Waterproof Shoes for Walking in the Rain

Keeping Your Feet Dry on Rainy Walks

Walking Through Puddle in Rain
Walking Through Puddle in Rain. Mike Harrington/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Dry feet make a huge difference in walking comfort, especially when walking in the rain. Waterproof shoes are widely available, although you pay a premium for them. You can also waterproof your shoes or boots yourself with a simple treatment.

Waterproof Shoes and Boots

Gore-tex lined boots and shoes are available in most brands of boots. This liner allows sweat moisture to escape while keeping out water from the outside.

Both of those actions help keep your feet dry. You pay an extra $30 or more for this feature, which puts them in the $90 and above price range. My experience is that these are waterproof for several years. I include a pair of Gore-tex lined lightweight trail shoes in my walking gear, saving them for the truly rainy days. Look for GTX after a model name for waterproof shoes.

Brooks Ghost GTX: This lightweight shoe is good for walking fast in the rain. Unfortunately, it comes only in regular widths rather than wide as well as regular. It comes in men's and women's versions.

New Balance 910 Gore-tex: This waterproof trail running shoe will give you better stability on wet trails. It comes in wide as well as regular widths, and in men's and women's versions.


Walk in your regular shoes - but wear a waterproof overshoe.

The drawback is that these are often not designed for fitness walking, but for slogging around. You will be weighted down and slowed down wearing them. Plus, your feet may get wet from the sweat being trapped in with the non-breathable overshoe.

Single-Use Plastic Items to Cover Your Shoes

Single-use substitutes for overshoes include using those free shower caps you get in hotel rooms.

They work fine for a single walk, and I've used them for some rainy half marathons. Another single-use fix is to use the plastic bag that your newspaper is delivered in. You can either wear them over the shoe or slip them over your socks before you put your feet in your shoes. However, I find that the bags keep foot sweat inside your socks and you end up with feet almost as wet as if they got soaked with the rain. A waterproof, breathable shoe is better as it allows sweat to be wicked away.
Step by Step: Using a Shower Cap Shoe Cover

Sealers and Treatments

It can be much more cost-effective to buy a treatment such as Sno-Seal and some welt/seam guard, both of which are available for around $5. Use them to treat your favorite pair of leather shoes or boots.

For footwear made of nylon, spray your shoes with a waterproofing fabric treatment such as Scotchguard or Tectron. I find this does a less-thorough job, but it can reduce some of the wetness or take it longer for the rain to penetrate.

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