Josef Seibel Ladies Waterproof Ankle Boots

Which type of shoes are best for rainy season?

Rainy season is upon us and if you’re anything like me, trying to pick the best shoes to face the wet weather can seem impossible! Nobody wants their feet getting wet, especially on long days out so we’ve put together a guide on our best shoes for the rainy season.

Can boots be waterproof and breathable?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. Often, the first thing that comes to mind when selecting footwear in the winter is how resistant they are to the weather. Waterproof boots or shoes can be a great choice for many, giving you the flexibility and convenience to be ready as soon as you step foot out of the front door. 

But I think often people worry that if they choose waterproof, they’ll no longer have breathable, lightweight and easily wearable boots and shoes and this may be off putting. Not to worry! Waterproof is certainly wearable and often the best choice come winter and you may be surprised to find a great choice of styles on offer.

There's a common misconception that waterproof shoes and boots are exclusively available for performance footwear, such as that used for hiking and mountain trails. Whilst this is probably the most common footwear to be described as waterproof, there are other fashion and comfort led ranges that you may haven't looked at before.

Josef Seibel Waterproof Boots

Josef Seibel Selena 50 Ladies Moro Brown Leather Waterproof Zip & Lace Up Ankle Boots - Josef Seibel Ladies Waterproof Boots featuring Top-Dry Tex lining  and featuring an inside zip for ease of use

So, what makes shoes and boots waterproof?

Manufacturers need to put their footwear through rigorous testing to be able to label their footwear waterproof, with 000's of flexes and stretches, this way and that, whilst ensuring that water stays out for the duration. Most of the time, this is achieved by using a waterproof membrane (such as gore-tex) and bellows tongue for the lace and any zips, which creates a barrier by not allowing water to enter the shoe.

But, isn't leather waterproof anyway?

It's important to note that for the most part leather isn't inherently waterproof as many would imagine. In fact natural leather is porous and needs to be treated to offer water resistance. This is often done in a tannery during manufacturing, but also needs to be done periodically by the end user i.e. you and me.

Most leather shoes can be made waterproof with the use of wax dubbin, which conditions, protects and waterproofs the leather or by using an appropriate waterproof spray.

What is Gore-Tex in shoes?

Essentially Gore-Tex is a highly waterproof, windproof, durable and breathable membrane used as a lining in clothing, shoes and other applications where keeping water out is the top priority. Gore-Tex is usually the first thing that comes to mind when talking about waterproof shoes, as they are comfortably the market leader in this sector, especially in outdoor footwear.

Discovered in 1969 by a father and son duo, it was found that when PTFE was stretched rapidly, it created this microporous material which would allow feet to breath (ie it allows sweat to escape from the inside of the shoe) but also stops water getting in from the outside. 

Gore-Tex has since been a patented brand name held by the Gore family and used in many different products over the years. They partner with many footwear brands worldwide to create a wide range of waterproof shoes and boots. 

Merrell Moab Speed Gore-tex Ladies Waterproof Lace Up Shoes

Merrell Moab Speed Gore-Tex Ladies Waterproof Lace Up Shoes - A lightweight trail/hiker featuring 100% waterproof Gore-Tex membrane

What's the difference between waterproof and water resistant shoes? 

It can be quite confusing when different terminology is used, especially when they’re all quite similar! But when it comes to waterproof and water resistant, the difference between the two is actually quite important. 

When it comes to waterproof, it means exactly that - no matter how much water the shoe is exposed to for any amount of time, your feet will remain dry. As for water resistant, although these are likely to keep your feet dry in a rain shower, they certainly wouldn’t survive the test of being submerged into water. 

You’re likely to find most brands will offer water resistant shoes as this requires less testing overall, but still offers a great choice if you’re not likely to be puddle jumping or wading through rivers! 

The costs associated with testing (to waterproof standards) and the additional materials used can result in a pair of shoes that are considerably higher in price too, so you tend to find water-resistant shoes offer fantastic value and a broader range of styles, whilst giving as much protection as most people need, most of the time! One of the best examples of this is Rieker-Tex and Remonte-Tex.

What is Rieker Tex?

Similar to Gore-Tex, it is a high tech membrane designed to protect the wearer from wind, rain and cold whilst also remaining breathable. However, it's important to note that Rieker-Tex boots and shoes aren't described as waterproof, but rather 'water-resistant'.

The main difference is that the membrane lining only covers parts of the shoes and/or boots that are most exposed to the weather. This would include approximately 2cm upwards from the sole of the shoes/boots all the way around, including the toe area. However, it wouldn't include the zips or laces which may or may not have a bellows tongue.

Do Skechers sell waterproof shoes?

Yes, absolutely. Skechers are now a popular brand all year around thanks to their comfortable memory foam insoles, stylish designs and use of the latest footwear technology.

Skechers have their own version of waterproofing, 'Skech-Tex' and these shoes and boots can be easily identified by the 'waterproof' logo on the outer of the shoe. Usually more common with their outdoor and walking ranges, they still keep their stylish looks and comfortable insoles to make being on your feet an absolute joy.

Skechers Ladies Waterproof Boots

Skechers 158350 Trego Brilliant Hue Ladies Black Leather Waterproof Lace Up Ankle Boots - Skechers Ladies Waterproof Boots


So, is there such thing as a waterproof shoe?

Yes, most definitely. I hope that you'll use the information given above to help you identify the shoes and boots that are going to be the most suitable for you during the rainy season. Here's a quick summary below:

Josef Seibel’s range of TopDryTex footwear are 100% fully waterproof as are Waldlaufer's range of waterproof shoes and boots. Merrell use both Gore-tex and their own waterproof membrane to guarantee water tightness, as do Skechers with 'Sketch-Tex'.

Both 'Rieker TEX' and 'Remonte Tex' ranges (please see above), are described as 'water-resistant', but will surely meet your needs most of the time and are worthy of consideration for those wet weather days.

Additionally, you can always choose to waterproof your existing footwear using a wax dubbin on your leather shoes or waterproofing spray before wear. This will not only help to keep water from getting into the shoe, but is also good for repelling oils and dirt. This will keep all your footwear (waterproof or not) in tip-top condition.

Take a look at our fantastic selection of shoes for the rainy season for ladies and keep your feet in great condition this winter. Make use of our fantastic filters to find the exact pair you need. 

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