Not all hiking boots are waterproof… even the ones that say “waterproof” on the label!
There are 3 types of construction that have different levels of water resistance.
- Some boot uppers use a material that’s naturally water resistant, or treated with water resistant materials
- Some walking boots and hiking boots have a water resistant membrane that keeps some water out
- Some have a fully seam-sealed lining (a bootie).
The last is the only fully waterproof option.
And some boots have more than one of those options built in.
For example, the Xero Shoes Xcursion has a fully seam sealed inner bootie, a water repelling membrane, and an upper material designed to resist water.