The Pros and Cons of Waterproof Shoes

Photo: Scott Draper

Depending on where you live, running in February, March and April can often mean slogging through wet, slushy or muddy conditions with a still-doesn’t-feel-like-spring chill in the air. Do you need a waterproof running shoe made with a Gore-Tex, eVent or some other type of waterproof liner? Waterproof technology has improved considerably in recent years, allowing waterproof shoes to be more flexible and breathable than previous models. (Consider, too, that there are many water-resistant shoes that offer more breathability but less weather protection than waterproof models.) Ultimately it comes down to the conditions you’re running in and your personal preference.

Here are some pros and cons to consider.


  • Feet generally stay warm and dry.
  • Lesser chance for getting cold feet or even frostbite.
  • Removes excuses for not running in bad weather.
  • Allows for uninhibited running in inclement weather conditions.


  • Feet can get too hot on sunny runs in mild weather.
  • Waterproof shoes typically aren’t as flexible as traditional models.
  • $15-$20 more than non-waterproof models.
  • Most waterproof shoes are slightly heavier than non-waterproof shoes.
  • Feet are still vulnerable to getting wet from moisture that enters at the sock.

RELATED: Marathon Prep: Running in Bad Weather

Stay On Topic