6 Best Gore-Tex Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
6 Best Gore-Tex Running Shoes in 2024
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Gore-Tex running shoes are a great option if you live in a region that rains a lot of time in a year, or in a snowy climate where snowflakes seep in with every step. A dependable Gore Tex-designed shoe will keep the feet dry for a longer time of running outside.

Although in reality, no running shoe can be truly 100% waterproof – running in a minefield of puddles on the road will eventually get your feet a little damp – but having a running shoe constructed with Gore-Tex technology gives you a greater advantage of staying dry and comfortable for longer miles.

We took Gore-Tex running shoes to a hell of an adventure. We punched in a lot of miles and cut them into pieces in our lab before we relayed our feedback. In this article, we give you our best picks in different categories for your browsing convenience.

How we test running shoes

To make the cut of our ultimate best selections, we put all the Gore-Tex running shoes on this list through a rigorous testing process. Here is a quick look at how we come up with our extensive review to give you some ideas:

  • We handpick all the best shoes in the Gore-Tex class and buy all of them with our own funds to remain unbiased.
  • As testers of professional and regular runners, we run in each pair of shoes for at least 30 miles or more. We then determine the waterproof effectiveness, durability, and overall performance.
  • To examine more closely, we bring the shoes to our lab for slicing (literally). Yes, we cut them into little pieces. We then proceed to weigh and measure every shoe in 30+ parameters.

Best Gore-Tex running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

The Pegasus Trail 4 GTX offers superior traction, splendid energy return, and lasting comfort—wrapped in a protective waterproof package. Its all-around performance in our lab and run tests proves it’s an awesome road-to-trail shoe, making it our best Gore-Tex running shoe.

Excellent waterproofing coupled with several TPU layers ensures our protection from unwanted debris. The upper proves it’s our armour as it receives a remarkable 4/5 rating in our rigorous Dremel test.

Reliable grip greets us no matter what surface we run on—whether concrete, mud, or wet grass. Even with an average 3.5-mm lug depth, it has effective traction for fast corners and steep inclines.

The Pegasus Trail 4 GTX has a tall and soft midsole stack, making it a very comfortable and protective shoe. We measured it at 37.7 mm, 5.5 mm taller than average. Our durometer shows it’s also 29.0% softer than average. Also, the React foam feels surprisingly energetic, allowing us to do our long runs without counting the miles.

While the upper is incredibly protective, we found a weak spot — the absence of a fully gusseted tongue. Best to avoid submerging the shoe so that water doesn’t creep in.

Pros

  • Versatile road-to-trail performance
  • Grippier than the standard version
  • Surprisingly light for a GTX shoe
  • Accommodates wide feet with ease
  • Delivers a really stable ride for neutral runners
  • Upper showcases remarkable durability
  • Fantastic option for heel strikers

Cons

  • Non-gusseted tongue allows water and debris to enter the shoe
  • Not suitable for technical terrain
  • Excessive drop for midfoot or forefoot strikers
Full review of Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GTX

Gore-Tex running shoes with best durability

What makes it the best?

Our trail runs prove Salomon XA Pro 3D v9 GTX has the best durability among Gore-Tex running shoes. With the lab as our witness, it is an all-around shield with its tightly knit upper, firm cushion, and ever-reliable Contagrip outsole. 

Wrapped in Gore-Tex, it has outstanding waterproofing and our lab tests confirm its impermeability with the lowest 1/5 score. It not only blocked smoke out but light too! We didn’t need to worry about painful toe stubs because the toe bumper is our armour. It braved our Dremel test and scored the highest 5/5 for toebox durability.

The firm midsole and 3D chassis also serve as our defence underfoot. Not only do these protect us from sharp rocks, but they also enhance stable strides. Our durometer confirms the platform is 23.6% firmer than average.

The ‘Contagrip’ outsole, aided by the 2.8-mm lugs, obliterated most terrains we ran in except the really technical ones. After running in harsh environments, the outsole barely showed signs of premature wear—a plus for durability.

All the added protection comes at the expense of more weight. While most trail shoes average 10.4 oz (294g), this one feels like a hiking shoe at 12.7 oz (359g).

Pros

  • Incredibly protective
  • Extremely stable and supportive
  • Great traction even on wet surfaces
  • Watertight Gore-Tex upper
  • Flexible and forgiving on the foot
  • Makes a great hiking companion
  • Effectively dampens landings
  • Generously padded from heel to tongue
  • No lace bite whatsoever
  • Durable, high-quality construction
  • Simple yet snazzy design

Cons

  • Could be lighter
  • Rather firm cushioning
  • Upper needs breaking in
  • Lacks the agility for technical trails
Full review of Salomon XA Pro 3D v9 GTX

Gore-Tex running shoes with the best grip

What makes it the best?

Our lab and run tests prove Speedcross 6 GTX is protective from top to bottom — ranking first in terms of grip among Gore-Tex running shoes. We can speed through rainy days and river crossings with its deep, sticky lugs and waterproof membrane. The platform combines soft and rigid elements to ensure comfort and support through trail adventures.

Speedcross displays excellent traction in our fast-paced training. Our calliper measures its lugs at 5.0 mm deep, 1.5 mm deeper than average for that extra bite on soft ground. They’re widely spaced to shed off dirt and chevron-shaped to enhance control on sharp turns and steep slopes.

Underfoot, we have a firm cushion that improves our balance on uneven terrains. Our durometer it's 21.3% harder than average. The midsole is hard to twist earning a 5/5 on our manual assessment. This ensures stability and agility on challenging terrains. Yet in terms of longitudinal flexibility, Speedcross feels fluid. Our bend test confirms it’s 20.5% more adaptive than average.

During our runs, Gore-Tex feels impermeable. Our observations were confirmed as we saw one of the densest mesh uppers under our microscope. It has no ventilation holes for air and water to pass through, effectively keeping our feet dry.

Because of its limited breathability, Speedcross performs best in cold weather. Using this pair in the summer traps body heat and drenches our feet in sweat.

Pros

  • Fully functional Gore-Tex membrane
  • Ample cushioning for long adventures
  • Excels in challenging, technical terrain
  • Rapidly sheds mud
  • Agile and tenacious grip on twisted trails
  • Remarkable durability
  • Ideal for heel strikers

Cons

  • Completely lacks breathability
  • Midsole could feel overly firm for some
  • Exceptionally heavy
Full review of Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX

Gore-Tex running shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

The Speedgoat 5 GTX from Hoka is a do-it-all trail running shoe. It has a wonderful cushion, superior grip, and exceptional waterproofing. Trail running has never been more comfortable on the foot with the Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX—our pick for the Gore-Tex running shoes with the best cushioning.

The Speedgoat 5 GTX has a thick and soft midsole that absorbs much of the impacts brought by the lumps and bumps on various terrains. Although not ideal for runners looking for a ground feel, we loved how comfortable and fast these shoes were on most terrains. 

It is also one grippy shoe. The outsole rubber, lug depth, and lug spacing combine to keep traction. It gives us confidence to just run and not mind the surface too much.

The Gore-Tex mesh embedded in the upper kept our feet dry, even when tackling muddy trails filled with puddles. The gusseted tongue also kept our feet snug and well-protected.

Even if Gore-Tex is marketed as a breathable material, it still lacks enough breathability to make the shoe wearable during hot conditions.

Pros

  • Plush, cushioned midsole
  • Exceptional stability
  • Remarkable breathability for a Gore-Tex shoe
  • Spacious enough for most foot types
  • Well-suited for ultra marathons
  • Superior grip on easy and moderate trails
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • Utilises recycled materials in the upper

Cons

  • Simply too heavy
  • Midsole hardens noticeably in cold temperatures
  • Could benefit from increased flexibility
Full review of Hoka Speedgoat 5 GTX

Best road-to-trail Gore-Tex running shoes

What makes it the best?

Hoka Challenger 7 GTX boasted its robust build in our runs and lab tests, proving it’s fully waterproof and all-terrain ready. It’s a versatile shoe with exceptional comfort for long days and reliable grip from roads to trails. No doubt, it’s our best hybrid Gore-Tex running shoe.

Made of Durabrasion rubber, the outsole has a good balance of grip and durability. Our durometer confirms this with an 81.0 HC reading. To further enhance traction, Challenger 7 has 3.8 mm lugs that cling well on gravel roads and wet stones.

What we also find reliable is the multi-layered upper that has a Gore-Tex membrane to block off water. It effectively does the job as we run through puddles and rain with dry feet. It even has a fully gusseted tongue to secure lockdown.

Underfoot is a plush foam that keeps our feet fresh even during LSDs. Our calliper shows an above-average stack, notably in the heel at 39.2 mm. In terms of density, our durometer shows it’s 25.3% softer than average. Even with a low reading, we enjoy a balanced ride that doesn’t feel too mushy.

The toebox tapers quite aggressively which may not suit runners with wide feet. Those who prefer more wiggle room should look elsewhere.

Pros

  • Fully waterproof and winter-ready
  • Secure lockdown thanks to the gusseted tongue
  • Amazing stability
  • Provides a comfortable ride on roads and easy trails
  • Ideal for long runs
  • Generous CMEVA cushioning underfoot
  • Surprisingly lightweight given its stack height
  • Just $15 more than the regular version

Cons

  • Lacks reflective elements
  • Potentially too stiff for hiking for some users
  • Higher heel-to-toe drop than anticipated
Full review of Hoka Challenger 7 GTX

Best Gore-Tex running shoes for road

What makes it the best?

Among Gore-Tex running shoes, our top pick for the road is none other than the Hoka Clifton 9 GTX. Other than its comfort and protection in our actual runs, it impressed us greatly in the lab with its lightweight yet sturdy design.

The generous cushioning of the Clifton 9 GTX provides gentler landings for all types of foot strikes, with an above-average stack height of 37.2/28.6 mm. Its balanced 23.9 HA foam absorbs shocks effectively and ensures stable landings, giving us the best of both worlds.

Featuring a Gore-Tex membrane, this shoe delivers reliable waterproofing in rainy conditions even with its remarkable 3/5 breathability score in our lab test—an uncommon feat for GTX shoes that usually score 1/5. The tightly knitted jacquard mesh fended off damage in our tests, scoring a solid 4/5 for durability.

Underneath, the Durabrasion rubber outsole provides sturdy protection against abrasions, showing 44.4% less damage compared to the average. Despite all the added features, the Clifton 9 GTX remains relatively light at just 9.6 oz (271g).

However, individuals with wide or squared feet may find the aggressive tapering of the toebox restricting, measuring 75.7 mm in the big toe area vs. the 78.0 mm average.

Pros

  • Exceptionally cushioned
  • Comfortable and long-lasting upper
  • Ideal for winter conditions
  • Only $15 more expensive than the non-waterproof Clifton
  • Still remarkably lightweight even with Gore-Tex
  • Excellent for easy and moderate-paced runs
  • Incredibly stable for neutral runners
  • Ultra-durable Durabrasion outsole

Cons

  • May be too narrow for many
  • Heel-to-toe drop significantly differs from Hoka's claims
  • Really stiff heel counter for being a daily trainer
Full review of Hoka Clifton 9 GTX
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
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.