Solved: Rain Boots Rubbing and Chafing Skin

Waterproof rain boots are made out of a rigid material.  The friction of walking can make it rub against the skin, causing uncomfortable rashes or even cutting into the skin – but this problem can easily be solved. 


1. Buy Boots with a Collar

The upper outer edge of rain boots is called the collar.  Lots of cheap rain boots don’t have a collar at all; the plastic rub directly against your skin and causes chafing. Next time you buy rain boots, choose ones with a good collar.  It should be sewn in place and not have any weird inner seams which could rub against your legs.

Also read: Best Rain Boots for Kids

rain boot collar prevent chafing


2. Make a Boot Collar

If you don’t want to buy new rain boots, you can easily make a collar to go on yours.  You just need a soft, flexible material to put over the boot edge.

Here are some DIY collar options:

  • Duct tape or Moleskin: Just wrap the edge of the boots so it isn’t so sharp
  • Tops of socks: Cut the top off of socks. Glue or tape them inside the boots where the chafing is occurring.
  • Long sock turned over boot: Wear long, very stretchy socks. Pull the sock over boot to make a collar. It makes a weird gap though, so isn’t a good long-term solution.
  • Turn down the top of the boot: This only works if your rain boots are wide enough. It also helps shorten the boots and reduce wobbling at the top.


3. Buy Shorter Boots

Rain boot chafing sometimes occurs when rain boots are too tall.  Tall boots have to bend more and can rub against the skin.  Try getting shorter rain boots that hit lower on your leg.


4. Choose a More Flexible Waterproof Boot

Cheap rain boots are often made of a rigid plastic which doesn’t bend with the leg well. Other brands (including affordable ones) use more flexible materials which are less likely to chafe.

If you aren’t puddle stomping, you probably don’t even need a 100% waterproof boot.  There are great ones that have rubber bottoms for water protection and a breathable Neoprene upper.


5. Tuck Pants Into Boots

Rain boots aren’t meant to be worn with shorts.  You need to wear long pants with them. The pant leg gets tucked into the boots to prevent chafing.  It also fills the extra space in the boots so they don’t wobble around as much.

Ideally you should wear tougher pants with rain boots. If it’s too warm for thick pants, then see #6.


6. Wear the Right Socks

If you wear your boots in rain or mud often, you’ll want to invest in some good socks.  Yes, they are actually worth it. Good socks will help keep your feet dry, let them breathe and prevent chafing.

Rain boot socks need to be tall enough so no skin directly touches the inner boot. Wearing tall socks will create a layer between your skin and the rain boots to help prevent chafing.

Wool socks are ideal: wool insulates even when wet but is breathable for warm weather wear.  In cold weather, wear two layers of socks: a thin synthetic liner sock and a thicker insulating sock on the outside.


7. Wear Rain Pants with Stirrup Straps

If your kids’ rain boots are too big, use the stirrup straps on their rain pants. The stirrup straps hold the boots in place so they don’t wobble around as much.  This helps with the chafing too.

Also read:


8. Store Rain Boots Open

Find some plastic bottles, coffee tins, or other cylindrical item to fit your boots.  Put these in the boots before storing.  They will hold the boot tops open and help them keep their shape better. It will also help them dry so you don’t end up with stinky rain boots. 


9. Cut Off Top Seam

Some rain boots have a liner seam inside the upper edge.  The seam can rub against your legs and cause chafing.  One simple solution is to cut off the top of the boot (that’s what one reviewer did to these boots).  Just be warned that the lining might start coming off once you cut the seam.


Did you solve boot chafing?  Let us know in the comments section below. 


Image credit: “Grandson’s Fun In The Puddles.” (CC BY 2.0) by audreyjm529

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