Perfect protection against water all the way to the knee. Reinforced toe and heel for plenty of longevity. Can roll down the top portion of the boots to make them cooler to wear. Keep feet warm even in cold, wet weather.
Expensive. Too many features for those who just want a simple boot.
Flexible PVC material allows you to bend your ankle and leg comfortably. Extremely low price point for rain boots that will keep you dry up to the knees. Good tread to help you maintain your balance in slippery, wet conditions.
Thin materials won't stand up to rough treatment without damage.
Stretchable materials in the upper portion of the boots ensure a comfortable fit. Keep feet dry in all conditions and all types of weather. Reinforced materials in toe and heel to provide long-lasting performance.
Made for more than just protection from rain, so they cost a bit more.
Rubber and neoprene materials have plenty of flexibility so you can move freely. Completely waterproof. Boots extend high up the calf. Insulated materials are rated to keep your feet warm in temperatures down to -40°F.
Sizes run small. Can be difficult to put on and take off.
Available in multiple colors and designs. Boots keep feet warm and dry up to the ankle. Lace-up style is easier to put on and take off than other styles. Includes Thinsulate lining that keeps feet warmer and more comfortable.
High price point. Boots tend to run narrow. Some sizes may be in limited supply.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Rain boots have long been trusted to keep feet dry and clean in wet, muddy conditions, but there’s more to selecting a men’s rain boot than waterproofing. A reliable rain boot should protect you not only from puddles but also from sharp rocks, cold, and additional hazards like slippery pavement. Where you intend to use your rain boots and for how long should inform your decision as you shop.
The number of features and protective aspects of rain boots vary greatly, so you should have an idea of just what protection you need, so you don’t pay for features you won’t use. For boots that you only pull out when the weather gets sloppy, a simple pair of waterproof rubber boots may do the trick. If you need rain boots that you can safely work in, you may want a pair with outsoles that protect you from electric shock and sturdy toes that help prevent injury. For colder climates, insulation and breathability are key factors.
When choosing a pair of rain boots that will last you for years, you should have a clear idea of your needs and environment. In general, a boot with a higher shaft is less comfortable and more cumbersome than a low-cut boot, though it offers better protection from the elements. If you don’t intend to wear your boots for long periods of time, you might not need a cushioned insole with good arch support. There is no “best” rain boot. Pairing a boot with your unique needs is the best way to find the right fit.
Casual rain boots are designed for everyday wear. These boots may have low to high shafts for a range of protection. Some casual rain boots are more sleek and stylish, while others offer function over form.
Work rain boots are more rugged, offer more protection, and generally have superior traction and arch support. These rain boots tend to have higher shafts and thicker rubber, making them less likely to tear and better at protecting your feet. Boots in this category are typically more comfortable to wear for long periods.
While any rain boot should be 100% waterproof, the material determines the flexibility, weight, and overall appearance of the boot.
Synthetic materials like artificial rubber, neoprene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are typically inexpensive and flexible. Neoprene and PVC are considerably lighter than natural rubber.
Natural rubber is a derived from latex, a substance that comes from a type of tropical tree. Boots with solid rubber construction may be heavy, but they will keep your feet dry and safe.
Leather is often paired with a synthetic material to form the uppers of some boots, giving them a more stylish look without sacrificing any waterproof construction. Leather rain boots require more care, and they are typically less flexible than boots made from synthetic materials, so leather is more common in casual rain boots.
The outsole, usually made of rubber, provides traction on slippery surfaces and can absorb shock. Deeper treads, often found in lug-sole rain boots, provide better traction, particularly on uneven surfaces. Know that deep, narrow treads may be difficult to clean.
More support and comfort is always better, but this can be difficult to find in less-expensive everyday boots. If you have long treks or extended days of work in mind, look for a cushioned insole or a boot with enough space for inserts.
The shaft plays a large role in keeping your ankles, calves, and feet dry. Even if you aren’t wading through creeks, you can still get wet from splashes while wearing boots with a short shaft.
The shafts on most rain boots range from 6 to 12 inches. Though shorter shafts mean less protection, these boots tend to be more comfortable, easier to put on, and better for casual wear. If you know you need the extra protection, boots that reach the knee fit the classic image of a “rain boot” and should keep you dry in even the worst conditions.
This is the part of the boot that protects your toes. You can imagine why this is important, particularly if you’re purchasing rain boots for work. While some toe boxes are reinforced with thicker materials, others have a layer of steel to keep toes from being crushed. Steel-toed rain boots are more costly, but the price is worth the added protection if you work outdoors.
While less common, some rain boots have an insulated lining, particularly boots designed for cold climates. The manufacturer usually rates the insulation in terms of temperature. While having a boot rated -40°F works great in the frigid tundra, the insulation will work against you in much warmer weather. Consider the average winter temperatures in your region and how much of your time will be spent outdoors.
Once you know what type of rain boot is right for you, consider additional protective and stylistic features to find a reliable boot that fits your needs.
Rain boots designed for work may have shock-absorbing midsoles, often in the form of EVA foam. Shock-absorbing boots can reduce strain on your knees, hips, and ankles, and may even prevent injury. If you have a job that has you outdoors and on your feet for hours, shock-absorbing rain boots may be your best option.
Some work rain boots offer protection from electric shock, which may be a requirement in some workplaces. If you don’t work in an environment with high risk of electrical shock, this may not be a factor for you.
Laces vs. slip-on
Lower, more stylish boots tend to lace up rather than slip on. While laces can take some time to secure, slip-on boots can be awkward to get your foot into. Rain boots with laces can also provide more ways for moisture to enter your boot, but if laced properly (and the boots are well designed), you should stay dry.
Pull loops and handles
If you opt for a slip-on style of rain boot, you might want one with either pull loops or handles. Many tall boots have convenient handles for pulling the boot securely over your foot, while many shorter boots have loops you can slip your fingers into. While the lack of this feature may not be a deal breaker, it’s certainly nice to have.
Simpler rubber or PVC boots are easy to hose down after a muddy day of work. If you’re purchasing rain boots for regular use, consider a simple design with few seams or ridges to make cleaning quicker and simpler. Don’t forget to look at the spacing of the treads because narrow treads can be difficult to clean thoroughly.
Finding the right balance between weight and durability can be difficult, but if you’re on your feet all day, heavy boots can only add to fatigue. Rubber is one of the heaviest materials found in rain boots, and designs with thick soles or steel toes may have even more added weight. If you only wear your boots for short periods, this may be less of an issue for you.
If your feet become wet from sweat, they could quickly get cold. Solid rubber rain boots only “breathe” through the main opening in the shaft, but some rain boots have a breathable liner that allows moisture to escape while preventing outside moisture from entering. If you plan to venture into cold climates, breathable boots could be crucial.
Several factors, including materials, style, and size, affect the price of men’s rain boots, which range from about $15 to $200.
You can find basic men’s rain boots for between $15 and $40. Boots in this range tend to be simple in style, made of synthetic materials, and lacking in arch support. However, most of them can keep you as dry as more expensive boots can.
Boots that cost from $40 to $100 come in a range of styles, from casual boots with different uppers and lowers to steel-toed work boots. Some boots in this range may have insulation.
In the $100 to $200 range are rugged rain boots with durable outsoles and reliable insulation. While work boots in this range tend to be plain, some pricey casual rain boots can be quite stylish.
Tuck your pants into your boots. Particularly with mid-height to tall boots, you should tuck your pants into the boots to keep your ankles and pant cuffs or hems dry.
Consider width as well as length when determining the right size boot for you.
Leave some wiggle room. Rain boots are designed to fit snugly on your foot, but as with any boot, you want a small amount of wiggle room to account for thicker socks.
Q. Water sometimes gets into my rain boots. How can I safely dry them out?
A. Stuff the boots with newspaper or a towel and leave them upside down overnight. If they’re still damp inside, a hair dryer can quickly remove excess moisture, though this isn’t recommended with leather boots.
Q. Can rain boots be submerged in water?
A. In most cases, absolutely. Boots with solid synthetic construction and no seams are more likely to keep you dry in puddles and creeks.
Q. How do I clean the inside of my rain boots?
A. Assuming your boots don’t have a liner, you can wipe down the inside with a mixture of water and soap or vinegar.