I am at 17 shell shoes\boots currently and only have had serious water welts with one of them, my black shell Dundee's. They are the only ones I use Defender on for that very reason, because I'm not sure. Someone on the Alden of Carmel site suggested several thin coats of wax for protection and I do have a few that I have done that to, my black shell PA's and burgundy Cambridge. I have not had any issues with them and water using just a few thin coats of wax over a period of a year or more. But they also never seemed to have water issues either.