Are rain boots comfortable to walk in? To be honest, not always. Some rain boots are only good for brief trips – they just don’t have good cushioning or support for long-distance strolls.
If you’re someone that likes to (or needs to) spend time in wet conditions, you need the best rain boots for walking.
Here are the criteria we used to choose and review these comfy and supportive rain boots.
- 1 Brief buyer’s guide to rain boots for walking
- 2 FAQS about rain boots
- 3 Best Rain Boots for Walking in 2023
- 4 Conclusion
Brief buyer’s guide to rain boots for walking
You might be tempted to ask what brand is best for rain boots and settle for that. Or maybe you’ll search for the best waterproof boots you can buy and stop looking.
But I think you’re more discerning than that.
I bet you’re concerned about more than looks or brand. You want rain boots that are comfortable and have worthwhile features. For example, you’ll be looking at:
Should you buy rain boots a size bigger? Maybe—it depends on the style, what types of socks you’ll wear with them, and also the brand (some run narrower).
Rain boots for walking fall into the one to three pounds per pair range. If they are too light, they won’t have the support needed for distance walking or hiking.
For strolls around town, ankle-high or mid-shin rain boots are great. If you’ll be crossing streams or wading through mud or snow, you might want to go taller. Remember that it’s normal to tuck pants into rain boots, not the other way around.
Sidewalks and asphalt are slick when icy. Cobblestones and grass are slippery when wet. Look for deep tread and lugs for dealing with snow, ice, and mud but remember that it’s a pain to clean. Less tread is fine for rainy days in the city.
If you’re in southern Florida, you probably don’t want a Thinsulate lining in your rain boots. Something that wicks moisture away from sweaty feet would be more appropriate. See if the manufacturer has listed a temperature range for the rain boots. Otherwise, see how thick the boots are. If they only have a waterproof shell, they’re probably made for warmer weather.
Vulcanized rubber is the gold standard for waterproof rain boots. However, duck boots with a leather top might be all right if you won’t be splashing through deep puddles. Make sure that the non-waterproof parts of the boots have sealed seams and are made of water-resistant material.
Galoshes or rubber overshoes require next to no maintenance. Hose them off and let them dry. But waterproof rain boots for hiking may need to be treated with Nikwax or other water-repellent substances. Other types of rain boots may have removable insoles that you can wash to eliminate odors. Be sure you’re ready to commit to the level of maintenance required for your new boots.
FAQS about rain boots
Here are questions our readers are asking about rain boots.
Q: Do you have to wear socks with rain boots?
A: Nope, but most of us do. For one, boots may cause blisters if they rub and socks help prevent that from happening. Socks also cut down on odor and help manage moisture.
Q: Is it bad to wear rain boots all day?
A: Nope, it doesn’t matter if you wear them all day as long as you’re comfy.
Q: Are rain boots good for the snow?
A: It depends – if they are insulated rain boots, they can probably double as snow boots. If you only have occasional snow that doesn’t get very deep, throw on an extra pair or two of socks and go for it. Otherwise, lightweight rain boots might be too cold for the snow. They also might not have a deep enough tread for traction.
Q: When to buy the next larger size in rain boots?
A: If you’re in-between sizes, go up to the next full size, especially if the boots go up to mid-calf or taller. The same is true if you’ll be replacing the insoles with custom orthotics or wearing thick socks. This is when it’s handy to purchase from somewhere that makes exchanges easy.
If you have more questions for us, drop them in the comments below. In the meantime, here are the best rain boots for men and women to go walking:
|The best rain boots for walking||Highlights|
|Rocket Dog Women's Rainy Rubber Rain Boot||
|BOGS Women's Sauvie Slip-on Boot||
|Sperry Women's Saltwater Core Boots||
|HUNTER Women's Hike Rain Boot||
|Xtratuf Men's Ankle Deck Boot||
|Palladium Men's Pampa Cuff WP Lux Rain Boot||
Best Rain Boots for Walking in 2023
Rocket Dog Women’s Rainy Rubber Rain Boot
We’ve heard so many say that Rocket Dog makes the best women’s rain boots for walking. What makes them special?
First, they look more like hiking boots than rain boots, making them fashionable for everyday wear. They weigh just over 1 pound per pair so they aren’t bulky or heavy.
Second, they are truly waterproof. The rubber sole and neoprene lining keep water out and help keep moisture inside under control.
Third, since they lace up, they aren’t as sloppy, bulky, or hard to walk in like some rain boots. However, we have one word of advice: socks. Several reviewers suggested that tall socks make the boots much more comfortable for long periods of walking. They keep the top of the boots from rubbing on the calves and reduce sweating.
Otherwise, the EVA and memory foam insole is very cushiony and pleasant for strolls.
- Fashionable lace-up rain boots
- EVA and memory foam insole is like walking on clouds
- Rubber outsole and neoprene lining make the boots waterproof
- Lightweight – they weigh just over 1 pound per pair
- Might be too narrow for wide feet
BOGS Women’s Sauvie Slip-on Boot
What are the best rain boots for walking the dog? We prefer slip-on rain boots like these. They’re perfect for fumbling on first thing in the morning or putting on tired feet at the end of the day.
The mid-calf design is completely waterproof. The inside is lined with 3 mm of Neo-Tech insulation similar to what dive boots use.
Moreover, the unique BioGrip outsole prevents slipping on wet grass and stairs while the DuraFresh insole minimizes dampness and odors. The lining wicks away sweat even if you forget your socks.
We found that city dwellers and outdoor enthusiasts both love these rain boots. You might even find them warm enough for snow if you have the right socks. We recommend wool socks like the ones below.
- Pull-on boots that reach mid-calf
- Completely waterproof
- Slip-resistant outsole for everything from wet sidewalks and grass to mud and slush
- Moisture-wicking lining controls odors
- They don’t match business attire
Smartwool Women’s Popcorn Cable Knee High Merino Wool Socks
Please allow us to include a public service announcement. We highly recommend wool socks to go with your rain boots. Here are the reasons why.
For one, wool keeps you warm even when it’s wet. What’s more, you probably won’t be able to tell if your feet are sweaty because wool is just that comfy. Just in case, these socks have a mesh ventilation panel to help manage temperature.
Next, wool is naturally odor-resistant. And these socks happen to be machine-washable, too.
Lastly, they feature lightweight cushioning and a flat toe seam for extra comfort.
In our experience, Smartwool socks last for years and have never been a waste of money.
Sperry Women’s Saltwater Core Boots
Back to our regularly scheduled reviews… This pair looks like LL Bean duck boots, don’t they? This classic style screams ready for rain and snow. The micro-fleece lining will keep your toes toasty warm. Meanwhile, the wave-siping tread on the sole provides traction on all sorts of surfaces.
Did you know that backpackers in Ireland (where it rains a lot) love how these boots keep their feet dry? What’s nice is that they lace up for a better fit. And a better fit means less likelihood of blisters from extended walking.
Yes, they are waterproof. The rubber bottom lets you stand in the stream to take a better photo. However, water can slip in over the top, so don’t go wading too deep.
- Waterproof mid-calf lace-up rain boots
- Siped tread on the rubber sole (like on car tires) for traction
- Micro-fleece lining for warmth
- Appropriate for 3-season use
- Not dressy but comfortable
HUNTER Women’s Hike Rain Boot
Some say that Hunter makes the best rain boots for women. They certainly have a price tag that reinforces that belief. We’ve also run across diehard fans that won’t wear anything else.
What makes these rain boots special? The Sherpa style design will keep you warm down to 23°F. Plus, you can roll up the top to trudge through knee-deep snow.
Of course, they are 100% waterproof. The bottom is natural rubber and the upper is neoprene, the same material worn by divers. Still, the durable construction only weighs a little over a pound and a quarter per pair.
Reviewers say these pull-on boots are comfortable for all sorts of circumstances including working on the farm. The toes will fit in stirrups if you go riding. And when you’re done with the day, they clean off easily with a hose.
- Waterproof pull-on boots for all sorts of activities
- Made by a reputable brand that’s been in business for over a century
- Natural rubber bottoms and neoprene uppers (can be rolled down)
- Warm down to 23°F
- Not stylish but sensible
Xtratuf Men’s Ankle Deck Boot
Alaskans know that the best rain boots for men are Xtratuf. These may be short rain boots but they are mighty. They have SRA-rated slip-resistant soles that will keep you steady on board a boat or on icy streets. Furthermore, the non-marking outsoles won’t mess up the linoleum or the gymnasium floor.
Reviewers say they wear these lightweight boots year-round with help from the evaporative cooling liner and a good pair of socks. They are ideal for walking the dog in the park, doing chores outdoors, and heading to work on slushy days.
- SRA-rated slip-resistant outsoles
- Evaporative cooling liner
- Durable design for all sorts of activities
- Can be worn year-round
- Definitely sweaty without socks
Palladium Men’s Pampa Cuff WP Lux Rain Boot
How about rain boots that don’t look like rain boots? If you hate clunky, bulky boots, check out these leather hi-tops with rubber soles. They are stylish and comfortable for walking. You might decide to wear them every day until summer comes back.
They feature a padded cuff and tongue. Those are things that other rain boots would do well to emulate because they prevent blisters. Then, there’s an EVA midsole for cushioning and support.
On the downside, most reviewers say the boots need time to break in. Don’t go walk to Santiago De Compostela without wearing them a few times first.
- Stylish waterproof boots that aren’t bulky or clunky
- Non-slip rubber outsole
- Padded tongue and cuff with rust-resistant eyelets
- EVA midsole
- Feel stiff at first – need time to break in
Get yourself a comfortable pair of rain boots for walking and your feet will thank you. There are all sorts of styles and options for every budget.
We hope our reviews helped you find your new favorite footwear today.