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10 Best Waterproof Shoes for Rainy Days in 2024

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Nothing puts a damper (pun intended) on a walk, hike, run, or commute like a surprise storm, especially when it results in soggy feet. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to: With the best waterproof shoes and water-resistant options out there, you can actually enjoy a gray day, even when the sky is literally raining on your parade. And you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or aesthetics to stay dry—these shoes can be just as cute, cushy, and supportive as your regular go-to walking or running sneakers, with the added benefit of keeping your feet safe from the elements. These picks come from trusted brands and are well-reviewed, or were vetted by our own SELF testers, so you can count on the quality.

1. Best for Trail Running: Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex
2. Best for Running: Brooks Ghost 15 GTX
3. Best for Rugged Hiking: KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid
4. Best for Easy Trails: Merrell Bravada 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
5. Best for Travel: On Cloud 5 Waterproof
6. Best for Walking: New Balance Fresh Foam X 880V12 GTX
7. Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Hoka Clifton 9 GTX
8. Best for Work: Snibbs Spacecloud Work Sneaker
9. Most Stylish: Sorel Kinetic Breakthru Venture Waterproof Sneaker
10. Best for Warmth: Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles

What to look for in waterproof shoes

The best waterproof shoe will be different for everyone—you should consider the activity you’re most likely to use them for, your foot type, how intense the weather is where you live, and what tends to feel comfortable. In terms of waterproofing, you’ll want to look out for two components: the membrane and the exterior coating.

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Membrane

A membrane is an internal layer of a shoe that works with the exterior to prevent water from getting inside. Gore-Tex is perhaps the most well-known waterproof fabric used, and many brands, like Nike and Brooks, incorporate it into their shoes because it’s both breathable and waterproof. (Look for shoes that have GTX or Gore-Tex in the name.) Other brands, like On Running and Sorel, use their own technology to create waterproof interiors. One thing to note: Waterproof membranes can also be less breathable than non-waterproof shoes and can trap moisture easily. That’s why it’s important to wear moisture-wicking socks so your waterproof walking shoes don’t become a sweaty mess.

Exterior

Many regular sneakers have breathable uppers made of mesh or other lightweight fabrics to keep feet cool. So when designing waterproof shoes, brands typically coat this with a water-resistant finish—often referred to as durable water repellent (DWR)—so liquid sheds off the surface without sacrificing all the airflow.

To put this all together, if a shoe has an exterior finish and an internal membrane, it’s more likely to be actually waterproof, and shouldn’t allow any moisture in. If it has the former without the latter, it will likely be water-resistant, meaning it will only partially block liquid. This is fine in many scenarios, like light rain, but if you plan on being out during a downpour or splashing through puddles on trails, you’ll definitely want a pair of truly waterproof shoes.

The best waterproof shoes

Below, we’ve selected some of the best waterproof shoes from brands like Hoka, New Balance, Nike, and Allbirds. Read on to find the best options for your next rainy day out and about.

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Source: Self

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