A Step-by-Step Guide to Chemical-Resistant Boots

Chemical-resistant boots are typically used in industrial settings, such as chemical plants, oil refineries, agricultural settings and laboratories.


chemical resistant boots and spill


Chemical-resistant boots are designed to protect workers' feet from exposure to hazardous chemicals, corrosive substances and other dangerous materials. These boots are typically used in industrial settings, such as chemical plants, oil refineries, agricultural settings and laboratories.


Chemical-resistant boots are made of materials that resist the corrosive effects of chemicals, including acids, alkalis, solvents and oils. Our most popular styles of chemical-resistant boots are made of PVC (plastic), rubber or neoprene. These boots are often lined with additional protective materials for added comfort and durability. Chemical-resistant boots with a steel toe are also a popular choice for rugged job sites.  


What are the differences between PVC, rubber and neoprene chemical-resistant boots?

Let's take a moment to contrast and compare some of the most important and unique features of PVC, rubber and neoprene chemical-resistant boots.


  • Durability: Rubber boots are generally the most durable, followed by neoprene and then PVC. Rubber and neoprene boots are both more resistant to wear and tear than PVC boots, especially when exposed to sunlight or extreme temperatures.
  • Comfort: Neoprene boots are often considered the most comfortable of the three, as they are flexible and can conform to the shape of the wearer's foot. Rubber boots are also relatively comfortable, but PVC boots are less so due to their stiffness.
  • Chemical Resistance: PVC boots are more resistant to certain chemicals than rubber or neoprene boots. However, the PVC boots can become brittle and crack when exposed to some chemicals or prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • Waterproofing: All three materials are waterproof, but neoprene is generally the most effective at keeping water out due to its tight fit and better sealing around the ankle. Rubber boots are also effective at keeping water out, while PVC boots are less so.
  • Insulation: Neoprene boots provide the most insulation, making them ideal for cold weather. Rubber boots also provide some insulation, but PVC boots do not.
  • Cost: PVC boots are generally the least expensive, followed by rubber boots and then neoprene boots.


At the end of the day, choosing a chemical-resistant boot comes down to user preference and the jobs that need to get done in their respective work environments.


  • If durability, comfort, and insulation are a priority, then neoprene chemical-resistant boots may be the best choice.
  • If chemical resistance and cost are more important, then PVC chemical-resistant boots may be your preference.
  • Rubber chemical-resistant boots are a good all-around choice for general use, providing a good balance of durability, comfort and waterproofing.


Related: Need help selecting the construction ppe needed for your construction site? Check out our full construction guide here.


What are the most popular styles of chemical-resistant boots that Wesco Safety has to offer?

This boot's unique blend of PVC resins and specialty additives offers superior chemical resistance to fats, certain acids, hydrocarbon, caustics and other chemicals. That's why it's an excellent choice for food processing and petrochemical applications.

  • The Chevron-Plus® outsole has more cleat material than standard outsoles to produce longer service life and excellent slip resistance.
  • Removable cushioned insole absorbs moisture and shock for added comfort.
  • Boots are injection molded for 100% waterproof protection.


Tingley® Airgo™ Ultra Lightweight Low-Cut Plain Toe PVC Boots

These low-cut boots are super comfortable and easy to step into, but tough enough for everyday farm and garden use. Tiny, self-insulating air bubbles trapped inside the EVA will keep your feet warmer in the cold and cooler in the heat. Lightweight, yet durable, these boots are 100% waterproof and have a cleated outsole for traction and slip resistance in wet and muddy conditions.

  • 8" height is ideal for stepping into and getting to work.
  • 70% lighter than other waterproof rubber and PVC knee boots.
  • Use for agriculture, lawn and garden, foul weather, and other general purpose applications.
  • Boots resist fats, certain acids, hydrocarbons, caustics and other chemicals.
  • Flexible upper material stays supple in cold temperatures to make walking easier.
  • Boots contain a heel kick for hands-free removal.
  • Removable polyurethane, contoured insoles completes the comfort experience.


Cordova Plain Toe Rubber Boots

Choose a durable, flexible and comfortable style of rubber boots.

  • Ribbed soles provide extra traction.
  • Durable cotton lining allows for easy on and off.
  • Steel shank provides firm arch support.


Tingley® Badger™ Plain Toe Neoprene Boots

These 15" ultra-comfortable boots are 100% waterproof and feature a breathable neoprene upper with extra width in the calf area for a more relaxed fit. A cushioned footbed helps absorb impact shock and a steel shank provides added arch support. 


The high-quality rubber outsole is abrasion resistant for long life and will remain flexible in cold temperatures. The self-cleaning cleated outsole provides traction on indoor and outdoor surfaces. A cushioned, removable insole helps wick moisture to keep feet warm and dry.

  • Use for agriculture, municipalities, public works, transportation, utilities, and many general industrial applications.
  • Boots resist acids, alcohols, and diluted water solutions of most chemicals that are water soluble.
  • Pull tabs allow for easy donning and a heel kick provides hands-free removal.
  • Not recommended for constant contact with petroleum and oil-based products.


Read More: Wesco Safety offers a full selection of chemical-resistant boots available on their website catalog.


Feel free to contact our Safety Support Team to help you select the correct chemical-resistant boots for your particular workplace. In almost any situation you have, we can offer you options that best fit your budget or specific needs.  This will allow your employees to work comfortably and efficiently.



related articles