Waterproof VS Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots – Do You Know the Differences?

Hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities, and for good reason. It’s a great way to exercise, see beautiful scenery, and learn about various ecosystems.

But before you set off on your hiking adventure, there are a few things you ought to think about first. Do you want to hike in Waterproof vs. non-waterproof Hiking boots?

Difference Between Waterproof VS Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots

When it comes to boots, many hikers are unsure what type of boot is the best for them. Waterproof vs. non-waterproof hiking boots? The answer is both! Here’s a quick look at the differences between these two types of boots:

Difference Between Waterproof VS Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots

There are a few key things to keep in mind regarding the difference between waterproof and water-resistant. For one, waterproofing means that the material is completely resistant to liquid seepage. This means that the device will remain waterproof even if your phone falls into a pool or river.

Water-resistant, on the other hand, means that even if water seeps through the material, the device will protect its internal workings from moisture. For example, if you accidentally drop your phone in water and it starts to rain outside, your phone would still be able to make and receive calls; it would just be less effective in keeping the screen clean.

Waterproof Hiking Boots

Waterproof boots will prevent moisture from entering and soaking your feet in wet or snowy weather. They usually have a sturdy build and a good amount of insulation. They’re not good for climbing mountains, though, as they won’t provide enough grips.

These boots are designed to prevent moisture from getting into your feet. In most cases, they feature a membrane that prevents water from getting in and a rubber or plastic bottom that helps distribute pressure evenly.

Waterproof Hiking Boot Features

Waterproof Hiking Boots

Looking for a water-resistant hiking boot? Look no further than the Columbia Waterproof Hiking Boot. 

  • The waterproof and breathable membrane these boots are created with will keep your feet dry and comfortable. 
  • Additionally, the Vibram rubber sole these boots have will provide exceptional traction on any surface. These boots are ideal for any outdoor activity, including hiking. 
  • Whether hiking in the rain or snow, these boots will keep you safe and comfortable.

Pros of Waterproof Boots

Pros of waterproof boots: 

  • They keep your feet dry and warm in wet or cold conditions. 
  • They are durable so that they will last longer than non-waterproof boots. 
  • They are easier to put on and take off since you don’t have to worry about getting your feet wet. 
  • If your boots get soaked, they will eventually dry out.

Cons of Waterproof Boots

There are some cons to choosing waterproof boots: 

  • First, they can be more expensive than non-waterproof boots. 
  • Compared to boots that are not waterproof, these can be heavier and more difficult to carry.
  • If you get them wet, you may have to wait a while for them to dry out completely before you can wear them again. 
  • If the weather changes quickly and the ground becomes wet, your waterproof boots may start leaking water.

Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots

Non-waterproof boots are water-resistant, meaning that your feet will stay dry if you get wet. They have a thin membrane on the outside that helps repel water, but they aren’t as sturdy as waterproof boots.

They’re also not as warm as waterproof boots, so they’re better for cool weather hikes. However, they don’t always rain or snow proof, so check the manufacturer’s warranty if you plan on using them in wet and snowy conditions.

Non-Waterproof Hiking Boot Features

If you’re looking for a lightweight and water-resistant hiking boot that can handle the elements, check out our selection of non-waterproof hiking boots. 

Hikers who wish to maintain their comfort and keep their feet dry while out on the trail should look for boots that are not waterproof. These boots are perfect for hiking thanks to their breathable fabrics, waterproofing, and robust construction, all of which are attributes that make them excellent for the activity.

If you’re looking for boots specifically designed for hiking, we recommend checking out Merrell’s Moab Insulated hiking Boot. These boots are built with a waterproof and breathable membrane.

Best Uses for Non-Waterproof Footwear

Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots

You don’t need a waterproof boot if you’re hiking in a hot, dry region like southern Utah’s canyons or the deserts of California or Arizona. If you’re mostly concerned about sweat rather than heavy rain, you should wear non-waterproof shoes.

When moving quickly and carrying as little as possible, even ounces might seem like pounds after several days or many kilometers.

Non-waterproof hiking shoes, such as the Altra Lone Peak 6 and Salomon X Ultra 3 Low Aero, help reduce weight while increasing perspiration evaporation. However, you might not want to wear waterproof shoes on an adventure that involves river crossings.

In these conditions, the optimum footwear would be water-resistant hiking sandals or shoes (although quick-drying footwear is preferred over thick, water-resistant boots).

When Do You Need Waterproof Hiking Boots?

If your hike is in an area with a high chance of getting wet, you’ll need waterproof hiking boots. However, if your hike will mostly be in dry areas, then non-waterproof hiking boots may be a better option. When determining whether or not waterproof boots are the ideal choice for your trek, there are a few different aspects to consider.

Waterproof hiking boots are meant to keep your feet dry while on the trail. In most cases, they will include a membrane resistant to water and a rubber boot that will protect the foot from snow and wetness. When hiking in a location with a lot of rain or snow, this might make a significant difference in the experience. 

Another consideration is how often you’ll be taking steps in water or snow. If you’re only going to be stepping in water occasionally, then non-waterproof boots might work fine. But if you’re expecting to spend a lot of time in wet or snowy areas, waterproof hiking boots are likely the best option.

When Do You Need Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots?

Hiking is a great way to get your heart rate up and enjoy the natural beauty of nature, but it can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. When you’re hiking in wet or icy conditions, it’s important to choose the right hiking boots for the job.

However, there are times when you will want to hike in inclement weather without the added protection of waterproofing. If this is what you have in mind, you might want to purchase hiking boots that are not waterproof.

This boot provides some level of protection against moisture and mud, but it is not designed to keep your feet completely dry. When choosing these boots, be sure to take into account the conditions you will be hiking in. 

If you will be hiking in wet or snowy conditions most of the time, then a waterproof hiking boot would be a better choice for you. If only occasional rain or snow is expected, then a non-waterproof boot might be a better option for you.

How to Choose the Right Boot for You?

Waterproof vs. Non-waterproof hiking boots? This is a question that a lot of individuals ask when they are looking for boots to buy for themselves. The response to this question highly depends on the individual’s particular requirements. For example, if you mostly plan to hike in dry areas, then a waterproof boot would be a better choice.

However, if you are more likely to encounter water or wet surfaces, then a non-waterproof boot would be a better option. Below, we will discuss each type of boot in more detail and help you decide which one is best for you.

Waterproof Hiking Boots: Waterproof hiking boots are designed to keep your feet safe from water and wet surfaces while you are hiking. They typically have a waterproof membrane that covers the entire boot and provides a barrier against water penetration. This type of boot is best for hikers who usually plan to hike in dry areas. However, if you frequently hike in wet or icy conditions, a waterproof boot may not be the best option.

Non-Waterproof Hiking Boots: Non-waterproof hiking boots are not designed to protect your feet from water or wet surfaces. Instead, they provide comfort and protection against cold weather conditions.


Hiking boots come in various materials and construction options, but the most important thing to consider when purchasing them is their Waterproof vs. Non-waterproof boots properties. If you are going to be hiking in situations that are likely to be rainy or muddy, investing in a water-resistant pair of boots that can keep your feet dry is essential.

Conversely, if you only plan on hiking during dry weather conditions, then buying boots that are not waterproof might be a better option. Either way, test out the boots you are interested in before purchasing to know which type of boot will work best for your needs.

Leave a Comment