90 best trail waterproof running shoes

Based on reviews from 108 experts and 18,599 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to trail waterproof running shoes. Updated Sep 2019.

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  1. Any color
    Collegiate Navy, Grey One, Blue Beauty
    Night Cargo/Black/Sesame
    Black/Black/Grey Three
    Black/Grey Four/Hi-res Orange
    Base Green/Night Cargo/Shock Yellow
    $110 $70 Save 36%
  2. Any color
    Blue
    Blue
    Black
    Blue
    Blue
    $160 $100 Save 38%
  3. Any color
    Base Green/Black/Night Cargo
    Col. Navy/Grey Two/Blue Beauty
    Black
    Black
    Blue
    $110 $60 Save 45%
  4. Any color
    Black
    Red
    $160 $120 Save 25%
  5. Any color
    $120 $110 Save 8%
  6. Any color
    $130 $91 Save 30%
  7. Any color
    $150 $80 Save 47%
  8. Any color
    $135 $89 Save 34%
  9. Any color
    $160 $139 Save 13%
  10. Any color
    $160 $110 Save 31%
  11. Any color
    $160 $80 Save 50%
  12. Any color
    $200 $120 Save 40%
  13. Any color
    $165 $82 Save 50%
  14. Any color
    $155 $93 Save 40%
  15. Any color
    $160 $113 Save 29%
  16. Any color
    $160 $126 Save 21%
  17. Any color
    $200 $142 Save 29%
  18. Any color
    $140 $108 Save 23%
  19. Any color
    $150 $63 Save 58%
  20. Any color
    $160 $119 Save 26%
  21. Any color
    $150 $126 Save 16%
  22. Any color
    $155 $131 Save 15%
  23. Any color
    $135 $80 Save 41%
  24. Any color
    $150 $68 Save 55%
  25. Any color
    $140 $72 Save 49%

Waterproof trail running shoes

Outdoor terrain can be very challenging to some runner. Even more so when the runner wants to move at a higher speed. There are also other challenges to face when running off-road - the mud, dirt, and even the wet weather. These things are among the reasons why waterproof trail running shoes are created.

To be considered as a great waterproof trail running shoe, aside from the effective waterproofing feature, the right blend of comfort, cushioning and traction is essential as well. This combination will help runners to get over the trails with confidence.

Benefits of waterproof trail running shoes for men and women

best waterproof trail running shoes
Best waterproof trail running shoes - February 2019

Trail running shoes vary a lot to cater to a wide variety of trail runners. Some shoes are waterproof or water-repellent, while others are not. Some feature a minimalist design while others are highly-cushioned.

Some runners preferred to wear a waterproof trail shoe for the following reasons:

  • Keeps the foot dry. One of the most significant benefits of a waterproof running shoe is that it keeps the foot dry, especially on wet conditions. With the utilization of GTX lining, water is then prevented from entering the interior and soaking the foot. Some trail shoes are engineered to shed off the water with the use of drainage ports in the midsole. While others are completely waterproof, the shoe tends to be a little stiffer but blister-free.  
  • Keeps the foot warm. Wet and cold feet causes discomfort. When the foot is wet, they can get cold especially at low temperature. Wearing a waterproof shoe will prevent this from happening.

Other advantages of wearing a waterproof trail shoe

While the main function of the waterproof trail shoe is to keep the foot dry and warm, most waterproof running shoes also provide the following benefits.

  • Traction. A trail running shoe has multi-directional and large lugs that dig into the dirt and mud. This component of the shoe provides a better grip on challenging and hazardous terrains.
  • Protection. Trail shoe ensures the runner's safety. In addition to providing enough traction, trail shoes utilize toe guards as well as hard and metal plastic plates. These materials are integrated into the sole of the shoe. The primary goal of which is to protect the arch of the human foot from trail debris and sharp rocks. The upper unit is crafted with the use of durable and stiff materials that won’t easily tear as the user finishes the run. The stiffness of the upper material also protects the ankles and helps the foot to stabilize on slanted and uneven surfaces.
  • Blister-free. Blisters can develop when the foot is wet. When the foot is wet, the skin is soft and becomes susceptible to abrasions and irritation. As a result, blisters are formed, making the foot painful and uncomfortable.

How to pick the right pair of waterproof trail shoes

Wearing the right trail shoes is very important. The key features in choosing the right companion in running can vary on the conditions of the terrain and the route you want. Just like any other type of trail running shoes, you have to look out for its cushioning system, traction, upper construction and performance on the trails. The perfect pair for you still depends on your preference. Make sure that when you buy a pair of your choice, you are comfortable and confident enough to tackle the trail.

Here are some tips on how to pick the right pair for you.

  • Know your fit. Get help from an expert to assess the shape and size of your foot. The snug fit is essential in running comfortably and efficiently.
  • Check the waterproofing material used. Always remember that there's a lot of waterproofing trail running shoes that are offered in the market nowadays. Depending on the brand, they utilize specific materials that make them waterproof.
  • Pick a reasonably-priced pair. We have to admit it, having the best waterproof trail running shoes will require financial investments. Keep in mind that the price of the shoe should be reasonable but is sure to provide excellent performance and quality.
  • Assess the type of trails you plan to tackle. The first thing to consider in picking the best waterproof running shoe is to know the kind of trails you expect to take. These include light, rugged and off-trail running. From there, you will be able to determine the right shoe for you.

Brands that manufacture waterproof trail running shoes

Adidas

The Gore-Tex membrane, one of the most prominent waterproofing technologies nowadays, is utilized in some Adidas running shoes that are built for trail running. This allows the user to stay warm and dry, especially when running on wet conditions.

Salomon

The Gore-Tex Invisible Fit is used in Salomon trail running shoes. This technology is described as a protective layer that perfectly blends with the upper section. Without sacrificing the shoe's comfort and breathability, the interior chamber is protected against moist and water. This is essential in keeping the foot cool and dry throughout the running session.

The North Face

The base material of The North Face running shoes is described to be a lightweight mesh that offers more breathable coverage. On top of this material is a Gore-Tex membrane that is meant to wrap the mesh. This waterproof material results in a fresh and dry foot environment. Even on rainy and snowy days, the membrane delivers protection against moisture during the running activity.

Inov-8

The upper unit of the Inov-8 trail running shoes features the Gore-Tex membrane. This material is described to be breathable and lightweight that keeps the foot to be dry. When running on wet surfaces, the GTX membrane aims to prevent water from entering the shoe. Proper ventilation is provided to encourage a breathable foot environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wear my trail running shoe for road running?

Yes. You can wear your trail running shoe on the roads as long as you are comfortable wearing it.

What is the difference between a trail and road waterproof running shoe?

The main difference between a road and trail shoe is their composition. Trail running shoes are traditionally heavier in structure. They are designed to protect and support the foot on rugged and challenging terrains. Road running shoes have minimal needs for traction. This is the reason why most of their outsoles are thin.

What is the most affordable waterproof trail running shoes?

The most affordable waterproof trail running shoe is the Adidas Terrex CMTK GTX (as of January 2019). The running shoe was admired by the majority of the consumers because of its notable features and technologies. It is sold at $110 per pair.

15 best trail waterproof running shoes

  1. Adidas Terrex Skychaser GTX
  2. The North Face Ultra 109 GTX
  3. Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX
  4. Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX
  5. Adidas Terrex Agravic XT GTX
  6. Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX
  7. Adidas Terrex CMTK GTX
  8. Adidas Terrex Tracerocker GTX
  9. Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX
  10. The North Face Ultra 110 GTX
  11. La Sportiva Tempesta GTX
  12. Salomon Sense Ride GTX Invisible Fit
  13. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX
  14. Inov-8 Roclite 325 GTX
  15. Salomon XA Elevate GTX
Author
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Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com
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CoreScore
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