We review the Liquiproof Footwear & Leather Gift Set - the 'miraculous' leather and suede protector. Does it work as advertised?
Ease of use
Value for money
Liquiproof really can make shoes 100% waterproof - it may not be cheap, but it lasts
There are few things more heartbreaking in life than spilling something on a new pair of shoes, especially as it’s often something that will cause a stain (think coffee, wine or tomato-based sauces).
Even if you’ve never been this unfortunate before, you’ll know how poorly most shoes hold up in the rain – especially made with porous leather or suede!
So we were intrigued when a video went viral a few years ago showing a man liberally pouring barbecue sauce onto a pair of white Nike Air Jordan 1s before tipping it off, leaving the shoe completely stain-free.
However, the product used in the video is from the US and the usage instructions actually warn against using it on clothing or footwear. After an appearance on Dragon’s Den last year, a new range of products under the Liquiproof brand is now available in the UK and we wanted to find out if it really works.
Liquiproof is a spray that creates an invisible barrier that makes a material liquid proof, specifically water or oil-based liquids. It can be used to treat clothing, footwear and soft furnishings – all of which are normally susceptible to accidental spills and stains.
We purchased the Liquiproof Footwear & Leather Gift Set which contains two 50ml bottles of Liquiproof, one of which is specially formulated for use on leather. It also comes with a Liquiproof-branded triple sided brush (hog hair, nylon and suede rubber) to help you apply the coating to your shoes.
We tested it out on two pairs of shoes; Nike Air Max 1 Essential and Barbour Redhead Leather Chukka Boots. Both pairs were size 11 so we used a whole bottle per pair (see our tips below).
We followed the instructions found on the back of the bottle, and found them pretty useful – but we’ve also added some additional steps that you might find useful. The process itself is pretty simple, you just need to give yourself between 30 minutes and an hour to allow for multiple coats and drying each time.
The liquid can pool in some areas on the shoe so a brush will be useful to distribute it evenly over the surface. It can also look slightly cloudy at this stage but is invisible once the shoe dries and won’t change the colour of the shoe.
After waiting 24 hours for the shoes to dry completely, the initial test was to hold the shoes under running water. In both cases the water ran straight off the shoe, which was to be expected with the leather chukka boots but very impressive on the more porous Air Max – only a few small droplets remained which were easily shaken off. We say droplets because the surface of the shoe is now hydrophobic so the water doesn’t soak into the material.
Easy to apply and surprisingly effective, we’d recommend this to anyone who likes to look after their shoes!
Further tests (over a sink) involving red wine, coffee and sriracha were all successful, even if they did make us very nervous. After 6 weeks of reasonable wear (including a fair amount of rain), both pairs have stayed clean and stain free.
Providing you don’t scuff your shoes often and rub off the protective coating, the effects should last for a long time – one of the criticisms from a similar product from Crep Protect was that you have to regularly reapply the spray.
Because of the demonstration videos we’ve seen, our expectations for Liquiproof were quite high – but we were still very impressed with this product. Easy to apply and surprisingly effective, we’d recommend this to anyone who likes to look after their shoes!
- As a guide, Liquiproof suggest that one 50ml bottle can protect two pairs of size 8 shoes or one pair of boots. Providing your shoes are size 9 or under and not boots or high tops, you should be able to treat two pairs of shoes with one bottle.
- It may be tempting to save money by only doing one coat of Liquiproof per pair of shoes, but we think you’ll get the best out of the product if you use it liberally and apply a few coats. This also reduces the risk of you ‘missing a spot’ and leaving an area vulnerable to stains (the story of Achilles might be a good read at this point).
- If you’ve got multiple pairs of shoes to protect and/or you take a large shoe size, it will be more cost effective to buy the 250ml size bottle.
- Bearing in mind what we’ve just said, it’s going to cost between £5-10 to protect a single pair of shoes, so you need to decide if the cost is worth it. We think it’s worthwhile for shoes that cost between £50 and £100, but essential for any shoes worth more than £100. Feel free to bend this rule if you have a pair of shoes that you love and aren’t easily replaceable.
- Use on new shoes – straight out of the box and unworn is even better. While you’re waiting for your Liquiproof to be delivered it may be tempting to wear your new shoes, but patience is a virtue. It’s harder for the coating to bond to a dirty or scuffed shoe and you’re risking any stains or water damage in the meantime.
- Coating your shoes should be simple if they have nice flat surfaces, but you’ll want to be thorough with any styles that have lots of stitching/joins, mesh or perforations (brogues). You should apply the coating more liberally to these areas as this is typically where liquids can seep in and get beneath the upper layer.
- Be reasonable. Liquiproof is science, not magic. It will do a great job at protecting your shoes from most accidents but isn’t going to turn your trainers into a pair of wellies. We think this is a great product but we don’t advise jumping into dirty puddles or repeatedly performing demonstrations using brown sauce.