5 Best Waterproof Running Shoes Compared & Reviewed

Last Updated: November 3, 2020

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Ah, the calming noises of rain. Sunday mornings where the drops trickle down your window and you can’t be bothered to get up, but alas, if you’re on a running program like I am, you still do.

Despite your urges to stay inside because of the rain, you know running is still possible. After all, a little drizzle won’t hurt. Another excuse pops into your head: the roads are slippery. Surely, that’s a safety hazard. I don’t want to fall flat on my face!

Well, shoe technology has developed, and your excuses mean nothing anymore! A little fall of rain can hardly hurt you now, and you might even find the rain to be soothing as you log in those miles.

Not only do you need shoes that will keep up with the slippery roads, but you don’t want your feet to smell like a wet sock after running. Waterproof running shoes will help keep your feet dry and happy.

Different people need different types of shoes, though. Some waterproof running shoes might just be too out there for your preferences. Trail running shoes tend to be recommended a lot, and if you don’t go through difficult terrain, you might just want a pair of running shoes that will get you through this weather. 

Some people even tend to opt for trail running gaiters, although these won’t exactly give you full waterproof protection.

Nevertheless, I have listed down the best waterproof running shoes out there in the market. No matter what your preferences are, you are bound to find a pair that is perfect for your typical run, whether it be on a slippery road or on muddy terrain.

Best Waterproof Running Shoes Compared and Reviewed

#1 - Salomon Speedcross 4 GORE-TEX Trail Running Shoes

Salomon tops the list with the Speedcross 4 GORE-TEX Trail Running Shoes, and with good reason. Not only does it have great features that can keep your feet dry and your running shoes but it also elevates the basic features of a running shoe.

This lightweight shoe is not to be underestimated, as it can get you through virtually any soft trails you might imagine. Its aggressive grip is because of its technology Contagrip, which mixes different densities of material for a lightweight sole but strong grip, which you need especially in the rain.

Salomon knows how rocky things might get and how muddy the road might be, so it has features to address both of those things. Its Mud Guard helps your feet stay squeaky clean, and its anti-debris mesh prevents those little pebbles from coming into your shoe. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

Tired of getting too intense with your runs that your shoelaces keep untying themselves? I am way too tired to keep bending down to do that, so the Quicklace technology that Salomon has is such a lifesaver for me. All you need to do is to pull the loop up to tighten the laces, and there you go.

Lastly, the reason you’re here in the first place: its waterproof feature. The Gore-Tex technology that it uses is integrated into your shoe so that your feet keep dry. It is built in such a way that your feet can still breathe, though.

I told you this was no shoe to underestimate. You might want to do some more research, though, as a lot of the negative reviews include sore feet and tight shoes. However, some users also claim that this pair needs a break-in period, so it isn’t much to worry about.

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#2 - Salomon Sense Ride 2 GTX Invisible Fit Trail Running

Salomon is here again, and I promise I’m not biased! I just really love how the Salomon brings the waterproof running shoe to a whole new level, and the Sense Ride 2 GTX Invisible Fit Trail Running makes running such an enjoyable experience.

This shoe fits like a sock. It is designed for both comfort and confidence that your shoe stays on even as you go through slippery terrain. You won’t go slipping in the rain, too, as its famous Contagrip technology keeps you stable on the ground without a worry.

Not only are you staying flat on the ground, but you’ll also stay dry! Its Gore-Tex Invisible Fit Technology keeps your feet happy and dry. No more after rain foot smell like I know all too well.

Despite its waterproof ability, it doesn’t keep your feet too suffocated. True to its name, the Invisible Fit makes sure the Gore-Tex technology doesn’t get in the way of your comfort; it keeps the shoe breathable with almost like a mesh feels.

Although this shoe fits perfectly for a lot and stays comfortable as you run, if you have wide feet, you might want to look for another shoe. This has a bit of a narrower shoe than other Salomon shoes and will have little wiggle room.

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#3 - Brooks Ghost 12 GTX

Some runners choose comfort over anything else, and I definitely understand that. Getting shoes that are too stiff and hard will definitely cause some blisters in the long run (mind the pun). The Brooks Ghost 12 GTX is a great option for those looking for comfortable waterproof running shoes.

Just by the looks of it, you already see the extra cushioning of the shoe, especially near the ankle with the plush tongue and collar. Inside, it has a removable foam insole that can help your feet stay comfortable even as you push it to its limits. Even along the sides of the shoe, you get a soft fabric lining.

Multiple versions of this shoe ought to tell you that Brooks probably has this down by now, and its outsole is no exception. The grip will keep you logging miles even as the rain pours and the roads get more slippery.

No worries about getting wet socks; the Gore-Tex technology takes care of it. It is a waterproof membrane that keeps your shoe dry but breathable.

Users are giving mixed reviews. Though the majority of them agree that this is a comfortable shoe, some are not convinced and report blistering. Others say that this is too narrow for their feet. Either way, you might want to try them on before ordering.

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#4 - Adidas Terrex Agravic XT Gore-TEX Trail Running Shoes

Want a shoe that fits so well, it’s almost like wearing a sock? The Adidas Terrex Agravic XT Gore-TEX Trail Running Shoes – AW20 designed its shoes just for you! I personally like this kind of shoe as it can give you more stability, and you don’t have to worry about what’s happening inside your shoe.

We know by now that the Gore-Tex technology offers a waterproof membrane while still keeping the shoe breathable. This keeps your feet dry in any weather!

You might also love how this shoe hugs your feet like a sock, even with the waterproof technology. However, you won’t compromise your feet’s safety.

Its gum rubber sole keeps your feet on the ground with a good grip, even with the slippery trails. The TPU toe cap protects your feet from slipping and is very durable against rocks and uneven surfaces. Even with this, the shoe still stays lightweight.

However, because of the sock-like fit, some users find it too hard to even get into the shoe. You might want to order a half size up, then, so that it fits just right for you.

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#5 - ALTRA Lone Peak 4 Low RSM Waterproof Trail Running Shoe

Looking for a shoe that will help you stand out? The ALTRA Lone Peak 4 Low RSM Waterproof Trail Running Shoe. Not only does it have styles that are eye-catching — I personally love the Burnt Orange color — but it also uses certain technologies that are unlike any other on this list.

The first thing you might notice is that its heel and its forefoot are at the same height. This helps you with your running form and can help your runs become lower impact.

You might want to start running midfoot, then, because unlike other shoes, the heel isn’t more supported. This means that the heel of the shoe won’t absorb more of the shock than the forefoot, unlike how other shoes are designed.

The upper material is made of eVent Fabrics, which is a fabric that is 100 percent waterproof. (If you were wondering, this is the equivalent of the Gore-Tex Technology in other brands.) It boasts its breathability with its waterproof ability.

You might find yourself more comfortably striding with these shoes as its soles are sticky and will provide you with a great grip. It makes use of its MaxTrac with TrailClaw technology for this rubber outsole.

You might want to be careful with buying this shoe, though, as you are going to invest a lot of money, and some users have reported that their shoes did not last in the long run. Although they were huge fans at the beginning, they’ve found rips in the fabric as time went on.

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My Number One Pick

 

What To Look Out For When Buying Waterproof Running Shoes

Buying waterproof running shoes is quite similar to buying trail running shoes, although there still is a huge difference. Trail running shoes are quite complicated and will depend on the trail you plan to run on.

Waterproof running shoes are similar in that these are shoes that are able to withstand a variety of weather conditions, from slippery to dry, from rainy to sunny, from muddy to hard roads. Waterproof running shoes won’t give as much attention to rocky trails, though some in the list definitely tick that box.

Read on to understand the things you might want to consider when buying waterproof running shoes!

Comfort

The fun thing about buying new running shoes is feeling a whole new world for your feet. Sometimes, it’s bad — the shoe is stiff and the toe cap is too small. Other times, though, it’s a magical feeling, like your feet have finally found the perfect pillow.

That is, of course, until those shoes log the miles and you have to replace it again.

If you’re here to replace a worn-out shoe that is providing little cushioning and comfort, you want to look for soft fabric linings inside the shoe. Although foam insoles are not every runner’s favorite, especially for those who like a little more stability and step with the midfoot, there are some that have removable ones such as the Brooks Ghost 12 GTX.

Cushioning is absolutely important when it comes to running, as a stiff inside might cause blisters and might even cut your run short. Some runners tend to skimp out on how comfortable the shoe has to be, but in my opinion, it’s necessary to consider.

Breathability

How breathable your waterproof running shoe is very important to consider! Although the waterproof feature is great to keep your socks dry, you don’t want to get wet in there because of all the sweat.

Users tend to describe their waterproof running shoes as keeping their feet too warm, and while that may be a great thing if you’re running in colder areas, tropical areas will absolutely need to consider steering clear of heavier waterproof membranes.

Luckily, though, the technology has developed for lighter waterproof membranes that are almost similar to mesh. For example, the Salomon Sense Ride 2 GTX Invisible Fit Trail Running incorporates the Gore-Tex Invisible Fit Technology, where the waterproof membrane is integrated into the shoe itself.

Grip

One of the most important aspects of a waterproof running shoe, in my opinion, is its grip. You will obviously be running in slippery terrain if you’re worried about the rain, and to have a confident run, you need a shoe that won’t hold you back.

Fortunately, this is given much importance. Most soles are made of rubber and are enhanced by adding lugs, or those little bumps you might see on the sole of your shoe. This is more common in trail running shoes, especially since it has the ability to grip onto muddier surfaces.

Salomon does well in this aspect with the Salomon Speedcross 4 GORE-TEX Trail Running Shoes. Its Contagrip technology incorporates different densities or weights of material to keep your shoes lightweight but with great grip.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

Another important factor to consider is the heel-to-toe drop. This is the height difference between the cushioning of the heel and that of the toe. The usual would be cushioning that is higher near the heel and lower as you move towards the forefoot.

I’ve noticed, though, that we are getting more variety in this category. Some brands opt for the flat sole, where the height of the heel and the height of the toe are almost the same. This is what you see with the ALTRA Lone Peak 4 Low RSM Waterproof Trail Running Shoe.

The great thing about this flat shoe design is that it promotes lower impact running by encouraging you to land on your midfoot instead of the heel!

Fit

The fit of your shoe will make or break your running experience. This is true of any running shoe! That’s why it’s important to try on shoes in physical stores before purchasing, in my opinion.

Some shoes will be better for narrower feet. Others will have too narrow a toe cap, which cramps your feet and makes it uncomfortable to run.

A trend I see nowadays with shoes is the sock-like fit, where the shoe snugly wraps around your foot. The Adidas Terrex Agravic XT Gore-TEX Trail Running Shoes – AW20 has definitely followed this trend.

Frequently Asked Questions About Waterproof Running Shoes

Q: When do I need to buy new running shoes?

A: Shoes will often tell you themselves when they need replacing, but not all runners notice. Some signs would be when your outsoles start to get so worn down that the engraved lines are not as pronounced. Some parts may also be more worn out than others, especially where your feet usually strike the ground. Creasing cushioning is another sign that you’ve outrun your shoes.

Q: Why do some waterproof running shoes get warm?

A: Since waterproof membranes tend to have smaller holes in the fabric than other normal fabrics, there tends to be no ventilation. That means not much can come through the fabric. So, air will minimally come through, and heat will be trapped inside.

Q: Is it safe to run in slippery conditions?

A: It really depends on the gear you have. That’s why it’s important to have the proper shoes and sportswear. The proper shoes will have grip that is enough to keep your stride confident, so you don’t have to worry about slipping. Still, you must know when the rain is too hard or when the roads are too slippery.

Conclusion

Buying new shoes is definitely a fun way to explore and expand your running arsenal, but buying an awful pair is bucks down the drain. Remember to always do your research by reading online reviews and trying on different pairs.

Ask advice from your other runner friends, and be sure to return the favor. After all, no man is an island! Have fun looking for a new pair of waterproof running shoes.

Be sure to check out my reviews on running jackets just incase you’re looking to complete the waterproof setup. If you’re after something more “cold” specific, check out my reviews on the best winter running shoes. Though running in the cold comes with it’s own risks, we did a post on that here if you’re interested: How cold is too cold to run? Learn the facts.

Sources:
https://www.rei.com/blog/run/five-things-look-purchasing-trail-running-shoes
https://www.badgeraustralia.com.au/blog/which-boot-outsole-should-you-choose-tpu-nitrile-or-rubber/
https://www.solescience.ca/how-worn-is-worn-out/

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The information in this article is for educational/informational purposes only and is not meant as health or medical advice. Always talk to your physician or another qualified health provider regarding any health and medical questions.

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