you noticed “problem spots,” touching them up with extra spray or wax is ideal.

How Often Should You Maintain Your Waterproofing?

Maintenance isn’t going to be something difficult, nor will it be too frequent. Assuming you use your shoes regularly, you will only need to do touch up your shoes once every four to six months. If you use your shoes sparingly, you might be able to get by with an annual treatment.

If you ever notice a spot on your shoe that no longer acts waterproof, you should treat it immediately. Otherwise, you might have a soaked shoe in your near future!

Can You Just Buy Waterproof Tennis Shoes?

If you don’t want to deal with waterproofing your shoes on a regular basis, there’s some good news for you. Tennis shoes are no longer always the water-prone kicks you might have remembered from childhood.

Most major shoe companies, including major names like Vans, Nike, and New Balance, now offer waterproof tennis shoes as part of their lineup. With these selections, shoes aren’t treated with chemicals. Rather, the materials and design of the shoe are created with waterproofing in mind.

Waterproof tennis shoes might be lower maintenance, but it’s worth pointing out that they can also be a lot pricier. A pair of waterproof tennis shoes can easily cost upwards of $90 (this one for example), so if you’re on a budget, taking a DIY approach to waterproofing will be a lot more affordable.

David Lee

Hey there, my name is David Lee and I am the person behind this website. I started playing tennis over 20 years ago and on this site I will show you how to enjoy tennis.

Recent Content