Which Hiking Boots Are Really Waterproof?

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When you go hiking, it’s vital to have the right gear, especially when the weather can be unpredictable. Your hiking boots are one of the most important parts of that gear. Nobody wants soggy, uncomfortable feet when they’re out exploring. 

So, let’s find out: which hiking boots are really waterproof? In this article, we’ll talk about the best waterproof hiking boots available and give you a clear answer, so you can enjoy your outdoor adventures without wet feet.


Best Women’s Hiking Boots Made In The USA

In a Hurry? Check Out the KEEN Targhee 2!

If you’re short on time and want the best waterproof hiking boot, look no further than the KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Height Waterproof boot. Why? It’s all about keeping your feet dry and comfortable. These boots excel in waterproofing, so wet hikes are a thing of the past.

But that’s not all; they’re also designed for day-long comfort, built to last, and offer excellent traction. In a nutshell, the KEEN Targhee 2 is the go-to choice for dependable waterproofing, comfort, durability, and traction on any adventure, rain or shine. So, for a trustworthy waterproof hiking boot, choose the KEEN Targhee 2.

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Which Hiking Boots Are Really Waterproof? A Simple Buying Guide

When you’re out exploring the great outdoors, especially in unpredictable weather, having waterproof hiking boots can be a game-changer. But how do you know which hiking boots are truly waterproof? In this easy-to-follow buying guide, we’ll break it down for you, step by step.

Look for the Waterproof Label: 

The first thing to do when shopping for waterproof hiking boots is to check for the “waterproof” label. Many reputable brands clearly indicate this feature in their product descriptions. This label assures you that the boots are designed to keep your feet dry, even in wet conditions.

Check the Material: 

Pay attention to the materials used in the boot’s construction. Boots with a waterproof membrane like GORE-TEX are highly effective at keeping water out while allowing your feet to breathe. Look for terms like “GORE-TEX lining” in the product specifications.

Seam Sealing Matters: 

Waterproof boots should have sealed seams. Seams are potential weak points where water can enter. Well-made waterproof boots have sealed seams to prevent any water from seeping in through these areas.

Consider the Height: 

The height of the boot matters when it comes to waterproofing. Mid or high-top boots offer better protection against water entering from the top. If you plan to hike in wet conditions, consider boots that cover your ankles.

Traction is Essential: 

Don’t forget about the outsole. A good waterproof hiking boot should have a reliable outsole with deep treads. This ensures you have solid traction on slippery and wet surfaces.

Read Reviews: 

Before making a final decision, read reviews from other hikers. They can provide valuable insights into how well the boots perform in real-life conditions. Look for comments about waterproofing and overall comfort.

Get the Right Fit: 

Lastly, make sure the boots fit you properly. An ill-fitting boot can compromise waterproofing. It’s a good idea to try the boots on and wear the socks you intend to hike in when trying them on.

In summary, when you’re in search of truly waterproof hiking boots, it’s essential to look for the waterproof label, check the materials, ensure seam sealing, consider the boot height, assess the traction, read reviews, and get the right fit. By following these simple steps, you’ll be well-prepared to choose hiking boots that will keep your feet dry and comfortable on your outdoor adventures. Happy hiking!

Which Hiking Boots Are Really Waterproof? (Our Team Top Picks)

  1. Best Overall Hiking Boot: KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot
  2. Best Budget Hiking Boot: Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Boot
  3. Best Backpacking Boot: Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
  4. Best Ultralight Hiking Boot: Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 MID GTX Hiking Boot
  5. Most Comfortable Hiking Boot: HOKA ONE ONE Sky Toa GTX hiking boot

Best Overall Hiking Boot

1. KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot

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When it comes to conquering the trails, the KEEN Men’s Targhee 2 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot stands out as a top contender for the title of the “Best Overall Hiking Boot.” 

With its rugged durability, exceptional waterproofing, and unwavering comfort, these boots have earned their reputation as the go-to choice for hikers seeking the perfect blend of performance and reliability. 

In this review, we’ll delve into why the KEEN Targhee 2 deserves the crown as the best all-around hiking boot, ensuring that your outdoor adventures are both enjoyable and worry-free.

Key Features:

Waterproof Performance: 

The KEEN.Dry waterproof membrane ensures your feet stay dry in wet and rainy conditions, allowing you to trek confidently through streams, puddles, and muddy terrain.

Exceptional Traction: 

Equipped with multi-directional lugs and a non-marking rubber outsole, these boots provide superior traction on a variety of surfaces, enhancing stability and preventing slips.


Constructed with high-quality materials, including a waterproof nubuck leather upper, these boots are built to withstand the rigors of the trail and are designed for long-lasting use.

Comfortable Cushioning: 

The EVA midsole and dual-density footbed offer excellent cushioning and arch support, reducing fatigue during extended hikes and ensuring day-long comfort.

Protective Toe Cap: 

The Targhee 2 features a reinforced toe cap that shields your toes from rocks and debris, adding an extra layer of protection for your feet.

Breathable Design: 

The boots incorporate breathable mesh panels that help regulate temperature and keep your feet comfortable, even on warm hiking days.

Secure Fit: 

The KEEN’s signature Secure-Fit lace capture system allows you to easily customize the fit of the boot, ensuring your feet are snug and secure, reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort.


Whether you’re on a day hike or a multi-day backpacking trip, the KEEN Targhee 2 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boot is versatile enough to handle various terrains and weather conditions, making it a reliable choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pros and Cons:


  • Outstanding waterproofing.
  • Impressive traction on diverse terrain.
  • Durable and long-lasting construction.
  • Comfortable cushioning and arch support.
  • Breathable design for added comfort.


  • Slightly narrow fit for some users.
  • May require a break-in period.
  • Higher price point compared to some alternatives.

Best Budget Hiking Boot

2. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Boot

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When it comes to exploring the great outdoors without breaking the bank, the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot emerges as a top contender. 

This versatile hiking boot offers an impressive blend of affordability and performance, making it the go-to choice for budget-conscious adventurers seeking durable waterproof footwear.

 In this article, we’ll delve into why the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II stands out as the best budget hiking boot, highlighting its key features and value for money. Discover how this boot can elevate your hiking experience without emptying your wallet.

Key Features:

Waterproof Construction: 

These boots feature a waterproof leather upper and a seam-sealed construction, keeping your feet dry in wet conditions and creek crossings.

Durable Outsole: 

The Omni-Grip non-marking rubber outsole provides excellent traction on various terrains, including rocky trails and slippery surfaces.

Comfortable Cushioning: 

With a lightweight and comfortable Techlite midsole, these boots offer superior cushioning and support for long hikes, reducing foot fatigue.

Breathable Lining: 

The boots are equipped with a moisture-wicking lining that helps keep your feet dry and comfortable by wicking away sweat.

Ankle Support: 

The mid-height design provides ample ankle support without being too restrictive, reducing the risk of twisting or injury on uneven terrain.

Affordable Price: 

Perhaps the standout feature is its budget-friendly price tag, offering a great balance of quality and affordability.

Versatile Style: 

These boots are not only functional but also stylish, making them suitable for both hiking adventures and casual wear.

Available in Wide Sizes: 

Columbia offers these boots in a range of widths, ensuring a comfortable fit for hikers with different foot shapes.

Pros and Cons:


  • Waterproof design for wet conditions.
  • Durable traction on diverse terrains.
  • Comfortable cushioning reduces fatigue.
  • Moisture-wicking lining keeps feet dry.
  • Affordable price offers value for budget-conscious buyers.


  • Durability may not match premium boots.
  • Sizing can be narrow; consider trying before purchase.
  • Limited advanced features compared to high-end options.

Best Backpacking Boot

3. Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

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When it comes to embarking on extended backpacking journeys, selecting the right footwear can make all the difference. The Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot has consistently proven itself as an exceptional choice for backpackers seeking rugged reliability and waterproof performance. 

In this guide, we’ll delve into why this boot has earned its reputation as the best backpacking hiking boot, highlighting its durable construction, superior traction, and waterproof prowess, ensuring that every step is supported and comfortable on the trail.

Key Features:

Waterproof Protection: 

The Moab 3 Mid is equipped with a waterproof membrane that keeps your feet dry in wet conditions, making it suitable for all-weather backpacking adventures.

Durable Construction: 

Built with high-quality materials, these boots are designed to withstand the rigors of long hikes and challenging terrains, ensuring they last through many outdoor expeditions.

Vibram Outsole: 

The Vibram TC5+ outsole provides excellent traction and stability, helping you maintain control on uneven trails and slippery surfaces.

Comfortable Cushioning: 

Merrell’s M Select FIT.ECO+ blended EVA footbed offers superior cushioning and arch support, ensuring comfort during long days on the trail.

Breathable Design: 

The boot features a breathable mesh lining that helps regulate temperature, preventing your feet from overheating during strenuous hikes.

Protective Toe Cap: 

A rubber toe cap provides added protection for your toes against rocks and obstacles, enhancing the boot’s durability.

Shock Absorption: 

The air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability, reducing fatigue during extended hikes.

Mid-Height Design: 

The mid-height ankle design offers extra support and helps prevent ankle injuries, making it an excellent choice for backpacking where ankle stability is crucial.

Pros and Cons:


  • Waterproof performance for wet conditions.
  • Durable construction withstands rugged terrain.
  • Reliable traction on various surfaces.
  • Comfortable EVA footbed for all-day comfort.
  • Mid-height design provides ankle support.


  • Slightly heavier compared to ultralight options.
  • Requires a break-in period for optimal comfort.
  • Limited color options may not suit all style preferences.

Best Ultralight Hiking Boot

4. Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 MID GTX Hiking Boot

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When it comes to conquering the trails with ease, the Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 MID GTX Hiking Boot stands out as the go-to choice for adventurers seeking the best ultralight hiking experience. 

Crafted with precision and designed for the most demanding terrains, these boots offer a perfect blend of lightweight agility and waterproof protection. In this article, we’ll delve into why the Salomon X Ultra 3 MID GTX is your ticket to unhindered exploration and how it earns its title as the best ultralight hiking boot. 

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting your outdoor journey, these boots are sure to elevate your trail experience to new heights.

Key Features:

Ultralight Design: 

Highlight the boot’s remarkably lightweight construction, making it an ideal choice for hikers who prioritize agility and reduced fatigue.

Gore-Tex Waterproofing: 

Emphasize the Gore-Tex membrane, which provides exceptional waterproofing, ensuring your feet stay dry even in wet conditions.

Excellent Traction: 

Discuss the boot’s advanced outsole technology, offering superior grip and stability on various terrains, from rocky paths to muddy trails.

Supportive Comfort: 

Mention the comfortable and cushioned insoles and midsoles that provide all-day support, reducing the risk of discomfort and fatigue during long hikes.

Precise Fit: 

Highlight the boot’s precise and secure fit, ensuring your feet are snugly held in place, reducing the chances of blisters and discomfort.

Durable Build: 

Talk about the durable construction of the boot, designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures and provide long-lasting performance.

Sleek Design: 

Comment on the stylish and modern design of the Salomon X Ultra 3 MID GTX, which appeals to hikers looking for both functionality and aesthetics.

Versatile Use: 

Mention that these boots are suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities, including day hikes, backpacking trips, and even rugged mountain treks.

Pros and Cons:


  • Ultra Lightweight for agile movement.
  • Waterproof with Gore-Tex membrane.
  • Superior traction on various terrains.
  • Comfortable with cushioned insoles.
  • Durable construction for long-lasting use.


  • Relatively high price point.
  • May not be suitable for wider feet.
  • Requires a short break-in period for optimal comfort.

Most Comfortable Hiking Boot

5. HOKA ONE ONE Sky Toa GTX hiking boot

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When it comes to hiking, comfort is paramount. The HOKA ONE ONE Sky Toa GTX hiking boot is designed to elevate your hiking experience to a new level of ease and enjoyment. Built with a focus on providing exceptional comfort, these boots are a game-changer for outdoor enthusiasts.

What sets the HOKA ONE ONE Sky Toa GTX apart as the best comfortable hiking boot? In this article, we’ll delve into the innovative features that make these boots stand out, from their plush cushioning to the ergonomic design that supports your feet mile after mile. Discover how the Sky Toa GTX can transform your hiking adventures into comfortable and memorable journeys.

Key Features:

GORE-TEX Waterproofing: 

These boots feature GORE-TEX technology, providing superior waterproof protection, keeping your feet dry in wet and muddy conditions.

Plush Cushioning: 

The HOKA ONE ONE signature cushioning technology offers exceptional underfoot comfort, reducing fatigue during long hikes.

Lightweight Design: 

Despite their comfort and support, these boots remain lightweight, allowing you to move efficiently and comfortably on the trails.

Ankle Support: 

The mid-height design provides ankle support and stability, reducing the risk of injuries on uneven terrain.

Durable Construction: 

Built to withstand the rigors of hiking, these boots feature a robust construction, ensuring longevity and durability.

Vibram Outsole: 

The Vibram MegaGrip outsole delivers superior traction, providing a secure grip on a variety of surfaces, including wet and slippery trails.

Ergonomic Fit: 

The boots are designed with an ergonomic shape that accommodates various foot shapes, reducing the likelihood of discomfort and blisters.


Despite their waterproofing, the boots offer breathability to prevent overheating, ensuring a comfortable temperature for your feet throughout your hike.

Pros and Cons:


  • Exceptional Comfort
  • Waterproof (GORE-TEX)
  • Lightweight
  • Ankle Support
  • Durable


  • Higher Price
  • Limited Style Options
  • Brief Break-In Period

Waterproof Hiking Boots Comparison: Which Boots Truly Keep You Dry?

Brand/ModelWaterproofMid HeightBreathabilityWeight (per pair)
KEEN Men’s Targhee 2YesYesModerate2 lbs 4 oz
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge PlusYesYesModerate2 lbs 8 oz
Merrell Men’s Moab 3 MidYesYesGood2 lbs 6 oz
Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 MIDYesYesExcellent1 lb 11 oz
HOKA ONE ONE Sky Toa GTXYesYesExcellent1 lb 13 oz


As you conclude your hunt for genuinely waterproof hiking boots, the pivotal question remains: “Which Hiking Boots Are Truly Waterproof?” Here’s a concise recap. Seek out the “waterproof” label and materials such as GORE-TEX for top-notch protection. Don’t forget sealed seams, and consider the boot height for added defense against water intrusion. Reliable traction is a must, and don’t skip reading reviews to learn from fellow hikers’ experiences.

Lastly, ensure a snug fit for maximum comfort and waterproof performance. Armed with this know-how, you’ll confidently select hiking boots that live up to the waterproof promise. Now, no matter the weather, your outdoor adventures will be defined by dry, contented feet. Happy hiking!


Q: Are there any truly waterproof hiking boots?

Ans: Yes, there are hiking boots that are truly waterproof.

Q: How do I know if my hiking boots are waterproof? 

Ans: To verify waterproofing in your hiking boots, check for a “waterproof” label or description. Boots with GORE-TEX or sealed seams usually offer waterproofing. Perform a quick water test: if water beads up and doesn’t soak in, they’re waterproof.

Q: How do I know if my hiking boots are waterproof?

Ans: To check if your hiking boots are waterproof, look for the “waterproof” label and materials like GORE-TEX, and read reviews or check manufacturer specifications.

Q: Which is better waterproof or water-resistant shoes?

Ans: Waterproof shoes are better than water-resistant shoes for superior protection against moisture.

Q: Which footwear material is waterproof?

Ans: GORE-TEX is a waterproof material commonly used in outdoor footwear.

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