No one likes getting their feet wet while wearing shoes. To say that it is annoying is an understatement, especially if you spend most of the day outdoors or are constantly exposed to moisture. Moreover, water can damage our boots. That’s why finding a reliable pair of waterproof boots for work is no easy task.
How do you find the best waterproof work boots? As you go shoe-shopping, consider these three aspects to ensure that you get the right one:
- Purpose: A park ranger, logger, and construction worker will all need waterproof work boots, but the design that they look for will be different. Your job description can point you in the right direction. If you hike a lot, opt for shoes with ankle support. On a job site, waterproof steel toe boots are safer to use.
- Weather: Watertight materials and shoe construction can cause your feet to sweat on a hot day; that is why the boots should have a breathable waterproof membrane. This lining repels liquids and allows the vapor inside the shoe to escape, which keeps your feet dry and odor-free. Under freezing conditions, moisture trapped in the insulated boots can make your feet cold, but a good waterproofing system can prevent this.
- Safety: Water alone may not seem like a threat but not when there are submerged powerlines. Oil, snow, and water make the ground slippery. In emergencies, heavy objects can fall on your feet. With safety features like steel toes, electrical hazard protection, and slip-resistant outsoles, you can minimize injuries, if not prevent accidents altogether. Make sure that the boots comply with ANSI or ASTM standards.
If you need product recommendations, head over to the review section where I have featured some of the finest ones in the market. Besides sharing my first-hand experience, I compiled pieces of advice that I got from Reddit and other websites in the “Buying Guide” section.
Table of Contents
- List of Top 14 Waterproof Work Boots Reviews
- 1. Timberland White Waterproof Hiking Boot
- 2. EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry Waterproof Work Boot
- 3. Timberland TB018128242 Waterproof Hiking Boot
- 4. WOLVERINE W10717 Waterproof Work Boot
- 5. FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Hiking Boots
- 6. Cat Footwear P90935 Waterproof Work Boot
- 7. Carhartt CMW6191 Waterproof Work Boot
- 8. Timberland PRO TB0A1FZP001 Waterproof Work Boot
- 9. Wolverine W10682 Waterproof Work Boot
- 10. KEEN 1018079 Waterproof Work Boot
- 11. Carhartt CMC1259 Composite Toe PAC Boot
- 12. Under Armour 3021903 Stellar Tactical Boot
- 13. KEEN 1017789 Anchorage Waterproof Boot
- 14. TOSAFZXY Safety Work Boots
- What Is a Pair of Waterproof Work Boots
- Type of Waterproof Work Boot
- Why Do You Need Waterproof Work Boots
- Buying Guide
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
List of Top 14 Waterproof Work Boots Reviews
1. Timberland White Waterproof Hiking Boot
You have probably seen this pair in several other waterproof work boot reviews though they are technically hiking boots. That’s because their features can be quite useful for people who are always on their feet outdoors. Thanks to the watertight full-grain leather upper and the seam-sealed construction, every inch of the footwear is impermeable. So far, they have not failed at keeping my feet moisture-free.
Comfy straight out of the box, these waterproof boots let me work without having to endure blisters. Moreover, I find the combination of EVA midsole and insole helpful in minimizing foot fatigue. On the other hand, the solid rubber outsole has multi-directional lugs that enhance the boot’s traction so I can walk on muddy terrains safely
Besides the spacious toe area, I like that the fit around the ankles and heels is snug enough to support me as I hike. The length of the shoelace lets me tie a double knot easily. At the same time, the eyelets and speed hooks are rust-free so I don’t have to worry about corrosion.
2. EVER BOOTS Ultra Dry Waterproof Work Boot
Many workers, including myself, swear by these waterproof work boots for men. As expected of an “Ultra Dry” footwear, I have not gotten my feet soaked. In cold weather, both the waterproof leather and insulated mesh lining provide much-needed warmth.
Plus, it keeps me sweat-free! During rainy and winter seasons, I can walk on slippery terrains with ease thanks to the grippy tread patterns on the rubber soles. Aside from that, these work boots are roomy. Another advantage is that they will not feel tight even if you wear your winter socks.
By the way, I never had to break in these work boots because the leather uppers are soft and supple. I can kneel or crouch without having to exert extra effort to make them bend. When I need to climb a ladder, the steel shank keeps the sole straight while supporting my feet and calves. As a whole, these heavy-duty boots are pretty light.
3. Timberland TB018128242 Waterproof Hiking Boot
While they are designed for hiking, I think they also make a comfy pair of men’s waterproof work boots. As with many of Timberland’s line of waterproof shoes, this one has a seam-sealed construction with watertight leather. For good measure, the tongue is gusseted to ensure that there are no gaps for liquid or debris to pass through.
On smooth wet floors, the slip-resistant soles give me ample traction. Meanwhile, the mid-cut shafts hold my ankle for support. At the same time, they allow for a wide range of motion. Consequently, I can move comfortably without losing my balance on rugged terrains.
If you are constantly on your feet like me, I’m sure you will appreciate the springy yet cushy midsoles and insoles. Together, they absorb the impact in every step to help prevent foot fatigue. I know that people have different opinions about factory insoles but you can always replace them! Even better, the boots show no signs of wear and tear despite all the abuse I put them through.
4. WOLVERINE W10717 Waterproof Work Boot
Renowned as one of the top-tier lightweight waterproof work boots, this pair features a hard-wearing ASTM-approved composite safety toe. Yet, it feels as if I’m in my sneakers. Owing to the contour welt construction, the boot can flex as I walk, kneel, or squat. This spares me the trouble of having to move awkwardly or exert more effort to make it bend.
Apart from supporting my feet and calves, the nylon shanks strengthen the boots and help retain their form. The Ortholite footbeds are sufficient since they can mold to the contours of my feet. If you have foot conditions, they are removable, enabling you to swap them with your choice of insoles without altering the fit. Along with the shock-absorbing midsoles, they minimize fatigue so I can complete more tasks to maximize my day.
More importantly, the traction and waterproof protection are praise-worthy. To date, I have not lost my footing on slick surfaces nor have I gotten my feet wet when crossing puddles.
5. FREE SOLDIER Waterproof Hiking Boots
By design, waterproof means that the material or construction is impermeable. But if you work in tropical areas or mostly deal with shallow puddles and light rain, you can get away with water-resistant boots like this one. Their breathability is more suited for summer; my feet never sweat nor smell in them.
When I saw these boots for the first time, I thought they seemed ultra comfy, and I was right as no break-in period was needed. Their synthetic materials can flex as you’d expect from any sneaker-like design. On top of that, they weigh pretty light, making them the top choice for workers who are always on their feet. Don’t worry; sand, pebbles, and debris won’t get inside the footwear due to the gusseted tongue.
Another notable feature is the style. Available in three different colors, these water-resistant boots flaunt a modern look that goes well with work and casual outfits. Apart from that, I can wear them to the gym and exercise comfortably. Though this is not considered as safety footwear, its toe cap and heel are reinforced to give me protection.
6. Cat Footwear P90935 Waterproof Work Boot
Besides the steel toe protection, these ASTM-certified waterproof leather work boots are rated safe against electrical hazards and slipping accidents. As such, I can see that this pair is suitable for a plethora of high-risk jobs. More importantly, it can be life-saving in situations where powerlines are drowned in stagnant water.
Even when it is warm and humid, the construction and materials of these boots effectively block liquids while keeping my feet cool and free of sweat. Even so, these boots keep my feet warm during winter. Beyond that, I like that the tough and abrasion-resistant leather uppers can survive rough environments. Amazingly, it has been a year and they are still holding up well.
Much to my surprise, these boots do not make me drag my feet when I walk despite having steel toes in them. I think this is partly due to the Flexible ERGO midsole, which is both light and shock-absorbent. As a result, my lower extremities do not feel sore after a long shift.
7. Carhartt CMW6191 Waterproof Work Boot
Do you stand on hard surfaces for long hours at work? Then, the most comfortable waterproof boots for the job is the one with wedge soles like this pair of Carhartt. Coupled with cushy insoles, they can keep your feet free from pain and discomfort. If you need custom orthotics, you can simply remove the original footbeds.
On that note, let me reiterate that this specific model has a soft toe. This makes them appropriate for areas with a high chance of getting smashed by heavy objects. Still, it comes with electrical hazard protection. Also, the slip-resistant rubber outsole is fairly good at helping me maintain my balance on wet surfaces.
Without the steel or composite toe caps, I find them much lighter. To make walking less of a burden, the oil-tanned leather flexes well as I move my feet. Their strongest point, however, is the StormDefender. It is the brand’s innovative waterproof membrane that is responsible for repelling the liquids while promoting good air circulation. When the shift ends, I can come home with dry and odor-free feet.
8. Timberland PRO TB0A1FZP001 Waterproof Work Boot
While these composite toe boots may look hefty, I’m here to tell you that they are lightweight. Reinforced by the rubber protector, I know that the asymmetrical non-metallic safety toes are capable of shielding my feet against the impact of falling objects. By the way, they are apt for those with irregular foot shapes.
Among the waterproof slip-resistant work boots in the market, I find this pair to be dependable. Not only is it impenetrable to liquids but it is also equipped with innovative waterproof lining that boosts the airflow. Hence, it can keep your feet from getting drenched in your sweat and fight odor. Even more impressive, the durable rubber soles are heat, abrasion, oil, and slip-resistant. Indeed, it’s perfect for navigating rugged terrains or crossing wet floors.
Built with comfort in mind, the eyelets are placed in such a way that allows me to customize the lacing patterns for a better fit. In conjunction with the fiberglass shanks, my feet are supported and cushioned by the anti-fatigue technology polyurethane footbeds. Consequently, I don’t feel any soreness by the end of my shifts.
9. Wolverine W10682 Waterproof Work Boot
Thanks to these waterproof slip-on boots, I can switch footwear at work quickly. Since I get to tuck my pants in these Wellies, I don’t worry so much about thorns, pebbles, twigs, and water getting inside. The leather fabric creates an impervious layer that can handle heavy downpours and puddles. Apart from functionality, let me just add that it gives off a cool, stylish look. On the flip side, the mesh lining wicks away my sweat and keeps my feet cool.
Note that these are soft toes, which means they are best worn in low-risk zones. With grippy outsoles, however, I can walk safely on wet surfaces. Besides reinforcing the structure of the footwear, nylon shanks ease the weight that my lower extremities have to carry. During a long grueling shift, the midsoles and insoles absorb the shock as I walk. In effect, they alleviate the soreness and discomfort. Anyway, you can remove the footbeds if you need to use your inserts.
10. KEEN 1018079 Waterproof Work Boot
Recommended for workers in construction and maintenance, this waterproof boot is equipped with steel toe and electrical hazard protection. That said, I assure you that the safety rating meets the ASTM standards. What makes it extra special, however, is that the footwear features asymmetrical toes for those who need it. In the dark, the wearer will be instantly visible due to the reflective webbing at the back.
Look at the design, I like that it blends leather with some mesh fabrics akin to a hiking boot. This combination makes it watertight yet breathable. Hence, I can wear it at any time of the year regardless of the condition. More notably, the boots do not feel too toasty during summer. Although these are not insulated boots, I can just wear my thermal socks to keep my tootsies warm in cool weather.
11. Carhartt CMC1259 Composite Toe PAC Boot
In extreme temperatures, these waterproof insulated boots can keep my feet cozy and well-heated with their 1000 grams of insulation. Coupled with the waterproof membrane, they can maintain an optimal level of breathability to avert excessive sweating. Of course, the tall shaft and padded collar also contribute to the warmth, but the leather is quite flexible, promoting a wide range of motion.
Even if I walk in deep snow or uneven terrain, the TPU heel guard supports and stabilizes my ankles. Moreover, it shields my feet from impact coming from the sides. Not to mention, the work boots are equipped with composite toes and electrical hazard protection that comply with the ASTM standards. Plus, I never had trouble walking on slippery surfaces due to the high-traction soles.
For added comfort, these insoles come with arch support, which many workers love. Rest assured, they are removable so you can further customize the boots with your choice of inserts or orthotics.
12. Under Armour 3021903 Stellar Tactical Boot
Let me present to you one of Under Armour’s best sellers! Flaunting a modern design, this pair adds style to anything I wear. Furthermore, the toe area is polishable so I can look professional at all times. Aesthetics aside, they are just as functional as any other boots I featured here.
Made with a combination of leather and nylon, these tactical boots can block liquids effectively. Hence, I can accomplish a lot even in inclement weather. On hot days, they breathe well, which is good for hygiene. Even better, I did not have to break them in to make them comfier.
Since my job is physically demanding, wearing lightweight boots like these lets me move effortlessly. On concrete floors, I find the midsoles to be both supportive and shock-absorbing. What’s more, the soles are grippy on slippery, wet surfaces so I never lose my footing. Just like their name, these boots truly have “stellar” quality.
13. KEEN 1017789 Anchorage Waterproof Boot
If you prefer versatile boots that you can wear during winter, I highly recommend this pair from KEEN. What sets it apart is that it is treated with a PFC-free formula, which repels water without the use of harmful chemicals. On a cool winter day, its 200 grams of insulation is enough to warm keep my feet cozy, warm, and sweat-free. Even if the temperature fluctuates, the boots will not feel toasty.
Keep in mind that these are not shelved under the work boots section. In other words, they do not have steel or composite toe caps, but this reduces the footwear’s weight significantly. Ergo, they are better suited for occupations that entail walking long distances. Besides work, I would wear them when I need to do some chores, run errands, or out of town trips. Available in plain neutral colors like black and brown, they go well with any work uniform or casual attire.
14. TOSAFZXY Safety Work Boots
Despite their affordable pricing, these work boots are highly capable of shielding my feet from different sides. At the toe area, there are steel caps that can withstand the impact of falling heavy objects. With the Kevlar midsoles, I get underfoot protection against sharp debris that could potentially puncture the soles. Given the ASTM rating, I assure you that they are safe to use in risky workplaces.
In terms of comfort, I would say that it’s pretty impressive. The uppers are waterproof, which allows me to continue to work even as the rain starts to pour. Though they are frequently exposed to moisture, I’m amazed that they are still holding up well! Even better, they require zero break-in period because the leather is soft and flexible from the get-go. Even after ten hours of work, my feet never feel sore.
What Is a Pair of Waterproof Work Boots
When people talk about waterproof work boots, the image of tall rubber Wellington boots comes to mind. Indeed, wellies are commonly used for various jobs, but this is no longer the case today. They are just one out of the many styles that are available in the market.
Modern technology has brought about new ways to make designs that target very specific jobs. Nowadays, you can find waterproof leather work boots and some versions made of synthetic materials. The shafts range from mid-cut to about ten or eleven-inch high. In this way, consumers have more options that suit their needs better.
Type of Waterproof Work Boot
Right now, there are several types of waterproof boots that workers can wear for work. Here are some examples:
- Hiking boots
- Safety toe boots
- Rubber work boots
- Insulated work boots
- Logger boots
- Chelsea boots
- Tactical boots
Why Do You Need Waterproof Work Boots
Wet boots and sweaty feet make for the perfect breeding grounds for odor-causing bacteria. To prevent this, your footwear needs to be completely waterproof on the outside and moisture-wicking on the inside. However, this is just the bare minimum. Under wet conditions, it is safe to assume that the surfaces you walk on are slippery. That’s why most waterproof work boots are designed with slip-resistant outsoles.
Waterproof features are not the only things that you should look at. As explained in the waterproof boot reviews, comfort, fitting, shaft height, and budget also matter. Read my guide below so you can get a better idea of what to look at before buying.
By now, we’ve all learned that tall rubber boots are not a catch-all solution. After all, we get exposed to water at varying degrees. Some have to wade swamps while others only want waterproof work shoes to keep their feet dry in wet weather. When buying waterproof work boots, consider the clothes that you will be wearing and the circumstances that you will be in.
For instance, 10-inch waterproof slipon boots can be useful if you need to tuck your pants to prevent insects, protect your calves from thorns, and submerge your feet in floods. Yet, this type of footwear may not be a good choice for those who need to hike or walk on uneven terrains due to its lack of ankle support.
In this situation, lace-up boots are better as you can tighten uppers to ensure that your ankles are well-supported. If you are in a tropical country and dealing with light rain, water-resistant work boots would be a better choice.
Generally speaking, waterproof slip-on work boots are slightly more loose than lace-up ones. That’s because these two formats are designed for different purposes. If you need to switch footwear quickly, you can do so effortlessly with Wellington and Chelsea boots. The wider shaft allows you to insert your feet and in some cases, even tuck your pants in. Meanwhile, lace-up work boots are meant to provide you with ankle support if you need to trek rugged terrains.
Let me also add that those who wear protective boots will have to factor in both the width and the length to find the correct size. It may not seem obvious but our feet change over time. You may choose sneakers and slippers with the same shoe size, but these are often made of materials that can stretch. Composite, alloy, and steel toe are anything but elastic. Hence, measuring your feet before you buy is a must.
When we think about comfort in the context of footwear, there are a couple of variables at play, such as work environment, activity, weather, and foot conditions. But since each of us experience things differently, you may have other criteria to consider beyond the examples I mentioned. Whatever the case may be, comfort should not be the least of your priorities. The lack of it can affect the way you perform your tasks.
Workers who need waterproof protection are often the ones who work outdoors on their feet for extended periods. Make sure that the boots you buy can absorb the shock. Interchangeable insoles are also better than the ones that have footbeds glued to the shoes, especially if you have to use doctor-recommended orthotics.
In terms of the price range, it is not impossible to find waterproof work boots under $100. While it is true that many high-priced boots perform well, I have observed that the price tag does not always reflect the quality. Many affordable watertight shoes serve the function well.
Of course, that is not to say that poorly-designed boots do not exist. This is why it is important to do your research, understand the function of each feature, and go through user reviews, especially if you plan to buy online. Some deals are too good to be true. Be cautious and read all the fine prints in the return and exchange policies before placing your order.
Any decent waterproof work boots will wear down at some point. Leather and water are enemies, so to speak. You need to clean and reapply the waterproofing agent from time to time. The treads on the rubber sole have their limits. As we’ve learned in this article, some work boots are more durable than others.
Aside from the material, be sure to check how the boot is made. Goodyear welt construction is said to be more resilient than other methods of shoe-making. Furthermore, it allows you to re-sole the boots. The only catch is that the footwear made using this technique can be more expensive.
Care and Maintenance
Rubber work boots are easier to clean since all you need to do is spray them with water. Leather is much more complicated as it requires different strategies for regular maintenance and deep cleaning.
Before you apply any cleaning product to a waterproof work boot, make sure that it is compatible with the materials. There is no one way to use saddle soaps since brands craft them differently. Some formulas may require you to add water while others allow you to spray them directly onto the leather. Be sure to read and follow the directions indicated on the cleaner’s packaging.
On that note, it’s always good to have dedicated shoe brushes for your work boots. This way, you don’t transfer the mud and muck that gets stuck on the bristles onto your dress shoes.
Last but not least, do not forget the boot’s interiors and insoles! You can use a mild shampoo and a clean cloth to wash the insides while your washing machine takes care of the footbeds. Then, wipe off the residue on the lining with a rag. Let the footwear dry in an open space and keep them away from any heat source.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do waterproof work boots need breaking in?
Waterproof uppers are often made of leather, rubber, or synthetics. For instance, full-grain leather is a durable material but it can feel tough at first. It does not matter if it’s waterproof or not. However, it can soften up once broken in.
What can you use to waterproof a pair of leather boots?
Although most leather uppers are treated with chemicals that make them impenetrable to water, this coating can wear off, and soon you’ll find your feet wet again. Don’t worry! You can buy waterproofing agents to keep the footwear watertight.
One great option is mink oil. Applying it on leather does not only prolong the lifespan of the boots but also repel water. Many workers also use silicone spray or acrylic co-polymer spray. Alternatively, you can opt for leather creams and beeswax. Again, each brand is different so go through the instructions and apply the product accordingly.
How long do waterproof work boots last?
Normally, waterproof work boots can last between six months and a year, depending on the frequency of use, work environment, and activities.
Can you replace the waterproof membrane in your work boots?
Yes, you can. If the one in your boot is torn, or perhaps separated from the leather, then you can remove the entire lining with a putty knife. Then, clean any dirt with rubbing alcohol and allow it to dry before you stick the new waterproof membrane onto the boot with an adhesive. Lay it flat on the surface, with no wrinkles. You can smoothen it out with your fingertips. Make sure that all areas are covered so that no water can penetrate your work boots!
Where I can buy waterproof work boots?
Many workwear and outdoor apparel brands sell waterproof boots in their retail stores and websites. You can also purchase them through e-commerce sites and apps.
When we spend days or weeks looking for the best waterproof work boots, we always have that one friend who laughs at us. “It’s just a pair of work boots!” they would say. In reality, it is reasonable to take your time to read all about the features and weigh the pros and cons of each pair you see.
Remember, you will be wearing them for quite a long time as you deal with moisture, hygiene, and workplace hazards. What you wear will have an impact on your overall well-being.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.