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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 Hey Dude Shoes 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

Crep Protect The Art of Crep Protect Spray
Amazon
CREP PROTECT THE ART OF CREP PROTECT SPRAY
$15

  • Best for: Most shoe materials, including canvas, knit, mesh, nubuck, suede, and leather
  • Protects against: Water and stains

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

KIWI Camp Dry Heavy-Duty Water Repellent
Amazon
KIWI CAMP DRY HEAVY-DUTY WATER REPELLENT
$7

  • 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 Clarks Womens Shoes   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

Forcefield Waterproof and Stain Resistant Protectant Spray
Amazon
FORCEFIELD WATERPROOF AND STAIN RESISTANT PROTECTANT SPRAY
$15

  • 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

Moneysworth & Best Suede & Nubuck Protector
Amazon
MONEYSWORTH & BEST SUEDE & NUBUCK PROTECTOR
$10

  • 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.”

The misinterpreted mastery of Virgil Abloh

The designer bridged the gap between Black culture and pop culture, and accrued as many detractors as worshipers in the process.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: A tribute to Virgil Abloh during The Fashion Awards 2021 at the Royal...

Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

CULTURE

“Life is so short you can’t waste even a day subscribing to what someone thinks you can do versus knowing what you can do.” –Virgil Abloh

Throughout his 41 years on Earth and well over a decade in the spotlight, Virgil Abloh may have accrued as many detractors as he had worshipers. The late leader of lowkey luxe fashion was catnip for envy. The man had the audacity to leave his physical as the only Black man to hold the title of Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton. This after he founded Off-White, a streetwear line that took just five years to leap over behemoth houses like Gucci and claim number one in the world. His entry into the zeitgeist was as Creative Director to the ballooned brand that is Kanye West. In 2009, he and Ye even did a six-month internship at Fendi together for $500 a month.

Virgil collaborated with kings. He commissioned Takashi Murakami to provide the artwork for Kanye’s Graduation album. Three years later, he and Ricardo Tisci, former menswear and accessories designer for Givenchy, designed the majestic cover for Ye and Jay-Z’s landmark album, Watch the Throne. McDonalds commissioned Virgil to imbue street swag into the Hey Dude Shoes  packaging of the world’s most iconic burger, the Big Mac. In 2017, Nike gave Abloh the opportunity to reimagine ten of his all-time favorite swoosh kicks. He designed a plush hoodie for the Metropolitan Museum of Art that simply read: “THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART HOODIE DESIGNED BY OFF-WHITE C/O VIRGIL ABLOH.” Something is wrong in a world where Virgil doesn’t have haters.

WHAT THE SON OF GHANAIAN PARENTS DID BIGGER AND MORE IMPRESSIVELY THAN MOST WAS GROW THE INTERSECTION OF BLACK CULTURE AND POP CULTURE SO MUCH THAT THE JUNCTION BECAME ITS OWN REPUBLIC.

To keep it two Ablohs, imperfect was the head that wore his crown. On more than one occasion, Virgil’s business approach furrowed the brow of a suit. His original works distressed the nerves of purists on both the consumer and professional sides of the creative spectrum. He, at times, suffered from tone deafness. There was also the Louis Vuitton Jamaican sweater travesty. But even when execution was flawed, what the son of Ghanaian parents did bigger and more impressively than most was grow the intersection of Black culture and pop culture so much that the junction became its own republic.

Is there another video from 2021 that gifted culture and inclusion, while returning affirmation with heritage, more than the LV Fall-Winter 2021 Fashion Show? Sublimely textured, snowy, and monogrammed aesthetic aside; the soil-rich words of spoken word genius Saul Williams, King’s County’s Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), and London-based poet Kai-Isiah Jamal penetrated. The latter orator became the first Black trans model to walk for Louis Vuitton. Abloh didn’t simply open doors; he tore down barriers. The salutes — from Baldwin, to Ghana, to Scottish tartan, to Clark Kent’s hurried sampling of ESG’s “UFO” — are as abundant as they are beautiful.

Virgil Abloh wears a white shirt, a black tie with 'A Formality' slogan, a black blazer jacket with ...
EDWARD BERTHELOT/GETTY IMAGES ENTERTAINMENT/GETTY IMAGES

There’s less irony than sly intention in Abloh weaponizing Jamal’s words against those who have attempted to paint him as a culture vulture disguised in West African melanin. Virgil was consistently transparent when it came to creation and consumption, whether as a collector or influencer; he didn’t possess a worshipper’s mentality. “Provenance is reality,” he said in the show notes accompanying his 2021 show, “while ownership is myth: man-made inventions are now ripe for reinvention.” In other words, from Virgil’s perspective, everything created is fruit from the tree of life. It is born to be reaped. Virgil Abloh was very much in the world’s most expensive organic juice business. He shined best when seen as a student, design historian, and curator. He was the same selector when picking fabrics and metals as he was when DJ’ing opulent parties in Paris and Ibiza. Nearly all of his visions are amplified by urban street music. After all, the Libra claims Black and pop culture as godparents. Virgil came in the vein of Pete Rock and Kanye, pouring Ahmad Jamal’s ivory cascades over and under the brilliance of a teenage Nas and resurrected Common. He, too, was a producer. He didn’t invent the remix, but he did create tidal waves.

Again, Abloh was not perfect. Yes, Off-White’s name and ethos (the space between Black and White) are painfully literal. As was the logo for his first streetwear line Pyrex Vision, which included the number 23, mirroring Biggie Smalls’s famous line referencing the low expectations and options for young Black men in the inner-city, “Either you slinging crack rock or you got a Baltimore Ravens Jersey wicked jump shot.” Did Virgil need to recreate the entire set of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” video for the 2019 Fall-Winter show? Perhaps not, but you can’t deny the ingenuity behind runway tiles lighting up under each model’s step. To dismiss Virgil’s portfolio as the workings of “artist see artist do” is to prove yourself blind to original design, and numb to the touch of art, as well as the effect of culture on business.

Who are the other art directors at major fashion houses giving flowers to Jacob the Jeweler through design? Or allowing Playboi Carti and Migos rapper Offset to walk the runway? Without Virgil, Kanye isn’t the visionary he is today; the prevalence of sewing or the art of “the drop” wouldn’t be restored amongst street designers. A new bar was set by a civil engineering graduate with a masters in architecture only interested in demolishing boxes and impressing his 17-year-old self. Today, I bet that kid from Illinois couldn’t be prouder. Despite all his early apparel ideas and architectural sketches, he never saw a crown being drawn above his head. Now it’s his forever.

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