If you just spent a bunch of money on new Sperry topsiders, you might as well spend a couple more bucks to make sure you get the most out of them. Waterproofing your boat shoes is hands down the most important thing you can to do to increase their life.
Most shoes are made out of porous materials, like leather, for instance. Porous materials have microscopic holes that tend to absorb moisture. Moisture can drastically decrease the longevity of your shoes. How? You might ask. After porous materials have absorbed water, it is very difficult for them to get rid of it. Problems arise with temperature changes and sunlight. Changes in temperature and sunlight will cause the water contained within the pores of the shoes to expand and contract. This leads to cracks in the materials along stress lines. Trust me, you do not want your shoes looking like the leather interior of a tattered 80's sports car.
How to Protect Your Shoes
I suggest purchasing a waterproofing spray and applying it to your shoes IMMEDIATELY after you buy them. Yes, that means before you ever stick your feet inside of them. I know, I know. The sales people at Finish Line have tried to sell you this stuff before. But guess what? It actually works.
Water repellents work by essentially clogging the pores of materials that your shoes are made out of. Of course, when water can not find its way into the pores of your shoes, there is no way for the pores of your shoes to expand and contract. That means your new Sperry topsiders will be more resilient and will last longer longer than they would have been not waterproofed.
Where to buy waterproofer?
Online, online, ONLINE! Why? Because it's less expensive.
Buy a couple of cans to make sure you always have extra around the house in case of an impulsive boat shoe purchase.
How to Waterproof Shoes
Simple. Start buying pulling your shoes our of box. I usually make sure mine are not laced, although it is not a huge deal. Next, find a well ventilated area. Lay down some newspaper / tarp / notebooks / whatever to make sure you do not stain the area around where you are spraying. Hold the can of waterproofing spray 8-12 inches away from the shoes and spray away! Be generous, but make sure you are not soaking the shoe. In fact, plan on at least 2 coats. Make sure you let your shoes completely dry between coats; It should take around 10 or 15 minutes.
The entire waterproofing process should only take about 40 minutes and cost you less than $ 5. That's a pretty small investment knowing you can increase the life of Sperry Topsiders by up to a few months, and sometimes even longer!