LAST UPDATED: March 28, 2021

The Best Waterproof Work Boots (Review & Buying Guide)

Best Choice Timberland Pro Pit Boss Steel-Toe Timberland Pro Pit Boss Steel-Toe
Best Value Nortiv 8 Waterproof Work Boots Nortiv 8 Waterproof Work Boots
Premium Pick Wolverine Overpass Waterproof Work Boot Wolverine Overpass Waterproof Work Boot

If your days are busy and full of tasks, your boots can’t let you down. Wearing the right pair of waterproof work boots will keep your feet warm, dry, and protected. You’ll be ready to face the day, whether it’s working on the house, fixing the car, or heading out into the wilderness. Your waterproof work boots go to work so you can think about other things.

Picking out the right pair of boots is more complicated than just picking the pair that looks good to you. There’s the construction, the features, and the fit to consider. When you choose right, your new waterproof work boots will become a part of your body and be so comfortable that you almost forget that you have them on. This guide will show you that it doesn’t have to be hard when you know what to look for.

Slip your feet into these 100 percent brown leather boots and get to work. They have a rugged rubber sole that’s heat, slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant. The shaft measures 5.5 inches from the arch. The heel measures about 1.5 inches. These boots provide the ultimate in protection with steel toe protection and electrical hazard protection. They meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standards. You’ll appreciate that they are comfortable enough to wear all day, thanks to the comfort suspension technology and breathable PU footbed. The contoured shock-diffusion plate supports your foot while reducing the shocks that travel through your feet and legs while walking. 

Unfortunately, these boots can feel stiff and take a while to break in and have more flex. You may also find that they squeak when you walk, but this doesn’t negatively affect the boots’ performance.

Key Features
  • 100 percent leather
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft: 5.5 inches from arch
  • Heel: 1.5 inches
Specification
  • Brand Timberland
  • Model TB033034214
  • Weight 1.8 pounds
PROS

Meets ANSI safety standards

Steel toe

Electrical hazard protection

CONS

Stiff

Squeak when you step

Upper ankle pad flakes

These full-grain leather boots come in either black or brown. They have an MD plus rubber sole. The shaft measures 5.5 inches from the arch. The heel and platform are approximately 1 inch thick. Tighten the laces on the front and secure the boots around your feet and ankles. The outer leather upper is waterproof, but it’s also lined with a waterproof membrane to keep all water out. To keep you comfortable throughout the day, they have an Aosolite insole for cushioning and shock absorption—a multi-directional traction outsole for better traction, grip, and durability. 

One potential drawback of these boots is that they have a narrow fit, which can be limiting for some people. You may also find that the material is stiff, requiring a break-in period for the leather.

Key Features
  • Full-grain leather
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft: 5.5 inches
  • Platform: 1 inch
Specification
  • Brand Nortiv
  • Model N195-2C4AW05-G12MB-03LF3O
  • Weight 3.35 pounds
PROS

Waterproof membrane

Aosolite insole

Multi-Directional Traction (MDT) outsole

CONS

Not breathable

Stiff

Narrow fit

These top-line rugged boots are made from 100 percent leather, textile, and rubber sole. The shaft is an impressive 5 inches tall from the arch. Your toes will have extra protection thanks to the composite carbon and abrasion-resistant toe. What makes these boots stand out is the comfort features, such as the removable Ortholite cushioned footbed and flexible athletic contour welt construction. This lets the boots bend and flex with your feet and ankles. These boots are also safety approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). 

Unfortunately, these boots feel clunky and heavy on your feet, which can be tiring for your feet, legs, and back. They also aren’t as breathable as other waterproof boots, which can make it hard to keep your feet dry while wearing them.

Key Features
  • 100 percent leather and textile
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft: 5 inches
  • Abrasion-resistant toe
Specification
  • Brand Wolverine
  • Model W10717
  • Weight 1.75 pounds
PROS

Flexible

Contour welt construction

Removable Ortholite cushioned footbed

CONS

Clunky and heavy

Not breathable

Small toe

Choose from 13 color combinations for your work boots. They’re constructed of leather, suede, and textile with a rubber sole. The shaft measures 5 inches from the arch, and the heel is 1.5 inches to give you a bit of extra height. You’ll appreciate the extra cushioning, which is nice considering how lightweight the midsole is. This helps to keep the entire boot lighter and more comfortable. The sole has a rugged, advanced traction design to give you maximum grip and non-slip traction. They have a lace-up closure with heavy-duty metal hardware. 

One issue with these boots is that they tend to crease into your feet. They also aren’t totally waterproof. The soles are thinner than other work boots, which makes them less protective but also more flexible.

Key Features
  • Leather, suede, and mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft: 5 inches
  • Heel: 1.5 inches
Specification
  • Brand Columbia
  • Model 1594731
  • Weight 1 pound
PROS

Superior cushioning

Lightweight midsole

Advanced traction rubber sole

CONS

Creases into your foot

Not totally waterproof

Thin insoles

These short ankle boots are constructed of 100 percent leather, textiles, and a rubber sole. The shaft comes up 4.75 inches from the arch to provide you with ankle support. There are four colors to choose from: black, medium brown, wheat, and tan. The collar around your ankle has padding to help cushion the boot and be more comfortable. The seams are sealed to help prevent water from leaking into the shoes. What’s nice about these boots is that the speed lacing hardware is rustproof to make them more durable. 

One drawback of these boots is that they aren’t fully waterproof—a more accurate description is that they are water-resistant. Although this isn’t necessarily bad, it just means you shouldn’t wear them in extremely wet conditions.

Key Features
  • 100 percent leather and textile
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft: 4.75 inches
  • Padded collar
Specification
  • Brand Timberland
  • Model TB012135
  • Weight 1.1 pounds
PROS

Seam-sealed

Four color options

Rustproof speed lace hardware

CONS

Not fully waterproof

Slippery when walking

Squeak

These 100 percent leather boots stand out because they come in several colors, including grey, khaki, brown, and navy. They have a relaxed fit through the foot and ankle with lace-up closure on the front. The sole is constructed of synthetic materials. You’ll find these boots to be comfortable for all-day wear, thanks to the memory foam insole that supports and cushions your feet. You’ll appreciate how durable these boots are, making them tough enough for a wide variety of uses, from hiking to work. 

One drawback of these boots is that they lack traction and grip on icy surfaces, making them less than ideal for wearing in cold temperatures. They also aren’t fully waterproof, and the grommets can come loose during wear.

Key Features
  • 100 percent leather
  • Synthetic sole
  • Memory foam
  • Lace-up boot
Specification
  • Brand Skechers
  • Model 64869
  • Weight 1.38 pounds
PROS

Relaxed fit

Durable

Comfortable

CONS

No grip on ice

Not fully waterproof

Grommets can come loose

Have confidence that you have the driest boots possible with these premium 100-percent soft leather work boots. They have a rubber sole for traction to make them both slip and abrasion-resistant. You’ll appreciate how comfortable these boots are with their break-in free design and removable PU insole. They have speed hooks and a back loop lace-up closure. What makes these boots stand out is the three-month manufacturer warranty to back the boots’ quality and performance. 

Unfortunately, these boots run about a half size too big, but you can easily account for this by sizing up when you order. The wrong size that’s too small can cause the boots to dig into your leg. Some people also find the sole to be too flat.

Key Features
  • 100 percent leather
  • Rubber sole
  • PU removable insole
  • Three-month warranty
Specification
  • Brand Ever Boots
  • Model B01FOVNLNM
  • Weight 3.15 pounds
PROS

Break-in free

Slip and abrasion-resistant

Lightweight

CONS

Runs half size large

Digs into your leg

Soles are flat

Be ready for anything with these tactical waterproof boots. They’re constructed of leather and 900D nylon textiles, and the sole is a durable rubber. You’ll appreciate the soft and light feeling upper that extends up the shaft over your ankle. The sculpted shape helps them to be protective while minimally restrictive. The outsole allows you to maintain grip with the high traction rubber lugs. The inside is comfortable, thanks to the molded EVA midsole. To keep your feet dry, there’s a waterproof boot liner to give you an extra layer of protection. 

One issue with these boots is that the material is very thick and firm, making them feel stiff and clunky. The boots also scuff easily, which degrades their look quickly. There’s also a lack of support for those with high arches.

Key Features
  • Leather and 900D nylon textile
  • Rubber sole
  • Shaft ankle-high
  • Waterproof boot liner
Specification
  • Brand Under Armour
  • Model 3021903
  • Weight 1.14 pounds
PROS

Soft and light upper

High-traction rubber lug outsole

Molded EVA midsole

CONS

Material is too firm

Scuff easily

Lacks arch support

These stylish boots come in either a dark oiled brown or light tan color. The upper is 100 percent leather with a synthetic sole—the shaft measures 6.25 inches, which helps the boots extend well over your ankle. The opening at the top is approximately ten inches, so there’s plenty of room for your leg. The boots have a subtle wedge shape to the platform to give you a bit of extra height. Wearing these boots won’t just help you look great; they’ll also keep your feet safe since they have a steel toe and meet ASTM F2413-18 safety standards.

The drawback of these boots is that they aren’t very breathable. However, this is the nature of solid leather. The soles also feel like solid and hard rubber, making the boots feel stiff and uncomfortable while walking.

Key Features
  • 100 percent leather
  • Synthetic sole
  • Shaft: 6.25 inches
  • Steel safety toe
Specification
  • Brand Black Diamond Group
  • Model CMW6295
  • Weight 1.96 pounds
PROS

Meets ASTM F2413-18 standards

Electrical hazard protection

Boot opening 10 inches around

CONS

Not breathable

Soles feel like hard compressed rubber

Tight fit on the toes

Best Waterproof Work Boots Buying Guide & FAQ

Whether you like the look or need a pair of waterproof work boots for your job, you need to know what you’re looking for. Buying the wrong pair of boots will have your feet, legs, and back aching. 

When you spend all day on your feet, you need boots that will feel just as good at the end of the day as they did when you put them on. They also need to perform well and effectively keep your feet safe from possible injury. Use this guide to help you find a pair of boots that you love. 

Why Do You Need Waterproof Work Boots?

If you’re on your feet all day, you need boots that will provide you with the right amount of support. If you’re wearing them for work, you need boots that will protect your feet. They should also give you the necessary stability and traction that you need to have a sure foot. 

Waterproof boots are important because they do all of this, plus keep your feet dry, and having dry feet is crucial to having healthy feet. When your feet are always wet, it encourages the growth of harmful bacteria, which can cause infections.

Work boots go beyond just protecting your feet. They have anti-slip soles and come up high around your ankle, giving you great stability and support for a more sure foot. This reduces your risk of falling, which in turn reduces your risk of injury.

  • Stay comfortable by keeping your feet dry. 
  • Protect your feet. 
  • Have stability and support.

The Most Common Types of Waterproof Work Boots

man wearing waterproof work boots in snow
Waterproof work boots come in all different styles and designs.

Several types of work boots are available to you, and many of them are waterproof. Consider the work you’ll do in them and the kind of protection you’ll need. Some provide extra protection for your toes, while others protect you from puncture, electricity, cold, heat, or slipping. You may even need a pair of boots that combine several types. 

Steel Toe

These boots have heavy reinforcement over your toes to protect them from falling objects or compression. Most construction sites and factories require this type of work boots. To know that you have an authentic pair, look for a tag inside the boots that states “ASTM F2413-11”, which certifies that the boots meet specific safety standards. 

These boots are often quite heavy from the additional protection in them, making them less than ideal for when you have to do a lot of walking. However, you’ll find them perfect as safety wear because they typically come with several more features beyond the protected toe.

Composite Toe

These are the lighter version of the steel toe boots. They use a combination of plastics and carbon fiber to protect your toes instead of steel. They aren’t as protective as steel, but their lighter weight makes them a better fit when you need to do a lot of walking. Another bonus is that they won’t set off metal detectors. You should look for the same “ASTM F2413-11” safety tag sewn into the boot. 

You’ll find that these boots work well for both work and other activities, such as hiking. They tend to come over your ankles to provide you with additional support and protection. 

Insulated 

If you plan to wear your boots for cold weather, then you’ll want waterproof work boots that are also insulated. They may look like other types of boots, such as steel or composite toe. However, they have a hidden additional element: sewn into the boots is an extra layer of protection to shield your feet from the dampness and cold.

There are different types of insulation in these boots. The best options are those that are low bulk and lightweight while also having a high insulation ability. This will keep the weight and size of the boots down while also keeping your feet warm. 

What to Consider When Buying Waterproof Work Boots

The first step is to decide where and how you plan to wear your boots and determine your budget for buying your new boots. Try your new boots on and confirm that they fit—there should be no hot spots or any areas that pinch your toes. Walk around in the shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest. 

It’s worth considering a more expensive pair of boots since higher quality boots tend to cost more. However, they also use higher quality materials and better construction. These boots are more durable and last longer, which can ultimately save you more in the long run. 

The Most Important Features of Waterproof Work Boots

When you compare the right features, you can ensure you select the right boots for your needs. Always start with the size, so you know they fit your feet. Then look at the materials and construction quality. Finally, look at how the boots are made waterproof (whether it’s the construction or added as an additional treatment).

Size

As with any pair of shoes, you must buy a pair of shoes that fit your feet. Otherwise, you have created a safety and health risk. Boots that are too large aren’t secure on your feet and can slip around and cause you to trip or lose your balance. Boots that are too small will squeeze your feet: at best, this causes blisters and hot spots. At worst, they will cut off circulation, and your feet will go completely numb. 

Try boots on at the end of the day, since this is when your feet swell to their largest size. Wear the socks you plan to wear with them to ensure you buy your boots in the perfect size. 

Materials

Work boots are typically made out of leather since it’s a natural material that’s tough and durable. However, it also requires special treatment and care to ensure that it stays supple and doesn’t crack. Modern synthetic materials can also give you a more affordable alternative and have the advantage of not requiring as much maintenance. Their downfall is that they don’t stretch and conform to your feet as well as leather. 

Some boots use a combination of materials: they could use both leather and synthetic materials. Look at the inside of the boots to find out what they’re made out of. The liner should be a soft yet breathable material that won’t irritate your skin. 

Waterproofing Treatment

Some boots are naturally waterproof, thanks to the materials that are used to construct the boot. Leather is a natural material made from animal hide and blocks all water. Modern materials, such as Gore-Tex, is a waterproof synthetic material. What makes Gore-Tex stand out over leather is that it’s also breathable, which helps to keep your feet cool and dry. 

Pay attention to how the boots are constructed: low-quality boots will use waterproof material but leak at the seams. High-quality boots will have taped seams to prevent leaks. Another common place for leaks is at the tongue, so it should have a liner that prevents leaking on the front. 

Care and Maintenance for Waterproof Work Boots

best waterproof work boots for outside
Waterproof work boots protect your feet in less-than-ideal working conditions.

To ensure that your work boots last long as possible, care for your boots properly: start by cleaning them off every time you wear them. When you take them off, give them a quick rinse or brush off the dirt, debris, and mud—when you leave this gunk on the boots, it can prematurely degrade the materials.

Put the boots in a cool and dry place to air out between each time you wear them. This gives the boots a chance to dry on the inside. When your boots don’t get a chance to dry, bacteria thrive, causing several gross foot problems.

Over time, you may find that your boots begin to lose their waterproof abilities, but you can fix this by periodically treating your boots with a waterproofing treatment.

  • Clean off the dirt, debris, and mud. 
  • Let the boots air out between wearing. 
  • Treat the boots with an extra waterproofing treatment. 

Best Waterproof Work Boots FAQ:

There are several questions that people ask when shopping for new work boots. People always want to know which boots are the best and if buying waterproof boots is worth it. Will your feet stay dry? We answer these common questions to help you find the best boots for your needs. 

Q. What are the best waterproof work boots?

The best waterproof work boots are the ones that are designed for the type of activities and weather that you’ll be wearing them for. They are constructed from waterproof material, have taped seams and waterproof liner. 

Q. Are waterproof work boots worth it?

Waterproof boots are worth it. This extra treatment helps to keep your feet dry, which is crucial for healthy feet. 

Q. Are waterproof boots really waterproof?

Yes, new waterproof boots have either a protective waterproof coating or use innovative material like Gore-Tex that blocks water from coming in. 

Q. What are waterproof boots called?

Many people refer to their waterproof boots as Wellingtons. However, these are rain boots and not work boots. 

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best waterproof work boot is the Timberland PRO Pit Boss Steel-Toe. These boots are constructed from high-quality leather and a thick rubber sole. They have a nice shaft height that provides your ankle with plenty of support. You’ll appreciate that they provide you plenty of protection and meet ANSI safety standards. The breathable PU footbed and comfort suspension technology ensure your feet are supported and comfortable throughout the day. 

Final Thoughts

You can depend on the Timberland PRO Pit Boss Steel-Toe to be both comfortable and protective. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Nortiv 8 Waterproof Work Boots are completely waterproof and provide traction with the multi-directional traction outsole.

Sources:

  1. Steel-toe Boot – Wikipedia