Best Waterproof Shoes and Mids Reviewed
Waterproof shoes are an extremely good investment in our opinion, especially if you live somewhere that there’s a lot of rain or snow. Many pairs of shoes have been ruined before their time due to moisture seeping into the fibers and corroding them from the inside out.
Whether you are looking for regular everyday shoes or boots to wear to work there are many waterproof options out there. Sure they might cost more than the tennis shoes you can snatch at the local department store but they also last considerably longer, meaning you save time and money. Do the math; one pair of higher priced shoes for up to 2-5 years or a new pair of cheap shoes every season (four times a year). The answer seems obvious, right? So keep reading to find the ten best waterproof shoes available in 2018.
- Timberland White Ledge
- KEEN Targhee II
- Adidas Terrex
- Merrell Moab 2 Mid
- Salewa GTX Speed Hike
- The North Face 109
- Rockport Waterproof Blucher
- Dunham Cloud
- Danner Pronghorn
- Columbia Peakfreak Venture
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Timberland White Ledge
D-ring Lace Up
Manufacture Country Varies
Topping our list is the Timberland White Ledge, as the waterproof version of the regular White Ledge model. It keeps style in a hiking style of boot, with rugged durability, and oiled-leather for a waterproof finish. Rustproof hardware adorns the lace up vamp, and plenty of cushion and comfort technology line the boot for keeping your feet happy during wear. It’s a great boot for on the town, work, or hiking in the mountains!Read more
The White Ledge was made for hiking through gravel laced trails and rooted paths through nature, knowing full well you’ll encounter some wet elements along the journey. Oiled-leather finish helps maintain the leather’s weather resistant seal to moisture, and is made for rain, creek crossings, and wet slippery conditions. Dual density EVA footbed gives support and cushion, and is removable should you prefer. Padded collar and gusseted tongue keep it plush to the feel.
The lace up vamp of the White Ledge contains rustproof hardware, making a speed lace system with top lace hooks secure and resistant to the elements. Rubber sole gives ample traction and durability for those longer hikes or hours on the work site, with multidirectional traction lugs to help you keep your stability. Pull on loop helps make these a cinch to take on and off.
Cost and Value
For a pair of quality waterproof shoes, the Timberland White Ledge is quite reasonably priced, and is one of the more budget friendly options for the brand itself. Waterproof oiled leather helps protect you against the elements, and rugged sole provides traction for tougher hikes and scrambles. Great for any outdoor enthusiast, or worksite that wrestles with the elements.
2. KEEN Targhee II
- Nubuck leather
- Ghillie lacing
- Rubber sole
- Contoured heel
- Multi-directional lugs
- Run small
- Plastic lace hooks
Ranked number one by consumers for mid-boots are the Targhees by KEEN and with good reason. They are rugged, comfy, and long-lasting alongside the waterproof aspect. They are a low profile leather boot that ensures a snug, secure fit for the right amount of support. Just because they are labeled as a typical hiking boot do not let that fool you because they have been rated as the number one for work and regular wear as well.Read more
How many times have you pulled on some boots only to find the heel bent and crushed inside the boot, preventing you from pulling them on and creasing the the material? The Targhee mid-boot has an easy pull heel to avoid this uncomfortable and sometimes painful occurrence. You do not need to worry about being late either because you cannot seem to pull your shoes on as you are trying to walk out of the door.
It seems to be a normality that you find the perfect mid-boot and it turns out that the tongue and collar are hard and cut into your ankles after walking around more than you did at the store when trying them on. We are happy to report that KEEN made their boots tongue and collar padded, which means no more painful rubbing on your skin and a comfortable all day feel. Avoid the burning that fresh air causes once the boots are off caused by inflamed, raw skin.
Cost and Value
It is no surprise that the top-rated boots are one of the most expensive pairs we have found but the fact that it is one of the most purchased with an extremely high amount of reviews is not surprising. The reasons are obvious since the ghillie lacing and the lugged outsole make them not just a regular pair of waterproof mid boots. Although they do tend to be a little on the heavy side do not let that stop you from treating yourself to your dream boots.
3. Adidas Terrex
- Superior cushioning
- Rubber outsole
- Ripstop mesh
- Added support
- Tight laces
- Run small
When it comes to tennis shoes Adidas is definitely a go-to for someone wanting something they know will work the way they want it to. What a lot of people do not know is they don’t just offer regular running shoes but outdoor shoes as well. If you love your everyday shoes by Adidas and do not want to ruin them on woodsy excursions then grab a pair of the Terrex shoes. They come in a variety of colors to appeal to all tastes.Read more
Your heel is where a lot of the impact will resonate with each step because it goes heel, ball, toes (for the majority). The initial shock of contact with the ground can ripple up into your legs, hips, and back causing some uncomfortable soreness later on. The Terrex shoes have adiprene underneath the heel between the insole and outsole to cushion said impact and lessen its harmful effects. Adiprene is an advanced tech originally created by Adidas but is now being found in other shoe brands as well for its strength and absorbency.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (aka TPU) is a flexible man-made plastic that is layered over top of the outside materials for added durability. How many shoes have “died” because the outside just could not hold up to the elements and general wear? So many. Not many people will continue to wear shoes after they have started to look tattered and worn. Luckily Adidas uses the TPU as an overlay to protect your aesthetic and keep the shoes looking new and “fresh” longer. Be prepared to be asked if you got new shoes all the time since they will always look “on fleek”.
Cost and Value
As we continue on with the list you will notice a recurring theme of similar prices between each shoe and/or boot. You think it would make it easier to choose but it might also make it more difficult since typically shoppers will go by price to determine the quality and worth of a product. Well, we are here to reassure you that you cannot go wrong with these Terrex outdoor shoes in this price range. They have so many other benefits such as optimal grip, gore-tex lining (the waterproof aspect), breathable mesh and the fact that they are lightweight make them quite the steal.
4. Merrell Moab 2 Mid
Select DRY Tech
Air Heel Cushion
Nylon Arch Shank
Another hiking style of boot, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid has plenty of Merrell tech to keep water out of your boots during hikes and explorations. Loads of support and stability technology help keep your feet in the best position possible to continue hiking, walking, and scaling over boulders. Plus, with all the comfort and cushioning, it makes for a formidable boot when battling the elements or the trail.Read more
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid keeps its waterproof status with Select DRY technology to seal water out, and keep you dry. It allows moisture to escape as well, so should your feet be damp from hiking, this tech helps divert perspiration away from your feet. Breathable mesh lining, and closed-cell foam tongue keep moisture at bay, and debris out of your boot.
Merrell added an air cushion heel to help absorb shock, while removable insole and a blended EVA contoured footbed give you cushioned comfort. Zonal arch and heel support help give stability along with the nylon shank located at the arch. Rubber sole gives wonderful traction and grip, and protective toe cap helps against the occasional toe stubbing against roots and small rocks.
Cost and Value
For a hiking boot, it’s reasonably priced, and comparable to other brand name hiking boots. For a waterproof shoe, it may hit the higher end of our price list, but well worth it for outdoor enthusiasts if in search of a new waterproof hiker. Breathable, waterproof, cushioned and stable, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid is great for weekend adventures in the mountains!
5. Salewa GTX Speed Hike
3F Support System
Narrow Toe Box
Not all hiking style shoes are boots, as demonstrated by the Salewa GTX Speed Hike. It packs together Gore-Tex with breathability, comfort, stability, and durability into a speedy design, and multiuse function all together in one pair of shoes. The Salewa brand was ‘born in the Dolomites’, a mountain region of Italy, where mountaineers trek to challenge their athleticism and enjoy some spectacular views. The GTX Speed Hike embodies the brand’s commitment to outdoor adventure enthusiasts who need a versatile pair of footwear that responds as well as protects.Read more
The outsole of the GTX Speed Hike consists of Michelin rubber, which is MTB bike compatible with grippy texture and lugs to keep you stable. Low top design allows for ample mobility in the ankle, so you can speed your way to the next goal, lunge for the next boulder hop, or lean the bike laterally for sharp turns.
Gore-Tex technology lines this shoe, and a quick lacing system will keep you secure, but able to quickly adjust the fit if needed. OrthoLite footbed lines the inside, helping to minimize bacterial growth and give cushioning. 3F total system was design to give support by being connected to the lacing system. It gives stability and increases foot control while maintaining comfort for your feet.
Cost and Value
Slightly more expensive than the average price point on our list, for a low top-sneaker style hiking shoe, with waterproof tech, and rugged versatility, the Salewa GTX Speed Hike offers great bang for the buck. Perfect for rugged trail hikes and mountaineering, it also acts well in other sports such as mountain biking, all with waterproof comfort you need.
6. The North Face 109
- Stability running shoe
- ESS midfoot shank
- Pronation correction
- Narrow toe box
- Fabric eyelets
The North Face. Phew. Another top dog brand that provides some of the most excellent products in the outdoor market. Is there anything that they cannot do? Well, we aren’t sure but here is something they can do; make some amazing hiking shoes. Add all of the benefits of a regular hiking shoe times ten and you will have the 109 shoes by North Face. This includes using mesh, leather, rubber, and EVA which if you are not aware are the best materials to have in any kind of footwear be it walking shoes, boots, or even sandals.Read more
One of the most important aspects of any shoe is whether the outsole can stand up to different terrains and the elements. The 109’s have what is called UltrATAC rubber outsoles which keep you on your feet in rain or snow as well as dry conditions. Multi-directional rivets also work with the rubber to ensure the wearer does not roll their ankle if they end up side-steppin an obstacle or miscalculating their landing when jumping from rock to rock. They protect the feet from harm heel to toe.
Something that tends to bother almost anyone is when shoes hold in the heat generated by their body temperature and does not let air in or out. Many shoes that are waterproof have a habit of being extremely stuffy, which can cause a number of problems such as athlete’s foot. With the 109’s this is a thing of the past, being that they are made of a GTX mesh-like “membrane” that keeps water out while allowing fresh air in.
Cost and Value
Surprisingly enough North Face products may be considered “expensive” but they are positively more affordable than several other brands on the shelves next to them. This includes their ultra hiking shoes that last and do their job for less money compared to a couple other items on this list. They also have something others do not, which is a protective toe cape and snake plate to protect the entire forefoot from impact. But wait there’s more! The insole is made of EVA and molds to your individual arch while compressing when needed.
7. Rockport Waterproof Blucher
Rockport keeps waterproof technology and supportive comfort combined perfectly in the Waterproof Blucher. Durable leather uppers combined with suede and synthetic materials make it comfortable, while Hydro-Shield Technology keeps them dry from the elements. TruTECH technology helps prevent the buildup of bacteria in this oxford styled walker, so you can wear all day long for work, or hikes.Read more
EVA footbed gives cushioned support for each step you take in the Waterproof Blucher. A thick, sturdy rubber outsole wraps the entirety of the shoe, while a rugged sole with lug pattern gives ample traction on slippery surfaces. Shock absorbing technology lines the heel to help alleviate impact from walks or hikes while giving added stability. Padded tongue and collar add to the plush feel of the shoe, keeping you going without irritation.
Rockport treated the uppers of their Waterproof Blucher with Hydro-Shield Technology, which prevents water from entering the shoe’s uppers or soaking the shoe when heavy rains prevail. A mesh lining helps to wick away moisture within the shoe, also helping to keep your feet dry. Great for hikes or long days at work!
Cost and Value
Reasonably priced for a versatile waterproof shoe, the Rockport Waterproof Blucher can be used at work, some construction sites, or for hiking trails. It’s rugged sole helps maintain traction, while Hydro-Shield technology keeps the leather uppers dry in nasty wet weather. Perfect for those on a budget who need a versatile shoe they can wear anywhere!
8. Dunham Cloud
- High density
- Speed lace
- Slip resistant
- Wide tongue
- Shows wear
If you want a real pair of outdoor boots, not walking shoes that look like boots, we suggest the Dunham Cloud mid-boots. They are made of imported materials used to create the best protection against moisture. Complete laces along with an adjustable circumference for the perfect fit. Furthermore they have impeccable grip compared to many other mid-boots on the market to keep you firmly planted, no need to worry about “Wet Floor” signs with the rubber sole on these.Read more
A lot of boots it seems do not support your ankles as well as you would like, which is why the Dunham’s are a great buy with their stability enhanced design. The mid-cut collar will prevent any possibility of ankle rolling or painful digging. No one wants to walk around with their shoes cutting in with every step taken, or sit ramrod straight because the ankle cuff is flexing wrong while causing an uncomfortable feeling.
When on your feet all day it seems inevitable to have soreness after pulling your shoes off. Going boot shopping can be terrifying because you never know if the moment you wear them to work they will ache and make you want to die. Especially considering most places do not accept returns once worn outside. Which is why the Cloud boots are the smart choice with their removable EVA footbed made of memory foam. Highly impact absorbent and molds to foot shape when standing still for long periods, say goodbye to switching between feet.
Cost and Value
You can not really ask for much more at this price range due to the spectacular use of materials such as waterproof leather and multi-directional rubber outsole. Add to the fact that there are different color options and a large size range to cater to all customers, even if they are not exactly your idea of “affordable”, they are well worth paying for. The perfect mid-boots for the hard working every day person. Not bad to look at either if you want them for “aesthetic”.
9. Danner Pronghorn
- Fit as expected
- Camo-hide leather
- Scuffs quickly
Realtree is definitely a widely known brand even by non-hunters and non-workers, just head to your local big box store and you will find an assortment of products that say Realtree (i.e. hats, hoodies, leggings). They also represent and sell products for other smaller companies such as Danner. The Pronghorn hunting boots by Danner have everything you could want and maybe some things that you did not even know you wanted. Not only are they made from leather, they have a Realtree textile camouflage for a dual-texture appearance and feel.Read more
Every company nowadays is coming up with their own technologies to use in their products to outdo the competition. Danner is no different. They have a specially made construction of GORE-TEX (or otherwise known as GTX) liners inside the fourth generation Pronghorn to create a watertight seal. If you are wondering whether this affects the amount of space inside the boot for your feet, the answer is no. Along with the new additions in the 4th gen, Danner made sure to account for this so there will be enough room inside.
Terra Force Platform
Many different boots have low or high heels (aka platforms if heels is too feminine for you) varying in different heights. The Pronghorns have what is referred to as a Terra Force platform that provides the same support and stability as orthotic inserts. This way you will not have to worry about arch pain or spending more money on inserts to keep the hunting trip comfortable. Although they are not just for hunting because this feature makes them an ideal work boot as well for anyone on their feet 8+ hours every single day.
Cost and Value
With 1200 grams of insulation and partial locking laces plus the aforementioned perks, finding a better deal is a slim to none chance. Danner could actually, charge more for these boots considering the high-end qualities they possess. For example, the dual-texture rubber sole that keeps a grip on any surface like gravel, grass, or mud. Tack on the waterproof and you have one of the most innovative generations of boots this year. Quite the value.
10. Columbia Peakfreak Venture
- Rubber sole
- Bootie construction
- Shoestring loop failure
When you go somewhere such as Scheels or Cabela’s one of the main products they sell for outerwear is Columbia brand due to it being one of the seemingly more popular brands (yes, more popular than Carhartt or Muck Boots). Everywhere you go you will see people wearing something with the trademark Columbia stamp. Whether it is a jacket or shoes, people wear them in all kinds of weather and circumstances. Running to the store? Columbia jacket on. Walking to the gas station? Columbia boots on. They are not just for hunting or outdoor work. The Peakfreak’s are one of their most popular mid-boots since they are waterproof and comfortable for regular wear.Read more
Specific to Columbia is their “Omni” technology, and these Ventures have the Omni-heat reflective liner. What this does is regulate your temperature with silver dots that reflect outside temps and it retains the heat created by your feet inside your shoes. This way you avoid any bulky interiors that do not allow breathability, a crucial aspect of your waterproof shoes.
We have all had it happen when your shoes start to detach and “rip apart” at the seams, thanks to moisture and wear. The Ventures have sealed seams and a membrane construction so that it flexes and stretches rather than pulls apart. The seal also keeps the water out and prevents soaking of the exterior to prolong the life of your waterproof shoes.
Cost and Value
When buying name brands, especially Columbia, you will have to fork out a bit of pocket change, but this is normal. With all the quality aspects and brand-specific technology, you are actually getting quite the steal compared to the plain Jane shoes that use basic materials. They also last a considerable amount longer than other waterproof shoes thanks to their sealed seams.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Finding a perfectly-fitting pair of shoes can be like finding the holy grail; there are so many brands, styles, models and makes of shoes that it seems like it’s next to impossible, especially when you are shopping online! Fear not, as we’ve ranked each product on our list for their fit and trueness-to-size to help guide you in finding the perfect match for you.
To come up with a score for fit of a shoe, we considered several factors, like the ones mentioned above, in addition to real customer reviews, to help boil down everything into one simple score. For example, Nike tends to make shoes that are true-to-size, meaning that you can buy a pair of 11s one year, and another pair of 11s next year in a different model, and they will usually still fit (unless your feet grown or shrank). A brand like Nike will most likely have a high score when it comes to fit, but the other variables in play, such as make, model and purpose, will also affect the overall score.
Consider that a running shoe, with its thicker midsole and synthetic sole, might fit differently than a flat shoe, with its thinner midsole and hypothetical leather sole. Each of these shoes, even if they are both from Nike, may have similar scores for trueness-to-size, but a size 11 in one might not be the same as an 11 in the other. What’s a reader to do in this case? You must also consider the purpose and type of shoe it is. Knowing what kind of shoe you are buying, and for what purpose, will help you make a better decision. A running shoe might run smaller than a flat because it has thicker materials, so read customer reviews as well to arrive at the best decision for fit, in addition to just our overall score.
It should be ridiculously obvious that when looking for waterproof shoes they should be made from waterproof materials right? Each item listed was carefully researched to be sure that they were capable of saying “no” to water. Below you will find the materials and what they are made from:
GTX material is made out of several different materials to create the ultimate waterproof products. Fluoropolymer products are what is mainly found in Gore-Tex, which has been thermo-mechanically expanded so that it can be used in different ways. It is mostly used in rainwear and waterproof shoes but can is also traced in gaskets, sealants, and medical implants considering how well it keeps out moisture. To add to this, GTX also has a layer of water repellent applied to the outer layer to prevent the appearance of being soaked but it is not what makes the Gore-Tex products waterproof. That feature is from the GTX itself.
If you know shoes then you must know that leather is one of the best natural materials in the waterproof category. Just remember that is it not water resistant, there is a huge difference, meaning that the outer layer will soak up moisture and stain. This will make your boots look old and dirty, so be sure to treat them with a water repellant. On the plus side leather is a very thick substance that will keep water out of your shoes better than many others will and has natural breathability to let any vapors that build up out.
Look at your daily life and you will find rubber just about everywhere. It is extremely versatile and used for several different products thanks to it’s variety of properties. Although most rubbers used by companies are synthetic to ensure they are longer lasting than natural rubber. It is used for tires, hoses, belts. Even in your kitchen, you will find rubber. Liquids roll right off of it making it an ideal material in waterproof shoes.
The insole is the proverbial foundation of the entire shoe. The sock liner lays on top of the insole, which is then fused to the midsole, and finally the outsole. A firm insole will give good structure to a shoe and increase its stability and durability, but it will also increase the weight of the overall product and be less comfortable.
A softer insole might be more comfortable, but that comes at the expense of stability and durability. We tried to balance these weights when evaluating our products, but each reader and wearer is different, so be aware of this trade-off.
The final word on insoles is that the higher the score the product receives, the firmer it will be; however, it might also mean the insole experiences one of the trade-offs discussed earlier.
The midsole is designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption to the shoe, nestling the foot in comfort. Whereas running shoes tend to have thick midsoles, flats and thinner shoes not designed for high-impact activities often have thinner midsoles.
The reason for this is simple: you need more shock absorption and vibration dampening during high-intensity movements or activities to maintain comfort and prevent foot injury than you otherwise would with a regular shoe, flat or sandal. Midsoles are often made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a synthetic plastic also used to make insertable orthotics. A firmer type of EVA for the midsole will make the shoe heavier, but more durable; whereas a softer type of EVA, like those found in running shoes, improve shock absorption, but wear much quickly.
Podiatrists tend to prefer firmer midsoles for those suffering with orthopedic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. A higher score on the “midsole” criteria means that the midsole is of a firmer nature. Whether or not this is beneficial for you depends on your foot type and orthopedic issues!
The outsole, or more simply, the sole of the shoe, makes direct contact with the ground and therefore supports the entire foot and body when in motion. Needless to say, a poorly-constructed outsole will lead to discomfort, slipping and foot or other bodily injury. For this reason, many manufacturers use materials that are water-, weather-, heat-, and impact-resistant.
Depending on the type of footwear, one will often see outsoles made from natural or synthetic materials, such as PVC, EVA, rubber and leather. Each of these has their advantages, depending on the shoe’s purpose; however, as a general rule, they each are resistant to the aforementioned factors. They are also flexible enough to support a proper foot cycle when in motion, but they are not so flexible that they feel like a pair of socks.
A sole made of the materials above tend to score higher on our product evaluations, as they are not only comfortable, but also support other criteria, such as “support” and “durability”.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Many times, when we think of waterproof shoes, we may think of rainboots or another rubber-based pair of footwear.
It's important to remember, that while these types of shoes prevent water from getting you wet when submerged in the water to a point, most waterproof shoes are labeled as such because they have some sort of protective element against water.
Gore Tex linings and treated uppers help keep the water at bay, but unless your footwear is seal tight or rubber, waterproof footwear is meant to act against the elements to keep you dry, not so much when your feet are submerged in water for long periods of time.
Waterproof boots and shoes do need some TLC now and again. If you wear your shoes heavily in the rain, mud, or other wet conditions, make sure to clean off dirt and grime for the next day's wear.
Adding a shoe protectant spray to help treat the outside will also maximize your shoe's protection against the weather.
Other Factors to Consider
Shopping for any kind of footwear can be a pain, especially when you need it to do something specific like preventing water from flooding the insides. Hopefully, our list of waterproof shoes and mid-boots is diverse enough to satisfy all your hopes and dreams, whether you are looking for hiking shoes, work boots, hunting boots, or running shoes. There is a pair out there for everyone and we took the hard part out of the equation; finding the best ones. Just pick your favorites and add them to your cart, just don’t go overboard or you might spend your whole paycheck.
Frequently Asked Questions
It will depend on the material used to make the boots. If you have rubber boots than that is a resounding no. Mesh and leather products usually allow airflow, just make sure you read reviews because some waterproof boots have a different material interior than the exterior. This will stop the air from “flowing” through the wall and out of the shoes.
The short answer would be “no” but there is more to it than that. Hiking boots, walking boots, and hunting boots are usually insulated because it is expected that you will be wearing them in cold weather or a wet environment. This does not necessarily make them “hotter” if wearing to work or just everyday wear in all season. Waterproof boots are designed to breathe so that they will not become so hot that your feet will turn the boots into a lake. It also depends on what kind of socks you are wearing inside them, thick socks will create more heat whereas thinner socks will let the generated body heat out.
First, purchase a cleaning gel or solution for your waterproof boots based specifically on the material they are made of. Always be sure to remove the laces first so as to not ruin them (especially if they are mainly elastic), but do not forget where you put them as you set them aside! Loosen and scrape off any dirt that has built up on the outside of your boots since you do not want to end up rubbing it into the surface. Apply your cleaner (sparsely) and follow the directions on the packaging, for instance, it might say “Let sit for one hour”. After this use a clean rag to buff and renew your boots. When all is said and done do a quick rinse and let dry for up to twenty-four hours, you can also stuff newspaper inside to help them dry faster. It is important to note, you should never blow dry your boots, it may cause damage to them. Some boots will need a conditioner applied after drying to prevent cracks and creases.
Absolutely not. They are made from fabrics that soak water up and stain ridiculously easy unless you buy their specially made winter boots that are made of waterproof materials. UGGS and Bearpaw have spray on formulas that protect their boots from water. They have step-by-step directions on the label and be sure to spray them outside and let dry in a warm place with lots of light. It is not worth spending over a hundred dollars to ruin them after one snowy or rainy day.
Read the reviews on Amazon and check their fit reviews. There is an entire community of buyers out there with the same foot type and shape as yours; leverage their experience!