Living the outdoor lifestyle is definitely not for the faint of heart and the best waterproof boots is a must have item if you plan to take that experience to the next level. These boots come in a wide array of sizes and shapes, so it’s important that you do your research about each boot and determine how they will have an impact on your overall experience.
It is no surprise that many brands and companies are designing their own version of the best waterproof boot today. However, some are better than others and this was our job to discern between the best and the not so great options, in this article. Our experience in fishing, hunting and camping gave us the opportunity to test many of these boots and find out which ones are the best fit for most people and situations.
In this article, you will gain a greater perspective on the best boots and find out what sets them apart from the rest of the competition. We have made these determinations based on the feel of the boot, the materials used, the weight, the pricing, the outer sole and specifically its waterproof rating. You can use the buyers guide to get more information regarding each of the specifications and how they affect the overall quality of a waterproof boot.
The technical features might be perfect for some, but others are only looking to get straight to the point. After many outdoor experiences and research, we have selected the best waterproof boots and they have been carefully rated. Here are the current top options that we have carefully chosen for you to get started:
Materials: Premium leather
Best Use: Hiking, working, and outdoor expeditions
Timberland is one of the most recognized brands around the world. They have a massive reputation that precedes them and the brand does focus on quality. Made from premium grade leather, the Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot is extremely durable, making it perfect to be used in virtually any terrains that you could imagine.
The padded collar stood out as one of my favorite features, giving the boot another layer of comfort. Since the collar is padded, the boot is abrasion resistant and soft to the touch of your skin. EVA is highly rated and molds to the shape of your feet, giving you excellent comfort, especially if you should be suffering from potential foot problems.
At 12-ounces, the boot is not too heavy and it has been tested to be completely waterproof in the toughest of conditions. The leather is fully treated to remove any potential stiffness, but I think the shoes are somewhat narrow. Depending on your foot type, you might have comfort or a lack of comfort when using them.
Most rugged leather boots might cost you a fortune, but the Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot is actually reasonably priced. It is worth noting that you have multiple colors to choose from and quality is definitely assured. I personally like this pair and would recommend it for working and hiking purposes.
Materials: Leather and Synthetic
Best Use: All outdoor adventures
As an avid adventurer, the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot resonated with me as one of the best waterproof boots when testing it. Made from leather and synthetic materials will keep the weight down to a minimum, whilst also making the boots durable enough for outdoor use. Omni-Grip technology is used for the rubber outer sole, making the boots slip resistant.
The feature that definitely caught my attention was the nylon shank that has been included. This offers additional arch support and keeps your feet from tiring. While we might not like the PU midsole, it is removable and this means you can replace it with EVA or even memory foam if you feel the need to do so.
The advanced lace-up feature will definitely work for individuals with larger feet. It enables you to completely customize the fit and make it work for you. The mesh tongue provides additional breathability, which means even more comfort in hot weather conditions. Finally, you have a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from.
Since this boot includes suede as part of the design, the price is slightly less expensive than full leather. However, this should not discourage you and you can consider this a bargain buy. The boot is fully waterproof in all conditions, but you might like to replace the midsole with something a little better and more comfortable.
Materials: Leather and Mesh
Best Use: Hiking and Backpacking
As a female, you have a different perspective on boots and what makes a great boot. However, most boots are designed for men, neglecting many of the females around us. The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot aims to change this ongoing narrative and it is made from premium leather for durability. However, the mesh addition will add some breathability.
Since the boots are fully waterproof, they offer an excellent opportunity for females to trek in wet weather conditions. As you might have noticed, I am fondly drawn to the EVA midsole and this boot includes a moldable version. Most people suffer from pronation or supination, but this inner sole will compensate for this.
Omni-Grip technology is definitely a massive plus. This technology will make the boot stick to any surface, even when it is wet. Columbia also claims that the boot is completely stain-resistant and can easily be washed. However, we never used the boot for long enough to see if this is possible. Nevertheless, the fit is almost perfect and true to size.
Columbia is not one of the most expensive brands and they have a reputation for affordability with excellent quality. This boot is no different and the combination of affordability and quality does make it a great option. I would not replace much of the features on this boot and it is believed to be one of the best options for females on the market today.
Best Use: Hiking in rainy conditions
Often times the traditional Muck-type boot will be a great addition to your kit. Since we don’t like overspending on these types of boots, the Servus Comfort Technology 14″ PVC Soft Toe Men’s Work Boots will be the perfect budget alternative. Made from PVC, the boots are fully waterproof and offer a lot of protection.
The comfort technology that has been integrated will make a massive difference when you are using the boots for prolonged periods. They are available in different sizes, ranging up to 15-inches for the taller individuals. It is also worth noting that Servus has designed a steel toe version as well, adding more functionality for hard-working individuals.
PU cushioning has once again been integrated for the comfort, but with Foot Form technology, it closely symbolizes what you expect to find in an EVA boot. Those suffering from pronation or supination will definitely have a lot of comfort. Unfortunately, the boot does not have a lot of ventilation and you might feel your feet overheating.
As one of the most affordable on the market today, we definitely recommend them as a cheaper alternative to the traditional Muck Boot. Depending on how much you use them, the bots will offer some decent durability and they can resist most weather conditions. I personally love them for outdoor hiking in the rainy season.
Best Use: Outdoors use
When you come across an excellent brand like Columbia, it is hard to ignore some of the features and the other boots. The Columbia Women’s ICE Maiden II Snow Boot is one of the top options on the market today for women moving in the ice. Made from synthetic materials, the boot is really lightweight with decent durability.
The 200g insulation works in conjunction with the waterproof covering on the outside. This will keep your feet warm at all times. Additionally, the fluffy design should add some style and many women also love using these boots when going out in the winter. Columbia is fondly known for their Omni-Grip technology to make the boots slip-resistant.
While the boots are extremely attractive and they come in different colors to match your current wardrobe, we did not find any real arch support. The lack of this feature will not make them ideal for long-distance hiking expeditions. However, many women claim the boots do work perfectly for these longer adventures.
Once again, Columbia has a great consumer mindset and instead of spiking the price for the style and the features, they have kept it reasonable. This means that the average female can now afford them and use them for going out. We highly recommend this boot for going out in the winter months and keep the cold away.
Best Use: Rainy weather
Much like we men like to go out in the rain, many women also love standing and hiking in the rain. The Kamik Women’s Heidi Rain Boot now makes this possible with a large design and solid rubber to keep most of the rain from penetrating. The boots have also been manmade, giving them a sense of uniqueness for every woman to try.
PU is used for the insole and while this might not be the best materials, it can be replaced. The inner sole is fully removable. Additionally, the boot does offer some arch support for users looking to use them long term. Most women also love the different colors they can choose from and this caters for virtually any individual.
Unfortunately, the fit is slightly small and you might need to compensate for this by choosing a size larger to ensure comfort. However, once you have the ideal fit, the boots do stand out and many females we asked, said the boot does live up to their expectations. It also lacks breathability and will be best used in cold weather conditions.
As with most of these boots, they are really affordable and this means anyone can afford them. If you love rain boots or you are constantly in the rain, these boots will resonate with you and you will grow to fondly love them. They are also used in the workplace by many females in the engineering industry for protection and comfort.
Key Features To Consider Before Buying The Best Waterproof Boots:
The waterproof feature in any boot is designed to keep the water out, but it is not the main concern for many buyers. Other features that relate to comfort and durability are fundamentally important as well. If you are looking for a new boot, these features will help you choose any type that you are looking for. We also used the features as the basis for choosing our top 6 products:
The material is one of the first things that you should look at. Due to the fact that many of these boots are rather expensive, if you have the right type of materials, the boots will have more durability. Leather is highly recommended for the durability it offers, whilst synthetic fabrics like suede can also be used to keep the weight down.
With mesh added in the design, you will see an improvement in the breathability, but mesh can easily tear and this might lack some durability. In boots designed for resisting rain, rubber or PVC is the most common material used to resist rain. However, it lacks breathability and this means you will mostly be using them in cold weather conditions.
For most people, the weight does not mean much, but when you are using the boots for hiking long distances, the weight will make a difference. Any boot around 12-ounces is the ideal weight that will not drag you down. If your boot includes a shank for arch support, you might see the weight go up a bit, but this is just part of the cost for protection.
For hiking and outdoor purposes, we recommend looking for nylon shank and this will give you decent support while keeping the weight to a minimum. If you need optimal protection, you might also consider adding a protective toe feature.
Comfort is mostly dictated by the materials used for the midsole or the inner sole. Having a midsole is important and the type of midsole will make a massive difference. We recommend EVA, as it does not cost too much and it will mold to the shape of your feet. However, memory foam is the better option and will keep the form it has molded to.
Polyurethane is generally included as a mandatory footbed, but it might lack some flexibility. If the boot does make use of a PU insole, you should consider looking if it is removable. This will enable you to replace it with a different footbed if needed.
Finally, the inner collar is also important when it comes to comfort. If the boot does not have a comfortable inner lining, you might be prone to facing potential abrasions, which could be painful in the long run. Gore-Tex is really comfortable and also world-renowned for offering the best comfort as well as making the boots waterproof.
The outer sole is the area of the boot that is used for walking and this is considered an important part when looking at the best boots. Many people might be stuck in believing that as long as I have a rubber outer sole, I am fine. However, most boots are designed with a rubber outer sole and this means there is a lot of competition.
Omni-Grip technology, as seen in the Columbia boots will add another layer of durability and grip to the boot when you need it. Most boots also include their own type of technology to improve the overall grip, you need to do your own research to see how the technology is integrated and how well it actually works.
Most boots have a waterproof rating and the rating is generally designed to ensure your feet will remain dry. The boots we have selected have a waterproof rating of 6,000-10,000 mm/24 hours. This means the boots will enable you endure most wet weather conditions and they are considered rainproof. However, there are many brands and linings like Gore-Tex that have a waterproof rating of 28,000 mm/24 hours.
The waterproof rating is something that is not indicated on the boot when you buy it, but most boots are required to have a waterproof rating of at least 6,000 mm/24 hours. Additionally, the waterproof rating can also be measured by PSI, but this is not commonly indicated.
We look at the brand very closely when choosing boots and this does not mean that one is better than the other. The main reason for focusing on the brand is to avoid any potential rip-offs. With so many new brands coming into the market, it is really easy for people to go for the cheaper product, only to be let down by the features.
When you are looking at the brand, it is important to choose boots from reputable companies. If you can do some research and find a couple of forums talking about the brand, you will be set on the right path. We highly recommend looking for highly rated brands and rather paying a little extra to ensure that you are not ripped off.
Last but certainly not least, you should consider looking at the price. If you are not using the boots frequently, you won’t need to buy something extremely expensive. The best boots are generally recommended for avid users, who need to use them quite often. We believe the price should be in close conjunction to the time you will be using it and the purpose you need it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
If you are still not sure about how you should approach choosing a new pair of boots, this section might be for you. It is not only related to waterproof boots, but boots in general. Here is a couple of the most common question that we have seen when doing the reviews and the research on these boots:
Which Midsole Works Best For Pronation And Supination?
Pronation and supination is an uncomfortable habit and a bad way of walking. Most people suffer from one or the other and it can cause a lot of joint pain. While EVA is one of the more affordable options, memory foam is generally considered as the best insole for those suffering from pronation or supination. PU is the worst overall option.
Which Lining Is The Best For Keeping The Boot Dry?
The inner lining does play a massive role when it comes to keeping the boot dry on the inside, but the outer materials will also be important. We generally like Gore-Tex for the ability to absorb most of the moisture. However, you should look to see if the boot has an outer coating added; this can be in the form of a leather protective guard or a simple rubber protection.
With this knowledge, you should be more inclined to choose the right boot for your needs. With so many different choices for both men and women, you should not have any issues when it comes to making the best decision. All of the boots on our list are highly rated and they work well for all walks of life.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and encourage you to share your thoughts on the best waterproof boots. Let us know in the comment section which of these boots you like and if we might have missed any of your favorites. We always like some insight and having people share their thoughts on the best products.