I actually feel quite pleased with myself as I thought about this and actually did it to some hiking boots around 15 years back. It worked an absolute treat! I had the boots until recently and I never retreated them and they remained waterproof until the end… This method takes minutes and lasts for years.
I should clarify – this method only waterproofs the fabric/leather, if you step in water and it goes over the tongue/laces, water will get in here. That said this will keep the water/mud out for day-to-day hiking on trails and in wet grass etc. This method may affect the colour/appearance of the leather/fabric, so don’t use it on your best shoes!
Watch the video and see how it’s done. This is such a cheap and simple way to dramatically improve the water repellency of non-waterproof shoes and boots.