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Timberland Outlet Online | You Can Wear These Waterproof Work Boots with Confidence

collage of three pairs of work boots
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If suede boots are your go-to, you know what wet weather or a dirty worksite can do to them: serious effing damage. As such, you won't see (or at least shouldn't see) many trudging through fresh snow or crossing an ankle-deep puddle in their classy Chelseas. These tasks are better saved for boots designed to get dirty — ones you don't need to worry about ruining.

They were made to withstand the messiest, wettest, wildest (you name it) workdays or weather. Which ones are they? Well, there are duck, muck, rain and snow boots, but there are general-purpose work boots, too. While the former don't protect against much more than water, the latter are often equipped with protective toes and padded collars. They're better suited for places where injuries could (but hopefully don't) happen.

What to Look for

With work boots, no matter what your job is, you want a design that can perform on a daily basis but also protect your feet from moving vehicles, heavy objects or slick floors — whatever it is the day throws at you. Versatility is important but so too is comfortability. If your job requires work boots, it's fair to say you probably work on your feet. A comfortable insole is a must, but most boots are big enough to accommodate an insert — like Fulton's cork one, which molds to your foot with wear.

Other musts include a high collar, reinforced toe box, lug sole and slip-resistant tread. High boots can protect your ankle as well as where pant hems might expose when you step up. Steel toes are a smart choice, but they're pricey. Most folks can get by with a reinforced toe box alone. The lug sole and slip-resistant tread guarantee control on slick surfaces, in muddy work zones or on debris-covered construction sites.

And, as we say with all boots, really, an expensive boot is almost always worth as long as its features warrant the price — not just its aesthetics. Not only do nicer boots last longer, but they look better as they age, ultimately saving you the money you'd otherwise spend annually on a new pair.

Terms to Know

Steel Toe

A steel toe is the surest way to guarantee yours won't get crushed under a moving machine or raw materials gone rogue. Sure, there are other options out there — a cap toe or aluminum — but steel is the strongest choice.

Electric Shock Resistant (ESR), Heat Resistant (HR), Acid Resistant (AR), Electrical Hazard (EH)

These are all ratings that determine whether a boot will prevent electric shock if you step on an exposed wire, sustain high temperatures, protect against acid erosion and so on and so forth.

Membrane

A membrane, in this industry, is a protective layer that separates the wearer within the boot from the elements. Membranes are often breathable, too, so they keep you dry while letting sweat evaporate.

Oiled

A leather boot can be waterproofed using an oil coating. Most oiled boots need minimal care and maintenance, too — just a cleaning and conditioning every few months (or sooner if you really put them through it).

The Best Waterproof Work Boots for Men

BEST OVERALL WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
Blundstone BL989 Work Chelsea Boot
$220 AT ZAPPOS

  • Anti Electric Hazard-approved
  • Heat and acid resistant
  • Comes with a steel toe

  • Chelsea shape isn't for everyone

Blundstone makes a number of everyday boots. The brand is best known for the comfortability and durability of its designs, and the BL989, Blundstone's official work style, is no exception. The BL989 does retain the usual Chelsea shape, but it's been upgraded with a new a heat and acid resistant outsole with better traction control and an anti-electric shock treatment, a broad fitting impact-resistant steel toe cap and a molded TPU bump cap (what separates the leather upper from the outsole).

BEST UPGRADE WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
White's 350 Cutter
$670 AT WHITESBOOTS.COM

  • Made in the US
  • Resoleable (come with a Vibram outsole)
  • Come with a leather shank
  • Available in two widths and 11 colors

  • Run large — order a half size down
  • No protective toe

The 350 Cutter was originally designed by then White's owner Otto White, who famously took a chainsaw to a taller boot to make something loggers could wear on off days. The upper's waterproof and there's a mini Vibram outsole, plus each pair is both resoleable and rebuildable.

BEST AFFORDABLE WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
Honeywell Ademco Servus Work Boots
$30 AT AMAZON$38 AT WALMART

  • Comes with a steel toe
  • Scalloped collar prevents rubbing
  • High collar covers pant legs

  • Shaft is a little too flexible
  • Wear out fast

Kanye West might've made tall rubber boots trend in 2021, but the style has been popular for as long as it's been around. Tall boots are practical, even in spaces where the setting isn't all that spill-prone. These have a steel toe, high collar, lifted lug sole and slip-resistant tread. Plus, these boots have a scalloped collar so you can bend and lift your leg without the top lip rubbing on your calf.

BEST LOOKING WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
Red Wing Heritage 6-inch Classic Moc Gore-Tex
$360 AT HUCKBERRY

  • Made in the US
  • Goodyear welted
  • Rip and stain resistant

  • No reinforced or protective toe
  • Sizing is different — most should order a half size down
  • No shank or substantial arch support

When Red Wing introduced the Moc Toe, it was designed for outdoorsmen — people trekking through mud and over rough terrain, who needed to strike a balance between comfort and courage. This version of the venerable boot is made with a Gore-Tex membrane, making it entirely waterproof. You won't sully your feet should someone splash or a puddle surprise you. Plus, they're plenty comfortable still.

BEST DEPARTMENT STORE WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
Timberland 6-Inch Premium Waterproof Boot
$198 AT NORDSTROM$197 AT MOOSEJAW$209 AT ZAPPOS

  • Easy to find in stock
  • Lots of sizes
  • Several colors

  • Heels wear down with extensive walking
  • Tight at the toes

When Timberland introduced its now-iconic work boots in 1973, it was a revolution. The cement construction made it among the first boots to be truly waterproof and the design has remained much the same since. The nubuck uppers are constructed with quadruple needle stitching and outfitted with PrimaLoft insulation padded ankle collars and tough rubber lug soles.

BEST WATERPROOF WORK BOOTS FOR THE WEEKEND
L.L. Bean Bucksport Work Boots
$179 AT LL BEAN

  • Triple-stitched for longevity
  • Resoleable
  • Made from fine oiled leather

  • No steel toe
  • No padded collar

This is the ideal boot for your off hours. L.L. Bean's Bucksport boot features an upper made from Coffee Brown waterproof oiled leather sewn together using the brand's super-durable triple stitch technique. There's no steel toe, but that's expected. These look like work boots but shouldn't be worn during any dangerous jobs. The lug sole offers traction on surfaces covered in sawdust or paint but probably isn't enough to tackle wet concrete. The Bucksport can be resoled, though, because it's Goodyear welted.

BEST LIGHTWEIGHT WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
Keen San Jose Waterproof Boot
$190 AT KEENFOOTWEAR.COM

  • Lightweight, creating less drag on your legs
  • Comfortable
  • Lower profile

  • Generally less protective than steel and thick leather
  • Outsole isn't very thick

Keen's San Jose Boots are the same height as Timberland's classic wheat work boot, but they are way lighter. Keen opted for aluminum instead of steel, creating tough toes that weigh 35 percent less. But less weight doesn't mean these are any less protective: They come with Keen's KEEN.DRY waterproof membrane, are both safe from Electrical Hazard (EH) and Electric Shock Resistant (ESR) and feature a siped outsole that drains faster, giving you better control on wet surfaces.

BEST TALL WATERPROOF WORK BOOT
Xtratuf 15" Legacy Boot
$135 AT CABELAS.COM

  • Tall: 15 inches altogether
  • Neoprene booties keep your toes warm
  • Seamless for a true waterproof seal
  • Chevron outsole trusted by workers in Alaska

  • Hard to get on and off
  • Not great for jobs where you walk a lot

If you're working somewhere where you might need to wade through standing water, walk through wet building materials or cross an uncleared path, a boot with some height is probably a smart idea. Xtratuf's 15 inch work boots, which were made for Alaskan fish and oil workers, feature a steel toe, a watertight bottom and neoprene booties within to keep your feet warm. The rubber shells are triple dipped, ensuring they're puncture and leakproof. They're comfortable, too, because they come with built-in insoles with substantial arch support.