No matter which type of job you don, a set of boots is something that you will almost always need to have.
Some jobs ask for a little more, forcing you to trek through tough terrains that can be rough on your feet. However, waterproof boots are acclimatized and they serve a good purpose when it comes to keeping your feet dry.
One of the biggest concerns from not wearing waterproof boots is the effect that it could have on your feet. Since water and cold weather can target your feet, there are numerous foot issues you might run into. Occasionally, the odd cold or even flu might set in when the shoes have not been insulated the correct way.
This article has been designed to help you identify some of the best waterproof boots and find out which features are specifically made for them to function well. We will explore some of the best boots while showing you how you can actually pick them for yourself.
14 Best Waterproof Work Boots on the Market
One of the reasons it is on this list is the use of leather for the large upper part of the boot. However, don’t forget about the synthetic materials that keep the cost down a little bit.
Anti-fatigue technology is not commonly found in shoes. Yet, Timberland has found a way to reduce stress placed on the foot. A rubber overlay sheds of water, keeping most of the leather dry.
In cold weather, the boot doesn’t have the best record of keeping your feet warm. However, it gives you some decent protection.
The rubber toe is lighter, but you might want a steel toe for the best protection all-round.
These are some of the most expensive Timberland boots. However, they are worth the price. A synthetic compound makes up the outer sole, improving flexibility. Additionally, the lugs can provide you with excellent traction.
- Amazing durability
- Outstanding comfort
- High-quality insoles
- Great fit
- A little heavy
Our “Best Value” tag goes to EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Premium Leather Work Boots. It features top-quality leather construction, with a waterproof leather coating. In forest or swampy areas, one will notice that the leather does not allow water to penetrate.
A standard rubber enables you to walk on almost any surface with ease. Since you need some grip on wet surfaces, larger lugs offer the best possible traction. It ensures grip on surfaces riddled with oil or water.
The PU inner sole is not considered the best insole. Yet, this one provides with a little more comfort than expected.
Ever Boots has never been one of the super expensive brands and this is clear with these boots.
One of the biggest issues comes down to the sizing. Many people complain that you need to take into account that they are around ½ a size too big for most people.
- Amazing durability
- Great fit
- Outstanding traction
- Weak eyelets and lace hooks
The Caterpillar Diagnostic Hi Cut Cap Soft Toe Boot features a leather construction. It includes an integrated side of rubber in the design to help combat water that may arise.
Caterpillar is perfect for someone with a slight pronated foot movement.
The shoe has an ergonomic feel, thanks to the help of athletes in the construction. Additionally, a steel shank forms the support structure. You will notice a slight increase in the weight of the shoe. Yet, the support was much more consistent for use in outdoors
The shoe rates slip-resistant for all terrains including either water or oil hazards. Compared to many of the other elite brands, the price of this boot stands out.
If you need something for the outdoors or for your work, these boots are waterproof and rugged.
- Made from durable tanned leather
- 10-inch arch
- Vibram outer sole with large lugs
Not only does it feature the same full grain leather design as many of the other top options, but also includes a stable design. The design is much wider than many other boots, which gives you more room inside for those with wider feet.
If you are working or living on a ranch, you will definitely enjoy the lug rubber outer sole. It features wider lugs for more traction that is not only ideal for water, but can resist some of the slippery surfaces with oil as well.
Unfortunately, the light tint means that it does get dirty. wiping them often is a great way to keep the boots in the best condition.
Skechers is an affordable brand, which means that they will cater to some of the entry level workers. These boots have all the features you need on a tight budget, with a guarantee that they will last you a couple of years.
These boots are recommended for farm workers in muddy and wet conditions.
- Outstanding comfort
- Great insulation
- Run small
- Need a break-in
If you don’t want to use the regular version, the Timberland PRO Boondock 6″ Composite Toe Industrial Boot could be the answer.
It has the same anti-fatigue technology and a decent PU inner sole found in the regular version.
The boot uses a top-quality shank to give you a reliable shoe with a composite toe. The composite toe vs the steel toe is a debate, but the composite toe is a little safer. A steel toe might crash in and damage your feet.
Unfortunately, the addition of the composite toe spikes the price significantly. You should also know that the boot is completely slip resistant. It does not have any hazards risks you need to deal with on terrains that have slippery surfaces.
- Awesome durability
- Great traction
- Very comfortable
- Need a break-in
Most of the KEEN boots have a rubber addition to the shoe that will make them resistant to electrical hazards. However, the KEEN Utility Men’s Lansing Mid Waterproof (Steel Toe) Industrial Boot takes all of this to a new level for avid workers.
The features on this boot are endless, but one of the most prominent is the waterproof leather used. It has been treated to ensure that water cannot get inside, but the inner lining will wick away most of the water as well. A TPU shank has been added for more stability and it also serves to keep the const on the lower end.
Safety Features have been emphasized, but KEEN focuses on more than that. These boots have reflective panels on the side and the back for nighttime jobs. They also have a mid-cut design for additional protection to your ankles and your joints.
Don’t worry, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.
- Comfortable right out of the box
- Poor lace eyelets
- Not the best traction
However, the ROCKROOSTER Men’s Work Boots are a top option for the budget buyers. As you might have guessed, leather forms the biggest part of the construction. The tanned design lends a little more class and style to the boot.
CoolMAX Technology is one of the rare technologies, but can make a difference for days you spend a lot of time on your feet. However, the claim is that these boots will keep your feet cooler and allow you to breathe a little more. The waterproof membrane is a perfect feature to ensure water remains on the outside of the boot.
As mentioned, these boots do not command such an expensive price. They are a perfect option for those on a budget. The PORON Materials help to keep all the odors away. It is great for those that spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Excellent safety properties
- Good fit out of the box
- Side zippers may cause blisters
- May run big
Fortunately, the Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6″ Steel Safety Toe Boot features a durable rubber construction. It also includes a solid steel toe that has enhanced the safety aspects of the boot.
Synthetic materials make up the bulk of the outer, but do not always hold up as well as rubber. With a 6-inch arch, they offer some ankle support that could help reduce injuries. It often helps when caught in unnatural situations.
If you don’t like the cold, an inner lining will keep your feet warm, but also wick away some moisture inside.
Timberland is one of the most expensive brands, which doesn’t bode well if you have a tight budget . In conclusion, these boots might command a hefty price, but they will last you a couple of years.
Instead of replacing your boots once a year, you can save a couple of hundred bucks each month.
- Meet safety standards
- Pretty comfortable
- Nice traction
- Soles may wear out quickly
- Sizes aren’t accurate
The Wolverine Men’s Floorhand Work Shoe is not only waterproof, but also stands as one of the lightest shoes on this list so far. It comes with a softer toe, but the entire shoe is padded and clad in premium grade full grain leather materials.
Once again, you have the benefits of the Wolverine Multishox cushioning system that helps to improve the cushioning from shock and absorb most of the impact when walking. The feature can certainly ensure that you don’t need to deal with pain and frustration from being on your feet throughout the day and focus on work.
Overall, it is an excellent and affordable shoe that is definitely designed for the great public. The shoe has a whole host of excellent features that will ensure you as the used have great value for your money.
- Good traction
- Minimal break-in period
- Great comfort
- Stiff soles
It features a textile and leather combination for the primary construction. The addition of textile adds a level of softness to the boot. It could help to prevent possible abrasions.
With a textile overlay on the seams of the leather, these boots remain waterproof for a longer period. The nylon shank doesn’t compete with the steel shank when looking at stability yet. However, it adds a little bit of extra support to ensure you don’t have accidental twists of the ankle or potential injuries.
The soft and flexible EVA midsole gives you flexibility on the outer sole. Recent experiences has shown that it reduces the effect of plantar fasciitis occurring in the feet.
Looking at most of the other Timberland boots, this one tends to be much more affordable.
One of the biggest issues might be excessive padding. Many people complain about it being heavily padded, reducing breathability. You might have reduced abrasions, but your feet can still feel.
- Provide great comfort
- Perfect fit
- Slightly slippery
Rocky has always been one of the leading brands, but often it is also a forgotten brand. However, the Rocky Men’s Mobilite Six Work Boot makes it onto this list for all the great features. A common trend that you will find is the use of full grain leather. The high durability makes it perfect for all types of boots.
Solid rubber lugs form a pattern on the outer sole. The patterns and the durability of the rubber combine to make the shoes ideal in all conditions. The boots work well in slippery conditions that include either water or oil. Once again, PU is the choice for the inner sole, adding comfort and reducing potential fatigue.
The price is rather fair for the value these boots offer.
In a growing population of larger feet, you might enjoy the added width of the toe box as well. Treating the leather is not something to be worried about. It is already treated to make your life a little easier and save time.
- Great fit
- Superb grip
- Need break-in
- Runs large
- Tongue may cause pain
You might not have heard of a brand like the Black Hammer brand. It might not be as recognized as many of the other brands, but their Men’s Leather Safety Waterproof Boots are perfect for reliability. It keeps water out and your feet comfortable on the inside of the boot.
The boot itself has features a grainy type of leather, something that makes it unique. It adds ruggedness and a special look to the boot.
Aside from the rugged outer design, the boot has a lining inside to reduce the potential of abrasions. It is not overly protective to prevent breathability for your feet inside.
The price is affordable, which means someone on a tough monthly budget can afford them.
Keep in mind, they are not only designed for indoor working environments. They also offer some versatility outdoors. On uneven surfaces, the added height and arch support reduces ankle injuries. Should you suffer from bad joint, these could be the boots for you.
- Need a break-in
- May need additional waterproofing
The rugged leather construction can withstand shock, while the steel toe protects your feet. You know these boots have a steel toe, for someone without knowledge it is not that simple, the design would not have given it away. These boots hide the presence of the steel toe and keep you looking fashionable at all times.
Since they are affordable, it has become one of the popular options on the market today. The boot will offer a lot of comfort and ensure that you can work and walk with added confidence.
If you work in construction, or need something to keep you from slipping, these boots are the answer.
- Perfect fit
- Meet ASTM F2413-17 standards
- May be a little tight around the toe area
- Need a break-in
The KEEN Utility Men’s Detroit Xt Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Industrial Boot is a newer boot that has only been on the market since 2018. The entire boot has been man made with all the parts carefully assembled for the best durability and design.
The most impressive part is the Nubuck leather and outer sole, which is constructed from premium rubber. Has an advanced lug pattern to ensure you have maximum traction on every surface, while giving you a comfortable feel.
Most of the waterproofing comes from the Dri-Lex Technology used in the lining of the boot.
This boot does fall into the normal price range you would expect from KEEN brand. They have included multiple safety features as well. Many of the KEEN features are similar in all the ranges of their boots. It makes it a reliable option to choose from as a brand.
- No need for break-in period
- Weak laces loops
- Not the best arch support
The Wolverine Men’s I-90 Waterproof Composite-Toe 6″ Construction Boot is constructed from premium grade leather, with a high-cut design. It not only helps keep your ankles protected, but also keeps some of the things you do not want inside your shoe on the outside where they belong.
Wolverine has kept the Wolverine Multishox cushioning system, which is used inside the boot for cushioning and comfort. It absorbs most of the shock that your feet will have to endure on tough terrains.
The inner sole is the heartbeat of the shoe and will mold to the shape of your feet for the best comfort.
With the addition of the steel toe, they might be a little heavy, but one can live with this by knowing that your feet are protected.
These boots are not overly expensive, falling in the ideal price range that one would expect when looking for great quality and value for your money.
- Pretty lightweight
- Might run a little small
- Not the best for cold weather
How to Choose the Right Pair of Waterproof Work Boots
The features that are important for waterproof boots are not only the most important aspect you need to consider. While they are fundamental, you should also understand the reason for purchasing waterproof boots. Before we look into some of the main features one needs to keep in mind, here are a couple of other things to consider:
What is Your Purpose?
Depending on the purpose, you will be looking for a variety of different waterproof boots.
If you are trekking through the swamp, you would ideally want something lightweight. This is the same for hiking or any other outdoor activity you do for pleasure.
However, you also need to be wary of other situations like working inside a factory, or construction. In these situations, you will not only be looking for the waterproof boot to keep your feet dry but having a composite or steel toe can add additional safety.
In heavy rain conditions, the simple rubber boot can give you excellent traction without costing you a fortune. They are also lightweight and many of them are constructed in smaller sizes for children to walk or play in the mud.
The Most Expensive Boot Doesn’t Always Matter
Having used many different waterproof boots over the years, it is easy to see how the most expensive boots are not always the best. When you look at boots, you will find that the price is heavily determined by the brand and the country of origin. However, you might find that leather used by certain countries for their boots can be a little better.
The Waterproof Materials Used for Manufacturing Work Boots
Technology is something that is expanding at a rapid rate and one needs to consider the importance of the materials when selecting waterproof boots. After a little digging, here are a couple of the waterproof material technologies that you would commonly find in some of the best waterproof boots:
Once can hardly look at technology without discussing the importance of Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is a synthetic material with completely waterproof capabilities, which is commonly used as a lining for the inside of the boots.
No matter how you look at it, normal rubber still remains the material with the best waterproof properties. It has been used for ages and still seems to make it as the main material for most boots.
While not completely friendly to the environment, PVC is often used for the outer soles. PVC is a little more durable than rubber, allowing you to resist chemical spills when you are working in a lab.
Normal Leather is not the best when you want your feet to remain dry in all wet weather conditions. However, synthetic leather can give you the leather look while reducing the expensive upkeep.
Composite materials and canvas are not as popular among waterproof boots. They tend to become soggy and will allow some of the water to seep inside. Certain textiles are used for shoes that runner use, but they only have great drainage abilities.
What Features Work Boots Must Have
I hope that you understand some of the basics of the waterproof boot by now and you are ready to look at the most important features. After considering the purpose, you are actively seeking a new waterproof boot.
These are some of the main features to consider and the same ones that we have used for our criterion:
Breathability and Ventilation
The first thing aside from the materials is the breathability of the shoe.
Even though it needs to keep your feet from getting wet, you also need your feet to get some air. Unfortunately, rubber does not provide this. To be honest, the outer lining of the shoe is not responsible for this and it comes down to the inner lining.
Consider safety as a crucial part of any shoe, but the safety features need to be in correlation with the purpose. Having a steel or composite toe can make the shoe more protective, but will also add more weight.
We also look for the cut of the shoe, as most mid-cut boots offer additional ankle protection and perfect ventilation.
Oil and Slip Resistant
The most important part of the shoe that you will look for when working in slippery areas is the outer sole.
A gum rubber sole is one of the best at keeping you from slipping. However, it does not do as well against oil and chemicals. As we have already mentioned, you might need to consider PVC as your main material for the outer sole when you work in areas with oil or chemicals.
A couple of support features are added to these boots, but one of the most important support features is the arch support.
Aside from having support around your ankles, the arch support will help you when you slip and keep your feet in the right position to avoid potential injuries that could actually be threatening.
The shank is responsible for the structural support of the shoe. You have the choice of the steel shank or the nylon shank in most situations. Both of them work fine, but the steel shank adds a lot of weight for the additional support offered.
Last but certainly not least, we need to have a closer look at the weight. I think that the weight directly correlates with the features and the support. Having a heavier boot is perfect for dangerous situations like construction. However, you might need to reduce the weight for hiking to avoid building up too much fatigue.
Is It Possible to Make Your Own Waterproof Boots?
Leather boots are expensive to buy, and not everyone has the financial capabilities of having the extra waterproofing features added to the boots. However, there are a couple of methods that can be used to waterproof the boots at home and save a couple of bucks on the expensive retail prices that you pay:
Pastes, Creams, and Waxes
Waxes have become a popular way for people to add a waterproof layer to their boots.
It is a temporary solution and you should apply the waxes, pastes, or creams frequently to get the best results. For people that need an instant waterproof boot for a small period, this is one of the best methods to ensure it is done.
The next important method is to consider using a waterproof spray agent.
It takes much less time and will dry instantly. However, it can rub off much sooner when exposed to the elements. Most of the products that can spray are mostly for leather boots, which does not make them effective for work boots made from other materials.
If you want to save money, there are a couple of things at home that you can also use.
Transmission oil has been used by many people, but should only be reserved as a last resort. While it can have a great effect on keeping your feet dry inside the boots, it does have a tendency to discolor the boots if used too often.
Another great method is using beeswax or Vaseline to form a lining around the boots to keep the water out.
These methods are not the best when you need them to hold up for extended periods, but will not cause too much damage to the boot. I would be careful for the candle as beeswax, as it can stain and damage the boots.
The Main Difference Between Water-Resistant and Waterproof Boots
A major discussion nowadays is the use of boots that are waterproof over water-resistant.
Water-resistant boots are perfect for light rain conditions or when you are walking in the snow. Having a Gore-Tex inner lining like most leather boots definitely keeps your feet warm and dry, while still adding optimal ventilation.
The most popular type of boot is leather, which technically does not have any true waterproof capabilities.
Leather and canvas are mostly water-resistant, but they can feel waterproof due to the density of the materials. For truly waterproof boots, one might need to consider the standard rubber boots for the job. Unfortunately, they are so resistant to water; they also have almost no ventilation or breathability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most of the features and important aspects should be covered by now. However, I did notice a couple of questions that some people are still dealing with. To help you get a better understanding of these boots, we have done the research:
Does WD 40 waterproof boots?
WD 40 has the potential of adding a waterproof layer to your boots, while also removing some for of the stains on the boots.
How can I waterproof my boots?
It will depend on the boot. However, you should look into using sprays and waxes that have been proven to waterproof the boot. Check out the video for some instructions:
Do you have to spray waterproof boots?
If the boot already has a waterproof design like rubber, you don’t need another to make it work. Adding a waterproof spray is recommended for boots that are not yet waterproof.
Do Gore-Tex boots need waterproofing?
While not mandatory, many people still recommend doing it. I have not needed to do this and completely trust Gore-Tex By itself.
Waterproof boots can make your life easier and give you more protection from the conditions. They might be expensive, but sometimes, it is better to spend a little more for something that will last you many years. Let us know if you have found this guide helpful and if we missed any boots or features, you like.
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