At some point (some more than others), every runner will encounter a rainy day. While any ordinary being will opt out of outdoor activity when the storm clouds loom overhead, us runners have a different agenda, and it’s likely to include getting a little wet.
A regular question we receive here at the ‘house is what shoes are best for when the sky intends on dumping rain or snow upon us. In most cases, the shoes you already have and love will suffice. Stuffing your shoes full of newspaper following your run can help them dry, and a second pair could come in handy here if your shoes just don’t dry quickly enough.
That said, there are a few considerations that you might not want to overlook when running in not-so-dry conditions in order to ensure a safer and more pleasurable run.
It’s no secret that rain brings slick surfaces. Fortunately, many shoes provide ample traction even on wet roads. When selecting a shoe for rainy conditions, look for a combination of sticky carbon and blown rubber in the outsole to help prevent your run from turning into a slip and slide.
In colder climates, wet conditions can include snow and ice, which should be considered when choosing a shoe. Shoes with a lugged sticky rubber outsole such as the Salomon XT S-Lab 5 Softground will provide traction in most snowy runs. For more extreme conditions, a spiked shoe such as the Salomon Spikecross CS can provide the grip you need on snow and ice.
For runners who prefer to keep their feet dry, water resistant or waterproof upper technologies are available on special versions of many of your already-faved shoe models. Nike’s Shield collection (view Men’s and Women’s) takes several popular offerings and applies a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) coating, designed to slow the rate of water entering the shoe. In addition, many companies offer Gore-Tex versions of their most popular shoes, like the Asics GT-2000 GTX (view Men’s and Women’s) or the Brooks Ghost GTX (view Men’s and Women’s). It should be noted that though water resistant or waterproof technologies such as DWR or Gore-Tex are marketed as breathable, they do tend to hold heat, and are therefore not ideal for use in warmer climates.
If it isn’t cold enough to run in a water resistant or waterproof shoe, as counter-intuitive as it may sound, a shoe with an thin and airy, open mesh upper material may be your best bet. The open mesh of shoes like the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 (view Men’s and Women’s) or the Saucony Triumph 10 (view Men’s and Women’s) will hold less water and allow for moisture to drain out of the shoe, resulting in a less slushy experience and a more enjoyable run.