Rainy days are a great time to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. But if you’re not wearing the right shoes, your walk can turn into a miserable slog. To avoid that, we’ve rounded up some of the best shoes for rainy weather.
The first thing to consider when choosing rain boots is what kind of terrain you’ll be walking on. If you’re going to be trekking through mud and puddles, you’ll want something with a deep tread pattern on the sole. And if you’re just strolling around town or taking a hike in the woods, then a more street-friendly boot will do just fine.
Many of our favorite rain boots are made from rubber or neoprene, which means that they’ll keep your feet dry even when submerged in water for long periods of time. The rubber also provides excellent traction on slippery surfaces like wet grass or pavement covered with puddles. They’re also flexible enough that they won’t inhibit movement while walking — though they may feel stiff at first until they have been broken in properly.
Best Shoes For Rain Walkers
Rain boots are great and all, but try tossing the wrong pair on with shorts—or, worse, try going for a run in them—and it quickly becomes clear that they aren’t the be all, end all of wet-weather footwear. Enter the waterproof sneaker. It might be built for hiking, or trail running, or simply stunting in some comfortable shoes, no matter how bad the weather gets. But no matter its intended purpose, it is enjoying something of a revival right now.
You can write it off as the influx of a kind of nouveau-gorp, genre-smashing approach to mixing hiking, climbing, and other outdoorsy gear with high fashion, though that’s not the whole story. Technology is also a huge factor. And now that sneaker companies from every (ahem) walk of life can throw waterproof membranes and coatings onto their offerings without totally disrupting the look—thanks, Gore-Tex!—the sheer variety of very good-looking waterproof sneakers on the market feels almost overwhelming. Worry not. I’ve tracked down the best of the best right here. From Adidas hikers to Nike runners to trail-ready styles from The North Face, Vasque, and more, these are the shoes to reach for when the world is drenched but it’s still a sneaker day.
Excursion TR15 GTX Trail Running Sneakers
Runners love Saucony’s Excursion silhouette even when there’s not a cloud in the sky, so the brand did one better and built a version that’ll keep you moving when the rain is pouring down.
Gel-Sonoma 6 G-TX Running Shoe
Asics’s Gel-Sonoma is running shoe favored by fervent runners. The style is celebrated for its cushioning, shock-absorption, and durable outsoles. Taking the design a step further, the Gel-Sonoma now features a breathable, waterproof upper.
Vitesse Fasttrack Waterproof Hiking Sneakers
No surprise that Columbia, the name to know when it comes to gear for the great outdoors, offers sneakers complete with water-repellent technology and Omnigrip soles.
Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX Running Shoes
I know these are built for trail running—check that beefy sole and the Gore-Tex Invisible Fit waterproofing—but I’ll be damned if they wouldn’t look great just chilling under a pair of tech trousers at the bar.
Moab 2 GTX Hiking Sneakers
Like Columbia, Merrell also specializes in stuff for mountaineers, so you know that its sneakers—including this breathable option with a waterproof membrane—will keep your feet dry no matter what the forecast says.
Terrex AX4 Primegreen RAIN.RDY Hiking Shoes
Simple but capable as hell, Adidas’s rail runners are built to withstand the rigors of a jog over roots and mud or a sprint up rocky terrain. And thanks to their low-key colorway and Gore-Tex weather protection, they’ll hold up just as well when you need to run out for coffee.
Wool Runner Mizzles
Wool sneakers? In the rain? Wool sneakers! In the rain! Allbirds builds its Mizzles runners with the same sustainable uppers it uses on its everyday sneakers, but adds in a bio-based, water-repellent shield to keep your socks (and feet) from getting soggy.
Ah, New Balance’s 57/40, a newbie but a goodie from the stalwart sneaker brand. Now, the design has gone waterproof—complete with Gore-Tex uppers and wavy mudguards.
Breeze LT NTX Low Hiking Shoe
Vasque built its brand on hiking shoes that can go the distance. Luckily, the company didn’t feel hamstrung by that whole “boots” thing, and decided to offer up some extremely good (and waterproof!) hiking sneakers, too.
HOKA ONE ONE
Challenger ATR 6 GTX Sneakers
Behold! A sneaker that looks like it’s made f0r sunny days and mild weather, but hides under the hood all the weather protection you’ll need for even the most punishingly wet conditions.
THE NORTH FACE
Vectiv Escape Futurelight Trail Running Sneakers
Is it a surprise that The North Face makes tough, stylish waterproof runners that are meant for the great outdoors but feel just as at home in the not-so-great outdoors—think, your driveway, as you hustle to the car—too? Nah. But that doesn’t mean these sneakers, which use the brand’s DryVent membrane to ward off water, are any less welcome.
Multi-Vent M Low GTXS Sneakers
You’d think that this utterly breathable sneaker with perforations throughout wouldn’t by waterproof, but Ecco has managed to defy expectations by using Gore-Tex technology.
Terrex Agravic Ultra Trail Running Shoes
If you’re more inclined towards the colors of old-school outdoors brands, Adidas has you covered. The label’s Gore-Tex-treated Terrex hikers are hyper-futuristic when it comes to materials and construction, but hits of bright orange and lime green harken back to the good old days.
Predict Hike Gore-Tex Sneaker
Suffice it to say, the weather in summer is unpredictable. Which is why you need these hikers, aptly named Predict. Come rain or come shine, these shoes, complete with Gore-Tex uppers, won’t do you wrong.
Cloudventure Waterproof Sneakers
On’s CloudTec cushioning is unrivaled, so fans tend to not want to give it up, even in the worst weather. Thanks to these waterproof runners, they won’t have to.
Air Force 1 Low GTX sneakers
Wait, what? Are you seeing this, too? The Nike Air Force 1, a style that flies off the virtual shelves at a rapid rate, with waterproof Gore-Tex? It’s best to cop this now, because sizes will surely run out fast.
Aerios FL Mid GTX Shoe
Arc’teryx is a brand that specializes in wares for inclement weather, offering styles made of tech fibers that can withstand a downpour. Of course its shoes, especially the Aerios, fit the same bill.
HOKA ONE ONE
Kaha Low GTX Sneakers
For runners. And hikers. And fashion fans. And pretty much anyone who appreciates a chunky, cool-as-hell sneaker outfitted with element-blocking Gore-Tex.
Mountain Fly Low GTX SE Sneakers
Speaking of the good old days: Nike’s Mountain Fly sneakers throw it back to the ’90s heyday of the brand’s much-beloved ACG line. But with a Gore-Tex membrane and sticky, lugged soles, the performance and protection are very of-the-moment.
A-COLD-WALL X ROA
Andreas Hiking Sneakers
This shoe, done is partnership by two futurists, is made of water-repelling materials galore: nylon, polyester, kevlar, leather, and rubber. It’s not technically waterproof, but thanks to the fabrication and design—check out that lace cover, for instance—it’ll serve you quite capably on drizzly days.