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What Makes Snow Boots Waterproof?

Waterproof? Water Resistant? Weather Resistant? Seam Sealed?

Back in the day, if a boot was waterproof, it was hot and sweaty. If it wasn't waterproof, your mother took two bread bags and lined the boots herself. You were embarrassed. But you had dry feet.

Problem was, though the puddles weren't getting anywhere near your feet, neither was the air to let your feet breathe. Mom had essentially created your own private steam room right inside your makeshift boots.

Technology has come a long way since then, but the waterproof label remains one of the most confusing and mis-understood labels in the cold weather footwear industry. The water resistance you need depends on both your cold weather pursuits and your personal preferences.

At, you'll see a Water Resistance feature on all of our snow boot listings which explains the water resistance level of the boots you're considering. Remember that a boot doesn't have to be fully waterproof to be fully functional on cold winter days. Most snow boots will keep your feet perfectly dry even if they are not fully waterproof, as long as you avoid perpetrators like deep snow drifts, splashing slush and standing water that can penetrate seams or a vulnerable upper.

Take a minute to read up on the various levels of water resistant boots outlined below!

Rubber Boots

Rubber and neoprene boots, such as those made by Baffin, Bogs and Muck will deflect any moisture away from the boots. Slog through a stream or walk your dog across the dewy grass. Your feet will be just as dry as the minute you left the house. Some customers find the all-rubber models are less breathable. However, if you are standing in rain at a soccer game or walking the shores of the lake, you'll be the envy of everyone around you.




Fully waterproof in all conditions   Some models are less breathable
Price   May be less durable
Easy to pull on and off   May be less supportive


Boots with Waterproof Inner Membrane

A waterproof inner membrane, such as GORE-TEX, prevents outside moisture from entering the boot while also allowing inner water vapor to escape. This creates a waterproof and breathable combination. Some wearers find that their feet heat up a bit faster when wearing a membrane lined boot but a good quality winter sock will go a long way to aid that issue.




Fully waterproof in all conditions   May be less breathable
Lighter weight than other waterproof boots   May be more expensive


Seam Sealed Waterproof Leather Boots

Seam sealed boots are made of waterproof leathers which are attached to a rubber base and heat sealed at the stitch line to create a waterproof barrier from outside moisture. Consumers who are using their boots in very, very cold conditions appreciate the combination of water repellency and breathability. As long as you avoid standing water, the waterproof base will keep you dry in most conditions.




Durable leather uppers   Should be treated to maintain waterproof integrity
Provide excellent foot support for active wear   Avoid use in standing water above stitch line


Weather Proof and Water Resistant Winter Boots

Winterproof boots combine nylon uppers with a full rubber base. Nylon allows air flow throughout the boot but isn't fully waterproof. Use of a waterproofing spray increases their water repellency. When the temperatures are below 32ºF, there isn't much melting snow to seep into your boots. As long as you aren't in deep wet snow, the waterproof base will keep you dry and cold weather ready. These lightweight and affordable boots are among the most popular items we sell at




Value priced   Avoid standing water above the rubber base
Many style options   Requires spray maintenance
Waterproof spray may enhance water resistance    


Understand that a fully waterproof boot has factors in its favor but that water resistant snow boots may be a better choice for you if you are an active, on the go winter warrior. The balance between breathable and waterproof depends on your activities and the temperatures. Unless you are in very slushy conditions or in standing water, most boots will keep you happy on the majority of your winter days!

Remember, if you still have questions, always feel free to Contact Us. One of our helpful representatives is always happy to talk with you. It warms our hearts to warm your feet!


We take pride in providing you the best online winter boots shopping experience. If you have any questions or comments please dont hesitate to contact us.


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Thanks... great service, will see how the boots go in Antarctica, going there for work. Cheers!
-Jeff - Australia

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