When shopping for work boots, the term “waterproof” is a blanket term for any boot that offers water resistance. Of all of the self-proclaimed “waterproof” work boots on the market, only a few have the features to keep your feet dry all day.
We’ve listed the best waterproof work boots in the table below; these four hold up to stomping through standing water and other extremely wet conditions.
The other waterproof boot options on our list are also great waterproof and water-resistant boots for messier jobs.
|Waterproof Work Boot||Fit||Protection||Best Feature|
|Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Work Boot||Men||Steel toe, Soft toe||Mesh interior lining keeps feet dry and comfortable|
|Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6” Steel Safety Toe WP Work Boot||Men, Women||Steel toe, Soft toe||Waterproof liner and polyurethane insole fight odors|
|Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Waterproof Work Boot||Men, Women||Alloy, Composite||Slip-resistant, oil-resistant, heat-resistant, and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole|
|EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots||Men||Soft toe||Budget-friendly light-duty work boot with no break-in period|
The 10 Best Waterproof Work Boots for Men and Women
Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift Work Boot
Caterpillar doesn’t just manufacture construction equipment. Their trusted line of work boots – such as the Caterpillar Men’s Second Shift – are well-known for their comfort during long work days. They come in both steel toe and soft toe options, with a slip-resistant and oil-resistant outsole. These safety features keep you and your feet safe from slips, falls, and impact in the roughest work conditions.
The company designed the Second Shift to stay comfortable for 12+ hours of wear. This waterproof boot has a Climasphere insole and an interior mesh liner help your feet breathe. The padded tongue and collar prevent blisters, and the steel shank in the midsole diffuses impact every time your foot hits the ground. This keeps your feet, legs, and joints ache-free during hours of walking and bending.
- Full-grain leather upper available in four colors: black, dark brown, tan, and honey
- Slip-resistant and oil-resistant rubber outsole with excellent traction
- Available in steel toe and soft toe
- Steel shank in midsole relieves impact off of feet and joints
- Padded tongue and collar
- Mesh interior lining keeps feet dry and comfortable
- Removable Climasphere polyurethane insole doesn’t hold odor and helps your feet breathe
- Goodyear welt construction for a longer lasting boot
- Mild break-in period
- Reports of inconsistent sizing
- Lasts less than a year of consistent wear
Timberland PRO Direct Attach 6” Steel Safety Toe WP Work Boot
The Timberland PRO Direct Attach is one of the company’s most popular work boots on construction and industrial sites. Available in men’s and women’s sizes, it comes in steel toe and soft toe options. The Direct Attach measures 6” from your arch, so it completely protects your feet and ankles.
This waterproof work boot has an oil-resistant outsole with a 0.75” platform and 1.75” heel. With excellent traction on slippery surfaces, the elevated outsole provides shock-absorption to keep impact away from your feet and joints. A mesh liner and polyurethane insole promote air circulation while pulling moisture away from your feet. They also have odor control, so you don’t have to leave your smelly boots outside!
- Leather upper available in five different colors: black, brown, yellow, wheat, and after-dark
- Steel toe and soft toe options; also available in women’s sizes
- Measures 6” from arch for complete foot and ankle protection
- The padded collar rests against the leg comfortably
- Oil-resistant rubber outsole with good traction
- 0.75” platform with 1.75” heel
- Reinforced metal eyelets for sturdier lacing
- Insulated boot for winter months
- Waterproof mesh liner pulls sweat away
- Liner and polyurethane insole fight odors
- Mild break-in period
- Mixed feedback on the fit (runs large or small)
- Only last about a year
Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6″ Waterproof Work Boot
The Timberland PRO Men’s 26078 Titan 6” Waterproof Work Boot consistently ranks among the company’s best-selling work boots. Also available in women’s sizes, the Timberland PRO Titan’s alloy safety toe and composite toe options are ASTM and EH certified. The sturdy rubber outsole is slip-resistant, oil-resistant, heat-resistant, and abrasion-resistant for better safety on the work site.
The Titan is also made for standing and walking for long periods. A nylon diffusion shank in the midsole absorbs impact every time your foot hits the ground, relieving stress off of your joints. The interior mesh liner, treated to eliminate odors, keeps your feet dry all day.
- Lightweight ASTM and EH certified work boot with alloy safety toe or composite toe options
- Also available in women’s sizes
- Treated with antimicrobial technology to eliminate odors
- Slip-resistant, oil-resistant, heat-resistant, and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole
- Waterproof 6” leather work boot that protects your feet and ankles
- Mesh liner keeps your feet dry
- Nylon diffusion shank in the midsole to absorb impact
- Last less than a year
- Flimsy lace hooks
- Harsh break-in period
- Run small and narrow
EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots
EVER BOOTS has only been in business for a few years, but they have built a reputation for constructing affordable and durable work boots. The EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” Men’s Premium Leather Waterproof Work Boots are guaranteed to be leakproof from the upper to the outsole. With leather uppers, waterproof laces, and a waterproof mesh interior liner, the company swears your feet will stay dry all day long. The EVER BOOTS “Ultra Dry” even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on the waterproofing!
The “Ultra Dry” also has the comfort features you want in a work boot. It has no break-in period, and the rubber outsole has excellent traction in rain, snow, and sleet. The boot flexes to your movements as you walk, with the polyurethane midsole diffusing impact away from your joints. Although they don’t have a safety toe, the “Ultra Dry” is a great option for any light-duty job.
- Waterproof leather upper keeps your feet dry
- Weather-resistant rubber outsole flexes to your movements
- Polyurethane midsole absorbs impact when you walk
- Insulated for colder weather
- Waterproof mesh liner keeps feet dry while letting your feet breathe
- Shock-absorbent protection in the heel and the ball of the foot
- Budget-friendly light-duty work boot with no break-in period
- Run large
- Lace eyelets don’t hold up
Keen Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Steel Toe
KEEN brought the comfort and durability of hiking boots to their KEEN Utility line of work boots. The KEEN Utility Men’s Pittsburgh Work Boot is perfect for medium-duty work environments. This model has safety toes – in steel and soft toe options – that are curved to fit the shape of your forefoot. The Pittsburgh also has a wide toe box for extra wiggle room while you are walking, bending, or standing for long hours.
KEEN is all about comfort. Their insole has arch support with a design that is shaped to fit your foot. A waterproof liner keeps water out, and it absorbs sweat away from your feet. The midsole has a combination of EVA memory foam and polyurethane for better shock absorption away from your joints.
With other safety features – such as an oil-resistant and slip-resistant outsole and strong lace hooks – the Pittsburgh is one of the best waterproof work boots available for the moderate price tag.
- Mid-calf waterproof work boot with 100% Nubuck leather upper
- Available in four colors: bison, slate black, wheat, and black
- Oil-resistant and slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Lightweight boot for medium-duty environments
- Comes in steel toe and soft toe options
- Metal lace hooks for sturdy lacing
- Removable EVA foam footbed designed to the shape of your foot
- The insole has built-in arch support
- Compression-molded EVA foam and Polyurethane midsole absorbs impact from your joints
- Left and right steel toes – designed unlike other boots
- Waterproof DryLex liner keeps water out and absorbs sweat away from your feet
- Wide toe box for extra wiggle room
- Don’t breathe that well
- Sole deteriorates quickly
- Cushion wears down
- Last less than a year
Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Waterproof XL Steel Toe Work Boot
The Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion is another model with an alloy safety toe that follows safety standards. The Hyperion has more waterproof protection than others on our list. The leather upper is waterproofed before assembly, and the entire boot is seam-sealed to make sure no water soaks your feet.
The Hyperion has no break-in period, so you don’t have to wear it for days or weeks before it is finally comfortable enough for you.
The midsole and insole have EVA memory foam, so these boots feel more like a sneaker than a work boot. All Timberland PRO boots come with Anti-Fatigue technology to reduce pain and soreness in your legs and feet during long work days. A fiberglass shank in the midsole absorbs impact, eliminating joint pain.
- The rubber outsole is slip-resistant, oil-resistant, and abrasion-resistant with a heel lock
- ASTM and Electrical Hazard certified alloy safety toe work boot
- Seam-sealed to make sure no water gets in
- Waterproof leather upper with rubber toe bumper
- Mesh liner has anti-odor protection
- Fiberglass shank in the EVA memory foam midsole adds shock absorption and comfort
- Memory foam insole provides extra cushion at high-impact points, such as the heel and the ball of the foot
- No break-in period
- Run small with a narrow toe box
- Only last about a year
- Quick lacing hoops don’t hold up
- Not for thick ankles (complaints of rubbing and irritation)
Caterpillar Women’s Carlie Work Boot
Caterpillar also offers work boots for women, such as the Caterpillar Women’s Carlie Work Boot. This waterproof ankle work boot has a durable Goodyear welt construction for longer-lasting wear. The ASTM-certified steel toe and Electrical Hazard protection follow most employer safety requirements. The rubber outsole has excellent tread for slippery surfaces to keep you stable on your feet.
The Carlie also has a soft cushion to make your workday as comfortable as possible. It has a padded collar and tongue to prevent blisters from rubbing against your skin. The EVA memory foam midsole – like the ones found in athletic shoes – absorb impact and put more spring in your step. It also relieves stress on your legs and joints during long work days.
A favorite among workers, the odor resistant Ortholite insole is removable and washable, giving you extra comfort under your feet.
- Waterproof ankle work boot with leather upper
- ASTM certified steel toe boot with Electrical Hazard protection
- Rubber outsole with good traction
- Removable Ortholite insole is odor-resistant and machine washable
- Goodyear welt construction for a longer-lasting boot
- EVA memory foam midsole prevents leg fatigue
- Metal lace hooks for sturdy lacing
- Padded collar and tongue prevent blisters
- Last less than a year
- Run large
- Little arch support
KEEN Utility Women’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot
The KEEN Utility Women’s Detroit Mid Steel Toe Work Boot is another example of how the company has blended the comfort of a hiking boot with the protection of a work boot. The Detroit has steel toes that are shaped to fit the left and right feet individually – instead of a generic mold for both feet. These protective work boots pass both ASTM and EH standards.
Designed to fit a woman’s foot, the Detroit has a removable insole that completely supports the foot. A waterproof, mesh membrane keeps water away from your feet throughout the day while pulling sweat and moisture away from your skin. A stability shank supports your gait as you walk, keeping you comfortable all day.
- Slip-resistant and oil-resistant rubber outsole with a heel lock
- Waterproof Nubuck leather/textile upper
- ASTM-certified steel toes fit right and left toes individually
- Rubber toe bumper for extra toe protection
- Torsional stability shank supports your stride
- A waterproof interior membrane that keeps water out and pulls sweat and moisture away from your skin
- The removable insole is shaped to cradle your foot
- The insole is made of cushioned EVA memory foam for extra comfort
- Don’t keep feet warm in cold weather
- Inside wears down quickly
- Inconsistent reports on size (some say they run large, others say they run small)
Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Hi Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot
Another Caterpillar work boot on our list, the Men’s Diagnostic Hi Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot, is a medium-duty boot insulated for colder weather. This ASTM and EH certified work boot has a slip-resistant, oil-resistant, and abrasion-resistant rubber outsole to keep you safe on the work site. The deep tread grips the most slippery surfaces, preventing dangerous slips and falls.
Just like the Second Shift, the Diagnostic is also loaded with comfort features. Designed to keep your feet dry, a nylon mesh liner pulls moisture and sweat away from your feet while promoting air circulation. The Diagnostic has great arch support, with the ERGO comfort system to make it extra flexible for walking and bending. The boot also has a removable memory foam insole with gel inserts for extra comfort during long days of standing and walking.
- The rubber outsole is slip-resistant, oil-resistant, and abrasion-resistant
- The mouth has a wide 15” opening for larger feet
- Medium-duty steel toe work boot with a leather upper and insulation for colder weather
- Removable EVA foam insole has gel inserts for extra comfort during standing and walking
- Nylon mesh liner helps your feet breathe and pulls moisture and sweat away from your skin
- ERGO comfort system designed to move with your stride
- Polyurethane midsole has a nylon shank for better shock-absorption
- Good arch support
- ASTM and Electrical Hazard certified work boots available in steel toe and soft toe options
- Lace hooks don’t hold up
- Water-resistant boot, not waterproof
- Mild-break in period
- Runs narrow
Skechers USA Men’s Relment Work Boot
Although the Skechers USA Men’s Relment Boot looks more like a hiking boot, it has amazing features that would work great as a light-duty work boot. If you work in slightly messy conditions without needing toe protection, the Relment is waterproof and durable, with incredible traction. The manufacturers sealed the entire boot to be completely waterproof, and a gusseted tongue keeps out water and debris.
The Skechers Relment also has a rubber outsole with deep tread and a toe bumper for extra protection on slippery work conditions. The boot has a slight lift to it: a 1” platform and a 1.5” heel adds extra shock absorption against walking on hard surfaces, relieving aching joints after a long workday. Best of all, the Skechers Relment is extremely budget-friendly so you can get a pair in all four colors.
- Budget-friendly ankle boot with 100% suede leather upper
- Synthetic rubber outsole with deep tread for good traction
- Padded mesh ankle collar and tongue for cushion and breathability
- 1” platform with a 1.5” heel
- Toe bumper for extra protection
- Cooling memory foam insole for hotter weather
- Pull on loops on tongue and heel for easily sliding your foot into the boot
- Gusset tongue creates a barrier between your feet and water, weather, and debris
- Soft fabric interior
- Metal eyelets break
- Last less than a year
- Run small with a tight toe box
- Seam-sealed waterproof design is more water-resistant than waterproof
- Run hot
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Waterproof Work Boots
How do you know what makes the best waterproof boot? When you are shopping for your next pair of boots, some features will make your purchase well-worth the money.
Waterproof vs. Water-resistant Boots
Waterproof isn’t the same as water-resistant. Knowing the difference between these terms can prevent you from sloshing your way into work with wet feet. Although most manufacturers will list their products as “waterproof,” they most often are not. Waterproof boots have a much different construction, while most leather work boots have some external water-resistance.
Authentic waterproof boots will have specific features that will prevent water from getting inside the boot. These usually include a leather upper treated for waterproofing and a waterproof interior liner. With these features, you can work in wetter conditions, such as puddles and rainstorms.
Water-resistant boots will not have the waterproofing features (such as the treated leather and the interior liner), but they will keep your feet dry in milder conditions. You can wear them during a light rainstorm, in dewy grass, or spraying water without getting your feet soaked. However, you should avoid large puddles since these boots won’t protect your feet.
If you don’t have waterproof boots, you can always waterproof them yourself. Using a sealant spray can help prevent water from getting inside your boots. These sprays will stick to the porous surface of the leather, forming a barrier against water. You’ll need to repeat this process to protect your boots against the elements.
Most work boots have a leather upper because it is a durable material that will protect your feet. Boots are made from different types of leathers: the most common are full-grain leather, Nubuck leather, and suede leather. Although many manufacturers may pre-treat their waterproof work boots, each type of leather requires special care.
- Full-grain leather – the strongest, best-quality leather; has the most water-resistant qualities, but you still may need to waterproof it
- Nubuck leather – buffed full-grain leather with less water-resistance; needs waterproofing treatment
- Suede leather – needs heavy waterproofing treatment; exposure to water can ruin the appearance of suede boots
Most waterproof boots will come with an internal liner that will seal the inside of the boot. These liners are either membranes (which are attached to the upper) or liners (which are removable). They act as a barrier to keep water out, and it is often treated with antimicrobial technology to prevent mildew and mold. The internal liner will keep your feet dry while pulling sweat away from your feet on hot days.
Safety Characteristics of Quality Waterproof Work Boots
Many waterproof work boots have other safety features designed to protect your feet. Employers usually require them, according to OSHA regulations. Even if your employer doesn’t require safety footwear, you may prefer them, depending on the work you are doing.
Since you are in the market for waterproof boots, chances are you will be working in some slippery conditions. You should always get a slip-resistant outsole. These have better grip and deeper lugs, so they prevent slips and falls on the job site.
Outsoles also have other protections, such as abrasion-resistant and oil-resistant protection. These outsoles are less likely to break down on rough surfaces. In addition to being slip-resistant, these outsoles also keep you from falling on oily surfaces.
The insole matters, too. Check out the best insoles for work boots.
Several models come with safety toes to save your toes from impact from stubbing or falling objects. Safety toes come in four main styles:
- Steel toe – toe cap is made of steel; heavier but offers the best protection against objects and machinery that can fall or roll on your toes
- Alloy toe – toe caps lighter than steel but just as safe
- Composite toe – toe cap made of non-metal materials, such as Kevlar or fiberglass; less impact protection than steel and alloy toes
- Soft toe – work boots without steel, alloy, or composite toe protection
Many employers require work boots that are ASTM-certified. ASTM International is a global organization that creates standards and regulations on production and use. For example, ASTM regulations make sure that protective footwear used on work sites are produced consistently to guarantee the safety of the worker.
If you are an electrician or you work on an industrial site, your employer may require a boot with electrical hazard protection. EH Certification is another standard certified by ASTM, and many safety boots with protective toes also have EH protection. This means they will save you from electrocution if you step on a live wire.
FAQs for the Best Waterproof Boots
I keep seeing the term “Goodyear welt construction.” What does that mean?
A boot made with Goodyear welt construction is one of the most durable options, and it is one of the main features of a waterproof boot. During the manufacturing process, a welt is placed over the seam between the upper and the outsole. This welt creates a seal that prevents water from getting into the boot.
What does the term “break-in period” mean?
After buying a new pair of boots, it takes some time for them to become completely comfortable. You must walk and bend in them to stretch them out to where they offer no resistance. The amount of time it takes to get your footwear completely comfortable is the “break-in period.” This can last days or weeks, depending on the boot.
Why does the measurement of the boot from the arch matter when I am picking out my boots?
When you are looking at different models, some manufacturers will describe their boots by size or by measurement from the arch. This is helpful when choosing your next pair of boots because the taller the boot, the less likely that water will get inside. We’ve included a conversion chart below:
- Ankle boots = 3-8” from the arch
- Mid-calf boots = 8-13.25” from the arch
- Knee-high boots = 13.5”+ from the arch
How do I take care of my leather boots?
Depending on the type of leather boots you have, each material requires special care. This helps them last longer and look better over a longer period.
- Full-grain leather – Use a soft cloth or gentle brush to wipe away loose dirt. Use a leather cleaner to clean your boot. Condition and polish your leather boots with mink oil, using a soft cloth. You can add extra waterproof protection by spraying a proofing spray over your boots, even if they are pre-waterproofed.
- Nubuck leather – Use a brush with rubber bristles to wipe away loose dirt. Debris can settle into Nubuck leather, so you’ll need to do this more often than for full-grain leather. Use a cleaner and a conditioner that is made only for Nubuck leather. Protect your boots with a weatherproof spray for Nubuck leather.
- Suede leather – Use a brush with rubber bristles to wipe away loose dirt. Use a cleaner that is made only for suede leather. Note that you should never condition or polish suede leather. Protect your boots with a weatherproof spray for suede leather.
When your trusty pair of work boots finally falls apart, you don’t have to groan in frustration, trying to find a new pair. Any of the options on this list will make a great replacement. As long as you follow your employer’s safety requirements, you can always find a durable pair of waterproof work boots that will keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Jennifer Conerly is a writer and editor with extensive retail experience in athletic shoes and fitness she never thought would come in handy.