The 11 Best Waterproof Shoes for Men & Women in 2022
We researched more than 70 pairs of shoes, finding the CLARKS Wave Go to be the best waterproof shoes for women. For men, the best we found is the Columbia Pivot.
We gave top ranks to shoes with good waterproof capabilities. But we know that shoes aren’t worth wearing if they’re badly made or rough on your feet. So, we also tested for comfort, construction quality and breathability when we could find the models in-store.
The Columbia Pivot and the CLARKS Wave Go are everything we were looking for. They’re both comfortable, feeling more like sneakers than formal footwear. And while the Columbias look like smart casual sneakers, the CLARKS could almost pass for formal shoes.
Of course, they’re both completely waterproof and each offers exceptional grip, especially in the wet. They’re well made and friendly on your wallet. You won’t go wrong by choosing either one.
But of course, there will be situations where a specialised shoe is a better choice than our all-around favourites. For example, the best slip-on shoe for rain is the Jungle Moc by Merrell. Available in both male and female versions, this is actually our favourite shoe for light rain and drizzly days.
Keep reading to find the most suitable waterproof shoes for you.
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Table of Contents
Best Waterproof Shoes for Men
The best overall waterproof shoe for men is the Columbia Pivot Hiking Shoe. It’s comfortable, waterproof and fully breathable. Plus it offers great support. It’s ideal for long walks, especially over tricky terrain.
The upper is made of waterproof mesh with suede and synthetic leather overlays. These increase the durability and waterproof capabilities of the shoe. The stitching is high quality and the seams are fully sealed to prevent water getting in. It’s also fully breathable, which allows moisture to escape and ensures your feet stay cool.
The high ankle collar is well padded. It’s comfortable and hugs your foot tightly, offering a lot of support. It also prevents rainwater from getting into the top of your shoe.
The Techlite midsole delivers excellent, lightweight cushioning and high energy return. It’s thick, making it perfect for walking through puddles as water won’t be able to get to the shoe’s upper. It’s also extremely durable and always returns to its original shape. This means it won’t flatten out over time and will always provide a thick, cushioned base.
The Omni-GRIP outsole is covered in an aggressive, multidirectional tread pattern. It offers reliable traction in wet conditions, across a range of surfaces. It’s non-marking too so you can wear the shoes indoors without worrying about ruining the floor.
Whether you’re hitting the trail or walking around town, these are our favourite waterproof shoes for men. Not only that, but they are one of the most comfortable hiking shoes we came across.
They’re tighter than most Columbia’s we’ve tried. Even the wide versions feel closer to standard width shoes. Try them in-store or via Prime Wardrobe to ensure they fit properly.
They’re also quite noisy shoes. They sound a bit like plastic bags rubbing against each other. It’s certainly not a deal-breaker but if you walk a lot in quiet areas or at night, you’ll notice the noise.
- Good traction
- Sizing runs tight
- Can be noisy
Best Waterproof Shoes for Women
The CLARKS Wave Go are the best waterproof shoes for women. As you’d expect from CLARKS, they’re classy, comfortable and fully waterproof. They can be worn casually but are suitable for longer hikes if you don’t have your hiking shoes with you.
The upper is made from nubuck leather and is treated to be fully completely waterproof. It’s formed from several pieces of leather to deliver more flexibility to the shoe. They overlap and are sewn together with high-quality double stitching. There’s also a black toe cap making the toe area even more durable and offering another element of waterproofing. The entire shoe can be wiped clean when wet or dry.
The ankle-high ankle collar prevents water from entering the shoe. It’s well-padded for extra support and comfort. The tongue is also well padded. It has a lace loop in the middle, which prevents it from sliding around and allowing water to enter the top of the shoe.
The curved WAVEWALK outsole reduces fatigue and thanks to a deep tread pattern, offers exceptional grip – even in wet conditions. The curved design rocks your foot forwards from heel to toe. So each step requires less energy. This allows you to walk further, for less effort, than in normal shoes.
The EVA midsole is thick. It offers excellent cushioning for comfort, support and impact protection. It also means that water doesn’t come up over the shoe when you’re walking through puddles.
Inside the shoes, the lining is soft. Really soft. It’s breathable and wicks moisture away from your feet. There’s also a removable, fully cushioned footbed which helps keep you comfortable.
These shoes are great value for money. They offer all the same features as shoes selling for 30-50% more.
Even though these shoes use different sections of leather, they’re still quite stiff. They’re not as comfortable out of the box as you’d usually expect from CLARKS. Instead, they require a little breaking in.
The footbed also offers less arch support than we’d like to see. If you need a lot of arch support, it can be easily replaced for a more supportive insole.
- Easy to clean
- Fatigue reducing
- Moisture wicking
- May require some breaking in
- Does not offer optimal arch support
Best Waterproof Slip-On Shoes
When it comes to slip-on shoes for rain, the Merrell Jungle Moc is the best option. It’s available in both male and female models and is the Shoethority team’s favourite shoe for drizzly days.
The suede upper is waterproof but breathable. It has elasticated panels near the ankle. These ensure the shoes hug your feet and offer a high level of support. It also prevents the top of the shoe getting damaged when you slip them on – a common issue in slip-on shoes.
The upper is made from just two pieces of suede. This means there are less weak points for water to seep through. The seems are well stitched with an extra reinforcement in areas of high wear. The rubber sole also rises up the front of the shoe towards the toes, offering extra protection, grip and waterproofing to this area.
The outsole is made using Merrell’s M Select Grip technology. This chunky tread provides excellent traction and disperses water efficiently. The multidirectional lugs ensure grip even on soft, slippery surfaces like mud or sand.
The midsole is thick enough to prevent water spilling over the top of the shoes should you need to walk through puddles. A nylon shank means these shoes are stable, especially on uneven surfaces.
The FIT.ECO dual-density footbed uses M Select Fresh technology to ensure odour resistance. It offers a lot of cushioning for comfort and impact protection. There’s even extra heel cushioning for all-day comfort.
The newest model of these shoes runs tighter than the old version. While it’s still our favourite slip-on shoe for the rain, the sizing is harder to predict. It’s worth trying them on in-store or via Prime Wardrobe.
The soles also take a little wear before they reach their most grippy. Straight out of the box they are a bit slippery, especially on smooth, wet floors. After they’ve been worn down a little, they produce a lot of traction.
- Odour resistant
- Newer model runs tighter than previous models
- Sole requires a bit of wear before achieving ultimate traction
Best Waterproof Shoes for Snow
When it comes to waterproof slip-on snowshoes, The North Face ThermoBall Traction Bootie cannot be beaten. It’s environmentally friendly, warm and of course, completely waterproof.
The upper is made from 100% recycled PET – the same material used to make plastic drinking bottles. It’s lightweight and waterproof. It’s also softer and more flexible than you’d expect. And it’s breathable which surprised us. The ripstop construction means it’s durable too. Even if you get a small tear, it can’t spread more than a few millimetres.
The lining is filled with recycled polyester and PET insulation. This ThermoBall technology combines the advantages of down fill with the advantages of synthetic insulation. It’s lightweight, compressible and still insulates even if wet.
The footbed is firm but comfortable. It holds its shape and offers an incredibly stable base for your feet. On the bottom, the high traction rubber outsole is made from 40% recycled rubber. It’s durable and offers excellent grip, even on the snow and ice.
The back of the shoe, around the heel area, can be compressed flat if you want to wear these shoes as slippers. Or it can be pulled up around your heel if you’re walking further than the garden path.
These shoes are not good for long walks or all-day wear. They lack the more technical features of proper snow boots. They’re best for walking in the garden, around base camp or for nipping to the shops on a snowy day.
They’re also not machine washable. There’s a cardboard layer beneath the footbed. Although this gives the shoes a smaller environmental footprint, it means the upper must be washed by hand. The footbed can be removed and machine washed if necessary.
- Environmentally friendly
- Not suited to long wear
- Not machine washable
Best Waterproof Hiking Shoe
The best waterproof shoe for hiking is the Merrell Moab 2. It’s available as both a boot and low cut option. There’s a male and female-specific model in each version.
Both the high top and low cut versions have a suede and mesh upper. It’s breathable, preventing your feet from overheating. It’s also covered in suede overlays that act like ribs for the shoe. These ensure the shoes retain their shape and help protect the waterproof elements of the shoe from knocks or scrapes.
There’s an M Select Dry membrane. It prevents water from getting in but also allows moisture to escape. This means your feet remain cool and dry. You can also upgrade to the GORE-TEX version for around $40 extra. GORE-TEX is lighter, more breathable and more durable than M Select Dry. And it’s just as waterproof.
The M Select FIT.ECO EVA footbed is contoured to cradle your feet as you walk. It has extra arch support and an air cushion at the heel. These protect your feet during long hikes and offer continuous comfort. The insole can be removed and replaced if you need custom orthotics.
The Vibram outsole is covered in a deep, aggressive tread pattern. It’s non-slip and the multidirectional lugs ensure traction across all surfaces. It’s thick too, allowing you to walk through shallow water without it spilling onto the upper.
The rubber toe cap is perfect for hiking in muddy conditions. It gives more grip while climbing and offers protection from knocks. A thinner reinforced segment extends all the way around the toes. This is easy to clean and gives another layer of waterproofing to the shoes.
Finally, the tongue is gusseted – sewn in around the edges – which stops water and debris leaking through to the top of your foot. It’s made of closed-cell foam, so is well cushioned, waterproof and very lightweight.
The high top version of this shoe offers more ankle support. It’s perfect for walking in muddy or snowy conditions when you want your ankles covered. It’s also ideal for hikes with more water crossings as you can traverse deeper water without the shoes flooding.
There are a few small differences between the men’s and women’s models. The women’s version is narrower at the heel and widens more towards the toes. The arch and heel support is also laid out differently in the footbed. These differences are to account for the small but significant differences between the shape of men’s and women’s feet.
Both the men’s and women’s versions are available in different colours.
Both the low cut and high cut versions have a thick stitch running down the heel area. This can cause painful rubbing and blisters if not broken in properly. For the first few weeks of owning these shoes, ensure you only wear them for an hour or two at a time. Keep your thick socks handy too.
It’s most frustrating because the shoes are otherwise comfortable straight out of the box. Aside from the heel stitch, they require very little breaking in.
- Available in different colorways
- Requires some breaking in
Best Waterproof Boot for Men
The best waterproof pull-on boot for men is the KEEN Anchorage 3. If like me, you don’t want to waste time lacing up your boots just to run to the shops, these are the shoes for you.
They’re made with a nubuck leather upper. It keeps your feet dry and warm. Plus it looks super smart. Each section of leather is double stitched with seam sealing between the upper and the outsole. This ensures increased durability and waterproofness.
The KEEN.Dry membrane makes these boots fully waterproof. Even if water penetrates the leather, it won’t get through to your feet. The membrane is fully breathable too. It allows air to flow in and moisture to escape.
The boots are also well insulated. The KEEN.Warm insulation layer means they’re rated down to -25°F/-32°C, perfect for cold snowy days.
There’s an elasticated panel either side of your ankle. This makes the boots easy to put on or take off. It also hugs your ankle when you walk, offering more stability and support than your average slip-on boots. The high cut design makes them ideal for slogging through deep snow, mud or puddles.
The thick rubber soles are made for snow and ice. They use KEEN.Freeze technology to ensure maximum traction in icy conditions. This utilises a multidirectional tread pattern that digs into the ground, offering exceptional grip no matter the terrain.
Overall, this is an excellent work shoe for men. In a nutshell, it’s easy to put on, its durable, and it provides great traction.
There’s a tab on the heel of these KEENs. It should make putting the boots on quick and easy but it’s prone to snapping. You need to be very careful with it to ensure it doesn’t break.
There’s also a lot of room around your heel when you walk in these boots. This is to be expected in slip-on shoes but if you’re not wearing thick socks, expect some rubbing around your heel.
- Easy to put on and take off
- The tab on the heel is prone to snapping
- Some rubbing around the heel area might occur.
Best Waterproof Boot for Women
Our favourite waterproof pull-on boot for women is the KEEN Hoodoo 3 Chelsea Boot. They’re comfortable, supportive and really easy to put on.
Stylish and understated – the two words we all used to describe these boots. Their sleek looks are thanks to the nubuck leather upper. It’s waterproof and offers excellent insulation from the cold. But there’s additional waterproofing and insulation technology involved with these boots too.
The KEEN.Warm insulation is made from charcoal bamboo. It keeps your feet toasty warm down to -25°F/-32°C. There’s a thermal heat shield on the footbed too. This reflects warmth back to your feet, preventing you from losing valuable body heat to the ground as you walk.
The KEEN.Dry membrane ensures your feet stay dry, even if water manages to soak through the leather upper. It’s not only waterproof though. It’s also breathable. These boots will keep you warm when it’s cold but will also stop you overheating. The faux fur lining is super soft on your feet too.
The chunky KEEN.Freeze outsole features a deep, multidirectional lug pattern. This offers extra bite on soft surfaces, delivering consistent traction no matter the terrain. It’s specially designed to produce maximum grip on snow and ice. The sole also rises up over the toes for added protection.
The dual-density midsole offers a lot of cushioning and support. It cradles your feet, ensuring comfort for extended periods. It’s also thick enough that you can walk through snow or puddles without water splashing over the upper.
Elasticated panels around your ankle make these boots so quick and easy to get on and off. They also ensure the boots gently hug your ankle when you’re walking. This prevents any errant splashes making their way down to your feet.
Being constructed of leather we expected these boots to have a small break-in period. But the leather was much stiffer and the break-in period took significantly longer than we’d hoped. These boots are super comfy when fully broken in but ensure you have thick socks for the first few weeks.
- Easy to put on
- Good insulation to keep feet warm, but prevent overheating
- Requires a break in period
- Best paired with thick socks
Best Waterproof Walking Sneakers for Men
The New Balance 1300 V1 waterproof walking shoe is a crossover of a sneaker and boot. It’s lightweight and comfortable like a sneaker… With the stability, waterproofing and support of a high-end hiking boot.
The upper combines tough, durable leather and a waterproof membrane. The first keeps your feet warm, the second – dry. The tongue is sewn into the upper to prevent water and debris from getting in. The only way to get water into the shoe is to step into ankle-deep water.
There’s a protective layer around the outer edge of the sneakers. This is easy to clean and protects the leather from unnecessary wear. It also protects the shoe from mud, snow and water much like a rubber galosh would. It’s highest at the heel, where protection is most needed.
An aggressive, multidirectional tread pattern means these shoes provide plenty of grip. The thick, wide sole and deep treads mean you won’t sink in mud or snow. It’s also handy for walking through deep puddles.
The shoe was one of the more comfortable ones we tested for the article. The dual-density EVA footbed is soft and comfortable, but supportive. The tongue and ankle collar are well-cushioned. The toe box is roomy, with just enough space to wiggle your toes.
The nylon stability shank, found between the midsole and outsole, is another comfort feature. It creates a stable base for your feet, especially around the heel area. It’s made of nylon and not metal, so it offers plenty of flexibility. We could move our feet and toes freely when walking in these, which isn’t always the case with waterproof shoes.
Con: The downside to these shoes is their thin insole. It’s a lot less cushioned than we like to see. Fortunately, it’s easy to replace with an orthotic sole for a more comfortable walking shoe.
Tip: We recommend you get a set of thicker, more cushioned insoles before tackling a long hike.
- Insole is thin and not well cushioned
Best Waterproof Walking Sneakers for Women
The Terradora 2 is the updated version of KEEN’s popular Terradora sneaker. The latter was already a top shoe for rainy weather. The new and improved version is our favourite waterproof sneaker for women.
The upper combines leather and waterproof mesh. It keeps the water out but is also highly breathable, which surprised us. Inside it is a KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane that offers further water protection.
Also inside is the proprietary Eco Anti-Odor technology. This tech uses probiotics to break down the molecules that cause foot and shoe odours. Combined with the breathable mesh, this keeps your shoes from getting wet and smelly.
Mud and dirt are easy to clean from the mesh,which is unusual for walking shoes. More often than not, mud gets stuck in mesh panels and can be a challenge to remove. This is not the case here; mud comes clean off this fabric.
You need to be careful when wearing these shoes in rough terrain. Although they’re relatively robust, the mesh sections can snag and tear on sharp rocks or sticks. This can make the shoe lose its waterproofing. If you’re going for a mountain hike or a forest hike, consider another pair.
The construction of these Terradoras is robust. Most panels are double stitched and the overall build quality is high.
The outsole is made using KEEN’s own KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber. With its multidirectional lugs, this rubber compound delivers high traction grip whenever you need it. When testing these in-store, we noticed they offer much more traction than standard sneakers.
Our favourite part of these reliable, waterproof shoes, is the array of colour options. None of which are obnoxiously bright as some hiking sneakers tend to be.
If you have flat feet or you struggle with foot pain, these quality walking shoes will be ideal.
Con: Need a little breaking in
Sizing can vary. Best to try on before buying
- Odour resistant
- Easy to clean
- Sizing varies somewhat. Best to try on before buying.
Best Waterproof Work Shoe for Men
The best option for men’s waterproof work shoes are the Carhartt Work 6 Inch Wedge Boot. They’re tough enough to handle long days at work but won’t look out of place with your best jeans. And of course, they’re fully waterproof.
They have an above ankle cut. This reduces the amount of water that can enter around the collar. It makes them ideal for working in very wet, muddy or snowy conditions.
The rugged leather upper is well built and easy to clean. It will protect you from workplace hazards. There’s even a steel toe version available should your job require it.
The slip resistant sole is thick. It means you can walk through puddles without water covering the upper. This helps elongate the life of the shoe as well as ensuring you stay completely dry. The sole can also be replaced by a cobbler when the time comes.
Inside the boots, there’s a FastDry lining. This wicks moisture away from your feet and helps prevent bad odours. The insole is well-cushioned. It has good shock absorption properties and delivers consistent comfort throughout the day.
Between the leather upper and the interior lining is the StormDefender waterproof membrane. This breathable lining is fully waterproof and keeps you protected from the elements.
These Carhartt work boots fit quite large. We found that we needed between half and a whole size smaller than usual. It’s best to try them in-store or via Prime Wardrobe to ensure the best fit.
- Easy to clean
- Moisture wicking
- Odour resistant
- Sizing runs large
Best Waterproof Work Shoe for Women
The best waterproof work shoes for women are the Timberland Nellies. These Chukka boots are durable, comfortable and look great.
The stylish leather upper is waterproof. The seams are all double-stitched and sealed. They’re even triple stitched in areas of high wear. This ensures these hard-wearing boots remain waterproof throughout their lifetime.
As Chukka boots, they come up to your ankle. The collar is padded for comfort and to prevent water leaking into the top of the shoe. It also offers a good level of support.
The thick rubber outsole has a deep tread pattern. This offers traction across a range of conditions and excels at dispersing water. It’s made from 10% plant material, making these boots a solid choice for the eco-conscious among us.
The EVA midsole is well-cushioned. It keeps your feet further away from the floor and out of puddles. It’s comfortable and stable, offering a lot of arch support and protection against walking-related injuries.
The anti-fatigue footbed is lightly cushioned. It adds to the comfort and support offered by the EVA midsole. It’s also breathable, allowing air to flow around your feet, which prevents the build-up of moisture and odours.
As standard, these Timberlands come with very short laces. If you lace them through each eyelet, you’ll struggle to actually tie them. It’s best to grab yourself a longer set of laces when ordering these boots.
- Environmentally friendly
- Good cushioning
- Fatigue reducing
- Laces tend to run on the short side
Waterproofing has come a long way from waxed leather and canvas. There’s now a myriad of waterproof technologies available. GORE-TEX is a prime example. It’s 100% waterproof and fully breathable.
Even if your shoes aren’t made from a waterproof material, they’re often treated with a hydrophobic coating. This waterproof spray means water just beads off the shoes.
You’ll find some shoes with a waterproof membrane between the upper and inside. These are usually made of breathable materials such as GORE-TEX, but can also be made using proprietary technology.
Whether it’s tech you’ve heard of, or patented materials, you’ll want the most advanced and reliable waterproofing technology available.
The best waterproof shoes will be cut a bit taller than normal. Expect waterproof slip ons to go around your ankle. Low tops should to up to the ankle at the very least.
This is to prevent water getting into the shoes easily. It’s not worth having a waterproof upper if liquid just pours in around the ankle collar.
Initially, it can feel a little weird if you’re used to wearing low cut shoes. But the benefits outweigh the costs. Plus, you do get used to wearing higher shoes pretty quickly.
Most of the shoes on our list are taller than the industry standard.
Construction quality is arguably the most important aspect of any shoe. But in the case of waterproof shoes, it’s even more essential. Holes or broken stitching give water a way in, rendering the shoe useless.
Keep an eye out for double stitching along all the seams. Triple stitching is even better. Overlays help give the shoe its shape and reinforce weak areas. In waterproof shoes, they also provide an extra layer of waterproofing to areas that receive the most wear and tear.
You also want to ensure that the sole is durable and well attached to the shoe. Any holes or tears will allow water to seep into the shoe every time you step in a puddle.
Easy To Clean
Walking in wet conditions can leave your shoes covered in mud, dirt and all manner of nastiness. To keep them looking and performing at their best, you’re going to want to clean them regularly.
Smooth leather, rubber and even treated waterproof suede are all relatively easy to clean. They are usually quick to wipe down after each use.
Traditionally, materials such as waterproof mesh are harder to clean. But modern technology means you’ll find some mesh shoes that are just as easy to clean as leather or rubber.
Also keep an eye out for rubber overlays around the bottom of the upper, where the sole meets the shoe. These can be easily wiped down and add an extra layer of waterproofing.
A Nice Thick(ish) Sole
Waterproof shoes aren’t usually designed to be submerged by every little puddle. A thick sole is ideal for keeping your feet above the waterline.
Of course, you don’t want the sole to be too thick. Shoes that elevate you too much will reduce the sensory feedback from the ground, leaving you at risk of slipping and injury.
There’s a fine line between too thick and not thick enough. Of all the shoes we tested, the ones that made it to this list have perfect soles.
If you plan on wearing your waterproof shoes for extended periods, breathability is vital. If you’ll only be wearing them for an hour or two, it’s not so important.
But not all waterproof shoes breathe equally. Rubber wellies or Chelsea boots offer almost zero breathability. To make them breathable would mean reducing their waterproofness. GORE-TEX and leather tend to breathe very well. Especially when you combine the two materials.
Waterproof mesh panels are an ideal addition to less breathable shoes. These too allow air to get to your feet without reducing the waterproofing of your shoes.
Ventilated footbeds and wide ankle collars are also a good way to keep air moving around your feet.
The best waterproof shoes for men are the Columbia Pivots. For women, the best are the CLARKS Wave Go shoes. Both are fully waterproof and super comfy. They each feel like a reliable pair of sneakers on your feet.
They deliver consistent grip in the wet and offer plenty of support while you walk. They’re well built and durable enough to get you through more than one winter.
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