The Best Rain Boots for Women Review

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Back L to R: Muck Boot Arctic Sport, Ilse Jacobsen Long Classic, Hunter Original Adjustable, Bogs Classic High; Front L to R: Sperry Falcon, Tretorn Kelly, Kamik Heidi, Bogs Summit, Sloggers Rain and Garden
Credit: Amanda Fenn
We wanted to know which women's rain boot was the best of the bunch, so we compared nine of the top-rated models side-by-side for three months. Our reviewers endured Colorado's rainy afternoon monsoons, cool April showers, and snowy days in the mountains. We also hiked across muddy trails and tested traction on an obstacle course of slick rocks. Once we had finished up our field tests, we brought all the rain boots inside and measured the shaft height and circumference. Then we polled more than a dozen women to gauge their opinions on the style of each one. In the end, we ranked each pair across the following metrics: weather protection, comfort, style, traction, and warmth. Read on to learn more about our conclusions!

Read the full review below >

Review by: ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab

Top Ranked Rain Boots - Women's Displaying 1 - 5 of 9 << Previous | View All | Next >>
Our Ranking #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
Product Name
Bogs Women's Classic High
Bogs Women's Classic High
Read the Review
Tretorn Kelly
Tretorn Kelly
Read the Review
Kamik Heidi
Kamik Heidi
Read the Review
Sperry Top-Sider Falcon
Sperry Top-Sider Falcon
Read the Review
Hunter Original Adjustable
Hunter Original Adjustable
Read the Review
Editors' Awards  Top Pick Award  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award     
Street Price Varies $104 - $107
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Varies $75 - $90
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Varies $42 - $50
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Varies $44 - $60
Compare at 2 sellers
Varies $146 - $158
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Overall Score 
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Editors' Rating
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User Rating Be the first to rate itBe the first to rate itBe the first to rate itBe the first to rate itBe the first to rate it
Pros Warm, Good traction, Easy to cleanComfortable, Good traction, AffordableInexpensive, Cute, Good mid-height bootUnique style, ComfortableMore stylish, Tall for extra weather protection
Cons Not stylish, Too warm for late spring in warmer climatesNot very stylish, Few color choicesNot very comfortable, Not warmWide gap at top of boot, Short shaftPoor traction, Not very comfortable, Expensive
Best Uses Colder conditions, Winter/spring hybrid, As a work-horse bootGeneral around-town useWarmer climates, Around townAround townAround town
Date Reviewed May 11, 2014May 11, 2014May 11, 2014May 11, 2014May 11, 2014
Weighted Scores Bogs Women's Classic High Tretorn Kelly Kamik Heidi Sperry Top-Sider Falcon Hunter Original Adjustable
Comfort - 25%
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Weather Resistance - 20%
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Warmth - 10%
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Style - 25%
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Traction - 20%
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Product Specs Bogs Women's Classic High Tretorn Kelly Kamik Heidi Sperry Top-Sider Falcon Hunter Original Adjustable
Weight (size 9.5) 3.52 lbs 3.16 lbs 2.92 lbs 3.04 lbs 4.12 lbs
Shaft Height (from ground to top of shaft) 15 inches 14 inches 12 inches 9 inches 17.25 inches
Circumference (inches) 15.5 16 15 14.75 16.5
Upper Neoprene Natural rubber upper - PVC free Synthetic rubber Molded rubber Natural rubber
Lining/Insulation 7mm Four-way stretch Neo-Tech insulation. Microfleece lining n/a Cushioned Micro-Fleece Lining n/a
Outsole raw rubber with BioGrip components Rubber ATRIUM Synthetic Rubber Outsole Non-Marking Rubber Outsole with Razor Cut Wave-Siping "Sturdy grip" rubber sole
Insole Aegis antimicrobial odor protection insole EcoOrthoLite insole Thin Kamik Comfort Insole Non-removable cushy insole Non-removable insole
Sizing info 1/2 size: order next size up 1/2 size: order next size up 1/2 size: order next size up 1/2 size: order next size up 1/2 size: order next size down; unisex boot
Size we tested 10 40 9 10 9
Sizes Available 6 to 12 35 to 42 6 to 11 5 to 12 7 to 13
Colors Available Black only Navy, Olive, Black Black, Coral, Purple, Green, Red, Yellow Quilted Black Navy, Olive, Black
Other versions Men's and Kid's Versions, versions with handles Kelly Vinter n/a n/a Back Adjustable Women's Specific
Unique Features Comfort rated to -40 degrees F Matte finish Glossy finish Double buckle Adjustable side gusset

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review


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  • Editors' Choice Winners
  • All Reviewed Products
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Tretorn Kelly
$85
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Kamik Heidi
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Bogs Women's Classic High
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Sperry Top-Sider Falcon
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Sloggers Rain and Garden Boot
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Hunter Original Adjustable
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Bogs Women's Summit
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Ilse Jacobsen Long, Classic
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Selecting the Right Product
For some people, especially those who live in rainy climates, rain boots are an absolute necessity, just as winter boots are critical for people who live in cold, snowy climates. On the other hand, some women see rain boots more as a cute accessory…sure they are extremely useful on rainy days…but they're still cute. Almost all the products we tested in this review were fully waterproof. Some were warmer than others and some were more stylish than others. If you live in a precipitous climate, we recommend looking at the models that scored highest in our weather resistance and comfort categories. Generally, these are taller and have smaller shaft circumferences (they won't let much (if any) water in from the top). Also be sure to consider the average temperatures on rainy days in your area. If it's often 65 and rainy, you don't want a shoe that will make your feet warm and sweaty inside.

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A mid-height boot like our Editors' Choice Tretorn Kelly provides good weather protection and comfort. This fully waterproof, rubber boots is an affordable and good-looking option.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

While there are certainly other factors to take into consideration, we think that style is one of the most important, especially if you don't require a lot of technical performance out of your boot. We understand that style is highly objective. Just within our own polls, we got widely ranging opinions, so definitely take our style metric with a grain of salt. If you only plan on wearing your rain boots a few days a month in the spring or fall, you can get away with sacrificing a little bit of comfort for style. We don't necessarily recommend this, but we also know that style sometimes trumps comfort when it comes to shoes. However, if you regularly endure days upon days of rainy weather, you should definitely consider something that will keep your feet happy and supported throughout your climate's rainy season.

Want more info? Cruise over to our buying advice guide, which provides even more information on how to select the product that is right for you! This article breaks down the different types of waterproof boots that you can choose from, discusses how your climate should affect your decision, and explains what to think about when fitting this footwear.

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There are lots of factors to consider before purchasing a pair of rain boots - along with style and comfort, you can also opt for pairs that are easy to take on and off, like this one with handles.
Credit: Skiy Detray

Types of Women's Rain Boots
There are several different ways that you can categorize the products in this review, but here we will just stick to height. Not surprisingly, shorter models provide less weather protection, but can often offer more comfort and mobility. It's also challenging to tuck your pants into taller boots, so if you want that option, it's best to opt for a short or mid-height product. Our testers liked the mid-height models the best since they provided good weather protection, but had a bit more mobility than the tallest pieces.

Short (under 11 inches)
Sperry Top-Sider Falcon
Sloggers Rain and Garden Boot

Mid-height (11-15.5 inches)
Bogs Summit Insulated - Women's
Kamik Heidi
Tretorn Kelly
Bogs Women's Classic High
Ilse Jacobsen Long, Classic with Laces

Tall (over 15.5 inches)
The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport
Hunter Original Adjustable

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L to R (in order of height): Sperry Top-Sider Falcon, Sloggers Rain and Garden Boot, Kamik Heidi, Bogs Summit Insulated - Women's
Credit: Amanda Fenn
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L to R (continuing in order of height): Tretorn Kelly, Bogs Women's Classic High, Ilse Jacobsen Long Classic, Muck Boot Arctic Sport, Hunter Original Adjustable
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Criteria for Evaluation

Weather Protection
Rain boots are designed to protect you from rain, snow, slush, and mud, so it's no surprise that weather protection was one of the key metrics that we used to rate the products in this review. We were happy to discover that almost all the pieces we tested were completely waterproof. The one exception was the Bogs Women's Summit, in the model that we tested, we found a major leak after fairly light use. In addition to wearing all the products out in the rain, we also submerged them all in the bathtub for several hours and felt for leaks at the end of the testing period.

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Boot construction, height, and the rim circumference all affect weather protection. Here, the synthetic rubber Kamik Heidi offers plenty of water protection in a downpour.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

In general, the tall and mid-height models scored more highly in this category than the short products. The Hunter Original Adjustable, the tallest boot we tested, is more than 17 inches tall, so by default it will provide more protection from puddle splashes and stray raindrops than the short Sperry Top-Sider Falcon. Tall and mid-height boots are great to pair with an umbrella on rainy, windy days. Even if your umbrella has a small canopy or the rain is blowing sideways, a boot that covers half or all of the shin will keep you (and your pants) drier.

The other factor that we considered in weather protection was the size of the opening at the top of the boot. Although a larger circumference can make it easier to take a product on and off, if the circumference is too wide, there can be a sizable gap in coverage. On both the short boots we tested, the gap between the shin and the wall of the boot was so large, that it would easily catch puddle splashes or collect other debris.

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This product is fully waterproof, but has a large gap at the top, as you can see on the left. This leaves the boot susceptible to puddle splashes, mud, etc.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Comfort
The products in this review range significantly in terms of comfort. Some have cushy insoles and plush lining while others are decidedly more Spartan. We really liked the supportive, cushioned insole in the Sperry Top-Sider Falcon, but were surprised that the Hunter Original Adjustable and Kamik Heidi offered minimal footbed comfort. If you love the look that a certain product has, but you're not crazy about its comfort, remember that you can always purchase an after market insole to increase its support, just be sure that the boot will still fit with the extra cushion in the footbed.

Neither the Hunter nor the Kamik have any sort of interior lining, which makes them a bit better suited for warm weather. On the other end of the spectrum, the Bogs Summit has a soft, cozy lining that adds both comfort and warmth. Our Editors' Choice winner, the Tretorn Kelly has a microfleece lining that isn't quite as plush as the Summit, but provides more coziness than some of its unlined competitors. We liked this middle ground, since you can still wear this boot in slightly warmer temperatures.

The final things that we considered in our comfort metric are centered around mobility. Products like the Ilse Jacobsen Long, Classic with stiff soles earned lower points. Likewise, the models like the Hunter Original Adjustable that have tall, stiffer shafts also lost a few points. Our testers found that when walking in the Hunter boots, the rubber shafts don't move as easily with the body as the neoprene shafts on other pieces.

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We found that when a boot's shaft moves with you, it's much more comfortable. The more flexible neoprene shafts take longer to dry, but they offer more mobility.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Style
As we mentioned above, style is extremely subjective and we understand that everyone has their own ideas of what they would or would not wear. That said, we polled over a dozen women and averaged their responses to come up with our style scores. We think that lots of women buy rain boots largely based upon their style, so we knew that we needed to include a style metric. However, regardless of our scores, you should trust your own judgment. Even if a boot earned top scores in weather protection and comfort, if you don't like the way it looks, you probably won't enjoy wearing it. Be sure to weigh your own sense of style heavily into your decision.

Some of the pieces in our review cater more to a specific look; for example the Sperry Top-Sider Falcon is more of a motorcycle boot, while the Ilse Jacobsen model has a bit of punk rock flair. Most of the others have a more "classic rain boot look." This is part of the reason why our reviewers really liked the Kamik Heidi, a glossy boot with subtle molded detailing that adds shape to the toe box.

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L to R: Sperry, Kamik, Sloggers, Hunter. Here, you can see the stylistic difference that the molded detailing on the toe box makes.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Our Editors' Choice winner, the Tretorn Kelly, lacks some of the molding and the more distinct cut that some of the more stylish products featured; however, we still think that it is a good-looking boot that will match most outfits. Be sure to consider whether you prefer a glossy or matte finish and how a boot's height will affect its overall look. Some models come in lots of colors and patterns, but remember that you likely won't be able to pair brighter products with as many different outfits. Finally, several of the products that we tested, including the Arctic Sport and the Bogs Classic High, are designed more as rugged workhorse boots without much style. If you need burly cold weather footwear, think about how much style you're willing to sacrifice.

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Amanda goes for a walk in the Tretorn Kelly on a threatening afternoon. The Kelly has a good balance of style, comfort, and weather protection.
Credit: Skiy Detray

Traction
Most of the products in this review have some type of rubber outsole. Both the Bogs models incorporate a proprietary gripping compound, while some models have unique tread designs. After wearing the products in our review for two months, we decided to test them head-to-head in a nearby stream. We scoped out the slick and grippy rocks, and chose a spot that had a good mix of low and medium angle stones to hop across. Then, we put on each pair and walked through this obstacle course of algae-covered rocks, running water, and steep stones. The results really surprised us; the Sloggers Women's Rain and Garden Boot and the Bogs Summit were some of the top-performers while the Hunter Original Adjustable and the The Original Muck Boot Company Arctic Sport earned the lowest scores.

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All the products are lined up for our traction tests, which took place in the muddy, rocky creek bed in the background.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

In addition to the outsole's materials and tread design, we found that another major component in our traction metric was sole thickness. The models with thinner soles tended to offer better traction. We think this is because the thinner sole maximizes sensitivity and gives the foot an opportunity to intuitively move across the rocks, whereas thicker soles feel clunky and less agile. Remember though that products with thinner soles often have more shallow treads so they aren't as useful in mud; they also provide less insulation between you and the ground.

Warmth
The products in this review offered a wide range of warmth. Our Top Pick for Cold Weather, the Bogs Women's Classic High is rated into the negative degrees, while our Best Buy award winner has no lining and be worn in temperatures as high as 70. When you look at our warmth scores it's important to remember that you might want a low-scoring product if you live in an area with warm, rainy springs. Mid-scoring products like the Tretorn Kelly will be a bit more versatile throughout the spring and fall, while the Bogs Women's Classic High is definitely better in cooler temperatures. When thinking about how much warmth you want or need, it's also good to remember that rain boots generally are not very breathable, so if you choose a boot that is too warm, your feet might sweat, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and swampy.

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After a freak May snowstorm, Amanda checks to see if her flowers are still alive. Here, she wears the Muck Boots Arctic Sport, which was the warmest product in our review.
Credit: Skiy Detray

Editors' Choice Award: Tretorn Kelly

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Our Editors' Choice winner earned good scores across most of our metrics. However, it's not very warm, which makes it a better option for ladies who live in moderate or mild rainy climates.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

A classic-looking boot designed by a Swedish company, the Tretorn Kelly is fully waterproof and has a shaft that measures 14 inches. This mid-height model has a matte finish and we liked that its muted colors go with many different outfits; however, it lacks some of the stylish detailing that earned its competitors higher scores in our style metric. Our testers thought that it was pretty comfortable (especially with its microfleece lining) and that it offered plenty of traction for use over wet and dry surfaces. This product earned a four out of ten in our warmth metric, which makes it relatively versatile throughout the spring or fall. Finally, at just $85, this piece was one of the more affordable ones in the review. If you like the look and color options of the Kelly, we highly recommend it!

Best Buy Award: Kamik Heidi

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We really loved the glossy, affordable Kamik Heidi. Our Best Buy award winner will only set you back $50. It's not the most warm or comfortable, but we think it's pretty cute and provides plenty of protection from the rain.
Credit: Amanda Fenn

Our Best Buy award winner was a favorite among our testers. The cute, glossy Kamik Heidi rings up about $30 less than the next most expensive product. The Sloggers Rain and Garden Boot was less expensive, but ultimately, the Heidi won our hearts for its mix of performance, style, and low cost. This mid-height model rises 12 inches from the ground to the top of the shaft. Made of synthetic rubber, it provides a good amount of weather protection, but doesn't impeded mobility as much as taller models. Overall, we loved the Kamik Heidi and think that it's a great affordable option.

Top Pick for Cold Weather: Bogs Women's Classic High

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Amanda wears the Bogs Women's Classic High out climbing. It didn't end up raining, but Amanda's feet stayed warm in the chilly weather. This comfortable boot offers great traction, warmth, and comfort, but fell short in our style metric.
Credit: Skiy Detray

If you live in a climate with cold, wet weather, chances are high that you might need a cold weather rain boot like our Top Pick: the Bogs Women's Classic High. During the spring and fall seasons, you might not want to wear your hefty winter boots, which often feature textile uppers and faux fur cuffs, but you might not want to wear your tennis shoes yet either. Enter the Bogs Classic High; this product is great for women who want a rain/winter boot hybrid, or those who need a "transition" piece as the weather moves from snowy and into slushy and muddy. They are easier to clean than a textile boot and rugged enough to wear as you wade through wet, nasty conditions. The only downside is that this product is not at all stylish, though it did earn top marks in all our other categories.

Amanda Fenn
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