Best Waterproof Boots Reviewed For Quality

Spring is a season filled with life. After a long cold winter of shoveling driveways, inconvenient storms, and skyrocketing electricity bills, it’s a relief when the snow finally melts and the plants begin to bud. Watching through the window, you can’t help but feel nature calling to you… until you step foot outside.

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.  Aside from spring, wet weather can also happen in winter, summer, or autumn. If you’re not equipped with the proper clothes 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.

Featured Recommendations

Sperry Top-Sider Saltwater
  • Sperry Top-Sider Saltwater
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Insulated Shell
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Danner Mountain 600
  • Danner Mountain 600
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Self-adapting Lugs
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Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
  • Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
  • 4.6 out of 5
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  • Omni-Grip
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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. 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.

 

10 Best Waterproof Boots

 

 

1. Sperry Top-Sider Saltwater

Number one on our list is a pair of rain boots with quite an interesting history. The Srerry Top-Sider shoe was born in 1935 after a near death experience by the founder Paul Sperry. Eighty years later, these boots are now being worn all over the globe by men, women, and children alike. These provide excellent comfort and protection against dreary spring or autumn weather. In addition to that, they're reasonably priced and have an attractive design, so that you can look good and feel good at the same time.
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Traction
With a non-marking outsole made of thick rubber with indentations, these boots ensure traction on wet and dry surfaces alike. Thanks to this, you'll never have to worry about slipping and sliding on the floor after walking into a building from the pouring rain.

Snug Fit
The inside of these boots are insulated with a micro-fleece lining that will keep your feet comfortable despite the raging weather outside. In addition, it's amazing at retaining heat and makes them suitable for deep winter climate that falls below 30 degrees Celsius.

Cost and Value
These rain boots fall in the middle of our price range compared to the other products on our list. With considerations to their high quality and their abundance of positive reviews, we think it's an excellent bargain!
Pros
  • Micro-fleece lining
  • Thick rubber sole
  • Good traction on wet surfaces
  • Excellent for deep winter climate
Cons
  • Not suitable for snow
  • Weight is on the heavy side

2. Danner Mountain 600

Light, sturdy, flexible, water-resistant... what's not to love? Thanks to their Danner Dry treatment, the Danner Mountain 600 boot is sure to meet your every need. People have splashed in puddles, walked in the rain, and even dumped water directly onto the shoe as an experiment. Sure enough, these boots were able to keep water out. Combined with a stitched leather upper, lightweight cushioning, and a retro feel to its design, these shoes can also be worn recreationally as well.
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Perfect for Hiking
When walking for long periods of time, stiff, heavy shoes are a nightmare. These hiking boots have a flexible midsole and are lightweight, ensuring that you can move easily and stay protected at the same time.

Durable
Unlike other durable boots, these won't leave your feet stiff and aching at the end of the day. They are designed to

Cost and Value
These boots fall towards the high end of our price range, but they're nowhere near the most expensive. Their durability definitely renders them a worthy investment.
Pros
  • Flexible midsole
  • High-ankle
  • Lighweight cushioning
  • Good for recreational use
Cons
  • Rugged look
  • Not suitable for extremely rocky terrain

3. Timberland Heston Mid

Third on our list is a great looking pair of waterproof boots by Timberland. These boots are lined with high quality Pendleton wool that ensure long-term warmth and comfort, while a breathable membrane releases moisture and provides ventilation. This design allows you to stay cozy without having to worry about sweaty feet.
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Ventilation
These boots features a waterproof membrane that allows air to flow through the shoe. Sweat and smell are minimized thanks to this brilliant design.

Structural Support
An ortholite footbed provides excellent cushioning and support for the feet. The midsole and outsole are designed to provide maximum flexibility.

Cost and Value
Like our previous pick, these boots fall towards the high end of our price range. Keep in mind, though, that high quality naturally comes with a higher price.
Pros
  • Breathable
  • Structural support
  • Lined with wool
  • Good looking
Cons
  • Size runs a bit large
  • May not fit narrow feet

4. Timberland Britton Hill

4. Timberland Britton Hill
Next up is another great shoe by Timberland. This design is called a moc toe because of the seam that runs along the top of the shoe. This model features leather footbeds and a waterproof membrane that will keep you protected in rainy weather. What's more, the classic laces and mesh linings are both made entirely from recycled nylon and plastic bottles. If you're looking for something practical and eco-conscious, these are the boots for you!
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Comfort
With this model, a comfort system ensures maximum underfoot support. The upper is made of premium full-grain and nubuck leathers which provides excellent flexibility.

Versatility
Style and practicality come hand in hand with this one. With a wide variety of color selections ranging from full black to chestnut brown, these boots can be dressed both up and down.

Cost and Value
These boots can get somewhat expensive. However, thanks to their versatility, they're great for every day street and would serve you good until summer rolls around.
Pros
  • Mesh lining provides ventilation
  • Eco-friendly
  • Leather footbeds
  • Color selection
  • Removable insole
Cons
  • Size runs a bit large
  • May not fit wide feet

5. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III

5. Columbia Bugaboot Plus III
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.
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Flexible
Though the ankle shaft has a snug fit, the material is flexible and provides the support needed for unstable terrain.

Stability
The midsole and upper of these boots are flexible enough to keep you comfortable, yet rigid enough to ensure stability on slippery surfaces.

Cost and Value
With regards to their excellent quality, these shoes are surprisingly affordable and are definitely worth your consideration for this upcoming winter.
Pros
  • Ideal for hikes
  • Flexible 
  • Short break-in period
  • Traps warmth
  • Good traction
Cons
  • Not too fashionable
  • May not fit wide feet

6. Danner Mountain Light II

6. Danner Mountain Light II
Our second pick from Danner provides unmatched quality, comfort, and durability. With contrast lacing and a sleek design, this is a boot that will not only keep your feet dry but look great while doing so.
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Structural Support
Featuring a high-cut, fill grain leather upper, these boots are sure to keep your ankles well protected on harsh rocky terrain. A fiberglass shank also provides good arch support.

Durable
This model includes a stitched-down sole that is easily replaceable after long-term use. As well, the full grain leather upper is sturdy and offers amazing durability.

Cost and Value
The price tag on these ones might scare you away, but it's important to keep in mind their quality. These boots are designed to last for years of hard use.
Pros
  • Easily replacable sole
  • Nylon linings
  • Good ventilation
  • Ankle protection
  • Arch support
Cons
  • Tongue is not continuous
  • Narrow toe

7. Merrell Moab Polar

7. Merrell Moab Polar
This boot by Merrell is another amazing choice for hikers. With a TPU rand 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.
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Shock Absorption
This model features a lightweight midsole that provides excellent shock absorption, rendering them suitable for long hikes while carrying heavy packs.

Heat Retention
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.

Cost and Value
These boots sit on the low end of our price range, but don't mistaken that for lower quality. These are of great value for all the features they offer.
Pros
  • Removable insole
  • Shock absorbent
  • Fleece lining
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • No lace locks
  • Not suitable for warmer winters

8. Bogs Classic Ultra Mid

8. Bogs Classic Ultra Mid
Originally designed for dairy farmers, the Bogs Classic Ultra Mid originates from the pastures and barnyards where there are lots of slippery terrain. 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.
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Heat Retention
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.

Versitality
With a clean, simple design and a variety of practical features, these boots can be worn around the yard, in the snow, or even just in the streets.

Cost and Value
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.
Pros
  • Spacious fit
  • Handles for easy pull-on
  • Versatile
  • Rubber spronge midsole
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • On the heavier side
  • Wide at the top

9. Timberland BH Chukka

9.  Timberland BH Chukka
Next on our list is a pair by Timberland that ensures you'll never have to sacrifice style for practicality. Chukka boots are ankle-high boots, typically with leather uppers or leather soles. This particular model also features anti-fatigue footbeds and breathable membranes, which makes them ideal for walking long distances in wet weather. Like the previous pair of Timberland Britton Hill boots, the classic laces and mesh linings are made entirely from recycled nylon and plastic bottles, so that you can stay dry and remain eco-friendly at the same time.
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Ventilation
These boots feature a membrane that is not only waterproof, but also breathable. This ensures that your feet can stay dry and comfortable regardless of the weather conditions.

Structural Support
With this model, stability is ensured with underfoot support. An anti-fatigue technology in the midsole also adds cushioning, which minimizes strain when walking long distances.

Cost and Value
These boots sit on the high end of our price range. You may want to think about these before making your purchase, but you won't regret it when you do.
Pros
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Underfoot support
  • Leather footbeds
  • Breathable membrane
  • Cushioning in midsole
Cons
  • Narrow fit
  • Ankle-high

10. Danner Light II

10. Danner Light II
Last but certainly not least, our final pick for best waterproof boots is the Danner Light II. The outsole is designed to provide lightweight comfort and shock absorption. It also offers excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces. Combined with a breathable lining, leather and nylon upper, and a good-looking retro design, this USA made boot can be worn for anything from hiking to every day wear.
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Lightweight
With nubuck leather and 1000 denier nylon in the upper, weight will never be a concern when wearing these boots. This prevents fatigue in the feet and renders them ideal for long hikes.

Ventilation
This model features a Gore-Tex liner that is not only waterproof, but also provides excellent ventilation, preventing the accumulation of sweat and smell.

Cost and Value
Part of the reason why these boots come in last is because they cost quite a bit. But if you save up a bit to buy a pair, they certainly won't disappoint.
Pros
  • Short break-in period
  • Excellent traction
  • Nylon and leather upper
  • Breathable lining
  • Arch support
Cons
  • Costly
  • Narrow fit

When it comes to waterproof boots, what ultimately makes them great against rain or snow is their materials and their manufacturing process. But it’s also crucial to consider additional features such as grip if you’re hiking in the wild, or heat retention if you’re going out freezing cold weather. Evaluating what you need for your conditions is always a good idea. This way, you know how to pick a pair that’s best suited for you. That’s why our list includes a variety of boots designed for different occasions — so that regardless if it’s spring, autumn, winter, or even summer, you can step into the new season on the right foot.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Waterproof Boots

Quality of 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 are useless if their materials render the shoe uncomfortable. A balance of all these features are 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 every day 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

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.

Grip

People often underestimate the likelihood of slipping, as well as the severity of the injuries that it can cause. In fact, slips and falls are one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. In the long run, those hospital fees can really add up, and you also put yourself at risk. And when walking around in rain or snow, your chances of slipping are even higher. That’s why it’s crucial to consider the bottom of your shoes, even though you might be more worried about the rain that’s falling on top of them.

When it comes to good grip, the outsole of a shoe determines everything. One thing to look out for is the pattern on the outsole. These shapes will help your shoes grip onto the floor and onto wet surfaces. Although any shape is better than no shape at all, certain shapes such as circles are more effective than others such as hexagons. This is because in theory, what causes a shoe to resist grip on a wet surface is its ability to disperse the liquid on that surface. A circle can disperse water rapidly while a hexagon can sometimes create a barrier that prevents its dispersion.

Something else to consider is the depth and the distance between these shapes on the outsole. If the grooves are too narrow, the shoe may trap liquid beneath the sole and increase your chances of slipping. Likewise, if there the grooves are not deep enough, the liquid won’t be able to disperse quickly enough. A pattern that is three millimeters deep and at least two millimeters wide is therefore ideal.

However, do keep in mind that just as the tires of a car will wear out over time, the depth of the grooves of the pattern on the outsole can also become more shallow over time. This would decrease the grip and increase the risk of slipping and falling. It’s a good idea to check the bottom of your shoes if you have been wearing them for a long time. If the pattern has been worn down, or if you’ve been noticing a decrease in the quality of the grip, it may be time to get a new pair.

Heat Retention

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. This leads us to our next criteria…

Ventilation

Certain waterproof boots have a hard time allowing air to flow through them. Leather and rubber doesn’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 therefore 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. We answer this question more in-depth in the FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q: Which is more waterproof, leather or rubber?

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.

Q: How are boots both breathable and 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.

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

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.

Q: Which waterproof boots should I buy?

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?

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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