Rain boots have seen a serious boom over the past decade, with dozens of brands and designers offering fashion-forward options that complement outfits and also leave your feet feeling great. Not sure what to look for when it comes to the right rain boots for your lifestyle or your next trip? We spoke to a handful of podiatrists and fashion experts to get their top tips on how to choose the best waterproof shoes.
For a dependable and versatile pair of rain boots to get you through less than ideal weather days, Hunter Original Shiny Adjustable Back Rain Boots are our first choice. They feature a classic high round toe silhouette with a modern twist thanks to a glossy finish, and the calf area can be extended for wearers who need a roomier fit. If you want stylish and sturdy pairs of rain boots in different lengths or colors, we’ve found a variety of other options to add to your shoe rack.
Read on to find the best rain boots available for every need and preference.
Tips for Buying Rain Boots
Look for features that improve comfort
First, make sure the rain boots you are considering are made of a breathable material. According to Daniel Pledger, podiatrist and CEO of ePodiatrists, this will keep your feet dry and comfortable even when wet.
“I recommend avoiding rubber rain boots, as they can be quite uncomfortable and make your feet sweat. Opt for rain boots made of canvas or another breathable fabric instead,” he adds.
Another important comfort-oriented factor to consider is the fit of the boot.
Daniel Pledger, CEO of ePodiatrists
“It’s important that your rain boots fit snugly around your calves so water doesn’t seep in and soak your socks. However, you also don’t want the boots to be too tight, as this can cause discomfort and even pain. The best way to determine the correct fit is to try the boots on with a thick pair of socks. If the boots feel too tight, go up one size.
— Daniel Pledger, CEO of ePodiatrists
Consider a versatile style to match multiple outfits
You might be tempted to grab a pair of colorful rain boots, but a versatile style might be a better bet for long-term wear. Neutral colors and timeless fits will ensure your rain boots won’t go out of style and make it easy to pair with your existing wardrobe.
Look for boots with excellent traction
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the rain boots you choose have a good sole. “Great traction will help you avoid slips and falls on wet or icy surfaces,” says Pledger. “Look for boots with deep treads that can provide traction in all kinds of weather conditions.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?
There is a big difference between waterproof and water resistant, especially when it comes to rain boots. Water-resistant materials were designed to resist moisture and water and to dry quickly when wet. Waterproof materials, on the other hand, were designed to completely repel or provide a barrier to water and as such are a much better option for rain boots.
Are rain boots good in the snow?
Although rain boots may seem to be good in the snow, it’s best to buy a separate pair of waterproof winter boots for cold weather. The rubber or plastic material most rain boots are made of won’t keep your feet warm once the temperature drops and may even crack or split in extreme cold snaps.
Do my rain boots need to be insulated?
Technically, your rain boots don’t need to be insulated to protect your feet from rain, but if you live (or travel) to destinations that have a cold, rainy season, it might be worth opting for something specifically designed to insulate your feet. Alternatively, you can size a pair of regular rain boots and wear a pair of thick socks as needed.
Why trust Travel + Leisure
For this article, Kaitlyn McInnis used her experience as a travel writer and spoke to fashion and footwear professionals to select the best options to meet most needs.
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