Published Apr. 23, 2021

Puddles don’t care if you came prepared. Accordingly, the world of waterproof women’s boots far transcends the traditional rain boot, so you can dress for your day—whether that entails grabbing sushi or summiting a nearby peak—without having to worry about your feet getting wet. 

The best women’s waterproof boots are not just about materials like rubber and Gore-Tex, but how those materials are put together. That is, the most impermeable fabric or rubber in the world means nothing if conjunction points like seams, lacing, and sole attachments aren’t designed to also keep water away. Further, waterproof women’s boots need to be built to keep you upright when things get dicey on wet terrain, and that will mean different features for slick pavement or muddy trails.

Don’t worry, though: We did the research, looking for functional, stylish waterproof women’s boots for a bevy of activities. All you’ve gotta do is scroll.

Features to Consider When Shopping for the Best Women’s Waterproof Boots

Whether you’re commuting to work or climbing mountains, the best women’s waterproof boots will keep your feet warm and your face dry of tears. Do you need a full rubber rain boot to waltz through water unbothered? Or a Gore-Tex lined hiking boot that combines breathability with flexibility? Here’s how to choose the best women’s waterproof boots for hiking, hitting the town, strolling in the snow and everything in between.

In the Market for Cute Boots for Women That are Also, Conveniently, Waterproof?

Unless you want to spend the entire season wearing galoshes or obsessively refreshing your weather app, you’re gonna want to find some women’s boots that can stay stylish, and not get soggy, in the rain. Some boots for women are duck boots—and we love a good pair of duck boots!—but they’re not for all occasions nor personal style preferences, and they are still identifiably a weather-facing boot, first. 

When it comes to form meeting function for all-weather boots, few brands hold a candle to Sorel, which has managed to make killer traction and waterproofing central to its style without it looking like those features were running the show, whether it’s wedges or lace-ups or space-age puffers, so you’re cutest boots are also you’re most reliable in the rain.

Best Women’s Waterproof Boots Overall: Sorel Women’s Emelie Chelsea Boot

Walk this Way

With all that good style, you forget they’re workhorses of waterproof walking boots, too Sorel

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They slip on easily, they stay on well, they banish water, they keep you steady on wet ground—and they look damn good while doing it all. Made from full-grain, waterproof leather with sealed seams, an insulated sole, multiple manners of tread, and a block heel, these boots are only-shoes-you-need-to-pack kind of boots, and require little-to-no break-in period. If you’re looking to add a few inches, we’re forever fans of Sorel’s insanely comfortable, deeply tractioned and functional Joan of Arctic Waterproof Wedges.

Looking Less Rain Boot, More Rain Bootie?

If walking on wet ground is more a given than an outlier going about your day, It may be time for rubber to (literally) hit the road with your boots. But with the daily need for rain boots for women also comes the exhaustion of having to tug them on and off and walk with that weight. So might we suggest a fully waterproof rain bootie, instead? Unless you’re legitimately puddle-hopping or in the middle of a downpour, you’re going to get the rain protection you need from women’s waterproof ankle boots, not just knee-highs.

Best Women’s Waterproof Ankle Boots: Sperry Women’s Saltwater Rubber Flooded Rain Boot

Aye, Captain

All rubber, all waterproof, all the time. Sperry

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Add boot liners for chilly months, wear light socks for warm ones, and these women’s waterproof ankle boots will keep you comfortable, dry, and moving. An inner-ankle zipper means easy on, easy off, so you can adjust the laces once for fit, and then leave them. Note: If your size is out of stock, we dig Sperry’s Chelsea boot version, too.

Cold Feet in Search of Women’s Snow Boots?

Water is the quickest way for cold to become freezing, especially for your feet. So if you’re in the market for women’s waterproof snow boots, we highly suggest you heed the waterproofing quality in your selection, or those insulated boots will become frigid indeed, and the extra fabric or shearling (as opposed to a plain rain boot) will take time to dry out. To that end, pay extra attention to seam sealing and weather-proofing around any laces, too—and look for a tread with grip.

Boot laces matter on heavy boots like women’s snow boots and outdoor boots: By holding the boot in closer to the leg and adjusting for the particularities of your calves, laces alleviate strain on the foot and ankle in lifting and moving the boot. The result: A more comfortable, joint-and-limb-friendly gait. The down side: depending on the lacing set-up, they can add some serious time to getting your winter boots on and off your feet.

Best Waterproof Snow Boots: Sorel Joan of Arctic Women’s Waterproof Insulated Boots

Furry Friends

From the faux-fur top to the grippy-outsole bottom, an excellent pair of warm, waterproof boots. SOREL

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Waterproof suede and vulcanized rubber are joined with abundantly sealed seams and lined with fleece and a faux-fur cuff to keep your lower extremities warm and dry. A bonded felt “frost plug” (an element of the footbed/sole that stops cold from reaching your feet) adds an extra shield against the elements, as does the gusset tongue construction. The size and material of the laces in these women’s waterproof snow boots, coupled with the D-ring connectors, means they are blessedly quick, easy, and effective to tie up and to take off, which equates to more wears and less wasted time.

Hoping to Make a Splash With New Rain Boots?

The quintessential waterproof women’s boots are, of course, rain boots. They have one job to do, and it’s keeping water out. This is a feature, not a bug: Rain happens in warm weather, too, and if your only waterproof boots are heavy-duty winter boots, you’re going to be ill-prepared for those spring showers and summer storms. (On the flip side: Most rain boots can be great three-season boots with strategic sock choices, but women’s snow boots are insulated to keep cold out in ways that socks just can’t replicate. Let your climate inform your closet accordingly.)

Best Women’s Rain Boots: Hunter Women’s Original Short Rain Boot

British Invasion

A cult-favorite rain boot for good reason. HUNTER

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If there’s some Platonic ideal-like image that comes to mind when you envision women’s rain boots, the original Hunter boots likely put that into form. They’re not reinventing the wheel, but they are certainly fine-tuning it, as each boot is handcrafted from natural rubber and vulcanized after assembly for a superior seal. The soles have excellent traction and sufficient heft for added stability in slippery conditions but without feeling cumbersome to wear. And if you want to cozy up the boots for chilly weather, Hunter makes fleece boot socks that are cut to cuff over the top of the boots to stay in place.

(Want the tall boys? We got ya: Find the Hunter Women’s Original Tall Rain Boot right here.)

Leveling up Your Hiking Gear with Waterproof Outdoor Boots?

If you’re hiking regularly in non-desert conditions, it is extremely likely that you’d do well to have your hikers be waterproof, whether to protect you from the sudden rainstorm or the creek you didn’t quite expect. If you’re looking at reputable brands, waterproofing won’t mean lack of breathability, either. Traction matters with all hiking boots, but if you’re expecting rain or water, it is an absolute priority.

Mind the fit with hiking boots, waterproof or not, as too loose will mean blisters and too tight will mean discomfort and restricted circulation. And help us help you: Allow yourself time to break in your outdoor boots before you’re out on the trail.

Best Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots: KEEN Women’s Terradora 2 Waterproof Mid Height Hiking Boot

Trail Blazers

Lightweight waterproof hiking boots with superior traction and breathability. KEEN

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KEEN doesn’t do shoddy when it comes to hiking boots. And this pair of women’s waterproof hiking boots is comfortable (look at that ankle cushion!), supportive, durable, and super breathable, while still being completely waterproof and surprisingly lightweight, thanks to the performance mesh upper. The soles have 4mm multi-directional lugs and KEEN’s all-terrain outsole for top-notch traction and grip, as well as a built-in lateral loop for lacing up more ankle support.

Best If You’re On a Budget: What You Get for Under $30

In general, you’re going to be sacrificing something with a cheap pick, even when you get past brand-name markup, whether that’s comfort, durability, features, or style. But the great news about waterproof boots is that rubber is waterproof, and rubber is abundant, so with a bit of checking about seams and construction—your boots being watertight will not be what’s lost.

Best Budget Women’s Waterproof Boots: Asgard Women’s Ankle Rain Boots Waterproof Chelsea Boots

Ankles Away

A range of colors at a low enough price to have some fun. Asgard

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The anti-skid sole makes these stand out among other budget women’s waterproof boots, as does the matte finish. And if you believe 12,000-and-counting of your closest Amazon-shopping peers, this pair is the way to do simple waterproof boots on a budget. 

FAQs

Q: How should waterproof boots fit?

Waterproof boots should fit comfortably enough that there’s no pinching or compression, but not so loose that your feet will be sliding around, as that’s a recipe for blisters — and for cold. Activity and sock choice also play into fit: For hiking, getting the fit exactly right is going to be more essential than slip-on wellies to walk the dog. Laces can help adjust the leg fit, but you’ll want to scope out the size and shape of the footbed for what suits your feet.

Q: How to choose waterproof boots?

Your intended activity is the number one thing to consider in how to choose waterproof boots. Daily wear? You’re looking for style and comfort. Suiting up for the snow? You need insulation and extra warmth in the footbed and sole. Torrential downpours? Get something that goes higher up your legs. In all cases: You need comfort, fit, and durability.

Q: What to look for in women’s waterproof boots?

You want to look for quality materials and good construction in women’s waterproof boots. This means waterproof materials for the sole and upper, but also design attention to the seams and lacing to ensure water doesn’t just find a side-door entrance. You should also pay attention to the traction of the sole, both in tread and grip, for slippery pavement or muddy earth.

A Final Word on Shopping for the Best Women’s Waterproof Boots

Don’t be misled by the Morton Salt girl; Mary Janes are not gonna cut it in the rain. Though cheap women’s waterproof boots could suffice, investing in the best women’s waterproof boots will be worth it the first time you’re caught in a storm or hit a surprise puddle — and many a time after that. If you want women’s waterproof snow boots, look for insulation and lacing. For women’s waterproof hiking boots, really check the traction. For less specialized, daily wear sort of waterproof boots? You’ve got options in materials and styles, but check for sealed seams, and choose height and warmth according to the seasons near you.

Related: Shop for the best men’s waterproof boots!

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