You’re on your last mile when the sky opens up and the rain crashes down, but you keep going—harder. You’re navigating the snow banks and slush piles on winter streets, passing thermometers reading 20 degrees Fahrenheit. You’re deep in the woods, splashing through muddy trails and hurdling over tree roots that stand in your way. You’re a dedicated runner, and nothing will stop you.
Dedicated runners need shoes that will see them through every type of weather or terrain, no matter how messy. Whether you stick to the streets or prefer to trail run, it’s likely there’ll be times when getting in a good run necessitates waterproof running shoes. No one’s going to argue that waterproof running shoes are great for performance or racing. However, if you intend to run through the wet winter or in the rainy season, shoes designed for this purpose are your best bet for comfort and safety. After all, if you hit the winter streets in your minimalist, 0 drop race shoes, a sprained ankle isn’t unlikely.
Whatever the weather, most of the top running shoe companies know that certain conditions require certain features in a shoe. Notably, these six shoes are all waterproof and designed specifically to get you through the toughest trails and wettest months.
Waterproof Running Shoes for the Road
In the past, it seemed only trail runners got the benefit of waterproof linings. Now, a few companies are making sure that even pavement runners can keep their feet dry when a storm hits.
As usual, the folks at Brooks seem to have thought of everything. The waterproof GORE-TEX version of the popular Brooks Ghost brings a light, breathable waterproof membrane to the reputable running shoe. Even with the added lining, the Brooks Ghost 6 GTX weighs in at only 9.6 oz, so while you’ll barely discern the extra feature on this neutral shoe, your toes will most definitely take note!
Similarly, the durable yet comfortable Saucony Ride 6 GTX takes the neutral Ride 6 and turns it into a waterproof shoe with GORE-TEX technology. Perfect for running in the wet spring months, the Ride 6 GTX features sealed seams and construction that is impenetrable by rain. A moisture-wicking collar even keeps the rain away from the tops of your socks as you splash through puddles. As an added bonus, this shoe comes in fun colors that brighten up a gray day.
Winterized Running Shoes
In the most treacherous of conditions, runners need a shoe specifically formulated to keep feet dry, all the way up to your ankles. This is where winterized running “boots” come in.
We love the New Balance 110 Boot because it brings the minimalist design of the 110 trail runner to a place it’s never been before: the winterized shoe. A water-resistant gaiter that zips up right over the shoes laces and covers most of the ankle, while sturdy lugs and a solid midsole help stabilize you. Meanwhile, the lightweight design (7.75 oz) and nominal 4 mm drop put this shoe in a category of its own.
The Salomon Spikecross 3 CS is another fearless running shoe that excels in the face of the elements. While not specifically designed for winter, Salomon sells gaiters in two heights designed to keep snow or mud out. The Spikecross features embedded metal strikes for superb grip on any surface, Salomon’s Climasheild protection, and a mud guard around the base of the shoe.
Waterproof Trail Runners & Hybrids
If you’re an all-terrain type of runner, you’ll probably make more use of a trail runner or hybrid shoe that you can use on wet pavement and on trail runs through thickets and forests.
On and off the trail, the Brooks Adrenaline ASR 10 GTX keeps rain out while utilizing lugs for secure traction and a combination of cushioning and stability so you’re ready for rocks and roots. Of course, splashing through the mud, or even the snow, won’t be a problem in these, as they’re completely waterproof with GORE-TEX technology and a moisture managing Element upper and lining. The Adrenaline ASR GTX series has exceeded expectations for trail runners.
The North Face Ultra Trail GTX brings a lightweight, waterproof, trail-specialized shoe to the table, featuring a Vibram full-length outsole known for slip-resistance, durability, and stability in tough terrain. As you run on rocky paths, you’ll notice the CRADLE technology in the midsole that offers impact protection while maintaining a pliant, springy impression. Add breathable GORE-TEX technology to the mix and the Ultra Trail GTX is ready for the rain and the cold, too!