Best Waterproof Running Shoes
A little rain never hurt anyone, right? Wrong. Running in the rain, or through puddles, with the wrong pair of sneakers will not only cause discomfort to the runner, but it will also deteriorate the shoes quicker. With a pair of waterproof running shoes, you don’t need to worry about the fit that Mother Nature threw last night or the tears she may rain down on us today. With so many different technologies and protective coatings, it can be difficult to know what really works and what doesn’t. Check out our list to find a pair that will work best for your untraveled terrains.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Great for diverse terrain
Thick rubber on the heel for better traction
Features Gore-Tex technology
Top 10 Picks
1. Inov 8 Roclte 315
Great for diverse terrain
Thick rubber on the heel for better traction
Features Gore-Tex technology
Some claim the shoe runs narrow in the toe box
This may be as close to perfect as you can get. Everything that a runner needs a pair of shoes to achieve, the Roclite 315 Shoes does with flying colors. Not to mention, it utilizes Gore-Tex technology which is one of the finest in the world today.Read more
Utilizing Gore-Tex and Rip-Tek technology on the upper section of these shoes, Inov 8 is able to achieve a waterproof exterior. One in which water cannot penetrate through the exterior to dampen your feet.
With the Power Flow system, there is an adequate amount of cushioning. In addition, the synthetic lining adds further comfort on the trails. Finally, it also provides impact protection underneath your feet.
For you to be able to have the best grip and traction on icy and wet surfaces as possible, multi-directional cleats shaped like claws rock climbing rubber have been integrated on the outsole. Also, to increase the propulsion efficiency, the fascia band replicates the plantar fascia ligament.
Overall, Inov designed their Roclite 315 Shoes to be highly breathable with Gore-Tex technology. It is infamously known for delivering waterproofness but it is also a breathable membrane.
Each gender has different sizing options, but both the men’s and women’s version available in combinations of black, brown, teal, and red.
Oddly enough, the only minor gripe present with these shoes is that they run slightly narrow in the toe area. However, this is a minor issue and can is less noticeable when the shoe is broken in. You don't want to pass on the sheer amount of remarkable craftsmanship here.
2. Adidas Terrex Trailmaker
The upper portion is welded for protection against abrasions
The speed lacing system allows for quick and easy adjustments
Features outsole has continental rubber for a great amount of traction and grip
Tends to be a bit narrow
The Trailmaker GTX Running Shoes from Adidas are the first on this list to succumb to a very common issue. This “issue” is narrowness and this can come into play if you have wider feet. However, as its placement indicates, that does not prevent them from being elite.Read more
Adidas decided to integrate Gore-Tex technology into these shoes and focused it with their insert. This will deliver you with tremendous protection from all the elements and prevent water from being an issue.
Besides its narrowness, which can be uncomfortable if it does not fit properly, the EVA midsole does provide enough cushioning to satisfy most.
Being inspired by the baron tire, the outsole on the Trailmaker GTX Shoe features an extraordinary amount of grip and innovative lug design.
Both the EVA midsole, which is very lightweight, and the Gore-Tex technology aid tremendously with the breathability. Even with other technologies, breathability is never going to be a concern (granted that you properly maintain the shoes).
For women, you can choose between 6.5 and 9 for sizes and a lone color of red, black and white. However, men can choose from steel, black, and lime, black and gray, and yellow, black and white.
Right away, there should be a familiarity with Adidas. They are one of the most popular shoe brands in the world and that immediately informs you that the designers know what they are doing. It certainly shows here.
3. Salomon Speedcross 4
An integrated lace pocket keeps the laces tucked away
An injected-EVA midsole adds an additional amount of cushioning
To keep outside debris out, the tongue is gusseted
Not the best breathability
They can run a little narrow
In terms of pure comfort and enjoyability, it is hard to achieve better than what Salomon achieves with their Speedcross 4. Available for both men and women with a wide range of sizes, everyone should be able to find a size that suits them best.Read more
The water-resistant, synthetic upper materials utilized in the Speedcross 4 allow your feet to remain dry no matter the inclement weather outdoors or what you step into.
Many comfort features are at play such as high energizing cushioning, synthetic linings for a superior “step-in” feel and Sensifit technology that ensures the fit is as snug as possible without being too tight.
Thanks to the Contagrip outsole, which is crafted from rubber, you have a superb amount of traction on wet and slippery surfaces. Also assisting with this is the aggressive lug pattern.
Unfortunately, because of the anti-debris mesh, the overall breathability is hampered a little bit. While it is not suffocating, it is something that you may want to keep in mind.
Both men and women have several sizing options to choose from (men from 7 to 14 and women from 5 to 12). For colors, there are a plethora of options for both which include blue and black, scarlet, green, orange, virtual pink, blue and orange, etc.
The breathability may not be the best and narrowness comes back into play, but it can’t be overstated enough how impressive the comfort and stability are with the Speedcross 4 shoes.
4. Salomon XA 3D GTX
The textile is water-resistant
The Contagrip outsole has terrific traction on multiple terrains
Features an excellent lacing system
Maybe a little too stiff
A little heavier than other running shoes
Boy, it did not take long for Salomon to make another appearance? Their XA Pro Running Shoes do not possess the breathability issues of their Speedcross4, but a bit of over-stiffness and weightiness prevent it from climbing any higher.Read more
With its water-resistant textile and synthetic linings, water will be kept at bay and moisture will be wicked away. Both of which will aid in keeping your feet dry during runs.
Cushioning and foot protection are clearly at the forefront here. There are plenty of features including a thermoplastic urethane overlay that keeps your heels down, heel caps for foot protection, an EVA midsole with extra cushioning and a contoured Ortholite footbed for underfoot comfort. But, for some, they may be a little too stiff.
Besides the Contagrip rubber outsole which delivers excellent traction on slippery surfaces, the low-profile chassis between the midsole and outsole provides a stable and responsive experience.
Mesh upper sections have been implemented here to enhance the amount of ventilation and breathability that your feet experience.
Again, available for both men and women, each gender has a plethora of size options to select from. Color-wise, women have a few more options than men including red and black, shadow, blue and light blue, and yellow and purple.
At times, due to the weight, you may feel as if your feet want to drag on the pavement. Granted, it does not feel like cement is inside them, but they are a little heavy. However, weight is the price you pay here if you want to enjoy superb water-resistance and breathability.
5. Adidas Kanadia 7
Great color options
Run a 1/2 size small
This is the seventh version of the Kanadia and it has undergone great improvements each step of the way. Among the years, the traction, overall comfort, and weather resistance of this shoe have been improved. The Kanadia 7 has a Gore-Tex layer, making it fully waterproof. In addition, we love the color options and overall look of this shoe.Read more
Have you noticed a trend yet? Gore-Tex seems to be the industry leader for waterproofing gear. These shoes feature a Gore-Tex lining that provides great weather protection. These shoes are fully waterproof and can be dragged through the mud and puddles. One downside, however, is that if the time comes that you puncture the lining, there is no longer anything waterproof about the shoes.
The midsole of the Kanadia 7 is equipped with EVA cushioning which provides optimal comfort and absorbs shock. One common complaint from reviewers is the fact that the shoes are a bit stiff. It is most likely caused by the waterproof element and it would be difficult to achieve such great weather resistance and flexibility at the same time. However, at the same time, many reviewers are pleased with the overall comfort of the shoes. They weigh about 12.7-ounces and have a heel loop to make putting them on easier.
The breathability of these shoes is decent. The upper is made from mesh and synthetic materials and the shoes also feature a mesh sock liner. This added touch of breathability adds comfort and also prevents bacteria build up inside the shoes.
The Kanadia 7 shines in terms of stability. The Traxion rubber outsole has a diamond-shaped pattern that provides excellent traction when going up or downhill. The synthetic overlays hug the foot, also providing a great feeling of stability. These shoes feature minimal arch support, have a drop of 11mm, and a great option for heel strikers.
This is a great looking shoe! Each style features a three-color color scheme, including front runners of green, gray, blue, and black. It is a great option for running in the rainy season or for travel. It has been noted by many that the shoes tend to run a ½ or whole size larger than normal.
If you'll be running through or in rain or snow and want to look good doing it, this shoe is a great option. We would have liked to see a bit more breathability incorporated but we are pleased overall with the performance of this shoe.
6. SCARPA Neutron GTX
Minimal break-in period
Vibram outsole with 5.5mm lugs
TPU rock protection at toe and heel
Offer great protection
The heel is wider than the toes
Minimal color options
Tend to run a size too small
The Neutron GTX offers great foot protection and is great for many different terrains. It features a Gore-Tex lining that will keep your feet protected from snow and rain. The shoes are paired with an extremely rugged Vibram sole that provides impressive grip on almost any terrain.Read more
Similar to many of the shoes on this list, the Neutron also features a Gore-Tex lining. This lining is durable and comfortable. The Gore-Tex lining allows you to travel through rain, puddles, slush, and snow without worry.
Most reviewers agree that these shoes offer great comfort and protection. The EVA midsole is well cushioned and easily absorbs shock. They feature a traditional lace-up closure which allows you to control the overall fit of the shoe. They have a minimal drop of 6mm and weigh about 8.8-ounces per shoe. The thick tongue and tightly woven mesh do a great job at protecting your feet and keeping out debris.
While the weather resistance of these shoes steals the shoe, they are also comfortably breathable. The polyester mesh upper is finished with synthetic leather and offers enough breathability to keep you comfortable on a humid day.
With a Vibram Genetic Megagrip, you’ll feel confident with each step you take in these shoes. The sole has an intricate design and 5.5mm lugs to ensure great stability and traction. The inner construction of the shoes hugs your arches and the synthetic cage of the shoe holds your foot in place. Another great feature that we love is the TPU rock protection present at the heel and toe of these shoes.
Unfortunately, these shoes are only available in one color at the moment. It is a blue color with coral accents. It is a nice looking style, but may not be ideal for everyone, nor is it very neutral. It should also be noted that this shoe tends to run about one size too small.
These shoes are built for rugged terrain. Whether you know the trail or not, this is a great pair of shoes to explore with. However, if you are trying to blend into your surroundings, that would be nearly impossible with this brightly colored shoe.
7. Brooks Ghost 10
The outsole uses blown rubber for a long-lasting wear
To reduce irritation, the sockliner increases the comfort
Segmented crash pad adds further cushioning
Could be too soft for some people and not stiff enough
Yet another manufacturer utilizes Gore-Tex technology in their running shoes and it should be becoming clear to you that it is the way to go. Of course, an ample amount of comfort and stability also do not hurt.Read more
For all-weather performance, even the wicking away of moisture, these shoes have a Gore-Tex membrane that will hold up against the cruelest of conditions.
To protect your feet from sudden impacts, BioMoGod DNA technology will absorb as much of the blow as possible. Also, both Cushsole technology and a segmented crash pad add interior comfortability.
When talking about gait efficiency, it is worth noting that the omega flex grooves vastly improve flexibility. As far as stability and traction, there are deep flex grooves on the outsole of the shoes.
To make it as lightweight as possible, all forefoot overlays have been removed. Of course, as you now know, the Gore-Tex membrane also assists in breathability.
Very few options are available, no matter your gender, as men can select from sizes 11 and 12 (with a black and lime color) and women from 5 to 6.5 (with a color of silver and pink).
Quality, quality, and more quality. That is all you see here, so why is it so low? First off, the competition is beyond fierce and second, some may prefer a firmer and wider pair of shoes.
8. Adidas Terrex Swift
For added durability, there are TPU overlays
An excellent speed lacing system
Features a durable ripstop upper section
Not a significant amount of padding
Spoiler alert, as great as these last three are they are not quite up to par with the first seven. While this is pretty self-explanatory, it is still worth noting. Still, however, these Terrex shoes from Adidas have enough quality to warrant a look.Read more
With the greatness of Gore-Tex technology, the lining has been made to be completely waterproof. In times where you are running in the rain, this will become useful quickly.
Even though there is cushioning that will assist in impact absorption, comfort is a huge caveat here. Overall, there is not a whole lot of padding and the sole leaves a lot to be desired.
Comfort may be an issue, but stability is most certainly not. A rubber outsole with an immense amount of traction allows you to maintain grip in the wettest of conditions.
Past the Gore-Tex technology, the ripstop mesh upper does a fantastic job of maintaining a breathable membrane.
Without going into too much detail, the options are aplenty here for both men and women. This includes colors with choices for gray and black, black and orange, black and yellow, among others.
Unfortunately, one of the most vitally important areas is lacking here. This could be enough to steer you in a different direction, but justifying its appearance on this list is its breathability, waterproofness, and traction.
9. La Sportiva Wildcat
Manages shocks and impacts nicelyFeatures full mesh uppers for great breathability
Integrates Gore-Tex fabric to keep water at bay
Cushioning underneath the feet is an issue
Reviewers have complained that the shoes are too narrow
While this next running shoe could you use a little more cushioning underneath your feet, it still manages to obtain excellent waterproofness and enough shock absorption to prevent serious injuries.Read more
Again, with Gore-Tex fabric, you are guaranteed to be kept dry no matter the inclement weather outdoors. Thus, making them ideal for both summer and winter.
A layer of a nylon molded flex and cushioning provide enough shock absorption to prevent serious injuries to your feet. But, underneath your foot, there definitely should have been further padding.
An aggressive outsole maintains an exceptional amount of grip and allows you to stop on a dime in instances where you need to. No matter if you are on uneven ground or slippery terrain, you should have enough stability to stay on your feet.
With vented AirMesh uppers, when you run on warmer days there is enough ventilation to prevent overheating. Even in colder climates, moisture is properly controlled to enhance the breathability.
While some of the sizes are listed in Euros, there are many there for both men and women. However, each gender has one specific color (red and gray for women and black and blue for men).
There is simply too much-done right to ignore, but the little that is done wrong (not enough padding underneath) hinders the overall quality. But, not too much to disqualify it from being a thumbs up.
10. La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX
Highly water protective
Seriously good surface grip
An expensive shoe which will require you to invest and trust the product
Waterproof protection is taken to the highest performance in combination with protection, grip, and stability. Here is the splendid La Sportiva Men Crossover 2.0 GTX Mountain Running Shoe. An innovative Gore/Tex high-performance shoe with a very protective integrated gaiter, built for off-road running in cold wet winter months. A technically designed shoe which ensures consistent top protective performance with a seriously high performing surface grip factor, this is due to the crafted-in Grip Zone from AT. Snow, hail, icy surfaces and wet mush, this shoe is up for the challenge and will perform when you expect good reliable performance.Read more
This shoe has top durable waterproofness, you can even place it in a washbasin fully submerged to clean it and the shoe will keep its protective integrity. Wherever you run in snowy and wet conditions, the material construction of the shoe working in conjunction with the gaiter will protect you from the wet and cold.
Comfort results from the cushion and stabilizing FIT and this shoe meet this criterion in abundance. The design of the shoe lets it contour itself to the shape of your foot for a consistent snug, secure, waterproofing and stabilizing FIT
Very protective, the integrated gaiter system not only ups the level of protection against water it also lends favorably towards the over the stability of the shoe structure. The gaiter has more useful features in that it gives protection for the ankles. The internal lacing is designed to contribute towards outstanding stabilizing efficiency.
The weaved synthetic materials used for the construction of the upper ensure that moisture can exit but inhibits the entry of water.
Available for both ladies and men runners, the option of choices is limited but the shoe style and protective performance is highly impressive.
This is a top shoe for runners to use on trails or in the mountains when the weather conditions are hostile, cold, wet and challenging. The features designed into the shoe take protection to a higher level in comparison to the design of the standard running shoe.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It is only fitting that a guide that is centered upon waterproof running shoes would begin with analyzing the waterproof technology that goes into them. After all, if you are taking the time to invest in this type of running shoes, then it is wholeheartedly because of their waterproof nature. Honestly, however, you could simply rename this section too, “do the shoes integrate Gore-Tex technology to achieve their waterproofness?” There may not be another technology in the world of waterproofness that is more efficient and advanced as Gore-Tex.
The makers of this material, Gore, backup any products that utilize their Gore-Tex with a Guaranteed to Keep You Dry promise. Simply put, if you notice that running shoes integrate this technology then you are guaranteed a waterproof shoe.
However, not every single pair of running shoes that secured a spot on this list utilize
Gore-Tex. That is okay as it is not the only membrane in the world that provides protection against the elements. Granted that the running shoes have some sort of shell, membrane, or coating to create a waterproof shield you should be good to go.
Running surely is not the easiest activity in the world. In fact, it can put loads of pressure on your body and cause terribly aching pains to your feet if you do not have a good pair of running shoes on. Their ability to repel water is one thing, but comfort is an entirely different beast altogether. When it comes down to it, there are two huge factors to take into consideration.
Firstly, is the amount of cushioning and padding that is designed into the shoes. For example, analyze how much cushion is present on the EVA midsole and also the insoles. There may also be a Gel technology integrated, which is tremendous for comfort.
Secondly, you need to pay attention to shock absorption. No matter how comfortable a pair of running shoes are, they can cause aching pains to your feet if they do not absorb an impact when your feet land on the ground. If you happen to fall from a great distance, this will not help too much. But, during a run, your feet will make a heavy and instant impact on the ground frequently. Shock absorption technology can aid tremendously in alleviating this pain.
On a given afternoon, you never know what kind of terrain you will be running on. In addition, the weather may tamper with your plans by spitting rain or dropping snow. In either one of these scenarios, you will want a pair of running shoes that provide you with a superb amount of stability and traction. The traction you receive is solely dependent on the design of the outsole.
For example, if the outsole is designed with deep flex grooves, an aggressive lug pattern, or with rubber (or any combination of the three) there is a strong likelihood that no matter the terrain you are traversing on, you will have enough traction to run on it. Efficiency, on the other hand, is a little different and is mostly focused on gait efficiency.
Runners should know what this term means, but if you do not, a gait (or human gait) is the locomotion that is achieved through the movement of your limbs. In running, an efficient gate can translate into faster and superior running. Thus, you may see manufacturers implement specific design features to enhance the efficiency of your gait.
As runners know, running is not a seasonal activity and can be done at any time in any climate. In bitter cold climates, you will probably not be too concerned with overheating but this can come into play for evaporating the perspiration caused by your feet.
But, this will also come to the forefront in instances where you are running in the blistering heat. During the entirety of this list, you heard it several times but it cannot be overstated enough. Not only does Gore-Tex technology aid in waterproofness it is also a highly breathable membrane. It optimizes breathability so your feet do not feel clammy and evaporates excess moisture.
However, there are also additional design integrations that can be made to achieve an optimal amount of breathability. As a great example, how about mesh upper sections? With mesh, the ventilation is enhanced and your toes will not feel trapped. Also, keeping the shoes as lightweight as possible can play a huge factor.
Besides all their design integrations and various technologies, probably the best aspect of all these running shoes is there are typically versions for both men and women. This way, no one is left out and everyone can enjoy. That is, as long as the seller provides you with the size option that suits you best.
There is not much you can do otherwise, so be sure to take that into consideration. As far as color, it may not be as important as size but everyone has a different way of expressing themselves. When expressing oneself, style is often at the forefront. No matter how masterfully a pair of shoes is crafted, they may not suit you if the color options appall you.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
With every new pair of shoes that you ever own, there is going to be a break-in period unless the designers use a specific technology to avoid it. But, just expect the first few runs to be a little stiff. Hence, it does not take a doctor or physical therapist to inform you that you should keep your runs shorter than usual when first breaking in a new pair of shoes. So, for the first few times that you go out for a run, be sure to make it less than five or six miles. If you push it, you may risk injury to your feet.
As we all know, puddles splash. Even if your shoes are waterproof, the rest of your outfit could get wet from splashing. To make this less of an annoyance, you may want to invest in waterproof socks or pants. Aside from this, if the weather permits, you could also wear shorts while running in wet terrain.
Other Factors to Consider
The durability of a shoe is always something to keep in mind, as well. With this specific type of shoe, we have two different durabilities to look at. The durability of the shoe overall and the durability of waterproof technologies used. To start with, the durability of a running shoe depends on a few different factors but typically comes down to the materials used, especially in the sole of the shoe.
As a general rule, most running shoes have a life of about 400 miles. This would mean that if you run two miles a day, or 60 a month, the shoes would last you about seven months. It is good to be realistic and keep this in mind while shopping. Consider if quality, price, or longevity is more important to you, however, many times these features go hand in hand. As far as the durability of the waterproofing element, this varies. Many shoes are finished with a Gore-Tex treatment, which is quite durable. As long as you follow washing, drying, and general care instructions, this treatment will outlast your shoes.
Other shoes combine a blend of synthetic and textile fabrics that are naturally waterproof. In some cases, the waterproof coating of a shoe can “wash-off” or simply stop functioning as well as before. In this case, you can buy a treatment that you either wash or spray on to the shoes. If you run often, the soles of your shoes are more likely to die before the waterproofing treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do you clean this type of running shoe?
Before this question is answered, it is worth noting that this method is intended for Gore-Tex material. However, it will still suffice for other types of waterproof running shoes. Anyway, getting that small disclaimer out of the way, here is how you should clean your shoes. Thankfully, the process is very simple and all you really need to do is clean the exterior of the shoes with a brush or a cloth in conjunction with lukewarm water. If the manufacturer recommends any other sort of treatment method, you can abide by that as well.
However, especially with Gore-Tex, you should never apply bleach to the shoes as that can damage the coating. As far as the inside, simply shake away excess dirt and gravel that happens to be inside. When you are content, allow them to air dry in moderate temperatures. But, do try to avoid direct heat.
q: How often should you wash your running shoes?
You now know how to wash these types of shoes, but how frequently should you do so? Honestly, most of the time it is merely personal preference. But, it is worth noting that excess dirt and debris can negatively affect the performance of the waterproofing of your shoes. Dirt does attract moisture so riding the shoes of it is ideal.
However, when running in the summer, you may find it necessary to wash them weekly. With raging hot temperatures outside, on long runs, your shoes are most likely going to come back sweaty and appalling. At times, they can have a vomit-inducing smell that is unbearable.
For the most part, just do yourself and others a favor and when your shoes begin to smell like death itself, take the time to clean them. Of course, if you notice your shoes are not repelling water as well as they should it is time to wash them.
q: Should you wear running shoes for fitness walking?
This question is not necessarily focused on the waterproofing aspect of shoes, but rather the running shoes themselves. The answer to this question may surprise you a bit but wearing running shoes for fitness walking is more ideal than wearing walking shoes. But, when you break it down it becomes clear why this is the case.
Think about it for a second, is there much difference in fitness walking and running? Outside of the speed, both activities force your feet to need proper flexing, support, and impact absorption as they are constantly causing force.
But, why would not walking shoes suffice, then? Most walking shoes, generalizing them for a minute, are strictly designed to provide you comfort in work areas. While this is great, they do not feature the support and flexibility that most running shoes do (which aids in fitness walking).
q: Is there a life expectancy to Gore-Tex?
Given that Gore-Tex is plastered all over this list, it deserves its own question here. Gore, the makers of the fantastic technology, have a frequently asked questions section of their webpage and they address this question that pertains to the life expectancy of their Gore-Tex membrane. As they state on their website, the Gore-Tex membrane itself is not going to deteriorate over time so there are no worries there.
However, as long as you take proper care of the shoes, they will last over time (this means not abusing them and cleaning them when dirt has taken over the outside affecting the performance). But, just because of this, as will soon be addressed, this does not insinuate that the running shoes are going to last you forever.
q: How often should you replace your running shoes?
Alright, so the waterproofness (specifically with Gore-Tex) is not going to deteriorate over time. Though, the same statement cannot be uttered for the running shoes themselves. Over their shelf life, your running shoes will take more abuse than probably anything that you own. Through no fault of your own, they make contact with rugged and tough terrains throughout the entirety of their lifetime. But, the specific shelf life will vary from person to person as certain dynamics (such as weight and foot strike) play a role.
Instead of placing a timetable on when you should replace them, analyze a few areas to determine if it is time. Firstly, run your thumb over the midsole to conclude how much cushioning has been worn out. If it does not compress very much when you push it down, the cushion has faded. Another area you can test is your feet.
After runs, do they tend to hurt more than they used to? If so, get your wallet out. Lastly, you can simply compare an old pair of running shoes with a new pair to see if they are vastly superior in comfort (granted your original shoes were comfortable, to begin with).