Are Waterproof Running Shoes Worth the Investment? Pros and Cons

If you're running in wet or muddy conditions during February, March, and April, you might be wondering if you need a waterproof running shoe. Advances in waterproof technology have made these shoes more breathable and flexible than in the past, but whether or not you need them depends on personal preference and the conditions you're running in.

Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Your feet will stay warm and dry.
  • You'll have a lesser chance of getting cold feet or even frostbite.
  • Waterproof shoes remove excuses for not running in bad weather.
  • They allow for uninhibited running in inclement weather conditions.


  • Your feet can get too hot on sunny runs in mild weather.
  • Waterproof shoes are typically less flexible than traditional models.
  • They cost $15-$20 more than non-waterproof shoes.
  • Most waterproof shoes are slightly heavier than non-waterproof shoes.
  • Your feet are still vulnerable to getting wet from moisture that enters at the sock.

Ultimately, whether or not you need waterproof shoes comes down to your personal preference and the conditions you'll be running in. These shoes are typically made with materials like Gore-Tex or eVent that provide a barrier between your feet and the elements. While they can be slightly heavier and less flexible than non-waterproof shoes, they offer the advantage of keeping your feet warm and dry, which is especially important when running in inclement weather.

Caroline Buckee

Caroline Flannigan is an epidemiologist. She is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and is the Associate Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top