On rainy, wet days, protective boots are a necessity. There are varying levels of style, price and lower-leg coverage, but one thing remains constant among these sturdy stompers: They’ll get you from A to B safe and dry.
All of them come with grippy, hearty outsoles that are designed to be totally waterproof. Uppers and liners vary by style, so consider your climate (and whether they need to be insulated or not) and your usage. Then, slip 'em on and go out into the world without fretting the wet.
What to Look for in Rain Boots
The best rain boots come with a single upper mounted to a hearty, traction-focused outsole. In order for your feet to stay dry, the rain needs to be repelled or sealed off. Slip-on boots with single-piece uppers have less access points. Those with laces leave room for droplets to access through the spaces between the tongue and the liner, making wet feet a little more likely. But, don't stress it if that's the look you like. You'll find that lace-up rain boots are less common, and Chelsea versions prove most abundant. No one wants to untie wet laces either, especially it's cold out.
Rain-specific tread designs will prevent slips and then some. Like tires, no two are the same and it's worth inspecting before you order.
If it's wet outside you'll want boots with better traction than those you'd wear to a wedding, for example. Steer clear of flat-bottomed ones, or ones with crepe or wedge soles. Those will only work if they've been edged or grooved; Red Wing's Gore-Tex Moc Boots, for example, come with a "Traction Tred" outsole (horizontal squiggles that stick to slick surfaces). Speaking of materials, alterations like adding a Gore-Tex membrane can waterproof even leather boots. Otherwise, it's best to stick to rubber. It's impenetrable, meaning you can wipe rubber boots dry when you take them off.
The Best Rain Boots for Men
- Best Overall Rain Boots: Baxter Wood White Sole Hevea Chelsea Boots
- Best Upgrade Rain Boots: Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc Gore-Tex
- Best Affordable Rain Boots: Bogs Sauvie Waterproof Chelsea Boot
- L.L. Bean Bean Boots, 8" Gore-Tex/Thinsulate
- SwimsCharlie Rain Boot
- All-Weather Chore Boot
- Seavees Bolinas Boot
- UGG Gatson Chelsea
- Hunter Original Waterproof Chelsea Rain Boot
- Sorel Caribou Storm Waterproof Nubuck Combat Boots
- XTRATUF 6-inch Legacy Chelsea Boot
- Made from natural-tree derived rubber
- One-piece upper
- Solid traction
- Comfortable for wide feet
- Limited colors
- A contrasting text logo on the outsole
- Shorter than most Chelsea boots
Made from natural tree-derived rubber, these boots are a great alternative to other waterproof styles made from petroleum-derived materials. They’re comfortable and have good traction in the rain, plus they’re available with three different contrast soles.
- A classic style, upgraded
- Breathable Gore-Tex bootie
- Special tread designed specifically for wet weather
- Doesn't look like a rain boot
- Made in the USA
- Has laces
- Harder to dry
- Will look wet
Red Wing recently upgraded its classic Moc Toe boot by adding a breathable GORE-TEX bootie. The addition makes the iconic style waterproof. Be warned, and repeat after me: Laces and tongues leave room for rain. This is the best standard boot turned rain-ready by far, but it won't completely seal off your feet from wetness if you stand in a stream, or get submerged in a surprisingly deep puddle. Are these worth it? Yes, but for a day's work, not wading through wetlands.
- Moisture-wicking liner
- Under $100
- Made from natural rubber
- Anti-odor interior
- Complex, effective tread
- A little low
- Comes in only one color
These sub-$100 boots feature a comfortable EVA footbed and a slip-resistant sole. Unlike other options, these have a lining that evaporates sweat and deters odors as well. Plus, this Oregon-based brand cares about its footprint: The boots use natural rubbers and carbon emissions while making them are kept to a minimum.
- Gore-Tex membrane liner
- Thinsulate ultra-thin insulation
- Classic look
- Made in Maine
- Uppers lack structure
- Sizing depends on your socks
Tried, true, still made in Maine and still waterproof. These classic waterproof boots feature a rubber bottom with a steel shark for support and a weather-resistant — Gore-Tex membrane equipped — leather upper. If you plan on wearing boot socks with these, which you should, order a full size up. Thin socks? Order your normal size.
- Come in three colors
- One-piece upper with pull tabs
- Easy-to-clean vulcanized rubber
- Rain-specific tread
- Sizing inconsistencies
- Hollow heel that deteriorates fast with constant wear
- Elastic loosens easily
- Not much arch support
Available in three colorways — including this cool Taupe Biscuit option — this vulcanized rubber boot by Swims comes with a single-piece upper seam-sealed to a rain-specific outsole. Flip them over and you'll find a custom pattern designed to prevent slips. An orange heel tab and elasticated gussets make these easy to remove, and cleaning them calls for silicone spray and a towel.
- Comfortable through the arch
- Vibram-designed, rain-specific outsole
- No laces
- EVA midsole inside
- Shorter like a sneaker
- Leather needs cared for differently
I love All-Weather's bigger duck boot, and the Chore Boot proves just as impressive. Plus, this shorter style comes without laces, meaning there are significantly less places water could sneak in. The uppers are seal seamed and made from waterproof full-grain leather, while the outsole is Vibram-designed and very comfortable. Plus, there's cushioning through the insole and incredible, especially for the style, arch support. Think of this one like a rain... sneaker?
- Soft knit liner that prevents blisters and chafing
- Two pull tabs for easy on-off
- Made from natural rubber
- Fairly affordable
- Only comes in one color
The brand's first-ever boot, the Bolinas is an ideal, easy-to-wear rain boot. It's tonal and seam-sealed, so the boot looks like it's one big piece of rubber. The heel has improved traction for slip prevention with each step. Surely, since this is a first attempt, forthcoming versions will offer improvements even I haven't come up with yet, so maybe it's best to stick it out for those. It's also an easy addition as is, because it's only $100 bucks.
- Wool liner that wicks moisture and prevents odors
- Two pull tabs for taking them off
- Lackluster traction
- A little narrow
- Thin outsole
Who could argue against a boot that’s comfy, cozy and waterproof? These Ugg rain boots have two pull tabs for taking them off, feature a rugged Vibram outsole and are lined with a moisture-wicking wool-based blend that wears like shearling.
- Comes in several colors
- Easy to take on and off
- Strong elastic gussets
- Impressive tread
- Not the brand's pillar product
- Foot slides around inside if you wear thin socks
When you think of rain boots, you think of Hunter, albeit their ultra-tall muck boot. This shorter version is easier to slip into than its taller counterparts but just as waterproof, assuming you don’t fall into a foot of water.
- Breaks from the usual form
- Combines combat and rain boot
- Shearling liner for warmth
- A tall, stylish boot
- Lace-front so water could sneak in
- Shearling liner could be ruined by getting wet
- So-so traction
- Nubuck leather needs cared for
Sorel combines the best of combat and rain boots with its Caribou Storm boots. They're waterproof, with a high, lace-up front and a duck boot-style heel and toe. These are more stylish than your standard Chelsea, but at a cost; they're $100 dollars more than the cheapest option on this list and the nubuck leather upper will need cared for over time.
- Acid and chemical resistant
- Single-piece, seamless bottom
- Cushioned insoles
- Trusted by Alaskan fishermen
- Not the most stylish option
- Beware of sizing inconsistencies
Xtratuf's boots are designed for messy, wet jobs. They have best-in-class tread and triple-dipped, single-piece seamless bottoms as to prevent puncture and water penetration. You sacrifice a little style in favor of true waterproofing, but these are worth it if you're only worried about staying dry; you surely will in these.