Best Women's Rain Boots

Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for Best women’s rain boots

Splashing through mud puddles may be a happy memory from your childhood, but as an adult, you know that splashing through puddles means your pants will be wet to the knee for the rest of the day. That’s where a good pair of rain boots come in. The right women’s rain boots can keep you dry when it’s soggy outside.

You can find women’s rain boots in traditional and fashion-forward designs, with a lot of boots falling somewhere in between. If you’re ready to start your search, you’ve come to the right place.

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Knee-high boots offer more protection, especially from splashing or sideways rain. For tall women, there are boots taller than the norm.

Key considerations

Size and fit

No one wants to wear boots that rub or pinch their feet. Size and fit are big factors when it comes to your comfort and the ability to wear the boots for a long time. Every manufacturer has its own sizing formula, so you’ll have to carefully measure the length, width, and possibly circumference of your foot before buying. Even then it pays to read through a few customer reviews to see if the boots run true to size.

As far as fit, your toes shouldn’t hit the end of the boot, called the toe box, or you’ll have some aching toes when you take the boots off. Your toes need a little wiggle room, but your heel should stay in place when you walk. Because rain boots are made of stiff, waterproof materials like rubber, they aren’t as flexible as other types of boots and shoes. However, that doesn’t mean they should leave blisters. The right boot provides a relatively comfortable fit that doesn't leave hot spots or aching feet.


Women’s rain boots come in three main types – ankle, mid-calf, and knee-high – with a significant amount of style variation between them.

  • Ankle: As the name indicates, ankle boots come to or just above the ankle, measuring between 5 and 8 inches from the arch to the top of the boot. They may be slip-on or lace-up boots and may combine rubber or rubber-like materials with a heavy canvas or leather upper (like duck boots).

  • Mid-calf: A mid-calf boot offers better protection than an ankle boot but doesn’t reach past the lower calf. These boots measure between 10 and 14 inches from arch to boot top.

  • Knee-high: These traditional rain boots are usually slip-on and made of rubber. They measure between 14 and 16 inches from arch to boot top. These boots are the least flexible of your options, but they offer the most protection whether you’re walking to work or kneeling in the garden.


The activities you plan to do while wearing the boots can narrow down your choices. Gardeners might want an ankle boot they can quickly slip on to run out and water the flowers, while women who will be walking the dog in the rain may prefer a boot that fully protects the lower leg from water splashing from passing cars or playful pets.

Calf circumference

The width of a woman’s calf tends to be wider and lower than a man’s. While women’s boots accommodate these differences, there are many knee-high rain boots that won’t work for a woman with a wider calf. We suggest measuring the circumference of your calf at the widest part and comparing that number to the circumference of the boot’s shaft. To get an idea of how tall the boot is on your leg, measure from the floor near your arch to the boot height as stated in the product description.

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Did you know?
The grips, pulls, and strategically placed holes found on many boots make it easier to pull them on. Keep in mind that a hole in the boot’s shaft can let in water.

Women’s rain boot features

Traction: Water and snow mean slick conditions. Rain boots have to provide some traction to keep you from slipping on wet concrete, grass, or any other surface you may come across. However, some boots have better traction than others, and certain conditions like snow require even more traction.

Winter rain boots have the best traction, often designed with sharp treads to grip snow and ice. Spring and summer boots have nubbly soles that work on wet sidewalks but are too slippery for walking on ice and snow. Watch out for boots with little to no tread. No matter where you’ll be walking when it’s wet, these boots will be slippery.

Inner sole: Women’s rain boots often have thin insoles, which not only provide cushion and support but also create a thermal barrier to help keep your feet warm. Rain boots with rubber-like EVA or foam insoles provide the best protection and comfort. If you opt for boots that don’t have a good insole, you can always buy inserts separately.

Insulation: Some regions get rain when temperatures are just above freezing. While that’s not cold enough for snow, it’s cold enough that your feet will be frigid in uninsulated rain boots. Insulation can range from polar fleece to wool to neoprene to synthetic fur. If you’ll be wearing boots in the winter months, you definitely want to consider a pair with insulation. Your other option is to purchase a separate insole or liner.

Adjustable shaft: If you have wide calves, you’ll appreciate boots with adjustable shafts. Some models have buckles, but you'll want to read the specs carefully because some buckles are merely decorative. Lace-up rain boots are the most adjustable, and you can find these in all types – ankle, mid-calf, and knee-high.

Color: Women’s rain boots come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, far more than men’s boots: red, blue, green, gray, Argyle, polka dot, monster, flamingo, to name but a few. If you want a rain boot that’s uniquely you, there’s one out there with your name on it (sometimes literally).

Materials: Most rain boots are made of rubber, though there are some that may also include animal products like sheepskin or leather. If you’re allergic to latex, check product descriptions carefully because some boots contain latex.

"The width and height of the toe box vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even among boots of the same brand."

Women’s rain boot prices

Inexpensive: It's fairly easy to find a women's rain boot for under $25, everything from ankle to knee-high boots, all in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles. Almost all of the choices in this price range are pull-on rather than lace-up boots, and there are a few with adjustable shafts.

Mid-range: In the $25 to $75 range there are boots of all types, and you’ll start to see some that are more fashion forward. Lace-up styles in ankle and mid-calf boots are far more common, and some of these boots have EVA or foam insoles.

Expensive: At $75 to $150 are knee-high boots made of high-quality rubber with soft cloth liners and foam or EVA insoles. You’ll find adjustable shafts, leather uppers, winter tread, and lace-up styles at this price.

Premium: For over $150, you’ll find some excellent high-end rain boots with all the bells and whistles, including warm liners, comfortable insoles, and impressive tread. However, this price point also has boots that are far more successful at looking attractive than they are at keeping your feet dry.

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Expert Tip
There are some rain boots that fuse elements of a true rain boot and a waterproof hiking boot. These boots have laces made of nylon, Gore-Tex, and/or leather and enough traction to grip rocky trails.


  • Choose matte or shiny boots based on your needs. Some boots come in a matte or shiny finish. A shiny finish looks dressier (if you can say that about a rain boot), but it also shows scuff marks, nicks, and cuts more easily than a matte finish.

  • Don’t store your rain boots in direct sunlight. It can damage the rubber, which then becomes brittle and cracked.

  • Watch out for boots with tongues and zippers, even waterproofed ones. These elements are notorious for letting in water and significantly reducing the effectiveness of the boots’ weather protection.

  • Consider your socks. The fit of the toe box depends on more than your foot’s size and shape. Do you prefer to wear thin socks or thick, warm ones? You might need to order a boot size up or down once you account for your socks.
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Ankle boots resemble hiking boots or walking shoes. Some women prefer them because they better complement a woman’s wardrobe.


Q. Can’t I just wear spring/summer boots in the winter, too?

A. The short answer is yes, but you might run into a few problems. First, spring/summer boots may not have traction that’s appropriate for snow and ice. Rubber can be slippery, and without the right tread, you may find yourself slipping and sliding, which can be dangerous. Your second problem is a lack of insulation. However, you do have a few options. You can purchase separate liners to winterize your summer rain boots or wear more than one pair of warm socks.

Q. I walk to work. Are there rain boots that look stylish but offer good support?

A. Some rain boots can be stiff and unforgiving. Boots that will be used for walking the dog or getting you to work need some special consideration. First, take a good look at the insole. It should be cushioned and offer enough support. A boot that has no insole probably won’t work. Ankle length, lace-up rain boots are a good option because they have better flexion at the ankle and won’t rub your calves. Ankle boots fit more like a shoe, so you won’t feel like you’re clomping around while you walk.

Q. I’m a half size. How do I decide whether to order a half size up or down?

A. Unfortunately, most rain boots don't come in half sizes. Every manufacturer has its own sizing chart and that's where you should start. You might have to measure the length, width, and possibly circumference of your foot. If you fall between sizes, some manufacturers make recommendations whether to size up or down. You might also have to consult reviews to see if the boots run large, small, or true to size. In general, rain boots tend to run a little small, but there are exceptions.

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