I want waterproof running shoes! Do you? Running during the winter months can be very uncomfortable with cold and windy conditions but if your feet get wet, it can be downright miserable! Sloppy snow and cold water puddles have a way of seeping into our running shoes. Waterproof shoes can help keep your feet dry, keep you safe in wet and slippery conditions and most importantly--keep you happy. However, there are a number of options to choose from so make sure you know what's available before you buy.
Waterproof running shoes are usually made from a waterproof, breathable material. The most common waterproof material for shoes is GORE-TEX®. It is essential that the upper is made from breathable fabrics to allow airflow to ensure your feet can breath while running.
Ensure that the shoes you purchase have non-slip, durable soles which offer reliable traction for wet and slippery conditions. You will feel much more confident running in heavy rain or wet snow when you don't have to worry about slipping.
Waterproof running shoes are often more expensive and less breathable than regular or water-resistant running shoes, but they will help keep your feet dry and warm in extreme conditions. A water resistant shoe will help keep your feet dry in light rain or in small amounts of water, but will not keep you dry in more severe conditions.
There is now another option: Waterproof socks. I haven't tried them but they certainly sound interesting. If you have tried them, please leave me a comment at the bottom.
Many shoe manufacturing companies make a waterproof model but also make an identical pair of water-resistant shoes. It can be difficult to identify which one is actually waterproof if you don't know what to look for.
As most waterproof shoes are made from GORE-TEX®, they can easily be identified as they include "GTX" on their label. Keep this in mind to ensure that you are purchasing GORE-TEX® shoes. Also, ensure that you buy the best running shoes designed for you feet, considering whether you are an overpronator, underpronator or a neutral pronator.
Image courtesy of Dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Before you buy your next pair of wet-weather running shoes, consider the conditions that you are most likely to be running. Extremely wet weather and slippery conditions will require waterproof running shoes to keep you dry and safe. For less severe wet conditions, a cheaper, more breathable, water-resistance shoe would probably be sufficient.
If you don't want to purchase a new pair at this time, try this cheaper alternative to feel more comfortable in wet running conditions. Pick up a can of waterproofing spray such as Kiwi Protect-All and give your regular shoes a treatment to make them more water-resistant. Of course, they won't keep your feet as dry as a manufactured pair classed as water resistant, but they will keep your feet dryer than before.
If you run regularly, you will no doubt encounter wet weather and regular running shoes will get quite wet and soggy. How do you safely and quickly dry your shoes in time for your next run?
Running shoes should not be exposed to direct heat. You can, however, place them in a warm area with a heat source nearby. Remove the insoles if possible and stuff the shoes with newspaper to help remove the excess water more quickly. Your shoes should be dry in about 12 hours. Whenever possible, I like to hang mine outdoors and let the wind dry them.
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus G-TX neutral running shoe is an easy choice when you want a comfortable waterproof running shoe. It is reasonably priced and it is designed to keep you dry and comfortable in all weather conditions.The Brooks Cascadia GTX is a great waterproof running shoe if your running takes you over multiple terrains. This running shoe is great on grass, dirt roads, gravel paths and pavement. The Brooks Cascadia GTX is a neutral shoe. Its durable rubber outsole features TrailTack traction for a better grip and its GORE-TEX® membrane ensures breathable, waterproof protection. Weight: 11 oz
Barefoot runners have a greater requirement for keeping their feet warm and dry as most minimalist running shoes provide very little protection in cold and wet conditions. This is especially challenging as we do not want to compromise minimalist standards. We want to wear shoes that keep us dry and warm and still allow our feet to feel free to move as nature intended. Fortunately, more and more options are becoming available that support the barefoot style in cold and wet climates.
If you want to continue to run in barefoot running shoes during the winter when it is cold and wet, the Merrell Vapor Glove Luna Leather is a good choice. It is not promoted as a waterproof running shoe but many barefoot runners say that it really helps to keep feet warm and dry in wet conditions. It has a soft, full grain leather upper and breathable mesh lining for a comfortable sock-like feel.
Another option from Merrell is the Merrell Trail Glove. It is also not promoted as a waterproof shoe but is a popular choice for barefoot runners in slippery, wet conditions. The Vibram outsole and trail protect pad offers underfoot protection and water resistance and with zero heel to toe ratio, it maintains minimalist standards.A waterproof option for the minimalist runner who likes a thicker outsole (25mm) is the Altra Lone Peak Low RSM. It has 0 mm heel to toe drop and a roomy toe box for a more natural running feel. It is lightweight, provides breathability, and has great traction over rough terrain. The RSM collection provides protection against rain, snow and mud!
Vivobarefoot have a new option for keeping your feet warm and dry during wet weather. It is the Vivobarefoot Primus Trail Winter FG. These vegan shoes are water resistant with a firm ground outsole and low-profile lugs designed for great traction on trails and slippery terrains. Get all the essential barefoot principles and allow your feet to move as nature intended with the best possible outdoor barefoot experience while keeping you dry and comfortable.
Some of the Cheap Barefoot Running Shoes that are now available have removable insoles and provide good water drainage so may be another option for warmer winter barefoot running.
So no more excuses for not running in cold, wet weather! There are many options to keep your feet dry and warm in all seasons regardless of your running style!
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