An otherwise delightful run through the rain can be ruined by wet feet. Soggy socks are uncomfortable, and moisture frequently causes friction, slippage, and blisters. However, you can seal out the rainy weather by lacing up in a pair of the best waterproof running shoes, regardless of whether you’re battling an unexpected storm, traversing a few residual puddles, or stomping through slush.
Although most running shoes have low-cut designs that make it difficult for moisture to enter, waterproof uppers are typically effective at keeping water out. Through the heel collar, water from errant splashes enters. Additionally, the same liner that prevents water from entering will impede the drainage process when looking for the best waterproof running shoes.
A pair of running shoes lined with Gore-Tex is analogous to a raincoat without a hood, even among the best waterproof running shoes. The jacket will function to some extent, but not as well as one that has a waterproof shroud. Since socks are excellent at absorbing water, the moisture will ultimately seep in. A side note: One approach to keep your feet dry is to wear a pair of waterproof socks.
Having a waterproof gaiter on increases the likelihood of being dry. However, because they don’t breathe well, waterproof gaiters are more comfortable in cooler climates. A waterproof running shoe keeps the wearer dry the entire time they are running unless they are talking about a half-marathon or longer in some of the best waterproof running shoes. Of course, we’re not referring to thunderstorm-caliber rain, in which case you ought to be indoors rather than drenched and uncomfortable.
Comparatively speaking, footwear with open mesh does a considerably worse job of repelling splashes than a waterproof shoe. What kind of waterproof shoes should you purchase now that we’ve made our case? That depends on the location of the runs. The solution is apparent if it’s off-road: purchase trail running shoes with a Gore-Tex membrane. There are also gaiter attachments placed on shoes like the Saucony Peregrine 13 and the New Balance Hierro V7 when looking for the best waterproof running shoes.
12. Saucony Endorphin Shift 3 RUNSHIELD
On a day when you are intended to run, you awaken to bitterly cold temperatures. However, there is no issue because you have Endorphin Shift 3 Rundshields. The water-resistant upper inhibits chill and the rockered form makes up for the initial stiffness in this shoe which is marketed as a recovery shoe for its maximal cushioning. The final stanza of Robert Frost’s poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, “And miles to go before I sleep / And miles to go before I sleep,” served as the inspiration for the winterized technology and some of the best waterproof running shoes.
11. Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex
Even though the Pegasus ‘Trail’ is the name of the shoe, it is really more of a road-trail hybrid. This waterproof running shoe performs just as well on icy roads as it does on unpaved areas, much like the Pegasus Trail 3 GTX. What style of shoe the Pegasus Trail is may be inferred from its gentle outsole design, comfy React midsole, and lack of a rock plate and gaiter point.
This shoe is best suited for non-technical surfaces and level trails. The Pegasus Trail 4’s softer shape and numerous lugs make it even less trail-worthy than the previous Pegasus Trail 3’s full-length rubber outsole. The shoe is adaptable enough for road use because the articulated outsole lugs don’t have deep lugs. The Pegasus Trail has the same level of riding comfort as a regular trainer thanks to its React foam core and replaceable insole and is one of the best waterproof running shoes.
10. Brooks Ghost 14 GTX
It makes more sense that this Brooks road shoe is dubbed the Ghost 14 GTX now that you know it is constructed with one of Gore-Tex Invisible Fit waterproof membranes glued to the top. The Ghost debuted in 2008 as a go-to neutral shoe, and even while running great distances, it has maintained its reputation for gentle support and smooth transitions. The footbed adapts to your individual stride thanks to improved DNA LOFT cushioning. It becomes more familiar with your feet as you log more miles and is one of the best waterproof running shoes.
9. Adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex
The Adidas Ultraboost 22 Gore-Tex version might be a hint that newer waterproof Adidas running shoes will soon be offered outside of the trail category. This is due to the fact that the majority of Adidas GTX models so far have been trail running shoes.
Gore-Tex versions of their standard road shoes, like the Ultraboost 22 in this case, were previously uncommon. No longer; the waterproof Ultraboost is offered in both male and female versions.
But there’s a drawback. Adidas charges an additional $30 compared to the road model. This makes it the most expensive waterproof shoe on this list, so only purchase if you are certain of the benefits. If you’re not familiar with Adidas’s lineup, the Ultraboost is the brand’s well-known all-purpose shoe and one of the best waterproof running shoes.
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8. Asics GT-2000 11 GTX
The GT-2000 11 is a shoe with a GORE-TEX membrane with Asics’ GEL technology in the forefoot and rearfoot, which functions as a springboard and a shock absorber during impact and toe-off. The tight design compresses the foot to lessen overpronation, and the cushioning Ortholite insole absorbs even powerful footstrikes as one of the best waterproof running shoes.
7. On On Cloudflyer Waterproof
The midsole and outsole of On shoes are made up of hollowed-out “CloudTec” components, which collapse to absorb impact and then instantly stiffen for a quick takeoff. This is one of the most unusual running shoe designs ever. Each “cloud” of the midsole is made to provide a smooth landing, a firm toe-off, and gentle guidance against overpronation without adding any more weight or thickness.
They were effective and comfortable for short to medium distances, according to our wear-testers. One tester praised the Cloudflyer’s ride, saying, “You get a quick turnover and springy liftoff. It’s up there with the best tempo shoes I’ve worn.” This model of the shoe has an upper that is completely wind- and waterproof yet still permits some airflow as one of the best waterproof running shoes.
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6. Asics Pulse 13 GTX
Okay, so the Pulse 13 G-TX costs $10 more than the 12. But it’s not for nothing; the $10 increase comes with a number of improvements. The Pulse 13 is nothing like the fairly plain-looking Pulse 12 G-TX.
The stitched overlays are no longer used in the newest Pulse 13 GTX. The overlays on the midfoot and heel are fused, as well as the toe bumper. Even the mesh feels and looks high-end; the Pulse 12’s standard upholstery has been replaced with a new ripstop fabric.
Along with some small performance improvements, the midsole gets a significant visual update. Visually, the ‘Amplifoam’ EVA midsole with the rearfoot visi-Gel is significantly better than the ’12’.
The Pulse 13 GTX is a fantastic value at its $110 suggested retail price as one of the best waterproof running shoes.
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5. Salomon Salomon Speedcross 5 GTX
You should be prepared for the wet, soupy terrain that lies ahead with the Speedcross 5 when the trail race forecast calls for hazardous weather and nonstop rain. The shoe can find traction almost everywhere because of its extensive network of deep, multidirectional lugs and, thanks to additional lugs projecting from the toe, even on a slippery slope.
A durable and responsive ride with lots of cushioning underfoot, especially at the heel, is offered by the high-rebound EnergyCell+ midsole. While the Gore-Tex fabric effectively shuts off rain and wind, an anti-debris mesh upper prevents small rocks from getting inside as one of the best waterproof running shoes.
4. Brooks Cascadia 16 GTX
The waterproof Cascadia is $30 more expensive than the non-waterproof Brooks Ghost 14 GTX.
The Brooks Cascadia 16 is a capable trail running shoe that will receive a significant redesign for 2022. The Cascadia 16 has undergone a complete redesign, which includes various performance-related improvements. The rock plate of the 16 has been transformed into a “ballistic rock shield” made of a flexible substance that increases mobility. Also helpful are the many grooves on the outsole to make for one of the best waterproof running shoes.
Instead of using a big hard plate, the midsole is flexible thanks to the articulated structure, which also shields the foot from pebbles and roots. Stick-shaped ‘Trailtack’ rubber outsoles have deep, widely spaced lugs that provide grip with little clogging.
The Cascadia 16 Gore-Tex may be more waterproof because there are gaiter attachment points on the heel and front. The practical advantages of the GTX variation are the same as those of the stock Cascadia, with the exception of the waterproof lining and the slightly modified upper materials. Much of the upper is covered in protective overlays, which serve as a moisture barrier. The fit profile of the toe box is flexible and cozy. However, the midfoot lockdown may have been improved. The midsole of the Cascadia 16 is made of modified DNA Loft foam by Brooks. Over the off-road terrain, the foam stack provides a stable and pleasant ride as one of the best waterproof running shoes.
3. Hoka Hoka Challenger ATX 6 Gore-Tex
The Challenger ATX 6 is a shoe that can easily go from road to trail thanks to its solid, well-cushioned midsole and grippy outsole with flattish 4mm lugs. In keeping with the Hoka name, the shoe offers a densely cushioned but light midsole, lots of firm cushioning, and just the right amount of give and softness to manage both rough pavement and lengthy trail runs.
Runners with wider feet rejoice: The shoe’s generous, comfortable fit and roomy toe box, which comes with a protective toe cover, invite all types of runners to take on all terrains. You don’t have to worry about the mud wetting your feet in the cold and wet thanks to a Gore-Tex fabric that battens down the hatches as one of the best waterproof running shoes.
2. Norda 001
The Norda 001, one of the lightest trail running shoes ever built, is produced by this new, specialized Canadian running company founded by longtime shoe industry veterans. It is made of ultra-strong bio-based Dyneema material, which is 15 times stronger than steel. Norda collaborated with Vibram Direct to develop an exclusive, supportive midsole with five-millimeter Vibram Megagrip lugs that span the unique outsole for traction and comfort as one of the best waterproof running shoes. Did we mention that a pair of men’s size 8.5 shoes only weighs 8.7 oz (247 g)?
1. Altra Altra Lone Peak 4 Low RSM
With all due respect, Gore-Tex is not the only company that produces membranes for clothing. This powerful trail runner from Altra is made of “eVent” waterproof fabric, which, like Gore-Tex, is intended to achieve that elusive balance between water resistance and breathability. The upper proved to be sturdy and extremely protective, with overlays to prevent the entry of rock particles.
The Lone Peak’s outsole, which features thick, diagonal lugs that extend from toe to heel and dig into the ground from every angle, is its greatest strength as one of the best waterproof running shoes. The moderate cushioning in the Lone Peak 4 is thinner and firmer than in earlier iterations, giving the shoe a more connected-to-the-trail sensation. If necessary, you can put the shoe’s optional stone guard into the insole to protect your feet from jagged rocks. For thru-hiking, Altra also makes shoes in a mid-height that rises above the ankle and is one of the best waterproof running shoes.
Picking the Best Waterproof Running Shoes
The majority of water-resistant running shoes contain protective overlays to keep out dirt and a water-repellent membrane or liner in the upper. The most well-known brand is Gore-Tex, which is intended to be permeable enough to let perspiration and heat escape as your feet warm up while also being water-resistant enough to keep out wind and rain.
Many runners will discover that this is a flawed method and that if the temperature rises beyond 65 degrees, the shoes become a sweat-fest. On colder days, however, as long as the mud doesn’t rise past the ankle, the waterproofing efficiently deflects wind, rain, and the rare plunge into a stream or deep slush.
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However, if a runner wants real water protection, they have other choices besides waterproof footwear. Also great in a drizzle are waterproof socks from companies like SealSkinz, DexShell, and Showers Pass. In order to avoid having water or rocks enter your shoes from above while jogging through a creek, trail running gaiters completely cover the tops of your shoes.
Both techniques work well to keep you dry and comfortable for an extended period of time, especially when worn in tandem with waterproof shoes. Just keep in mind that waterproof socks and gaiters share the same problems with breathability as waterproof shoes. In hot conditions, having damp feet with some airflow is frequently preferable to having sweat-soaked feet with no prospect of drainage or ventilation.