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What are Galoshes?

By Lauren Romano
Updated May 21, 2024
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Galoshes are waterproof boots worn over shoes during wet conditions. They are considered overshoes and are typically made from molded rubber. The boots are meant to fit and mold to the shape of the shoe for a more comfortable and safe fit while walking. They also have a sturdy heel that prevents the wearer from slipping during dangerous conditions.

The boots made for women are typically mid calf length and have a very small heel. While some men's galoshes are also mid calf length, they are typically only ankle length and look more like men's dress shoes. Some may also be similar in appearance to ballet flats.

Galoshes come in a variety of styles and colors. The boots for men will more often than not be black so they match with the usually darker colors of men's clothing. For women, they are another fashion accessory. They come in a variety of patterns from plaid to polka dots or in solid colors. There are even high end fashion galoshes that resemble pricey boots.

Galoshes are useful for those who have to walk through wet weather, especially snow and slush that can easily find its way into shoes. Instead of worrying about ruining a perfectly good pair of shoes or getting wet feet, the wearer can put on the boots and stay dry. They are also more lightweight than typical waterproof boots so they are easily transportable.

Instead of having to carry a pair of shoes and wear a pair of waterproof boots in bad weather, the boots fit right over the shoes so there is less to carry and manage. This is especially easier in big cities where there are large crowds and carrying bags can be a hassle. It is best to have a waterproof bag to put them in upon arrival at a destination though.

When choosing galoshes, it is best to try them on over the shoes that will most likely be worn under them to make sure they feel comfortable. Walk around in them to check that they easily bend with the foot. One downside is that heels usually cannot be worn under galoshes, as they will create an uneven walking surface.

Almost anywhere there are wet conditions, whether it is walking to work or sitting on a boat, the boots can be useful. They are sturdy and can hold up to a substantial amount of wear and tear. They come in a variety of prices and styles so there is a pair for almost everyone.

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Discussion Comments
By shell4life — On Mar 12, 2012

@Perdido - The galoshes are made to hold tight to the top of your foot, and the edges grip your skin. It's not quite a full suction, but they are made to seal water out.

However, if you happen to buy them, do avoid stepping directly into big puddles. While they will keep most of the water out, there is always the chance that a few stray drops can trickle down into the galoshes.

I have a black pair of ballet flat galoshes, and I usually wear my satin flats inside of them. They are also black, so people can hardly tell that I have the galoshes on or that I have removed them.

By Perdido — On Mar 11, 2012

Has anyone here ever worn the type of galoshes that look like ballet flats? I've considered getting some to wear over my actual flats in summer.

Do they really keep your feet dry? It just seems that since they are open on the top to expose the foot that rain would get all down inside of them. Having water trapped in my silky flats would make me miserable for the rest of the day.

However, it is really too warm to be wearing boot-size galoshes in summer. Ballet flat galoshes seem like a good idea in that aspect.

By lighth0se33 — On Mar 11, 2012

I used to wear thick, clunky rain boots whenever it snowed. However, they were very uncomfortable to walk for any considerable distance in, and I really wanted something that I could wear while hiking through the snow out to my sledding hill.

I found some galoshes that fit perfectly over my tennis shoes. So, I was able to wear thick socks, my sneakers, and the galoshes, and I stayed very warm. I walked a couple of miles in the snow and didn't get any blisters or sore feet.

The galoshes had treads on the bottom, so I didn't slip around. I didn't go sliding down any hills until I was absolutely ready!

By wavy58 — On Mar 10, 2012

@julies - Galoshes with an interesting and colorful design certainly are fun to wear. I actually look forward to rainy days now and then, because it gives me a chance to match my wardrobe to my colorful galoshes.

I have a pair with a paisley print in pink and yellow. I have a sweater and a scarf that match the galoshes perfectly, and I usually only wear this outfit when I know I will be wearing my galoshes over my shoes.

I even accessorize to match them. My necklace and earrings will also be pink and yellow on the days I wear them.

By LisaLou — On Mar 09, 2012

I tried wearing waterproof galoshes over my dress shoes, but this just didn't work for me. Since they don't work very well with high heels, it was easier to just wear a pair of boots and carry my shoes with me.

The few times I tried to slip a pair of galoshes over my shoes, I felt like I was going to slip and fall down. I think I must have bought them a size too big. I was trying to get something big enough to go over my shoes, and yet still be snug on my feet.

I will say I was pleased at the styles and selection there were to choose from, and I like the look of the boots that go up the calf. Women sure have a lot more selections to choose from than men when it comes to galoshes.

Of course, most men probably aren't too interested in the fashion aspect of it anyway. The nice thing about overshoe galoshes is you can be as practical or fashionable as you choose to be.

By John57 — On Mar 09, 2012

I used to wear a separate pair of boots and carry my shoes with me on wet and rainy days. This became too much of a hassle, so I bought myself some rain galoshes.

I had a hard time finding boots that were really good at keeping my feet dry if it was raining very hard. The material the galoshes are made of are perfect for wet, rainy weather.

Another thing I like about them is they are so easy to clean off if they get muddy and dirty.

This has saved me a lot of money in ruined shoes.

I ordered these online, and got a matching pair for my two daughters. Now when it is raining outside, they love to put on their bright pink galoshes. They also got matching totes with their galoshes.

I won't say they now look forward to a rainy day, but at least they can wear something that cheers them up a bit.

By julies — On Mar 08, 2012

I probably wouldn't own a pair of galoshes if I didn't have to walk very far to work, or could park in a covered garage.

I am not that lucky, and have to walk several blocks to my office from where I park my car. This isn't so bad now that they have so many great styles of women's galoshes to choose from.

Years ago, you didn't have so many choices and they weren't much of a fashion statement - except one to avoid.

Usually when you have to wear galoshes, the weather isn't very nice. Because of this I have a pair of colorful, polka dot galoshes that always cheer me up when I put them on.

If I have to wear them to keep my feet dry, I might as well make the best of it.

By golf07 — On Mar 07, 2012

Whenever I think of rubber galoshes, I am always reminded of my dad. He is a pastor and always tries to dress up and look nice when he is visiting with people.

He has a simple pair of black galoshes that he has used for years. These are ankle length, and slip right over his dress shoes.

They are easy to take on and off and this really saves on the wear and tear on his good shoes. You never know what the weather is going to be like where we live. It changes quickly and often, so he always has his galoshes close by.

They get used all year long from snowy and slushy days in the winter to rainy days in the spring and summer.

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