If you are looking for waterproof boots made in the USA you actually do have several options. I personally wear the Danner Quarry boots, which are heavy-duty boots built for rugged terrain. If you are looking for more of an indoor/outdoor boot, the Thorogood 1957 Series wedge sole boots might be the better option.
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Here are our choices for the best waterproof boots made in the USA:
- Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot (click here to view)
- Thorogood Men’s 1957 Series Moc Toe Wedge Waterproof Boots (click here to view)
- KEEN Logandale Mid Steel Toe Waterproof Work Boots (click here to view)
- Chippewa Men’s Steel-Toe Super Logger Boots (click here to view)
- Thorogood Men’s Omni Series 6″ Waterproof Safety Toe Boot (click here to view)
- Danner Men’s Super Rain Forest 8 Inch Work Boot (click here to view)
- Carolina Men’s Sarge Lo Composite Toe Work Boots (click here to view)
- Rocky Stalker Waterproof 1000G Insulated USA Outdoor Boot (click here to view)
- Thorogood Men’s Logger Waterproof Safety Toe Boots (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Danner Explorer USA Waterproof Boots (click here to view)
Finding a boot that fits your specific needs is very important. Like I mentioned earlier, I wear the Danner Quarry boots, but these boots are designed for rugged terrain. If you spend most of your day on smooth surfaces like concrete or packed dirt, you might opt for a more comfortable wedge outsole.
Wedge soles are flat, and help evenly distribute stress across the entire bottom of the foot instead of localizing stress on the heel and toe pad. Thorogood makes awesome wedge sole boots, and are a great option if you prefer a waterproof wedge boot. I have worn Thorogood wedge boots a lot of the years (mine just aren’t waterproof).
A logger boot is another great option if you’re looking for a rugged waterproof boot. Logger boots have raised heels so they can accommodate climbing spurs. That raised heel also helps elevate the foot out of mud and muck, and because of that, logger boots are also very popular for farm work (they also make great riding boots).
In this article let’s take a closer look at the best waterproof work boots made in the USA so you can find an option that fits your needs. At the end, let’s discuss specifically what makes a work boot waterproof, and a few things you will want to beware of when shopping for waterproof boots.
Best Waterproof Boots Made in the USA
Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8-Inch Alloy Toe Work Boot
The Danner Quarry boots are rugged, heavy-duty boots. These boots are built for power and durability, and can stand up to some of the toughest work environments.
Yes, these Danner Quarry boots are made here in the USA. Here’s what they look like:
This is the current price of these Danner Quarry work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:
- Material – Nubuck leather uppers with a premium Vibram outsole that is durable and slip-resistant.
- Waterproof – Yes, these are waterproof work boots made in the USA. These boots have a waterproof GORE-TEX breathable liner to help keep your feet dry while you work.
Here’s a look at my brown Danner Quarry boots (about 4 years old):
If you work in an environment that demands toughness from boots, the Danner Quarry delivers.
The Quarry is made with premium materials, including rugged hardware that lasts (still my original laces):
This Quarry boot uses what is called a “610 last”. A last is a foot-shaped mold that helps determine the shape and fit of a boot. According to Danner, this 610 last type is industry standard made true-to-size and has a relatively broad and deep toe box area, which provides more volume in the forefoot and toe. In my experience, these fit true to size.
These boots are best for those of you who need a durable boot for rugged outdoor terrain. If you work more in an indoor/outdoor setting, the Thorogood boots we discuss next might be the better option.
Click here to buy these Danner waterproof boots made in the USA available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.
Thorogood 1957 Series USA Moc Toe Waterproof Work Boots
Thorogood makes some of the best work boots on the market, and I’ve worn Thorogood moc-toe boots for several years. One thing I like is they still produce a lot of their boots here in the USA (including these boots).
Here’s what these Thorogood 1957 moc toe work boots look like:
This is the current price of these Thorogood waterproof USA boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:
- Material – 100% leather uppers. The footbeds in these boots can be removed to be cleaned or swapped. These are Poron comfort cushion insoles built to absorb shock.
- Waterproof – This boot has Thorogood’s “X-Stream” waterproof and breathable membrane. This helps keep your feet dry while still promoting air circulation.
- Made in the USA – Yes, these are waterproof boots made in the USA. These boots are made at Thorogood’s Wisconsin factory.
- Outsole – Like many moc toe boots, these have a wedge outsole. Wedge is best used on smooth surfaces. They also offer this boot in a raised heel version, which you can view at Amazon by clicking here (affiliate link).
- Toe Type – These are soft toe work boots, but Thorogood does offer this boot in a safety toe version (view safety toe version at Amazon). These waterproof boots have a moc toe design.
Click here to buy these Thorogood waterproof moc toe work boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.
Chippewa Men’s Steel-Toe Super Logger Boots
Logger boots are great outdoor work boots, and almost always are made to be waterproof. The raised heel is used for climbing in certain industries like loggers and linemen. But that raised heel also helps elevate the foot out of wet muck and mud, and because of that, they are popular farm boots also.
Chippewa’s beginnings date back to 1901, and to a small factory in the lumber town of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Chippewa has played its own unique part in the history of this country, providing boots for US soldiers in WWI.
The Chippewa Men’s Steel-Toe Super Logger Boots are one of Chippewa’s most popular boots. Here’s what these boots look like:
This is the current price of these Chippewa Logger Boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Although this version is insulated and steel-toe, you can buy premium Chippewa boots in non-insulated plain-toe versions as well.
- Made in USA – This particular style of Chippewa logger boots is made here in the USA. Chippewa has a philosophy to hand-craft as many of their boots here in the USA as possible, using raw materials. Chippewa’s factory is located in Carthage, MO (click here to view a tour of their factory).
- Design – These boots are 100% leather, and have rugged Vibram outsoles that can stand up to harsh terrain. They are made using a steel shank. These boots use a Goodyear Leather Welt construction that is re-craftable. Chippewa offers many insulated versions. To read more, visit our article about the best insulated logger work boots.
- Vibram Outsole – The Vibram soles on these logger boots are the #1286 Vibram Tacoma Logger soles. This type of sole is a “technical, self-cleaning sole designed for use on outdoor footwear (source)”. This is a medium-depth pattern that provides great surface traction.
- Waterproof – Yes, these are waterproof boots. Chippewa specializes in outdoor boots and is very good at making a waterproof work boot. This boot has a Chip-A-Tex® Waterproof Bootie that is breathable to keep water out but let heat and vapor escape.
Click here to buy the Chippewa Logger Boots available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). In general, expect these boots to run true-to-size. Wide sizing is available. To read more about sizing, visit our Chippewa Boot Sizing Guide.
KEEN Logandale Waterproof Work Boots
If you are looking for flexible waterproof boots made in the USA, then these KEEN Logandale boots are a nice option. These have a hiker design. I like hiker work boots because they are a sort of blend between a work boot and a hiking boot.
Here I am wearing these KEEN Logandale Waterproof Work Boots:
This is the current price of these KEEN waterproof boots made in the USA (affiliate link takes you to Keenfootwear.com). Here’s what you need to know about these boots:
- Material – These boots are made in the USA with durable textile uppers. The KEEN.Web-Tec design incorporates this textile that is breathable but still very durable. Here’s a look at the material on my KEEN Logandale boots.
- Safety – I own the steel toe version of these boots, but KEEN does offer the Logandale boot in a soft toe version. The toe has the rubber overlay which provides extra abrasion resistance. The outsole is slip-resistant with a squared heel.
- Waterproof – These boots are built with KEEN.DRY technology, a waterproof-yet-breathable membrane liner that keeps water out while allowing vapors to escape. I like that these boots also have a gusseted tongue and raised lace eyelets that help prevent water from leaking in around the laces.
- Comfort – These boots have a flexible, comfortable design, and like I mentioned earlier, are a sort of hybrid between work boot and hiking boot. The textile uppers help keep the weight down. My steel toe version size 12 only weighs 1.91 pounds per boot, which is lightweight for a steel toe boot. Padded collars add comfort to the ankle area.
The main takeaway for these boots is they offer a more flexible, lightweight design in comparison to a traditional work boot. KEEN designs the textile uppers in a way that allows them to be breathable and lightweight, but still very durable. If you hate heavy boots, these are a great option made in the USA with the waterproof protection you need.
Click here to buy these KEEN waterproof boots made in the USA (affiliate link takes you to Keenfootwear.com). Wide sizing is available for these boots.
Other Waterproof Boots Made in the USA to Consider
- Thorogood Men’s Omni Series 6″ Waterproof Safety Toe Boot – As I’ve mentioned throughout, Thorogood has several waterproof boots made in the USA for you to consider. These boots have a more active design, built with a fiberglass shank that improves flexibility and keeps the weight of the boot down. Yes, these boots are made in the USA and have a waterproof liner to keep you dry. Click here to view to view these Thorogood boots at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Carolina Men’s Sarge Lo Composite Toe Work Boots – These Carolina work boots are going to have more of a traditional build. These boots have a composite safety toe. They have a square-heel outsole, and are made with premium leather uppers. Yes, these boots are made in the USA and have a waterproof “SCUBALINER” to help keep you dry. Click here to view these Carolina waterproof boots made in the USA (affiliate link takes you to carolinashoe.com).
- *Women’s* Danner Explorer USA Waterproof Boots – If you are shopping for a women’s waterproof boots made in the USA, these Danner Explorer boots are nice option. These boots are made using full-grain leather uppers and have a gore-tex waterproof lining to help keep your feet dry. Made with premium Vibram outsoles designed to help absorb shock and add traction in rugged terrain. Click here to view these Danner Explorer boots at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
What Makes a Boot Waterproof?
When shopping for waterproof boots made in the USA, it is important to understand how exactly boots are made to be waterproof. There are several things a company can do to make a work boot waterproof, including:
- A waterproof liner or bootie on the inside
- A gusseted tongue to keep water and dirt from getting inside
- Raised, attached eyelets (instead of punched eyelets)
- Water resistant sprays or waxes that can be worked into the leather
- Seamed sealed construction
Although these processes sound deceptively easy and simple, there is more to it than that. And it is also important to understand that these components need to be used together to truly maximize the waterproof protection. Unfortunately, many boots on the market today may say “waterproof”, but may be lacking some of these specific components. There are a couple things to consider:
- Brand – The brand of the work boot will play a big role in whether or not the boot is truly waterproof. Cheaper boots use cheaper materials and are less reliable. We all know this. But this can be especially true for waterproof boots. That’s a good thing about shopping for waterproof work boots made in the USA – you can feel more confident in the quality of the boot compared to imported boots.
- Materials – There are several components that go into making a boot truly waterproof. Some are more important than others, but if a company chooses to leave certain components out, it reduces the chances that the boot will truly be waterproof. A waterproof boot needs to be built using reliable materials, the leather needs to be treated to resist water, the seams need to be sealed to prevent leaking, and the boot needs a waterproof liner to act as a final barrier.
A waterproof liner (often called a “bootie”) is a waterproof membrane that is placed between the leather and the boot’s interior lining. This means that even if due to poor construction water were to get through the outside of the leather, this waterproof bootie would be there to act as a final barrier to keep your feet dry.
Booties are the most important part of waterproofing a boot. A boot that uses only waterproof leather (and no bootie) may repel light precipitation, but to truly keep the foot dry, you will need a waterproof bootie liner inside the boot. Many cheap boot companies may market their boot as “waterproof”, but often the boot won’t have a waterproof liner, it just simply has waterproofing treatment sprayed on the leather.
One drawback of waterproof liners is they can trap in heat. Most waterproof boots made in the USA will have liners that are made to be “breathable”, designed in a way that keeps water out but allows heat to escape. This is easier said than done, and in my experience, all of my waterproof boots have been noticeably warmer and not ideal for extreme summer heat.
Gusseted Tongues, Raised Eyelets, & Kilties
Another component that manufacturers will sometimes add to help waterproof a boot is a gusseted tongue. A “gusseted” tongue just means that the tongue of the shoe is not only attached at the base, but also the side of the tongue is attached to the boot.
Here’s a gusseted tongue on a boot I use:
As you can imagine, the laces are a tough spot to keep water out. A tongue gusset is an extra measure used to prevent leaking in this area.
Another important detail boot companies will use to prevent water leaking through the laces is to use raised eyelets instead of punching holes in the boot. By not punching the eyelets into the boot itself, there are less holes for water to slip through.
For example, here are raised eyelets (notice, no exposed holes in the boot):
Here is a boot that is not waterproof and instead punches the eyelets in the boot itself:
Some companies will also use a kiltie down near the bottom of the laces to help hold out water. Here is a kiltie on one of my work boots:
Although kilties and tongue gussets do help hold out water, one of their major strengths is their ability to also hold out small debris like rocks and pebbles. Because of this, you will often see gusseted tongues in waterproof hiking boots, and kilties in farm boots.
Industrial Water-Resistant Sprays
If you are shopping for waterproof boots made in the USA, it is important to understand that most companies also coat the leather itself with a water-resistant finish. Usually, this is in the form of a spray and is used to coat the entire exterior, even the soles. Leather is a porous material and water would soak through and damage it if not for this final coating.
Typically, these sprays are too dangerous to use outside of a controlled manufacturing setting, but you can still buy certain types of consumer-grade water protective sprays.
Waterproof Sole Glue and Stitching
In addition to the spray coating, boot soles are also secured using waterproof glue or stitching to keep the moisture out underneath the foot. They are tightly seam-sealed so that water won’t find any cracks to slip through.
The combination of all these parts is what makes a leather boot waterproof. Although by themselves they wouldn’t make much of a difference, when they work together they form a near impenetrable barricade.
Please understand that not all waterproof leather boots will use every method listed above. Some boots will not use a waterproof liner, and just instead treat the leather with a waterproof spray and use a seam-sealed construction.
Although these types of boots are more what I’d describe as “water-resistant” than truly waterproof, it is important to remember that subtracting out the waterproof bootie allows your feet to breathe easier, and might make sense in warm climates.
If you are shopping for waterproof boots made in the USA, my advice is to make sure the boot uses a waterproof liner. These other small details like a gusseted tongue, raised eyelets (etc) are small details that help maximize protection, but the liner is most important.
Finding Waterproof Boots Made in the USA
If you are interested in waterproof boots made in the USA, but don’t see an option listed that fits your needs, check out some of our other USA boot articles to try and find an option that fits your needs. Here are our resources: