How to Waterproof Clarks Desert Boots

Clarks Desert Boots are a classic footwear choice known for their comfort, style, and versatility. 

Whether you wear them for urban exploration or outdoor adventures, ensuring your Clarks Desert Boots are waterproofed can help extend their lifespan and keep your feet dry in various conditions. 

In this guide, we’ll take you through a simple step-by-step process on how to waterproof your Clarks Desert Boots effectively.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Waterproof Clarks Desert Boots

Here’s a step-by-step guide to waterproofing your Clarks Desert Boots using either a waterproofing spray or beeswax:

1. Waterproofing Spray:

1. Choose the right spray: 

Opt for a spray specifically designed for suede or nubuck leather, like Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof or Saphir Medaille d’Or Suede/Nubuck Protector.

2. Clean your boots: 

Brush off any dirt or debris with a suede brush or eraser. Use a damp cloth with warm water to remove any stubborn stains. Let the boots dry completely, ideally overnight.

3. Shake the spray can well: 

Hold the can about 8-10 inches from the boots and spray in light, even strokes. Start with the upper suede areas and work your way down toward the crepe sole. Don’t soak the boots, but apply enough to cover them evenly.

4. Apply multiple coats: 

Let the first coat dry completely, which usually takes around 15-20 minutes. Apply 2-3 additional coats for optimal protection, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

5. Buff the boots: 

Once the final coat is dry, use a soft cloth to buff the boots gently. This will remove any excess spray and help restore the suede’s texture.

2. Beeswax:

  • Clean your boots: Same as step 1 for the spray method.

  • Prepare the beeswax: Heat the beeswax block or paste with a hairdryer or heat gun until it melts slightly and becomes pliable. Alternatively, you can place the block/paste in a small container and heat it in a hot water bath.

  • Apply the beeswax: Using a clean cloth or brush, apply the melted beeswax in thin, even coats to the upper suede areas. Work your way down towards the sole, paying extra attention to areas like seams and stitching.

  • Heat activation: Use a hairdryer on a low setting to gently heat the beeswax as you apply it. This helps it penetrate the leather deeper. Be careful not to overheat the leather or the beeswax.

  • Buff the boots: Once the beeswax has cooled and hardened, use a soft cloth to buff the boots gently. This will remove any excess wax and create a smooth finish.

Tips for both methods:

  • Test the chosen product on an inconspicuous area of the boots first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage.
  • Allow your boots to dry completely before wearing them again.
  • Always follow the specific instructions on the product packaging.

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How to Waterproof Clarks Desert Boots

How Often Should Clarks Desert Boots be Waterproofed?

The frequency of waterproofing your Clarks Desert Boots depends on several factors, including:

  • Climate: If you live in a rainy or snowy climate, you’ll need to waterproof your boots more often than someone who lives in a dry climate.
  • Activity level: If you wear your boots for outdoor activities like hiking or working in the yard, you’ll need to waterproof them more often than someone who only wears them occasionally.
  • Condition of the boots: If your boots are already stained or water-damaged, they may need to be waterproofed more often.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to waterproof your Clarks Desert Boots every 2-3 months, or more often if you wear them in harsh conditions.

Maintenance tips for Clarks Desert Boots

Taking proper care of your Clarks Desert Boots will ensure they last for many years to come. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

Regular brushing: 

Use a suede brush or eraser to gently remove dirt and dust daily or after each wear. This helps prevent build-up and keeps the suede nap looking crisp.

Tackling stains:

For tougher stains, use a suede cleaning solution or a light vinegar and water mixture. Apply with a clean cloth and dab gently, avoiding harsh scrubbing. Remember to test any cleaning product on an inconspicuous area first.


Apply a suede conditioner every few months or after cleaning to maintain the leather’s suppleness and prevent cracking. Choose a conditioner specifically formulated for suede, like Saphir Medaille d’Or Renovator or Bickmore Suede Conditioner.


As mentioned earlier, Clarks Desert Boots aren’t naturally waterproof. Apply a waterproofing spray or beeswax regularly, especially before the rainy season, to protect them from moisture and stains.


After cleaning and conditioning, let your boots air dry completely before storing them. Stuff them with paper to retain their shape and avoid storing them in direct sunlight or heat.

Shoe trees help maintain the boots’ shape and prevent creases. Choose cedar shoe trees for added moisture absorption and odor control.

Remember, proper care and maintenance are crucial for keeping your Clarks Desert Boots in great condition. By following these additional tips, you can ensure your boots stay looking their best and provide you with years of reliable use.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Clarks Desert Boots naturally waterproof?

A: No, Clarks Desert Boots are not naturally waterproof. They feature a suede upper and a crepe sole, neither of which offer inherent water resistance. 

While suede’s natural oils might provide some minimal protection against light splashes, it’s not enough to withstand sustained exposure to moisture or harsh weather conditions like rain or snow.

Q: What type of waterproofing product is best for Clarks Desert Boots?

A: The best waterproofing product for your Clarks Desert Boots will depend on the material of the boots (suede or leather) and how much water resistance you need.

Silicone-based spray: These sprays are easy to apply and provide good water resistance, but they may need to be reapplied more often than other options.

Leather protector: These sprays or creams are designed to protect leather from water, stains, and cracking. They won’t make the boots completely waterproof, but they will help to repel water and make them easier to clean. Some popular brands include Saphir Renovateur and Lexol Leather Conditioner.


Waterproofing your Clarks Desert Boots is a simple yet crucial step to ensure they remain stylish, comfortable, and functional in various weather conditions. By following these steps and regularly maintaining your boots, you can enjoy their timeless appeal for years to come, no matter where your adventures take you.

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