Best Waterproof Shoes and Mid-Boots
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. It is a terrible waste of money while adding to the growing problems of consumerism. The majority of people tend to throw out their old shoes, and they end up in landfills in large piles. Many chemicals are used to make shoes along with materials that are not biodegradable. So, the longer your shoes last the fewer pairs there are harming the environment (and the animals that live in it).
- Keen Targhee
- Excellent Grip
- Padded Tongue and Collar
- L&M Rubber Boots
- Lace up
- Dunham Cloud
- Adjustable circumference
- Removable footbed
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 rated waterproof shoes and boots available in 2018.
10 Best Waterproof Shoes and Mid-Boots
1. KEEN Targhee
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.
- Nubuck leather
- Ghillie lacing
- Rubber sole
- Contoured heel
- Multi-directional lugs
- Run small
- Plastic lace hooks
2. L&M Rubber Boots
The working man and woman spends thousands of dollars on average in footwear because not long after purchasing they become damaged from different materials, the main one being oil. Absorption of oil, especially on the outsole, will not only ruin the appearance of your boots but the traction as well. Suddenly your slip-resistant shoes you spent over a hundred bucks on are sliding all over the place no matter where you go or what you do. Fear not for L&M has made their rubber boots not only waterproof but oil proof (for the most part).
Man Made Materials
As we all know man-made materials have been technologically reinforced so as to last longer than natural materials and to be stronger than them as well. There are very few naturally occurring substances that are waterproof and many of them cannot be used in apparel and footwear. Which is why the L&M boots have been made out of the best synthetics so that they hold up to the test of time.
Cost and Value
Surprisingly enough although listed as #2 on our list they are also one of the most affordable waterproof boots we have found with such outstanding reviews. Although that could be why, since we usually try to find a bargain and that is what these are so many have taken the chance to buy and love them. Many customers have claimed they are an incredible deal considering the comfort and quality they provide.
- Slip resistant
- Holds smell
3. Adidas Terrex
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.
- Superior cushioning
- Rubber outsole
- Ripstop mesh
- Added support
- Tight laces
- Run small
4. The North Face 109
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.
- Stability running shoe
- ESS midfoot shank
- Pronation correction
- Narrow toe box
- Fabric eyelets
5. Danner Pronghorn
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.
- Fit as expected
- Camo-hide leather
- Scuffs quickly
6. Columbia Peakfreak Venture
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.
- Rubber sole
- Bootie construction
- Shoestring loop failure
7. MuckBoots Field Blazer II
Rubber boots typically bend and crease around the ankles and heel which as we know can be uncomfortable and wear down the materials over time. The Field Blazer boots have added reinforcement to prevent this from happening and ruining your favorite pair of waterproof hunting boots. Another benefit to this is that the support keeps one of the most annoying things of pull on boots from happening; the heel becoming crushed under your foot and making it almost impossible to put them on.
If you are unaware of what neoprene is let us explain: neoprene is a synthetic rubber known for its superior resistance to outside sources such as oil and water. It is most commonly used on wet suits and protective gear due to it being waterproof while also keeping out a wide range of temperatures. Muck Boots uses 5 millimeters of neoprene inside their Field Blazer’s to block out the cold and recycle your body heat.
Cost and Value
Although comparable in quality and popularity to Carhartt, Muck Boots are a considerable amount cheaper without relinquishing the properties that make them so great. Made from the best synthetic rubbers available for total coverage and protection along with the textiles beloved by hunters everywhere for blending in with the environment the price can not be beat.
- Extended rubber
- Angled topline
- Made in USA
- High traction
- Run large
8. Dunham Cloud
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”.
- High density
- Speed lace
- Slip resistant
- Wide tongue
- Shows wear
9. Carhartt Wellington
Along with snow and rain comes cold weather which is why it is ideal to have insulated work boots to prevent freezing, uncomfortable feet. You can not get much work done when constantly having to take a break to warm up and regain the feeling in your toes. With the Wellington’s you can get on with your day and increase productivity because they are insulated with the Carhartt 400 LiteFire insulation.
The Carhartt boots feature their signature waterproof and breathable Storm Defender protection. You will stay dry in all conditions with these mid-boots without getting too hot and stuffy like several other steel toes do. An eight hour work day has nothing on the comfortable synthetic sole featured inside with the Storm Defender technology.
Cost and Value
Be prepared to spend quite a chunk of change and please do not faint when you see the price tag on these bad boys. Carhartt has always been and always will be on the higher price spectrum because they know cold and how to make grade A quality products to protect against it. “Why should I spend so much?” you might be thinking. The answer is that there is no other comparable steel toe, waterproof boot on the market as well made as this one. Long-lasting and durable are the best words to describe the Wellington boots.
- Run small
10. Rockport Trail Technique
What makes the Rockport’s different from other walking shoes? The waterproof leather, sea, ed seams and gusseted tongue keeps moisture from penetrating your shoes and getting your feet wet. There is even a waterproof insole for added protection to prevent the musty smell of wet dog that accumulates over time. Rockport’s own designed DEWIX linings are what make the hydro-shield feature work so well along with the other features we just mentioned.
Ever feel like your laces too long for your shoes? With the innovative 3-eye lace design there is no more dirty, mucky shoelaces that have been dragged around in the mud to untie. Just slip them off. Added bonus? The laces are not traditional, they are similar to bungee cords and dry quickly. This way they do not hold any water they have collected.
Cost and Value
As stated earlier waterproof shoes are on the pricier side and the Rockport’s are no exception to this. Although you can see their worth in the quality materials used to make them. Imported leather and an EVA insole, that’s also removable, for all-day comfort. Outdoor inspired appearance for an innovative design that other walking shoes do not have. Luckily Rockport is always having great sales so be on the lookout for an amazing deal you can not find anywhere else.
- Inconsistent sizing
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.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Waterproof and Mid-Boots
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are waterproof boots breathable?
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.
Q: Are waterproof boots hotter than regular boots?
A: 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.
Q: How do I clean waterproof shoes?
A: 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.
Q: Are UGGS and Bearpaw’s waterproof?
A: 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.