Rain boots are among the most functional fashion items. When you’re headed into the rain or sleet, they’ll keep you dry. And the best pair will also be stylish, so you needn’t resort to galoshes for your commute to the office or your next date night in wet weather conditions.
According to Taylor Tomasi Hill, creative and fashion director at THE YES, rain boot sales were up 50 percent between January and February 2022 on the platform, with fashion-focused heeled and platform styles leading the pack. “I believe it's because women are looking for both form and function. It's hard to look polished clomping in a traditional rain boot, you know?”
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Tomasi Hill says color is also a big focus, as well as anything with a luxe-looking finish, such as the flat matte from Bottega Veneta and high-shine gloss by Chloé. These are some ways to brave the weather without looking like you’re prepared to trek through muddy grasslands. (That is to say, there is an in-between.)
Below is Byrdie’s edit of the best stylish rain boots to wear in wet weather, along with key insights from Tomasi Hill.
Best Overall: Hunter Original Refined Embossed Waterproof Chelsea Rain Boot
Generally speaking, Hunter makes rain boots that you can rely on. We love this Chelsea style in particular for its sleek shape and luxe-looking, embossed croc finish; it’s so versatile that you can wear it as much with your workwear as you can for a drizzly night on the town.
Heel Height: 1 inch | Color Options: Black
Best Budget: Petrass Waterproof Mid Calf Rain Boots
For a good-quality boot at an economical price point, look to Petrass. Lightweight and comfortable, the boots dazzled thousands of reviewers, who said they wear them for a range of activities from gardening to dog walking.
Heel Height: Approximately 1 inch | Colors Options: Blue, Black, Beige, Green +more
Best Designer: Bottega Veneta The Puddle Rubber Boot
A personal favorite of Tomasi Hill, this chunky ankle-length rubber boot by Bottega Veneta mixes newfangled form with incomparable function. Molded from a single piece of biodegradable rubber, the platform style is offered in a range of color options, including brown, tangerine, and neon green, so you can decide how big of a statement to make.
For extra warmth, opt for the shearling-lined version.
Heel Height: 2.5 inches | Color Options: Black, Fondant, Sea Salt, Kiwi, Rubber Band, Inkwell +more
Best for Wide Calves: Hunter Original Back Adjustable
Hunter makes the tedious task of shopping for wide-calf rain boots easy, offering its classic knee-high style with an adjustable back. “I love the look of tall Hunter rain boots, but I've never been able to wear them due to the fact I need a wide-calf boot (16.5 inches is my calf measurement),” writes one reviewer. “Finally, I found the adjustable back boot!”
Heel Height: 1 inch | Color Options: Navy, Black, Olive +more
Best Chelsea: Loeffler Randall Tara Black Weather Boot
This weatherproof Chelsea boot from Loeffler Randall is best-selling on THE YES, and for good reason—it’s sleek but sturdy, thanks to a combination of luxe leather and thick, serrated rubber soles. Tomasi Hill recommends styling them with baggy vintage denim and an oversized cardigan.
Heel Height: 3 inches | Color Options: Black
Best on Amazon: Asgard Chelsea Ankle Women's Waterproof Rain Boots
These boots from Asgard are among the best on Amazon, so say more than 12,000 positive reviews on the website. They cite price, versatility, quality, and comfort as major pluses. And with several bold color picks, it’s great if you’re looking to make a vivid statement without paying designer prices.
Heel Height: Approximately 1 inch | Color Options: Black, Burgundy, Navy, Yellow, Tan +more
Best Shearling-Lined: UGG Chevonne Chelsea Waterproof Rain Boot
UGG’s Chevonne boots offer the best of both worlds: the plush sheepskin interior for which the brand is known and a tough exterior that’s built for the wet season. It’s complete with a subtle heel and a 5-inch shaft so you can slip it on and off with ease.
Heel Height: 1 inch | Color Options: Black, Charcoal, Red Ribbon +more
Best Embellished: JW Anderson Chain-Embellished Rubber Rain Boots
We have a keen appreciation for JW Anderson’s sculptural shoes and accessories—what has become the designer’s signature aesthetic. These rain boots are the perfect example: They offer a deliberately provocative design, with glitter-laden rubber and oversized chains across the vamps. They also come in glossy black rubber for a pared-down version of the beguiling silhouette.
Heel Height: 1.5 inches | Color Options: Silver, Black
Best Lace-Up: Sorel Brex Boot
Sorel’s sturdy lace-ups are a great option for when you’re looking for heavy-duty protection against wet and snowy city streets. The combination of soft leather, elastic gussets, and long (albeit not waterproof) laces offer great flexibility, while their notched rubber soles assure an easy stride on tricky terrain.
Heel Height: 3 inches | Color Options: Black/Chalk, Chalk/Black, Dark Moss/Black
Best Zippered: Madewell The Zip-Up Lugsole Rain Boot
If you’re looking for a boot with functional zippers over a pull-on style, then these are for you. They offer a full-rubber construction with side zippers and pull tabs for the most ease of wear. Reviewers say they love the booties for their affordable price point, comfortability, and general practicality, though some report the zippers are prone to sticking.
Heel Height: Approximately 1 inch | Color Options: True Black, Ashen Silver
Best High Heel: Chloé Betty Rubber Rain Boot
Chloé made heels practical with its Betty boot, which complements everything from jeans to dresses while keeping you dry in wet weather. (This is perhaps why the style is among the most YES’d, according to Tomasi Hill). The form-fitting silhouette is made from shiny rubber and complete with a square toe, block heel, and serrated sole.
Heel Height: 2 inches | Color Options: Black, Beige, Taupe +more
Best Duck Boots: L.L.Bean The Original 6-Inch Bean Boot
L.L. Bean’s original duck boot is a failsafe option for slogging through rain or snow on a casual day. The style boasts good traction and durability from its signature rubber soles printed with a chain-link motif. It also comes in a range of widths (narrow to wide) to accommodate many shoppers, as well as a sherpa-lined version, should you require extra warmth.
Heel Height: Approximately 1 inch | Color Options: Tan/Brown
What to Look for in Rain Boots
It may be tempting to skimp when it comes to rain boots because you figure that you won’t wear them often. However, “you’ll wear them more than you realize” assures Tomasi Hill. “A good pair of wellies last forever.” She recommends investing in quality and, to keep things fresh, looking for details that add a little more style than your average pair, like a great color or interesting sole.
Not every style will suit the wearer the same. Duck boots and knee-high styles, for example, are great for many outdoor environments, from snowy streets to mud-filled marshlands, but they don’t transition to an office setting as well as Chelsea boots, which also serve as great off-duty attire when paired with baggy denim pants.
Should you size up in rain boots?
“I wear mine true to size, maybe a half-size larger to account for a chunky knit sock,” Tomasi Hill says.
How should you style a pair of rain boots?
This all depends on the style you choose. You can easily pair knee-high versions and duck boots with low-key bottoms, like jeans and leggings. Meanwhile, a fitted, mid-shaft boot, like the Betty from Chloé, looks great with everything from more tailored denim pants to loose midi skirts. The same goes for Chelsea boots.
Why Trust Byrdie
Hayley Prokos is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor focused on fashion and lifestyle. She contributes regularly to Byrdie’s commerce section and has a passion for sourcing chic and practical pieces with long-term wearability. After hours of researching and chatting with our expert, she’s gathered enough insight to determine which brands are worth buying this season.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find rain boots from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.