Waterproof or Water Resistant Safety Footwear – what’s the difference?


We often get asked whether water resistance safety footwear is the same as waterproof safety footwear – in a word (or two!) – it’s not. Read on to find out why…


A WATERPROOF boot is made so that the material/product is completely impervious to water penetration, which means that no water can get in or out. These styles provide sustained protection from water for a significant period of time.

A WATER RESISTANT boot is made from material/product that will prevent water penetration, but only to a certain level. It is not completely impervious to water penetration, and water will get in or out when exposed to high levels of water.


The fact that footwear may be water resistant does not guarantee that it will be waterproof. This misunderstanding can cause some issues, as many people purchase water resistant footwear thinking they’ll keep their feet completely dry.

Generally, unless footwear has a waterproof membrane it will not be fully waterproof (a waterproof membrane is essentially a plastic bag placed behind the material upper). When a boot is stitched together, small holes are made with the needle and thread; these small holes will tend to wick water through the stitch hole once saturated. When the water penetrates, the flexing action of the foot simply sucks more in.

Imagine a sock made from a waterproof material that is sandwiched between the upper material and the lining – this is the membrane. V12 waterproof membranes are full of tiny holes, each one times smaller than a water molecule but large enough to allow perspiration to escape; so they don’t allow water in but they allow perspiration out – keeping your feet dry, cool and comfortable.

Click the following link to view our fully waterproof styles > https://mfsafety.co.uk/product-category/footwear/waterproof/


(Information from V12 Footwear)