What are Water Resistant Boots?

B. Miller

Water resistant boots are designed to prevent the wearer's feet from becoming wet when walking outside. They are different than water proof shoes, because water resistant boots will not completely repel water, and are not designed to be worn submersed in water; i.e. when swimming, or in the shower. There are different types of boots that offer water resistance for various activities, including working outside, hiking, or simply everyday wear.

Hikers often wear water resistant boots.
Hikers often wear water resistant boots.

Water resistant boots may be made out of a material that is inherently water resistant, such as plastic or rubber rain boots, or they may be coated with something to make them resist water better. Before purchasing water resistant shoes, it is important to consider the types of activities where they will be worn. For example, rain boots may be worn while walking to work, but then taken off and replaced with different shoes, so they do not need to be designed for all day comfort.

Water resistant boots are great for hiking.
Water resistant boots are great for hiking.

Conversely, work boots that are designed to be worn when working outside all day should be water resistant as well as comfortable. When purchasing hiking boots, it is especially important to consider their water resistance, but comfort and breathability are also key considerations. In general, it is a better idea to purchase boots marked "water resistant" as opposed to "water proof," because water proof boots can cause the feet to sweat unless they are only to be worn for short periods of time. Another type of water resistant boots are those designed to be worn in the snow.

Water resistant boots are available in all different sizes for all ages, and in many different fashionable designs. They may be lace-up or slip-on boots. It might be a good idea to purchase more than one pair, in case one pair gets wet, and it is necessary to wear them outside again before they are completely dry. Shopping online for water resistant boots is a good way to find discounts, and customers will often leave reviews about the quality and effectiveness of the product.

Many shoe stores sell a spray-on treatment for shoes designed to make them more resistant to water. In general, however, this treatment will make the material of the shoes resistant to staining, but will not protect the feet very well from becoming wet. This type of treatment is designed for delicate materials such as suede -- and it is typically not a good idea to wear suede shoes in the rain anyway. When in doubt, ask a shoe store employee for suggestions.

Rubber rain boots offer water resistance for various activities.
Rubber rain boots offer water resistance for various activities.

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Discussion Comments


My husband wears water resistant work boots with steel toes. He works in a distribution warehouse, and he handles cases of food all day long.

He lifts boxes of things like eggs and yogurt, and if he were to drop any, his boots wouldn’t let the liquid seep through to his feet. They would also resist staining from liquids. You can wipe stuff off the exterior with a damp rag, and no stain would be left behind.

The steel toes are to protect his toes in case he drops something heavy on them, which has happened before. If he didn’t have them, he could potentially break a toe.

I think that in his case, this type of work boot is ideal. It’s amazing how often things get dropped and spilled in that warehouse, but the good news is that his feet are not affected by it.


My sister bought some water resistant hiking boots made for women, and they are great to wear when it is just misting outside. They are a bit less chunky than the version made for men, but they are every bit as protective.

Hers are lime green. Some areas are reinforced with black rubber, and the soles are rubber.

She wore them on a hiking trip a few months ago, and it drizzled rain the whole time. She said that her feet never even got wet. Of course, she didn’t have to wade through any deep puddles, but it is pretty amazing that the boots could resist the constant presence of moisture.


@kylee07drg - If you want a really good pair of women’s water resistant boots, you will have to spend a good bit on them. Generally, the more expensive boots are the better quality ones.

Also, they aren’t always the most attractive. My first pair of water resistant boots were purple and orange striped, and I loved the look, but they didn’t stand up to water well. My next pair were an ugly olive green color, and they were a lot thicker, but they were also a lot better.

Sure, I don’t feel very stylish walking around in olive green rain boots, but I only wear them between locations. I keep an extra pair of shoes in my bag to change into once I arrive.


I bought a pair of what I thought were water resistant snow boots, but they turned out not to be. We had just had a rare snowstorm, and these boots were about the only pair left in the stores around the area. They looked really cool, because they had hot pink soles and black and white polka-dots, but they were lacking in functionality.

The first few times I wore them in the snow, they were fine. My feet didn’t get wet at all. It wasn’t until a few months later that they started to leak.

About three months after I had them, I stepped into a puddle in my yard, and I instantly felt the cold water inside my boot. Three months sure isn’t very long for a pair of water resistant boots to last, but to be fair, they were pretty cheap.

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