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Best Waterproof Boots Reviewed For Quality

last updated Feb 28, 2019

When it comes to this kind of footwear, what's best for you will solely depend on your conditions. If all you're looking for is something that'll keep you dry from the car to the grocery store, a good-looking pair of ankle-high boots would be ideal for you. These would keep you nice and comfortable without sacrificing style. On the other hand, if you're the adventurous type, there are other priorities. Trekking through the mountains or walking through streams would require something much sturdier that provides good traction, shock absorption, and excellent heat retention.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research

icon
Timberland Premium
95/100 our score
Materials
99
Protection
93
Insulation
92
Breathability
94
Comfort
97
Timberland Premium
Why is it better?

Seam-sealed Waterproof Construction

Premium Leather Upper

Anti-fatigue Technology

400g of Lightweight Insulation

Rubber Outsole

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Timberland Premium
Test Winner: Timberland Premium
Researched Sources
18
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1500
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
18
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this article replaces three items with higher rated boots that will protect you from water and snow, keeping you dry and cozy. Additionally, the criteria for evaluation section has been updated to give you all the important info you will need in order to make a purchase you'll be happy with in the long run.

Sorting Options
Materials Protection Insulation Breathability Comfort By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Materials
99%
Protection
93%
Insulation
92%
Breathability
94%
Comfort
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$170.77
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Materials
97%
Protection
95%
Insulation
95%
Breathability
92%
Comfort
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$124.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Materials
95%
Protection
96%
Insulation
93%
Breathability
93%
Comfort
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$89.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Materials
94%
Protection
92%
Insulation
94%
Breathability
90%
Comfort
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$108.63
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Materials
94%
Protection
92%
Insulation
90%
Breathability
90%
Comfort
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$219.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Materials
92%
Protection
98%
Insulation
90%
Breathability
85%
Comfort
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$31.85
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Materials
91%
Protection
92%
Insulation
90%
Breathability
86%
Comfort
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$45.73
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Materials
92%
Protection
90%
Insulation
90%
Breathability
85%
Comfort
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$139.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Materials
88%
Protection
86%
Insulation
89%
Breathability
90%
Comfort
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$104.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Materials
89%
Protection
86%
Insulation
90%
Breathability
75%
Comfort
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.03.19)
$94.31
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Timberland Premium
  • Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
  • Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
  • Merrell Moab Polar
  • Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX
  • Honeywell Servus PVC
  • Kamik Hunter
  • Rockport Cold Springs
  • Keen Elsa II
  • Muck Boots Chore
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Timberland Premium

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Timberland Premium
Materials
99
Protection
93
Insulation
92
Breathability
94
Comfort
97
best offer for today
$170.77
Pros:

Seam-sealed Waterproof Construction

Premium Leather Upper

Anti-fatigue Technology

400g of Lightweight Insulation

Rubber Outsole

Cons:

Expensive

Slightly Bulky

The 6-Inch Premium boot by Timberland has become an icon among those looking for footwear that’s not only great looking, but also practical, durable, protective and comfortable enough for all-day wear. While it was originally developed for professionals, it’s become one of those ubiquitous pairs of footwear everyone seems to love. It comes in a variety of colors, mainly nubuck, but with full-grain versions available as well, so you can choose whether you want to go with minimalistic black, or if you prefer to show off in a brightly colored pair.

Read more

These boots are made with a waterproofing process that makes the leather resistant to moisture right from the tanning process. Then, during the construction process, they are either seam-sealed or made with an internal membrane to ensure your feet remain dry in all conditions. The 400g of insulation will keep you warm in most conditions, and the padded leather collar makes them comfortable for wear even during long hours.

You’ll also appreciate Timberland’s fatigue-fighting technology which utilizes geometric cone support to absorb shock that is generated while walking. This means your muscles and joints will be protected, and you’ll benefit from an energy returning outsole that also happens to be made from recycled materials. Considering the care that goes into the making of this boot, it comes as no surprise that it’s one of the more expensive models on our list. But, if you want something you will be able to wear for years, then the higher price is definitely worth it.

2. Bogs Classic Ultra Mid

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
Materials
97
Protection
95
Insulation
95
Breathability
92
Comfort
93
best offer for today
$124.95
Pros:
  • Spacious Fit
  • Handles for Easy Pull-on
  • Versatile
  • Rubber Spronge Midsole
  • Reasonably Priced
Cons:
  • On the Heavier Side
  • Wide at the Top

Originally designed for dairy farmers, the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid originates from the pastures and barnyards where there are lots of slippery terrains. These boots are therefore designed for serious protection against wet and slippery weather. The handles render them easy to slip on, and a simple design means that you can wear these for any occasion. Combined with a rubber sponge midsole and a non-slip non-marking outsole, these are guaranteed to meet your every need.

Read more

With rubber sponge on its internal midsole, these boots offer excellent cushioning and warmth. These can be worn in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. A clean, simple design and a variety of practical features, allows these boots to be worn around the yard, in the snow, or even just in the streets.
 
It's not often that you find boots of high-quality at such a reasonable price. With over four hundred five-star ratings, it seems as though they're definitely worth the money.

3. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
Materials
95
Protection
96
Insulation
93
Breathability
93
Comfort
90
best offer for today
$89.95
Pros:
  • Ideal for Hikes
  • Flexible 
  • Short Break-in Period
  • Traps Warmth
  • Good Traction
Cons:
  • Not Too Fashionable
  • May Not Fit Wide Feet

For those of you out there who have to deal with freezing icy winters, the Columbia Bugaboot Plus III will be your savior. This design ensures that you can step into puddles as deep as eight inches without ever getting your feet damp. A reflective liner also traps warmth without adding too much weight. Though they might not rank too high with fashion, these are sturdy, affordable, and ideal for long hikes in winter weather.

Read more

Though the ankle shaft has a snug fit, the material is flexible and provides the support needed for unstable terrain. The midsole and upper of these boots are flexible enough to keep you comfortable, yet rigid enough to ensure stability on slippery surfaces. With regards to their excellent quality, these shoes are surprisingly affordable and are definitely worth your consideration for this upcoming winter.

4. Merrell Moab Polar

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.4
Merrell Moab Polar
Materials
94
Protection
92
Insulation
94
Breathability
90
Comfort
92
best offer for today
$108.63
Pros:
  • Removable Insole
  • Shock Absorbent
  • Fleece Lining
  • Budget Friendly
  • Lightweight
Cons:
  • No Lace Locks
  • Not Suitable for Warmer Weather

This boot by Merrell is another amazing choice for hikers. With a TPU and on its base, it will keep you nice and dry even when splashing through slushy snow or shallow streams. As well, the tongue is reinforced with a gusset to prevent water from leaking in through the base of the laces. However, keep in mind that these are not suitable for temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius. With serious heat retention, they might just cook your feet.
 

Read more

This model features a lightweight midsole that provides excellent shock absorption, rendering them suitable for long hikes while carrying heavy packs. The interior lining is made of soft fleece and is designed to preserve heat. A breathable suede upper helps to circulate air through the boot. These boots sit on the low end of our price range but don't mistake that for lower quality. These are of great value for all the features they offer.

5. Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX
Materials
94
Protection
92
Insulation
90
Breathability
90
Comfort
90
best offer for today
$219.95
Pros:

1000 Denier Nylon

CamoHide Uppers

Gore-Tex Lining

800-Gram Thinsulate

PU Ortholite Footbeds

Cons:

Require Break In

Wide Width Sizing Varies

Danner is well known for their quality line of boots, ranging from heavy-duty construction ones, to tactical or hunting boots, and many in their line are waterproof. The Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX provides a longer shaft for ankle support and protection, as well as full grain leather uppers with a 1000 denier nylon and CamoHide. Great for hunting, the Pronghorn 8” GTX also has insulation to keep you warm in cold rain or snow when you’re out and about.
 

Read more

The Pronghorn 8” GTX boasts of full grain CamoHide leather uppers, that was struck through with marbling. This helps the boot maintain durability, and the CamoHide pattern. Uppers also have 1000 Denier Nylon, which are resistant to mildew or rot when they get wet, as well as abrasions. And, with Gore-Tex linings inside, any water or moisture that does come through won’t hit your feet, while keeping the environment inside breathable for your feet.
 
Made with the hunter in mind, Danner packed the Pronghorn 8” GTX with 800-gram Thinsulate for incredible heat retention so you stay warmer when the weather temperature plummets. TPU shank and PU Ortholite footbeds provide amazing support, stability, and cushioning, while the Danner Pronghorn outsoles provide a grippy traction that can keep up with wet rocks or leaves while you’re trekking outside.

6. Honeywell Servus PVC

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Honeywell Servus PVC
Materials
92
Protection
98
Insulation
90
Breathability
85
Comfort
85
best offer for today
$31.85
Pros:
  • Extremely Affordable
  • Cleated Outsole
  • Adjustable Shaft
  • Chemical Resistance
  • Flexible Sole
Cons:
  • Could Be More Durable

A steel-toed rubber boot with great traction. That describes the Servus PVC work boots featured here. The entire boot is seamless to reduce areas where the boot might fail. It’s tough, durable, and ready for whatever water, chemicals, fertilizers or waste you throw at it for an extraordinarily reasonable price.

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The Honeywell Servus PVC has an adjustable shaft, due to a formed guide built into the shaft of the boot. The top can be folded in or out to change the height of your boot. In one boot, you can have a mid-calf height or a full calf height in just a few seconds. It’s very hard to find a rubber boot that is steel toed. But, the Servus PVC is steel toed, and has arch and heel support for protection, shock absorption, and comfort.
 
For the almost pocket-change price, you get a great boot with a steel toe for work, a cushioned insole, adjustable shaft, flexibility and chemical resistance. It also boasts of a cleated outsole, contoured heel cup, reinforcement at stress points and rating for electrical hazards.

7. Kamik Hunter

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Kamik Hunter
Materials
91
Protection
92
Insulation
90
Breathability
86
Comfort
85
best offer for today
$45.73
Pros:
  • Reasonable Price Point
  • Removable Liner
  • Upper Closure
  • Rated to -40F
Cons:
  • Sizes Run Narrow

Another cold weather boot, this one from Kamik. This is designed for hunting in cold, wet temperatures but is suitable as a rain boot, mud boot and work boot that can be worn in the winter. The liner is removable for use in warmer conditions as well.

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If there’s one thing that Kamik knows, its how to build a cold weather boot. The company was born in the extremes more than 100 years ago and has never forgotten their heritage. The removable insulating liner in the boot will keep your feet warm and comfortable to -40F and the top gaitor closure will keep the snow and slush from seeping over the top of the boot.
 
A winter boot is rather useless if it fails to provide traction on snow and ice and in slushy, slick conditions. The synthetic outsole on this boot is meant to provide solid traction in these conditions and more.

8. Rockport Cold Springs

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Rockport Cold Springs
Materials
92
Protection
90
Insulation
90
Breathability
85
Comfort
85
best offer for today
$139.99
Pros:

Hydro-Shield Construction

truTech Sport Comfort

Seam Sealed

EVA Midsole

Waterproof Insole

Cons:

Can Run Tight

Not Insulated For Snow

Looking for a hiking style boot that will keep you dry no matter what? The Hydro-Shield constructed Rockport Cold Springs Plus boot is full of technology that protects the uppers, and your feet, from wet weather or muddy conditions. Packed with loads of cushion technology to keep you going strong as well, you’ll tackle the next hiking endeavor in comfort and protection. Great for an all around work boot, it may become one of your go-to pairs when the weather gets nasty outside.

Read more

Rockport’s Cold Spring Plus boot boasts of Hydro-Shield construction, so the leather uppers are protected against rain and any resulting damage from moisture. As well as having a waterproof insole to prevent wetness from creeping into the boot, it’s been seam sealed to keep the most vulnerable parts of the boot from water penetrating inside. A gusseted tongue also protects from water creeping in near the collar and lace up, so you can pull these together snug for even more protection.
 
No waterproof footwear will do much for your feet if it’s not comfortable for wear! The Cold Spring Plus has comfort tech such as truTech sport, to provide shock absorbance and keep your impact from walking light. EVA midsole and footbed help cushion you further, preventing foot fatigue, while a padded collar protects and cushions the ankle. Great for hiking, and off the trail as well, it’s a comfortable boot for any kind of use!

9. Keen Elsa II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Keen Elsa II
Materials
88
Protection
86
Insulation
89
Breathability
90
Comfort
86
best offer for today
$104.00
Pros:

Removable PU Footbed

100g Insulation

Odor-resistant

Seam-sealed, Weatherproof

Premium Leather and Wool Upper

Cons:

Small Toe Box

Creases Easily

This snow boot combines all the features you need to stay dry in winter, with the comfort of our favorite pair of sneakers. With a casual look and three color options, it’s definitely a great pair of footwear to own, especially if you need something practical, but that isn’t too hot, or bulky. It also uses environmentally preferred premium leather from LGW-certified tanneries, so you won’t have to worry about the quality of materials used in this shoe.

Read more

One of the best things about the Elsa II is the fact that it uses a newly developed type of insulation made from charcoal bamboo. Not only is it lightweight, but it’s also comfort rated to -4°F/-20°C, which makes these great for winter. The inside also features heat-reflective strobel for extra warmth, while the boot has been treated with Cleansport NXT which naturally controls odor, and prevents your shoes from becoming too stinky.

This boot features a vulcanized construction that you’d get in sneakers, while the outsole is made from tractioned rubber that’ll perform well on most surfaces thanks to the mildly aggressive traction pattern. The associated price is average, and even cheaper than most other models listed if you manage to get it on discount. That makes it a great investment, seeing that it’s not just functional and practical but also comfortable, plus looks great.

10. Muck Boots Chore

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.6
Muck Boots Chore
Materials
89
Protection
86
Insulation
90
Breathability
75
Comfort
88
best offer for today
$94.31
Pros:

Variety of Heights

5mm Neoprene Bootie

Mesh Lining

Quick Cleaning Rubber Outsole

Stretch Topline

Cons:

Neoprene Dries Slowly

Durability

The Chore by Muck Boots is a line of top performing wellington boots made for farmers, workers, and those who are looking for quality, durable waterproof footwear that can stand up to the test of rough environments, including ranches, farms and industrial settings. It’s available in a variety of versions, from mid height ones, those made for wide calves, steel toe, with cooling linings, and others.

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The topline of the Chore is made with stretchy neoprene that allows you to tuck your trousers in, and still get a comfortable but secure fit. The 5mm thick material is not only a comfortable one, but it also helps with insulation, keeping you warm in cold conditions. The lining of this boot is made with breathable AirMesh that allows moisture to be drawn away from the foot, keeping you dry and cool, even when you’re doing difficult work that results in sweating.

This is an averagely priced product, but if you’re after something that will do a good job at both protecting you, while still being comfortable, it’s a great choice. You’ll love the fact that the outsole is reinforced with a steel shank for stability, while high wear areas are made with multiple layers of rubber to prevent deterioration.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

When evaluating a pair of shoes, the quality of the materials is very important as it determines the durability, comfort, and practicality of the shoes. For example, even if a pair fits perfectly on your feet, they may not be of value if they won't last long enough to see the next season.  Likewise, a pair of durable shoes is useless if their materials render the shoe uncomfortable. A balance of all these features is what you want to look for.

  • Leather: One of the best material for any kind of shoe is leather. It's a highly durable and flexible material made from animal skin and rawhide (mostly cattle). Leather is often used because it can be decorated and altered for anything type of footwear ranging from designer shoes to work boots. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.  However, the material itself does not do well when mixed with water. Too much water would wet the material, and leave it stiff and hard after drying.  But if so, then why are so many of the boots on our list made with leather? The good news is, leather can be treated with specific techniques to improve its resistance against water. Not only would they keep your feet dry, but would also maintain some of their suppleness which offers more comfort. In addition, their lifespan is increased in the treatment process, which makes them more durable so that one pair can serve you well for a long time.
  •  

  • Synthetic Fabrics: Another type of materials often used in the making of this kind of footwear are synthetic fabrics. These are textiles made from man-made materials instead of natural materials, which means they are more easily altered to suit different needs. Some common examples are nylon, polyester, spandex, and latex. When used in shoes, these provide more ventilation and are much lighter in weight. Certain chemicals can also be added to them to make them waterproof, as well as increase their durability. However, what makes these second to leather is that they don't offer as much protection from the cold. So although synthetic fabrics are great for everyday footwear, if you're going to be trekking in freezing weather, it may be better to opt for the leather.
  •  

  • Rubber: Rubber is the superstar in the well-known Wellington boots. This material is incredibly waterproof and is guaranteed to provide serious protection against rain and mud. When used in footwear, it is highly durable and can last for years regardless of how frequently you wear them. However, one con is that it can sometimes crack out of the blue. You could prevent this to a degree if you avoid leaving them on the heater to dry.
  • Protection

    High-top boots may seem uncomfortable at first, but they offer many features that can help you in the long run. They offer better ankle support than low-top boots when it comes to hiking.  If they have a snug fit, they can also provide you with more stability that is needed when walking on unstable terrain.

    Aside from that, they'll also cover more of your feet and ankles which provides more protection against water. For example, if you're stepping into a puddle or a shallow stream, (whether by accident or on purpose), a high-top boot would allow you to step in deeper. When wearing a low-top boot, on the other hand, you risk getting water in through the top of the boot.

    But despite this, low-top boots tend to be more stylish. If you're mostly just going to be out in the streets on rainy days and don't plan to step into puddles any time soon, a pair of ankle-high chukkas may be more suitable for you.

    There are three levels of water protection available in the market, and knowing what each label means can make your life considerably easier:

  • Water Repellent: This type of footwear is made with materials that won't absorb moisture, but won't protect you from getting your feet wet either. Almost any material can become water repellent by applying a protective spray that will cause moisture to bead on the shoe, slowing down the rate at which it is absorbed.
  • Water Resistant: This type of footwear won't let moisture get inside if you happen to be walking in rain or snow. This is the type of waterproofing most often found in footwear, and will work well in most conditions, as it won't require you to walk around in synthetic footwear, but will still keep you protected. Do note that water may enter these shoes through the tongue and eyelets.
  • Waterproof: The highest level of protection, this is the type of footwear that will allow you to stand in water and still remain completely dry. This level is mostly achieved through a rubber construction, such as in wellington boots.
  • Insulation

    Depending on where and when you're planning on wearing them, you may want to take heat retention into consideration. It's important to ensure that your feet stay warm when out on long hikes or in freezing winter weather. Who likes to have freezing toes, after all?

    But aside from the discomfort, not being equipped with the proper heat-retaining footwear could seriously affect your performance. You'll be distracted and prevented from enjoying your hike. In addition, cold can actually harm you if you're not prepared or it. It can numb your feet and seriously damage the skin if you're exposed to it for too long. Not only that, but it's harder to feel what you're stepping on when your feet are numb. This could lead to slipping when walking on unstable terrain and may lead to serious injuries.

    The key to serious heat retention would be a lack of ventilation. The icy wind should be sealed out and your body heat sealed in. Cutting off this air flow ensures that your feet can stay nice and warm regardless of the conditions outside.

    However, if you're not going out hiking any time soon, your needs would be slightly different. In spring or autumn weather, a lining of soft fleece would most likely suffice in providing warmth. Wearing boots designed for serious winter cold would cook your feet alive, so in this case, air flow should be a priority.

    Breathability

    Some of these models have a hard time allowing air to flow through them. Leather and rubber don't provide much ventilation, which may cause sweat or smell to accumulate in the boot. You may be kept dry from the rain, but you'll be soaked in perspiration!

    When picking out a pair of boots, it's a good idea to check the lining. A lining made of a lighter, breathable material like synthetic fabrics would help to dissipate sweat and odor. Likewise, a shoe lined with a material like fleece would not provide good ventilation.  They may provide excellent heat retention, which would be ideal in freezing cold weather but would lock moisture in during warmer weathers and prevent the perspiration from leaving the shoe.

    For those wondering how a fabric can be both breathable and be waterproof, it's a matter of quality of the material.

    Comfort

    Comfort is key for any pair of footwear, whether they be sneakers, dress shoes, or boots. We've rated our list above based on comfort and cushion features or technology that will help you feel supported and cushioned during wear. A few key things to look for when you consider comfort in your next pair of boots are:

  • Cushioning: Many times, manufacturers will cushion or pad the footbed so that you have a softer foot feel when wearing your boots. In addition to that, any kind of padded collar or tongue can greatly add to your experience, as well as any kind of cushioning technology that the brand has.
  •  

  • Support: Support in a boot comes from the midsole and shank, and sometimes added features, such as a heel cup, will help to properly align the foot, helping you feel further supported. EVA midsoles and TPU shanks all create stability to help you feel supported.
  •  

  • Flexibility: Many work boots may be waterproof, but some are less flexible than others, due to reinforced toes designed to protect in a work environment. Think about how you plan to use your next pair and consider the flexibility aspects before purchasing. For example, if you plan to be hiking instead of dealing with electrical or chemical hazards, you may want something suited for walking instead of protective toe features that can make the boot a bit stiffer.
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions

    Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
    Sort criterias acording to:
    Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
    Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
    #1
    Materials
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #2
    Protection
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #3
    Insulation
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #4
    Breathability
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    #5
    Comfort
    Rate This Criteria as Most Important
    Waterproof Or Water Repellent?

    These three terms can sometime be confusing if you're researching gear to keep you dry.
    Water Repellent means that the shoe or boot has been treated in some way to help bead water on the surface to repel it from absorption. While this is still great for light showers, it may not help during downpours.
    Waterproof means that usually your footwear has been treated, or made with materials, that do not allow water to creep inside the shoe or boot. Gore-Tex is a great example of such a material, which is why many shoes and boots utilize a Gore-Tex lining.

    Expectations

    While all the items on this list will protect you from water for sure, they are made for functioning in everyday life and situations. Hiking in downpours, plugging through puddles and rain-soaked streets, and the occasional stream crossing.
    Be sure to select something for your next pair, that will suit your intended needs while wearing it. Rain boots are perfect for puddle hopping, while you may need something with breathable support if you plan to rough it out on the trails hiking.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Bottom Line

    If you need a pair of footwear to wear in wet conditions, whether it be snow or rain, the most important thing to consider is the exact way you will want to use it. If you expect to be submerged in water for long periods of time, your best bet would be to invest in a quality pair of wellington boots. If, however, you need something for snowy or rainy days, an insulated pair of shoes is recommended as you’ll need to be protected from cold temperatures as well.

    When shopping for this type of footwear, it’s crucial that you consider the most important factors which include:

  • The type of waterproofing - not all footwear is 100% waterproof, some is water resistant or just water repellent
  • The type of construction and lining
  • Insulation
  • Comfort
  • Weight
  • The traction provided by the outsole
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Which is more waterproof, leather or rubber?
    a:

    Natural leather is not waterproof and can easily be ruined if it gets wet, but it can be made to be so after being specifically treated. Since its quality is highly dependent on the manufacturer, however, the amount of protection they offer can vary. Rubber, on the other hand, is already extremely waterproof without needing to be altered. It is, therefore, safer to pick rubber over leather, as the quality of their resistance against water doesn't depend on the manufacturer.

    But that doesn't mean you should distrust leather altogether. If a pair of boots has high reviews and is made by a reputable manufacturer, chances are they're just as good.

    q: How are boots both breathable and waterproof?
    a:

    The answer to this question lies in the material of the shoes. There are two types of waterproof-breathable materials out there, the first of which is coating materials. These are basically just fabrics coated in a protective layer that renders them waterproof. They are often cheaper, lighter, but also less breathable. The second type of material is membranes. Membranes themselves are waterproof without needing to be modified. So if ventilation is a priority for you, it's a good idea to look out for a pair of boots made with one of these materials.

    q: Is there a difference between waterproof and water-resistant?
    a:

    There is a slight difference between these two terms. Waterproof signifies that something is entirely protected against water. This means that it would never get wet and would never allow water to pass through. Shoes like that are ideal for walking through puddles or streams.

    A water-resistant material, on the other hand, means that the material can resist water only to a certain degree. If exposed to too much water, it can get wet and will allow water to penetrate. However, if you are not in need of heavy protection, a pair of boots that are water-resistant will likely do the job for you.

    q: Which boots should I buy?
    a:

    Although there are certain desirable aspects of a shoe that are universal, such as good durability and proper structural support, the vast majority are things that are subjective. This means that what's best will depend on you, your foot, and your conditions. For instance, a lot of cushioning may be an asset for somebody who frequently hikes while carrying a heavy pack. The padding would help to attenuate the shock created when the foot meets the ground. On the other hand, more cushioning means a tighter fit, which can be a nightmare for somebody with wider feet.

    With that said, it's still a good idea to take a look at others people's reviews to help you make your decision. This can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of quality. However, things such as comfort and practicality will vary from person to person, so keep in mind not to rely too much on product reviews.

    q: Is there a way to make shoes waterproof?
    a:

    In fact, if you're up for the challenge, there are certain ways to do that. The methods will vary depending on the material you are using. There are fabric waterproofing sprays that work well with canvas shoes and allow them to keep your feet dry and also prevent them from getting stains. Not only is this effective against wet weather, but can also save you the need to wash them very often, as they are more protective against mud, water, and dust alike. There are also different sprays for suede that will prevent the suede from getting destroyed when coming in contact with water.

    If you don't want to use any spray, there are other methods as well. In fact, just a piece of solid beeswax can do. For canvas shoes especially, you simply need to cover the shoe with it and use a hairdryer to fix it into your shoe. As you blow on the fabric, it should gradually return to its original color. That's how you know the beeswax has worked its way into the fabric and has made it waterproof.

    You can use these methods for leather or hiking boots as well. However, you'll need to make sure to clean your shoe thoroughly, taking care to remove all the dust and dirt accumulated on the shoe with warm water and soap. Be careful not to get the leather too wet, as it might dry and become stiff and discolored. Next, polish the shoe with a clean piece of cloth. Then you can use a waterproofing product based on the instructions provided. It's a good idea to check out others' reviews on any products that you plan to use. This way, you can choose wisely and purchase a product that's high quality.