How to waterproof canvas shoes the easy way

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How to waterproof canvas shoes the easy way
My shoes from Target!

If you’ve got a pair of canvas shoes that you really love, you probably want them to last. I just nabbed this pair of rainbow shoes from Target recently and they’re already showing some wear. Sadface.

There are a couple of really easy ways to waterproof canvas shoes to keep them more resistant to rain and the elements: beeswax and my preferred way, Scotchguard.

Here are two methods for how to waterproof canvas shoes the easy way…

Method 1: Scotchguard

Yep, like your furniture…

What you’ll need:

A well-ventilated area
Newspaper or a dropcloth
Canvas shoes
Scotchguard spray protectant


  1. Remove any shoelaces from your shoes and lay the shoes on some flat newspaper
  2. Shake the can well and spray a bit on the inside area to test that it won’t ruin the color
  3. If it’s all good, hold the can about six inches from the shoes and spray evenly, making sure to coat the tongue if our shoes have on
  4. Let dry for at least a few minutes
  5. Apply a second coat and let dry for 24 hours to really set

Method 2: Beeswax

It’s none of your beeswax how this works. 😉

What you’ll need:

Newspaper or a dropcloth
Canvas shoes
Double boiler or an empty metal can
Hair dryer


  1. Melt the wax in a double boiler or in a metal can sitting in a pot of hot water set to low
  2. Set our shoes on the newspaper along with your melted wax and paintbrush
  3. Brush the canvas parts of the shoes evenly with the wax — it will look all white at this point, that’s okay
  4. Heat the wax with a hairdryer and work it into the canvas with the brush
  5. Optional: put the shoes in a tied-off pillow case or similar and tumble dry on high for about 10-15 minutes

And you’re done! I used the Scotchguard method on mine and it definitely gives the shoes a bit more breathability in exchange for slightly less water resistence versus the beeswax which gives more resistence and less breathability.

Have you tried these methods? What are your tips?

Comments on How to waterproof canvas shoes the easy way

  1. I used to work in a coffee shop, so stuff was always spilling on my shoes. I wanted to wear super comfy sneakers, so I used Scotchguard. The spilled coffee, hot water, and other debris just rolled right off!
    I’ve also used it for my warm, but not very water-resistant cheap winter boots. It’s not 100% waterproof, but water resistant enough for spills and moderate precipitation.

  2. Scotch guard works wonders. I have been using it on my kids shoes and knockoff Ugg type boots for years. Totally makes them last a little bit longer and makes them a bit more water resistant. I figured this out after my then preschooler refused to wear her pink canvas shoes because they were “to dirty”. No amount of washing got them clean again. So now I Scotchguard them to keep them clean looking longer. And then re-Scotchguard after washing them.

  3. An even easier variation on the wax method is with a regular tealight candle and a hair dryer. Pull the candle out of its little tin and use it like a crayon to rub wax all over your shoes. Then heat it up with the hair dryer until it melts and soaks into the canvas.

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