As Christine Toews, Senior Buyer for Planet Shoes points out, "There are all sorts of waterproof shoes out there for women and they are designed for all different end uses. The first step to selecting a waterproof shoe is to determine what you'll be using the shoe for. There are many different styles out there with waterproof qualities to meet your individual needs."
According to Toews, waterproof shoes are a must for women who "are planning on going on a hiking adventure." For hikers, and others who need waterproof shoes, Toews recommends shoes with Gore-Tex®.
Merrell Grassbow Sport Mid Waterproof
This boot is a great option for women who enjoy hiking. The synthetic upper is specially designed to keep external moisture out while also letting moisture from perspiration escape, a feature that helps keep wearer's feet as dry as possible.
The shoe is also designed to provide traction for stability and balance as well as cushioning and support for maximum comfort. Available for around $140 in wine (pictured above) or brindle.
If outdoor exercise is part of your fitness routine, chances are there will be days when there is standing water on the road or field - or you may even plan to keep up your workout routine no matter what the weather is like. Waterproof athletic shoes let you exercise in comfort while also keeping your feet dry.
Clarks Wave Trek
The Clarks Wave Trek walking shoe is a fully waterproof sneaker that is perfect for walking and other outdoor activities. This shoe features a leather upper and Clarks' proprietary WAVEWALK™ technology for the ultimate in comfort and protection while working. The shock absorbent curved sole provides joint cushioning and is designed to help keep activity-related fatigue at bay.
Available in multiple colors for $130 from Planet Shoes.
Saucony Xodus 4.0 GTX®
Saucony Xodus 4.0 GTX® also features a Vibram® outsole and GORE-TEX® uppers. This running shoe is designed with the needs of all-weather and all-terrain runners in mind. The vented PowerGrid cushioning foam provides maximum cushioning without adding bulk. Additionally, the shoe's design features latches designed to allow runners to clip on a gaiter for additional protection from mud or debris.
Available for $130 only in black with purpose and yellow.
Walking and hiking aren't the only situations where waterproof shoes come in handy. Many women end up spending time outdoors in rainy conditions as they go throughout their daily lives. There are, as Toews puts it, "fashionable options to get you through those tough rainy days."
Muck Boots Breezy Cool Low Prints
Don't let the name fool you - these super-cute waterproof casual slip-ons are not boots. They are fully waterproof and also have a cooling lining designed to help keep your feet cool even on rainy, humid days during the hottest months of summer. The sole is made from EVA rubber to offer great traction - a must-have feature for shoes designed to be worn in rainy conditions.
Available in a blue and pink sunburst pattern and a brown and pink floral pattern, these adorable causal shoes are $80.
ECCO Rise GTX Slip On
If you're looking for a stylish casual slip-on, Eco Rise GTX is an excellent option. The shoe's upper is made of an attractive stretchy fabric and there is a waterproof GORE-TEX® membrane inside. In addition to being waterproof and looking great, it's also designed for maximum comfort with foam cushioning a flexible sole.
It's ideally suited for commuters with long walks from subway or bus stations, sales people who call on clients in all kinds of weather and students or teachers who have to walk between buildings when changing classes. Available in black only for $140.
Rockport Tristina Chelsea
This fashionable waterproof boot comes to just above the top of the ankle, and is designed specifically to keep feet dry without compromising style. The outsole is rubber for maximum traction and stability and the boot features a Rockport's Hydro-Shield™ drainage system to keep feet dry. ADIPRENE® by adidas technology provides outstanding comfort.
The boot is available in black and brown for $180. Medium and wide widths are available.
Hunter Original Tour Buckled Welly Boot
This tall Wellington-style boot from Hunter is a great option for rainy, wet or muddy conditions. Made from waterproof Vulcanized rubber, these boots have a glossy exterior finish that can easily be wiped clean. They feature a fast-drying liner inside and cushioning for comfort, and are a traditional favorite (as Hunter introduced the very first Wellingtons in 1856).
Available in green and black for just under $150.
Expert Tips for Selecting Waterproof Footwear
Do your research when choosing waterproof footwear. Toews points out, "There are a few key materials and features to keep an eye out for when shopping for waterproof shoes." She recommends looking for:
- "Gore-Tex® linings (and other similar materials) surround your foot and prevent water from breaking through."
- "Waterproof leathers with sealed seams also keep water from penetrating shoes during normal exposure to water."
Toews states, "I advise anyone in the market for waterproof shoes to check the labels!" She recommends, "Look for some type of tag on the shoe calling out the waterproof materials. In some cases you might see the Gore-Tex® (GTX) logo or it might just be the word 'waterproof'. When in doubt, research the item online where you can find tons of technical information on just about any shoe."
Toews emphasizes the importance of comfort, stating, "At the end of the day, the most important factor to consider when selecting a waterproof shoe - or any shoe in general - is comfort. If after a day of hiking your feet are so blistered that you can't walk anymore the last thing you'll be thinking about is whether or not your feet feel dry."
According to Toews, there are three important steps in caring for waterproof footwear.
- "It's important to clean your shoes after use - get rid of the dirt and debris that breaks down your shoes. Sometimes it might make sense to use a brush or shoe cleaner."
- "Condition your shoes if you are noticing they appear dry or cracked."
- "Use a waterproof treatment to keep water beaming off shoes instead of seeping into them."
In addition to these step, Toews also recommends following the manufacturer's suggestions.
When choosing waterproof footwear, it's important to realize that you have to use common sense when wearing them - any shoes can go only so far in protecting you from wet conditions. As Toews points out, "It's important to note if you plan on standing in water for an extended period of time, water will eventually make its way into the shoe."
Choosing the right pair can help you keep your feet dry, but that doesn't mean you should spend extended time outdoors in flooded or other severe weather conditions.