Which waterproof work boot is best?
When choosing the most suitable type of work boots for your particular job, you should consider your needs in terms of comfort, durability and safety. For many trades, the first requirement is adequate protection against the elements. Therefore, many work boots are fully waterproof, which is a standard feature.
The Wolverine Overpass Insulated Work Boot is a hardwearing option with thick insulation and anti-slip rubber soles. They are made from a combination of leather and textiles with a breathable, waterproof mesh and incorporate a lightweight carbon toe-cap. Alternatively, there are many other boots to choose from with different levels of protection for different job types.
What to know before you buy waterproof work boots
Work boots are often designed with a specific trade or job in mind. They are an essential part of safety equipment commonly worn by builders, electricians, carpenters and engineers. They should be comfortable enough to wear day after day and over long periods of time and should provide the necessary protection for the job at hand.
For example, electricians’ work boots have non-conductive rubber soles to protect against electric shocks, whereas those operating heavy machinery will often require boots with protective toe-caps and puncture-resistant materials.
The amount of protection offered by a work boot differs from brand to brand. This will usually also differ depending on the job type you need them for. Boots with thick insulation, heavy soles and steel toe caps are ideal for working outdoors, but these may be too heavy and cumbersome for somebody working in a factory or in a customers’ home. Conversely, lightweight footwear may not provide the needed safety or protection construction workers working with heavy-duty materials may be looking for.
The level of waterproofing often comes down to the material and construction of the boot. Leather is a popular choice for its durability, but it can often dry out and crack after repeatedly getting wet, especially if the leather isn’t consistently treated. Synthetic materials are lightweight and breathable, but they are generally less hardwearing.
Full-length rubber boots or rain boots offer the most waterproofing but are often bulky and uncomfortable. The best work boots will combine different materials and composites for different parts of the boot to give protection and flexibility where it is needed the most.
What to look for in a quality waterproof work boot
Traditionally, work boots are ankle height, which offers good support without being too restrictive. If you only require light protection then a regular shoe with a firm sole may be sufficient. Calf or knee-length boots are also popular choices depending on the amount of protection needed.
Whatever style of boot you choose, it is vital that it fits correctly, as a boot that is too tight or too loose may rub or cause pain. For versatility, a boot with enough room to wear an extra pair of socks will allow you to layer up on cold winter days.
The sole construction is key to protection and waterproofing. Some soles are made from slip-resistant materials to provide traction on wet or oily surfaces, while others are oil and chemical-resistant. How the sole is fixed to the upper is also important. Glued soles may come apart quite quickly, so look for a boot with either hand-stitched uppers or a Goodyear welt, which adds protection and can easily be repaired.
How much you can expect to spend on waterproof work boots
This depends on the brand and the material of the boot. Lightweight work boots with minimal protection can be found for under $50, whereas a high-end boot made with enhanced protection can range from $100-$200.
Waterproof work boot FAQ
Can leather work boots be waterproofed?
A. Leather is a permeable material and therefore can never be 100% waterproof. However, there are several products that can be used to treat leather and prolong its lifespan. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for re-application, as most treatments need to be repeated frequently.
How long can you expect a pair of work boots to last?
A. Depending on the intensity of your work and the environment you work in, you can expect a pair of work boots to last six to 12 months. If your boots have visible damage to the outsole or upper, replace them to be confident of their continued protection.
What’s the best waterproof work boot to buy?
Top waterproof work boot
What you need to know: This hard-wearing work boot is well insulated for warmth and has a thick rubber sole.
What you’ll love: It features a lightweight carbon composite toe cap and is constructed from leather and textile with a waterproof, breathable membrane.
What you should consider: Customers have reported that sizing runs a little small.
Top waterproof work boot for the money
What you need to know: This budget-friendly work shoe is lightweight and breathable and is available in men’s and women’s sizes.
What you’ll love: It has a steel toe cap and a carbon-kevlar midsole to prevent puncture damage from sharp objects.
What you should consider: The fabric uppers may not provide enough protection for heavy-duty construction work.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This high-top work boot is made from full-grain, oiled leather with a Goodyear welt construction.
What you’ll love: It has an oil-resistant rubber sole and a removable orthotic PU insole. The lace eyelets are durably made with metal grommets.
What you should consider: These boots don’t contain any toe protection.
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Chris Gillespie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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