And unfortunately finding an awesome pair of waterproof men’s boot isn’t easy. There are a ridiculous amount of choices out there and each pair of boots performs in different ways.
To set the record straight once and for all, I bring you this epic review of the best waterproof boots for men in 2020!
Believe me – I know boots, as I have logged well over three thousand trail miles on foot over the last five years. This brutally honest review will examine all the factors you need to know so you can easily find which boot is best for you (and your budget!).
Let’s dive right in and find the top waterproof men’s boots for men in 2020!
Quick Answer: These are the Best Waterproof Boots for Men in 2020
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Aero – Best Overall Mens Waterproof Boot
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP – Best Waterproof Hiking Boot (Lightweight)
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX – Best Waterproof Hiking Boot (Lightweight) Runner Up
Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX – Best Midweight Waterproof Boot for Hiking
Asolo Fugitive GTX – Best Heavyweight Waterproof Boot for Hiking
Timberland PRO Titan 6″ – Best Men’s Waterproof Work Boots
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX – Most Stylish Waterproof Shoes
North Face Hedgehog Fastpack ll GTX – Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Men
Waterproof Footwear: Top Picks and Performance Reviews
Below I break down my top picks for the best waterproof men’s boots in great detail. Depending on what type of traveler you are and what sort of adventures you have in store, you’ll need a waterproof boot to serve your own needs.
I have assembled my top picks of the best waterproof men’s boots into different categories to make choosing the perfect pair of boots easy and simple.
When it comes to the best waterproof men’s boots, I am all about finding the most practical, functional, and affordable boots for the job. Basically, I know how important it is to have an awesome pair of waterproof hiking boots and my goal in writing this review was to help backpackers find what will work best for them.
|Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Aero||Check on REICheck on Salomon|
|Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP ||Check on AmazonCheck on REI|
|Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX||Check on REICheck on Salomon|
|Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||Check on AmazonCheck on REI|
|Asolo Fugitive GTX||Check on AmazonCheck on REI|
|Timberland PRO Titan 6?||Check on Amazon|
|Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX||Check on AmazonCheck on Backcountry|
|North Face Hedgehog Fastpack ll GTX||Check on REI|
Best Overall Mens Waterproof Boot
These hiking boots are a marvel of footwear engineering. Completely waterproof, the Salomon 4D has technology created to eliminate fatigue and discomfort. They feature seam-sealed Gore-Tex membranes that offer excellent protection from water and allow vapor to escape in order to help keep feet dry and cool.
The outer boot material is long-lasting split suede leather and nylon mesh uppers that offer flexibility, breathability, and lightweight comfort.
For cushion, the X Ultra 3 Mid Aero hiking boots come with removable OrthoLite footbeds which absorb shock and harsh impacts. The inner sole is treated with antimicrobial stuff that deters odors inside the boots. That said, stinky boots are almost always unavoidable, at least for me.
I really value the excellent ankle support offered up by these boots. The Salomon X U;tra 3 Mid Aero boots are the complete package when it comes to a fantastic waterproof boot for men. They won’t let you down.
Best Waterproof Hiking Boot (Lightweight)
For the last several years my go-to lightweight waterproof hiking boots have been the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP boots. Whilst the Moab 2 boots might not be as sturdy or well-equipped to deal with technical terrain like the Salomon Quest 4D boots shown above, they are still plenty badass.
There are several schools of thought regarding Merrell waterproof boots. Some folks argue that the Moab 2 —while awesome— just isn’t tough enough to handle long distances and rough terrain. I simply do not agree with that sentiment.
I have worn these boots on many long distance hikes including the Anna Purna (Nepal), Gokyo Ri (Nepal), Appalachian Trail (USA), Nelson Lakes Circuit (New Zealand), Tour du Mont Blac Trek (Europe), and plenty more. They have always served me well.
I’ll be honest with you though about a few things. First, if you are looking for really excellent ankle support and grip, the Merrell Moab 2 boots do lack in that regard. Also, over time I have found that the “waterproofness” isn’t 100% after months of heavy use.
That said, I still love these boots and consider them to be the best lightweight waterproof hiking boots for men. For the price, you simply won’t find another pair of lightweight hiking boots that are waterproof and performs at this level.
Best Waterproof Hiking Boot (Lightweight) Runner Up
Salomon has made it back my list, this time for the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX lightweight waterproof hiking boot. This boot is built like a trail running shoes but offers the performance and the ankle support of a hiking boot, which is great.
For thru-hikers and long distance backpackers, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is an ultralight waterproof hiking boot that will keep you crushing big miles in supreme comfort.
To keep moisture out, the boot features Gore-Tex waterproof bootie liners that let your feet breathe while protecting them from the elements. Ever stubbed your toe on a rock while hiking? I hate that! To the address that, the mudguards and integrated rubber toe caps provide durable protection from roots and rocks!
For grip and traction, the unique outsole pattern features a combination of two types of rubber that helps you grip terrain more aggressively, especially in wet conditions. Because the Salomon X Ultra 3 boots are ultralight, they are not built with the same toughness in mind as the Salomon Quest 4D boots shown above. But as you can see, the Salomon X Ultra 3 model is about one pound lighter, which is huge.
If you have already joined the ultralight cult, the going with one of the best ultralight waterproof hiking boots for men—the Salomon X Ultra 3 boots—should be an easy choice.
Best Midweight Waterproof Boot for Hiking
For more intense hikes, you are going to need a more intense waterproof boot. The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX boots are the best midweight waterproof boot for hiking on my list.
The Zodiac Plus is a no-nonsense waterproof boot designed to handle the trials and tribulations of difficult/rocky hiking trails. What I like about these boots is that they are a full-bodied midweight unit with some of the characteristics of a lightweight mountaineering boot.
For protection against wet, it features suede/leather uppers with waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex performance. That is the sort of comfort that will keep your feet dry all damn day. To keep you balanced, the Vibram Drumlin soles provide excellent traction and edging on rock when you’re scrambling or boulder-hopping.
The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX model is certainly not for everyone. This is not the boot I would pack to take on a South East Asia backpacking adventure. That said, those looking for a badass boot that can hold its own in tough mountain environments, look no further.
Best Heavyweight Waterproof Boot for Hiking
Old-school hiking boots were notorious for trapping air inside. I am happy to report that the Fugitive GTX boots are not guilty of that. The Gore-Tex liners make these boots 100% waterproof yet breathable, for comfort in a variety of conditions.
For padding and general protection, the DuoAsoflex midsoles mix a shock-absorbing soft layer with a stiffer shank for movement control and a comfy base. A major plus of the Fugitive GTX model is that they can be resoled as needed. That will greatly extend the life of your boots! I’m talking years.
The stiffness of the boots is probably something you will either love or hate. The stiff quality does make for more protection but can make your feet feel a bit constrained. I’ll add that stiffness when heavy climbing is involved is a good thing. FYI sometimes these boots sell for cheaper on Amazon.
Best Men’s Waterproof Work Boots
The best waterproof work boots on my list are the Timberland PRO Titan 6” boots. Whilst not the lightest waterproof boot showcased in this review, the Pro Titan boots were designed for work, hard work.
The feature premium, soft waterproof leather with waterproof membrane for minimum break-in time and dry feet all day long. The molded polyurethane midsole provides lightweight, durable cushioning for those long days of weeding carrots or working construction.
Finally, the new low-profile Timberland PRO rubber outsole is abrasion and slip/oil-resistant. You can be sure that you will stay safe as well as comfortable in the Timberland PRO Titan boots.
If you’re a backpacker in search of the best men’s waterproof work boots you have arrived at the right choice for yourself.
Most Stylish Waterproof Shoes
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX boots are sleek, functional, and won’t have you looking like a complete dirty hiker hobo when you go out for a big night. Hiking boots have a history of not being the most visually appealing pieces of gear. I’m thinking of neon orange boots with long green (neon) stripes on the sides. What the hell?
With the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift boots, you will have the perfect blend of absolute functionality and cool attractiveness. The outer design features ripstop mesh upper for breathability and lightweight, which make them very packable for extended backpacking trips.
My favorite thing about these boots (in addition to their attractiveness) is the Traxion outsole. This provides for an optimal grip in all directions. Plus, the built-in Continental Rubber provides extraordinary grip even in wet conditions.
Want to up your style game when you go backpacking Europe but don’t want to pack a boot that serves no other purpose other than looking good? The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift boots are a sure bet to be both awesome in the mountains and at the bar. The all-black ones are my personal favorite.
Bonus: Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Men
Broke Backpacker founder Will Hatton has been rocking the Nort Face Hedge Hogs for a decade (not the same pair!). That says a great deal about the quality and performance of the Hedge Hogs. point being, they kick ass and perform at the highest level for just about every kind of adventure.
The outside of the Hedge Hogs features polyurethane-coated leather uppers and a waterproof, breathable Gore-Tex membrane that does the job of keeping your feet bone-dry.
For chaffing prevention and control the abrasion-resistant, breathable textile mesh lining virtually eliminates unwanted movement and rubbing.
For a versatile, lightweight, tough waterproof hiking shoes that are up for any adventure that you are, the North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Low Hiking Shoes are a sure bet. Even better is the price tag. For $120.oo you can score a truly excellent pair of waterproof hiking shoes without breaking the bank. Sorted.
Best of the Rest: More High Quality Waterproof Boots
Imagine watching an epic sunset on Angels Landing, you begin the steep hike back to the trailhead. The symphony of colors has you mesmerized staring at the sundown sky. You look at your watch. Better rush down if you wanna catch the last shuttle. You run. The body aches, but you make it just in the knick of time.
With the Merrell Zion Mid Waterproof hiking boots strapped to your feet, you can go from rocky, uneven terrain, to a full jaunt to get wherever you need to go.
With the fit of a sneaker, the sole of a trail runner and the sustainable leather waterproofness, this makes for a versatile backcountry boot.
Want to go off-trail? No problem! The tongue bellows to keep debris out like it’s own built-in gaiter. Despite its waterproofness its breathable mesh linings allow for ventilation to avoid that smelly build-up.
Affordable, waterproof and versatile makes this shoe an all-around great boot.
Rise early at the trailhead, pack the tent, hit the trail into the high country. Snow, ice and water running over the trail are common for shoulder-season adventures. In these conditions its critical to have something to keep the water out and ventilation wicking moisture. That’s where the Altra Lone Peak boots come into play.
Lightweight, breathable and comfortable makes this another great selection among the affordable waterproof boots.
With this boot its the little details that count. eVent waterproofing, ZeroDrop foot platform allows comfortable alignment of your feet and lower body.
Altra takes foot health seriously. This boot has received recognition from the American Podiatric Medical Association for creating products good for foot health.
Lightweight, breathable, and comfortable is the name of the game.
Years of research, development, product testing and pursuing innovation. The North face has brought FUTURELIGHT to the outdoor world.
What is FUTURELIGHT? Lightweight, stretchy, breathable and waterproof fabric. Now applied to the North Face Ultra Fastpack hiking boot. This boot has a gusseted tongue to keep debris out of your boot, almost like a built-in gaiter. Additionally, FastFoam offers extra support made of post-consumer fabric to minimize their production impact.
The North Face Ultra Fastpack is the all-mountain boot. Early mornings, late nights, blazing hot days in slickrock and bone-chilling walks through the shoulder season. This is the boot you want strapped to your feet for your next adventure encountering water.
Maybe you can’t move mountains but you can certainly move up them with style. Anyone can go for a walk, but few can style their way through a backcountry adventure.
Allow the North Face Ultra Fastpack FUTURELIGHT boots to be a part of your next backcountry hiking adventure.
Over the past decade, KEEN has slowly been creeping its way into the mainstream boot scene. The KEEN Explore waterproof boots come with high-quality features for an affordable price.
The KEEN waterproof membrane allows you to keep your feet dry while providing lightweight support. With more affordable waterproof boots, folks worry about breathability. Rightfully so; however, the KEEN anti-odor treatment infuses the footbeds with probiotic technology that automatically breaks down odor in sweat. Probiotic technology means no harmful metals or chemicals.
The KEEN waterproof boot covers all the bases. Comfort, stability and support. The KonnectFit heel capture makes the foot feel locked in and secure. Additionally, the notch in back offers comfort for your Achilles heel and lower leg muscles.
These boots are built to last through all the use and abuse your feet bring you on your adventures.
In my opinion, Asolo makes some of the best boots on the market. This is coming from personal experience. The Asolo TPS all leather boots are classic and have been considered some of the best waterproof boots out there. Since they originally hit the trail, few changes have been made since their original design was so on point.
I have witnessed these boots take years of abuse through the harshest terrain on planet earth, and still come out the other side shining and dry.
Some might argue the price is too high. I’m a strong believer in paying for quality, if you pay full retail price for these boots. I assure you that you will get your money’s worth for years to come. I would actually argue Asolo boots have some of the fairest prices on the market.
This is the heavy-duty all-mountain boot that can handle your abuse and years of adventures.
How To: Waterproof Boots and What to Look For
Like most pieces of outdoor gear, having the right tool for the job is the name of the game. Given that your shoes are probably the most important gear you own, you want to be 100% certain you are buying the best waterproof boot for yourself based on your own needs.
Will you be trekking hundreds of miles on the PCT? Are you visiting a particularly rugged area in Patagonia? Do you want to hike as fast as possible (fastpacking)? Will you be trekking in lots of snow?
Ask yourself some of these important questions and determine exactly (or more over less) what you plan on doing with your waterproof shoes. Working in them a lot? Make damn surer their comfortable.
Below I examine other factors that should be on your radar as you prepare to purchase some waterproof men’s boots for your next adventure. Thes important aspects include boot categories, weight, price, waterproof material, stiffness, breathability, traction, and more.
Let’s do it!
Lightweight Waterproof Boot
Waterproof, lightweight boots are best for hikers and travelers looking to cover big miles and/or pack light. Light hiking boots make your legs work less as with each step you are simply lifting less weight.
Lightweight boots tend to be more flexible and generally have less padding than mid or heavyweight options. Materials used in the design are typically nylon, mesh, and a bit of leather, especially on the “upper” section of the boot.
My absolute go-to lightweight waterproof hiking boot for men is the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP boots. These babies have traveled with me all over the world and will be taking on the mountains of Pakistan at the end of this month. I love them and I have done plenty of big mile days (28 miles once) in them without an issue.
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX boots are a fine choice as well. Bonus points because they look cool.
Midweight Waterproof Boot
Midweight waterproof shoes offer up a little more durability, ankle support, and all around toughness to crush whatever may lie in wait on any given adventure. Often with midweight boots, we are only talking about a couple ounces heavier than lightweight ones. Certainly not pounds.
Even so, a few extra ounces here and there does provide a noticeable difference in terms of support and toughness. Midweight waterproof hiking boots are becoming more popular too.
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Aero boots are awesome because they pack in a lot of comfort, traction, durability, and support without weighing you down at all.
Keep in mind that midweight waterproof hiking boots tend to be more expensive than the lightweight alternatives. Also, they tend to be a tad bulkier and take up more space in your backpack.
Heavyweight Waterproof Boot
This category of waterproof footwear is reserved for both traditional hiking boots in addition to more serious light mountaineering-style boots. Waterproof, heavyweight boots are probably the least versatile boots out there, but they are also totally necessary when the situation calls for them.
Heavyweight boots tend to be ultra-tough, (can be) stiff as a board, and are super reliable in the field. I’d say most of the great mountaineering achievements of the last century involved waterproof snow boots that are heavier.
The Asolo Fugitive GTX boots are great heavyweight hiking boots in the tradition of the old-school style, but with modern comforts and innovations built in.
These are the best climbing boots to have on your feet in deep snow or cold, wet conditions. On hot days, you’ll feel like you are cooking your feet in a hot, sweaty solar oven.
Due to their inherent stiffness, heavyweight boots typically require a long break-in time. Bear that in mind if you are plotting some epic accent shortly after purchasing some heavyweight mountaineering boots.
Weight Considerations When Buying a Waterproof Boot
Weight matters in the waterproof boot world. Personally, I have done most of my long-distance hiking in lightweight hiking boots. Also for traveling, lightweight boots that are waterproof are the most versatile, pack the easiest, and are comfortable even in the hot conditions of the tropics.
Every job requires the right tool. Again, consider what you will be doing the most of and go from there.
Honestly, though, most of the midweight hiking boots on my list will serve you in much the same way as any lightweight boot with a bit of added comfort and durability mixed in.
If you do plan on spending lots of time hiking through snow or traveling to particularly gnarly regions of the world, don’t shun the heavyweight boots as those are the exact type of scenarios they were built to do battle in.
Prices of the Best Waterproof Hiking Boots for Men
As you can see, the prices shown in this best waterproof boot review are all over the place. Midweight/Heavyweight boots are almost always more expensive. The Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX, for example, run about $250.00.
That ain’t cheap. All said, they will probably last a whole hell of a lot longer than a lightweight, cheaper option.
That said if you really like the benefits of a mid/heavy weight boot, go for it!
The material used in the construction of your waterproof boot will determine how effectively waterproof they are. Industry standard these days focuses around Gore-Tex products.
So what the hell is Gore-Tex anyway? Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane that is able to repel liquid water while allowing water vapor to pass through. That’s the short story of what Gore-Tex is.
Nearly all of the waterproof footwear on my list is equipped with Gore-Tex with the exception of the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP and the Timberland PRO Titan 6″ boots. These boots feature effective waterproof membranes as well, just not made by Gore-Tex. You get the idea.
Generally speaking, none of these boots are meant to be totally submerged in water for any length of time. If crossing a river, water will certainly enter in through the top where you insert your foot. That said, you can certainly trek through snow in some of the mid/heavyweight boot options from my list and stay 100% dry for hours.
Once wet, a lightweight waterproof boot tends to dry the fastest.
Waterproof Boot Traction
Traction is super important as well for obvious reasons. Often, hiking and trekking bring you on steep, uneven terrain where keeping good traction is the difference between life and death.
Now day-to-day, hikers aren’t faced with life and death scenarios but you get where I am coming from. The last thing you want is to increase your chances of having an accident; the possible result of a boot with poor traction.
You will certainly notice a difference in traction between a lightweight trail running shoe and a sturdy midweight hiking boot.
Vibram outsoles have long been hailed as an industry leader in term of badass soles and traction. Bear in mind too that just because a boot doesn’t have a Vibram outsole doesn’t mean it’s a shit sole or product. I am a big fan of how Vibram soles perform, though I am still optimistic that other soles have equal value and performance.
Also, not all Vibram soles perform in the same way. Each outsole they make is boot-specific. When considering what waterproof boot to go with, be sure to check out the sole description. That way, you can get a better idea of the type of traction performance you can expect from any given boot.
Breathability of Waterproof Shoes
When spending long hours with your feet inside your hiking boots, breathability is crucial. Without it, a serious funk and the resulting discomfort develops. Your hard-working feet need air, or at least a little bit. No waterproof boots out there will prevent your feet from sweating and/or getting hot. That said, some boots certainly breathe better than others.
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX ventilate just like any lightweight waterproof boot should. That is they ventilate well! Even with an effective waterproof (Gore-Tex) membrane, moisture is allowed to escape without letting water inside.
Heavyweight waterproof men’s boots certainly hold more moisture than lighter options. This is often due to the density of the leather making up the exterior of the boot. Generally speaking though, boots that are the best at keeping water out are typically the best at keeping moisture in as well. It can be difficult to find the right balance of waterproof and breathable.
Shout to the Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP boots again, as I have been quite pleased with their all-around ventilation performance.
This one is easy. Almost always without exception, the more heavy-duty (technical) any given waterproof boot is, the stiffer the boot will be.
This stiffness does serve a purpose, however, and it very much has value. On big pushes up mountains, a stiff boot holds the arch of your foot in place, instead of flattening out with each step. With support like that, the rest of your legs are not having to work so hard.
Sometimes the bit of plastic within the boot determining its stiffness is quite small, and thus the boots are quite flexible (which is great too for most situations).
Most lightweight waterproof hiking boots are designed less technical and more flexible, resulting in a good balance of stiffness, structure, and stability. The current trend is definitely moving away from ultra-stiff waterproof snow boots. You should really only find a super-stiff boot in the heavyweight/mountaineering category, where it belongs.
Obviously, you’re going to need a pair of waterproof winter boots if you intend braving the colder climates. Freezing temperatures can seriously wreak havoc on your feet – just ask these guys who suffered from a combination of frostbite and trench foot while climbing. Granted, you won’t need mountaineering boots like those guys, but you’ll need something warm.
Winter hiking boots are different than regular hiking boots in that they offer a combination of weatherproofing and insulation. The insulation is there so that, even if water should get into your boots, your feet will still be warm. If there was no insulation and your boots became wet, they could freeze and then put your own feet in danger.
When buying a pair of waterproof winter boots, be mindful of what temperature they’re rated for e.g. 30 degrees, 10 degrees, etc. Granted, these numbers aren’t exactly exact – more like ballpark estimates made by the manufacturer – but they are at least indicators of good boots. Boots that can handle lower temperatures will keep your feet warmer and longer.
Also know that if you plan on using winter boots, your feet will probably be sweaty no matter what. This is because there is little in the way of breathability. The important thing is that they’re warm though, thanks to insulation.
Alas, the time has come for me to hit the trail. Well, not at this very moment, but we have reached the end of this best waterproof boots for men review!
As you have learned, there is plenty that goes into choosing an awesome waterproof boot. Choosing the right category of boot, function, weight, and price point are all important decisions to make. With all the options out there it can be hard to know where to even start looking.
After reading this epic review though, you are now prepared to charge forward into the great wet beyond and pick up a great pair of boots to serve your own personal needs.
I am a big fan of quality waterproof boots, and you can be sure that each boot featured on my list was selected with care and purpose.
No company paid me or sponsored me in any way to write this review. All of the knowledge and information I have shared with you is based on years of in-the-field use and countless hours of research.
If you are still on the fence about which men’s waterproof boot is the best on my list, I recommend that you go with my top overall pick, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX boots. They certainly kick ass and will keep your feet as happy as they’ve ever been in wet conditions.
Don’t agree with me? Lemme know your favorite shoe in the comment section below!
“Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, buy a set of trekking poles, or sort your insurance, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse crap. Your support helps me keep the site going.”
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