9 Best Waterproof Work Boots For Safety and Durability in 2023

LifeStyle

Playing fast and loose with your shoes just won’t do on the job site, especially when it comes to the elements. That’s why you need the best waterproof work boots to protect your feet against moisture. But the ideal pair must also hold up in other crucial categories too, like traction, ankle support, and safety toe.

As for looks, well, Brunello Cucinelli is never going to make a pair, but there are some attractive men’s waterproof work boots out there. Even though it was the very last qualification I considered, I can assure you I took taste into account.

After scrutinizing the marketplace to find the very best waterproof work boots, I came across some real winners. From price and moisture-wicking properties to electrical hazard protection, each and every boot holds up where you need it the most. So kick back and peruse—before your next shift, that is.

Keep scrolling for the very best waterproof boots for work.

Key Takeaways

Like my top pick, CAT Men’s Threshold, the best waterproof work boots have every detail necessary, like a breathable waterproof membrane, a protective toe, and a slip-resistant outsole.

For flexible athletic construction with superior grip, consider the Wolverine Overpass. If ankle, arch, and achilles support are what you’re after, look no further than the Carhartt Insulate PAC work boot.

Our Top Picks

Sparks Raining down On Boots
wolverineboots / instagram

CAT Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 6-15 (wide available) | Colors: 2 | Slip Resistant: Yes

It’s almost too logical that the world’s largest construction manufacturer should also make the best waterproof work boot. CAT (Caterpillar) Threshold work boot has everything you want in a heavy-duty kicker in a lightweight rendering, including a steel toe designed to withstand impact and compression.

With a highly breathable leather upper, electrical hazard protection, a slip-resistant outsole, and a waterproof membrane that’s porous enough to avoid swamp foot, it’s safe, warm, and comfortable. So many work boots feel like weights on the feet, but this one’s got a flexible ERGO midsole that is 30% lighter and more shock-absorbing than standard EVA. Again—lighter, comfier, and safer.

As for traction, it exceeds ASTM standards for grip. Rest assured, you’re staying firmly planted on the ground in these bad boys. Solid and straightforward, these just might be the best waterproof work boots ever.

Skechers Men’s Burgin-Tarlac Industrial Boot

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 7-14 (wide available) | Colors: 6 | Slip Resistant: Yes

A cool $100 or $200 for a pair of work boots isn’t realistic for everyone. That’s why I love this pair from Skechers (and so do 16,000 satisfied Amazon customers). They’ve got all the right fixings for a work boot for half the price. Plus, it’s one of the sleekest looking on this list. Perfect for the urban guy.

As for the details that matter, the Industrial boot boasts a steel toe, air-cooled memory foam for comfortable wear, and much-needed electrical hazard protection. Though they aren’t built for insulation, in particular, they are 100% leather, so they are decently warm.

Some reviewers have noted a lack of arch support, so you may want to invest in some good insoles. However, that might just be a personal preference.

Timberland PRO Pit Boss

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 7-15 (wide available) | Colors: 3 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Another giant in the best waterproof work boots arena is Timberland, a brand you’re likely already familiar with. The PRO line has a lot of successful boots, but the Pit Boss packs the greatest punch in terms of safety, toughness, and comfortability.

They meet ANSI safety standards, meaning they’re slip, oil, water, and abrasion-resistant. Customers love how well they hold up in rain and against electrical hazards. A rubber sole has the perfect outsole for traction, while a comfortable padded top collar supports the ankle.

In my opinion, this boot has enough urban appeal for daily streetwear, though if you’re buying these for work, you may not want to rock them on your day off. I love that they’re machine washable, too. Reviewers have noted that they’re on the heavy side, but they’re worth their weight if you work with extremely heavy objects.

Wolverine Overpass Mid Cm Boot

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 7-14 (wide available) | Colors: 1 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Developed in Michigan in 1883, Wolverine is a brand that understands working outside in the frigid cold. Thanks to flexible athletic Welt construction, this boot is going to move with you. You’ll never feel like you’re clunking around. Considering they’re also lightweight, it’s pretty much like wearing a second skin (okay, that’s probably pushing it, but you get the idea).

The outsole provides excellent grip, or so says a solar panel installer who clings to roofs in Oregon. It’s resistant to all the usual suspects like oil, water, and chemicals and even has a composite toe. Lighter than a steel toe, a composite toe provides superior impact and compression resistance.

All of the essential details aside, this is one of the most attractive men’s waterproof work boots out there, thanks to bright orange accent details that compliment the brown leather like a charm. If you need a serious boot with a serious grip, this is it.

Carhartt Men’s 10” Waterproof Insulate PAC Composite Toe Boot

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 8-15 | Colors: 1 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Consider this THE work boot for braving serious elements. Dubbed the Storm Defender, it’s got powerful waterproof breathable protection with a 1,000 LiteFire aluminum base that reflects body heat. That’s equivalent to 1,000 grams of traditional insulation without the bulk. Yes, please.

In terms of support, the taller the boot, the better, so I happen to love that the PAC Insulate boot reaches 10 inches in height. It’s giving you tons of ankle stability and side impact protection. Plus, it’s also got a composite, non-metallic safety toe, meaning it will flex under impact. A TPU heel guard also has a flex joint for the achilles.

If you’re in need of the best waterproof work boots that add support to all aspects of your feet with plenty of room for a thick sock, this chunky boot is the real deal.

Carhartt Men’s 11-inch Waterproof Wellington

Material: Leather, Dual Density PU Carhartt CORE | Sizes: 8-15 (wide available) | Colors: 4 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Inspired by military fashion, Wellingtons are particularly designed to be waterproof shoes. The Carhartt Wellington is a whopping 11 inches tall, perfect for extremely wet and muddy work environments. Hello, cow field. Of course, it’s also a Storm Defender, so you know you’re investing in waterproof breathable protection that promotes airflow and circulation.

Time and again, reviewers note how strong and secure these boots feel on the foot, though there will likely be a break-in period. It’s got a cushioned insole for underfoot comfort and a molded TPU heel counter for enhanced ankle stability. A steel safety toe provides superior impact and compression protection.

Again, style doesn’t really matter in this department, but this boot happens to be a looker. An attractive oil-tanned leather upper sits atop an abrasion-resistant Cordura nylon section. Who doesn’t love to see form and function coming together?

Tank EVER BOOTS

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 6-14 | Colors: 2 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Another excellent boot at an affordable price point, the Tank is a premier offering from Ever, a new brand that was launched in 2015. Smooth and attractive, they’ve got reinforced stitching, supple nubuck (buffed, top-grain leather) uppers, and a cloud-like padded collar for the ultimate support and maneuverability. Also of note: superior arch support.

Like the CAT Threshold, this is one of the best waterproof work boots because it can do it all—with no break-in period. No slip outsole? Check. A rubber, shock-absorbing sole? Check and check.

If toe safety is of particular interest to you, keep in mind that the Tank has a soft toe. You’re going to be protected, but not against crushing impact.

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot

Material: Leather, Rubber | Sizes: 7-15 (wide available) | Colors: 4 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Another exceptional offering from Timberland, the White Ledge ankle boot has everything you would want on the job site. Seam-sealed waterproof construction and premium full-grain waterproof leather uppers mean nary a droplet will reach your foot. Even if you do come into contact with water, it’s got rust-proof speed lace hardware. Consider this shoe an investment at a great price.

Because these boots are also great for hiking, you can expect a compression-molded EVA foam midsole comfort system. If you need to stand on your feet all day, these are the best waterproof work boots. Even if you don’t, every guy needs a strong water-resistant boot in their closet that can stand up to a rough and rocky rainy day. Just in case.

Icing on the cake? A guaranteed gold or silver tannery rating for environmental responsibility. We’ll take them.

Danner Douglas GTX Boot

Material: Leather, Danner® Wedge | Sizes: 8-13 | Colors: 1 | Slip Resistant: Yes

Born in the 1930s, the Douglas was created by Charles Danner for lumbermen in the Pacific Northwest. Translation: these boots know how to fight wet climates. It’s got a GORE-TEX full waterproof breathable membrane, which is a patented material that’s required to meet rigorous standards. As for comfort, expect nothing less than the best thanks to an Ortholite footbed. A steel shank adds extra stability.

You wouldn’t expect this boot to work so hard from the looks of it. Smooth full-grain leather with beautiful stitching and a light-colored sole feel stylish, not like a shoe you can sweat in. For a boot that can double as a workhorse and play date, pick the Danner. Plus, it’s made in the USA.

Feeding The Herd during Winter
carhartt / instagram

What To Look For When Buying The Best Waterproof Work Boots For Men

Waterproof

There’s water-resistant, which means a shoe can hold up against some water like light rain, and then there’s waterproof. This means a shoe is completely impervious to liquid. The best waterproof work boots have a breathable waterproof membrane, so the sweaty air inside your boot can flow.

Any leather parts should be treated with a water-repellant at the factory. If you work outside in any kind of adverse elements, waterproof is a must-have feature.

Safety Toe

The toe is one of the most important features of a work boot. Depending on the type of work you do, it can make or break a potential foot injury.

The best waterproof work boots have either a soft, steel, or composite toe, which is lighter than steel and braces against impact and compression. A soft toe, on the other hand, provides decent protection but not against impact and crushing injuries.

Traction 

The best waterproof work boots are worthless if they don’t lend any grip. Check your work boots for a detailed, chunky sole with a smaller tread pattern. This will ensure the best grip, which is crucial if you work in slippery or unstable conditions, like on a roof or ledge. Look for words like ‘slip-resistant outsole’ on product descriptions.

working with Cat Boot on the sand
catfootwearmy / instagram

Final Verdict 

Each and every work boot you’ll find here is excellent, but the CAT Threshold is exceptional. It has everything the best waterproof work boots need, like electrical protection, a protective steel toe, and a light, flexible, and comfortable midsole.

FAQ

    • If only! The best waterproof work boots are coated in a durable water-repellency treatment applied at the factory, but this barrier only lasts so long. It’s recommended to re-waterproof your boots every three months, depending on frequency of wear.

      • Re-waterproofing your boots every three months is easy, so long as you do it properly. Once your boots begin to feel wet and soggy inside and the water beads up and not off of their surface, apply a cream or wax to create the necessary barrier that repels water.

        • Look for words like breathable waterproof membrane, or specially patented designs like GORE-TEX on the shoe’s website listing or shoebox. There is a big difference between waterproof and water-resistant, so pay close attention to wordage when searching.

          • They can be if they don’t contain the proper membrane. The best waterproof work boots will contain a waterproof membrane that blocks out moisture but is also breathable to promote necessary circulation and airflow.

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