Best boots for working in water


Did you know that getting the best boots for working in water is critical to your health and happiness?

The most obvious thing about working in water is to make sure you keep your feet nice and dry.  If your feet get wet it leads to all sorts of major issues.

What issues can wet feet cause?

For a start, according to healthline trench foot is one of the main things to affect your feet if you keep them wet.

We’ve all had wrinkly fingers and feet when we stay in the bath for too long, but that is how trench foot starts.

Left for long enough you will see other issues such as Blisters, soreness, redness, and major issues with skin falling off, if left for long periods of time.

During the war, soldiers suffered badly with serious cases of Trench foot (hence the name).

Below is a disturbing image of a WW1 Soldiers feet from 1917.

Trench foot cased by wet feet in WW1
Having wet feet and the wrong footwear causes Trench feet which can get severe.  (source: Wikipedia)

So unless you actively look forward to sore feet, painful tingling and so on, make good informed decisions.

Life is so much easier if you can keep your feet completely dry during a normal working day.

So don’t skimp on footwear if you work in wet environments.

Trench foot is not like frost bite.  Trench foot can also happen in hot climates.  if the feet get really wet then they can also succumb to the problems of trench foot.

Down the line in the most serious of cases, you do see issues with feet ulcers, infections, gangrene and even sadly amputations

These start with the repetitive cycle of getting feet wet, standing in cold wet socks or shoes day after day and not letting them dry out properly in between.

Thankfully most of us will not get to this stage, and normally dry off and shower after work, but it’s just something to think about when you look at buying new footwear for work.

Besides which nobody really wants to be feeling down in the dumps for the day

If your work boots are wet bring them inside and dry them out near a fire, radiator or stuff some old newspaper inside them.  Then look at some ways to waterproof them, or opt for new boots more suitable.


Now before I get into things I will say this… spare a thought for the humble Wellington boot.

You can now get Wellies that have safety toe caps, thermal linings and so on… I will talk about these as we progress.. but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it… at least with wellies you are guaranteed dry feet all day long.

Boots on the other hand carry a risk of letting water in if laces come undone (and laces can get worn down by being wet all the time and soon snap).

Food for thought.


So let’s take a good look at the best boots for working in water

1: Black Hammer men’s waterproof safety boots

Black hammer men's waterproof safety boots

At first glance it looks just like an other boot, but what grabbed my attention about these ones was the fact it had hundreds of extremely high positive reviews (close to 500 at time of writing!)

The fact is that from a price point as well, it’s very very cheap.

I know it states it’s a men’s boot, but I don’t see why these couldn’t be classed as Unisex.  There isn’t anything particularly overly masculine about them, and I’ve been around plenty of factories over the years where men and women all wore the same “factory issued” boots.

One of the main features are that it has the S3 safety rating, (penetration resistance).  Essentially in a nutshell you get the steel toe cap protection as well as a steel inside the midsole to help stop sharp object from puncturing the underside of your feet.

The claimed waterproofing seems to hold true, but just note that the boot only comes to your ankle, so deeper puddles won’t be the right environment for these.

Working outdoors in wet weather should suit these just fine.

The pro’s of these boots:

  • Utterly fantastic for the money – when you read all of the reviews on these boots you will see that almost 80% of folks give these a 5 star rating on Amazon.
  • For most people they are comfortable from day one or sometimes after a  couple of days of bedding them in – so that’s a good positive sign.
  • They offer a 6 month guarantee on the sole – so go ahead and walk as many miles as you can in them.
  • They have great reflective patches on the rear – handy when working in dark areas near danger to help keep you that little bit safer
  • They are waterproof – one of the main reasons you are looking.  I have personally studied dozens of reviews about these to make sure they actually stand up to their claims.  You will always find a few people who say they are not waterproof.  Whether this is because their feet sizes aren’t “typical”, or because a bad batch of boots slipped through the QA testing I don’t know.  In the main the overall feeling is one that is very positive and very much in favour of these boots.
  • Over 90% of past buyers agree that their sizings are a good match.  So if you order a size 9 it should match your size 9 feet 9 times out of 10.  If the size is a little off just return them for a new pair

The con’s of these boots

  • There is only 1 minor thing to say about these boots.  In approximately 7% of cases the “much hyped up waterproofing claims” haven’t really delivered.  Around 1% saw waterproofing failures right away, and the the other 6% developed issues after about 2 or 3 months.
  • These are ankle boots remember – suitable for many a work place but not suitable for “really wet” environments – some of the wet stuff will happily find it’s way in to your toes down the top.
  • Check the price before hitting “buy now”.  Some boot sizes are not sold from Amazon, but from third party sellers.  Third party sellers set their own prices.  Some of these are almost 3 times the cost, so just be aware.

My thought’s on these boots.

Personally for me they are a “go go go”.  I would not hesitate in getting these.  For the price it’s a no brainer – BUT BE AWARE that some of the sizes on offer aren’t available from Amazon.  They are offered by “third party sellers” who set their own prices, and I’ve seen some of these at close to 3 times the cost of the Amazon price.  It’s quite a poor way, but I guess this is the market and people will pay if they are desperate.

As for other issues, the fact that a very small number of people have had issues, whereas a huge majority of people are overwhelmingly happy gives me confidence to recommend them.

If you like them and want to get them you can get them here on Amazon through this link.

I feel that as mentioned earlier, some people simply go through life having issues.  They may walk differently, have different shaped feet and just always seem to have issues with many shoe manufacturers.

I also feel that at times, sure you are going to get a bad pair, and in this case look to get a refund.  Even manufacturers make mistakes at times.

There’s no harm in grabbing a can of waterproofing spray and giving the boots a spray every few weeks either to help prolong their life.

What is the best waterproofing for work boots?

The simplest way  to waterproof your work boot is actually to go for safety wellies – you can get wellies with steel toe caps in them, that are half height wellies.  So in essence they are a bit bigger than a typical ankle height boot, but not as high as usual wellies -somewhere in between.

For me, these are an option I always like to look at.  I’m often out walking the dog, and I like the fact that wellies just slip on, whereas boots you’ve got to sit down, pull up your socks (there’s nothing worse than socks that slip down inside your boot!), and sort out the laces.

If you aren’t really liking the welly idea, then you will need to look at applying some sort of waterproofing product to the boot to help keep water out.

There are waxes, and sprays available.

Wax boot protection

Dubbin is a wax used by millions of people, among which are the military, horse riding stable staff and many many more.  It’s used for nourishing leather and helping to keep it waterproof.  It will also breathe new life into old tired leather and help extend it by many many years.

Amazon sells Dubbin here.  If you fancy giving it a whirl you’ll be reassured that it works on all leather surfaces not just for boots (motorcycle leathers come up a right treat!)

Really a godsend and for under a tenner you can’t go wrong.  Get some and pop it under the slink or in the shoe cupboard ready for your next use.

Spray boot protection

There are now a number of sprays available.  Just pick any of them and give your boots a spray then wait a couple of minutes and job done.  This spray has almost perfect ratings and costs under a fiver so it’s not bad really.

It is one of the simplest ways to get the water protection (althought it’s nowhere in the same league as applying wax to look after the leather!)

2: Muck Boots Unisex Adults’ Chore Steel Toe Safety Wellingtons

Safety wellies by Muck boots
Available in a few different colours

I came across the Muck boots brand a while back when I was looking at boots for barn work.

My initial thoughts were that they seemed a touch expensive, but that is my own opinion and I have been known to be a bit of a tight git when it comes to spending.  I blame my partner who always get’s things as cheap as humanly possible – some of that has rubbed on me -a haa!.

There is a cheap alternative and these only cost about £10 – but don’t expect luxurious comfort or long lasting for the price!  These will definitely “put you on” though.

Anyway… in a nutshell.. the Muck boot company brand of safety wellies enjoy a solid track record and safety toe caps.

I could leave it at that but I do need to tell you more about them.

The main solid area of protection is for the toes.  It’s steel.

There are also two reinforced areas. 

The first area is on the top.  It starts behind the toes, and moves back towards your leg.  It provides a bit more protection to the metatarsal area (the top bit of the foot that footballers often kick with, and injure themselves when kicking as well).

The second area is at the heel.  It’s never going to be a bulletproof level of protection but it is an extra added level of protection that you don’t find on standard wellies – so it is very much well received.

The Pro’s for these wellies:

  • They have a great elasticated top on them which fits snugly on your leg so there is almost a zero chance of water getting in down the top – although I’m not telling you to go swimming in them to test this out!
  • They are genuinely waterproof – such is the nature of wellies!  I know we are discussing work boots here, but every work place is different and your workplace environment may be better suited to wearing safety wellies like these.
  • They are comfortable – and can be worn all day -you only hvae to read the reviews to find this out.  This is why it pays to pay a little bit more to get boots that will exceed your expectations.
  • You can feel some level of reassurance – the Muck boot company have been around since 1999 so have had decades to perfect their craft.  They are known for being 100% muck-proof footwear manufacturers, so you can certainly buy in complete confidence.

The Con’s for these wellies:

  • I am being a little bit picky with this one, but the price does to me seem a bit expensive.  Some things you are happy to just buy once they tick all your boxes.  Other things in life make you stop and think about it a few times before hitting the “buy now” button.  Like I say, this is just me trying to get top performance at a budget price.  I would prefer them to be probably half the price, or at least a third cheaper.  These wellies you can expect to pay around the £75 mark.  You do get plenty of features and quality workmanship so really it’s down to your own personal choice.

My own thought’s on the Muck boots safety wellingtons

I do genuinely really like them.  If money was no object I’d certainly buy them without hesitation.

Feel free to go and buy them by clicking here to decide for yourself.  It’s just a money decision over any other choice, in my opinion anyway!

They function well as a safety boot, and they certainly keep your feet dry AND warm.

They look very much like the premium footwear they are.

As fully waterproof work boots these will definitely put a huge smile on your face.

I currently wear regular wellies while out walking the dog, and you can feel that they start to hurt your feet after an hour because they just aren’t designed for working in.  There’s no real comfort in there – just the shell to keep your feet dry really.  I will be investing in some working wellies in the near future, so if not these it will be one of the others.

3: Buckler Black Safety Wellington Buckbootz BBZ6000 S5 HRO SRC Knee Length sizes 5 – 13

“Wellington safety boots that feel as comfortable as slippers”

These Buckler Buckbootz keep feet dry and warm
These Buckler Buckbootz are pretty much perfect in every single way

First up, I want to mention something about the sizing on the “Buckbootz” boots.  A good percentage of people say they are a bit on the large size.  A fair number of people have managed to get perfect fittings by adding 2 pairs of socks or a thick pair of socks.  One person even went 2 sizes smaller when buying and said it was perfect.

Despite this, the boots actually get near perfect customer review scores, so it actually seems there is something rather good about them.

Now, if it were me, I’d choose for boots that are the same size as my regular shoes, or by possibly going one size lower.  I definitely wouldn’t choose a size bigger as we often do with boots or wellies.

So what’s SO GOOD about the Buckler boots?

Well with just a little research they come up as being as good as the Muckboot brand of boots, and then have an extra feature (or two…!).

One of the extra features is a honeycomb lining that helps the feet breathe.  They call it Aerospence.

I know not everyone will really care for all the features – they just want boots that are nice and comfy and do the job.  I hear you.

But it’s kind of satisfying to know you are wearing something that’s had a lot of technology and innovation gone into making it – not just pressed on a machine somewhere in a labour intensive “sweatshop” somewhere.

The pro’s of these boots

  • The sole is rubber with a cleated design – in short this means that they offer tha maximum amount of grip available – and the facts do stand up to this as well.  So you can look forward to plenty of solid confident walking.
  • They have CI (Cold insulation) certification down to -17 degrees C  – this means you can use them “in comfort” down to those temperatures.  For me this is a game changer – as this pretty much sums up the majority of what the British weather can throw at us.
  • The safety features are good – you get steel toe caps, and a steel mid-sole.  So toe protection, and also protection from any sharp objects.  In addition you can enjoy heat resistant soles to 300 degrees C
  • High viz layer you can roll down to be seen – the reflective layer is inside the boot – just roll it down the outside for that extra leyer of visibility on busy sites or when out in the dark (great for walking the dogs on dark mornings!)

The con’s of these boots

  • Just the issue with them being bigger than expected can cause annoyance to some.  Be prepared to try a pair on and the possibility of exchanging the size.  Or try to prepare by going one size smaller when buying.

My thoughts on these boots

It’s hard to find any genuine “real” complaints or negative findings.  I guess the only issue would be on the sizing.  This is a general rule for any footwear manufacturer though, not just Buckler.

Why can’t there be stricter controls to ensure footwear sizing is a standard thing?

Surely in this day and age all footwear made for the Uk should be available in full and half sizes, and in all widths?

As for these Wellington boots, go for it.  They aren’t cheap, but they are really really good, and when you want to pay more for the right features, you really are getting them with these boots.  Check them out here on Amazon.

You could say that in some ways these are the perfect boot.  Despite them being Wellington boots, they do fit most of the criteria.  If you’re going to be working in water then you do need the 100% waterproofing.  This is the one thing you cannot do without.

As for whether or not these are the best waterproof work boots for summer, I’d say possibly but not entirely.  This is because of the breathability aspect.  If something is fully waterproof there is no way for cool air to circulate.

There is a honeycomb breathable liner inside that will help keep feet dry, but it’s not going to hugely cool feet down during summer, merely help sweat wick away somewhat.

So to get Summer waterproofing you might need to compromise somewhere..  We will see as you read on.

In my mind it’s going to be a half height welly, or standard work boot with some sort of breathable mesh and waterproofing.  Let’s look.

4: Dickies Medway Super Safety Hiker Waterproof and insulated, Steel Toe Cap & Mid Sole

If you’ve not heard of the Dickies brand before then you are in for a very pleasant surprise.  Since 1922, Dickies have grown to be the worlds best workwear manufacturer.

Dickies medway super safety work boots with waterproofing
Could these actually be “the best” ?

Let’s just take a broad look first.  These boots come highly regarded.  They give you everything you need from waterprooofing, comfort and safety features.

Don’t just take my word for it.  Read all of the reviews for this yourself and see what others are saying.  You will read things such as:

I ride a moped and these are the only boots that keep my feet totally dry“.

Then there are comments like:

These are the only ones I will wear.  It’s taken me years to find these

best lightweight waterproof work boots

I personally really like the look of these.  Seems like they have every single feature needed, and the price is fairly good too.. somewhere in the middle typically.

So it has the “required” safety features which are the steel toe caps, and the steel mid sole protection – feel free to stand on lego or drawing pins with complete disregard!  A haa!

The there is the waterproof membrane, and finally a thinsulate lining.

So in essence we have here a boot that performs well, keeps your feet safe and dry and will also help keep feet cool, which is especially needed for summer.

Pro’s of these boots

  • Trusted – The brand stretches back to 1922, and they have pretty much covered most areas of the world with their ranges of workwear.
  • Safety conscious – the Dickies medway boots have everything you need to take every step in your stride.  Seriously.  We are talking steel toe caps, a steel midsole, heat resistant soles, anti static heels and so on.
  • Priced right – for the mid range price you just can not go wrong.  Typically around the £50 or so mark, these boots will work harder than you ever can.
  • Waterproof – featuring a full grain waxy cow leather, you can apply further leather food and leather waterproof sprays or Dubbin to keep the boots perfect.

Con’s of these boots

  • Go steady at first – while most people get on really well straight from the outset, some of you will want to wear these in a bit before going full time with them for work.

My thoughts on these boots

Without getting too excited, I REALLY like these boots.  I would definitey want the Buckler boots for winter wet weather, but these ones would be my first choice for during the summer.

They have a lot of neat features which pretty much come as standard issues.


Which boots have you recently worn, and what were they like?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on my choices.  Please comment below!

Thanks

Shaun Baird

By: Shaun Baird If you ever wanted someone to help you, Shaun would be your man. He has spent most of his life helping others, often without realising, and used this passion to drive the 10 Warriors brand forward. This unnerving dedication to always help people has become the seamless channel for Shaun to dedicate his efforts to helping a wider community. "On a personal basis, family come first - happiness and knowing you've done a good job bringing up your kids is my main priority!"

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