For anyone that spends a substantial amount of time working outside, you know just how important a good waterproof work boot is. Keeping your feet dry throughout a work day, while being exposed to water and various substances is essential for anyone working in the trades. However, waterproof is a very general term that gets thrown around a lot when talking about boots, and often the claims don’t measure up when it comes to performance. This is frequently because brands have different methods of waterproofing, which all lead to various levels of performance. Let’s take a closer look at how boots are generally waterproofed.


In terms of leather boots, there are a few key features that are necessary to make a waterproof boot. The first is a membrane lining inside the boot, which keeps water that the leather soaks up from getting inside the boot. Built into that membrane should be a gusseted tongue, which creates a seal between the side of the boot and the tongue so as to not allow any water to seep into the shoe. The final feature would be the waterproofing of the leather itself, which is where most brands apply a spray onto the leather once it has been tanned. This spray method does not provide adequate protection, and often wears off after a few months.


Understanding the mistakes other brands make, we at BRUNT created our triple layer waterproofing system. We start by putting waterproofing solution right into the leather as it’s being tanned. Every seam on the inside of the boot is then coated with a waterproof sealant. Finally, we embed a breathable membrane inside your boot that stops water from getting in, but lets moisture out. The main point to note is that we waterproof our leather while it's being tanned. This is key to our waterproofing process. Brands who opt for a cheaper waterproofing method will spray the leather after it's been tanned which does not provide the same level of protection.


While waterproof boots are essential to many people working in the trades, there are some limitations to think about when selecting a pair. Although leather work boots have come a long way in terms of waterproofing, even the best cannot compete with the waterproofing of completely rubber boots. Now work boots are often necessary for certain work environments, but if waterproofing was far and away the most important feature, then a rubber boot might be the answer. In addition, over time the waterproofing on any boot will wear off so it is important to select a pair that is waterproofed in a way that will last. There are certain sprays that can extend the life of the waterproofing, but it is always better to select a pair that is built to last longer than a few months. Finally, the layers of waterproofing can cause the boot to lose some breathability so in a warmer climate or indoor environment, waterproof boots might not be the right choice.

(Our breathable Marin Unlined, which does not contain our waterproofing. )


When selecting the right waterproof boot for you, it is important to think about how you are going to use this boot. If you just need general protection from rain and puddles, then any of our boots with waterproofing will do the trick. However, if waterproofing is the most important factor then we recommend going with one of our leather waterproof boots like the Marin or the Perkins. This is due to the fact that waterproofing is generally better and easier to maintain on leather boots than a synthetic material like our Ryng boot. In addition, if you frequently walk through large puddles of water then you want something that will offer more protection, so a higher boot like the Marin 8 inch or the Bolduc would be a good choice. Lastly, it is important to consider if you need waterproofing at all. If you frequently work indoors or in a warm climate where you do not need waterproofing, we would recommend a more breathable boot like our Marin Unlined or Ryng Low.