Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- Things To Consider With Waterproof Boots
- The 8 Best Waterproof Boots for Women
- The 8 Best Waterproof Boots for Men
- Final Thoughts
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Wet feet can seriously dampen your enjoyment of outdoor adventures, so invest in a pair of waterproof boots to ensure that you can always manage those extra miles, whatever the weather. From hiking boots to snow boots, here are the best waterproof boots for men and women.
Things To Consider With Waterproof Boots
Waterproof boots claim to offer an excellent level of protection against wet weather and damp terrain, but not all waterproof boots are made equal.
For truly waterproof protection, look for a boot that comes complete with a breathable and waterproof liner, as well as welded seams to prevent standing water from seeping in while you walk. Suede and leather uppers also provide better protection than more porous materials.
A waterproof boot is not necessarily a quick-drying option either, meaning that should the wet conditions breach the top of the boot or your feet become fully submerged, you may be looking at walking for many miles in sodden boots that will feel anything but comfortable on your feet.
Choose boots that claim to be waterproof and not just water “resistant” for very wet conditions, and if you are heading out into deep snow, look for boots that have seals around the top of the boot to prevent deep snow from pouring in over the top.
Hot Tip: Waterproof coatings won’t last forever, so for the ultimate protection for your feet in wet weather, have your boots serviced when the waterproofing starts to wane.
Hiking boots are not usually ready to wear right out of the box, and many will require a period of “breaking in.” You can help to soften up your boots by wearing them around the house before you head out or on short local walks before you hit the trails.
Your waterproof walking boots should be snug enough to stop your feet from moving around inside them, but not so tight that they cramp your feet. To ensure an excellent fit from the outset, try your boots on with the type of socks you intend to wear while walking, so you can immediately gauge how much or how little space your feet have inside them.
Walking on uneven terrain can play havoc with your arches and your ankles. Protect your feet and lower legs with boots that offer an excellent level of support to help avoid the dreaded ankle roll and damage.
Stiffer soles generally offer a higher level of stability than softer ones, and a higher cuff around the ankle will definitely help to prevent injuries. If you suffer from pain in your midsole when you walk, a specially designed and molded footbed will offer greater stability and support for your arches, which will help prevent stumbles on rough terrain.
Slippery surfaces are part and parcel of walking in wet conditions. To ensure that you remain upright at all times, look for soles that offer increased levels of traction control.
Many waterproof boots come complete with multi-directional lugs on the soles to prevent you from sliding around, and if you plan to traverse a variety of terrain on your travels, look for boots that offer a good amount of friction on both hard and soft surfaces.
When walking over snow or ice, look for a specifically designed boot for use in winter conditions to ensure that it offers the right amount of traction to keep you safe. Rubber soles with deep lugs are preferable for powder snow and frozen ice, and typically these types of soles will be more flexible and easier to bend and help your crunch through the snow.
Big chunky boots may look like they will offer better protection against the elements, but they can also weigh you down on the go. The perfect waterproof hiking offers a precise combination of protection and agility, allowing you to go that extra mile without having to carry any extra weight.
Heavy boots will demand that you expend more energy unnecessarily. Lightweight models that offer waterproof liners and weatherproof uppers offer the protection and support you need without the weight, while excellent traction control can still be achieved without thick and heavy soles slapped on the bottom of your boots.
Waterproof boots can be expensive, and you will want them to last across many miles of adventures to make them worth your hard-earned dollars. Finding the perfect balance between comfort and durability can take time, but while hobnail boots may last forever, they will not enhance your hiking experience.
For enhanced durability, look for boots that offer high-quality rubber soles with leather or suede uppers and tough seam-welded construction. Maintaining your boots is also important if you want them to last longer, so commit to material-specific cleaning after every outing and waxing or polishing on a regular basis.
The 8 Best Waterproof Boots for Women
Women’s waterproof walking boots offer the same level of protection as their man-sized counterparts, but they are usually designed to be wider in the forefoot, and narrower in the heel to perfectly fit the female form.
1. Fully-waterproof Hiking Boots for Women
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
Featuring advanced footwear technology, these waterproof hiking boots offer excellent protection in even the wettest of conditions. Lightweight yet durable, these boots are designed to remain comfortable on the trail while keeping your feet stable on wet terrain.
Made from waterproof full-grain leather and mesh, these boots have a breathable construction that will keep the water on the outside while allowing your feet to stay sweat-free on the inside. These boots offer a high-energy return for wear on technically difficult terrain with a durable midsole for long-lasting comfort and superior cushioning along with the footbed.
The advanced traction rubber soles are designed to offer slip-free movement in any weather, and the lace-up closures offer a highly adjustable and incredibly secure fit. Available in a choice of colors, these women’s waterproof hiking boots are durable enough to last for many miles to come without feeling heavy and too cumbersome on your feet.
What We Like
- Doesn’t need much breaking in
What We Don’t Like
- Little arch support
2. All-weather Walking Boots
Sperry Women’s Saltwater Boots
Offering completely adaptable, all-weather comfort, these waterproof outdoor hiking boots offer exceptional protection in wet water. Available in a selection of colors, they come complete with a micro-fleece lining that will keep your feet warm in cold conditions, and the premium design makes them as suitable for use on wet terrain as they are on dry land.
Featuring a premium leather shaft with a rubber duck shell exterior, these boots are made for walking in all-weather. The rawhide barrel lacing comes complete with rustproof eyelets for a secure fit, no matter how thick your socks are, and the additional zipper makes it easy to pull these boots on and take them off again.
With a non-marking rubber outsole that features the Sperry-patented Wave-Siping for enhanced traction, these boots will ensure that you remain upright no matter how slippery the terrain. The iconic styling makes these a fashionable choice for ladies who like to live life to the limit.
What We Like
- Easy to get on and off with the side zip
What We Don’t Like
- Quite a narrow boot
3. Best-looking Waterproof Ankle Boots
Asgard Women’s Waterproof Chelsea Boots
Made from premium PVC materials, these waterproof boots look incredibly elegant and offer excellent protection against rain. Lightweight and comfortable, they are designed to be worn in all-weathers, and the matte finish ensures that these look much smarter than regular rain boots or galoshes.
With elastic goring on the sides and a pull-tag at the heel, these boots are easy to slip on and off on the go, and the roomy toe area and soft EVA foam footbed ensure that they remain comfortable when worn all day. Perfect for use in the garden, on long walks, on the farm, or even just in winter weather, these short rain boots are easy to clean with a damp cloth.
For increased traction on wet and slippery terrain, these boots feature a 1-inch thick, durable rubber sole that provides excellent grip on wet and muddy ground, and the high-quality construction ensures that these beautiful boots have been built to last.
What We Like
- Great value
What We Don’t Like
- Not the warmest boot
4. Boots for Technical Terrain
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Ready to wear straight out of the box, these awesome women’s hiking boots feature durable leather uppers and a soft, breathable interior. Designed to offer excellent traction in wet conditions, these really are the mother of all boots.
With a waterproof membrane for exceptional breathability, they are incredibly waterproof, even if your feet hit the water at full speed. With a blended and contoured EVA footbed, your arches and heel will remain well-supported, and the closed-cell foam tongue helps to keep out dirt and debris.
These boots really excel on the underside with their Vibram TC5+ sole that comes complete with a 5-millimeter lug depth for increased stability, while the lightweight design ensures that they offer superior comfort at all times.
Great-looking and designed to withstand even the most technical of terrain, the MOAB 2 will ensure that that water stays out while letting moisture escape from the inside to keep your feet cool and comfortable, no matter how hard you work them.
What We Like
- Warm in the cold and breathable in warm weather
What We Don’t Like
- Quite a stiff material
5. Mid-calf Waterproof Boots
DREAM PAIRS Women's Mid-Calf Waterproof Winter Snow Boots
A snow and waterproof option. These boots have an insulated interior that will keep you warm and dry, however, they're still breathable. They're even adjustable to accommodate thicker, warmer socks.
DREAM PAIRS Women’s Mid Calf Winter Snow Boots
These traditional winter walking boots are designed to keep your feet warm in even the coldest of weather. Featuring 200-gram Thermolite insulation, these boots can be used in arctic conditions where the temperature falls as low as -25 degrees.
With a seam-welded water-resistant construction, rain and low-lying water will stay on the outside of the boot, and the soft plush faux fur lining will keep your feet warm and well-cushioned without causing them to sweat. The front lace-up design ensures that you can enjoy a tailor-made fit and their uniquely stylish looks make these perfect for everyday wear in the winter.
Slip-resistant soles provide the traction you need to prevent slips and falls in the snow, ice, and slushy conditions, and the sturdy outer sole provides additional support for your heels, arches, and ankles.
What We Like
- A stylish and functional boot
What We Don’t Like
- Can cause aches after wearing all-day
6. Boots for Heavy Snow
SOREL Joan of Arctic Waterproof Insulated Winter Boot
These stunning winter boots are available in a range of fashionable colorways and offer excellent protection against cold, wet and slippery conditions. Perfect for use in heavy snow, these stylish, iconic, calf-length boots are made to be seen and an excellent choice for ski trips and snow days.
With waterproof suede uppers, these boots have a fully seam-sealed design to ensure that your feet stay dry at all times. Faux fur cuffs look super stylish and prevent snow from entering via the top of the boot, and the removable and washable 6-millimeter recycled felt boot liner is soft against the skin and incredibly snug and comfortable.
The handcrafted waterproof vulcanized rubber shell with herringbone outsole not only gives these boots their unique good looks, but it also offers exceptional traction and waterproofing, even in deep snow. With a lace-up front section, these boots can be made to feel even more comfortable with a customizable fit that can be worn over or under the bottom of your ski pants.
What We Like
- Available in a range of colors
What We Don’t Like
- Can be difficult to get on and off
7. Best Boots for Fashion-conscious Adventurers
The North Face Shellista II Mid Snow Boot
Designed to be both waterproof and snow-resistant, these super cute-looking winter boots feature a waterproof membrane and nubuck leather shaft. Watertight seams help to ensure that your feet stay dry even in puddles, and the moisture-wicking capabilities on the inside help to keep your feet feeling sweat-free.
With a patented PrimaLoft insulating inner liner, your feet will feel incredibly snug even in the coldest of weather, and the above-the-calf design is high enough to prevent snow from pouring in over the top of the boot. Suede and nubuck uppers look incredibly stylish and offer increased protection against the snow.
With a synthetic sole that offers excellent traction in slippery conditions, these are a great choice for use in icy and slushy weather, and the injection-molded waterproof shell has been carefully designed to fit the form of the female foot. These great-looking, waterproof snow boots are a stylish and practical choice for snow and ice.
What We Like
- Super warm
What We Don’t Like
- Runs a bit small
8. Best Understated Ankle Boots
UGG Women’s Chevonne Ankle Boot
Easy to wear and incredibly practical, these waterproof ankle boots are an excellent choice for everyday wear in wet weather. With PVC uppers and outsoles, your feet will stay dry, even in muddy puddles, and the understated design makes them perfect for use with your regular clothing.
Easy to pull on and slip off, these boots feature an elegant neoprene shaft that molds to the shape of your ankle and brandishes the stylish UGG logo so you can still be on-trend while staying dry. With a sheepskin-lined polyurethane insole, these boots feel incredibly soft against your feet, and the flexible rubber upper sole allows for ease of movement even on rocky terrain.
Available in a choice of black, navy, charcoal, and red, these great-looking, super-stylish waterproof ankle boots are the perfect accessory for the wet season.
What We Like
- Has a soft sheepskin insole
What We Don’t Like
- Quite a narrow boot
The 8 Best Waterproof Boots for Men
Designed to be rugged yet lightweight, waterproof while still being warm and comfortable, these awesome men’s boots provide excellent protection for men on the move.
1. Best All-weather Hiking Boot
BEST OVERALL: Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof Boot
Lightweight yet durable and made of 100% waterproof-treated authentic leather. The boots have thick soles that offer strong traction. They're perfect for hiking in all weather, from snow to rain.
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof Hiking Shoe
These waterproof hiking boots feature a lightweight midsole for long-lasting comfort even on the most extreme of adventures. Made with waterproof suede and leather uppers, they offer a stylish silhouette and reliable protection against wet and slippery conditions underfoot.
With superior cushioning and a waterproof membrane on the inside, these boots will keep your feet dry without making them hot and sweaty, and the lace-up enclosure is completely adjustable to always ensure an extremely secure fit.
On the bottom of the boot, the outsole has been built to offer excellent traction in all conditions, and the flexible nature of the material ensures ongoing ease of movement and high energy return.
The addition of a multi-terrain traction system matches specially formulated compounds and treads to specific environments, and the dual-zone winter tread pattern ensures solid footing in even the slipperiest of conditions.
2. Best Boots for the Wet Season
Sperry Men’s Avenue Duck Boot
Stay protected in even the wettest of weather with these seam-sealed waterproof duck boots that offer incredible durability for long-lasting wear. Lightweight and comfortable, these boots feature sharp-looking stain and water-resistant leather uppers, while the non-marking rubber outsole delivers excellent protection in wet conditions.
With a fully-lined shaft, your feet will stay warm and dry on the inside, while the full-length memory foam footbed and warm thermal linings offer exquisite comfort even in the cold. Featuring patented molded Wave-Siping technology, the traction on these boots offers incredible friction in both wet and dry conditions, and the rubber sole is resistant to cracks in the cold.
The lace-up front can be adjusted to offer the most comfortable fit for the size and shape of your feet, and with added support around the ankle, these iconic-looking duck boots are practical and protective enough to be worn across a wide range of settings.
3. Best Waterproof Work Boots
Cat Footwear Men's Threshold Waterproof Soft Toe Work Boot
Waterproof, heavy-duty boots with thick soles that are perfect for outdoor work. They have elastic that is easy to slip on and take off without the stress of tying them.
Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Industrial Boot
Perfect for use in all weather, these highly protective men’s work boots offer exceptional protection against the water. These boots offer even better protection with their seam-welded liners with full-grain leather uppers that are durable and abrasion-resistant.
On the inside, the lightweight, removable, custom-engineered foam footbed is super-comfortable, even after all-day wear, and the state-of-the-art construction offers an impressive energy return.
With a nylon shank and slip-resistant outsole, these boots offer excellent grip even on low-traction surfaces and are built specifically with construction work in mind. They also offer electrical protection against open circuits up to 600 volts in dry conditions and cement construction.
4. Budget Waterproof Winter Boots
Quicksilk EYUSHIJIA Men’s Waterproof Snow Boots Hiking Boot
Sturdy and well-built, these men’s waterproof boots come in a variety of stylish colors and are suitable for everyday wear in wet conditions. Featuring a padded collar for extra comfort, they feature welded seams and rust-proof eyelets to ensure that they last the distance in extreme conditions.
With sleek and durable faux leather uppers, these boots look good enough to be worn with jeans or snow pants, and the lace-up front ensures that the wearer can enjoy an almost tailormade fit for extended wear in any weather.
The rubber sole allows for improved traction to ensure that you are able to remain upright in even the most slippery of conditions, and the lightweight construction ensures that they remain comfortable on the feet, even in challenging terrain.
5. Waterproof Toe Cap Boots
NORTIV 8 Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
These rugged-looking waterproof hiking boots offer effective waterproof protection for use in all weather. With a waterproof suede and leather upper that features a waterproof membrane, your feet will remain warm and dry, while the breathable construction will help to keep them feeling fresh.
With a rubber toe cap to protect your feet from a collision, these hardy hiking boots are perfect for even the most technical terrain, and the thick rubber soles with multi-directional traction help them to remain slip and abrasion-resistant.
Flexible enough to offer a full range of movement, these boots are comfortable and lightweight while still offering impressive support for your arches and ankles. Specially designed midsoles help reduce foot fatigue and absorb shock, while the durable rubber outsole and EVA midsole will help your feet comfortably deal with rough terrain.
6. Everyday Waterproof Walking Boot
Carhartt Men's 6 Inch Waterproof Wedge Soft Toe Work Boot
Flexible leather work boots that will let your feet breathe while keeping you dry. It also has adjustable laces that can fit around extra-thick socks if you need them to.
Carhartt Men’s Waterproof Soft Toe Work Boot
Built to combine the classic good looks and casual styling of a soft leather work boot with a walking shoe’s practicality, these gorgeous waterproof boots are perfect for use in wet conditions.
With a high-grade, oil-tanned leather upper, they offer stylish good looks, while the high-quality construction will protect your feet and prevent them from getting wet.
These boots are suitable for use in outdoor and indoor working environments where protective safety shoes are not required. With a cushion comfort insole made from a soft foam that will mold to your foot’s shape, they are also comfortable enough to be worn all day and will help reduce foot fatigue even when you are working.
For increased traction on wet surfaces, these boots come complete with durable rubber soles that have a purpose-built Goodyear welt construction to ensure a tight grip at all times, and the Storm Defender breathable and waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry, even in the heaviest of rain.
7. Best Casual Waterproof Boots
Vostey Men's Hiking Boots Waterproof Casual Chukka Boots
Fashionable boots that will keep you safe and dry. These shoes are treated to keep out water and prevent staining. They're also flexible and comfortable to wear and walk with.
VOSTEY Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
These great-looking, soft shoes offer excellent protection against wet weather and are comfortable enough to wear all day. With supple synthetic uppers, these smart and fashionable boots are available in a range of colors, and the retro styling adds interest.
Made from high-quality materials, these boots feature meticulous stitching to reinforce the body of the shoe to protect against cracking and splitting when wet, and the ankle cuff is made from skin-friendly material that won’t rub against your leg.
Designed to be strong enough to cope with cycling, walking, camping, and a wide range of other outdoor activities, these boots feature a natural rubber outsole that is wear-resistant and designed to offer excellent traction.
8. Vegan Leather Waterproof Boots
Nautica Men’s Duck Boots
These unique-looking waterproof boots offer a high level of protection against the elements and are designed to ensure you stay upright even on slippery terrain. With a hard-wearing rubber sole, they can withstand the rigors of walking in the snow, and the high-performance friction makes them suitable for a full range of all-weather, outdoor activities.
With beautiful vegan leather uppers available in various colors and an extremely efficient waterproof shell, these eco-friendly waterproof boots look great and perform brilliantly. The lace-up front offers an almost tailor-made fit, and the high cuffs help to support your ankle as you go.
Insulated on the inside to keep your feet warm and dry, these timeless duck boots are designed to ensure excellent grip and continued comfort in wet, cold, and icy conditions.
If you are heading out in the snow, taking a walk in the rain, or planning on hiking through streams, brooks, and wet conditions, waterproof boots offer the comfort and protection you need.
Designed to keep your feet dry at all times while offering excellent traction on wet rocks and standing water, waterproof boots offer many advantages for outdoor adventures all year round.
Featured Image Credit: Flystock via Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions
Are waterproof boots really waterproof?
Whether waterproof boots really are fully waterproof depends on a few things. While the boots themselves might be waterproof, you cannot always physically stop water from coming in over the top of the boot. Also, it depends on the material used in the boots. If the material is not breathable, it can sometimes trap sweat, meaning your feet will become damp.
What's the difference between waterproof and water-resistant boots?
Waterproof boots do not allow water to penetrate the material, keeping your feet dry. On the other hand, water-resistant boots will provide some level of protection against the elements but will still let water in.
Are GORE-TEX boots really waterproof?
GORE-TEX is a completely waterproof fabric that allows air and water vapor to escape, making it perfect for waterproof boots.
How long do waterproof boots last?
Waterproof boots can last up to 500 miles or even more, depending on how what terrain you use them on. The waterproofing lifespan on your boots can vary greatly, but you can buy wax and sprays that will give them protection again.
Are waterproof boots good for snow?
Waterproof boots can be used for snow, but it is advisable that you buy dedicated snow boots. They will have better traction and are also generally taller to stop snow from getting into your boots.
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