Whether you are looking for a stylish casual everyday walking boot, or one for those long treks and hikes in all weathers, a pair of waterproof boots is one of the best footwear options for travel.
Providing comfort and support, the best waterproof boots for men are a welcome addition to any man’s wardrobe that will keep your feet dry all year round.
With so much choice available here’s a quick guide to choosing the right waterproof boot for you.
Tips to choosing the best waterproof boots
- Consider how often and where you are walking ( flat surfaces, uneven or steep slopes, hill walking and hiking ). This will have a bearing on what type of waterproof boot you need.
- Type of material your boot is made from ( leather, fabric mesh, fabric ).
- The weight of your walking boot ( do you need a lightweight walking boot or heavier sturdy boot for long hikes ).
- Do you need the waterproof walking boot to be breathable as well.
- What type of cut do you need for your walking boot ( mid rise or high rise ).
- The anatomy of your walking boot ( outsole – thick or thinner grooves, insole – thickness of it, is it removable, mid sole – how cushioned or supportive is it, tongue – how well cushioned it is, toe box – how wide or protective it is ).
Best Waterproof Boots for Men 2023
1) Timberland Men’s 6 Inch Premium Waterproof Boots
( Best casual waterproof boot )
Stay comfortable and stylish all tear round with this iconic Timberland 6” boot that remains a classic. Made from a high quality nubuck leather with a thick rubber lug outsole, these casual walking boots give you good grip and a guaranteed waterproof performance every time.
Note: Nubuck has a feel similar to suede, but it’s more durable since it comes from the top grain of the hide. It has a great look and feel to it.
Because nubuck is made from top-grain leather, it is tougher compared to suede. It is also more durable and long-lasting than bicast leather or bonded leather, which do not use the top-grain portion of the hide.
- Stylish and comfortable boot to wear.
- Available in 4 different striking colours.
- They have padded leather collars that give you a comfortable supportive fit around the ankle.
- Removable anti-fatigue foot beds provides all-day comfort and support for you.
- The nubuck leather has a great look and feel to it, and is very durable.
- Best to order a half size down as they tend to be quite a big fit.
2) Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Boots
( Best Waterproof Budget Hiking Boot )
These waterproof boots are available on Amazon (see price)
Perfect for those wet days out, the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof hiking boot features a Techlite lightweight mid sole for long-lasting comfort with superior cushioning. These waterproof boots have a stylish leather and suede look that will last and last.
- The rubberised leather upper offers great waterproof protection.
- Ankle area and tongue is well padded, to give that extra needed support.
- The mesh lined inside helps the foot to breathe and stops you getting sweaty.
- Good supportive rubber grip out soles to keep you steady on your feet in all terrains.
- Great value for money, and comparable to some more expensive top brands available.
- One of the best budget waterproof hiking boots for men.
- They are a little narrow fitting across the toes.
3) Sorel Caribou Men’s Waterproof Winter Boots
(Best cold weather waterproof boot)
These waterproof walking boots are available on Amazon (see price)
Style meets outdoor performance within the Men’s Sorel Caribou, a true thoroughbred which delivers dependable grip and snow protection within a sleek upper. This rugged nubuck leather upper delivers superior wet weather protection and surrounds a removable ThermoPlus™ felt inner boot which offers wrap-around comfort and warmth.
- A hard wearing boot that is excellent for cold weather conditions.
- Lovely snug and warm fitting boot.
- The boot lining is easy enough to take out, which makes them easy to air out and dry. Also, it does not slip around when you’re wearing the boot.
- Has a lovely soft faux fur lining around the tops of the boots which feels comfortable.
- Super grip even on slippery surfaces on an incline.
- The boots are a little on the heavy side when you first wear them.
4) Berghaus Men’s Hillmaster II Gore-Tex High Rise Hiking Walking Boots
(Best heavy-duty high rise waterproof hiking boot)
The Bergaus Men’s Hillmaster II is the ultimate leather hiking boot, with GORE-TEX® waterproof protection and full-grain leather uppers. This super comfortable walking boot has a Vibram® Hillmaster® outsole which keeps you rooted firmly to the path wherever it might take you.
- Your feet will stay dry and comfortable with the renowned GORE-TEX lining which prevents water entering your boots, but allows any moisture escaping stopping your feet from being clammy and sweaty.
- Comfortable fitting boot with no tight points that you sometimes get.
- The memory foam on the ankle and the inside of the tongue moulds perfectly around your foot.
- The vibram outsole gives you great traction and grip walking on all terrains.
- A rugged tough hard-wearing boot that will last and last.
- Feel a little heavy when you first wear them, but it depends on what you are used to.
5) SALOMON Men’s Quest 4d 3 GTX High Rise Hiking Boots
( Best Overall high rise waterproof hiking boot )
If you want to get the highest performing hiking boot to handle whatever terrain you put in its path, this is the boot for you. The Salomon Men’s Quest 4d 3 GTX high rise hiking boot combines comfort, excellent stability, traction, and water resistance making it an excellent choice in all weathers.
- Has a really supportive heel cup around your ankle keeping your foot stable, especially over uneven or steep slopes.
- The nylon mesh panels make this GORE-TEX lined boot really breathable, so your feet will never feel clammy and warm.
- Perforations on the Ortholite insert also keep your feet at a stable temperature, as it allows air to circulate through the toe box and under your foot.
- Comfortable ankle collar that doesn’t rub against your lower shin.
- This is a really durable, sturdy walking boot that will last and last.
- It has excellent traction and support even walking over wet loose shale and rocks.
- Some people may prefer a lighter fitting high rise version.
6) Berghaus Supalite Il Gtx Men’s High Rise Hiking Boots
( Best lightweight high rise waterproof walking boot )
The Berghaus Supalite II GTX is the new version of Brasher’s classic, well-loved ultra-lightweight walking boot. With its super soft Pittard’s leather and memory foam cushioning, this high rise walking boot will last and last.
- The memory foam padding around the collar and tongue of the boot feels comfortable against your skin.
- Has a full grain leather upper that is resistant to any abrasions or marks on it.
- The Vibram rubber outsole provide excellent traction and grip under foot, which gives you the confidence to tackle those hardest climbs.
- Feels lovely and cushioned when walking.
- A sturdy hard wearing boot but lovely and lightweight.
- The GORETEX lining gives you piece of mind that your feet will always stay dry but not get sweaty and clammy.
- It’s a shame there isn’t more choice of colours as it is only available in the chocolate brown.
7) Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Chukka Boots
(Best waterproof chukka boots)
The Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Chukka Boot is a no-frills, all-leather walking boot. This stylish waterproof boot is great for those who want a versatile boot for occasional treks and hikes.
- Although made as walking boots, these waterproof chukka boots are fashionable enough to be worn at work or going out.
- Great support around the ankle and cushion’s your heel really well.
- Seam sealed and with waterproof treated leather these boots will keep you dry.
- Has two pairs of horizontal flex grooves on the boot’s outsole which naturally bends to the anatomy of your foot when walking, giving you great stability and support.
- The tongue and collar of the boot are well padded.
- Has a breathable removable footbed that allows air to circulate and stops your feet from getting sweaty.
- Quite a narrow fit so best to buy a half size bigger.
8) Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Waterproof Climbing Boots
( Best lightweight mid rise waterproof hiking boot )
The Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Waterproof Climbing Boots have an impressive mix of comfort, lightness and durability. These Goretex lined boots ensure your feet remain dry whilst allowing good breathability in all weathers.
- The boots have excellent traction whether on wet mud and rocks to steep loose terrain.
- Hard wearing and durable so they will last and last.
- Wide gap at the tongue makes them really easy to put on and off.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
- The sizes run a little on the small side so best to order the next size up.
Do my boots need to be breathable as well as waterproof ?
You have probably seen the terms water-resistant, water-repellent and waterproof used a lot when buying mens boots, so first let’s take a look at what makes your walking boots waterproof.
How do they make your boots waterproof ?
There are two main parts to your boot, the outer layer and membrane.
- Outer layer The outer layer of your walking shoe and boot, although treated with a durable water repellent that won’t allow it to soak up too much water, is not actually waterproof. It can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common would be leather/suede or fabric, usually mesh.
- Membrane On the inside of your walking boot is a thin membrane that is so small that it allows sweat vapour from your feet to pass out, but doesn’t let any water molecules pass through it. This keeps your socks, and more importantly your feet dry.Note – for every square inch of membrane there are approximately 9 billion holes.
Don’t be fooled by the term ” water resistant ”. Yes, water resistant is one that is naturally able to resist water penetration to a degree, but it will not protect your feet from getting wet.
It might offer adequate protection to a small rain shower, but a proper waterproof men’s boot is one that can be submerged in water without being damaged.
All the boots highlighted are waterproof, whether casual, dressed up or hiking boots.
How do they make your boots breathable ?
When buying walking boots the term ‘breathable’ gets discussed a lot. Well, the breathability of your footwear refers to the boot’s ability to let water vapour from your sweat escape, while preventing water from external elements getting inside your boot.
Ideally, if you are wearing your walking boots a lot, perhaps at work, or using for long walks and hiking, then you want a boot that is breathable as well as waterproof.
When purchase a walking boot that has GORE-TEX waterproof protection then you are guaranteed that they are also going to be breathable.
Consider this – if you can imagine walking around in a pair of rubber wellington boots in and out of water, then your feet will stay dry. However, rubber is extremely waterproof but is not breathable. Very quickly your feet would become hot and sweaty, as the boot doesn’t allow the sweat to wick away from your feet.
Waterproof and breathable boots for men allow you to have a more comfortable and fun experience outdoors.
How to Clean and Care for your Waterproof Boots
1) Cleaning your walking boots
If you want to get the best out of your walking boots and make them last, you need to clean them regularly.
Look after your boots and they will last for many years to come.
Dirt in the grooves of the sole of your boot could mean you have less grip so you could lose your footing. Also, an accumulation of mud and dirt can affect the breathability and waterproofing of your walking shoes and boots.
Handy Tips for Cleaning
- Always make sure you clean your shoes each time you use them, preferably the same day, but if not then the next day (Don’t leave them for weeks before finally cleaning them).
- Use a medium stiff brush and some warm water to get as much of the mud and dirt off them.( A toothbrush is good to use as you can get into small spaces and cracks with it.)
- Remove the laces before cleaning them.(Give them a clean as well ! )
- Make sure you scrape mud and debris from the sole of your walking shoe, as left behind it will affect the grip and support of them.
2) Drying your walking boots
Now you’ve got them clean you need to dry your walking shoes and boots. Don’t be tempted to dry them quickly like leaving next to a fire or on a radiator, as this will weaken the adhesive of the shoe. If you have leather waterproof boots it will cause them to warp and the leather to crack and split.
Handy Tips for Drying
- Always dry your walking boots at normal temperature, and in a place with low humidity.
- Take any insoles out and let them dry separately.
- Stuff the boots with newspaper to absorb moisture and leave them to dry naturally, which will also keep the shape of your shoe or boot.
- It is best to try to dry them out slowly. Don’t be tempted to force dry them with heat, such as a hair dryer.
3) Conditioning and waterproofing your walking boots
It’s always a good idea to clean really well your walking boots before conditioning or waterproofing them.
If you have leather walking boots, particularly new boots, it is best to use a conditioner on them. This will ensure that they are soft and prevent them from cracking.
If you have suede shoes or boots then they won’t need conditioning.
Handy Tips for Reproofing Waterproof Leather & Fabric Boots
- If the walking shoes or boots you use have a Gore-Tex membrane, such as the Merrell Women’s Siren Sport GTX Low Rise Walking Shoes, or the Meindl Respond Lady GTX Women’s Walking Shoes highlighted, then just simply clean the fabric as no waterproofing treatment is required.
- Normally, waterproofing treatments are designed for either full-grain leather or “rough” leathers like suede or nubuck.
Tips to keep your feet comfortable
1) Wear good quality socks
A good pair of socks will help prevent blisters, stop odours, and keep your feet comfortable.
Socks, including boot socks, are made in a wide range of materials. Cotton, wool, Lycra and many permutations and blends in between.
2) Support & Insoles
Make sure your boots have the proper support for your feet. A quality pair of insoles can make boots much more comfortable, and lessen the risk of them rubbing your feet and developing blisters.
3) Wear your boots in
Remember to give yourself time to wear your new boots in. Wear around the house for 1-2 weeks to break in before you go for a longer walk outside.
Tips to buying the right socks for men’s waterproof boots
A wide variety of fabrics goes into making your socks and each one will react differently to your skin, and offer different properties when it comes to the washing, maintenance and how hard wearing the fabric is. Here’s a quick guide to the different materials available.
Cotton is a natural fibre that is comfortable and soft to the touch. Cotton socks offer good breathability for your feet and rarely produces any allergic reactions, so it is particularly good for those with sensitive skin. It also tends to hold colour relatively well.
Cotton can be a lot more expensive than other materials, especially if you are buying something that is 100% cotton. Many socks have a mix of cotton with other fabrics, so this tends to make them cheaper. However, as there is less cotton this reduces the benefits of them.
Polyester is a man-made petroleum-based synthetic fibre, and is less soft than cotton but more absorbent. One of the main benefits of polyester is it’s a very strong and durable material. If it’s well cared for well it will last longer than cotton.
Polyester is non-absorbent and dries quickly, as well as holding its colour longer and better than cotton.
Wool is a soft, durable and warm material, and in the case of socks definitely suited for the cold winter weather. Wool is able to wick away large amounts of moisture, but very good at keeping their insulating properties. It has good elasticity, but can easily lose its strength and shrink when it gets wet.
Wool is quite an expensive fabric to buy and difficult to keep clean. In addition, it can be an itchy fabric to wear in some people, and is prone to shrinking if not washed and cared for properly (hand wash in cool water is best).
Nylon is a very strong, hard wearing synthetic fibre material. It is often blended together with other material to improve durability and give added stretch.
Socks made of nylon can be highly elastic and bulky, or silky and thin. Nylon is quite an inexpensive material to manufacture compared with cotton or wool.
- Elastane / Spandex / Lycra
All three materials are essentially the same style of a synthetic fiber made from polyurethane. Generally they are mixed with other materials and provide good comfort and elasticity and support to your feet.
Breathability in your choice of sock is key for preventing the build up of sweat and unwanted odours. Try to avoid polyester and nylon, as unless they are combined with other fabrics, are not very breathable.
One of the best choice of materials for breathability in socks is wool, particularly Merino wool.
Merino wool is a great fabric as it insulates your feet so they stay warm even when it’s cold, unlike cotton that traps heat in your feet. It’s able to wick sweat that builds up away from your feet to be reabsorbed back into the air.
Finer than human hair, Merino wool can be softer than cashmere and is gentle on even the most sensitive skin.
It’s also great as it dries quickly and is naturally anti-bacterial so reduces the build up of nasty odours.
The right socks, with the right padding, wicking, elasticity and insulation can make a big difference to the feel of your waterproof walking boots.
Buying Guide to choosing the best waterproof walking boots for men
Choosing the right pair of waterproof walking boots needs lots of careful consideration.
Where and how often you wear your walking boots will have a big impact on the type and style of boot that will need.
Where are you going to use your walking boots ?
If you intend using your walking boots on low level routes, or on flat or less challenging terrain, then you are probably better picking a lightweight boot which offers good flexibility.
This allows your foot to move naturally in the boot and be more comfortable for you.
You are better ordering a sturdier, more solid boot with good cushioning and ankle support if you intend going on longer treks or hiking, where the terrain is uneven and steep.
Choose a waterproof boot with a good thick gripped sole to give you good stability and support when walking.
Do you want a fabric or leather boot ?
In the past when you wanted a waterproof walking boot you would opt for leather as there just wasn’t the choice available.
However, now there are so many options of both leather and fabric boots it ultimately depends on your preference.
- Fabric cloth is lighter than leather, so generally fabric boots will be lighter to wear then leather ones. So, if the lightness of the boot is important to you then opt for a fabric one.
- Generally, leather boots tend to be more durable over time than a fabric one, but the difference is that they will be heavier to wear.
What about the anatomy of your boot ?
(outsole, insole, padding, heel, laces, cuff)
Nowadays lots of walking boots no longer have rubber soles but are made from Polyurethane (PU) , a new kind of organic polymer material. This lighter material reduces the weight of the walking boot and provides good cushioning.
A PU Sole is perfect for great foot comfort as it has a higher elasticity, softer texture and has a lower density than other soles.
It has great shock absorption and provides great wear and tear resistance for your boots.
Most of the waterproof walking boots will have an insole or footbed which provides additional cushioning for your feet.
The insole is usually removable so it can be replaced with your own specialised one, which is especially helpful if you suffer with fallen arches, plantar fasciitis, bunions, or other types of foot problems.
All waterproof walking boots you buy will have some padding to them, usually around the heel and ankle. However, it depends on what style of walking boot you need as some fit below the ankle, whilst high rise hiking boots give you a secure fit around the ankle and above.
You need to consider how much support you are going to need. Also, the tongue of the boot should also be padded enough to prevent pressure to your foot when your laces are tied.
Check the style of the boot’s laces as this can vary between different styles of walking shoes. Most, but not all will have robust hooks, eyelets and locking cleats for the laces.
These provide a secure and customisable fit your boot giving you better comfort and stability.
How to Reproof Waterproof Leather and Fabric Walking boots for Men
Now you have got your pair of waterproof boots you will want to make sure that the boots remain dry.
Here is a guide to show you how to reproof your waterproof fabric, suede, leather and nubuck leather to ensure your feet continue staying dry.
Reproofing Fabric Boots
To help restore the water repellency of fabric boots you will need a Spray on Proofer. Fabric walking boots tend to be more difficult to keep clean than leather ones as dirt particles can accumulate in the fabric.
How to reproof fabric boots
1) Firstly you will need to clean the boots. ( see earlier section: ” How to clean and care for your waterproof boots’ – handy tips ).
2) Ideally you will want to re-proof whilst your fabric boots are dry. You can choose to spray on wet boots if you want, but it is not always easy to spot where you have applied the proofer.
3) Leave the boots to air dry completely before using.
Reproofing Nubuck Leather and Suede Boots
How to reproof Nubuck Leather and Suede Boots
1) Use a damp cloth or soft brush to remove any loose dirt from your boots.
2) Using your Nubuck Leather and Suede leather boots reproofer spray from around 2”’ ( 5cm ) away making sure that you cover the entire boot with an even coating.
3) Leave your walking boots to completely air dry naturally. Don’t be tempted to rush this by putting on a heat source such as a radiator, which will damage your boots.
4) To restore your boots to their original finish use a soft footwear brush.
Conclusion – Best Waterproof Boots for Men 2023
Whether you are looking for a stylish casual everyday walking boot, or one for those long treks and hikes in all weathers, a
pair of waterproof boots is one of the best footwear options for travel.
Providing comfort and support, waterproof boots for men are a welcome addition to any man’s wardrobe that will keep your feet dry all year round.
Hopefully you have found the right waterproof walking boots for you, but if you need any further help or advice please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help.