When you're out shopping for baby boots, you will likely see two types: waterproof and water resistant. What's the difference between the two and how do you know which type will be suit your needs? Here's how to figure it out.
First let's look at the broad answer regarding the difference between waterproof baby boots and water resistant baby boots. Both can handle snow and sleet as well as some rain; the biggest difference between the two types is that waterproof boots can actually be submerged in water for extended periods of time without leaking — which is perfect for babies and toddlers that like to splash in slushy puddles.
When you're out shopping for winter footwear, you'll often find baby boots labeled as "water resistant" and "water repellant." Water repellant should be your very last choice in winter boots; if you suspect you won't be spending significant amounts of time outside in the wet snow, it's safe to purchase water resistant boots for your baby.
However, if you're baby is anything like mine, they'll want to be outside every time a flake flies! If that's the case, look for waterproof boots which are often made with rubber materials which create a barrier between the elements and your baby's feet.
Remember: in addition to searching for the boots that will keep your baby warm and dry, you also need to consider things like sole flexibility, thickness and tread; whether laces or Velcro is the better option; whether you can buy one size up so your baby can wear an extra pair of socks; and what style will ultimately be best for your child (independent children often want to put on their own shoes without help from mom or dad!).
Ultimately, if you (or your child) does fall in love with a pair of winter boots that do not meet the "waterproof" criteria, you can also do a little extra waterproofing of your own. Just follow the steps in this video, which discusses waterproofing leather boots.
Need some help choosing boots? Take a minute and browse the Top 5 Winter Boots for Infants and Babies Who Are Not Walking and the Top 5 Boots for Toddlers to get some ideas.