Don’t Wear Rain Boots in Seattle and Other Rain Etiquette Tips

Rain boots and Seattle seem like a natural pair, right? Seattleites think less so. (Pardon the dust on my rain boots, it has been awhile!)

When I moved to Seattle in 2013, one of my first purchases was a pair of coveted Hunter rain boots. Living in San Francisco prior to our move, I always admired the chic women who wore the rain boots on their wet commutes to work. I could never justify buying them in California since our rainy days were rare, but I figured living in Seattle was the perfect excuse!

My first job in Seattle was at a major technology company where the dress code was very casual (think engineers in sweatpants and Crocs). I remember one rainy fall day I decided to wear my new Hunter rain boots to work. To my credit, I did have a wet commute walking down a hill to my bus stop, riding a damp bus, and traversing through puddles downtown to my office. However, I was less observant to what my fellow Seattleites deemed appropriate rain footwear, especially in the office.

The result of my rain boot decision was endless teasing at work that day. “Look, the Californian is wearing her rain boots. How cute!” “Is there a hurricane outside?” “Are you fishing after work?” The jesting went on like so. I had to laugh at myself, as I was bundled up for a huge storm while my colleagues were wearing regular shoes – flats, sneakers, even sandals! – despite the weather outside.

That’s when my education in Seattle rain etiquette began. For those moving here or just visiting, here are some tips on how Seattleites battle the endless rain:

  1. Rain boots are for monsoons only. See above.
  2. Same goes for umbrellas. Seriously, Seattleites barely use umbrellas – they prefer putting their hood up or just letting the rain fall on their head.
  3. Gortex and flannel is a uniform. There’s a reason REI is so popular here.  Patagonia, North Face, and Arc’Teryx have become my best friends.

Bottom line, you will get wet here. The good news is it doesn’t rain quite as much as people think (read my recent post separating fact from fiction on Seattle rain). Of course, you can always bundle up and ignore the judging looks – hey, a lady still wants to wear her rain boots from time to time!

What do you wear when it rains? Do you prefer to fight it or embrace it? Would love to hear!


4 thoughts on “Don’t Wear Rain Boots in Seattle and Other Rain Etiquette Tips”

  1. I disagree with the ‘no Hunters unless it is monsooning rule’, but I also sell boats for a living, so every day I am out in the monsoon… all day 🙂 No normal office life for me so I couldn’t tell you! I do totally hate having wet feet though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucky you to be outside all day! I think Hunters are way more justified in your case than in mine. It’s funny, in San Francisco everyone wears rain boots when it rains, no matter their job! Thank you for reading. 🙂


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