Waterproof Footwear: The Complete Guide

Waterproof Footwear: The Complete Guide

Rain and wet weather is inevitable, and if you don’t want to stay inside because of the rain, you need to know how to keep your feet dry. One of the best things you can do is invest in a high quality pair of waterproof shoes.

But what type of shoes should you look for, and what qualities should you consider?

What are the best types of waterproof shoes?

There are a wide variety of different waterproof shoes to choose from which are suitable for different seasons.

The best styles include:

  • - Leather and synthetic leather shoes
  • - Walking and hiking shoes
  • - Running trainers

What are the best types of waterproof boots?

Boots in general can provide a better level of protection against water than shoes, as they cover a larger area of your foot, ankle and leg.

Styles include:

  • - Wellies
  • - Walking and hiking boots
  • - Work boots
  • - Knee high boots
  • - Leather and synthetic leather boots

What are waterproof shoes made of?

There are currently many types of waterproof materials on the market. Some of the most common materials include

  • - Gore-tex
  • - Vinyl
  • - Latex
  • - Wool
  • - Nylon and Polyester
  • - Leather

How long should waterproof shoes stay waterproof?

A good pair of waterproof shoes, using materials such as Gore-tex, should stay waterproof for a good few years.

After a few years of walking, most shoes and boots will be past their prime. However, with the correct care and treatment of your shoes, you may be able to expand their lifetime, as well as how waterproof they are.

What materials are better for waterproofing footwear?

Almost any material can be modified to be water resistant through the use of sprays and waxes, however, waterproof material tends to work the best for keeping feet dry.

Some of the best materials for waterproofing shoes include rubber, neoprene, vinyl and polyurethane.

You will typically find a lot of these materials in waterproof boots and shoes which use variations of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) such as Gore-tex.

What is the difference between water resistant and waterproof footwear?

Waterproof footwear uses materials that are completely impervious to water penetration, meaning no water can get in or out. Waterproof shoes will give the wearer protection from water for a significant amount of time.

Water resistant footwear however, uses material which prevents water penetration, but only to a certain extent. As it isn’t fully impervious, the material will let water in or out when exposed to high levels of water.

How to choose waterproof footwear

There are a few factors you should consider when choosing which waterproof footwear is right for you.

What are you doing?

Before buying your shoes, think about what you’ll be doing in them the most. Will you be running? Or will you be hiking and backpacking?

Depending on your activity, you may prefer to have boots rather than shoes.

What is the weather like?

Temperature and weather plays a huge factor in the type of footwear you choose. The colder it is, the more insulated you’ll need, so think carefully about the climate you will be in.

For example, if you’re hiking in the snow, a pair of thin knit trainers would not keep your feet warm or dry.

Other factors to consider include:

    • - How reliable the traction is: Traction is always important, but when you’re picking waterproof shoes, it is extra critical since you will be more likely to have to contend with conditions such as rain, ice and snow.

    • - Cushioning: No matter what outdoor activity you’re participating in, you should look for shoes with good shock absorption and ample cushioning.

  • - Sweat control: Nobody likes to have a damp feeling inside their shoes and boots. Features such as moisture-wicking fabrics and liners will help manage internal moisture and transport it to the outer fabric layers where it can dry quicker.

Waterproof footwear: Our top picks

Waterproof footwear for work

The ladies Amblers Kira Waterproof Black Composite Safety Boots are a lightweight and durable boot which allow you to get the job done without compromising on comfort.


These boots feature an internal waterproof membrane to remove internal moisture, as well as waterproof black leather uppers to keep your feet comfortable and dry all day.

For men, the Skechers Ledom Waterproof Safety Steel Toe Cap Boots provide long lasting protection and comfort too.


Featuring smooth oiled waterproof uppers and a seam sealed design, these boots will keep you dry no matter how wet your worksite is.

Waterproof footwear for safety

Dickies Talpa Safety Boots are the perfect safety boot for both protection from the weather and external elements at work, such as heat and oil.


The boots feature a water resistant upper, as well as internal water resistant membranes, ensuring your feet stay dry both inside the boot and out.

The Mens Solid Gear Apollo Black Safety Work Boots by Snickers use the latest safety technology, providing a combination of durability, lightweight and waterproof elements.


The premium full-grain leather ensures great water repellency and breathability, while the breathable insoles keep the inside of the boot dry and warm.

Waterproof footwear for hiking

The Ladies Hi-tec Storm Waterproof Hiking Boots are entry level walking boots, perfect for casual walks. The Dri-tec breathable and waterproof membrane keeps feet dry, and the suede and mesh uppers provide breathability, durability and comfort.


The Multi-Directional Traction sole also provides extra grip and provides durability.

The Mens Muck Boot Apex Mid Zip Waterproof Comfort Boots are high performance boots built for high performance outdoor pursuits.


They are 100% waterproof, paired with breathable mesh linings to provide high moisture management.

Waterproof footwear for gardening

Woodland’s Neoprene Insulated Gusset Wellington is the perfect gardening boot.


These waterproof wellies feature 3mm Neoprene Thermal lining and a textile footbed, making sure your feet stay dry and warm in the colder seasons.

For women, the Ladies Bogs Essential Tall Insulated Warm Wellies are a stylish and functional boot, perfect for wearing in the garden.


They are 100% waterproof constructed with 7mm waterproof Neo-Tech, and feature durable hand-lasted rubber.

Waterproof footwear for everyday use

The Mens Hi-tec Stinger Waterproof Lightweight Trail Shoes are ideal for everyday wear.


With Dri-Tec waterproof technology and a breathable membrane, these trainers will keep your feet dry whilst also providing extreme comfort from the compression moulded EVA midsole.

Skechers have a great range of waterproof shoes, including the Skechers Womens Flex Appeal 4 True Clarity Waterproof Shoes.

The sporty and athletic design makes them perfect for everyday wear, and the waterproof outer layers will keep your feet dry throughout the seasons.

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