If ever you’ve worn work boots that don’t pass muster, you know how critical they can be to tackling whatever’s on your to-do list. That is to say, if ever you’ve spent more time worrying about drenched socks than worrying about how bests to split that firewood or haul brush, then you know that less-than-optimal boots can slow you down in a big way. Fear not, though: The best rubber boots for every occasion are here to save the day, figuratively, at least. In fact, once you’ve set your sights on new rubber boots for work and play, you might be hard-pressed to go back to substandard work boots. Rubber boots are, first and foremost, geared to tackle rainy weather, wet ground and adverse conditions, the kind of days that dawn cold and rainy and don’t let up. After all, men’s rain boots need to stand up to pressure, not wilt when the going gets tough.
Naturally, you’re going to tend to reach for rubber boots in dreary, rainy weather, but they’re made for more than just long days in the great outdoors. If you style ’em right and pair ’em up properly with other casual menswear picks, like your favorite white T-shirt and some slim selvedge denim (chambray shirt sold seaprately), they’re going to work for plenty of laidback outings off the clock (who’s up for another beer, ehh?).
Believe us when we say the right rubber boots could just be nearly the most versatile boots in your wardrobe. Take it from this writer — I’ve got a problem with wearing boots as often as possible, even in the sweltering New York summers. The solution I’ve found? A pair of lightweight, durable, suitably rugged rubber boots, the kind that work for park hikes (or rather, park strolls) and brewery beers alike. Rubber boots are all grit and no nonsense, fashioned to stand up to the elements without you needing to worry about the getting dirty or wearing out.
Leave the dress boots at home, stow away your chukka boots temporarily, and certainly, don’t lace up sneakers or dress shoes when the going gets tough, no matter how much you love ’em (dress shoes just don’t work at a spring barbecue, folks — the list goes on. When it comes to rubber boots, you’ve also got to know what you need these durable boots for in your day-to-day life. Are you wading through water, heading out on fishing trips or tackling off-trail excursions? Or are you looking for a pair of go-anywhere boots with relaxed, four-season style top of mind?
It’s a key question, so let’s take a deeper look at what you need to know when shopping for the best rubber boots.
How to Find the Best Rubber Boots for Men
- Shop the proper size: As with any pair of boots you’re buying, you need to account for potential sizing differences among brands, especially when comparing, say, your sneaker size or your boot size. A good rule of thumb is to buy the regular size you’d buy in a pair of leather boots (this might be a half-size larger than your sneaker size, all to account for thicker socks, for example). Rubber boots should bounce back into shape without stretching out, and in fact, rubber boots should mold pretty nicely to your foot over time.
- Shop the proper height: We’ll cover all sorts of rugged, durable rubber boots below, including boots that climb past your knee for the ultimate in protection from the elements. You might see knee-high or thigh-high work boots worn in streams or on job sites, and they’re a popular style among brewers (yes, craft beer brewers) who’ve got to deal with boiling wort in the process of making beer (ever seen the movie Drinking Buddies?). Whatever you need these high-cut rubber boots for, they’ll stand up to the most demanding environments. Of course, if you seek more casual style and top-notch functionality, standard ankle boots are the way to go in your search for rubber boots.
- Shop the proper color: Yes, you’ve got to keep style in mind when searching for rubber boots, at least … somewhat. If you’re aiming to find a pair of rugged casual boots that you can wear with light wash jeans, black denim or indigo selvage jeans, go with a neutral color like brown. If you want a pair of rubber work boots that you plan to wear intensively, then a simple, neutral color like black is a fine choice. If you want to get the best of both worlds? Heck, why not buy two or more pairs to fit multiple occasions?
With those keys in hand, we think you’re ready to find out all about the best rubber boots to buy right now.
The Best Rubber Boots for Every Occasion
Huckberry All-Weather Chore Boots
Alright, we take it back. We’re going to bend the rules ever-so-slightly — these boots are made with a rubberized toe and outsole, paired with full-grain leather — because these rugged work boots from Huckberry are just too good to pass up. They feature an easy slip-on design, fully waterproof construction and a sock-like liner for a snug fit that’ll keep water from leaking in. Plus, they’re available in a no-frills black or a more stylish brown leather, all the better to team with Huckberry work pants or stretch denim.
Blundstone Grey Gumboots
Let’s step away from the confines of stylish and functional rubber boots towards a pair of rubber boots that are all work, in the best way possible. Blundstone boots in their many leather iterations are a personal favorite of mine (seriously, the comfort is unmatched for imbibing beers aplenty at many a Brooklyn rock show), but these gumboots from Blundstone pack a bigger punch as far as pure utility is concerned. Be it the steel toe cap or the steel penetration-resistant midsole, or the fact that these feature that higher cut we talked about, these are boots to wear whenever you need to keep rain, or boiling beer, at bay.
XTRATUF 6-Inch Legacy Chelsea Boots
Here’s another pair of rugged hybrid boots we can’t get enough of (and it won’t be the last time you see XTRATUF rubber boots in this post, either). These waterproof boots are 100 percent, well, waterproof, and they’re made from a tough triple-dipped neoprene material. They’re also specifically crafted to resist everything from cleaning chemicals to contaminants, and other corrosive substances, which is useful as heck if you’re dealing with your own personal version of Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs,” for instance. Did we mention they look pretty great with rugged work pants or black denim in equal measure? Because they do.
SWIMS Charlie Rain Boots
With a name like SWIMS, you’d practically expect the brand to deliver some of the best rain boots on the market, right? The Charlie Boots are a perfect example of the type of rubber boots to wear for nearly any occasion, be it a casual day about town or a more intensive day of hiking and road tripping. They’re waterproof, of course, and packed with an anti-slip outsole, plus color combinations that aren’t all that bad-looking either. We dig the Taupe and Biscuit color combination seen above, and the fact that they’re designed like your standard pair of cool Chelsea boots isn’t a bad touch, to say the least.
XTRATUF Waterproof Deck Boots
When we think of waterproof deck boots, this is the pair we tend to think of, no questions asked. XTRATUF boots are prized for their durability and their utility, especially on the decks of Alaskan fishing boats on the stormy high seas. That makes them more than god enough for anything you’ve got coming your way back on dry land . They’re available in a wide range of colors and retail for just under $100, depending on the style you select. Did we mention they’ve been tested and worn for seasons on end by Alaskan fisherman? Because thats a huge selling point.
Muck Boots Waterproof Chore Hi Work Boots
We’re back at it once again with a pair of high-cut work boots that pack in all the requisite bells and whistles as far as workday-ready functionality is concerned. These 100 percent waterproof boots just get the job done, whatever the heck that job happens to be. Plus, they’ll work in temperatures as hot as 85 degrees, all the way down to sub-freezing temps. Name one pair of boots in your closet that can do that? If you came up short, well, you know what pair of rugged rubber boots to add to your arsenal right now.
UGG Butte Chelsea Boots
UGG boots are so much more than just the brand’s fluffy slippers or pull-on boots, and if you don’t believe us, just check out the UGG rain boots shown above. The Butte Chelsea Boots are easy to wear (thanks to the pull-on design), they’re sleek and practical (note the all-black colorway), and they’re finished off with rubber detailing for added toughness. Oh, and did we mention the fact that they’re lined with UGG’s UGGpure™ wool blend? Snag these insulated rubber boots for top-notch utility day in and day out.