Kiwi’s Boot Protector is a silicone-based waterproofing spray for work and outdoor boots. The can says it’s good on all types of footwear, both leather and fabric. It also says that, before treating colored items, it’s a good idea to spot test a small area.
Now, I’ve read that disclaimer on all sorts of household sprays, and I’ve always flown right by it like a reckless motorist through a crosswalk. So when it came time to test the Kiwi Boot Protector that arrived at the SW offices earlier this year, I gathered every piece of outdoor footwear in sight—two pairs of suede Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes, my wife’s hiking boots, my mother-in-laws UGGs, and my circa 1985 Trak cross-country ski boots—and set to spraying. In all, I had enough spray in the the 12-oz. can to apply two generous coats to eight pairs of boots.
I took the can’s advice about waiting four hours between coats, and gave the shoes a full 48 hours of drying time. Initially, the formula gave the suede items a darker tone, and I reckoned I’d be buying my mother in law a new pair of UGGs for Christmas. But the tone lightened as the treatment dried, and my mother in law and I were both dazzled to see beads of water roll off the suede when I put the boots beneath her kitchen faucet.
The Kiwi spray also turned a pair of three-season boat shoes into four-season standbys. Wetness used to seep into my suede Sperry chukka boots with the faintest drizzle. Not anymore. Saturday night, I was walking up a dark, slushy driveway, bound for the doorstep of a holiday party. Plunk. I stepped right into the only puddle around, dunking my entire foot in a mud Slushie. Great. Just great. But my boots were on the Kiwi program, and my socks stayed dry as a bone. Wish I could say the same about my pant leg.