Best Waterproof Boots Reviewed For Quality
Spring is a season filled with life, fall filled with color and winter filled with exhilarating temperatures (a.k.a. cold) and snow. Then there are the in-between seasons that no one really talks about but we all know exist - damp, grey pre-winter; slushy, melty pre-spring; muddy, chilly post-autumn. You know those seasons. When you have to wonder what to put on your feet. Will it be wet & cold, muddy & damp, slushy & sunny? What oh what will you wear on your feet?
Sure, spring is when nature begins to bloom again. But spring is also when ice turns to wet mush and when rain can fall in bucketfuls from the sky for weeks on end and you can have snow and slush at the same time! Aside from spring, wet weather can also happen in winter, summer, or autumn. If you're not equipped with the proper clothing and footwear, it's hard to go out and enjoy anything, whether it's hiking or working or simply running errands. Thankfully, there are certain steps you can take to gear up for the wet season and keep yourself dry and protected - starting from your feet.
When it comes to waterproof boots, what's best for you will 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. Don't overlook the value of a waterproof winter boot either Our list of best waterproof boots have everything ranging from ankle-high chukkas to hiking boots so that you can be well-equipped for any occasion.
- Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
- Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
- Merrell Moab Polar
- Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX
- MuckBoots Scrub
- Honeywell Servus PVC
- KEEN Elsa
- Kamik Hunter
- Rockport Cold Springs
- Asolo TPS 520 GV
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
- Spacious Fit
- Handles for Easy Pull-on
- Rubber Spronge Midsole
- Reasonably Priced
- 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.
2. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
- Ideal for Hikes
- Short Break-in Period
- Traps Warmth
- Good Traction
- 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.
3. Merrell Moab Polar
- Removable Insole
- Shock Absorbent
- Fleece Lining
- Budget Friendly
- 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.
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.
4. Danner Pronghorn 8” GTX
1000 Denier Nylon
PU Ortholite Footbeds
Require Break In
Wide Width Sizing Varies
Danner is well known for their quality line of boots, ranging from heavy duty construction, 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 which are waterproof 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.
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.
5. MuckBoots Scrub
- Very Comfortable
- Fully Waterproof
- Great Workboot
- Easy to Care For
- Low Calf Design
- Less Durable
The Scrub is a rain and mud boot that is packed with a number of features to keep you comfortable. With a low-calf height and excellent waterproofing, the boot will suit almost any activity that you need to accomplish in the elements. It comes in a variety of designed as well so you can express your personal flair.Read more
Whether you’ve been pulling weeds in your garden, changing the oil on your car or doing home repairs, when you’re done, simply rinse the boots off and you’re good to go. That’s it. All it takes to care for the boots is a little water or a damp cloth.
Rain boots and mud boots can be very uncomfortable. They usually come with minimal lining to separate your foot from the rubber and a minimal footbed. Not so with the Scrub. It features a moisture-wicking, breathable lining, a rubber-reinforced foot and a comfortable shaft for additional warmth.
6. Honeywell Servus PVC
- Extremely Affordable
- Cleated Outsole
- Adjustable Shaft
- Chemical Resistance
- Flexible Sole
- Could Be More Durable
A steel-toed rubber, waterproof 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.Read more
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 waterproof 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. KEEN Elsa
- Leather Lining
- Synthetic Rubber Foot
- Stylish Textile Shaft
- Rubber Sole
- Breathable Hiking Boot
- Little Insulation
The Elsa is a waterproof winter boot that comes in a number of fashionable designs. It has a good rubber sole for traction in slushy, wet snow conditions and in those conditions, it keeps the foot well and dry. With a textile appearance outside, you benefit from the waterproof leather lining and synthetic rubber around the foot.Read more
Leather is fairly waterproof, breathable and durable. These boots are leather lined for comfort and breathability but also for their protection from the elements. Slog your way home through freezing rain and slush and arrive dry, warm and happy, the way it’s meant to be.
Rubber gives excellent traction on most surfaces. It can harden and become slick in cold conditions but the tread on the Elsa will ensure that no matter the temperature outside, the boot will grip the ground.
This boot is priced in the upper low range for boots on this list. For the small investment, you are getting a very waterproof boot for the slush, freezing rain and wet snow conditions that come with most winters in the Northern Hemisphere. Staying dry means staying warm and comfortable as well.
8. Kamik Hunter
- Reasonable Price Point
- Removable Liner
- Upper Closure
- Rated to -40F
- Sizes Run Narrow
Another waterproof 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 for those that want a great waterproof boot for winter. The liner is removable for use in warmer conditions as well.Read more
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.
9. Rockport Cold Springs
truTech Sport Comfort
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 waterproof technology to protect 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 waterproof protection.
No waterproof boot 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!
10. Asolo TPS 520 GV
Weather Resistant Leather
Seam Sealed Constructed
Sole Can Delaminate
Another quality option is the Asolo TPS 520 GV. This hiker style boot boasts of water resistant full grain leather uppers with Gore-Tex lining inside to keep you dry and ready for the next mile. Full of comfort and cushioning, it also has a Vibram rubber sole for exceptional grip and traction when you’re out huffing it in the rain. If you’re in search of something for the trail, and have yet to try out Asolo, consider this the boot for full consideration.Read more
If you’re out hiking miles every day, your boots have to be comfortable, supportive, and provide stability on uneven terrain. The Asolo TPS 520 GV was constructed with Triple Power Structure midsoles that support unlike any other, with a mix of high and low density PU cylinders. Asoflex thermoplastic gives potential twists and pivots stability over uneven surfaces, while a notch for the Achilles tendon allows less rubbing of the tendon on steep terrain.
Uppers of the TPS 520 GV are made from weather resistant leather, durable for the wear, no matter what you encounter. Inner linings are Gore-Tex and seam sealed, so no water will be able to penetrate into your feet. Superior traction comes from the Vibram outsole, updated in this model with deep channels to reduce debris sticking to your boots, and improve all-around traction.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 material often used in waterproof boots 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.
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 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.
Depending on where and when you're planning on wearing your waterproof boots, 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.
Certain waterproof boots 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 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:
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 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.
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 of waterproof boots, 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
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 a waterproof material, and many waterproof shoes and boots will utilize a Gore Tex lining.
While all the items on this list are indeed considered waterproof boots, 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Natural leather is not waterproof and can easily be ruined if it gets wet. However, after being specifically treated, it can be made waterproof. But since its quality is highly dependent on the manufacturer, 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 pretty waterproof.
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.
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 that are waterproof 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.
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.
In fact, if you're up for the challenge, there are certain ways to make shoes waterproof. 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 to waterproof 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 waterproofing products that you plan to use. This way, you can choose wisely and purchase a product that's high quality.
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