Best Kids' Rain Boots

Updated November 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

40 Models Considered
10 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
181 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best kids' rain boots

Splashing in puddles is part of the fun of being a kid, but trailing around for the rest of the day with a child moaning about wet feet is not so fun for parents. A pair of quality kids' rain boots will keep little feet dry, so children can enjoy playing out in wet weather without becoming soggy and grumpy.

A sturdy yet relatively lightweight outer material that won't easily split is essential for children's rain boots. They should also have an excellent grip to help avoid slips and falls in wet weather, and they must be comfortable enough for your child to wear without complaint.

We've picked out our favorite kids' rain boots, any of which would be a great choice for your little one. Read on to find out more about rain boots for kids.

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While you don't want to skimp and buy poor-quality rain boots, think twice about buying expensive designer boots if your child is likely to outgrow them in a season or two.

Key considerations

Outer material

Once upon a time, all kids' rain boots were made of natural rubber. Today, synthetic rubber and PVC are more common choices for the outer part of rain boots. You can also find a handful made of alternative materials, such as foam resin.

  • Natural rubber is extremely strong, flexible, and comfortable. It's more expensive than synthetic options, so it tends to be found mostly on high-end rain boots. Also, natural rubber contains latex, so it is unsuitable for kids with latex allergies.
  • Synthetic rubber is an artificial elastomer designed to mimic natural rubber. While children's rain boots made from synthetic rubber aren't quite as flexible and hard-wearing as natural rubber, they still share lots of the same properties and are far more affordable.
  • PVC is even cheaper than synthetic rubber. Therefore, kids’ rain boots made of PVC can look like a great deal at first glance. However, they’re nowhere near as flexible as natural or synthetic rubber boots and are much quicker to split.

Lining

Some children's rain boots are unlined; others have a light cotton lining or a thick, insulated lining. Unlined or lightly lined boots are ideal for use on wet days in the spring, summer, and early fall. They allow kids to keep their feet dry without completely overheating. Your child can also wear them during mildly cold weather by pairing them with thick socks.

If you want rain boots for icy and snowy conditions, however, be sure to choose boots with a well-insulated lining. Insulated rain boots are often rated for use down to a certain temperature. For example, some might be suitable for temperatures as low as 25°F, whereas others protect feet at temperatures as low as 0°F.

Sizing

It can be tempting to size up when buying rain boots for a child, so your little one won't grow out of them so quickly. But we don’t recommend this, as too-large rain boots can be uncomfortable for your child and could also pose a tripping hazard. Notably, some kids' rain boots run large. If this is the case with the boots you choose, you might actually need to size down.

Comfort

Not all kids' rain boots are equally comfortable. It can be hard enough to convince your children to put their shoes on in a timely fashion; if their rain boots pinch or rub, they'll be even less likely to comply. Rain boots with some kind of lining tend to be more comfortable, but one of the most important factors in comfort is whether or not your child's boots fit correctly.

Features

Color and pattern

You can find kids' rain boots in all kinds of colors and patterns, from any solid color of the rainbow to bees, ducks, rocket ships, fairies, and geometric patterns. We recommend consulting your child before buying. A child is more likely to be enthusiastic about a pair of rain boots they’ve chosen.

Handles

Handles help make rain boots easier to pull on. They are especially helpful for toddlers and preschoolers. Some handles are integrated into the body of the shaft, which makes them stronger but provides a lower entry point for water. Others are attached to the top of the shaft, so they may break off over time, but water can't enter the boot through them.

Traction

Kids' rain boots should have deep treads on the underside to provide plenty of traction while your little one is playing in wet or slippy weather and to help prevent falls.

Shaft height

The shaft height, or cut-off point, is where the top of the boot shaft reaches your child's leg. It should be tall enough to keep the calves clean and dry but not so tall that it digs into the back of the knees as the child moves.

"If a rain boot isn't fully molded in one piece, it should have reinforced "seams" where the sole meets the boot to prevent water from entering and holes from forming over time. "
STAFF
BestReviews

Kids’ rain boots prices

You can find basic kids' rain boots for $10 to $20. These aren't the most durable option, but they're fine for occasional use or for a child who's growing quickly.

Mid-range kids' rain boots cost between $20 and $40. You can find some excellent rain boots at this price. The majority of buyers won't need to spend more than this.

High-end kids' rain boots are priced between $50 and $100. In this price range, you'll find natural rubber boots and designer brands. Often, the higher price reflects the popularity of the brand more than anything else.

Tips

  • Choose rain boots your kids can put on by themselves. This might mean buying a pair with handles or a wide-fitting shaft.
  • Think about how your kid plays. If they're always wading through deep puddles, for example, find a pair with the tallest shaft possible. If they love to run in the rain, buy a pair that won’t restrict movement.
  • Consider how much use your child will get out of the boots. If you live in a dry climate, your child might only need rain boots a few times a year. In a situation like this, a cheap pair would probably suffice.
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If you hope to pass the rain boots you're buying down to younger siblings, it's worth buying a rugged pair in a plain color or a neutral pattern.

FAQ

Q. Why do my child's rain boots keep falling off their feet?
A.
If your kid's rain boots fall of their feet, it's likely that they're simply too big. If possible, exchange them for a size down.

Q. Do all kids' rain boots run large?
A.
Some kids’ rain boots run large, and others do not. This can make choosing the correct size a challenge. The only way of telling if a particular brand of boots runs large is by checking customer reviews or consulting the manufacturer.

Q. What other rain gear does my child need?
A.
With the right gear, wet weather won't slow your child down. In addition to rain boots, consider buying a quality waterproof jacket and waterproof pants, or an all-in-one waterproof jumpsuit.

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