10 Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Author: Jovana Subić. Updated: .

Some hikes are ruined with even light rain or morning dew. Not to mention rain showers. Your feet get soaked, cold, even blisters appear. That’s where waterproof hiking shoes enter the scene. This guide will showcase the best waterproof hiking shoes on the market and features that set them apart from other hiking shoes. 

 

How we review waterproof hiking shoes 

  • We gathered and read reviews from 234 experts and 25,309 users 
  • We eliminated spam and added more weight to the reviews of proven experts 
  • Thanks to our CoreScore, we’ve created a collection of more than 130 waterproof hiking shoes 
  • This collection can be sorted by popularity, ratings, discounts 

Ranking of the 10 best waterproof hiking shoes

Based on 18,069 user ratings 157 expert reviews

Here is a list of all 161 waterproof hiking shoes, where you can sort by “best rated” and apply filters.

Popular hiking shoes aren't the better rated ones

83 91 100
High Popularity Low
10 best shoes
68 most popular shoes

Features of waterproof hiking shoes 

Waterproof hiking shoes are, as their name suggests, hiking shoes with an additional feature: being waterproof. We’ve already covered in detail features you should look for in (regular) hiking shoes in our guide on best hiking shoes. Here, we’ll focus on what sets waterproof shoes apart from the rest. 

  1. Waterproof. They should keep your feet dry by keeping water on the outer side. This is accomplished by using special fabrics or membranes that guarantee a certain level of waterproofness. You should always look for a “Waterproof” sign or check online for the waterproof levels of the materials used. 
  2. Breathable. Hiking shoes can be both waterproof and breathable. This is not only good-to-have but a must. This is possible because completely waterproof hiking shoes don’t exist. If they did, you wouldn’t want to use them because they would not be breathable AT ALL.

“Just” because they bare waterproof, these shoes tend to cost and weigh more. Keep that in mind when making a purchase.

 

5 things to know when buying waterproof hiking shoes

1. Even with waterproof hiking shoes, your feet might get wet. 

There are times when, whichever shoe you’re wearing, your feet will get wet. You can submerge your feet into a stream or a river, or rain showers can be so heavy that the waterproof membrane can hold the water outside anymore. Additionally, you can also wet your feet when water gets there from the inside: thanks to rain or water sliding down the trouser legs or skin on your legs.

2. Gaiters can be a life-saver! 

The chances of water appearing in your shoe from the inside (rain trickles down your legs) are greater in hiking shoes than hiking boots. That’s why you can buy waterproof gaiters as well - they are lightweight and packable so you won’t feel them in your backpack but will treasure them once they are needed. 

3. Every waterproof membrane has a limit. 

When you’re looking for waterproof hiking shoes, you can see which membrane was used to make them waterproof. Every membrane is described with a hydrostatic head, measured in millimeters. It’s a measure of how waterproof a fabric is.

What this number actually tells us is how high you can fill a tube with inner dimensions of 1’’x1’’ with water when put over a piece of certain fabric, before water begins to leak through. The higher the number in mm, the more waterproof the fabric. 

Additionally, these fabrics won’t last forever in given conditions. Sometimes it’s minutes, sometimes hours. 

4. Waterproof hiking shoes cost and weigh more.

This is because waterproof technologies are involved. These technologies might add some weight to the shoe, so brands try really hard to make the shoes both waterproof and light as much as possible. It comes with a price, literally. On average, waterproof hiking shoes cost $34 more and weigh 39g more than non-waterproof hiking shoes. 

5. Use coatings to prolong the life of your hiking shoes.

There are some brand-recommended and general coats: they come in spray cans and they create a protective water repellent coating on the surface of the shoes. There’s a whole debate on whether you should use these sprays while shoes are wet or dry. In our experience, it works both ways. Before using them, always check for the producer’s advice for your specific shoe model. 

The best waterproof hiking shoes in every category

Which waterproof hiking shoes brand has better reviews?

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Which brand is cheaper?

Merrell $125
Adidas $137
KEEN $138
Oboz $140
Salomon $142
Vasque $167
Asolo $180
Salewa $192
See 1 more

Now, are you ready to buy waterproof hiking shoes?

Author
Jovana Subić
Jovana Subić

Jovana is into all things outdoor - skyrunning, trail running, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking. She uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails, which made her a hard-core remote work devotee. Whether it's a vertical kilometer or an ultra, she enjoys the surroundings and fantasizes about donuts. With a background in physics and engineering management, as well as photography and creative writing, she combines both technical and creative aspects to do her best.

jovana@runrepeat.com