How to Make Waterproof Shower Cap Shoe Covers or Gaiters

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How to Use a Shower Cap to Keep Rain Out of Your Shoes

Make a Waterproof Shoe Cover with a Shower Cap
Make a Waterproof Shoe Cover with a Shower Cap. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Walkers and runners need a quick and cheap solution to keep rain out of their shoes. Wet feet are especially problems during rainy race events such as a 10K, half marathon or marathon where you have trained with a particular pair of shoes -- and they aren't waterproof.

Waterproof overshoes are too heavy and will change your gait. A quick and effective solution is to use disposable hotel shower caps or Covermate food covers. These will get shredded after the first use, but are surprisingly effective at keeping most of the rain out of your shoes for hours.

Whenever you stay at a hotel, take home the disposable shower cap. If you don't travel much, enlist friends and family to collect them for you. If you need a bigger supply, look for Covermate Stretch-to-Fit Food Covers at the store or online and select the Large or Extra Large size and buy a box of them. Bulk disposable shower caps are also very inexpensive.

This solution will not keep all of the rain out -- you won't be able to splash through puddles without getting some water in your shoes. Your socks will be damp. But I found that it kept my feet from being squishy wet during a four hour half marathon with over an inch of rainfall. Yes, this qualifies as one of the 10 dorky things I've worn walking.

You may also shop for reusable waterproof gaiters if you often walk in rainy weather and don't want to wear waterproof shoes.

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Step 1: Thread the Shower Cap Through Your Shoe Laces

Making a Shower Cap Shoe Cover
Making a Shower Cap Shoe Cover. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Place the shower cap or food cover with the elastic down over your shoe and thread it through your laces. Depending on your foot size and the size and stretchiness of the shower cap, use the top shoelaces or as far up as you can. The higher up, the better waterproofing you will get.

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Making a Shower Cap Shoe Cover - Step 2

Making a Showercap Shoe Cover
Making a Showercap Shoe Cover. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Pull the bottom part of the shower cap over the toe of your shoe.

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Making a Shower Cap Shoe Cover - Step 3

Making a Shower Cap Shoe Cover
Making a Shower Cap Shoe Cover. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Now pull the top part of the shower cap down over the toe of your shoe, so you have a double layer of shower cap over the top of your shoe.

Adjust where the elastic is on the bottom of your shoe to get the best coverage.

For additional security, you can tape it on with duct tape.

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Shower Cap Shoe Cover -- Sole View

Shower Cap Shoe Cover - Sole
Shower Cap Shoe Cover - Sole. Wendy Bumgardner ©

A view of the bottom of the shoe with the shower cap shoe cover gaiter in place. Adjust the elastic to even it out. You may want to secure it in place with duct tape. However, even as shown, it can be surprisingly durable.

If you can't get the shower cap over the toe, then thread it through one of the lower laces rather than the top laces.

Even when the shower cap shreds as you walk, keeping the rain off of the toe of the shoe will prevent most of the water entry into your shoes. This is especially true for mesh shoes.

The shower caps will only last for a single use. Carry spares along to replace if you find they wear out too quickly. It is best to stock up on them or buy a box of Covermate Stretch-to-Fit Food Covers, which will work just as well.

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Use Duct Tape to Secure Your Shower Cap Shoe Covers

Shower Cap Shoe Cover with Duct Tape
Shower Cap Shoe Cover with Duct Tape. Wendy Bumgardner ©

If you have duct tape available, you can secure the shower cap shoe covers with it.

First, put the shoe on, as you don't want the duct tape to be too tight, and you might tighten it too much if the shoe is empty.

Wrap the duct tape completely around the shoe, in a full circle, so you tape the tape to itself. Duct tape sticks best to itself, especially in wet conditions.

You especially want to tape the elastic to the sole of the shoe. But this also eliminates any extra puffiness at the sides that might affect your gait.

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Shower Cap Shoe Cover Secured with Duct Tape - Sole View

Sole View - Shower Cap Shoe Cover with Duct Tape
Sole View - Shower Cap Shoe Cover with Duct Tape. Wendy Bumgardner ©

Cover up the elastic on the bottom of the shoe with one or more layers of duct tape. This will keep the shower cap from flipping off the shoe.

Duct tape is most secure in wet conditions if it is taped to itself, so it is best to encircle the tape entirely around the shoe. Make overlapping layers on the sole for more security.

Using duct tape often isn't necessary. I found that the elastic stayed in place during a four-hour walk in the rain. But this will vary with your stride, shoe size, etc. Using duct tape gives extra security.

If this is just too dorky for you to try, then you'll need to shop for waterproof shoes or waterproof gaiters.

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