Best Waterproof Running Shoes
Running gurus are not going to let a little rain or drops of snowflakes prevent them from doing what they love to do the most. Any runner will tell you that perhaps the number one most important gear to prioritize is shoes. The quicker your feet succumb to pain and discomfort, the quicker you will want to retire and quit running forever. So, to combine the best of both worlds, manufacturers all around the globe provide you with waterproof running shoes. As you will soon find out with the best of the best, these types of shoes offer all kinds of luxuries from impeccable comfort to terrific traction on icy surfaces.
- Inov 8 GTX
- Wide toe box
- Comfortable footbed
- Adidas Trailmaker
- Speed lacing system
- Great traction
- Salomon Speedcross 4
- Integrated lace pocket
- EVA midsole
10 Best Waterproof Running Shoes
Inov 8 GTX
Utilizing Gore-Tex technology on the upper section of these shoes, Inov is able to achieve a waterproof exterior. One in which water cannot penetrate through the exterior to dampen your feet.
With the 3 Arrow SHOC-ZONE 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.
Stability and Efficiency
For you to be able to have the best grip and traction on icy and wet surfaces as possible, rock climbing rubber technology has been integrated on the outsole. Also, to increase the propulsion efficiency, the fascia band replicates the plantar fascia ligament.
Overall, Inov designed their Roclite 282 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 have a black and gray color design.
Oddly enough, the only minor gripe present with these shoes is that there may be too much room inside. However, ordering a size down can easily accommodate for this minor issue which is a huge plus as you would not want to pass on the sheer amount of remarkable craftsmanship here.
- Features a wider toe box for a standard fit
- The 6mm footbed adapts to a better range of motion
- The meta-flex groove provides additional protection while running
- There may be a little too much room inside
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.
Stability and Efficiency
Being inspired by the baron tire, the outsole on the Trailmaker GTX Shoe features an extraordinary amount of grip and an 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. But, for sizes, 9, 11.5, 12, and 13 are available.
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.
- 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
Salomon Speedcross 4
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.
Stability and Efficiency
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.
- 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
Salomon XA 3D GTX
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. Present are 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.
Stability and Efficiency
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.
- 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
Under Armour GTX
With a boot construction of Gore-Tex, you are promised a membrane that is 100 percent waterproof. However, there is also a suitable amount of protection against other elements as these shoes are windproof, as well.
A charged cushioning midsole is the most notable feature when it alludes to comfort as it absorbs impacts to lessen the blow on your feet. Plus, the foam craftsmanship that surrounds your feet adds additional comfort.
Stability and Efficiency
Under Armour went with a Michelin outsole which not only is an excellent compound for traction on different types of terrain but also manages to shed outdoor debris.
Again, the Gore-Tex technology is the catalyst to not only the waterproofness but also the exquisite breathability. Why else do you think it is one of the most efficient technologies in the world?
Women are a bit limited here, at least on Amazon, with one size (8) and color (steel and white) option. But, men have a little more leeway with sizes from 8 to 13 and colors such as black, black and steel, and camo and black.
The best word to describe these shoes, or boots, is rugged. A moment of applause should go out to the impeccable craftsmanship that is executed here. If Under Armour would have designed them to be a little wider and larger, then they may have landed on the top of this list.
- Welded synthetic overlays ensure a great deal of resistance to abrasions
- A Boa lacing system allows for a fast and easy adjustment
- Integrated anti-fungal fibers reduce the amount of fungus and odor
- Could have been designed wider
- May want to order a size up as they run a little small
Asics Gel Cumulus
With a Gore-Tex upper, the interior is both waterproof and breathable. However, the removable sockliner also manages to wick away moisture to add further aiding to waterproofness.
During heavy impacts and forces, the implemented design will alleviate a majority of it. Besides this, there is also integrated Gel technology to deliver an ample amount of cushioning and comfort.
Stability and Efficiency
For enhanced gait efficiency, Guidance Line technology has been designed into the shoes. In addition, the snow rubber outsole is temperature-resistant and enhances the overall traction in wet conditions.
As the upper utilizes Gore-Tex technology, it remains breathable enough to prevent your feet from overheating on hot, summer runs.
Men have the options for sizes 6, 14 and 15. Women, on the other hand, can select either 5, 5.5, 11.5, or 13. Meanwhile, for the color scheme, the men’s version is black and blue and the women’s is plum and flash yellow.
It is almost a guaranteed success when you see Gore-Tex technology and here it is no different. If you take away the issues of the tight toe box and small nature, everything else makes this a no-brainer.
- The eyelets manage to disperse the tension provided from the laces
- Includes a snow rubber outsole that adds traction on slippery surfaces
- Utilizes Gore-Tex technology
- The toe box is a little tight
- They tend to run a little small
Brooks Ghost 9
For an 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.
Stability and Efficiency
When talking about gait efficiency, it is worth noting that the omega flex grooves vastly improve the 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.
- 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
- Runs narrow
Adidas Terrex Swift
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.
Stability and Efficiency
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.
- For added durability, there are TPU overlays
- Excellent speed lacing system
- Features a durable ripstop upper section
- Not a significant amount of padding
La Sportiva Wildcat
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.
Stability and Efficiency
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 EU, 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.
- Manages shocks and impacts nicely
- Features 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
Altra Lone Peak 3
The fabric and shell that is utilized to achieve the Lone Peak 3’s waterproofness is a NeoShell. No matter if you are traversing through rain or snow, this shell will keep your feet both warm and dry for the entirety of the trip.
Both the midsole and outsole contribute to providing enough support to ensure a natural feel. In addition, the 5mm footbed aids in comfort as it adds an appropriate amount of cushioning.
Stability and Efficiency
For the most part, the overall design of the outsole is capable of providing traction and grip on all kinds of surfaces. Though, it does not tackle deep mud or rocky terrain very well.
There are not too many factors to add additional weight, but breathability remains an issue. As opposed to prior models from Altra, this design area is slightly flawed and not too impressive.
A lot of credit must be given to Altra here as they provide plenty of design options for both men and women alike. The colors vary quite a bit and the sizes range from 5.5 to 15 (with men’s starting at 7 and women’s ending at 12).
While not too flashy, there is enough greatness here to hold up well against the competition. To be honest, if you have secured a spot on a top 10 list than you have done something.
- Convenient hook-and-loop tabs provide an attachment point for gaiters
- The footbed adds a sufficient amount of padding
- Great amount of seller options
- Breathability is not the best
- Durability of the outsole and upper has been an issue
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
The Waterproofness Technology that is Integrated
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 waterproof running shoes, then it is wholeheartedly because of their waterproof nature. Honestly, however, you could simply rename this section to, “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.
How Comfortable They Are to Wear
Running is surely 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 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.
The Stability and Efficiency of the Shoes
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.
If They Hamper the Breathing of Your Feet
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 over 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.
The Size and Color Options Available for Both Men and Women
Besides all their design integrations and various technologies, probably the best aspect of all these waterproof running shoes is there are 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.
Q: How Do You Clean Waterproof Running Shoes?
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 waterproof running 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 Waterproof 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 workplace 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 than it 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).
Q: Is There a Break-In Period With Running Shoes?
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.
Waterproof running shoes are undoubtedly a luxury to own and they provide further conveniences past their waterproof nature. As you know now, many offer immense comfort, exceptional breathability, and enough traction on slippery terrains to keep you upright. Now, the ball is in your court.