Best waterproof hiking boots—For all walking levels, budgets and downpours

Our round-up of the best waterproof hiking boots will help you stay dry, so you can go the distance.

person walking along wooden bridge wearing hiking boots
(Image credit: Getty)

Finding the best waterproof hiking boots is essential if you're tackling tricky terrain in wet weather and there are a lot of key features you should look out for while shopping for waterproof hiking boots. 

Whether you're new to hiking or are looking to take your walks to the next level, a pair of the best women’s walking shoes are a must-have for keeping you safe and comfortable. Finding a good waterproof pair is a bonus, especially if you're planning on hiking in rainy locations. 

To help you find the best waterproof hiking boots for you, we put popular hiking brands to the test, including Salmon hiking boots and The North Face hiking boots. Each pair in our round-up was put through its paces in a range of weathers and terrains. We tested them on everything from damp grass and tarmac to earthy, rocky trails. 

There are a few key features all good walking shoes will have that we looked out for in our tests. Hiking boots should provide ample support, have a good grip, be super comfortable and fit perfectly. But most importantly, waterproof hiking boots should keep your feet warm and dry, even in the rainiest of conditions. 

“Waterproof should generally mean that boots can be submerged in water, up to the height of the waterproof membrane,” says Jeremy Stevens, footwear buyer for Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. “You should be able to see the membrane inside the boot – usually covering the tongue and coming up to the ankle. This indicates the depth of the puddle or stream you can safely step into.” 

The only downside to waterproof hiking boots is they are not always breathable unless the boots use the right lining. 

“Many brands choose to use Gore-Tex linings, which allow sweat to escape as well as keeping water out,” says Jeremy. “Own-brand waterproof/breathable membranes also do the job well and may cost slightly less.”

Picking the right outer material is also key to finding good hiking boots. “Broadly speaking, boots fall into two camps – full-grain leather or fabric/suede uppers,” says Jeremy. “Classic full-grain leather and nubuck uppers give reliable and durable waterproofness. Fabric and split-leather uppers tend to be lighter, more flexible and less expensive, but have less inherent waterproof properties.”

Armed with the best waterproof hiking boots and one of the best fitness trackers, there's no stopping you! 

The best waterproof hiking boots as reviewed by our experts

Salomon Women’s Outline Mid GTX

(Image credit: Salomon)

1. Salomon Women’s Outline Mid GTX

Best waterproof hiking boots overall

Specifications
Size range: UK 3.5-10.5
Sole: Rubber
Upper: Textile / synthetic
Weight: 380g
Reasons to buy
+Easy to put on +Great fit
Reasons to avoid
-Lacking a little cushioning-Slightly stiff at first

Want to make a style statement on the trail? These Salmon hiking boots are available in three fun colors, but it's not all about style with this pair. Whether you're walking for weight loss or just enjoying a casual stroll outside, these boots do an excellent job of keeping feet safe and dry on trails. 

They may lack cushioning compared to other hiking boots, but they make up for it when it comes to fit and style. The laces draw the boot in snugly to your foot, and the long ankle cuff ensures you're well protected as you hike. Despite the high ankle cuff, they’re easy to get on and they’re lightweight, too. What's more, Salmon certainly knows a thing or two about good grip, combining a sleek look with a very technical shoe. The lug pattern of the Contagrip sole has been designed to keep you stable and safe on any terrain. 

Are they waterproof? Absolutely, the Gore-Tex membrane makes these hiking boots ready for all wet-weather excursions. They might be one of the more expensive boots on the market, but we think they're a sound investment.

The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack IV Futurelight Mid Boots

(Image credit: The North Face)

2. The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack IV Futurelight Mid Boots

Best luxury waterproof hiking boots

Specifications
Size range: UK 3-9
Sole: FastFoam
Upper: Mesh with TPU Overlays
Weight: 353g
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Breathable
Reasons to avoid
-Tricky to get on-Expensive

While The North Face hiking boots are a little trickier to get on and off than other options, once they're on they're a superb fit. The laces allow you to adjust to the fit you want, while the ankle cuff offers ultimate protection if you’re trekking on uneven ground. Thankfully, all this protection doesn’t add any extra bulk and these boots are relatively lightweight, too. 

Boasting a Futurelight membrane, these hiking boots are waterproof but breathable, and the specially coated woven mesh provides protection against debris, while the Vibram Megagrip outsole helps keep you steady on wet and rocky terrain. Although the sole feels a little less flexible than some of the others, they will provide ultimate support on challenging terrain. 

The only real downside to these hiking boots is the price. We think they're worth the investment, but might be best suited to a serious trekker to ensure you get your money's worth out of them. 

Quechua Women’s Mountain Walking Waterproof Shoes MH100

(Image credit: Quechua)

3. Quechua Women’s Mountain Walking Waterproof Shoes MH100

Best budget waterproof hiking boots

Specifications
Size range: UK 3-8
Sole: Rubber
Upper: Polyurethane, polyester and leather
Weight: 395g
Reasons to buy
+Great value+Good fit
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly rigid-May need re-waterproofing later

If you're looking for the best cheap walking boots that are waterproof, breathable and supportive, the Quechua boots could be the one for you, 

The brand has focused on ensuring the boots are snug and comfortable, which will keep your feet protected in hiking. While the ankle cuff of the boot is slightly rigid at first, it softens up the more you wear them. Top tip: wear your hiking boots around the house to break them in before you hit the trails! 

These hiking boots are waterproof, but breathable – making them ideal for all weathers – and stones and tree roots won’t be a problem either, thanks to the protective rubber guard. What’s more, the rubber sole offers good traction on dry or muddy ground. 

The only downside to this pair is the cheap price tag, you may find these boots need re-waterproofing after sustainable wear in rainy conditions.  

Merrell Women’s Vego Mid Leather Waterproof Boots in Black/Gloxinia

(Image credit: Women’s Vego Mid Leather )

4. Merrell Vego Mid Leather Waterproof

Most supportive waterproof hiking boots

Specifications
Size range: UK 3.5-8.5
Sole: Compression moulded EVA footframe
Upper: Leather
Weight: 438g
Reasons to buy
+Great grip+Comfortable
Reasons to avoid
-Lack of flexibility-Irregular sizing

Are you Nordic walking and looking for a pair of supportive black hiking boots? Enter the Merrell Vego Mid Leather Waterproof boots. The high ankle cuff of these boots offers great support and, surprisingly, they are very easy to put on and take off thanks to the hook-and-eye system at the top of the laces. 

The padded material of these hiking boots will keep your feet comfortable and protected while you're on the move. What's more, we found these are some of the grippiest soles we put to the test - ideal for staying upright in wet weather. 

These hiking boots do lack some flexibility, a common feature in leather hiking boots that can feel rigid while walking but should mold to your feet over time. 

The leather upper on these boots will keep your feet dry and, if you look after them properly, they should last longer than fabric boots. 

TOG 24 Ingleborough Women’s Vibram Waterproof Boots

(Image credit: TOG 24)

5. TOG 24 Ingleborough Women’s Vibram Waterproof Boots

Best waterproof hiking boots for long treks

Specifications
Size range: UK 4-8
Sole: Durable Vibram outsole
Upper: Leather
Weight: 638g
Reasons to buy
+Good traction+Ideal for extreme conditions
Reasons to avoid
-Stiff laces-Heavier than others

There’s no missing these hiking boots – The Tog 24 boots are big, heavy, and have a very chunky heel. Despite this, they are actually super easy to put on and take off, thanks to their hook-and-eye lacing system and flexible tongue. However, the laces are fairly stiff, so it’s difficult to get a snug fit around the ankle unless you use some brute strength. 

Due to how heavy they are, they lack flexibility, but the stiff midsole can provide much-needed support when conditions are difficult. The full-grain leather upper has been upgraded with a waterproof membrane to stop water from penetrating through, plus the boot has a Vibram outsole for good traction on rocky paths. Due to their weight, they wouldn't be suitable for walking workouts but are a strong choice for heavy-duty hikes in wet conditions.

SKENARY Women's Dimo Hiking Boots

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. SKENARY Women's Dimo Hiking Boots

Best slip-resistant hiking boots

Specifications
Size range: US 6-11
Sole: Rubber
Upper: EVA midsole
Weight: 2.45lbs.
Reasons to buy
+Durable and moisture-wicking design+Lightweight and breathable: mesh fabric
Reasons to avoid
-Some shoppers say they're too clunky and run small-Not wide, slightly narrow construction

For muddy environments, rocky trails, and uneven surfaces, the Dimo Hiking Boots provide both traction and support through its textured design. Its durable rubber outsole offers grip and control. 

The EVA midsole and molded TPU ankle ensure both balance and a firm foundation. Jargon aside, EVA stands for Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate, a soft "rubber-like" material that's incredibly flexible. In this case, EVA complements TPU, also known as Thermoplastic Polyurethane: an elastic material with hardwearing properties and abrasion resistance. Though they appear chunky, they're actually lightweight, keeping feet cool and secure no matter where you're trekking. 

Leather versus Fabric options

Leather shoes

Reasons to buy
+They provide great weather resistance, especially with a Gore Tex lining+Leather will last longer if looked after correctly+They generally have less stitching so have fewer areas of weakness for wear and tear, meaning they're likely to last longer+They're more supportive+Better suited for mountain or winter climbing
Reasons to avoid
-They need to be well looked after in terms of keeping clean and being reproofed-Leather styles tend to be a bit heavier-They take longer to wear in

Fabric shoes

Reasons to buy
+Generally best for ‘out the box’ comfort+Most likely to have a ‘trainer’ style fit if that's your preference+Easy to look after+Generally lighter than a full leather boot+More options available in a range of colours and styles+Generally cheaper than leather shoes and boots
Reasons to avoid
-May not last as long as leather boots-Not as protective-Not as naturally supportive as leather

How To Clean Your Walking shoes and boots 

There are four handy tips to keep in mind for cleaning and maintaining your hiking boots.

  • Always clean them after each use
  • Use a suitable fabric proofer
  • Apply wax to leather boots
  • Air dry leather boots

For more details, the leading outdoor retailer REI offers a simple tutorial that you can replicate right from home.