The 18 Best Waterproof Boots That’ll Keep Your Feet Dry, Tested & Reviewed

From rubber wellies to technical hiking boots.

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A person wearing the Bogs Women's Holly Lace Leather Boots in wet leaves

InStyle / Kristin Cleveland

There’s nothing worse than waking up to rain and it instantly putting a damper on whatever outfit plans we had in mind. When the weather gets dire, we just can’t risk getting our regular ankle booties or knee-high boots soaked and damaged or, even worse, having to spend the rest of our day with cold, damp socks. That’s where waterproof boots come in to save the day. 

A good waterproof boot needs to hold up in wet conditions, keeping out moisture and our feet dry — and many times, they’ll also need to work double-duty as our indoor shoes, so the look is equally as important. But as waterproof boots range in style and type, there’s much to consider when shopping for a pair, like what exact conditions you need them for. A rainy walk to the subway, or a hike through muddy and wet terrain?

That’s why we put 64 of today’s top-rated waterproof boots up to the test — scuttling through rainstorms, trekking through mud, and even willingly hopping into ankle-deep puddles — to determine which ones are truly the real deal (not just water-resistant) and kept our feet dry and comfortable. Waterproofing aside, we asked our testers to evaluate the boots based on several other factors, such as traction, durability, fit, comfort, and overall value. We also tapped a team of experts — footwear design consultants, textile experts, stylists, and hikers — to share their insights. Whether you’re planning a rainy day hike or need a shoe that’ll keep you dry on your morning commute, there’s a waterproof boot for you, ahead.

Our Top Picks
Best Overall:
Ugg Brisbane Waterproof Chelsea Boot at Nordstrom ($170)
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Best Budget:
Asgard Chelsea Ankle Waterproof Rain Boots at Amazon ($33)
Jump to Review
Best Durable:
Bogs Holly Lace Leather Boots at (See Price)
Jump to Review
Best Everyday:
Everlane Women Rain Boot Tawny Brown at ($85)
Jump to Review
Best Shearling-Lined:
Ugg Adirondack III Boot at Amazon ($250)
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Best for Snow:
Sorel Caribou Boot at Amazon (See Price)
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Best for Hiking:
Hi-Tec Altitude VI I WP Hiking Boots at Amazon ($60)
Jump to Review
Best for Hiking, Runner-Up:
Keen Revel IV Polar Boot at Amazon (See Price)
Jump to Review
Best Classic:
Hunter Short Rain Boot at Amazon (See Price)
Jump to Review
Best High-Heel:
La Canadienne Ellenor Leather Bootie at (See Price)
Jump to Review

Best Overall

Ugg Brisbane Waterproof Chelsea Boot

Nordstrom Ugg Brisbane Chelsea Ankle Boot


View On Nordstrom $170 View On $170

What We Love: These are an overall solid choice for weathering the rain and any other wet outdoor conditions — they’re truly waterproof, have superior traction on all sorts of surfaces and terrains, have a durable design that’s built to last, and they’re stylish.

What We Don’t Love: They take some time to break in.

Of the many boots we tested, these Chelsea boots from Ugg take the cake as our overall top pick. From a waterproof standpoint, they were quite impressive. We put them through the wringer — traversing a rainstorm, even stomping around in an ankle-deep puddle — and experienced no water entering the boot whatsoever, not even from the feather edges or where the different panels meet one another, and we were amazed at how well water beaded off of the waterproof suede upper.

Every aspect of this boot is designed with superior quality, from the rubber sole to the pull tab to the plush and cushy shearling-like footbed. The extra-thick soles have great traction on all sorts of terrains and surfaces — we wore them on everything from grass and gravel to cement and tile and never once felt like we might slip. As such, they’re slightly heavier and take a little time to break in, but we can tell that these durable boots were built to last us a long time — they showed no signs of wear and tear whatsoever at the end of our testing period.

We’d typically expect to pay a pretty penny for a boot this well-designed that we’ll surely get years of wear out of, and we think these bear a pretty affordable price tag for what you get. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re quite an attractive shoe, too. The ultra-chunky lug sole is very on-trend, and we were surprised that a waterproof boot this functional could be this stylish and didn’t require being crafted entirely of rubber. But while we appreciate the two trendy colorways in moss and mustard, we would love to see it in black for more styling versatility.

Material: Waterproof suede upper; plush wool-blend lining; and rubber sole | Colors: 2 | Size: 5–11

Best Budget

Asgard Chelsea Ankle Waterproof Rain Boots

Asgard Women's Waterproof Chelsea Rain Boot


View On Amazon $33

What We Love: These affordable boots are heavy-duty, providing great traction and waterproofing capabilities through rainy, wet, and muddy conditions. 

What We Don’t Love: They could benefit from improved cushioning and arch support.

Durable, well-performing boots that will keep water and moisture out while maintaining their integrity shouldn’t have to break the bank, something we learned after taking these Asgard rain boots for a spin. We scored it a perfect five from both a performance and waterproof standpoint.

Made of heavy-duty — but not heavy to wear — rubber, they’re sturdy yet easy to pull on and off, thanks to the pull tab. They’re truly waterproof, too, keeping our feet perfectly dry as we traversed rainstorms (which included a fair share of puddles and flooding gutters) and even traipsed through a muddy pumpkin patch and sunflower field, providing great traction without being overly grippy. We found that they’re durable enough for their purpose and don’t require any breaking in (something we credit partially to the elastic gussets). From a style standpoint, we appreciate that they come in 15 different colorways to suit any wardrobe, whether you prefer bold brights or neutral hues.

Overall, we have no complaints and think they’re a great choice for anyone who has to walk both short and long distances in the rain, though we think they could be even better with improved footbed cushioning and arch support for when we’ll be wearing these for days (or weeks) at a time. 

Material: PVC upper; EVA foam insole; and rubber sole | Colors: 15 | Size: 4–12

Best Durable

Bogs Holly Lace Leather Boots

Bogs Women's Holly Lace Leather Boots


View On View On REI $170 View On

What We Love: These stylish hiking boots keep feet dry, provide excellent grip, and can withstand tough terrains without so much as a scratch.

What We Don’t Love: They’re somewhat stiff at first, softening up the more we wear them.

Those who prefer the look of hiking boots will appreciate these stylish lace-ups from outdoor footwear brand Bogs. We tested them through rain and shine and found that the cushy, arch-supporting footbed kept our feet comfortable even after full days of wear; just keep in mind that they’re somewhat stiff out of the box and soften up as you wear them. In terms of waterproofing, these are excellent at repelling water in rain, puddles, and even while standing ankle-deep at the edge of a lake. But unlike other boots where water physically beads off, the waterproof suede upper on these will look wet, though they dry rather quickly and, trust, feet remain perfectly dry throughout.

Where this pair really shines is in durability. Rain and lakes aside, they held up well when we wore them for days at a time in outdoor terrains, not showing so much as a scratch even after navigating grassy wooded areas dense in sticks and branches — something that, in our opinion, is particularly impressive considering how fussy suede can be. The thick rubber sole (lug-soled and slightly heeled for a trendy look) provides great traction on wet and dry pavement alike, also adding to the boot’s durability. Overall, they’re pretty heavy-duty, meaning they aren’t the most breathable boots out there, but fear not: They feature the brand’s sweat-evaporating Max-Wick technology to keep feet dry while a natural biotechnology treatment helps keep odor at bay — a much-appreciated bonus.

Material: Waterproof leather upper; algae-based footbed; and recycled PET lining | Colors: 3 | Size: 6–11

Best Everyday

Everlane Women Rain Boot Tawny Brown

Women Rain Boot Tawny Brown


View On $85

What We Love: These rubber boots are great for everyday needs — they keep feet dry, provide excellent grip, and are affordable.

What We Don’t Love: They’re somewhat tight on wider feet and aren’t available in wide or half sizes.

For a basic, everyday rain boot that, from a style standpoint, is elevated (without an elevated price tag), you can’t go wrong with these rubber boots from Everlane. Ankle-height, they’re built with a slip-resistant tread and a cushioned, arch-supporting insole for comfortable walking in slick conditions, while pull tabs and stretchy side panels make them easier to slide on and off — a plus for an everyday boot, in our opinion. We found them to have a sturdy construction with excellent grip on both rainy New York City streets and muddy UK walking paths, and thanks to rubber lining behind the elastic panels, our feet stayed completely dry.

We scored these a perfect five across the boards aside from fit, which we found to be a little tight width-wise. If these were available in wide sizing and half sizes, we think they would be more accommodating for those with wider foot shapes. For a stylish and functional boot, they’re well-priced, ringing in at under $100, yet they’re a step above some of the cheaper options we’ve tried in the past thanks to substantial tread and padded footbed. Just keep in mind that they only come in four earth tones, so those hoping for basic black will need to look elsewhere.

Material: Rubber | Colors: 5 | Size: 5–11

Best Shearling-Lined

Ugg Adirondack III Boot

Nordstrom Ugg Adirondack III Waterproof Bootie


View On Amazon $250 View On Nordstrom $250 View On $250

What We Love: There's no break-in period, and the boots are light and comfortable.

What We Don’t Love: With higher quality comes a higher price tag.

When we started wearing these best-selling Ugg boots, from running errands to taking long walks, they wowed us pretty much immediately. Worn with or without socks, these sherpa-lined boots are extra cozy and have a solid (but not too rigid) construction. We sized up a half size, and we're glad we did, since the extra room in the toe box made for a more comfortable fit and kept blisters at bay despite walking around in them for hours. Considering their durability and warmth, we also love that they're lighter than a lot of other snow boots. We tested their waterproof capabilities and traction, and the Adirondack III passed both with flying colors. These will be a must-have addition to our suitcases when we go on ski trips (according to the website, they're cold-weather ratified to -32 degrees Celsius), as well as inclement weather days closer to home.

These are a bit splurge-y relative to others on our list, but they're going to last you years — so the price-per-wear is low (if you've ever had a pair of Ugg boots, you'll know this already). Luxury specialist Kristen Shirley loves Ugg boots because they can be worn practically and also as a street-style staple, meaning that they're deeply multifunctional.

Material: Leather upper; wool and lyocell lining, and rubber outsole | Colors: 6 | Size: 5–12

Best for Snow

Sorel Caribou Boot

Amazon sorel-womens-caribou-waterproof-boot


View On Amazon View On Nordstrom $140 View On Zappos $200

What We Love: It has the typical Sorel quality and durability, but it's also lightweight.

What We Don’t Love: It's an investment (even if a worthwhile one).

Sorel's pretty well-known for its high-performing snow boots, but we’re calling out this one because it performed on gravel, grass, dirt, and concrete as well — and for extended periods of time, including on hikes and long walks. We see this style as one we can totally use in the coldest, most inclement times of the year. Of course, it also helps that the black color with subtle white accents is sleek and versatile.

The fit is true to size (especially if you'd like to wear bulkier socks) and the construction at the ankle and calf is sturdy. It's not a breathable boot — since it's made for warmth, after all — and there's no break-in period. Unlike some Sorel models, the Caribou is pretty light; we wore a pair for a full day at the office without feeling weighed down by them. With that said, though, this might not be our first choice for a day spent indoors: These are boots designed to weather the elements outside, including an impressive waterproof outer.

Our favorite part might be the height. These go up to the lower or mid-calf, depending on your height — not so high that they feel burdensome. They're also easy to get on and off, meaning they're a perfect everyday pick for throwing on to go outside. Shirley's Sorels have lasted her six years and counting.

Material: Waterproof leather upper; ThermoPlus felt lining; and rubber outsole | Colors: 3 | Size: 5–12

Sorel Women's Caribou Waterproof Boots

InStyle / Erin Hooker

Best for Hiking

Hi-Tec Altitude VI I WP Hiking Boots

Hi-Tec Women’s Altitude VI I WP Hiking Boots


View On Amazon $60 View On

What We Love: These sturdy, durable hiking boots provide superior traction and waterproofing, and we love how comfortable they are.

What We Don’t Love: The size range isn't very inclusive.

There are a handful of features any good hiking boot should have: waterproofing to keep feet dry; a breathable upper that will prevent your feet from sweating; excellent grip to avoid slipping on mud, rocks, and leaves; and cushioning to support arches and keep feet comfortable, even on intense hikes. These boots from Hi-Tec have all that and more — and with a shockingly affordable price tag. They’re among the few pairs on this list that warranted a perfect score across all categories.

For starters, they’re so comfortable. The lining is made with a slow recovery foam that makes even more intense hikes ultra comfortable, and we found that it provided great support to the arches and balls of our feet. The outside of the shoe is sturdy and solid without being too heavy (another important factor if you’ll be trudging up hills and mountains). We also found that they have excellent traction on wet ground, metal sidewalk grates, and leaves alike. But we were most impressed with its waterproofing capabilities — we were shocked that even after standing with our feet submerged in a puddle, not one drop of water ended up inside the shoe; not through the leather upper or the breathable textile panels. Overall, the quality of these boots is top-notch, especially considering the price point falls well under $100. Considering they also have a stain-resistant shield and rust-proof hardware, we expect these to last us for a long time.

Material: Leather upper; rubber outsole; and rustproof hardware | Colors: 2 | Size: 6–11; medium and wide

Best for Hiking, Runner-Up

Keen Revel IV Polar Boot

Keen Womens Revel IV Polar Boot


View On Amazon View On REI $180 View On

What We Love: The style boasts all of the benefits of an outdoor boot with added versatility.

What We Don’t Love: The bulkiness, which takes a bit of time to get used to.

This best seller is, according to Keen’s website, warmth-tested to -25 degrees. This is supported by our experience: When we took these boots on a two-hour-long cold-weather hike and did yard work for hours, they remained comfortable and supportive no matter what. They also match our outdoorsy casual outfits, so they're just as stylish when we take a quick stroll or a trip to the local brewery.

The Keen Revel IVs fit true to size and work well with medium-weight socks. The traction is, in a word, “impeccable,” including when we tried sliding down slick rock (where the traction can fail easily). We loved that they're essentially interchangeable with hiking boots — meaning that we can take one pair instead of two on cold-weather trips — but they'll still stand up to rain, snow, and the deep puddles we find on hikes. Those of us who love our classic Merrell boots found that these were just as good, if not a little more durable. But the most underrated aspect of the boot might be its fit. Designer and sewist Aaronica B. Cole appreciates the easy slip-on construction, and they work even for wider feet like hers. We also found that orthotics fit inside this shoe easily, meaning there's room throughout the insole and in the toe box.

Material: Waterproof leather and performance mesh upper; KEEN.Warm Recycled PET insulation; and EVA outsole | Colors: 4 | Size: 5–12

Best Classic

Hunter Short Rain Boot

DSW Hunter Original Short Waterproof Rain Boot


View On Amazon View On Nordstrom $150 View On

What We Love: These classic wellies are durable and functional, and we appreciate the buckle that allows us to tighten or loosen the fit.

What We Don’t Love: They’re not very breathable.

Is there anything more classic than the Hunter’s Original Short Rain Boots? These quintessential wellies are beloved by the masses, and after we took them for a spin through dewy grass and pouring rain ourselves, we can certainly see why.

First things first, despite the name, we wouldn’t necessarily consider these “short.” They hit at about mid-calf, thoroughly protecting us from mystery city puddles ( never really know how deep they are). In terms of durability, we consider them pretty substantial — not so heavy that they weigh us down, but not so thin that we fear a twig or other debris will pierce or scratch the upper. The slip-resistant soles are ideal for rainy days, and we found them to have an equally excellent grip on wet grass and wet pavement.

They’re also quite comfortable: They’re easy to slide on and off and feature cushioning for extra comfort (though we wouldn’t call it arch support). One feature we really appreciate is the adjustable buckle, allowing us to to tighten or loosen them as we please. Just remember that, like most rubber boots, they’re not the most breathable; we found that even though our feet were completely protected from outside moisture, our feet felt a little sweaty after an hour or so of wear, so we wouldn’t recommend wearing these for a full day.

Material: Rubber | Colors: 30 | Size: 5–11

Best High-Heel

La Canadienne Ellenor Leather Bootie

La Canadienne Ellenor Leather Bootie

La Canadienne

View On

What We Love: These heeled waterproof booties are sleek and stylish; they don’t look like waterproof boots.

What We Don’t Love: They run a bit small.

A little inclement weather doesn’t necessarily have to derail our outfit plans and prevent us from wearing our favorite heels, something we discovered thanks to these La Canadienne booties. They’re undeniably an investment, but one we think is well worth it. Here’s why: A luxurious marriage of fashion and function, these are handy boots if you’re on the run in the rain and not trying to change shoes once you arrive at your destination. Style-wise, they’re as sleek as can be: an ankle-height leather bootie featuring a sculptural skinny heel and an almond toe that’s appropriate for both day and night (we wore them both to the office and on nights out) and an interior side zipper for easy on, easy off. Moreover, they also have a cushioned memory foam insole that makes the 3-inch heel especially comfortable — however, they run a little small, so keep that in mind when deciding on a size.

Looks aside, they’re perfectly suitable for slick, rainy conditions. The treated waterproof leather does its job, while a breathable, microfiber lining ensures our feet don’t sweat despite being oh-so-soft and fleece-like. The shaft is also quite fitted, so we didn’t experience any rain seeping into the boot. Because they’re equipped with a rubber sole, they provide great traction on slippery pavement, and you won’t need to worry about getting them resoled as often as your other leather shoes — not to mention, we noticed no scuffing or wear whatsoever after testing these out. Even the bottom of the shoe looks practically new after over ten wears.

Material: Leather upper; leather and rubber sole; and microfiber lining | Colors: 1 | Size: 5–13

Best Fleece-Lined

Lands' End Sherpa Fleece Lined Duck Boots

Lands End Women's Insulated Sherpa Fleece Lined Duck Boots

Lands End 

View On $110

What We Love: These cozy fleece-lined boots are truly waterproof, and we appreciate how comfortable they are.

What We Don’t Love: They’re somewhat stiff, making them a little difficult to pull on and off. 

These lace-up sherpa-lined duck boots from Land’s End were an instant favorite: a cozy, waterproof option that’s comfortable to wear right out of the box. We found that they don’t require any breaking in, but because they are quite sturdy boots, pulling them on and off is a little tough, particularly due to the stiff tongue — even so, we found them to be much more flexible and comfy than classic rubber rain boots. They’re on the thicker, bulkier side — as you would expect from a winter boot — but they’re not at all as heavy as we suspected.

From a functionality standpoint, they have great waterproofing and traction; we felt secure walking in light rain and after bigger rainstorms on wet pavement and grass. The rubber parts of the shoe were great in the rain and easily wiped clean of any mud, and because they can be tied securely to fit your leg, we didn’t experience any water entering the boot, even around the top. The outer fleece detail isn’t as waterproof as rubber, of course, but it dried fairly quickly once we got home. All that’s to say, these are an excellent cozy choice for light rain or snow, but we wouldn’t recommend them for a monsoon or trudging through ankle-deep snow unless you’re okay with the outer looking wet for a short period of time.

Material: Textile and leather shaft; rubber shell and outsole; and sherpa fleece lining and footbed | Colors: 2 | Size: 6–11

Best Duck

L.L.Bean Bean Boots

L.L.Bean Original Bean Boot 6"

L.L. Bean

View On L.L.Bean $100 View On Zappos $100

What We Love: These classic duck boots have plenty of thoughtful design features, like a sewn-in tongue and chain traction sole.

What We Don’t Love: The sizing is slightly confusing; they run large, and you’ll need to size down based on sock thickness.

If you love the look of classic duck boots, consider these L.L. Beans, which earned a perfect score from us. Made from quality rubber and waterproof leather, they’re heavy-duty without being heavy, and we found they were easy to wipe down or hose off after short hikes through the woods in rainy, muddy conditions. Thoughtful design features ensured our feet stayed nice and dry; material aside, we appreciated the sewn-in tongue that prevents water from seeping in around the laces, while the brand’s iconic chain traction ensured we weren’t slipping or sliding around. In fact, these performed so well that we plan to wear them with thicker socks in the snow, too.

We also love that they come in narrow and wide sizing, and we found that the wide options perfectly accommodate wide feet. However, you may need to try a few sizes to find the right fit — they run a bit large, and the brand suggests sizing down to varying degrees based on what socks you plan to wear, which could get a little confusing. 

Material: Waterproof leather upper and rubber sole | Colors: 1 | Size: 5–11; narrow–wide

Best Color Options

Merry People Bobbi Rain Boot

Bobbi Rain Boot Beetroot Light Pink

Merry People

View On $130

What We Love: These cheery rain boots come in a variety of fun colors and keep feet dry and comfortable. 

What We Don’t Love: The removable insoles don’t stay put and pop out of the boot every time we take them off.

Rainy days are notorious mood-ruiners, but these boots and their many color options can make even the bleakest days feel a little more merry and cheerful — we’d say the brand name is appropriate. They’re available in a rainbow array of colors from lime green and lavender in addition to classic, easy-to-match neutrals, meaning there’s an option to suit anyone’s personal tastes. Of course, they have plenty more to offer than just being pretty to look at — they go above and beyond your typical waterproof boot. 

They defy the classic trope that rain boots are heavy and clunky. They’re sturdy and durable, sure, but we found them to be stylish and far from awkward or bulky. They have chunky, durable soles with ample traction, and we once never felt like we’d slip while traipsing through puddles or walking over wet foliage. The neoprene lining allows them to slip on and off easily, while a cushioned sole provides ample arch support. Overall, we felt well-supported through light drizzles and heavy rain alike. Our only qualm was that the removable insole didn’t stay put and popped out frequently, though that’s certainly not a dealbreaker for a boot this great.

Material: Rubber upper and sole; neoprene lining | Colors: 17 | Size: 5–12

A pair of Merry People Bobbi Rain Boots

InStyle / Alisha Prakash

Best for Walking

Salomon X ULTRA 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Shoes

Salomon X ULTRA 4 GORE-TEX Women's Hiking Shoes


View On

What We Love: These lightweight hiking sneaker-boot hybrids are waterproof, supportive, and extra-grippy for traversing slick conditions.

What We Don’t Love: They’re not great for ankle-deep puddles due to the lower sides.

At first glance, these Salomon shoes may look just like your typical hiking sneaker-boot hybrids, but they’re waterproof thanks to Gore-Tex technology, one of the most reliable waterproof, windproof, and breathable synthetic fabrics there are (no damp or sweaty feet, here). They’re designed specifically to adapt to the shape of women’s feet, built with a soft cuff, cradling anatomical design, and low-density chassis (the structural framework of the shoe) for excellent stability. We found that they fit true-to-size, pleasantly snug across the top of our feet and around the heel, but still enough room to comfortably wiggle our toes. It doesn’t hurt that they’re lightweight, too.

They’re technically hiking shoes, but they’re not just for hiking — just ask Bella Hadid. We consider them a great option for walking, whether long or short distances. Upon taking these for a spin on a few neighborhood walks and errands and then a particularly wet seven-mile hike, our feet were dry and protected, and the grippy sole kept us from sliding on slippery supermarket floors and damp, mossy rocks alike. Water actively beads on the shoes' exterior, ensuring nothing gets in. Still, due to the low sides, we wouldn’t recommend them for any activities where you’ll step in ankle-deep puddles or other bodies of water. 

Material: Synthetic/textile upper and inlay sole; rubber outsole | Colors: 4 | Size: 5–11

Best Block Heel

Sorel Joan Now Lace Boot

Sorel Women's Joan Now Lace Boot


View On Nordstrom $200 View On View On Zappos $200

What We Love: These chunky-heeled boots are stylish and functional. 

What We Don’t Love: The laces are thin and somewhat weak. 

We found this pair from Sorel to be easy to assimilate into our everyday wardrobes. Made with waterproof leather and suede and designed with D-ring hardware, a crafted welt, and a chunky rubber sole, they’re rain boots that don’t look like rain boots. We took them for a spin over a particularly rainy week, wearing them for everything from running errands to dinner dates. Our feet remained dry on all occasions, and we found that the lug sole provided amazing traction in slick conditions.

Our only qualm is that the laces are somewhat thin, making it difficult to tie the boot as tight as we’d like. They also run on the smaller side, so the brand recommends sizing up — however, we found that they were still slightly tight on our toes yet loose around the ankles. It might be best to try these on in person before buying if you’re unsure what size is best.

Material: Waterproof leather and suede upper; rubber midsole and outsole; and leather-wrapped heel | Colors: 3 | Size: 5–12

Best Moon

The North Face Halseigh ThermBall Lace Waterproof Boots

The North Face Halseigh ThermBall Lace Waterproof Boots

The North Face

View On Nordstrom $120 View On The North Face View On Zappos $112

What We Love: These aprés-ski-chic boots keep feet dry and warm, a perfect choice for winter conditions.

What We Don’t Love: The lace loops are small and far down on the side of the boot, making it difficult to tie them tight.

Looking to channel your après-ski best? Consider these moon boots from The North Face, which not only passed the waterproof test with flying colors but are constructed with hefty eco-insulation to keep the feet warm. They’re essentially winter coats for your feet.

We’ll be the first to admit that we were a little skeptical at first — could a shoe this trendy really be that functional? We were delighted to discover that, yes, they can. They completely repelled water and we saw no watermarks whatsoever after wearing them, while the large, chunky sole provided excellent traction on slippery surfaces. Despite their clunky appearance, they’re surprisingly lightweight, while a pillowy-soft lining keeps feet cozy and warm. Overall, we were impressed with how well these boots performed and think they’re an excellent choice for winter boots if you’ll be navigating icy, slick terrain.

Material: Waterproof leather upper; recycled polyester insulation; and rubber outsole | Colors: 2 | Size: 5–11

Best Arch Support

The North Face Hedgehog 3 Mid Waterproof Boots

The North Face Women’s Hedgehog 3 Mid Waterproof Boots

The North Face

View On Amazon View On The North Face View On REI $145

What We Love: Thanks to 5 millimeters of underfoot cushioning and a taller shaft, these provide excellent support throughout the foot.

What We Don’t Love: They aren’t offered in sizes larger than a women’s 11.

Whether you have flat feet, high arches, or are simply prone to achiness, boots with arch support will ensure your feet stay comfortable and supported throughout your day. Of all the styles we tried, we found this style from The North Face to have superior support throughout the foot (heel-to-toe and ankles), thanks to 5 millimeters of underfoot cushioning and a taller-than-usual shaft. They were very comfortable when worn all day with periodic movements, such as a day at the office, and when worn for active activities that usually leave us sore, like hiking or doing yard work, they effectively kept us pain-free for hours at a time before we felt any signs of discomfort.

They’re durable without feeling overly heavy or clunky and provide excellent traction on all sorts of surfaces — whether on outdoor terrains, a hose-soaked backyard, or a doctor’s office floor, we never once felt like we’d slip. Of course, they’re perfectly waterproof, too, thanks to a breathable membrane that protects moisture from outside and inside the shoe. 

Material: Leather, synthetic leather, ripstop, and spacer mesh upper; rubber outsole | Colors: 2 | Size: 5–11

Best Tall

Xtratuf x Salmon Sisters Legacy Boot

Xtratuf x Salmon Sisters Legacy Boot


View On Amazon $134 View On REI $155 View On Zappos $109

What We Love: These durable rain boots hit just under the knee, ensuring water doesn’t enter from above.

What We Don’t Love: The outer material has an oily texture.

If you’ll be stomping through puddles or wading through any sort of shallow water, a taller boot will do wonders at ensuring water doesn’t enter from the top of the boot. Of all the shoes we tested, we preferred this 15-inch tall classic rain boot that hits just under the knee — which, as the name implies, is extremely tough and durable. We found that they were sturdy and somewhat stiff but still comfortable enough for regular wear, while the rubber sole has a great non-slip grip to it. What’s more, the shaft rolls down so we can adjust the height (and reveal a super-cute inner print). 

We think it’s a solid rain boot all around, but the only thing we didn’t care for is the outer texture. The treated neoprene rubber has an oily treatment that provides excellent waterproof protection (in addition to being acid- and chemical-resistant) but has a greasy hand feel. To avoid staining your stuff, you’ll want to keep these in the garage or somewhere where they won’t touch your clothes or other shoes. 

Material: Neoprene rubber upper; fabric lining; and rubber midsole and outsole | Colors: 3 | Size: 6–11

What to Keep in Mind

  • Purpose: Before you even begin your search for waterproof boots, you should first consider what you’ll actually need to wear them for. “Have a clear idea of your expectation for how you’re going to use and wear the product before you start shopping,” recommends Dean Schwartz, footwear designer and co-founder of footwear consulting firm Schwilliamz. “Are you going to be wading through streams on a hardcore hike or just walking through a dewy field on an early morning walk with your dog? Will you be commuting in them and wearing them all day with your office attire? Are you looking for a product that just keeps your feet dry, or do you also need it to look good after using it in wet conditions?” How you answer these questions will help determine what kind of waterproof boot you’ll best benefit from, i.e., a classic rubber rain boot or a more technical outdoor boot that’s equipped for hiking in water, mud, or even snow. “For everyday commuting, your waterproof boots should align with your style,” adds editorial and personal stylist Mimi Tyko. “Consider whether or not these boots can complement or suit daily outfits.” This holds especially true if you’re not planning to swap out your shoes once you arrive at your destination. “For outdoor purposes such as hiking, I’d reserve a separate pair for occasional use. Trying to use the same pair for both might result in premature wear, affecting their performance during hikes.”
  • Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof: What’s more, the purpose may determine whether you truly need a fully waterproof boot or can get away with something that’s just water-resistant. “If you’re purchasing a pair for hiking or you live in a climate with consistent rain, you’ll need something waterproof,” says Next Level Wardrobe styling manager and stylist Maggie Martens. “If the purpose of your new boots is for general day-to-day use for errands and such, you can more likely get away with a water-resistant style.”
  • Material: The materials a boot is constructed with (and what treatments those materials are given) are integral to ensuring it’s waterproof and not just water-resistant. “Waterproof textiles act as an impenetrable shield against water, blocking it entirely even during heavy rain or submersion; conversely, water-resistant textiles provide a degree of protection against water but may yield to heavy or prolonged exposure, allowing water to seep through over time,” explains textile and fashion designer and Litchi World co-founder Isabelle Abbott. Waterproof leather and suede are great choices and often less technical-looking, so long as they’re actually waterproof (more on that below). Boots billed as water-resistant may be more breathable, with certain elements that will keep water out but with less of a guarantee depending on the environment.
  • Construction: So, what to look for? “Visually, the easiest waterproof boots to spot are those made totally from rubber or those that have a rubber shell around the foot with the shaft (the leg of the boot) made from leather or textile,” says Ann Williams, a footwear designer and Schwartz's co-founding partner. It’s often a combination of elements, rather than any one treatment, that makes a boot waterproof versus merely water-resistant. “For instance, a boot may feature a waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex or a particular brand’s proprietary technology paired with materials that have been treated in some way, like with a DWR (a durable water repellent finish).” Nylon and polyester are common fabrics treated with DWR coatings, adds Abbott, which creates a surface that causes the water to bead up and roll off. Textiles aside, other construction features affect how successful a boot will be in keeping water out, adds Schwartz. “These can include such as sealed or taped seams, bellows tongues, snug-fitting toplines — or even better, gator or drawstring toplines, rubber toe caps, and/or foxings that are integrated into the midsole of the boots. The bottom line is that you want to pick a style with the fewest places where water can enter the boot and get to the foot.”
  • Traction and Grip: If you’re trudging through wet terrains, mountaineer Amira Patel recommends looking for styles that offer great traction and grip to prevent slipping. “Opt for boots with a sturdy outsole featuring deep lugs or aggressive treads, which will provide excellent traction on various surfaces, preventing slips and falls,” she says. “Consider boots with a Vibram sole, known for its durability and exceptional grip on both dry and wet terrain — and if you’ll be encountering snow, you’ll need boots that can easily be used with crampons [traction devices used for walking on firm snow and ice]."
  • Breathability: The breathability of any materials and treatments used is another key factor to consider, especially if you’ll be wearing your boots for long periods of time, says Williams. “If these products aren’t breathable, the foot might be protected from getting wet by outside factors but might still feel damp due to the wearer’s foot being sweaty and clammy.” Hiking boots are more commonly made with breathable textiles, while classic rubber rain boots tend to be less breathable. However, boots that feature sweat-wicking linings can help combat this issue.

Your Questions, Answered

Is leather waterproof?

Many waterproof boots are made with leather and suede, but not all leather is waterproof. “Leather isn’t inherently waterproof, but boots labeled as ‘waterproof leather’ have undergone treatments to enhance their water resistance,” explains Abbott. “This treatment involves applying specific agents or coatings to the leather, making it more effective in repelling water than untreated leather.” That said, we wouldn’t recommend relying on your usual leather ankle booties to keep you dry in a monsoon; plus, you run the risk of ruining them.

How do you care for waterproof boots?

How you’ll need to care for your waterproof boots will vary from style to style. “Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as they should be written for the particular boot and particular materials used,” says Schwartz. “Care for materials may vary between products, brands, and applications, but as with any type of footwear, be sure to air dry wet boots in a well-ventilated space away from direct heat. Once completely dry, you can then remove mud and other debris with a soft bristle shoe brush or by knocking the boots together.”

How do you style waterproof boots?

There are endless ways to style waterproof boots, but you’ll first want to consider the style of boot. Outdoorsy hiking styles fall into the still very-much-relevant gorpcore trend, meaning you don’t have to just wear them to go on an actual hike. “The same way non-skaters wear skating shoes or non-athletes pair leggings or bike shorts with their everyday staples, hiking boots could easily be incorporated into your existing wardrobe — as long as they’re comfortable,” says Tyko. However, Martens recommends that non-hikers consider their lifestyle when selecting a pair. “Do you work from home or have a casual office dress code? You can likely go all-in on the trend and opt for a sportier style; on the other hand, if you work in a business casual or formal setting, it’ll be more difficult to incorporate them into your day-to-day closet and will likely be reserved for weekend wear,” she says. That, or be sure to bring a change of footwear with you to the office.

But what about your classic rain boot? “Traditional rubber styles will always say ‘rain boot’ and draw attention away from the rest of your outfit, so if you plan on having them be a part of your all-day outfit, opt for a neutral pair with a matte finish,” says Martens. “I recommend a dark color like black or chocolate brown for maximum versatility and easier outfitting.” Ankle-height Chelsea styles are perhaps the easiest to work into your typical day-to-day wardrobe since they look similar to classic leather Chelsea boots, especially in dark colors. In this case, Tyko recommends styling them as you would a regular boot — she suggests with a midi high-waisted denim skirt and a tee, or cuffed straight jeans and hoodie with an oversized coat or jacket.

Can you wear classic rain boots to hike?

It really depends. “Rubber rain boots are typically designed for wet conditions, with their waterproof nature protecting hikers from moisture and mud,” explains Patel. “This can be advantageous during hikes where encountering streams or wet terrains is likely; however, they typically lack the specialized cushioning and support that hiking boots offer, which can lead to discomfort or foot fatigue during long hikes or uneven terrain, or even blisters and changing due to their limited breathability. That said, hikers must consider the limitations of rubber rain boots, and it’s essential to assess terrain, weather, and duration of the hike before making a decision.”

Why Shop With Us

Jenna Igneri is a freelance writer who has been working in fashion and beauty media for over a decade. Katherine J. Igoe, a writer covering fashion trends and products, also contributed to this article. They tapped the below footwear design, style, and outdoor experts for insights.

  • Dean Schwartz and Ann Williams are the creative consultant duo behind footwear design, product, and business strategy firm Schwilliamz.
  • Isabelle Abbott is a textile and fashion designer and Litchi World co-founder.
  • Maggie Martens is Next Level Wardrobe’s styling manager.
  • Mimi Tyko is an editorial and personal stylist.
  • Amira Patel is a mountaineer and the founder of Muslim women hiking group The Wanderlust Women.
  • Aaronica B. Cole is a designer, sewist, and the creator of The Needle and the Belle.
  • Kristen Shirley is a writer, a luxury specialist, and the founder of the luxury encyclopedia La Patiala.
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