Waterproofing Bean Boots

While Bean Boots are primarily waterproof, LL Bean makes a boot guard that goes the extra mile to make sure the leather portion of the boot repels the elements. With any natural product, like genuine leather, it needs the occasional upkeep to maintain its beautiful appearance. Boot guard contains beeswax, lanolin, and natural oils to help prevent drying, cracking, and salt stains by conditioning the leather.


You’ll need :




Step 1: Wipe down the boots with a slightly damp cloth to get any dirt and debris off.

Step 2: Test a portion of the boot guard polish in a spot no one will see and let it dry ten minutes. It may darken it a little bit so you’ll want to make sure that you’re OK with how it affects the leather. Here’s where I tested mine:


Step 3: You’ll want to use a cloth specifically designed for shoe polishing. (Kiwi Shine Cloths are readily available locally, such as a Target or grocer, and great to have on hand.) I was generous with applying the boot guard and used the cloth to rub it into the leather and the stitches. You’ll want to make sure to get the stitches since it helps prevent *stitching damage.

*My husband’s first pair of Bean Boots had stitching damage after three years of use and they replaced his pair with no questions asked. This time I made sure to put boot guard on it to prolong the wear and tear and keep the stitches in tact.

Step 4: You’ll want to let the boots dry for another 10-15 minutes and then use the unused portion of the cloth to wipe away any excess.

Step 5: Lastly, I took a shoe brush and went over the entire boot to finish it off.

My tan pair of bean boots are newer so I didn’t notice a huge difference in polishing, but my bison leather pair (below) had some cracks in it and the polish made a big difference. I wouldn’t use boot guard too often, maybe once a year depending on the amount of use and if your boots look like they could use a little love. Lastly, make sure to never store your boots next to a heating vent in order to prevent drying out the leather.




11 Comments on Waterproofing Bean Boots

  1. Katie
    January 7, 2016 at 2:59 pm (8 years ago)

    This is super helpful. Thanks!

    • thedressdecoded
      January 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm (8 years ago)

      No problem! It makes a big difference. Thanks for reading!

  2. jonirae
    December 21, 2016 at 12:25 am (7 years ago)

    how did you do that swirly curly thing with your laces?? (on the buffalo leather pair) my boots are new and if I lace them up all the way it rubs kinda wrong, but I haven’t found a good way to keep the bottoms tight and the top looser… this looks perfect! are they specific laces or did you tie them like that?

  3. Shannon
    October 10, 2017 at 7:14 pm (6 years ago)

    Are your bison boots black, or dark brown. I love the boots in your picture, but I don’t see them online.

  4. Sam
    January 25, 2018 at 10:14 pm (6 years ago)

    I just purchased a pair of the men’s bison boots, (my first pair) and I noticed after wearing them a few times that where the laces touch the tongue, the dark brown leather is becoming distressed. Did you have that issue? Do you think this product will help ‘heal’ and protect the boot?

    Thanks, Sam

    • thedressdecoded
      January 25, 2018 at 11:54 pm (6 years ago)

      Yes, same thing happens to my Bison Bean boots, however, I don’t see it as an issue because I really like the look of worn in / distressed leather. In fact when I bought the boot I was hoping it would wear like that! I think it looks cool, but that’s just my opinion. 🙂

      I think the bean boot guard will help condition the leather and minimize the distressing, but won’t take it away completely. I do find it waterproofs it nicely, which is why I do it to my boots at the beginning of fall. It will make your boots look pretty dark at first but it will dry back to the original color.

      Since it’s real leather there will end of being marks and characteristics in the material that you wouldn’t get from buying fake leather, but I am a big fan of the authenticity and I think you’ll grow to like the look!

      • Sam
        February 1, 2018 at 11:03 pm (6 years ago)

        Thanks, your response was helpful and reassuring. My boot guard arrived today, and am applying it now.



1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Waterproofing Bean Boots

  1. […] Maintaining the boots is important if you’re considering owning them a long time. (Some people own their boots for decades!) Without proper care, they may hold up OK, but it doesn’t hurt to give them extra TLC since they are made of leather and leather is a natural product subject to wear. Every year I use Boot Guard to help nourish the leather and help them continue to be waterproof. I also keep them out of direct heat sources since it can cause drying and cracking of leather (don’t put them next to a heating vent to dry!). According to their website, Boot Guard protects against drying, cracking, stitching damage, delamination and salt stains. Bean Boots are made to go through mud and less-than-ideal weather conditions, but it’s a good idea to wipe them down before going into storage instead of leaving mud on the bottoms for the next season. Here’s my blog post on waterproofing Bean Boots with the Boot Guard. […]

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