Best Waterproof Boots For Men in 2020 – Wet Work Boots Compared

When you start a conversation among outdoorsman about waterproof boots, everyone has their own opinion and tried-and-true favorites. It’s only natural considering different foot structures and intended use profiles.

Use profile is one source of confusion that comes up right away, because a waterproof hiking boot is a different breed of animal than a waterproof boot intended for fishing and hunting applications.

In fact, take a hiking boot on a fishing trip and you are likely to find out that it is not waterproof at all. This review guide will focus on specialized gear for those who will be crossing creeks and stomping through swamps with regularity, and we will look at boots that can stay dry if you have to wade a bit in the edge of the stream or surf. 

9 Best Waterproof Boots - Comparisons

Best Waterproof Boots in 2020 - Reviews

Waterproofing power is of course important, but fit and durability are crucial as well because a fisherman’s waterproof boots will likely have to double as hiking boots on many occasions.

Tingley 31151 15” Economy Knee Boot

We are going to start this article with the basic waterproof boots everyone knows – the universal black rubber high boot.

Tingley is a performance boot brand that offers everything from kids’ rain gear to the heaviest industrial-purpose protective gear. These boots are a value-priced waterproof PVC boot that is made for general work in wet, muddy conditions.

A nice feature of these boots is the use of 30% recycled material in the upper, which is formed from a soft compound that allows for easier flex in the shaft and comfortable walking. The outsole is a heavier-grade rubber that gives you long wear. Toe and heel have reinforcement patches, and the heel has a tab that makes it a lot easier to get the boots off. The deeply-cleated sole is self-cleaning to provide good traction.

These boots are comfortable enough to wear all day provided you put together the correct sock combination, and that is doubly important with these boots because they are unlined raw rubber on the inside. Like many boots of this type, we found our socks working their way down as the day went on, something that can really drive a fisherman crazy.

And like all heavy-duty rubber boots, at 4.2 lbs, these add a bit of weight to your walk. They do provide protection in over a foot of water, and mud or snow is nothing to these stompers. These boots get good marks on quality for cost, and they are ideal for just keeping in the back of the truck for use when needed.

What we liked

  • Industrial-grade strength and durability
  • Specialty PVC compound the resists cracking
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Value priced

What we didn't like

  • Unlined boots have a clammy feel to them
  • Upper could be prone puncture in rocky terrain
  • They make your socks fall down
Baffin Tractor Industrial Rubber Boot

The Enduro is another basic waterproof rubber boot offered at an entry-level price from a solid manufacturer. It is essentially a work boot, so it is tough and durable but is not necessarily built for scrambling around the sides of mountains.

That said, price and quality come together here to make a good boot for the occasional need to cross streams or wade along shorelines.

The Baffin Tractor is made to be comfortable for all-day work wear, and three different rubber compounds are used to create a combination of strength and good flex characteristics. The upper is abrasion-resistant and the outsole is durable, while the midsole is made with a gel compound that is flexible and impact-absorbing.

Baffin uses a unique molding process and advanced polymers on the sole and midsole to create a balance between warmth, protection, low weight and grip. We found this boot to fit very well, with almost tennis shoe-like comfort, and the 14-inch shaft allows for most shallow-water wading needs.

These boots are light at 2 lbs, reducing fatigue and making them an ideal pack boot for situations where you need to hike in then change into waterproofs. We did find that the sole lug was not quite aggressive enough for our taste, so it may not work well in heavy mud.

The flatter lug does grip wet rocks well however, and it contributes to the light weight of the boot. If you like a traditional all-rubber boot, the Baffin Tractors are a good call.

What we liked

  • High-quality build
  • Supportive, cushiony fit
  • Very light weight

What we didn't like

  • Shallow lug sole design
  • Difficult to get on and off
XTRATUF Legacy Series 15" Neoprene Insulated Men's Fishing Boots

These are the boots worn by Bering Sea fisherman in freezing water on icy decks. They are made of latex neoprene that is softer, lighter, and has better flex characteristics than ordinary rubber.

It is also more pliable in cold weather and handles petroleum and chemical exposure better than rubber. XTRATUF uses a triple-dipping process to create a totally seamless boot that is 100% waterproof.

Then, they line the shell with polymeric foam insulation that is rated down to -10 °F (-23 °C). Another great detail on these boots are moisture-wicking open-cell foam insoles that work together with your sock layers to provide warmth, comfort, and absorb shock. Many boot makers overlook that fact that standing on a cold surface for long periods is a major source of body heat loss.

These boots have a unique heel counter that locks the foot down, relieving a source of discomfort that often arises when moving all day in rubber boots. The heels have a flat profile that reduces tripping hazards, and the specialized Chevron outsole is specially designed to grip on slippery decks. It also works well on rocks and docks, but we have to note that it falls short in the mud traction department.

Like other heavy-duty rubber boots, these boots run on the weighty side at 7.6 pounds, and another small minus point is the open top of the boot. It was made to be worn under foul-weather bibs, so it feels a little exposed without that coverage. We recommend these boots for salt water applications where you need to move over beaches, rocks, and jetties.

What we liked

  • Professional-grade build and durability
  • Well-insulated and cozy
  • Snug-fitting heel reduces sock pulling
  • Tread grips rocks well

What we didn't like

  • No heel tab to help in getting them off
  • Top feels too open and exposed
  • Insole should be thicker
Tingley MB816B.12 16" Steel Toe/Steel Midsole Metatarsal Boot

For those who want to go beyond basic in waterproof boots and get really serious about a rubber boot, Tingley offers the Metatarsal Boot that is a true beast of the woods.

These boots are built to handle the toughest industrial applications including construction, gravel pit and mining work, hydroblasting, and manufacturing.

If you want real hardcore, this is what you go with. They can handle up to 16 inches of water, and most importantly for the outdoorsman, they feature an internal support system that protects critical areas of the heel and ankle when the wearer is moving over uneven terrain. The boot also has a steel toe and a floating metatarsal  guard that continues to protect the top of the foot when the wearer is bending, kneeling, or crawling.

The shaft of the boot is made of flexible material for comfortable walking, and two quick-release buckle straps at the rear tighten it for a snug fit that gives all-day comfort. The lower boot is reinforced with abrasion resistant rubber, and the sole has deep-lug self-cleaning cleats.

Just putting these boots on made us feel tough enough to take on anything nature could throw. You can even handle 18,000 volts for 1 minute in dry conditions. However, all this strength comes at a cost in both price and weight, and the Tingley Metatarsals will add 8.2 lbs to your load. All that said, these boots are serious gear for extreme use and if that is what you need, they are the best boots out there.

What we liked

  • Super-hero grade durability
  • Ankle and toe protection for rough, rocky terrain
  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • Look awesome

What we didn't like

  • Heavy weight
  • Price is on the high end
Grubs Treeline 8.5 SP High Hunting Boots

If reputation and history in a manufacturer of waterproof boots are important to you, then boots from the UK-based Grubs are the ones to go for.

The makers of Grubs have been in the footwear business since 1776, and the current owner, David Foster, is the son of the man who founded Reebok in 1960. Foster and his wife pioneered the use of neoprene in outdoor boots in 2000, and the quality and fit of the Grubs Treeline shows that heritage of development.

These boots have a lot of good features and are probably the best waterproof boots for the money that we looked at. The Treelines are rated for below zero temperatures, so cold water will not be a problem, and a 6 mm Nitorcell neoprene footbed provides insulation in the bottom of the boot.

The uppers are 5mm insulating neoprene foam covered with a protective 2 mm rubber skin that keeps them light but tough. The liners are built with 3 mm highloft material  and moisture-wicking terry knit. A hard toe and deep-lugged sole keep you on the move in rugged going.

We like the tensioner strap that snugs the top of the shaft around the calf area, and the overall fit of these boots was clearly intended for extended walking. While this boot may be a bit too warm in less than extreme conditions, it is a really great value at this price level, and with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, we call this an excellent waterproof boot.

What we liked

  • Attention to detail on the build and fit
  • Very supportive fit on the lower
  • Strong cleated tread

What we didn't like

  • No pull strap to help with putting the boots on
  • High weight factor
Muck Boot Pursuit Fieldrunner 15" Rubber Insulated Men's Hunting Boot

Since 1999, Muckboot waterproof boots have been a favorite of people who find their fun and do their work in harsh, wet environments.

Although they are designed with the big game hunter in mind, the MuckbootFieldrunners provide over a foot of 100% waterproof immersion protection and have a cross-lugged traction sole that will carry you through most shallow-water obstacles without missing a step.

These boots have shafts made from synthetic microfiber textile with a Spandura outer skin that resists punctures and snags. The top of the shaft is cut on an angle toward the front, and it is form-fitting to the calf area. A sturdy web loop helps you get the boots on. The boot lining is made from breathable 5 mm neoprene and fleece that gives a soft, comfortable feel.

While their ability to keep you warm in sub-zero ice fishing conditions may be questionable, they are certainly far more warm and cozy than standard pure rubber boots. The lower boot is built of abrasion-resistant PVC, and is tough enough to stand up to all but the most jagged rocks. These boots were definitely comfortable for extended walking in and out of the water.

The warm lining makes it possible to go with a single tight polypropylene or Lycra stocking layer and avoid the problem of drooping socks. The price runs toward the high end, but the proven ability of these boots to give long wear in harsh conditions makes them a worthwhile investment.

What we liked

  • Soft and cozy interior
  • Easy to get on and off
  • Snug fit walks well
  • Camo pattern

What we didn't like

  • Angled top can let in splashes at the rear
  • Sole lugs need to be deeper
  • Price is on the high end
MuckBoots Woody Sport Cool Hunting Boot

We decided to take a look at another model on the MuckBoot hunter line of waterproof boots because the Woody Sport waterproof boot has features that address a couple of the downside issues we found with the Pursuit Fieldrunner.

 At 14.5 inches from arch to top, the Woody Sport comes up a little higher than the Fieldrunner, and it has a straight cut on the top of the shaft that eliminates the potential for splashes down the back of your leg.

The upper of these boots has a soft feel and flex, and the Spandura skin makes it nearly tear-proof. The top of the shaft also fits more snugly around the calf, which helps to keep your socks up and pants legs tucked in. We found that the lower boot on the Woody Sport had a snugger fit than the Fieldrunner lower.

It felt more supportive and made for quicker movement and less potential for the boot to pull off in deep mud. The lower also has reinforcement on the toe and heel for added strength and foot protection. A much more aggressive lug pattern on the sole than the Fieldrunner has makes this a true all-terrain boot.

The Woody Sport is designed for use in warmer conditions, and is made with a lining that is engineered to keep your feet cool and dry. In our mind, this makes it a better waterproof boot for fishing, and in intense cold water or weather conditions, sock layering should work to give some extra warmth.

What we liked

  • Breathable interior
  • Ergonomic shaft fit and tight grip on the calf
  • Snug-fitting lower
  • Strong cleated tread

What we didn't like

  • Difficult to get on and off
  • Arch may seem high on some feet
  • Pronounced heel can cause trips and stumbles
Muck Boot Adult MuckMaster Hi-Cut Boot

The Muck Boot Muckmaster Hi-Cuts are the best-selling commercial grade waterproof boots on the market. Their combination of heavy-duty durability, long distance walkability, warmth, and comfort have won over legions of followers from among those who work on their feet in nasty conditions day after day.

The uppers rise nearly 16 inches and are constructed of 5 mm CR flex-foam neoprene skinned with 4-way stretch nylon.

The abrasion-resistant rubber shaft leads into a form-fitting EVA-molded midsole, and the outsole is a burly chunk of rubber with the most aggressive lug pattern we have seen on any boots in this review. On the inside, an Airmesh liner keeps the breeze flowing around your feet, and 2 mm of thermal foam are laid under the instep to insulate from below.

 One feature we loved on the Muckmaster waterproof boots was the removable 6-mm Nitracel EVA insole that will provide additional comfort in extreme cold conditions. We also liked the fit at the top of the boot, which closes around your leg with a snug stretch-fit binding that keeps drafts, dirt, and water out.

These boots are probably the ultimate for heavy usage and protection qualities combined with comfort and wearability. When sized properly, they can be walked in for hours with no blistering, and you can also stand still in mid-calf depth water for extended periods with no cold penetration.

Like any ultra-heavy duty product, these boots do carry some weight at almost 3 lbs each, but their extreme capabilities still earn them a firm recommendation for a hard-use waterproof boot.

What we liked

  • High rise shaft that fits snugly
  • Tight boot tops
  • Removable insole
  • Super-traction cleats

What we didn't like

  • High weight factor
  • Difficult to fully dry the interiors
Ranger Bullhead 32" Heavy-Duty Men's Full Rubber Insulated Hip Boots

The Ranger Bullhead hip boots are waterproof boots made by the industrial safety division of Honeywell and are intended for use on the job in hazardous conditions.

This means these boots not only have to earn their reputation among the people who wear them, they also have to meet stringent American Society of Testing and Materials standards for protective footwear.

These boots are constructed of durable, flexible, industrial-weight rubber that is hand-laid in a form and vulcanized at high heat to produce a 100% waterproof hip boot. The rubber is ozone-resistant to prevent cracking, and formulated to remain flexible in cold weather conditions. A fabric lining wicks moisture away and makes the boots easy to get on and off.

The boot section is often a problem on hip boots, but this model offers a form-fit boot foot with composite shanks for support and a foam-insulated instep topped with a 9 mm thick felt insole for maximum warmth. The sole has traction lugs and a low-rise heel, but we felt the sole should have been thicker and the lug design more aggressive.

However, the thinner sole does give a weight savings, which is important on boots that already weigh 8.6 pounds. These boots come in 32-, 31-, and 26-inch heights, and we found the 32-inchers to be surprisingly comfortable to wear. The lining seems to help prevent the chaffing that is so common with hip-high waders. If you are in the market for a hip-boot style of waterproof boots, the Ranger Bullheads are worth a look and they come at a good price as well.

What we liked

  • Comfortable to walk in for a hip boot
  • Tight-fitting foot section
  • Thick felt insole

What we didn't like

  • Tread was not aggressive enough
  • Top straps seemed to be weak


The development of synthetic fabrics and particularly the entry of neoprene into the shoe construction arena has really opened up the options for those shopping for waterproof fishing boots.

While most of the boots on the market are not specialized to fishing, they are tough and waterproof, which is all that it really takes in the final analysis.

The price range is narrow, and there are plenty of good offerings at a value price point. Therefore, carefully evaluating fit, comfort, and walk ability then matching those factors to your intended use will be critical in choosing the best pair of waterproof boots for the money. Good luck and we hope you enjoyed our coverage of the best waterproof boots.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!