Rain boots are the ultimate in practicality, but there's no reason they have to be boring.
Below, I've listed some of my favorite manufacturers of waterproof boots for women, along with a few tips on what to look for, and how to choose the best pair for your lifestyle.
How to Choose a Pair of Rain Boots
Obviously, rain boots need to be waterproof. But, there's more to it than that. Let's face it, you're not going to wear a pair of hiking boots with your new pencil skirt, even if they do keep you dry.
So, how do you choose?
Think about how and when you're mostly going to where the boots.
If they're just going to be used for casual outings -- like trips to the grocery store or the post office -- then you can go for something completely casual and colorful. Think splashy graphics, vivid hues, whatever ticks your boxes.
You can also choose a pair of dynamic wellies if you're prepared to carry a spare pair of shoes with you to the office.
But, if you need a pair of boots that will keep you dry and dressed to kill, then look for a pair of dress boots that feature waterproof construction and materials.
And finally, if the boots need to keep you warm as well as dry, then you may want to consider a pair of winter or snow boots instead.
Now, on to a few of my favorite brands, with additional tips below.
Bogs: Fun and Functional
Super-cute, and just as practical, women's rain boots from Bogs feature a 100% waterproof construction, and come in classic solids or vivid prints. If all of that weren't enough, they also feature a handy handle on each side that makes them easy to pull on.
Perfect for working outside in the garden, or for just slipping into before running errands on a rainy day, Bogs come in lots of different heights and patterns, and they're also available in kids' and men's sizes and styles. (Buy Direct)
Hunter Original Wellington Boots
If you love wellies, then there's a good chance you're already familiar with Hunter boots, and with good reason: they've been around for more than 150 years.
But, don't let any mental images of waterlogged hunters in tall green boots dissuade you from checking out this brand. Today's Hunter boots are as chic (and popular) as they come. They come in a vast array of colors and prints, including matte and glossy versions; metallic styles; and color-blocked models; yet, they haven't sacrificed their functionality.
Available in several different styles and heights, there's even a folding version of Hunter boots that are easy to transport -- making them great for festival-goers, as well as frequent travelers. (Buy Direct)
Kamik: Cute Rain Boots for Less
Most rain boots aren't terribly expensive, but it can be difficult to justify spending $100 or more on a pair if you're not going to wear them a lot.
Fortunately, there are lots of cute, cheaper rain boots out there. Kamik is one of the first brands that springs to mind. They're simple, they're cute, and they are pretty reasonably-priced.
Ranging in price from about $50 to $65 per pair, Kamik rain boots come in loads of solids and fun patterns. And, they're generally well-reviewed also. (Buy Direct)
Aquatalia by Marvin K. - Dressy Rain Boots
If you're looking for a pair of weatherproof boots that are more on the dressy side, I suggest taking a look at weatherproof boots from Aquatalia by Marvin K. Depending on the season and current collection, you'll find attractive short and tall styles; heels and flats; as well as casual and dressier models.
But before you do, let me warn you: they aren't cheap. And by "not cheap," I mean that they're what a lot of people would consider expensive, at about $400 - $700 per pair. But I also mean, they're not cheap as in they are extremely high-quality.
Manufactured in Italy, the craftsmanship of this footwear is evident. And the weatherproofing process that materials used in the Aquatalia collection undergo actually helps protect and increase the longevity of the boots and shoes. So, they're more of a future investment than some cheaper alternatives.
In short, if you can afford them, you'll definitely want to check them out. And, even if the suggested retail price is too rich for you, then you may want keep an eye out for sales. I've seen them as much as half-off once a new line or two is released. And, since so many of their styles are classics, its rare that any of them would seem outdated. (Buy Direct)
Don't Limit Yourself to JUST 'Rain Boots'
Some of us buy rain boots because, well... we just really like rain boots. I'd certainly put myself in that category.
But for those of you who need to protect yourself from water, and would prefer being able to wear your boots for other tasks as well, you may want to start thinking along different lines.
For example, hiking boots, athletic boots, and even dress boots that aren't necessarily billed as "rain boots," can still feature waterproof construction, and be made from water- or weatherproof materials.
Brands like Timberland, Merrell, The North Face, and Rockport all come to mind as companies that offer a few options in casual and sporty waterproof boots. And the upshot to most of these models is that they can be worn day-in and day-out, no matter what the forecast is.
Winter boots offer yet another option. While full-fledged snow boots are probably a bit of overkill for most rain showers, winter fashion boots -- the ones without added insulation -- are often styled for multiple seasons, and are available in casual, sporty, and dressier styles.