Jun 21, 2021 / Safety Toe Footwear, Slip Resistant Footwear
Best Waterproof Leather Work Boots
Leather and boots go together like peanut butter and jelly—or even pineapple on pizza, if you’re into that kind of thing. Leather is used for all kinds of boots, in all kinds of ways for toe protection, and there’s at least one style of leather boot (if not several) that is perfect for everyone. Although, maybe the perfect pairing comes in the form of work boots, which take advantage of leather’s rugged durability.
But is leather waterproof and can you wear leather boots in the rain? Leather isn’t 100% waterproof, naturally, so you’ll need to shop for waterproof leather work boots. Or, you can leverage various methods to upgrade your leather working boots that aren’t already equipped with a waterproof barrier. This guide will walk through tips and resources for both strategies.
Heavy Duty Waterproof Leather Construction Boots
If you work on jobsites where you’re likely to come in contact with water, you’ll need a waterproof work boot to keep you protected. This will likely come in the form of a composite safety toe work boot. The classic work boot silhouette popularized by brands like Timberland pro and Red Wing is nearly unimaginable in anything but leather. While full grain leather isn’t fully waterproof naturally, it can prove to be water resistant to a point.
Many models are optimized for waterproofing, along with other rugged work-related features, including but not limited to:
- Wolverine Farmhand Safety Toe Waterproof Electrical Hazard Boot
- Avenger’s composite toe electrical hazard waterproof boot
- Timberland Pro Direct Attach Waterproof Electrical Hazard Boot
- Hoss’s composite toe, waterproof, puncture resistant work boot - keep in mind this is not an evergreen product, so stock could be low come Spring.
A majority of leather work boots available are waterproofed through special treatments applied by manufacturers who know that today’s workers can’t guarantee dry workplace conditions.
How to Waterproof Leather Work Boots (If You Need To)
If your leather work boots aren’t already secured with some form of waterproof protection, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to add waterproofing on your own, whether through a homemade boot waterproofing solution or store-bought methods.
Some of the easiest and best solutions include:
- Spray-on silicone – This water repellent spray is a silicone sealant that provides an easy fix; you’ll need to re-apply frequently, as it wears off quickly with regular use.
- Oil and cream rubs – Oils and creams apply straight out of the container (no heating required) and spread evenly and smoothly across the leather boot.
- Wax applications – Wax applications are the longest-lasting solution. It needs to be heated and applied to a boot, then dried for at least one day—well worth it for long-term protection!
It’s important to mention that these methods apply to nearly any footwear or garments, not just leather.
Waterproof, Athletic Leather Boots for Hiking
Another major product category for waterproof leather boots is those made specifically for hiking. Additionally, a hiking boot can also be utilized by those who work outdoors, or whose job entails climbing up stairs or other inclines.
Some of the best models to consider include:
- Danner Trakwelt waterproof 6” work boot
- Timberland Mount Maddsen waterproof mid-hiker
These boots can do double duty for work and play. While you may not immediately look to them as options for your everyday work life, they have the features to make you reconsider.
Ideal Weatherproofing Features for Leather Hiking Boots
What makes a hiking boot ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and laborers alike? There are athletic features on the exterior and interior of each pair to optimize flexibility and comfort.
In addition to water repellency treatments on their exterior, hiking boots often include moisture-wicking features inside. Hiking boots also often build in many of the puncture and slip-resistant qualities required for workplace footwear. Those qualities are just as important while climbing up a rock face as they are when putting up sheetrock.
Leather Motorcycle and Lifestyle Boots, Waterproofed
Finally, one last option for waterproof leather work boots comes from the world of motorcycle riders. Those outside the scene might not know this, but many motorcycle boots double as working boots (and vice versa). And, like the options above, they also often come with waterproof protection.
Some exemplary models include:
- Harley Davidson “Gavern” Waterproof Boot
- Wolverine Rancher Waterproof Square Toe Boot
- Timberland Pro Waterproof Hazard Boot
No matter what style you like best, these models prove that you don’t need to shop within a work footwear category to find great leather waterproof boots for everyday use.
Find Your Perfect Waterproof Leather Boots at Boot World
Here at Boot World, we carry a wide variety of leather work boots that are waterproof. From traditional work silhouettes to hiking or lifestyle-specific models, we’ll keep your feet covered—and dry. We have all your favorite brands, at prices you won’t find elsewhere.
Check out our quality selection, and step into your new favorite boots today!
- Leather Honey. How to Protect Leather Footwear in the Rain.
- Survival Camping Store. How to Make Your Boots Waterproof.
Ed Stone brings over 45 years of footwear knowledge and passion to his role as President of Boot World, a family-owned company and an industry leader in safety and occupational footwear. A second generation "shoe dog” Ed's footwear knowledge is unparalleled, serving as an informal advisor for some of the worlds largest footwear brands including Wolverine, Timberland PRO, and Reebok Works.
A lifelong Southern California resident, and ardent conservationist, Ed enjoys hiking and open water swimming.