12 Best Waterproof Work Boots for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

best waterproof work boots for men

While you may not be able to withstand a flood in them, the best waterproof work boots will keep your feet dry and happy while you’re on the job. Having waterproof boots means you can keep working even if the weather opts to be uncooperative.

There are other things you need to look for in a work boot for it to be a high-quality pair worth purchasing. First, you’ll want to make sure they have toe protection with a cap if you need it. They should also get seam-sealed along with the waterproof cover. Insulation is another feature to seek out if you work in colder climates or outdoors in the winter. Don’t forget about those ASTM ratings!

Taking into account the most desirable boot options, I’ve created this in-depth guide to the 12 best waterproof work boots for men.

Work boots often called safety boots or safety shoes, are durable footwear that frequently has a reinforced toe for protection from impacts and crushing. They can also come with electrical hazard protection, heat resistance, non-slip, and other certifications for your safety and to meet company standards. Working in a dangerous or labor-intensive position without this valuable personal protective equipment (PPE) can have serious ramifications to your employment status and your physical safety.

If your job requires you to buy work boots, don’t try to save a few bucks and purchase regular boots that look like work boots. You’ll regret it the first time equipment falls on your toes or you get discovered and lose your position. Protect yourself and your job and get the good stuff the first time.

What Types of Work Boots Are There?

High quality work boots come in many different types, styles, and materials. The label should indicate what standards the boot got designed to meet and what protection level it offers. You can find safety shoes in clogs, dress shoes, and even sneakers. I am uncertain why you would need a dressy work shoe, but hey, whatever floats your boat (while keeping your feet dry)!

The toe caps are most commonly made from steel but can get constructed with aluminum, composite materials, or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). The brand you choose can be your preference, so long as they meet the required safety minimums.

Whatever your jam is, I’m sure there’s a boot on this list that will appeal to you.

What to Look for When Boot Shopping

Buying a pair of work boots is an investment and something you will be using for many hours a day. You certainly do not want ones that are going to hurt your feet or cause back pain.

Finding the right work boot can be difficult, especially when there are so many different styles and features available. It is crucial to have the correct shoes to keep your feet protected and provide comfort throughout the workday.

There are many different aspects to the perfect work boot, depending on the industry you work in and what your personal needs are. 

Here are some pointers to help you find the best work boots for your job, your feet, and your budget:

  • Water resistant – note that some boots are described as water resistant rather than waterproof, because truly waterproof boots (such as the rubber waders worn by fishermen) don’t let any water in or out. Your feet can become extremely wet from perspiration if your boots can’t wick moisture away from the feet. Fully waterproof boots should allow your feet to breathe a little while resisting water droplets and water seeping in from outside.
  • Slip resistant – The type of outsole your work boots have will determine how much traction you get. Traction is simply a measure of how well the boots grip the surface you’re walking on. Textured rubber soles tend to provide better traction than leather soles. If you are working on slippery surfaces such as wet concrete or metal, you might want to prioritize this element.
  • Electrically absorbent – there are different types of electrically insulated boots. Some are electrostatic resistant, meaning that they won’t pick up an electrical charge, and thereby accumulate dust or other particulates. If you are working around potentially dangerous electrical sources, you will want boots that are electrically-insulated, meaning that they ground any electrical discharge, keeping you safe. Certainly, you want to avoid work boots made from any material that conducts electricity. Boots reinforced with traditional hobnails might be unwise in such scenarios.
  • Acid Resistant – these are specialist work boots that do not corrode in acidic environments.
  • Oil resistant – this feature means your boots won’t absorb oils and become slippery, which can be extremely helpful in some environments.
  • Puncture Resistant – If your workplace has a lot of sharp objects, you’ll want puncture-resistant boots – ideally for both soles and uppers. In construction work, for instance, this is a must.
  • Heat/Cold Insulated – As well as work boots that keep your feet warm in cold environments, you can get boots that protect you from excessive heat. These would be particularly helpful in working in a foundry, or outdoors in the summer, heat for instance. Did you know that the tarmac of the roads in Death Valley gets hot enough to melt the soles of running shoes?
  • Steel Toe Capped – As we’ve seen, these boots will protect you from some (but not all) accidents involving falling objects. The only significant downside to wearing steel toe cap boots in the workplace is that they are considerably heavier than normal boots.
  • Extra Supportive – Some work boots designed for prolonged use in workplaces where there may be a lot of twisting and stretching, provide additional support for the ankles and calves and offer improved comfort. There may be a trade-off in price and other functionality if comfort is your main priority.
  • Lightweight – As with extra-supportive work boots, lightweight ones will be good for prolonged wear but may not be much better than normal shoes at protecting your feet. However, there are new technologies being developed all the time, such as carbon fiber, which provides strength without resorting to metal plates.
  • Stylish – Since there are a host of manufacturers making waterproof work boots with a lot of the same essential safety features, you may not entirely have to sacrifice style to be safe.

Learn the lingo. You need to know what things like a metatarsal guard, EH and ESD, Goodyear Welt construction, and Dri-Lex mean. That way, you can make an informed decision on which features you need or want in a pair of boots.

Comparison Table

Product

Material

Price

Wolverine Men's Floorhand Waterproof 6" Work Boot

Material: Full-grain leather uppers

Full-grain leather uppers

12 Best Waterproof Work Boots for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 4

Material: Leather Uppers

Leather Uppers

12 Best Waterproof Work Boots for Men in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews 5

Material: Leather Uppers

Leather Uppers

Georgia Boot Athens Chelsea Waterproof Work Boot

Material: Full-grain leather

Full-grain leather

ARIAT Men's Workhog 8" Waterproof Work Boot

Material: Full-grain leather

Full-grain leather

Danner Crafter Wellington 11" Boot

Material: Nubuck Oiled Top-Grain Leather

Nubuck Oiled Top-Grain Leather

The 12 Best Waterproof Work Boots for Men of 2020

1. Wolverine Men's Floorhand Waterproof 6" Work Boot

FEATURES

  • Waterproof full-grain leather uppers
  • Rubber outsole
  • 6” shaft from arch
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Soft toe
  • Light and dark brown color options

The brand is an American icon that uses top-quality materials and skilled craftsmanship. These USA made work boots have been manufactured in Michigan since 1883.

The Wolverine boots get built for the toughest work environments with comfort in mind. The brand is an industry leader with a strong commitment to innovative products and patented technology, like their Wolverine Durashocks and their Wolverine Fusion.

This Wolverine boot gets made with full-grain waterproof leather that features a fully cushioned footbed for added comfort throughout the day. You get additional traction with the rubber outsole, which is helpful on slick job surfaces.

If you do not need a toe cap, this soft-toed option from a reliable company that has a great product reputation is a good pick.

PROS

CONS

2. Timberland PRO Men's Boondock 6'' Composite Toe Work Boots

FEATURES

  • Leather uppers
  • Rubber outsole
  • 6” shaft from arch
  • Waterproof
  • Ever-guard leather reinforcement
  • Molded rubber toe protector
  • Slip, oil, and abrasion-resistant
  • Shock absorbing

Timberland’s premium footwear leads the way in engineering and design. The company values its customers and strives to use both recycled and sustainable materials in its products and packaging.

The Boondock boots from Timberland come reinforced with Ever-Guard leather for abrasion resistance. They have a rubber toe protector to minimize wear and provide extra protection. The outsoles get made with TPU and powerful lug traction that makes it oil, slip, and abrasion-resistant.

Timberland kept comfort in mind when they designed the shoe to be shock-absorbing while providing much-needed support and comfort.

PROS

CONS

3. Caterpillar Men's Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot

FEATURES

  • 100% Leather upper
  • Rubber soles
  • 5.25” Shaft from arch
  • Breathable waterproof work boots
  • Slip-resistant outsoles
  • Soft toe
  • EH Protection
  • Removable footbed
  • Seam-sealed
  • ERGO midsole

Caterpillar brings a comfortable work boot at a budget-friendly price. The Threshold boot comes with a slip-resistant outsole that exceeds ASTM standards for low-traction surfaces.

The waterproof membrane and seam-sealed technology keep your feet dry. It comes in a soft toe with a nylon shank and an ERG midsole for more shock absorption. Here is a work boot for intensive jobs.

The full-grain leather upper brings durability and abrasion resistance. Ease Technology, which is proprietary to Caterpillar, is a soft removable insole for comfort. This boot has an EH (electrical hazard) rating for open circuit protection up to 600 volts under dry conditions.

PROS

CONS

4. Irish Setter Men's 6" 83606 Aluminum Toe Work Boot

FEATURES

  • 100% Leather upper
  • Rubber soles
  • 5.25” Shaft from arch
  • Breathable waterproof work boots
  • Slip-resistant outsoles
  • Soft toe
  • EH Protection
  • Removable footbed
  • Seam-sealed
  • ERGO midsole

Red Wing Shoes first introduced its red leather boot design in 1950, which became the premier line of boots for decades. Today’s Irish Setter boots get built with purpose and strength for the modern worker.

The leather upper has a moc-toe for a more classic dress shoe style. Added durability comes from the Goodyear Welt and the aluminum toe cap.

The leather is handcrafted exclusively for the Irish Setter line by the S. B. Foot Tanning Company.

There are many cool features to this boot. It has electrical hazard protection through its sole and heel. The soles are also HRO, meaning they are heat and melting resistant. The aluminum toe features impact and compression protection from things like falling objects, moving vehicles, or sharp items.

PROS

CONS

5. Chippewa Insulated Waterproof Super Logger 9" Steel-Toe Work Boots

FEATURES

  • 100% Leather Chip-A-Tex waterproof bootie
  • 9” shaft from arch
  • 2.25” heel
  • Goodyear Welt Construction
  • ATSM EH Protection
  • Ruby Dri-Lex lining
  • Steel toe cap

The Chippewa boot company is bringing you one hefty boot with this option here. The design is waterproof to keep out moisture and wetness. The outsole has a thick rubber tread for outstanding traction and durability.

Chippewa has been making high-quality boots since the early nineteen hundreds. They are an American tradition for outdoor supplies for people who expect the best in their outerwear and shoes.

Each pair of Chippewa boots features the best components with superior craftsmanship and construction. These waterproof steel toe boots with an EH rating are built to last and have a classic style.

PROS

CONS

6. KEEN Men's San Jose 6" Work Boot

FEATURES

  • Ankle-High Boot
  • Asymmetrical Aluminum Alloy Toe Cap
  • KEEN.DRY Waterproofing
  • ASTM Oil and Slip-Resistant Siped Soles
  • Non-Marking Outsoles
  • ATSM EH Protection
  • Nylon shank for stability and support
  • Shellback heel
    KEEN Luftcell Air-Infused
  • PU Midsoles
  • CLEANSPORT NXTfor Odor Protection

These lightweight waterproof work boots are just screaming for you to put your feet in them. They feature an air-injected midsole, aluminum safety toe, and breathable waterproofing for comfortable and dry wear.

The rubber outsoles are oil and slip-resistant, have EH protection, and are non-marking. It’s like having your own rubber warriors under your feet.

PROS

CONS

7. Thorogood 1957 Series Waterproof Safety Toe Boot - 8" Moc Toe, MAXWear90

FEATURES

  • Full-Grain leather
  • Waterproof
  • Removable footbed with ultimate shock absorption
  • Fiberglass shank
  • MAXWear90 slip-resistant outsole
  • Goodyear welt construction
  • Steel toe Cap

These handsome boots have a classic style for the modern working man who wants to look good on the job. They are a reissue of mid-century boots from 1957 and get made in the USA.

The boots get made of full-grain Crazy Horse Leather with a breathable waterproof membrane to keep your feet protected from wetness. Inside, you will find a soft lining and a padded removable footbed made of memory foam that conforms to your feet to provide ultimate comfort.

Goodyear Storm Welt construction provides support and durability and easy resoling options if you purchase these boots. The MAXWEAR90 outsole offers a solid grip on slippery surfaces.

PROS

CONS

8. Skechers Men's Hartan Onkin Work Boot

FEATURES

  • 100% Leather
  • Memory foam footbed
  • Waterproof
  • Steel toe cap
  • Ankle boot
    electrical hazard rated
  • Oil-resistant rubber lugged traction
  • Seam-sealed
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • 6” shaft from arch

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably heard of Skechers. They are an award-winning brand and a leader in the footwear industry. They are known for being trendsetters and are wildly popular among men, women, and children. The company has accomplished a lot since it began in 1992.

You can handle anything your job throws at you in these steel toe work boots. You’ll be comfortable with their soft fabric lining and full-length memory foam insole. A shock-absorbing midsole and lugged traction outsole round out this boot with an electrical hazard rating.

For you snazzy dressers out there, this boot features overlays and accent stitching.

PROS

CONS

9. Carhartt Men's 8" Waterproof Composite Toe Leather Logger Boot

FEATURES

  • 100% Crazy Horse tanned leather uppers
  • Oil, chemical, and Slip-resistant rubber outsoles
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Goodyear Welt Construction
  • Carhartt Rubber WoodWorks outsole
  • PU cushioned insoles
  • PU Strobel pad
  • Molded TPU heel stabilizer
  • 2” heel
  • 7” shaft from arch
  • Padded collar and tongue
  • EH rated for protection
  • ASTM Composite toe
  • 400gm 3M Thinsulate insulation

These insulated waterproof boots feature an electrical hazard rating, composite toe cap, and a TPU heel stabilizer. The inside has cushioned soles, a padded collar and tongue, and 400 GM 3M Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet toasty. The entire boot is completely waterproof.

For mild to moderately cold temperatures, this boot will do the trick to keep your feet warm and dry. The microfiber insulation traps the air molecules between your feet and the outside, keeping your feet a warm temperature.

PROS

CONS

10. Georgia Boot Athens Chelsea Waterproof Work Boot

FEATURES

  • Full-grain leather upper with double elastic gores
  • Oil and slip-resistant rubber outsoles
  • EVA midsoles
  • Moc toe
  • TPU Shank
  • Cement and stitchout combined construction
  • Georgia waterproof system
  • Moisture-wicking mesh lining
  • Anchor disk heel support by Georgia
  • ASTM Electrical hazard standard
  • 1.5” heel

If you are looking for a boot that is quick and easy to put on and take off, this Georgia boot is the perfect option for you with its double elastic gores and pull loops.

The uppers are made of full-grain leather with Georgia waterproof to keep your feet dry and happy. The mesh lining wicks moisture and sweat away as you work.

It comes equipped with a thick AMP LT insole with memory foam to conform to your foot with every step. The rubber outsole is oil and slip-resistant with an ASTM electrical hazard rating.

PROS

CONS

11. ARIAT Men's Workhog 8" Waterproof Work Boot

FEATURES

  • 8” shaft from arch
  • Full-grain waterproof leather
  • Forked design ATS Max Composite Shank
  • EVA midsoles
  • Slip, abrasion, and oil-resistant duratread outsoles for enhanced traction and energy return

Are you a workaholic? The WorkHog 8 will help you get the job done in any weather with its Waterproof Pro system. These moderately-priced boots feature incredible stability and reduce foot fatigue while promoting correct body alignment.

The lightweight EVA midsole combined with the slip, abrasion, and oil-resistant Duratread outsoles provides durability and comfort on those long workdays.

PROS

CONS

12. Danner Crafter Wellington 11" Boot

FEATURES

  • 11” shaft from arch
  • Danner Dry 100% waterproof
  • Nubuck oiled top-grain leather
  • Vibram rubber sole
    dual-density footbed
  • ASTM Non-metallic toe cap
  • ASTM Electrical hazard protection

The velvet-like leather on these uppers requires no break-in time and offers plenty of wiggle room in the toe area. They are triple-stitched with a Danner Dry liner for waterproofing. The footbed is extra plush, which provides loads of comfort during a hard day at work.

Here is a very durable boot that is comfortable. It features an EH rating to protect from electrical shock and has a non-metallic toe cap. The outsoles get made of Vibram (no, these boots do not get made in Wakanda. That’s Vibranium).

PROS

CONS

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Steel Toe Boots Comfortable?

Steel toe boots didn’t get created for comfort but protection from falling objects and impacts. With that said, there are ways to make a boot with a toe cap more comfortable. Having a well-padded insole, the right socks, and taking the time to break them in can considerably up the comfort factor when wearing boots with a toe cap.

What Is an ASTM rating?

ASTM is a certification indicating that the boots meet a certain safety standard for a specific hazard. You can get an ASTM rating for the toe cap, electrical hazards, slip-resistance, and so forth. OSHA often requires ASTM certified boots as do many employers to meet the industry requirements for designated fields.

What Is the Difference Between Waterproof and Water-Resistant?

If something is water-resistant, that means it can resist water penetrating on some level but cannot keep it out entirely. Waterproof means that it is impervious to water, meaning water cannot get into it.

What Are the Best Brands for Large and Wide Feet?

Chippewa has the greatest range of wide and extra-wide work boots while Caterpillar, Skechers, and Catharrt extend their range to size 15.

Final Thoughts!

Boots come in a variety of styles from ankle to mid-calf and can protect you from slips, electrical shocks, as well as heat.

Finding the right work boot for your job requirements is very important for a safe and comfortable workday.

Check with your employer about what features your work boot needs to have. If it is a new job, be sure to find out all of the tasks you will be required to perform so that you may purchase the boots that have additional features you may want to perform those tasks optimally.


Marilyn

Marilyn

Marilyn Chase writes fashion articles for luxury power houses that want to see their brands surge. Her articles have appeared in various North American and Western European websites. She contributes articles about design, craftsmanship and manufacturing techniques in fashion. Her articles focus on trends and research supported by first hand interviews and pictures. She is qualified by extensive experience and a degree in fashion from New York.

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