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TOP 15 Best Waterproof Running Shoes for Trail & Road Reviewed 2020

Nothing can ruin a good run like wet socks or cold feet.

You might end up with blisters or your feet could even go a little numb leaving you with painful chill blains once they start to warm up again.

But, wearing waterproof running shoes can solve this problem and make running in the rain possible, even enjoyable.

I’m going to provide some in-depth reviews of the 15 best waterproof running shoes of 2020 and then give you a few more tips on what to look for.

TOP 15 Best Waterproof Running Shoes of 2020

Adidas Men’s Outdoor Terrex Agravic GTX

Review: The Terrex Agravic GTX from the Adidas Outdoor line is definitely one of the best waterproof trail running shoes available on the market in 2020.

It boasts a ton of great features including a GORE-TEX lining and a Continental Rubber outsole.

The outsole really stands out from a lot of the competition due to its fantastic traction and trail adaptability. It shines on a wide variety of both wet and dry terrain.

Pros

  • GORE-TEX lining.
  • Continental Rubber outsole.
  • Excellent cushioning.
  • Stylish.
  • Abrasion resistant.

Cons

  • Runs a bit narrow.

Takeaway

An excellent way to keep your feet dry and comfortable while trail running, the Terrex Agravic GTX performs well in almost every category.

La Sportiva Men’s Ultra Raptor GTX

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.

Pros

  • GORE-TEX lining.
  • FriXion XT sole.
  • TPU Transkinetic Heel.
  • Durable and breathable AirMesh.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

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.

The North Face Men’s Ultra 109 GTX

Review: The North Face has a long track record of outstanding performance when it comes to the best waterproof trail running shoes.

So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that the Ultra 109 GTX once again is one of the top options in this particular category.

Both the traction and stability of this shoe are far, far above average. It also features GORE-TEX Extended Comfort Range uppers that are both waterproof and breathable.

The TPU Snake Plate provides excellent forefoot protection while the UltrATAC rubber outsole performs well across multiple surfaces.

Pros

  • Fantastic shock absorption.
  • GORE-TEX extended comfort ranger uppers.
  • Durable rubber outsole.
  • TPU Snake Plate protects and stabilizes.

Cons

  • Questionable insoles that may have durability issues.

Takeaway

The Ultra 109 GTX is a top quality waterproof running shoe that is close to flawless.

It is comfortable, sturdy, and versatile – it definitely holds its own pretty much across the board.

Salomon Men’s XA Pro 3D Climashield

Review: The ultimate winter trail running shoe, the Salomon XA Pro 3D CS WP is a waterproof trail running shoe designed for heavier runners, or just those who appreciate a warm, dry, sturdy shoe.

A mud-guard and toe-guard help to keep you protected and comfortable while Salomon’s Climashield lining ensures that your feet are safe from the cold and wet while still being able to breathe.

Pros

  • Excellent traction with multi-directional lugs.
  • Climashield technology.
  • Quicklace transition system.
  • Lightweight.
  • Good arch support for a neutral shoe.

Cons

  • A little heavy.

Takeaway

This shoe blows away most of the competition in the winter-specific trail running category. If you live in an unforgiving and extremely cold climate, these shoes won’t disappoint.

Saucony Men’s Versafoam Excursion TR13 GTX

Review: A waterproof running shoe that also features impressive traction and protection, the Excursion TR13 GTX certainly has a lot going for it.

The GORE-TEX upper combined with the trail-specific mesh keeps you protected from debris and rain.

Meanwhile, the heel grid system and VersaFoam midsole and medial post keep you stable and well-cushioned.

Pros

  • Plenty of heel and arch support.
  • Heel GRID cushioning system.
  • GORE-TEX upper.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Some durability issues with stitching.

Takeaway

These are a stable and solid waterproof trail shoe from Saucony with excellent traction and arch support.

Altra Men’s Lone Peak 4 RSM

Review: Altra’s Lone Peak 4 RSM is a zero-drop trail running shoe capable of coping with all weather extremes including rain, snow and mud – hence the name RSM.

The deep lugs in the tread provide excellent grip when running through wet and slushy conditions while the eVent upper, which is compatible with trail gaiter attachments, keeps you dry and warm.

Pros

  • Foot shaped toebox is nice and spacious.
  • 4 point gaiter trap system.
  • Reasonable arch support for a zero drop shoe.
  • StoneGuard layer in the midsole protects against sharp objects.

Cons

  • Soft tread will wear out quickly on the road.
  • Some durability issues with the upper.

Takeaway

These shoes work best with gaiters to keep out moisture from above, but aside from that, they are a comfortable option for wet runs.

Adidas Men’s PureBoost RBL

Review: Adidas’s PureBoost RBL is a lightweight road running shoe with a water-resistant knit upper that makes it a great choice for running in light rain or through shallow puddles.

This is definitely a more minimalist running shoe with very little support or stability to go with its 8mm drop, but it’s very lightweight and reasonably responsive with a Boost midsole.

Pros

  • Comfortable knit upper is water-resistant.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Equally suitable for casual wear and walking.
  • Boost midsole is durable and responsive.

Cons

  • Not suitable for trail running.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for a lightweight option to switch out occasionally with your regular road running shoes, these are a good choice for light rain and drizzle.

New Balance Women’s 910v4 GTX

Review: New Balance really outdid themselves with their latest trail running offering, as the 910v4 trail running shoe offers excellent water protection and industry-leading grip and stability.

The removable EVA footbed and air mesh upper are both fantastic features that ensure dry, comfortable feet in both rain and snow.

The REVlite lightweight foam midsole drastically reduces the overall bulk-factor with this shoe – it is sleek and feather-light.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Affordable.
  • Performs well in rain and snow.
  • HyrdroHesion HHR rubber outsole.

Cons

  • Tricky to get the right fit.

Takeaway

This is definitely one of the best lightweight waterproof running shoes on the market and an easy option to recommend.

La Sportiva Women’s Wildcat 2.0 GTX

Review: La Sportiva always creates fantastic waterproof footwear, and the Wildcat 2.0 GTX is certainly no exception.

Breathable, lightweight, and comfortable are just some of the words that can be used to describe this latest model.

The GORE-TEX Extended Comfort construction really shines, as does the FriXion sole. This shoe really does it all across a wide variety of different terrain and weather conditions.

Pros

  • GORE-TEX Extended Comfort.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Dual-density midsole.
  • TPU Transkenetic Heel.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

The Wildcat 2.0 GTX is easily one of the best women’s waterproof trail running shoes available.

It is light, comfortable, and does a great job protecting against rain and moisture while providing amazing traction.

Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 GTX

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.

Pros

  • Extremely stylish.
  • GORE-TEX construction.
  • Wet Traction Contragrip performs well on all surfaces.
  • Sensifit technology ensures a great fit.

Cons

  • Shallow heel.

Takeaway

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 2020.

Brooks Women’s Ghost 10 GTX

Review: The Ghost 10 GTX offers a ton of comfort and stability on top of the GORE-TEX waterproof membrane.

Specifically designed for road running, the engineered mesh upper provides an optimized fit and fantastic feel.

The Segmented Crash Pad conforms to a wide variety of landing styles, while the Omega Flex Grooves promote natural forefoot movement.

Pros

  • GORE-TEX membrane.
  • Optimized fit.
  • Lightweight.
  • Brooks BioMoGo cushioning.

Cons

  • A little bulky.

Takeaway

One of the best options for a road-specific waterproof running shoe, the Ghost 10 GTX wonderfully combines functionality and performance.

It manages to remain lightweight while still providing fantastic protection and support.

Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 21 GTX

Review: Another strong running shoe designed with all-weather protection in mind, the Wave Rider 21 GTX is lightweight and extremely responsive.

It performs well across a wide variety of trail-based terrain while also functioning well on pavement.

Mizuno’s patented Wave Technology for shock absorption and cushioning really helps to provide a smooth, comfortable ride.

Pros

  • GORE-TEX breathable upper.
  • Lightweight.
  • Wave technology for shock absorption and cushioning.
  • Performs well in rain, sleet, and snow.

Cons

  • Extended breaking-in period.

Takeaway

One of the best waterproof road running shoes available, the Wave Rider 21 GTX also shines off of the pavement in more rugged trail environments.

Scarpa Women’s Neutron 2 GTX

Review: A great looking trail running shoe that also provides top-notch protection against rain, sleet and snow, the second iteration of the Neutron GTX definitely deserves more attention.

It has a GORE-TEX mesh upper that combines nicely with the Archwrap construction of the midfoot.

The Vibram Megagrip outsole provides a sense of stability and high-performance traction on a wide variety of surfaces.

Pros

  • GORE-TEX upper.
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole.
  • Inexpensive.
  • Visually appealing.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • On the heavy side.

Takeaway

Ideal for rocky, technical trails, this is a top of the line trail running shoe with a smooth, cushioned ride.

Saucony Women’s Ride 8 GTX

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.

Pros

  • Fantastic cushioning in the sole.
  • Gore-Tex upper with Flex Film overlay for a snug fit.
  • Lightweight.
  • Great in snow as well as rain.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

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.

Nike Women's Zoom Pegasus Turbo Shield

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.

Pros

  • Neoprene sock-like outer.
  • Good traction.
  • High-rise gaiter-like design.
  • Snug-fitting.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Not breathable. Not really suited to warm weather.
  • You need to wear tall socks to make the high rise comfortable.

Takeaway

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.

closeup of runners foot touching the asphalt rainy weather

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!

trail runner moving through the dirty puddle

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.

female athlete running on road during rain

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?

That’s completely fair. Be sure to have a read of our guide to the best treadmills if that’s the case.

FAQ

running in the rain on wet asphalt road

Which Running Shoes are Waterproof?

All of the shoes on the list above are waterproof and are great examples of running shoes that will help to keep you dry, warm and comfortable.

Do You Need Waterproof Running Shoes?

This a personal preference and depends heavily on what kind of running you’re doing.

But, for people who run in the rain a lot or live in a really wet climate, waterproof running shoes are a very sensible choice.

What are the Best Waterproof Sneakers?

This does depend on your needs and how you plan to use your shoes, but Salomon Speedcross and Adidas Terrex Agravic are great options.

Does Rain Ruin Running Shoes?

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.

Conclusion

That concludes this article on the best waterproof running shoes of 2020.

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.

Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or thoughts about this article – I always love to hear from our readers!

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