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What is waterproofing? Do I need it?

Waterproofing is the process that protects the boot’s outsole from the water damage that would result from the skate making contact with the ice. If you have a skate with a PVC bottom (the plastic based outsole) then you do not need to waterproof your boot. If your skate has a leather outsole, then read on to avoid boot damage!

There are two main types of sealants that will do the trick: a varnish ,such as a chemical glaze, or a natural sealant, like Sno Sneal. Sno Seal and products like it, is applied by brushing the wax onto the bottom of the boot and then heating the wax until it melts and is absorbed by the leather. Applied in several layers, Sno Seal essentially clogs the leather’s pores and creates a protective barrier to waterproof the skate. The photo above shows an unwaterproofed boot (on the right) and a waterproofed boot with Sno Seal (on the left).

A word of caution with natural wax products: the wax will dry out over time which means that the skater will have to frequently re-wax their outsoles. Ideally, skates waterproofed with Sno-Seal should be re-waxed every month and every 2-3 months at the very latest.

Lacquers, like chem glaze, have a beautiful finish. It’s shiny and looks well-polished on a skate. The downsides are that only an experienced skate tech should apply it and it is more expensive. The lacquer process may also delay delivery of your boots as it takes significantly more time to complete the process than waterproofing by a natural sealant.

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