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Best rain boots for women: Keep your feet dry in soggy conditions
Stay clean and dry in muddy conditions with a great pair of waterproof boots. Credit: (Gustavo Fring, Pexels/)
Whether you live in a cold climate bombarded with snow and sleet or a milder locale where winter equals frequent torrential downpours, it’s always smart to have a pair of rain boots on hand. The best women’s rain boots have good traction on the soles to keep you from sliding through puddles and ice. They should be comfortable and easy to walk in, which means you may want to find a low-profile pair that doesn’t rise far up on the leg and restrict your movements. In mud or snow, though, you need a rugged pair with a taller profile to keep your legs and feet protected. You’ll also need to take your specific needs into account—some boots are made for wider calves and feet, and some are designed to help ease the pain of foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis.
These are the best rain boots for women on the go, women who hike, or farm, or otherwise need something seriously utilitarian to stand up to the elements, and women who just need an easy pair of boots to slip into on a rainy walk to the grocery store.BEST RAIN BOOTS FOR WALKING: Xtratuf Women’s 6″ Waterproof Ankle Deck Boots BEST RAIN BOOTS FOR HIKING: Outdoor Research Women’s Verglas Gaiters BEST RAIN BOOTS FOR WIDE CALVES: Rahata Adjustable Wide Calf Rain Boot BEST RAIN BOOTS FOR WIDE FEET: Sperry Women’s Saltwater Boots BEST RAIN BOOTS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS: Chaco Women’s Sierra Waterproof Hiking Boot BEST RAIN BOOTS FOR MUD: Bogs Classic High Handle Rain and Snow Boot BEST BUDGET RAIN BOOTS: Norty Women’s Hurricane Wellie
Features to consider when shopping for the best rain boots for women
The best rain boots for women will vary based on your specific climate, the conditions in which you’ll wear them (do you need rain boots for hiking, or for running to the supermarket?), and your specific size and comfort considerations.
What activities will you be doing?
One of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing a pair of rain boots is taking into account what you’ll be doing while you wear them. A casual walk calls for a low-profile pair that hits at or above the ankle so your movements won’t feel restricted. Rain boots for walking still need non-slip soles to grip slippery sidewalks. You’ll also want to consider warmth—do you need boots with a warm lining, to keep your extremities extra toasty, or can you forego the lining and just slip on a pair of thick socks? Ultimately though, rain boots for walking can be quite straightforward—as long as they’re comfortable, you should be good to go.
Rain boots for hiking require a bit more thought, because you’ll be grappling with tough terrain. The insoles should cup your feet for extra support, and you better be on the lookout for good traction in the soles. A taller pair will protect your legs from mud and snow.
Best rain boots for walking: Xtratuf Women’s 6″ Waterproof Ankle Deck Boots
Built for fishing, so you know their waterproof factor is real. (Xtratuf/)
The Xtratuf women’s rain boots are the perfect ankle length for comfortable walks, and the tabs make them easy to slip on and off as you go to and from the house. The chevron soles keep you steady on wet sidewalks, and a cooling inner liner wicks away moisture that may collect inside.
Best rain boots for hiking: Outdoor Research Women’s Verglas Gaiters
These fit over your pants and regular hiking boots to help keep debris, rain, and snow out. (Outdoor Research/)
While not totally waterproof, the lower half of these high gaiters is made from water-resistant Cordura nylon to protect against splashes—while the tops are made from (relatively) breathable ripstop nylon. They’re easy to put on and take off, and made to last.
Do you have wide calves?
Standard women’s boots are made with a 13.5- to a 15-inch calf circumference. If your calves are wider than that, don’t worry—there are plenty of women’s rain boots for wide calves. Boot manufacturers recommend measuring at the widest point of your calf, then ordering a style an inch and a half to two inches larger.
You’ll also want to take your height into consideration. The widest part of a petite woman’s calves will hit lower inside the boot than the widest part of a taller woman’s calves. If you are under 5′4″, consider adding two inches to your calf measurement to ensure a good fit. It’s always preferable to have roomy boots you can tuck your pants into than an uncomfortably tight pair that squeezes and strains your calves.
Best rain boots for wide calves: Rahata Adjustable Wide Calf Rain Boot
Adjustable buckles make it easy to expand this boot’s circumference at the calf. (Rahata/)
These rubber rain boots for women from Rahata feature two buckles that adjust to fit calves from 16.9 to 22 inches in circumference . Polyester lining feels soft against your feet and wicks away moisture, plus the non-skid rubber roles provide much-appreciated traction.
Are your feet average, wide, or narrow?
In shoe land, width is denoted in letters AA, which is narrow, through EE, which is extra wide. Wider widths can also be indicated by a W, or an XW for extra wide. Most women wear a medium shoe, denoted by an M or a B. Wide shoes start at a D.
If you have wider feet, you’ll be happy you took the extra time to find wider boots. The best women’s rain boots for wide feet won’t constrain your toes or rub painfully on the sides of your feet or backs of your ankles. This means less soreness and unpleasant blisters after a long day of walking in your boots.
Best rain boots for wide feet: Sperry Women’s Saltwater Boots
Consider choosing the wide option in a half size up if you have particularly wide feet. (Sperry/)
These Sperry rain boots come in regular and half sizes, from 5 to 12, including wide widths. Plus, they tie at the top, so you can loosen or tighten the knot to achieve your ideal fit. These aren’t for freezing or ultra harsh climates, but they will keep you warm and dry on rainy days.
Do you have plantar fasciitis or other foot issues?
The best rain boots for women are not one size fits all. Women who suffer from painful foot conditions, like plantar fasciitis, need to be extra picky when it comes to picking their pair. Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the tissues between your toes and your heels. The bottom of the foot becomes less flexible, less able to absorb shock with every step. The condition is aggravated by unsupportive soles, and can sometimes be made more achy with a dip in temperature. Those with plantar fasciitis or general foot and ankle pain need to look for strong arch support, solid cushioning, and support around the ankles to keep those fragile bones stable.
It can also be helpful to look for boots with removable footbeds. That way, you can insert orthopedic inserts for better shock absorption and cushioning. Stay away from narrow or pointed footbeds; opt for a rounded toe rather than pointy or squared off rain boots. Women with any foot pain will find boots like these to be comfortable and easy to wear for hours at a time.
Best rain boots for plantar fasciitis: Chaco Women’s Sierra Waterproof Hiking Boot
Most rain boots simply can’t offer enough cushioning or arch support for those with chronic foot conditions. Not this pair. (Chaco/)
A sturdy lace-up design lets you get a snug fit for maximum stability at the ankles, and a thick rubber sole offers traction and support. The best part of these women’s rain boots by Chaco, however, is the removable footbed. Simply slide out the existing insoles and pop in your orthopedic inserts instead. For plantar fasciitis, look for insoles with a cupped heel and good arch support. Those with flat feet should seek out a structured neoprene insert, while people with high arches might prefer a cushy foam or gel.
How muddy will things get?
Don’t get bogged down by mud and gunk. Rain boots for mud need to be built tough—with a utilitarian rubber upper, or body. Rubber is strong and waterproof, and so long as it’s sturdy and the boot fits snugly enough, it’ll stop your boots from getting sucked off your feet and into thick mud. Neoprene is another helpful fabric to look out for. It’s resistant to brutal weather and land conditions, and is often found in scuba gear because of its warmth, flexibility, and water-resistant properties. A neoprene boot shaft stretches and moves with you comfortably.
One of the most critical components in rain boots for mud is the tread. Look for deep set lugs, or grooves, at the bottom of your boot, that will hug the ground without carrying too much of the mud around with you. Lugs set too close together will just end up getting caked in dirt.
Best rain boots for mud: Bogs Classic High Handle Rain and Snow Boot
A neoprene shaft adds extra warmth. (Bogs/)
The Bogs Classic women’s rain boots are made for marching in snow, mud, and other slick conditions. The tall shaft keeps your legs warm and protects them from mud splatters, while the non-slip rubber and deep lugs at the bottom of the boot keeps you from slipping. They’re easy to slip off when you’re done working, too.
Best budget rain boots for women: What you get for under $50
When you’re shopping for rain boots on a budget, you may not find superior traction or heavy-duty rubber uppers that will keep you dry while hiking in a rainstorm or mucking stables. But you can find plenty of basic rubber pairs that are lightweight and protective enough to keep you dry and comfortable on a walk around the neighborhood.
Best budget rain boots for women, under $50: Norty Women’s Hurricane Wellie
Great for wide feet, or people who want to bundle up in thick socks. (Norty/)
This inexpensive pair rain boots for women is lightweight and lined with cotton. They may not be able to handle extreme mud, but they’ll help you stay dry in light rains and in between storms. The shaft is 11.25 inches tall, so your calves are protected from accidental splatters.
Rain Boot Brands to Know
Bogs boots were originally built for outdoorspeople living in Oregon, a notoriously rainy state. Portland-based brothers Dustin and Riley Combs are president and vice president of the company, respectively. This isn’t the Combs family’s first foray into footwear—they also own a shoe store in Eugene, Oregon. Even the most casual Bogs footwear is made with sturdy rubber uppers and tough soles with strong traction. Their work and farming boots typically have neoprene uppers for waterproof insulation, and the outsoles, or bottoms of the boots, are grooved for strong traction.
Muck boots are constructed with comfort in mind. Founded in 1999, the company now has over 60 styles of shoes, all of which are 100% waterproof. The cupped rubber soles add traction and comfort for people with plantar fasciitis. There’s also a scuba-grade neoprene bootie inside the boot’s construction for added stability (another benefit for those with chronic foot pain) and insulation.
Chaco is best known for their thick-soled, strappy rubber sandals, invented in 1989. Founder Mark Paigen was a white water rafting and fly-fishing guide in Colorado. He needed shoes that let his feet dry in the sun, so they wouldn’t wrinkle, but he also needed something more supportive than traditional sandals. Now, Chaco boots feature thick lugs to sink into tough terrain and keep you from slipping, as well as seam-sealed construction and moisture-wicking liners to keep rain out for good.
A final word on shopping for the best rain boots for women
The best rain boots for women will vary based on your outdoor activities and comfort needs. Remember that the more mud you’ll be mucking through, the more traction you will need, so look for deep set lugs. How high the boot reaches on your leg depends on where you’ll be walking—a casual walk calls for ankle boots that won’t restrict movement. Watch for rubber uppers that are seam-sealed to ensure your feet stay dry, and if you live somewhere freezing, consider neoprene or something warmer, like Thinsulate, for added insulation.