Rainboots — for Summer?

Rainboots for Summer? | CorporetteWhat do you wear to keep your feet dry during summer showers? Do summer rainboots exist? Reader P wonders.

A shoe question for you – what are the best shoes to wear when commuting in hot summer rain? I usually wear my tall Hunter rainboots fall through spring, but they’re way too hot for muggy +80 degree summers. Are plastic flip flops okay? They seem most functional, but I feel so weird wearing them with a suit or work dress. Is there something in between?

I’m curious to hear what the readers say here. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I hate having wet feet — here in New York you can easily and unexpectedly wade into a puddle (including in a covered place, like the subway) that’s half a foot deep, if not more. I’m a huge fan of my Hunter rainboots for cooler months (pictured), and honestly I still pull out my rainboots if the weather is at all cool (up to 75 degrees or so, probably), but with kneesocks instead of tights.  I don’t have them, but these “topless” knee socks from Spanx look perfect for wearing boots with bare legs — they’re thin, and leave no elastic mark beneath your knee.

Summer rainshowers are different, though — no one wants to wear a pair of knee-high plastic boots when it’s 95 degrees. My usual commuting shoe, the flip flop (I hate to admit that!) is also unsuitable for wet weather, in my experience — the footbed of the shoe always seems to get too slippery for me in the rain, and the last thing I want when it’s pouring is to go go slowly and carefully. So my usual go-to outfit is:

  • a skirt or dress (so I don’t have to worry about wet pantlegs)
  • a pair of actual shoes (preferably maryjane or ankle strap wedges) that will stay on my feet if I’m hurrying/running, and either be an acceptable fashion choice for the rest of the day or at least fit the “I won’t be embarrassed to run into a coworker in the elevator” requirement.
  • a small (but strong) umbrella to try to keep my shoes as dry as possible.

summer rain shoesI will say that I just got a pair of the Sexi Flip Crocs (mostly to play with my son at the local water park) and, as rubber shoes go, they’d be fine for commuting shoes — but I still wouldn’t want to step into a city puddle in them.  (I also wouldn’t want to wear them on gravel or anywhere that small stones might get stuck in your shoe. On a slightly more professional side, these rubber shoes from Crocs (pictured — I particularly like the ankle strap and the $40 pricetag) look like they wouldn’t be horrible for running around town and would be fine commuting shoes.  If a strap isn’t important to you, then there are, of course, a growing number of companies that make rubber ballet flats, including Crocs and Oka B.,; the Zappos page devoted to jelly shoes for women shows you can get even Kate Spade New York and Stuart Weitzman shoes in a rain-friendly jelly.

Readers, what do you wear to keep your feet dry when it’s raining in the summer?  Do you just wear kneesocks with your regular rainboots and chalk it up to bad weather, or do you have a separate shoe or system for hot weather? 


  1. Tory Burch Jelly Reva Flat. http://www.toryburch.com/JELLY-REVA-WITH-METAL-LOGO/50008650,default,pd.html

    They used to make them in lovely colors, but just black now…

    • I have a similar pair from JCrew. They’re great for light showers, but if it starts to downpour they get really slippery and fall right off my feet. I’m not sure if it’s narrow feet or the combination of plastic shoes/wet feet, or all the above.

  2. Anonymous :

    Honestly, some non-traditional crocks can be great for this.

  3. I just bought my first pair of jellies since elementary school!


    At first I was kind of ashamed, but I love them for commuting. I walk 45 minutes to work in hot humid weather, and I originally bought them not because of summer rain, but because I wanted a commuting shoe I could wash in the bathtub every night. My feet get dirty, what can I say? But they are great for the rain. I like to think they keep my feet somewhat cleaner than flip flops, they don’t expose my toes, and they have better traction. And I just wear them in the rain, and dry off my feet at my desk.

  4. I love these ones:


    They are called Nomad Rian Drizzles. They are perfect for a commute and look cute too. I have the green/blue ones and I adore them.

    The black ones are my fav. They run big and only in full sizes. I’m an 8 1/2 but bought a 9 and they are too big.

  5. I had my first “big” fight with my SO last night. Honestly, it wasn’t a huge fight by any means, but I tend to take every fight incredibly personally, and I feel like when these little spats happen in a relationship that it’s doomed (totally unhealthy, I know). Anyway, last night I got drunk. Then got irritated at him FOR EVERYTHING. There were tears. Over nothing. I was an emotional rollercoaster for no reason. Literally. I woke up this morning and had that awful sober clarity where I was just like “what the heck turned me into demon lady last night?!” I apologized this morning, but I’m still feeling uneasy all day. Any advice?

    • Sounds like you may have some underlying issues with him that the alcohol brought to the surface. Are you normally an angry drunk? Might be worth talking to a neutral third party about this.

    • If you are living together, you should make him a special dinner, and give him a VERY special dessert. I am sure that will make him forget all about it. And stop drinkeing, for god’s sake! That is why I broke up with Alan! No one wants to date or marry a drunk! FOOEY!

    • Co-sinner :

      If it’s not a pattern, I might not worry about it. I’ve had a few days in my life when I’ve been an absolute b* and had that morning after feeling you’re talking about. In one case, the trigger was an exceptionally bad case of PMS, in the second, it was brought on stress and fatigue (international work travel on a project gone horribly wrong). We all have bad days, and we’re all entitled to a couple of *really* bad days.

    • Cordelia Chase :

      This happens to me, too, and I do not think it is necessarily because you may have unresolved issues with your boyfriend. I think it’s a personality thing, at least in my case. (Have been like this ever since i can remember. When I was very little, I recall overhearing my Mom’s friends say something complain-y about a husband, and I never could understand why not “just get a divorce!”) It’s also pretty problematic when applied to daily life. Especially the part you mention about any spat making you feel like the whole relationship is doomed: oy vey, I know exactly what you’re talking about.

      It’s really difficult thing to handle things rationally in the moment when you’re *convinced* that “this is it. OMG. I am so going to break up with you for not putting on the toothpaste cap!” I think it’s really about learning from experiences, recognizing when you’re spiraling, and, although you cannot necessarily completely change your thought processes, changing your outward reaction to things. It’s been helping me to recognize this in the moment and be patient and kind to myself about my instinctive reactions. It’ll be okay. Good luck!

    • Late to the party, but I thought I’d add: I had this exact problem. When things (not my boyfriend) are pissing me off, and then I have a drink or two, then suddenly that irritation gets redirected to my poor boyfriend.
      My new rule is that if I’ve had even a half a glass of wine, I’m not allowed to bring up any issues with him at that moment. I write them down, and if they’re real things that need to be addressed (which they never are), I can bring them up later on when it won’t turn into a ridiculous, nonsensical fight.
      Doing this made the inclination to pick fights go away. Also, if there’s something stressing you out over which you feel you have no control, that would be a likely culprit.

  6. Purple and green snakeskin print rubber rainboots? I think that is the definition of tacky.

    • Shopaholic :

      I think they’re fun! What else is going to brighten up a dreary rainy day?

    • Different Pest :

      I was more put off by the suggestion for $15 socks to wear underneath boots.

  7. Lady Harriet :

    I’ve been wearing my rain boots, even in the Florida summer, but they’re miserably hot. I really think rain boots are ideally suited to a climate like the Pacific northwest where it never gets very hot or cold. When I’ve worn mine visiting my family in WI at Christmas they’re just bearable with an extra pair of wool socks, but my feet still get cold.

    Just a warning, I ordered the Crocs Alice pictured above about four years ago and they were awful. The insides were really hard and the shoes didn’t fit well. I returned them. There’s really no excuse for uncomfortable Crocs, since that’s supposed to be their main attraction!

    • Same here. And I actually bought them in 2 different sizes to make sure they fit but neither of them did! The side would cut into my foot!

  8. Diana Barry :

    I wear Tevas – they are designed to be water shoes and are comfy when wet.

  9. I have Croc ballet flats that I wear when it rains. They look fashionable enough for being plastic shoes.

    • Me too. I have these: http://www.crocs.com/crocs-kadee/11215,default,pd.html?cid=57I&cgid=women-footwear-flats

    • I have these too, but I find that I can’t wear them in the rain at all. My feet slide around, and I feel like I have to walk really slowly to keep myself from tripping.

  10. I used to wear Crocs in the rain but ended up falling down several times on slippery surfaces both indoors and outdoors.

    I just got the Loeffler Randall rain booties for summer rain shoes, but I haven’t had a chance to try them out yet.

    • I’m glad someone mentioned this! I just had a slip and fall wearing my Crocs in the rain earlier this month. I’ve had them for a while and the soles are worn, which is probably why. If you’re going to pick Crocs, just be REALLY careful.

  11. I wear the sperry low-rise duck boots for summer. Dry feet, but not too warm.


  12. Kontraktor :

    A lot of people in DC used to wear Crocs ballet flats for commuting. I tried on a pair the other day (they had circle cutouts and a peep toe) and really liked them. They were light and comfy. I have always wanted that pair, but I live in CA now and we don’t have a lot of rain, but I always thought they’d be perfect for gross DC wet summers.

  13. Hopelessly devoted to LL Bean’s rain skimmers: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/63396?feat=630-GN1&page=women-s-coastal-rain-skimmers. (The color selection changes unpredictably.)

  14. I wear Sperry Top-Siders.

    I think a lower rain boot, like a Tretorn, would be perfect.


  15. I also recommend Crocs for this. They’re better-looking (at least in my opinion) than those boots and a black pair of Crocs can be worn with any color of top unlike that purple and green snakeskin print rubber rainboots which may not look good with other tops.

  16. Better Late Than Never :

    Not sure anybody has mentioned those on here:


  17. I was going to suggest exactly that – rubber ballet flats from crocs. I’ve been using them just about every day for the last week. I like them because if I happen to run into my boss before I get into my office and put on my work shoes, he doesn’t do a double-take at my feet. They just look like regular ballet flats.

  18. I have Lands End water shoes, which I love. They aren’t terribly professional but work for safe walking in rain on city sidewalks. Lands End no longer has the pair I have, but now has something similar in Mary Jane style. http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-mary-jane-water-shoes/id_248842

  19. my biggest struggle is the transition. i walk into the building in my commuter shoes (whatever the weather) then i’m in the elevator going up to the 26th floor and have my heels in tote-bag. what’s the etiquette about switching shoes? i usually wait until i get to my desk. then, if it’s raining, there’s the other issue of having wet, sometimes stinky feet. do you go to the bathroom and towel off? then where do you keep your boots? under the desk? next to your umbrella?

  20. Deck shoes! Topsiders or Docksides are designed to get wet! They’re casual, but at least they look like people shoes. I like the “Felucca Lace” docksides because the style is feminine and the leather is sturdy (http://www.sebago.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/23425W/56668/Womens/Felucca-Lace) but they definitely had a breaking-in period — I hear Topsiders start off easier on your feet but they also fall apart quicker.

    Melissa/Mel shoes is a brand of plastic shoes that are often dressier than jellies or Crocs. These http://shopmelissa.com/all-products-1/joy these http://shopmelissa.com/all-products-1/moon-jason-wu or these http://www.melshoes.com/shop/mel-shoes-lemon-brogue-shoe-grey.html might be good options for summer commuting.

    Duck shoes/”Bean Boot” mocs are roughly as casual as Hunters, with less sweat: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/19068?feat=506697-CL2&page=women-s-rubber-mocs

    There used to be a couple of companies selling lady galoshes (waterproof covers you put over shoes) — SWIMS and Shuella — but neither exists anymore. If you want something that covers a regular shoe you can whip off, look for these on eBay maybe? Or if you’re feet are on the larger side, maybe try men’s galoshes over flats?

    And Loeffer Randall makes really sleek rain booties for a fuller coverage alternative that isn’t as sweaty as tall Hunters: http://www.loefflerrandall.com/LRProduct.aspx?ProductID=421&CategoryID=68

    A lot of Aquatalia shoes are waterproof, but they’re also expensive: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001IBIUWA/ref=s9_simi_gw_p309_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0VN9RHZVFMSG2M2H7B8P&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

    If you’re taking a second pair of shoes and changing at the office, you can use a shoe bag (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A15744061) just like you would for snow boots.

  21. Great

  22. When it´s hot and sunny weather in the summer I prefer to be in my Hunter Original Tall