How to Winter Proof Shoes and Boots

Making winter proof shoes can go a long way to protecting both your footwear and your feet from cold, wet weather. We‘ve compiled a list of some of the best do-it-yourself hacks to make winter a little easier.

Snow proofing your winter shoes: top tips to create DIY snow boots

Having cold feet isn’t a great feeling – so doing everything you can to keep your tootsies toastie during winter is an absolute must. Here are our top tips on how to make snow boots out of the winter footwear you already own.

How can I create extra warmth?

Natural fibres, such as wool, make fantastic insulators – so they’re good to use as insoles in winter boots and shoes. If your favourite pair of boots doesn’t have woollen insoles, it’s easy to make your own. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a sheet of felted wool
  2. Cut to size, using your current insole as a template
  3. Voila – a brand-new pair of cosy inserts to keep you warm on the coldest of days

What’s the best way to keep your feet dry?

One effective way to keep your feet dry in winter is by placing them inside a bag before putting your shoes on. Simply pop a sandwich bag over each foot before putting your shoes on and your feet should remain dry and warm while you’re outdoors. Carrier bags and chopped bin bags also work well.

While there are many ways to make your own DIY snow boots, buying a fresh pair is a better option. Get our top tips for styling winter shoes and boots.

Waterproofing your winter boots

It’s not just the snow that could damage your favourite winter shoes. Heavy rain can also spell trouble. You can protect your winter footwear by:

  • Using waterproofing waxes to protect leather boots.
  • Gently spraying water-repellent sprays on your shoes – check the spray you choose is suitable for the material of your shoes.

Find out more about waterproofing your boots and shoes.

How to dry your winter shoes and boots

When drying out your sodden shoes, you might be tempted to reach for the paper towels or to stick them next to a radiator. However, you should avoid doing either of those things. A much more effective way to dry your winter shoes is to use an old newspaper. Just scrunch up pages and stuff them tightly into each shoe. The moisture will be quickly drawn out, leaving your shoes fresh and ready to wear again.

How to clean your winter shoes

The wet, snowy weather can lead to a lot of slush and mud on the roads, which creates dirt that stains your shoes. Here are some effective ways to keep your shoes clean during the winter months:

  • Fill an old baking tray with pebbles. Place wet, muddy and dirty shoes upright on top. The mud and water should filter through the pebbles and sit in the bottom of the tray. Try to keep your tray by the door so you can stick your shoes straight on it, without spreading mud through the house.
  • Regularly use a shoe brush. Using a brush or a soft, dry cloth to wipe away dried mud is a great way to keep your footwear clean. Make sure you use a brush that won’t scratch or scuff the material.
  • Avoid wearing the same pair of shoes for two days in a row. This will help to reduce the build-up of bacteria and dirt in the material. Having plenty of winter footwear options will also prevent each pair from being worn out too quickly.

How to remove salt stains from winter boots

When the pavements and roads are gritted in winter, it can often leave your footwear with white salt stains. Here are two ways of getting rid of these:

  1. Mix a little baking soda into some water and use a soft brush or cloth to work the mixture into the stain.
  2. Dilute white vinegar with a little water and use cotton wool pads or balls to gently rub the solution into the material of your shoes.

Looking after your feet and shoes during winter doesn’t have to be a hard or costly task. Give our tips a go and you’ll never look back.


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