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How to Choose the Best Waterproof Work Boots

Choosing the best waterproof work boots doesn’t have to be complicated. You only need to keep in mind the type of your work and wet environments and find a pair of boots with all the features you need. 

Your safety always comes first, so safety features should be your number one concern, followed by comfort, breathability, and durability. Also, depending on working conditions and weather, look for suitable materials, traction, and height.

We prepared this ultimate buying guide to help you make the right decision and invest in a pair of waterproof boots that will keep your feet dry for years to come.

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The Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant Work Boots

When you’re looking to buy a pair of boots for wet conditions, you’ll probably come across the terms waterproof and water-resistant. There’s no need to be confused. The manufacturers use these terms to describe the degree of water-resistance of a boot. 

However, each company sets its standards so the quality may vary, but waterproof boots almost always provide more protection than water-resistant ones. This is due to the waterproof features built directly into the boot during the construction phase. 

On the other hand, the water-resistant boots are often sprayed with water-resistant material rather than having these features built inside. They can hold up to a random splash but won’t withstand extreme conditions. So, if you need all the protection you can get, go for a waterproof work boot.

Essential Features of the Best Waterproof Work Boots

Like all work boots, a pair of quality waterproof work boots need to meet particular standards. Let’s look into the essential features of waterproof work boots.

Degree of Water-Resistance

Boots With Snow on Gray Textured Table.

The best waterproof work boots need to keep your feet dry. The degrees of water resistance may vary, but with high-quality waterproof boots, you should be able to stand in shallow water for a prolonged time without getting your feet wet.

Over time the waterproof membrane will wear out and start leaking. Nevertheless, quality waterproof boots should last several years with daily wear. Also, you can prolong their durability by using waxes and waterproofing sprays.

Waterproof Work Boots Breathability

Work Boots Laces.

The waterproof boots you wear every day at work need to be breathable. This means they should allow the moisture to get out but not let it in. Sweaty feet are almost the same as wet feet, and you don’t need either. A leather work boot is the most breathable, but a quality rubber boot can be too.

The Comfort of Waterproof Work Boots

Close-up of Couple Standing in Comfortable Boots on Pebbles Near Water.

Your work boots have to be comfortable. Comfy work boots unburden your feet, cushion your sole, protect your ankles, stay in shape, and allow you to focus on your work and be efficient.

You will experience foot fatigue if you can’t break in your boots, so you will have to buy a new pair. To avoid this, first, consider the right size and shape for your feet. They should have enough room to move your toes while providing enough support for your feet. 

Once you’ve done that, ensure that they have the right level of insulation to keep your feet warm if you work in cold weather conditions. Insulated work boots with waterproof protection make great snow boots and boots for winter conditions in general.

Also, find boots with comfortable insoles that will cushion your feet. If not, opt for the removable insoles, so you can change them to suit you.

Waterproof Boot Durability

Durability is the key whether you’re buying work or everyday boots. No one wants to pay for the boots that don’t last. However, durability is more important for work boots as they can protect you from various hazards you may encounter at your worksite. 

Boots are only as good as the material used to create them. Full-grain leather boots are an excellent choice because they provide breathability, waterproofness, and durability. Rubber boots, neoprene, nylon, and canvas are great options as well. However, they may not last as long as leather.

Apart from the materials used to produce the boots, the seams should be well-stitched and remain intact.

Protective Properties of Waterproof Work Boots

Apart from keeping your feet dry, the best waterproof work boots also feature safety toes. No one wants to have their feet injured due to the lack of this vital protection.

Steel toe boots are almost impossible to penetrate, so they offer excellent protection. However, they are heavy and conduct heat and cold, so they aren’t ideal for extreme weather conditions.

If you want lightweight work boots, go for alloy toe boots as they provide the same level of protection as the steel but are lighter. Also, they conduct heat and cold, so they may not be great for extreme weather.

Finally, composite toe boots don’t conduct heat, cold, and electricity. This makes them perfect for extreme weather conditions or if you work where dangers of electrical hazards exist. However, they are not as strong as their metal counterparts.

The outsoles play a vital role in protecting your feet too. Slipping can cause many accidents, and you should prevent it by choosing work boots with slip-resistant outsoles that provide enough traction. These features are achieved with the design that includes rubber lug outsoles to grip the ground and channels to redirect water. Slip-resistant rubber soles with puncture-resistant features are a big plus too. 

Look for slip-resistant soles when buying waterproof work boots, as they can protect you from wet weather and prevent unnecessary injuries due to slipping.

Waterproof Boots Height

If you need to wade through the water while working, you need tall boots with a high boot shaft. The shafts on standard work boots extend a couple of inches beyond the ankle, and that’s great for rain boots. However, if you need to step into deeper waters, opt for the boot shafts that reach far beyond the ankle, such as mid-calf and knee-high designs.

So What Are the Best Waterproof Work Boots?

As we already mentioned, the best waterproof work boots for you are the ones that will suit all your needs. Buying from reputable work footwear brands like Timberland PRO, Thorogood, Carolina, and Carhartt, to name a few, is generally a safe bet. You only need to choose from a wide variety of waterproof boot types and show how efficient you can be in pair of high-quality boots.

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