Are Nubuck Timberlands Waterproof?

Timberland boots have been a popular choice for their durability, style, and comfort for decades. However, when it comes to their Nubuck Timberlands, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether they are waterproof or not. With so many options available in the market, it’s important to know the answer before making a purchase.

Whether you’re planning to wear them during heavy rain or snow, or simply want to protect them from accidental spills, understanding the water-resistant properties of Nubuck Timberlands is essential. So, let’s dive in and explore whether these stylish boots can withstand the elements and keep your feet dry.

Are Nubuck Timberlands Waterproof?

Are Nubuck Timberlands Waterproof? Exploring the Truth Behind the Myth

Understanding the Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is a type of top-grain leather that is sanded or buffed on the outer surface to create a velvety or fuzzy texture. It is made from the outer part of the animal hide and is softer and more flexible than full-grain leather. Nubuck leather is commonly used in high-quality shoes, including Timberlands.

Benefits of Nubuck Leather

Nubuck leather is highly durable and resistant to wear and tear. It is also breathable, which means that it allows air to circulate around your feet, preventing them from becoming too hot and sweaty. Additionally, nubuck leather is very comfortable to wear and molds to the shape of your feet over time.

Nubuck vs. Full-grain Leather

While nubuck leather is softer and more flexible than full-grain leather, it is also less resistant to water and stains. Full-grain leather has a tighter grain, which makes it more water-resistant and easier to clean. However, full-grain leather is also more rigid and less breathable than nubuck leather, which can make it less comfortable to wear.

The Waterproofing Myth

There is a common myth that all Timberland boots, including those made from nubuck leather, are completely waterproof. While it is true that Timberland boots are highly water-resistant, they are not completely waterproof.

Water Resistance vs. Waterproofing

Water-resistant materials, such as nubuck leather, are designed to repel water to a certain extent. However, if they are exposed to too much water, they will eventually become saturated and begin to absorb water. Waterproof materials, on the other hand, are completely impervious to water and will not absorb any water even if they are completely submerged.

Waterproofing Techniques for Nubuck Timberlands

While nubuck Timberlands are not completely waterproof, there are several techniques that you can use to improve their water resistance. The most effective method is to apply a waterproofing spray or wax to the surface of the leather. This will create a protective barrier that repels water and prevents it from soaking into the leather. It is important to note, however, that even with waterproofing treatment, nubuck Timberlands should not be worn in heavy rain or submerged in water.

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Caring for Nubuck Timberlands

Proper care and maintenance can help to prolong the life of your nubuck Timberlands and keep them looking their best.


To clean nubuck Timberlands, use a soft-bristled brush or a special nubuck cleaning sponge to gently remove any dirt or stains. Do not use water, as this can cause the leather to become stained or discolored.


To keep nubuck leather soft and supple, it is important to condition it regularly with a leather conditioner specifically designed for nubuck leather. This will help to prevent the leather from drying out and cracking.


As previously mentioned, applying a waterproofing spray or wax to the surface of the leather can help to improve its water resistance. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when applying waterproofing treatment.


When not in use, store your nubuck Timberlands in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Use shoe trees to help maintain their shape and prevent creasing.


In conclusion, nubuck Timberlands are not completely waterproof, but they are highly water-resistant. To improve their water resistance, it is important to apply a waterproofing treatment to the surface of the leather. With proper care and maintenance, your nubuck Timberlands can provide you with many years of comfortable, stylish wear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Nubuck Timberlands Waterproof?

Nubuck is a type of leather that has been sanded on the outside to give it a soft, velvety texture. While it is more water-resistant than traditional leather, it is not completely waterproof. Nubuck Timberlands have been treated with a water-resistant coating, but they are still susceptible to water damage if they are exposed to too much moisture.

If you plan on wearing your Nubuck Timberlands in wet conditions, it is recommended that you apply a waterproofing spray or wax to the boots. This will help to repel water and protect the leather from damage. It is also important to avoid submerging your boots in water or wearing them in heavy rain, as this can cause the leather to become saturated and potentially damage the boots.

How Do I Clean My Nubuck Timberlands?

Cleaning your Nubuck Timberlands requires a bit of extra care compared to traditional leather boots. To begin, you should use a soft-bristled brush or a specialized Nubuck cleaning brush to gently remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the boots. Avoid using water or liquid cleaners on Nubuck leather, as this can cause staining or discoloration.

If your boots have any stains or marks, you can use a Nubuck cleaning block or eraser to gently buff them out. Be sure to test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area of the boots first to ensure that they do not cause damage or discoloration. After cleaning, you can use a Nubuck conditioning spray to help restore the soft texture of the leather and protect it from future damage.

Can I Wear My Nubuck Timberlands in the Snow?

While Nubuck Timberlands are water-resistant and can withstand some moisture, they are not recommended for wear in heavy snow or extremely wet conditions. Snow and ice can cause the leather to become saturated, which can lead to damage and discoloration. Additionally, the soles of the boots may not provide enough traction for walking on slippery surfaces, which can be dangerous.

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If you need a pair of boots for winter weather, it is recommended that you choose a pair of boots specifically designed for snow and ice. These boots typically have a more rugged sole with better traction, as well as a waterproof outer layer to protect your feet from moisture.

Do Nubuck Timberlands Stretch?

Like most leather boots, Nubuck Timberlands will typically stretch slightly over time as you wear them. However, it is important to choose the correct size when purchasing your boots to ensure a comfortable fit. If your boots are too tight or too loose, they may cause discomfort or even blisters.

If you find that your boots are too tight, you can try breaking them in by wearing them around the house or using a shoe stretcher. However, it is important to avoid over-stretching the boots, as this can cause them to become misshapen or damaged. If you are unsure of the correct size to choose, it is recommended that you consult with a professional shoe fitter or try on several sizes before making your purchase.

How Do I Store My Nubuck Timberlands?

Proper storage is important for maintaining the quality and appearance of your Nubuck Timberlands. When not in use, it is recommended that you store your boots in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing your boots in damp or humid areas, as this can cause mold or mildew to grow on the leather.

You should also avoid storing your boots in a way that could cause them to become misshapen or damaged. For example, you should not store your boots with heavy objects on top of them or in a way that could cause the leather to bend or crease. If you need to store your boots for an extended period of time, consider stuffing them with tissue paper or a shoe tree to help maintain their shape.

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In conclusion, when it comes to the question of whether Nubuck Timberlands are waterproof, the answer is not a straightforward yes or no. While Nubuck leather is naturally water-resistant, it is not fully waterproof.

However, there are steps you can take to enhance the water-resistance of your Nubuck Timberlands. Applying a waterproofing spray or wax can help to repel water and prevent stains. It is important to note that these treatments may alter the appearance of the leather, so it is best to test on a small inconspicuous area before applying to the entire shoe.

Overall, while Nubuck Timberlands are not completely waterproof, with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy your stylish and durable boots even in wet conditions. Don’t let a little rain stop you from rocking your Timberlands!

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