What's the difference between waterproof and water-resistant work boots

What's the difference between waterproof and water-resistant work boots

Having wet feet all day on the job. Not too comfortable, right? 

Of course, you can (almost) go through life with dry feet. Wet feet are acceptable for the hot tub. You don't have to give up your me time! 

Unfortunately, most of us tend to confuse waterproof and water-resistant boots, but the two are vastly different. 

But don't worry! If you aren't sure about which ones to choose, this article is right on target. 

We'll tell you: 

  1.  How to spot the difference between waterproof and water-resistant boots
  2. How to choose THE best waterproof boots and get the most out of them
  3. Which is the right boot for your industry.

You'll know all about it in just a few minutes! 

Let's get going! 


  1. How to recognize the difference between waterproof and water-resistant boots

The name says it all. Water-resistant boots are just that... up to a point. A few drops of water or a light rain may be able to penetrate, but not much more than that. 

But you should know: there's no such thing as waterproof boots that block every single drop of rain. This means that we can't be 100% sure that no water or moisture won't seep in. 

Even so, you're better off with waterproof boots if you work in water, snow, mud or slush.


Waterproof boots

There are certain essential features for waterproof boots. Otherwise, you're like the construction dude who has the drill but no screws. You just won't get very far.


  • Waterproof membrane.

Unfortunately, before tanning, leather isn't waterproof. It's a natural material, so it's more prone to drying out and cracking. To prevent this, leather is always treated during the tanning stage to seal and protect the pores.

 And you should also know: a synthetic waterproof membrane added to the leather helps the water runoff. Like we said before, wet feet belong in the hot tub, and that's it! 

Oh, and boots with a membrane are more stain-resistant, so they look good for longer. WIN! 

  • High-Quality leather.

Even with leather treatments and membranes, quality leather makes the difference in waterproofing. This is not the time to skimp on costs; just choose the best you can find. We recommend full-grain leather, nubuck or crazy horse, all available on our website

  • Sealed seams

The work boot's outer seams should be sealed to prevent water seepage. At ROYER, we seal them using "seam tape." 

  • Rubber outsole

Rubber is 100% waterproof and resistant. 

  • Attached side tabs

Good waterproof shoes have tabs attached to the bottom and the sides of the tongue to keep water out of those pesky little gaps. You can thank us for that later. 

View all ROYER waterproof boots


Water-resistant boots 

At the very least, you want water-resistant work boots, which is why all our boots have standard protection. In addition, we treat all leathers for this purpose, which is essential for the product's durability. 

If you happen to have a pair of good water-resistant boots, but you're interested in a more waterproof model, don't worry! You can boost their water resistance with our natural, effective beeswax coating.


  1. THE best waterproof boots and how to get the most out of them


On top of what we've told you about membranes, high-quality leather, sealed seams, soles and tabs, we suggest you look further to find the proper boots for you.

 The right membrane

We've already told you about membranes, but they need to be certified and offer quality technology. For example, we offer three waterproof options: boots with GORE-TEX membrane, boots with AIRFLOW membrane and last but not least, boots with R-Dry membrane. Both provide the ultimate in waterproofing.

 GORE-TEX and R-DRY offer the best combination of waterproofing and breathability. That keeps you nice and dry! In addition, the membrane helps your feet dry while you're wearing the boot.



The AIRFLOW membrane is super waterproof but less breathable than GORE-TEX or R-Dry, which keeps it a bit warmer. It's perfect for colder temperatures or if you tend to have cold feet. We recommend boots with Thinsulate or Primaloft (temperatures from -20 to -30°C) if you're working outside all winter.

 You can recognize these three technologies by their logos: 

  • Breathability

Waterproof boots sometimes get a bad rap for being too warm and not breathable. But we promise that's just a myth! You must only find THE pair. However, if you work indoors, you don't need the membranes. 

Yes, it's true! Waterproof boots can be breathable. They're a bit warmer, but that's it. 

But beware: always look for shoes with breathable technology. Some are particularly effective at preventing water from seeping in but can't let the moisture out

This means you get trapped with sweaty feet and feel cold. You also risk getting blisters on your feet. That's not much better. 

At ROYER, we use leather for all our boots, which lets moisture evaporate, and our waterproof membranes are made for superior breathability. 

Some of our models are partially equipped with SHIELDTEX fabric for improved breathability. Just like this boot

Other models have an R-LITE insole which allows your feet to breathe. This boot is one example.  

Extended warranty 

What about the warranty for the boots you're eyeballing? Make sure you have a minimum warranty, so you have enough time to test the waterproofing. Who hasn't bought a windbreaker thinking it was a raincoat? Or is it just us? Anyway!

ROYER offers a 6-month warranty.


  • Laboratory testing 

Did the boots you're jonesing for undergo any testing? You need to know for sure. Testing ensures sophisticated, high-quality manufacturing. We perform several waterproofing tests, including the Whole Shoe Dynamic Waterproof Test or the SATRA TM230 test ((if you want to watch the video, click on the link and skip to 7 min 40 sec).

  • Bonus: The. Best. Socks. 

Finally, even if you get THE perfect boot, you still need the right socks to keep your feet dry. And guess what- we have a terrific article on how to choose the right socks. A hint: forget about those little cotton socks. We have a whole article about that right this way


  1. The right boot for your industry 

Okay! If you're working 100% indoors, you don't need waterproof boots. A water-resistant slipper is enough. 

That said, these industries require waterproof footwear:



And that's it! You know all the basics of waterproof and water-resistant boots. We'll let you get on with your day. 

if you ever have a little spare time, visit ROYER. There are always some great deals going on.