Is there any better feeling than putting on a brand-new pair of shoes? The pristine look you love will be short-lived, however, unless you invest in a protective spray to guard the shoes’ material against water, dirt, and stains. Luckily, there are lots of affordable and effective products on the market to ensure shoes look as fresh as they did when they came out of the box.
While choosing a shoe protector spray might seem like a simple decision, there are actually a number of considerations to weigh. This guide will explore important features to look for as you shop, then offer choices by category for some of the best shoe protector sprays for your shoe collection and other items in the home.
- BEST OVERALL: Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent
- RUNNER-UP: Crep Protect Universal Protector Spray
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Kiwi Select All Protector
- BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Cadillac Shield Water and Stain Protector Spray
- BEST FOR WATERPROOFING: Rust-Oleum, Clear Shield H2O Boot and Shoe Spray
- BEST FOR STAIN RESISTANCE: Bickmore Gard-More Water & Stain Repellent
- BEST FOR SHINE: Moneysworth & Best Shoe Care Quick Shine
- BEST FOR WHITE SHOES: Collonil CarbonPro Waterproofing Spray
- BEST FOR LEATHER: Tarrago Hightech Nano Protector Spray
- BEST FOR PREMIUM LEATHER: Saphir Medaille d’Or Super Invulner Waterproof Spray
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shoe Protector Spray
It’s easy to assume that all protective shoe sprays offer similar performance, but several factors affect their functionality. Keep reading to learn about important features to consider when choosing the best shoe protector spray.
Fabric and Material
First, consider the material your shoes are made of. While some protector sprays are compatible with shoes made with different fabrics, others have more specific uses. Some formulas are designed to be used on leather, while others work better on canvas, suede, or nubuck. For premium leather or suede, it’s essential to choose a shoe protector spray that won’t inadvertently cause damage.
White shoes made from any material have requirements of their own, since it’s essential the spray not leave any visible residue. Some sprays are designed to be used on white shoes and could cause discoloration on darker leather.
The formula of a protective spray dictates its functionality and effectiveness. Some are made with harsh chemicals and should be sprayed only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. These products may also release a strong odor, so after use, shoes may need to be left on a porch or in a garage for about 24 hours or until the smell dissipates.
Some products use all-natural ingredients like mink oil, vegetable-based waxes, and naturally derived turpentine rather than synthetic chemical ingredients. These products are more eco-friendly and cause less pollution. To reduce ecological pollution, choose a traditional spray bottle over an aerosol canister.
Shoe protectors serve a variety of functions, with each spray focusing on one or several purposes. All shoe protectors add a protective coating to the shoe’s surface, but some resist stains, some are water repellent, and others make shoes waterproof. Look for waterproofing sprays if you live in a region that gets lots of snow or rain.
While most products on the market are designed to maintain a shoe’s appearance, some sprays protect while adding shine, making them a great choice for formal wear.
The longevity of a shoe protector spray depends on a number of factors, including the quality of the product itself. The manufacturer will typically recommend how long to wait between applications. Also, consider the climate and weather conditions in your area. Shoes worn in regions with heavy snow or rainfall will require more frequent shoe protector application. Spray shoes that don’t come into contact with much dirt or moisture every 2 to 4 weeks. Reapply the protective product to shoes that frequently get wet or dirty every couple of times they’re worn.
Some protective sprays are specifically formulated to be used on shoes, while others can be used on handbags, wallets, belts, certain types of clothing, riding tack, and even furniture and upholstery. Some are also able to protect car and boat interiors. If you need to protect more than just shoes, pick a product that will fit your needs. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding which surface the spray can be applied to in order to avoid damaging the fabric in question.
Our Top Picks
The following recommendations take into account the above shopping considerations as well as overall quality and value. Read on to discover some of the top options in a variety of categories.
While there are plenty of high-quality shoe protector sprays on the market, Apple Brand’s is one of the most versatile. The invisible seal protects from water without impacting breathability and conditions leather while preventing staining. It’s designed to protect against water spots, salt stains, body oil, grease, sweat, coffee, and wine.
It’s designed to be used on shoes, handbags, upholstery, car interiors, and more without causing any discoloration. It dries quickly and doesn’t leave any residue behind. Try it on leather, suede, nubuck, or any other colorfast material.
There are a number of options for protecting leather goods, but it can be a bit trickier to find sprays that are compatible with canvas. Crep Protect Universal Protector Spray is formulated for use with suede and nubuck as well as shoes made from canvas and linen. It’s a great choice for sneakers because it won’t affect their look or performance. The aerosol formula provides a protective coating that repels water and other liquids and prevents staining.
It dries quickly—in about 10 minutes—and the manufacturer recommends two layers for the best results. Once dry, the protective layer lasts for up to 2 weeks.
Most shoe protector sprays contain between 4 and 8 ounces of product, but this bottle from Kiwi comes in a large 7.7-ounce can, so it costs less per ounce than many other products. The product repels water and protects against stains by creating a translucent shield that won’t alter the color of the footwear, making it a great choice for white shoes.
It can be used on shoes of any color made from genuine or imitation leather, suede, nubuck, and fabric. Kiwi cautions against spraying shoes made with patent reptile leather, metallic leather, or vinyl.
Aerosols have a negative impact on the environment, releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause air pollution and damage the ozone layer. While most shoe protector sprays are sold in aerosol canisters, this version from Cadillac comes in a spray bottle that produces a fine-mist spray that’s free of alcohol, silicone, and fluoropolymers.
Cadillac’s spray is also versatile and effective, protecting shoes, coats, hats, bags, furniture, and upholstery from water and staining. It’s compatible with any item made from suede, fabric, nubuck, leather, nylon, polyester, canvas, and synthetics, and it won’t cause discoloration. Avoid using this spray on patent leather or vinyl.
Rust-Oleum’s Clear Shield spray creates a moisture-repelling barrier on boots, tennis shoes, dress shoes, and casual shoes, keeping the surface clean and dry. It uses a silicone-free formula and comes in a spray bottle rather than an aerosol canister. The product can be used on leather, suede, nubuck, and canvas. Since it’s translucent, it won’t affect the shoe’s color and will allow fabrics to breathe.
A single bottle covers 20 to 60 square feet, and depending on how dense the fabric is that it’s sprayed on, it can protect a lot of shoes.
Bickmore Gard-More Water & Stain Repellent protects against water and scuffing as well as stains caused by grass, oil, dirt, and more. It works well with leather, suede, felt, nubuck, and fabric, and it can be used on hats, coats, footwear, tack, gloves, furniture, luggage, car upholstery, boat seats, and more. The versatility means you can use it to protect a lot of items, not just shoes. The protective layer is invisible and maintains the material’s original texture so that leather stays flexible. Bickmore’s spray also allows fabric to breathe, so you don’t have to trade foot comfort for shoe protection.
Most shoe protector sprays on the market are completely translucent and are specifically formulated to avoid altering a shoe’s appearance. This product from Moneysworth & Best, however, adds a high-gloss shine to leather footwear, bags, belts and other accessories. It’s compatible with all colors of smooth or grained leather.
The lanolin in the formula conditions the leather, while silicone acts as a waterproofing agent. There’s no brushing or buffing required, and the product dries instantly, making this a simple solution for quickly adding shine to dress shoes or high-end leather accessories you want to look sharp and glossy.
When using a protective spray on white sneakers, shoes, or boots, it’s essential to choose a product that is completely translucent and won’t discolor the material. Collonil’s waterproofing spray is an excellent pick for leather, suede, and other textiles. In fact, according to the manufacturer, it’s compatible with all materials, making it a smart choice for shoes made from unknown materials. It comes in an aerosol bottle and preserves breathability while providing a powerful protective layer that repels liquids and dirt.
After purchasing shoes made from genuine leather, it’s important to protect your investment. Tarrago’s protector spray uses nanotechnology that’s designed to penetrate leather’s porous surface, filling in the tiny openings with a water- and dirt-resistant layer. The product repels droplets of water, dirt, and oil from shoes, bags, and other leather goods, as well as suede and nubuck.
It’s not suitable for patent leather or leather with a metallic finish.
It’s important to protect high-end leather goods from stains and water damage, but it’s also essential that the protective products you use don’t have a negative effect on the material. Saphir’s Medaille d’Or spray is formulated for use on fine leather goods as well as suede and nubuck. It’s composed of all-natural materials including pine-based turpentine, vegetable waxes, and mink oils, and it’s free of silicones and petroleum-based products.
The product has a slow-drying formula that won’t leave any white marks behind and or cause discoloration. It provides waterproofing as well as an anti-stain treatment to shoes, boots, handbags, wallets, and more.
FAQs About Shoe Protector Sprays
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about shoe protector sprays.
Q. Do different climates and conditions affect shoe protection spray?
Apply a shoe protector more often if you live in a harsh climate with snowy or damp weather conditions. Exposure to dirt and moisture will cause the shoe protector to wear off more quickly.
Q. What is the best waterproof spray for shoes?
A waterproofing spray is essential for shoes that get wet frequently. Rust-Oleum, Clear Shield H2O Boot and Shoe Spray is one of the best waterproof shoe sprays on the market.
Q. How long does a waterproof protector last on shoes?
The longevity of a waterproof protector depends on the product as well as the climate. In very cold or wet climates, reapply the spray every two to four wearings. The protective layer will last longer on shoes that are worn infrequently or aren’t often exposed to water or dirt.
Q. How far away should I be from the shoe when spraying?
Always spray shoes outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Hold the bottle at arm’s length and spray the shoes from a distance between 8 and 18 inches based on the manufacturer’s instructions.
Q. How often do I need to apply shoe protector spray?
Reapply a shoe protector spray every 2 to 4 weeks based on the manufacturer’s instructions and how often the shoes are worn.