Footwear needs to be made according to its intended use. Snow boots and winter boots need to be insulated from the cold, boat shoes need to grip the wet deck, and waterproof boots need to keep your feet dry.
Many outdoor activities require you to traverse water and mud and your choice of footwear needs to be up to the task. You will have a hard and uncomfortable time in the field if you make the wrong choice at the store.
First thing to consider is the fit. That’s why it’s never a good idea to buy shoes online. But you might see some great deals online that you find hard to pass up. What you can do is go to the mall and try out some shoes that appeal to you. Rockport and Red Wing shoes offer some good selections. Wear them for a while and see if they are really comfortable. When you have tried on a few pairs that feel great, kindly excuse yourself from the store and find the exact same thing online. You get to try it on and got a great deal too.
You must also simulate the activity you will be doing as much as possible. Wear the same pair of socks you plan on wearing. As much as possible, try it on similar terrain as where you will be going. If backpacking, it is a good idea to bring your fully-loaded backpack with you. There is a world of difference between walking unladed and carrying something that weighs as much as a small child.
As you are looking for waterproof boots, the ability to keep your feet dry is the most important criteria. There are no stores that allow you to dunk a pair without paying for them first, so this test is out of the question. What you can do is to rely on the brand names. Cheap shoes should never be considered, they can come apart at the most inconvenient time. A good pair will last you years of abuse and will come off more economical in the long run.
Waterproof shoes are a long-term investment. Many campers swear by their favorite pair. It is always good to know that you can depend on a pair, so you have to do your homework in looking for the perfect one.