I’ve walked 100 miles in these waterproof boots — here’s my verdict

a photo of the Ariat Kelmarsh Shortie Rubber Boots
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to finding the best waterproof boots for my winter dog walks, there are a few things I look for — I want the boots to be comfortable, to keep my feet dry when the weather changes, and to be lightweight enough to cope with all-day wear. Unlike the best hiking boots or Wellington boots, waterproof boots aren’t designed to offer the same amount of support, so if you’re taking on a technical hike on uneven terrain, they’re probably not for you. That said, if you’re looking to stay dry, waterproof boots are a good pick.

To find out more, I road-tested a pair of the Ariat Kelmarsh Shortie Rubber Boots ($152, Amazon) — I’ve walked 100 miles in the boots in several different weather conditions. Read on to find out how they compare to some of my favorite hiking boots on the market.

Ariat Kelmarsh Shortie Rubber Boots: $152 @ Amazon

Ariat Kelmarsh Shortie Rubber Boots: $152 @ Amazon
Keep your feet dry, comfy and chic with these grippy, ankle-high rain boots. Perfect for stormy dog walks or quick runs to the local bodega, the Ariat Kelmarsh Shorties are sleek on the outside and well-cushioned on the inside. Plus, a conveniently located pull-tab is both functional and stylish. 

I’ve walked 100 miles in these waterproof boots — here’s my verdict 

They kept my feet warm and dry

I used these boots for a number of walks in different weather conditions — from torrential rain to snow. I found my feet stayed warm and dry, and the neoprene around the ankle didn’t dig in or rub as I walked. They were also extremely lightweight and comfortable from the minute I got them out the box, and thanks to the shorter construction, were easy to slip on and off at the end of a walk, without having to bend to untie laces. 

a photo of Ariat wellington boots

(Image credit: Ariat)

They come up really big

As a fitness editor, I test running shoes, hiking boots, and walking shoes for a living, and normally, I’m a U.K. 5 (U.S. 7) in most. I went down half a size in the Ariat boots and found they still come up big — in fact, I could probably have sized down an entire size. The boots come in U.K. sizes 3-8.5, or U.S. sizes 5.5-11. They only come in one width, although I found them to be roomy enough to wear with thick socks. If you have particularly narrow feet, or you’re between sizes, I’d recommend sizing down.

The shoes come in three different colorways — navy, dark olive, and a black/leopard print mix. I opted for the dark olive colorway, which looks great with jeans on the weekend, as well as leggings and a raincoat on dog walks.

I’d trust them for all-day wear, but not technical terrains

The shoes have an all-day cushioned insole to allow them to be comfortable for hours on the move. I found these lived up to the positive reviews online and were extremely soft and supportive underfoot — I was able to get these out of the box and head out for a walk without a break-in period.

a photo of the back of the Ariat Kelmarsh Shortie Rubber Boots

(Image credit: Future)

That said, if you’re heading out on technical terrains, these might not be the best boots for you. Unlike a pair of the best hiking boots, there’s no ankle support, so these definitely don’t feel as secure if you’re walking on uneven ground. Most walking boots will also have a deeper tread, giving them more grip on snow, ice, and mud. While I didn’t have any issues with the boots when walking, if I was heading on a proper hike, I’d definitely want the option to lace the boots tight around my ankles.

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.