5 Best Waterproof Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
5 Best Waterproof Running Shoes in 2024
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Running outdoors is not always sunny and warm. There are also days when you have to deal with rain and moisture; hence, the creation of waterproof running shoes

These shoes are made with a Gore-Tex membrane, which keeps water out. And since there are waterproof versions of both trail and road running shoes, it might take some time to go through everything. 

To help you trim down your options, we have created this list to give you the finest shoes among all the waterproof models that we have intensively investigated. We are proud to say that each shoe went through our meticulous testing and we have really confirmed or disproved their claims during our process. Curious? Read on to find out.

How we test running shoes

Before putting any waterproof shoe on this list, we always test it out first through our own shoe testing lab, and religiously follow these protocols: 

  • We buy each of the shoes we test with our own money to create bias-free reviews. 
  • We run in each shoe for at least 30-50 miles to examine its durability and overall performance. 
  • To dig deeper, we slice each shoe into several pieces.
  • We then proceed to measure every model in 30 different parameters. Of course, the star feature, waterproofness is also tested. We start by pumping smoke inside the shoes and evaluating how much clears out by rating it from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most breathable, thus most permeable, and least waterproof. Of course, there are waterproof shoes that are also breathable so we further investigate by putting the shoes under a source of bright light and our microscope. This way, we can assess how tightly woven, interlaced, and thick the materials are.

 

Best waterproof running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

In our lab assessments and actual runs, Nike’s Pegasus Trail 4 GTX stood out as the best waterproof running shoe. Wrapped in Gore-Tex membrane, it’s an outstanding performer with tacky grip, incredible energy, and lasting comfort. We could easily run from the road to the trails without counting the miles.

Besides its waterproof membrane, the upper has several protective layers to block debris. Underfoot, we also have an outsole that keeps us steady no matter what surface we run on — whether dry pavements, wet grass, or snow.

This Peg aced its midsole by integrating the React foam that’s both soft and bouncy underfoot. The heel stack rises to 37.7 mm, offering an extra 5.5 mm cushion for protection. Also, our durometer shows the foam is 29.0% softer than average. This heavenly combination ensures long-lasting comfort, while the energetic midsole handles LSDs to tempo runs effortlessly.

Adding to the comfort is the unresisting midsole that boosts our agility and allows us to stride naturally. Our bend test confirms this hybrid shoe is 29.0% more flexible than average.

While the upper is undoubtedly water-resistant, it lacks a fully gusseted tongue for complete block out. We recommend staying away from streams above the ankle.

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

Waterproof running shoes with best durability

What makes it the best?

From light runs to heavy backpacking on the trails, we surely felt stable and protected with Salomon's XA Pro 3D v9 GTX. It inspired confident and surefooted strides on wet encounters and uneven terrains as its watertight upper, firm midsole and grippy lugs supported us. Our lab proves it’s built like a tank, making it our top durable waterproof running shoe.

The first area we analyzed is its Gore-Tex-wrapped upper, proving its impermeability when it scored a low 1/5 in our breathability test. Not a single drop of water entered as we traversed through below-the-ankle waters and rain. It also has a toe bumper that shields us from unexpected rocks and roots.

The next supportive layers are the midsole and 3D chassis which give a firm and stable ride. Our durometer confirms the cushion is 23.6% denser than average, which means it won't bottom out. We also found the midsole difficult to twist, meaning it won’t easily give in to our excessive lateral movements.

Lastly, the Contagrip outsole has 2.8-mm sticky lugs to enhance traction on mixed terrains. Even after extensive testing on harsh paths, we felt reassured of its longevity since the rubber didn’t show signs of premature wear.

Unfortunately, this shoe is heavy at 12.7 oz (359g). Those who prefer lighter shoes should look elsewhere.

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

Best waterproof running shoes for daily wear

What makes it the best?

On Cloud Waterproof kept our feet dry and warm from rain and puddles when we tested these shoes out. It performs in cool and wet conditions, allowing us to continue throughout our day with no worries. It's flexible for all-day comfort with an outsole that lasts long. Our lab results and actual runs show it's best for daily wear among waterproof running shoes.

With its unresisting midsole, this unique runner is versatile enough for walking, the gym, or casual wear. We could move freely! Our flex test confirms it’s 48.2% more adaptive than average. This feature makes it more comfortable for long hours.

Under our microscope, we found the upper is made of several layers of engineered mesh with small holes to block out water. It effectively keeps us dry with a bootie fit that locks the water out.

The shoe has a durable outsole that can take the load of daily mileage. Our durometer shows 83.0 HC — harder (and tougher) than the 80.3 HC average. The 3.7 mm rubber is thicker too, ensuring the long-lasting quality of the outsole.

The upper successfully blocks water out, but it hinders airflow too. We don’t recommend this pair for warmer regions because the feet will be drenched in sweat instead.

Pros

  • Truly waterproof
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Winter-ready
  • Amazing reflective details for nighttime safety
  • Looks cool and it's comfy for daily wear
  • Provides good traction in wet conditions
  • Light and flexible

Cons

  • Lacks breathability
  • The upper is excessively narrow
  • Insufficient stability
Full review of On Cloud Waterproof

Waterproof running shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

Speedgoat 5 GTX offered the best cushioning among all the waterproof shoes we tried and tested in the lab and ran with. Rain or shine, this trail shoe is all-weather ready with its surprisingly breathable Gore-Tex membrane. We enjoyed the seamless blend of comfort and stability in our off-road adventures.

On foot, we know there is plenty of cushion for protection no matter where we land. Our caliper confirms an above-average 34.6/27.6 mm stack, allowing us to run farther without worrying about comfort. Our durometer proves Speedgoat’s buttery foam is 26.8% softer than average.

The upper features a double-layer mesh with a Gore-Tex membrane. Based on our previous lab tests, GTX translates to a low breathability score. Yet we’re pleasantly surprised that this shoe earned a 3/5! Upon testing further, we found that it has a ventilated tongue for balance.

Speedgoat delivers the stable ride and traction we need on moderate trails and mixed terrains. We have a generous landing platform, which avoids any awkward foot movements. In terms of grip, the Vibram Megagrip outsole and its 3.5 mm lugs ensure our steady and controlled strides.

We don’t recommend submerging this shoe beyond the breathable tongue since water can seep in through this area. Best to avoid the discomfort of finishing a run with wet socks.

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 waterproof running shoes

What makes it the best?

Running in Hoka’s 7th Challenger GTX is being armored with all-terrain, all-weather shoes. Our lab and run tests show it’s all about versatility. It provides the grip and protection we need from the streets to off-the-beaten paths, making it our top waterproof road-to-trail shoe.

Upon cutting it open, we discovered the outsole is made of Durabrasion rubber lined with 3.8-mm lugs to ensure traction. This depth feels suitable on gravel roads and moderate trails while not being clunky on pavements — the latter being crucial for comfort.

The upper is fully waterproof and feels very safe from any kind of debris. Under our microscope, we saw that it’s packed with a solid amount of protective layers and a Gore-Tex membrane. The fully gusseted tongue keeps our feet dry even as we pass through river crossings.

Challenger 7 can keep up with our whole-day adventures as it’s generously cushioned. Its stack rises above average, notably in the heel with a whopping 39.2-mm foam. The platform feels comfortable underfoot and our durometer confirms it’s 25.3% softer than average. Overall, the ride feels balanced which makes it a great performer in any environment.

Unfortunately, we cannot recommend this pair to those with wide feet since the tapering toebox causes unpleasant pressure on the toes.

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 £20 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
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.