The Best Waterproof Running Shoes for Icy, Wintery Weather

Logging miles in the sleet is great — as long as you have the right sneakers

January 19, 2024 11:32 am
A collage of wet weather running shoes on a snowy road background
These wet weather running shoes will defeat slush and rain alike.
InsideHook/Getty Images

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For some, running in wet or icy weather means heading straight for the treadmill. But a sleety forecast doesn’t have to keep you indoors — with the right gear, you can get your miles outside and stay comfortable while doing it. Waterproof running shoes are a critical piece of gear in these scenarios. They’ll resist raindrops and splashes so your feet stay dry and warm even when everything around you is soaking wet and icy. That way, you can focus on your pace instead of what the weather’s doing.

Best daily trainer: Adidas Ultraboost Light Gore-Tex
Best for support: Asics GT-1000 12 GTX
Best for speed training: Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield
Best hybrid: Hoka Challenger 7 GTX
Best for maximum cushioning: Saucony Triumph 21 Runshield
Most affordable: Nike Winflo 9 Shield
Best for icy conditions: Saucony Peregrine Ice+ 3
Best for muddy trails: Salomon Speedcross 6 Gore-Tex
Best trail shoe: Brooks Cascadia 17 GTX

Things to consider

Trail vs. Road: If you always stick to the pavement, you’ll need a waterproof road shoe. If you run mainly on trails, you’ll need a trail shoe, which has a burlier outsole that can grip dirt and loose ground. In this guide, I’ve also included a hybrid road-to-trail option for those who regularly run on mixed surfaces.

The Kind of Running Shoe You Need: Some runners prefer plush, well-cushioned shoes for covering long distances, while others need a lightweight, responsive pair for speed training. There are also support shoes, which are designed to keep your feet from rolling too far inward as you run. This guide features waterproof running shoes that fit within all those categories (and more). If you’re not sure what kind of shoe you need, it’s best to visit a running store and try on a few pairs before buying.

Level of Water-Resistance: Not all waterproof running shoes are created equal: some are designed with waterproof uppers, while others are only water-resistant. Gore-Tex membranes, which are designed to block moisture while still letting your feet breathe, are the gold standard for water-resistance. Most of the shoes below use Gore-Tex technology. Keep in mind, however, that even the most robust waterproof shoe isn’t a submarine—if you fully immerse your foot in a puddle, for example, you’ll likely get soaked.

The Best Waterproof Running Shoes in 2024

The Ultraboost has long been a favorite for its cushioned-yet-bouncy ride, courtesy of a generous layer of Adidas’ Boost foam. This version comes with key upgrades for plowing through wet weather. On the upper, there’s a full-coverage Gore-Tex membrane that zips up over the laces for maximum protection, and the outsole is made with Continental Winter Grip rubber for dependable traction in slick conditions.

The Asics GT-1000 12 GTX is a workhorse training shoe with built-in support features, including a Litetruss frame in the midsole that guides your foot and promotes good running form. Gore-Tex panels on the upper block water, and Flytefoam cushioning and Gel pods create a cushioned ride.

The Endorphin Speed 3 is specifically designed for speed training, and with the addition of a Runshield water-resistant upper, this shoe allows you to stick to your running schedule even when it’s wet outside. Like other shoes in the Saucony’s Endorphin line, it features lightweight, responsive Pwrrun PB cushioning, and it’s paired with a snappy nylon plate in the midsole for a propulsive feel that helps you pick up the pace.

If your favorite running route meanders from your front door to your local trails, the Challenger 7 GTX is the all-weather shoe to reach for. With its grooved rubber outsole and moderate cushioning, it’s designed as a hybrid that works equally well on pavement as it does on dirt. A built-in Gore-Tex bootie shields your feet from rain and splashes no matter where your run takes you.

With its hefty layer of Pwrrun+ foam, the Triumph delivers a plush, cushioned ride, and the rocker-shaped sole helps you smoothly roll through your stride from touchdown to toe-off. This Runshield version comes with a water-resistant upper, and the high-coverage rubber outsole offers good grip for rainy conditions and added durability, too.

Waterproof running shoes usually command a premium over regular running shoes, but Nike’s Winflo 9 Shield bucks that trend. This modified version of the brand’s everyday trainer features a water-repellent finish on the upper, insulation to keep your feet warm, and waterproof “skins” around the toes to block out light precipitation. A full-length Air unit in the midsole soaks up impact forces, and a full-coverage rubber outsole helps you get a grip on slick pavement.

The Peregrine is a lightweight, versatile trail shoe that’s suitable for expert and beginner trail runners, and Saucony revamped it for cold weather with this Ice+ 3 version. This shoe comes with a water-resistant Runshield upper to protect your feet from snow, slush, and rain. The outsole utilizes the brand’s Pwrtrac Ice compound, which is specifically designed for grip on icy surfaces. While studded shoes or Yaktrax are still your best bet for really icy trails, these shoes will help you navigate through winter’s variable conditions.

Salomon makes rugged, durable shoes that can handle ultramarathons and the gravity-defying skyrunning you see on Kilian Jornet’s Instagram—these are the shoes to lace up when you’re taking on a really challenging trail. With its burly, widely spaced outsole lugs and tough Gore-Tex upper, the Speedcross is built for powering through mucky terrain.

The Brooks Cascadia offers runners a plush, protective ride on the trail. The latest version comes with even more lightweight DNA Loft foam for a comfy feel, and a rock plate embedded in the midsole protects your feet from sharp rocks or roots. Grooves in the sole help it flex around uneven terrain, and a thin Gore-Tex Invisible Fit membrane on the upper blocks moisture without making these shoes feel stiff or clunky.

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