Review: This shoe has a whole lot more to offer than just a flashy name. It combines both GORE-TEX lining and GORE-TEX Extended Comfort to provide fantastic waterproof protection.
It also features abrasion-resistant AirMesh to ensure breathability while the FriXion XT sole guarantees traction and stability across several different terrains.
The Ultra Raptor GTX also provides top of the line foot support, especially in the heel/ankle areas due to the TPU Transkinetic Heel. This technology is extremely impressive, as it increases foot protection while also keeping the total weight of the shoe quite reasonable.
FriXion XT sole.
TPU Transkinetic Heel.
Durable and breathable AirMesh.
A fantastic example of one of the best waterproof trail running shoes, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX really makes a bold statement.
Despite carrying a hefty price tag, it really does a wonderful job of combining waterproof technology with high running performance.
Review: Salomon really outdid themselves with the Speedcross 4 GTX – it just might be the best waterproof running shoe on the market today.
From the breathable and lightweight GORE-TEX frame to the Wet Traction Contagrip, this shoe delivers on all fronts. It even offers Sensifit technology, which provides a virtually customized fit around the entire foot that keeps things snug and secure.
Wet Traction Contragrip performs well on all surfaces.
Sensifit technology ensures a great fit.
Boasting a ton of fantastic features crammed into one running shoe, the Speedcross 4 GTX is a clear favorite for obvious reasons – it is easily one of the best water resistant running shoes available in 2021.
Review: The Saucony Ride 8 GTX is a big hit with runners who need a durable, waterproof shoe that functions well on the road – the updated design is flashy and sleek, while the feather-light Gore-Tex bootie provides excellent protection from the elements.
To top it all off, the Grid technology sole provides stability and cushioning for a wide range of body types.
Fantastic cushioning in the sole.
Gore-Tex upper with Flex Film overlay for a snug fit.
Great in snow as well as rain.
The Ride 8 GTX is easily one of the best waterproof road running shoes on the market, as the Gore-Tex inner bootie provides protection from the rain as well as insulation from the cold during the winter.
Review: This is a pretty unique looking shoe, with a built-in rain cover that zips up over the shoe and rises up above the cuff to act like a gaiter. They do look a little like something from outer space, but if you’re prioritizing waterproofing over looks, then you won’t mind!
The outer is what sets these shoes apart, made of neoprene, it zips up over an elasticated inner so there are no laces to deal with. The rubber outsole has excellent traction and the ZoomX midsole is cushioned and responsive.
Neoprene sock-like outer.
High-rise gaiter-like design.
Not breathable. Not really suited to warm weather.
You need to wear tall socks to make the high rise comfortable.
These could be the most waterproof shoes on this list, and definitely the best option for running through slushy snow. And, if you’re a really serious runner, the best women’s running shoes for rain.
Why Wear Waterproof Running Shoes?
There are a number of reasons that choosing waterproof running shoes over regular shoes could be a good call.
First and foremost, most people think of the comfort factor.
Running in wet shoes and socks can be cold as well as leading to potential blisters. Once your shoes get wet and sodden they can also be much heavier and weigh you down.
And, they may take time to dry out, most likely not being dry in time for your next run.
This leads to the durability factor.
If you live in a very wet climate, shoes that are not designed to be constantly wet just won’t last as long. They will perish more quickly and you’ll end up needing to replace them sooner, which is not ideal!
Then, there’s the safety factor.
Waterproof shoes often have better traction as they’re designed to be worn in the rain. So, they should be more reliable on wet, slick surfaces.
Those are some pretty compelling reasons to choose a waterproof shoe!
So, What Makes a “GOOD” Waterproof Running Shoe?
For a long time, a good waterproof running shoe mainly consisted of a durable, stable shoe that provided a layer of separation from cold and moisture.
However, technological advancements over the past several years have made breathability, weight and flexibility more possible, and so worth looking for in a good waterproof running shoe.
The top-rated waterproof running shoes in this article all use specific technology – for example, Gore-Tex, eVent, or Polartec – that ensures maximum protection from the elements while maintaining breathability and some flexibility.
The materials are designed to work as both a waterproof and a breathable membrane that keeps water out while also allowing for the moisture produced by your sweat to escape. Polartec has the added benefit of providing an excellent insulating layer on top of the other standard waterproofing features.
Aside from this, it really comes down to choosing between different styles of shoes, depending on what kind of running you’re going to be doing and in what conditions.
There are now just as many good options for waterproof road running shoes as there are for trail running shoes now, and trail running shoes themselves also vary in ruggedness, weight and stiffness.
In general, most people can agree that the best running shoes for rain would ideally be no heavier than a regular shoe, while also being just as flexible, breathable and durable.
It sounds simple, but it’s not an easy feat and some shoes manage this better than others.
Other things you can do to make running in the rain more comfortable:
Consider running gaiters. Running through a puddle in waterproof shoes might mean that the shoes themselves don’t soak up water, but there’s nothing stopping it from entering over the top of the ankle. Wearing gaiters can help prevent this by closing off that entry point. And, if you’re a trail runner, you can wear them in fine weather too to protect you from trail debris.
Consider waterproof socks. Even the most waterproof shoes won’t completely prevent wet feet if you run through really extreme conditions. Waterproof socks could help with this.
Get to know your feet and pay attention to where you usually get chafing or blisters. If you’re prone to a particular part of your foot getting rubbed when your shoes and socks are wet, then prepare in advance by taping it up.
Understand what you need from your shoes. Maybe waterproofing isn’t the most important aspect. Maybe you’re running long distances with just the occasional wet day and what’s more important is choosing a shoe designed for long-distance running so that the cushioning holds up.
For more guidance on running in the rain, check out our article on wet weather running.
Alternatively, maybe running in the rain isn’t your thing? Maybe you think you’d prefer to stick to treadmill running until the weather clears?
The odd wet run will not ruin your running shoes if they get a chance to properly dry out afterwards and don’t sit around damp for too long.
But, if you’re running continuously in wet conditions and your shoes spend more time wet than dry, then yes, they will start to fall apart earlier than they would otherwise, and may also start to suffer from mildew!
What Should I Wear for a 10k in the Rain?
Your best bet for a wet 10km is a lightweight waterproof road shoe like the Mizuno Wave Rider 21 GTX, Adidas PureBoost RBL, or, your regular racing flats, because it doesn’t really matter if you get wet feet for the occasional run!
Is Gore-Tex 100% Waterproof?
Getting a material to be 100% waterproof is easy. Any impermeable material will be waterproof. The problem is trapping sweat inside and leading you to get wet that way.
So, what Gore-Tex aims to be is both waterproof and breathable. The breathable part is the key.
That concludes this article on the best waterproof running shoes of 2021.
Remember, the best running shoes for running in inclement weather will not only be waterproof but also be lightweight and flexible enough to remain comfortable to run in.
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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!