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Water Resistant Work Boots: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

I know you’re looking for work boots or safety shoes which are water-resistant.

That’s why this guide explores everything you need to know about water resistant work boots.

From standards, material type features to specifications – you will find all information you’re looking for about water-resistant work boots right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is Water Resistant Work Boots?

Water-resistant materials prevent water penetration but only to a certain level.

Therefore, Water Resistant Work Boots are not completely impervious to water.

However, they will prevent water from penetrating the boots but only to a certain degree.

This is will depend on the quality and design of the water-resistant work boot.

So, water-resistant work boots are not 100% impervious to water.

Water may get in out when you expose the work boots to certain level of water.

What is the Difference Between Water-resistant and Waterproof Work Boots?

Water Resistant Work Bootsprevent only a certain amount of water from penetrating the boots but are not waterproof.

Waterproof work boots incorporate polymers that prevent the entry of water into the boots.

So waterproof work boots are completely impervious to water, while Water Resistant Work Boots are not.

What are the Best Uses of water Resistant Work Boots?

Water Resistant Work Boots are most suitable for use in areas where you come into contact with water several times.

They help in preventing water from getting into the shoe as much as possible while still allowing breathability.

Water-resistant work boots are best fit for people in:

  • Construction Sites
  • Agricultural Sector
  • Hiking
  • Landscaping
  • Contact with snow, oil, chemicals and other liquid substances

What are the Features and Properties of Water Resistant Work Boots?

The main properties of water-resistant work boots include:

  • Water Resistant Work Boots have a thicker sole than regular boots. The outsole determines the durability, flexibility, comfort, and ability to resist water.
  • They comprise of different parts including the vamp, the tongue, the quarter and the lining.The material used to make the upper part is mostly leather.
  • Some have toe caps and midsoles to protect the feet from injury from falling or sharp objects.
  • The insoles of water resistant work boots are comfortable and have pore to ensure the shoes’ breathability. Moreover, some manufacturers also make the insole using 3M thinsulate that trap heat and release moisture through the outer membrane.

Are Water Resistant Work Boots Worth it?

Yes, water resistant work bootsare worth the investment.

They have the capability to prevent a certain amount of water from getting into the shoe, ensuring your feet are dry and comfortable for a long time.

Some are also breathable thus preventing foot odours and discomfort during the time you wear them.

What Materials are Water Resistant Work Boots made of?

The primary material used to make water resistant work boots is leather.

The level of water resistance depends on the type of leather used.

These type of safety boots employ either full grain leather or action leather.

Full-grain leather is of a higher quality than action leather, making full-grain leather more water-resistant.

You can make full-grain leather more water-resistant by polishing the hide.

On the other hand, water resistant work boots made of action leather go through a different process to make them water-resistant.

Action leather is the middle section of the leather that has been split into three parts.

To make them water resistant, you add a PU coat to the action leather.

The water resistance also depends on the PU coat quality and the number of coats used on the boots.

How Long should Water Resistant Work Boots Last?

The durability of water-resistant work boots depends on the environment you are working in.

Some could last longer while others could last a shorter time.

Generally, they last between half a year to a year in an average work environment.

How do you Determine the Durability of Water Resistant Work Boots?

The main factor that determines how long water-resistant work boots last is type and quality of materials used to make the shoes.

Because of their higher quality, shoes made using full grain leather are more durable than those that employ action leather.

When you use action leather, the quality of the PU and number of layers used determines the durability.

Moreover, the lifespan of the water-resistant work boots also depends on your work environment.

For example, boots with PU coating will not last longer if you work in a chemical industry dealing with alkalis.

This is because the alkali attacks the PU.

Moreover, the durability of the shoes depends on your maintenance of the safety boots.

With good care, the work boots will serve you for a very long time.

What Safety Standards should Water Resistant Work Boots adhere to?

Some of the main standards include:

ASTM Standards

According to ASTM, water resistant work boots should have a safety toe cap that can withstand an impact force of 75-pound force.

It should withstand a compression force of 2500 pound force.

The Water Resistant Work Boots should be able to protect you from dangers that are present in hazardous work areas.

It should have midsole protection to protect from sharp objects, slippery surfaces,and others.

EN 20345

It should conform to the EN 20345 standards when it comes to water resistant work boots material thickness.

So, it must pass the tear test as stipulated by the EN 20345.

In addition to these, they must pass water absorption and water penetration tests standards.

What are some Key Considerations for Buying the Best Water Resistant Work Boots?

There are several factors to consider before buying a water-resistant work boot.

These factors include:


Depending on your budget, you would like to cut some cost.

Consequently, you might decide to buy a water-resistant work boot made of action leather instead of full grain leather.

Although the water-resistance properties will not be the same, they are good boots that will serve you for a while.


The environment you work in is also a key consideration when buying the best water-resistant work boots.

If the area is very hazardous, you should buy water resistance work boots with toe caps, midsole protection, and metatarsal protection.

Other critical factors you should consider include:

  • Quality standards and certifications
  • Work boots must pass the necessary quality tests
  • Size of the water resistant work boots
  • Consider material
  • Design of the work boot is important
  • Ensure the water resistant work boots guarantees quality

What Comfort Features do Water-resistant Boots provide?

Water-resistant work boots prevent water entry into your boots hence offering an all-day dry, comfortable feeling in the shoe.

It also prevents discomforts such as blisters and musty odors that come from wearing wet shoes.

These safety boots are also breathable to prevent sweat from accumulating, ensuring comfort and preventing odors from the shoes.

What are the Toe Protection Options for Water Resistant Work Boots?

Some of the available protection options include:

Steel Toe Protection

These are the industry standard. They are the most common type of steel toe cap protection.

Aluminum Toe Protection

They are also known as alloy toe protection. It is 30 to 50 percent lighter than steel toe caps.

They offer the same safety level as steel toe caps but offer a bit more room because they are thinner.

Composite (non-metal)

They are lighter than steel toe caps, and they are security-friendly because they are non-metallic.

They have better electrical resistance and do not conduct heat and cold, making them great for working in high or low temperatures.

What are the sole and heat Considerations when Choosing Water Resistant Work Boots?

Sole considerations are dependent on whether the place you are working in is hazardous.

Midsoles should protect the feet from sharp objects that can penetrate the shoe through the outsole.

To make the bottom of the boots waterproof, you can have their outer sole made using rubber.

Heat considerations are important when you are working in cold, wet, or hot areas.

When you work in cold areas, you will not need the same insulation as working in hot areas.

When working on cold/wet areas, installing insulators in your boots is essential to keep your feet dry.

With hot areas, you need as little insulation as possible to avoid excessive sweating to keep your feet dry.

What are the Water Resistant Work Boot Safety Symbols to be Aware of?

  • Anti-static Protection (A): Protects against minor electric shocks but not full protection from exposure to electronics or explosive work.
  • Midsole penetration protection (P): Prevents sharp objects that penetrate the sole from injuring the feet. Water-resistant boots that meet this standard resist a force of 1100N of penetration.

The materials tested include steel inserts, aluminum inserts, or Kevlar insoles.

  • Energy absorption (E): These water-resistant boots are energy and pressure absorbers to relieve the heel region from pain.
  • Water resistant upper (WRU): The upper part of the boots is resistant to water. It does not apply to boots made from polymers.
  • Heat resistant (HRO): The outsole is resistant to 300°C of heat for up to 60 seconds.
  • Insulation against cold (CI): Insulates against cold of about -20°C for up to 30 minutes.
  • Insulation against heat (HI): insulates against 150°C of heat for 30 minutes.
  • Electro-static discharge (ESD): Provides full protection from exposure to electronics and explosive work. These boots have complied with ESD CEI EN61340-5-1 standard.
  • Metatarsal Protection (M): Protection of the metatarsals.
  • Fuel oil resistance (FO): Resistance to fuel oil of outsole.
  • SRA: This is slip resistance tested on ceramic floor wetted with diluted soap solution.
  • SRB: Slip resistance tested on steel floor with glycerol
  • SRC: Slip resistance tested on both SRA and SRB

What are ASTM Compliant Water Resistant Work Boots?

ASTM stands for American Society for Testing and Materials.

For compliance, ASTM requires that water resistant work boots be:

  • Manufactured with a permanent protective toe cap.
  • Be impact-resistant and compression-resistant.

The boots should withstand the impact force of 75-pound force and compression resistance of 2500 pound-force.

Additionally, water resistant work boots should have the below properties:

  • Offer metatarsal protection
  • Provide conductive protection
  • Offer resistance to electric hazards
  • Should be puncture-resistant
  • Have static dissipative properties
  • Lastly, the toe area must have an interior clearance of 0.5 inches in men’s footwear and 0.468 inches in women’s footwear.

How do you identify Water Resistant Work Boots that meet ASTM Standards?

The manufactured footwear that complies with the ASTM specifications has the quality standard mark printed on it.

Each pair of the boots feature either a mark, stitch in, stamp on, or pressure-sensitive label.

You can find these labels clearly and legibly on either the tongue, gusset, shaft, or quarter lining.

Typically, you will have the making enclosed in a rectangular border with a four-line format.

The four-line applies when the shoe meets more than three sections of the standard.

The protective toe cap has the mark displaying the manufacturer’s name, trademark, or logo.https://www.youtube.com/embed/dvhBpfHWCsI?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque

What Boots Height Options do you Offer for Water Resistant Work Boots?

Commonly, the height options offered are; low shoes, ankle boots, half knee boots, and thigh boots.

For water-resistant work boots, the heights of the shoe begin from ankle-length size.

What are the OSHA Specifications for Water Resistant Work Boots?

OSHA stands for occupational safety and health administration.

OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910. 136(a)requires that employees working in areas having a high risk of foot injuries wear protective footwear.

The dangers of foot injuries include rolling or falling objects or objects that may pierce the sole.

What is the IP Rating Scale for Water Resistant Work Boots?

Water resistant and waterproof footwear are given an IP Rating Scaling to show their level of protection from water.

IPX-0 means the boot does not have any water resistance or waterproofing qualities.

The highest rating is IPX-8 which means you can submerge your foot in water but no water penetrates the boots.

Water resistant work boots having an IP rating of IPX4.

This means that they are resistant to water splashes from all directions.

However, you cannot submerge them into water because water will sip in.

How do I make Sure to get the Right Size of Water Resistant Work Boots?

Similar to normal shoes, water resistant work boots come in various sizes.

As a result, you will have a variety of shoes to choose from.

The best way to buy the right size is to test to see whether the shoe fits. If it fits, that is the right size.

What are the Features of Women’s Water Resistant Work Boots?

Women’s Water-Resistant Work Boots are tailored to fit women because women have a higher arch and a narrower heel.

Therefore, the women’s safety boots will offer a comfortable design for the higher arch and the shoes are sized down.

Otherwise,they have similar features to all other types of water-resistant work boots.

They comply with all the relevant quality standards touching on industrial safety boots.

How do Women’s and Men’s Water Resistant Work Boots Compare?

Although Men’s and Women’s Water-resistant work Boots have primarily similar features, there is a slight difference.

The distinction is in the sizes available, with Women’s water-resistant safety boots being slightly smaller in size.

What are Side-Zip Water Resistant Work Boots?

As the name suggests, these boots have a zip on their side.

The zips allow you to put on or remove your shoes faster.

Side zips give you better ankle support than slip-on boots because they it is possible to adjust them.

Do Water Resistant Work Boots come in Slip-on Designs?

Yes, they do but they are not as comfortable as side-zip Water Resistant Work Boots.

This is because you cannot adjust them to support the ankle well.

What are other Fastening Mechanisms for Water Resistant Work Boots?

There are zip and lace boots, zip-up boots, and side zip Water Resistant Work Boots.

Zip and Lace Boots

These are work boots that have both the zip and the laces.

The zip is on the side while the laces are on the front.

Zip-up Boots

These are industrial safety boots that only have the zip on them.

What is ‘Metal-free’ Water Resistant Work Boots?

Metal-free work boots are work boots that do not have any metal in them.

They are wholly made of non-metals.

Metal-free work boots do not have steel toe caps, steel midsole, aluminum/steel metatarsal guards.

Which Applications is Best Suited for ‘Metal-free’ Water Resistant Work Boots?

Metal-free water-resistant work boots are essential where there are security checks for metal or metal-sensitive detectors.

Also, you can use them when you are engaging in heavy construction.

You will require lighter shoes to ensure faster working while still being comfortable.

What is Metatarsal Protection for Water Resistant Work Boots and Why is it Important?

Manufacturing of metatarsal protection guards entails the use of aluminum, steel, lightweight composites, or synthetic materials.

This guard protects the upper part of your feet because metatarsal bones are prone to injuries.

Your feet stick out of the body, so they are prone to injuries due to falling or rolling objects.

What are SB-Rated Water Resistant Work Boots?

SB refers to safety basic toe protection rating for water Resistant Work Boots that promotes additional safety.

Its testing involves using a 200J impact and 15kN compression force.

What are S1 Water Resistant Work Boots?

They are anti-static, slip-resistant, and also have basic toe protection.

It is also oil-resistant and has energy absorbers that prevent injuries by shortfalls or hard impacts.

What are S2 Water Resistant Work Boots?

They have all the features that S1 boots have, only that they have additional water-resistant features.

They have a Water Resistant Upper “WRU” cap.

What are S3 Water Resistant Work Boots?

S3 have similar features with S2 and S1, with a midsole penetration resistance (puncture proof).

If you are a working in heavy construction, demolition, or dangerous sites, these shoes would be ideal.

S4 has all the features of S1 but they totally comprise of rubber or other polymers, meaning they are waterproof and leakproof.

Similarly, S5 has all the features of S4 but has a midsole penetration resistance.

Note: S1 to S3 are water-resistant because they are made from non-polymers.

However, S4 and S5 are waterproof because manufacturers use rubber in making them.

What is 3M Thinsulate for Water Resistant Work Boots?

3M Thinsulate refers to an insulation made from microfibers that work together to trap warm air particles.

The thinsulate traps warmth but allows moisture to evaporate through its outer membrane.

This is the most efficient and versatile type of insulation in the market that you can use in water resistant work boots.

They allow the boots to be breathable at the same time keeping them warm.

What is Polyurethane (PU) Outsole for Water Resistant Work Boots?

Polyurethane (PU) is a polymer or synthetic resin. It coats action leather to give it its water-resistance properties, durability, and scratch resistance.

There exist other types of PU leather: vegan leather that has no actual leather.

Manufacturing it entails the use of purely fabric dipped in PU to make it look like genuine leather.

PU leather is a cheaper substitute for actual whole grain leather and is more water-resistant than whole-grain leather.

It is also lighter than whole-grain leather.

Which is Better between Kevlar or Dyneema Midsole vs Steel Midsole for Water Resistant Work Boots?

Steel midsoles involve the use of coated steel or stainless steel, while Kevlar or Dyneema midsole uses textiles.

Both Kevlar or Dyneema and steel midsoles have their advantages and disadvantages.

Below are some of the comparison between the two types of midsole for water-resistant safety boots:

  • Steel midsoles are more economical compared to Kevlar/Dyneema midsoles.

This is because steel midsoles are easy to manufacture; hence, they are cheaper, making them more economical.

  • Steel midsoles are thinner than Kevlar/Dyneema. Steel midsoles still offer protection even if they are light, reducing the water-resistant work boot’s height.
  • Steel midsoles are embedded into the outsole therefore it is not visible when removing the insole.

The Kevlar/Dyneema midsole is woven onto the water-resistant boots upper construction.

Consequently, they are visible when removing the insole.

  • Steel midsoles are not suitable when working with electronics, cold areas, hot areas or wet areas. This is because it conducts cold, heat and electricity.

Conversely, Kevlar/Dyneema are insulators hence they do not conduct electricity, heat, or cold.

  • Steel midsoles are good for protecting the feet against sharp and tiny objects. Kevlar/Dyneema are susceptible to sharp and tiny objects.
  • Steel midsoles are less flexible than Kevlar/Dyneema midsoles. This causes water resistant work boots with steel midsoles to be more uncomfortable and stiffer while boots with Kevlar/Dyneema are more comfortable.
  • Kevlar/Dyneema midsoles are lighter than steel midsoles. This makes the safety boots with Kevlar/Dyneema midsoles lighter and more comfortable for working in.
  • Kevlar/Dyneema midsoles in water resistant work boots are best for working in metal scanning environment because they do not trigger the sensors. Steel midsoles will trigger the metal detectors all the time because they include metal.
  • Kevlar/Dyneema midsoles are more comfortable than the steel midsoles because they are not stiff. Therefore, you cannot feel the pressure on your feet after working with them for a long time.

In conclusion, the Kevlar/Dyneema is better than steel midsoles in terms of comfort of your feet if working for a long time.

They also offer protection to your feet.

Can I get Anti-microbial Treatment for Water Resistant Work Boots to Prevent and Control Odors?

Yes, you can get anti-microbial treatment for your boots.

It is possible to build the anti-microbial product in your work boots.

These anti-microbial treatment gets rid of microorganisms which bring about the odors in your work boots.

What is the Weight of Water-Resistant Work Boots?

The average weight of water resistant boots is 0.91 to 1.3 kgs.

Nonetheless, the weight varies according to the materials used to make the boots.

If the water-resistant work boots have steel toe caps and midsole, the weight increases to about 1.8 or 2.04 kgs.

The material also matters.

Leather water resistant work boots weigh a lot more because leather is naturally a heavy material.

Manufactured leather (PU leather) is lighter than leather boots because the material is lighter.

Water resistant work boots made from polymers such as rubber are even lighter than manufactured leather because rubber is lighter.

Other factors that affect the work boot’s weight are the padding, outsoles, shanks, and insulations.

How Often Should I Change Water Resistant Work Boots for my Business?

It is advisable to change water-resistant work boots as soon as they are damaged to protect yourself from harm.

Some of the things you should look out for are:

· Worn-out Soles

This simply implies that the treads are worn-out.

This reduces the slip resistance of the boots and results in slipping and falling, which can cause injury.

· Worn-out Midsoles

Most manufacturers us EVA foam in making the midsoles, which helps absorb the force of impact as you walk.

When the midsoles start to compress and become wrinkled, it loses its shape, and the support reduces.

Worn-out midsoles will make you start feeling the pressure in your feet and the heels.

This can result in injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, among others.

· Looseness

A water-resistant work boot should be flexible enough to provide better control of your feet.

However, the boot should not be too loose not to provide your feet with enough support.

Boots can become too flexible during the breaking-in process.

If they are too lax, there are chances they are not offering enough support and protection (not absorbing shock).

· Leaking

When water leaks into your boots, that means it’s time to make a change.

When water leaks into your boots, it means there is damage or crack on the leather allowing water into the shoe.

Likewise, the PU coating may have scratched off from the shoe hence allowing water into the shoe.

· Separation

When the uppers separate from the soles, it is time to change your boots and get new ones.

This is very dangerous as it can cause you to trip.

The separation gets worse when you ignore it. While fixing it with glue is fast, it is not a long-term solution.

· Physical Damage

Physical damages such as holes and tears in your uppers are dangerous to your feet.

If you work around water or hazardous chemicals, they may leak into the shoe and compromise your feet’ safety.

Also, small holes can become huge if you ignore them for a long time.

What are the Best Cleaning and Maintenance Practices for Water Resistant Work Boots?

You can use a damp brush or cloth to wipe dirt and dust for light cleaning.

When your boots are incredibly dirty, it is necessary to use more washing powder or leather cleaning products.

Leather cleaning products should not be petroleum base as they can affect the leather.

The cleaning products should be plant-based or saddle soap.

Spray on the leather cleaning product, then wipe or brush away dirt or grime on the shoe until the leather is clean.

In case of caked in dirt, leave on the leather cleaning product for two minutes and let it soak.

Saddle soap has ingredients like beeswax or lanolin, cleans the shoe, and nourishes the leather.

This makes it the right product for boots care and maintenance.

Let your boots airdry as heating them can dry and crack the leather.

Cleaning of the insoles and the insides is something you should also pay attention to.

First, you should take out the insoles and wash them with a washing machine or a mild detergent.

Similarly, you can wash them by hand (preferred) using a mild detergent and let them air dry.

You should wash the interior with a low pH shampoo until the musty smell is gone.

You should then use a damp cloth to clear out the shampoo surds.

The boots should be left to air dry as heating can have detrimental effects on your shoes.

Furthermore, conditioning your water-resistant leather work boots is as important as cleaning them.

Conditioning of the work boots moisturizes the leather to prevent drying or cracking.

It also provides a water-resistant barrier that protects your shoes.

Conditioning also protects your boots from direct sunlight, which might crack the leather hence keeps your shoes in good condition for a long time.

What are the Latest Technologies that you can Incorporate in Water Resistant Work Boots?

Lighter safety footwear is the latest innovation to ensure your comfort when wearing water-resistant boots.

These boots are still safe but easier to work with.

There has been development of breathable leather to keep your feet warm while still letting out moisture.

This prevents a build-up of moisture which ensures your feet are dry, comfortable, and odorless.

Moreover, the industry has also invented heat insulators to keep your feet warm while working with your Water Resistant Work Boots.

During cold weather or when you’re working in wet environments, your feet remain warm.

Tunnel systems are an invention that the heels adjust and move as the heel hits the ground.

This means more pressure is spread over a very large surface area.

These tunnel systems are shock absorbers that ensure you are upright and feel stable as you walk and work.

What are Some Tips for Keeping Feet Warm in Water Resistant Work Boots?

Keeping your feet dry will ensure your feet remain warm.

You can do this by taking care of your water-resistant work boots to prevent water leakage into the shoe.

Invest in Socks

You can also use Socks to keep your feet warm in water resistant work boots.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to avoid cotton socks as they accumulate moisture and cause your feet to sweat.

The best socks to wear are woolen socks as they keep heat and release moisture.


In order to keep your feet warm, you can try and layer up the socks that you wear to give you more warmth.

You can try three to four layers of socks in your water-resistant boots.

Proper Drying

Properly drying your water-resistant boots after washing them can also keep your feet dry.

Wet shoes can be irritating and can also cause your feet to freeze when wearing your boots.

Thermal Insoles

Using thermal insole can also help in keeping your feet warm by adding extra heat.

They help keep your feet warm during the cold season.

How Much does Water Resistant Work Boots Cost?

The price range differs according to the brands, features of the water-resistant safety boots, materials of the footwear.

The prices can range from $10 to as high as $30 or more.

Do Water Resistant Work Boots come with a Warranty?

Some brands offer a warranty for their water-resistant work boots, while some do not.

The warranty ranges from one month to a lifetime.

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing water-resistant work boots.

The best part, Huaerxin Company offers some of the best water-resistant work boots in the industry.

Contact us today for all your water-resistant work boots needs.

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