Many people appreciate the convenience of rain boots. This useful and effective footwear is designed to keep your feet dry above everything else. No matter if you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, or you want a sturdy pair for outdoor work, you can certainly benefit from additional feet protection. However, not all people want and expect the same things from their waterproof rubber boots – some need stylish footwear which they will put on a couple of times a month, while others need something tough to wear every day. For this reason, you will come across different types and styles. Finding the best rain boots comes down to carefully considering what you need, and our buying guide will help you do that. In addition, we handpicked some fantastic products for you to choose from is you need something tested and reliable, so don’t miss out.
How To Choose A Pair Of Rain Boots – Buying Guide
Your new pair of boots needs to meet some expectations, because unlike many other different types of footwear, these have a specific purpose. First and foremost, no water should be able to penetrate the boot and make your feet wet. In addition to this, wet surfaces are often slippery so it’s a big plus if the boots give you a good grip and prevent slipping. They also need to be easy to put on and comfortable to wear, which is not always the case. Take a look at some of the most important features that make a good rain boot.
This is probably the most important thing when discussing waterproof boots, and the reason you buy them in the first place. The construction must be solid and impenetrable, and because of this many waterproof rubber boots are molded as a single piece. They need to avoid weak seams, which are a problem when trying to keep water out. It’s also very important that the rubber or PVC used to make the boots doesn’t crack easily, because the boot loses its function. Try to find products which are made of high quality materials, and don’t forget to regularly take care of your boots.
Besides materials, boot design also determines the level of protection you’re going to get. If you’re going to walk in deeper water or expect to be in wet conditions all day, then you should consider a pair that reaches your knees when you put them on, and fits tightly around your calves so that rain doesn’t come in from the top. On the other hand, lower boots are perhaps more convenient, and they will keep your feet dry when going to the store or commuting to work. Of course, don’t forget to put on your waterproof jacket and bring an umbrella.
Depending on circumstances, this feature is more or less important when buying boots. Traction is their ability to create a solid grip on the surface when you walk, so you have safe footing. In order to do this, boots need to have a well-designed outsole pattern so it creates traction in every direction. While casual boots work well with standard outsoles, you need to pay more attention if you plan on using your boots for work too. In this case, they need to have a rugged tread with deep lugs to create a solid grip regardless of the surface you’re walking on – mud, snow, ice, wet grass or any other.
In addition to this, it’s a big plus if tread design allows the dirt and debris to fall out on its own instead of getting stuck (because this can make the boot slippery). The pattern isn’t the only thing that determines traction – it also has to do with the type of rubber used. Some materials naturally provide a better grip, and for this reason many manufacturers use different type of rubber for the outsole, opposed to the rest of the boot.
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For the boots to last, the material used needs to be flexible and able to follow the movement of your foot. Cracks are a common problem for rubber boots, and it happens most often in the area above your ankle. This part is exposed to the biggest stress because of the way your foot flexes when you walk. Another weak point may be the outsole and upper connection on glued boots, especially if the glue used isn’t strong enough. The point of discussing this is that you should look at the overall quality and even read some user experiences so you can know what to expect.
Furthermore, the boots should be resistant to various chemicals they come in contact with, especially if you work in them. You’ll find many types of conditioners on the market, which are very useful for treating the boot surface after cleaning them. This decreases the chance of boot getting damaged. Durability also depends on the type and frequency of use, but you can expect the best boots for rain to last for many years as long as you take proper care of them.
People sometimes avoid wearing boots because there is a general opinion they are not stylish enough. While this was probably true in the past, nowadays you can find numerous interesting and colorful designs which you can easily match with your outfit. Even though they don’t look like your typical pair of shoes, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be nice. When it comes to this, you should note that short boots are often more stylish than high boots. They offer you a larger choice when buying, mainly because they are made to be worn more casually. Bottom line, it all comes down to taking your time and finding the right pair.
Fit And Comfort
Finding the proper fit for your boots is a bit different compared to other shoes. They are more rigid and often cover a good part of your calf. It’s important that you can put the boot on and take it off without trouble, meaning the opening is wide enough to allow you to do this. A boot that is too tight can make walking difficult, while a boot that is too wide will allow water to get in and generally feel awkward (and there is no way to tighten them).
Luckily, most manufacturers specify the circumference of the boot opening on the product page. This allows you to take a measuring tape and measure the circumference of your calves, so you can compare. Don’t forget that it needs to have a bit of extra space, so you won’t have to tug them on. Also, waterproof boots should be worn over the pants (pant legs tucked into them), so keep this in mind too.
Furthermore, fit is closely related to size. You should decide whether you want to wear them with thick socks, or without any socks at all – this will determine the size you need to get. Unfortunately, there are no half-sizes for most products, so you will have to go up or down a size. A larger size will accommodate warm socks, but may be too loose when worn in the summer. It’s good when your foot has a little extra room inside, but the boot shouldn’t move independently (which happens with this type of footwear).
As for comfort, it depends on the particular product you get. While boots are not known for their fantastic feel on your feet, some of them are quite nice. Some models have arched footbed and soft foam insoles which greatly improve comfort. However, keep in mind that it will usually take some time to break-in the boots.
Keeping your feet warm is (in some situations) as important as keeping them dry. Additional insulation in your boots will keep your feet warm in freezing temperatures, so it’s an obvious plus if you use them in snowy and cold conditions. However, this becomes a problem during warmer months, because they will feel too warm and make your feet sweaty. There are some models with removable insulation, which seems to kill two birds with one stone and gives the boots better versatility throughout the year. Still, removing the insulation will create extra space inside and leave them a bit too large. You can always buy boots without insulation, and then wear wool or waterproof socks during the winter. The choice you make should be based on the area you live in, and which type is going to be convenient and easier for you to use.
Ease Of Cleaning
All boots are easy to clean, and this is a great advantage compared to many other shoe types. The material allows you to simply wash off the mud and debris with a hose or under a tap. You are allowed to use mild detergents too, if you have some stains that need to be removed. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s a big plus if the outsole doesn’t collect everything you walk over and is easy to clean – it will save you a lot of time and energy.
Q: What Are Waterproof Boots Best Used For?
Boots for the rain are versatile and can have many uses. Some people wear them casually when talking a walk or running errands around town. Some models are also great as footwear for work because in addition to being waterproof they are exceptionally strong and durable. You can use them around your yard, in the garden, for agriculture or any other situation you see fit. Like we discussed, their main benefits are keeping your feet dry and warm. However, these types of boots aren’t the best choice for walking in (especially longer distances), because they are too stiff. If you need footwear for walking and hiking, you should take a look at our selection of hiking boots. And if you’re worried about your feet getting wet, you should also consider getting a pair of hiking gaiters.
Q: Are Boots 100% Waterproof?
Yes, they are (or at least they should be if they are well made), which is an advantage over regular shoes. Manufacturers use materials such as rubber, PVC and other synthetic materials in order to keep the water out. As we said earlier, the seals should be glued well or, even better, the boot should be made as a single piece. Additionally, it shouldn’t be prone to cracks. If you wan’t to learn more about what being waterproof really means, we recommend you read our article about the differences between water-resistant vs. waterproof.
Q: How To Clean Waterproof Boots?
Like we mentioned, it’s really easy to clean a pair of these boots. You should use clean water and a soft sponge or cloth. If you choose to use a detergent, make sure it’s mild so it doesn’t damage the boot surface. You should rinse off all the dirt before soaping, and then wash off the soap completely after scrubbing. Afterward, it’s best that you leave them to air dry. When they are completely dry, you should apply the conditioner (if you’re using one) and polish the boots. Conditioning them restores the shine, removes bloom and prolongs the lifespan of your boots. When you’re done, you should store your shoes for rain in a dry place and away from a heat source, so they don’t get damaged before the next use.
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A reliable pair of waterproof rubber boots is something most of us need at some point. Buying them is a smart investment, and it all revolves around what you need them for and how you plan to use them. We hope the pointers we discussed help you in finding the best rain boot so that you can always keep water outside. We’re sure you’ll start to love them them as soon as you experience all the benefits they can give you.
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Have you tried a pair of boots that made it onto our list? Are they reliable in keeping you dry? How comfortable are they? What about durability and quality? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.