The 4 best shoe protector sprays for all your footwear

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Your shoes take a real beating when you’re out and about — and more often than not, it shows. The best shoe protector sprays safeguard your shoes from the effects of the natural elements. While water-resistant formulas that safeguard against rain and snow are typical of shoe protectant sprays, there are some that can also repel stains and protect against fabric-fading UV rays.

The majority of shoe protector sprays are safe to use on most footwear, but it’s worth checking the materials each product is best suited for. If your shoes are made from suede or premium leather, look for a spray that’s especially made to not alter the color or texture of those delicate materials. (And don’t forget to spot test to prevent unwanted damage — manufacturers typically recommend testing the product on a small, discreet part of the shoe to make sure it’s suitable for the specific materials before fully committing.)

When choosing the best product for your needs, also think about how long it takes for the formula to dry and how long it will last between applications. Sprays can take anywhere from minutes to days to set. Similarly, some sprays require more frequent reapplication than others. When it comes to shoes you wear frequently, you might appreciate a formula that lasts longer — but the longevity of the spray might matter less if you’re spraying a pair of shoes you only wear occasionally.

Whether you’re looking for protection from water, stains, or UV rays, these shoe protector sprays can help keep your kicks in pristine condition.

1. The fan-favorite spray

With more than 10,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, Crep Protect’s spray is a clear fan favorite. The quick-drying spray is formulated to leave no visible residue, and it both repels water and protects against stains. One shopper described it as “excellent,” adding that, after using the spray, “even snow rolls right off my Uggs!” It dries within 15 minutes of application and lasts for up to a month. While it doesn’t offer UV protection, it is suitable for a variety of shoe materials including suede and leather, which makes it a versatile option.

One reviewer wrote: “This has kept my shoes brand new all year long in any weather condition. Easy to put on and doesn't make any mess. I have used it on a white shoes as well.”

2. The heavy-duty water repellent

  • Best for: Fabric and leather
  • Protects against: Water

If you’re looking for heavy-duty protection from wet weather, KIWI’s water-repellent Camp Dry spray is a good option. The silicone-based formula leaves shoes with a water-resistant yet breathable layer, so you can trudge through rain, sleet, and snow without a worry. In addition to footwear, you can use it on your other fabric and leather outdoor gear, including tarps, tents, and even patio furniture. One Amazon reviewer who had used it “on footwear, hats, cleats, tents, bags and more” called it “one of the best waterproof sprays out on the market.”

To get the most out of the spray, you’ll want to apply two coats and carve out some time for them to dry — the formula has a drying time of 24 to 48 hours. In terms of longevity, one shopper estimated: “I’ve had to reapply to my snow boots every few weeks, but works great for a couple weeks.” It’s primarily a water-repellent spray and not formulated to protect against non-water-based stains and UV rays. The manufacturer also warns that this spray might alter the look and texture of delicate shoe materials. For those, KIWI recommends the gentler Protect All or a suede-specific spray instead.

One reviewer wrote: “I bought this last year to spay our work boots. Both myself and my husband work outside so our gear must be waterproof. This stuff is amazing. We spray everything we use for outside with this spray. I usually spray it down and let it dry then give a second coat of spray. It's like miracle stuff for shoes, jackets, and gear for outside use that may get wet. It repels the rain/snow like magic!”

3. The UV-blocking spray

  • Best for: Canvas, knit, leather, mesh, nubuck, and suede
  • Protects against: UV rays, water, and stains

UV rays don’t just damage skin — they can damage shoe materials, too. Forcefield’s shoe protectant spray is made to safeguard a wide range of materials, including delicate leathers, from fading and discoloration caused by the sun. While it does offer some water, stain, and dust protection, reviewers have noted that it might not be the best option for waterproofing against heavy rain and snow. But as a bonus, it only takes 20 minutes to dry and, according to the manufacturer, can last for a whole year.

One reviewer wrote: “I used this after I cleaned my shoes with pink miracle shoe cleaner. Once I cleaned off the dirt and dried the shoes fabric I sprayed some of this on there in Thin layers. I got my bike air max’s looking like new and they won’t fade to another color from the sun now. I love this spray [...] My shoes stay clean longer and the thin coat makes cleanup easy.”

4. The spray for delicate leathers

  • Best for: Suede, nubuck, and other delicate leather
  • Protects against: Stains, UV rays, and water

When it comes to shoes made with soft suede or nubuck, your best bet might be to opt for a gentle spray that’s specifically designed for delicate leather. This Moneysworth & Best spray helps protect your fanciest shoes from the elements, offering water-resistant protection while also repelling against stains and UV damage. One reviewer wrote that the spray “effectively protected my suede boots from a good number of episodes of walking in inches of snow and splashing through dirty puddles.

The manufacturer doesn’t specify exactly how long it takes to dry, though it’s likely not the fastest process of the options on this list — it requires cleaning the suede first, then applying the spray and working it in with a brush before it dries. But it’s worth the effort, according to reviewers. One shopper estimated that it “lasts a few weeks with heavy shoe use” before requiring reapplication.

One reviewer wrote: “I used this on an older suede coat and a pair of UGGs. Both are light buckskin color. This product was easy to use and did not discolor the coat or boots. I waited for a day with no wind and sprayed everything outside. It dried within a minute or two. I live in the PNW, and it wasn't long before I was able to test the water proofness of this spray, and it works. Water just beaded up and shook off. I will buy again.”