LAST UPDATED: March 25, 2021
The Best Waterproof Work Boots (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
With the right pair of waterproof boots on your feet, you can do anything.
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PUBLISHED ON March 25, 2021
You work hard and give it your all, whether it’s working on the car, heading to the office, or tackling the latest home improvement project. You need a pair of work boots that can keep up with you. They should be tough with durable construction and protective qualities. Your feet should feel comfortable throughout the day. Don’t waste your time blindly buying work boots and then finding out too late that they just don’t cut it. Set yourself and your feet upright with a pair of boots that you can depend on. This guide will help you find the perfect pair by explaining the crucial features that boots should have. Make your feet happy and put them in a quality pair of waterproof work boots.
These durable boots come in brown, tan, or black. They’re constructed of 100 percent leather with a rubber sole. They have steel toe protection and a shaft that measures 5.5 inches from the arch.
- Meet ANSI safety standards
- Slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant outsoles
- Cuts in at the ankle
- Seam in the heel is uncomfortable
These boots may look similar to rain boots, but they’re protective work boots. They are made from PVE polyblend and injection molded. They’re 100 percent waterproof.
- Seamless construction
- Scalloped top-line
- Can crack across the toe
- Sizing runs large
These 100 percent leather boots have a rubber sole. The shaft measures 5.25 inches from the arch. The interior of the boots has a waterproof membrane and steel toe.
- Breathable leather upper
- Slip-resistant outsole
- Lacks durability
- Steel toe uncomfortable
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Benefits of Waterproof Work Boots
- Safety. Work boots have additional protective qualities built into the boot. This protects your feet from injury and stress while working or on your feet all day. This could be toe protection, insulation, and ankle supports.
- Comfort. You’ll appreciate how comfortable these boots are. They’re designed for wearing all day, so they have shock absorption and arch support built into the midsole. The upper comes up over the ankle to give them support and prevent rolling.
- Style. Just because these boots are safe and supportive doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish. The boots come in various colors and designs. Many people wear them as a fashion statement and not for their work function.
Types of Waterproof Work Boots
If you’re working in cold weather, then you need boots with insulation. This extra layer gets built into the boot and reflects your body heat towards your feet. The insulation should be compact and lightweight. This keeps the bulk and weight of the boots down, making them more comfortable. The boots should also be breathable. This prevents too much heat from building up and your feet sweating.
If you work on a construction site or work with heavy machinery, then you’re probably required to wear steel toe boots. This protective footwear has a steel plate built into the boot’s toe to protect your feet from heavy falling objects. Work boots that have a steel toe and are waterproof protect your feet from work and weather hazards.
Modern innovations have led to the development of strong and protective materials. Composites are lighter weight than steel toe yet just as protective. Some boots have additional supports through the midsole and in the upper around your ankle. For all of its benefits, some worksites still don’t allow composite and require steel.
Founded in 1953, the Timberland name has become one of the most trusted in work boots. They produce stylish and attractive boots that are also durable, reliable, and protective. The Timberland Pro Boots have a classic look everyone loves while also being waterproof, slip-resistant, and have a steel toe.
Founded in 1883 in Rockford, Mich., this legendary company made a name for itself with the “1,000-mile shoe”. It has since become one of the most trusted names in industrial footwear. The Wolverine Overpass Composite Toe Waterproof Work Boot is comfortable enough to wear all day.
Founded in 1925 in California, Cat Footwear makes a wide range of durable and protective work boots. The Caterpillar Waterproof Steel Toe Boot will provide you with the maximum amount of support and protection.
Waterproof Work Boot Pricing
- Under $100: The boots in this price range may have a simple design, but they can still adequately keep your feet dry. They tend to be made of a rubber-type material and lack lacing.
- $100 to $150: Boots in this price range are durable and dependable. They have a variety of features that will keep you dry and your feet protected.
- $150 and up: The boots in this price range are packed with features and technology. They have extra features like insulation, Gore-Tex membranes, and fiberglass shanks.
The whole point of buying waterproof boots is to keep your feet dry, so look for features that can accomplish this goal. Some boots are constructed of waterproof materials. Other boots have an additional membrane liner that keeps the water out. The seams should be taped to prevent leaks. There should also be a membrane on either side of the tongue to prevent leaks from the front.
The boots you choose should have a durable construction. This prevents them from falling apart while you’re wearing them. The material upper should be a strong leather or synthetic that attaches to a solid and thick sole. Reinforced or welt construction stitching should hold everything together. Extra bumpers on the toe and heel prevent premature wear.
The shoes you put on your feet need to fit. Otherwise, you won’t want to wear them. Boots that are too big won’t support your feet and can move around while you’re walking. Boots that are too small can pinch, causing blisters and pain. If they’re too tight, they can cut your blood circulation off, making your feet go numb. This is dangerous.
- Safety Features. If you plan to wear your boots while working, then you’ll want them to have several safety features built-in. This includes a steel toe, a non-conductive sole, and waterproofing. This will protect your feet from getting crushed and you from getting electrocuted. These boots should also have a non-slip outer sole to prevent you from losing your footing on wet or slippery surfaces.
- Sole Construction. The construction of the sole is important to ensure the durability and longevity of the boot. If you’re wearing them for work, you’ll likely be walking a lot. A poorly constructed sole will wear through quickly and develop holes. You won’t be able to have the sole on a low-quality boot replaced, requiring you to buy a new pair of boots. High-quality boots will last longer and can have their soles replaced.
- Ankle Support. Does the pair of boots have an upper that comes up over your ankles? If so, then you have a basic level of ankle support. This prevents your ankles from rolling and ensures you have steadier foot placement. For even more support, look for boots with additional supports built into the upper. This reduces your flexibility but increases your protection.
Best Waterproof Work Boot Reviews & Recommendations 2021
Choose from dark brown, tan, or black for your boots. The upper is 100 percent leather with a rubber sole. The boot laces up the front with durable metal eyelets and hooks. The shaft measures 5.25 inches from the arch. The heel is 1.5 inches. Protecting your toe is a steel plate. This boot meets ANSI safety standards. The sole is anti-slip and is resistant to oil and abrasions for maximum traction. The shaft collar is padded to keep your ankles comfortable. This boot has a unique comfort suspension technology to make the boot comfortable to wear for long hours.
Unfortunately, this boot could cut into your ankles. There’s a seam in the heel that can be uncomfortable if your boots are too snug.
Slip this extra tall boot on and get to work. It’s constructed of PVC polyblend and injection molded. You’ll appreciate that it’s seamless, so there are no friction points that can cause your feet to hurt. This boot is 100 percent waterproof and resistant to degrading from agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, and animal waste. The top has a scalloped top to give you more flexibility. The boot stands out for its removable footbed. It’s a washable foam contour cushion to give you arch and heel support. The outsole has deep angled cleats to prevent slipping. The contoured heel cup gives you greater stability.
The downside of this boot is that it can crack across the toe with heavy use. The sizing also runs large, so you may need to size down when ordering.
Wear this boot for any project or adventure. It comes in either black or dark brown. The upper is constructed of 100-percent leather, and the sole is rubber. The shaft measures 5.25 inches from the arch. You’ll like how breathable and comfortable this boot is. The bottom outsole is slip-resistant to give you secure footing. To keep water out, there’s a waterproof membrane on the inside of the boot. Protecting your toes is a steel plate. Then the outside of the toe has an additional protective coating.
Unfortunately, this boot lacks durability. The metal eyelets can pop out, and the laces can break. It’s easy to replace the lacing, and you can use the boot without the eyelets. You may also find that the steel plate in the toe is uncomfortable.
Slip this brown leather work boot on and get to work. It’s 100 percent waterproof imported leather with a rubber sole. The shaft will hit at about mid-calf on your leg and measures 15 inches around. Cushioning every step is a dual-density EPX anti-fatigue footbed. It’s constructed of a high-density base layer to distribute weight evenly. Then there’s a low-density EVA foam top layer to cushion your foot. The heel has a honeycomb design to absorb shock. Then there’s ribbing through the rest for flexibility.
The downside of this boot is that you can’t achieve a secure fit. The boot doesn’t lace up, so it doesn’t secure to your foot. The shaft is also very tall, which isn't comfortable for some people.
Enjoy 100 percent waterproof protection with this tall Flex-O-Thane PVC boot. They’re ASTM F2413-11 certified and have a steel toe. You’ll appreciate how lightweight this boot is. They stand out for being 25 percent lighter than standard PVC boots. It’s possible to wear this boot all day thanks to the energy-absorbing Bay-Loc outsole. This cushions your feet and absorbs shock. It also has channels on the outsole to repel and channel water to help you have secure and stable footing.
One drawback of this boot is that they are a rain boot style, making them have a loose fit. They aren’t as secure on your feet as other work boots. They also don’t prevent water from pouring down into the boots from the top.
Choose from dark or light brown for the leather upper on this boot. It’s made from 100 percent leather with a synthetic sole. The shaft measures an impressive 6.25 inches from the arch. The top opening of the boot measures ten inches around. This boot is compliant with ASTM F2413-18 standards. They have a steel safety toe that protects from compression hazards and electrical hazards that are up to 18,000 volts in dry conditions. This boot is different with a wedge-style sole, giving you a bit of lift to your height.
Unfortunately, this boot lacks cushion around the top of the shaft. This can result in it rubbing against your legs and becoming uncomfortable. The toe box is also small. You can fix this by sizing up.
Wear this classically styled boot and look good while keeping your feet supported and secure. Choose from black and brown for your boots. The upper is 100 percent leather with a felt midsole and slip-resistant sole. The heel is approximately 1.5 inches. The tumbled leather of the upper is thick and sturdy to give you plenty of support and water resistance. Protecting your toe is a steel cap and metatarsal guard. This boot stands out because they are compliant with ASTM F2413-11 MI/75 C/75 EH standards and protect you from electrical hazards.
The downside of this boot is that they lack arch support. This makes them less than ideal for those with high arches. You may also find them to be stiff and need a long break-in period.
Have the ultimate in waterproof protection with this full-grain leather and synthetic boot. They have a breathable yet also waterproof Gore-Tex fabric liner. To prevent leaks at the seams, the seams have a Goodyear welt construction. You’ll be able to walk with confidence thanks to the oil-resistant rubber outsole with an aggressive tread design. Giving the boots strength and stability is a fiberglass shank. Helping the boot to look more attractive is bold brass hardware for the lace-up front. Giving your feet the ultimate comfort is a memory foam footbed. Wear this boot year round with the 800 grams of 3M Thinsulate Ultra Insulation.
Unfortunately, this boot feels heavy and clunky. However, this is to be expected considering their extra long shaft length and additional insulation layer. They aren’t very breathable, and your feet can feel hot.
Be ready for anything with this textile and synthetic tactical boot. They have a durable rubber sole with an aggressive tread. You can choose from black, desert, coyote brown, and ridge camo for your boots’ color. This boot stands out for its extra tall shaft, measuring 6.75 inches from the arch. The top opening measures ten inches around, giving your leg plenty of room. Unlike other boots, this one won’t wear out in the midsole. A durable layer of leather lines the inside of the shoe. The sole measures 1.5 inches, giving you plenty of protection. Despite the size of the boots, they have a lightweight feeling on your feet.
The downside of this boot is that it lacks breathability. This can cause your feet to sweat, and the boots feel moist inside.
This durable work boot comes in three colors: dark brown, black, and tan. The upper is constructed from 100 percent leather and attached to a rubber sole. The shaft measures 4.75 inches from the arch to hit just below your ankle. The leather is waterproof, and the seams are sealed to prevent leaks. The hardware is durable and rustproof. The lacing closure extends up the entire length of the boot for a secure fit. The toe has reinforcement to prevent premature wear. You’ll find the additional cushion around the ankle to be soft and comfortable, making this boot great for long-term wear.
Unfortunately, this boot lacks a steel toe. This makes them less than ideal for industrial work that requires this type of foot protection.
- Let your boots air and dry out between each time you wear them. This prevents bacteria from growing and building up in the boots, which can cause foot health problems.
- Spray your boots with an additional waterproofing treatment. This will ensure your boots are completely waterproof.
- Consider investing in a high-quality pair of boots. They will last longer, and you can get them repaired for an even longer useful life.
Q: Are waterproof work boots worth it?
Yes, waterproof work boots are worth the investment for their comfort, support, protection, and water repellent abilities. Your feet, legs, and back will feel less strained.
Q: What are the best waterproof work boots?
The best boots can vary depending on where and how you plan to use them. Choose a pair that fit, offer the right amount of protection, and can keep your feet dry.
Q: Are waterproof boots really waterproof?
Yes and no. Some boots prevent any water from getting in by being completely sealed. Others are more water repellent, keeping light rain and water sprays out.
Q: What are waterproof boots called?
Many people call waterproof boots “rain boots” or “Wellingtons.” However, neither of these are work boots and won’t provide the right level of protection.
The Timberland Pro Pit Boss Steel Toe is a reliable boot that meets safety standards and comes in four attractive colors. For an affordable option, the Servus PVC Steel Toe Work Boots have seamless construction and are 100 percent waterproof.