A Guide to Selecting the Right Waterproof Trail Running Shoes for You

Traveling is the latest trend. Running on various and difficult routes is a refreshing retirement from the monotonous routine of hitting the concrete roads. Wild roads have different ups and downs.

To tackle that you need equally qualified running shoes. A nice pair of athletic shoes can drastically affect your running or walking experience.

Your trail runners will take you through a variety of muddy, grassy, and rocky trails, so it’s important to find a pair that’s right for you.

Here we bring you a few of the best waterproof trail running shoes.

We made a list of different ranges of lightweight and flexible trail shoes to rugged and solid styles for conquering rough or steep terrain. 

Editor’s Pick: Top 8 Best Waterproof  Trail Running Shoes 

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best Waterproof  Trail Running Shoes Review

Running a Man On the Rock Water Wearing Waterproof Trail Running Shoes

Hiking is a challenging sport. Every particular trail is unique and needs unique types of gear.

Trail shoes are one of them. You will need different trial shoes for a different kind of trial.

On a technical trail, the shoes you wore on a foot trail will not suffice. For example, waterproof trail shoes are a must for hiking on muddy and wet terrain.

So we have made our list in such a way that you will find a shoe for any type of terrain.

1. Columbia Women’s Ivo Trail Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Columbia Womens Trailstorm Hiking Shoe, Graphite/Dolphin, 9.5 US

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 10mm 
  • Weight: 10.2oz/289.16g
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Category: Neutral, Stability

The waterproof-bootie design of this retro-inspired shoe keeps water out and toes dry on drizzly walks across the city or off-road.

Omni-Grip and Techlite, two Columbia-only features, are included. Wearers will benefit from the latter’s ability to keep them stable on the trail.

However, the latter offers the foot the maximum amount of cushioning while walking on rocky ground.

Columbia Ivo Trail is a men’s and women’s low-top hiking shoe. The hiker’s lace-up closure makes it possible to achieve a customized and secure lockdown.

Extra eyelets on the shoe’s top allow wearers to fine-tune their shoe’s fit.

The long-lasting Omni-Grip outsole of the Ivo Trail provides terrain runners with adequate slip and skid resistance. Non-marking rubber covers the entire thing.

Trail runners will have enough traction on soft dirt and other surfaces because of the lug’s aggressiveness and placement at opposing angles.

This shoe’s strategically-placed lugs around the toe and heel areas make ascents and descents easier.

The Techlite EVA midsole in this hiking shoe provides enough underfoot protection and cushioning for the comfort of any trail runner.

Shock absorption and ground stability are provided by this single-piece component’s springy yet robust structure.

Additionally, the runner receives a substantial amount of energy return, allowing them to move more quickly.

Pros

  • Incredibly aesthetic design for a hiking shoe
  • Immensely comfortable
  • Provides A-grade grip performance
  • Mid-soles are made with Techlite EVA technology
  • High-end mesh material made this trail shoe extremely breathable

Cons

  • Laces in this hiking shoe get untied easily

Final Opinion

The Columbia Ivo is a complete package as a trail running shoe. This hiking shoe is lightweight, durable, provides excellent traction on muddy terrain, offers the best cushioning feeling while hiking on a rocky trail.

On top of that, it has an incredible aesthetic look that most trail shoes don’t have. You can bet your money on this running shoe without a second thought.

2. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Merrell mens MOAB 2 WTPF Hiking Shoe, Beluga, 10 US

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: Low drop (1-4mm)
  • Weight: 16.57oz/470g
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Technology: Air cushioning, Vibram

Suede and mesh are used in the uppers of these hiking boots. As a result, you’d expect the boots to be significantly lighter, yet they aren’t.

They’re still lighter than my old KSBs, which is why I was so taken aback by how light a pair of Moab 2s from Ellis Brigham felt the first time I tried them on.

You may rest assured that the boot’s upper section provides enough ankle support. Ankle cushioning helps keep the boot in place when the laces are tight.

Also, suede and mesh uppers allow exceptional breathability while remaining robust.

As with the original model, Merrell went for Vibram rubber for the sole, which is one of the most excellent materials for hiking boots, in my opinion.

The soles have adequate firmness to provide additional support to your feet and avoid the loss of sensation when you walk.

This is to say that the soles are flexible enough to create a nearly natural walking experience.

Additionally, the soles are incredibly sticky and provide good traction on rocky and slick terrain.

There is plenty of room for big feet in the toe box, making the Moab 2 an excellent hiking boot for me.

My toes don’t feel pinched or uncomfortable even when wearing the thickest socks.

With a good fit, the heel grips the foot in a way that doesn’t make me want to give up on life. Overall, walking in the boot is quite flexible.

There are four hooks at the top of each hiking boot, two on each side, for the lacing system to use.

I’m aware that some dislike this type of system, but I’ve been using it for a long time and am generally satisfied with it.

With just a few tugs, you can easily get your boots on, thanks to the design and quality.

Pros

  • M Select DRY keeps you dry while you’re on the go by sealing out water and allowing moisture to escape.
  • Protective rubber cap
  • Vibram TC5+ sole
  • Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Water resistance at not its best

7.4
Expert Score
Width8.8
 
Toe box7.9
 
Arch support5.6
 

Final Opinion

Suitable for novice and intermediate hikers. If you’re traversing more challenging terrain, you may want to consider a heavier boot with a thicker sole in your footwear. Feeling tenacious? Then this is the route to take.

3. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof — Women’s

Merrell Women's Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe, Drizzle/Mint, 10 M US

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: low drop (1-4mm)
  • Weight: 14.10oz/400g
  • Cushioning: Modest
  • Category: Neutral, Stability

An uncomfortable shoe will not push you to go very far on the path, which is why comfort is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing hiking shoes.

The Moab 2 Waterproof women’s shoe was not comfortable right out of the box — we found them to be tight and rigid — but after a few short treks, they loosened up.

In comfort rating, this trail running shoe is just below the La Sportiva Spire GTX with the marking of 8 out of 10.

Due to a higher ankle opening than many other trail running shoes, the Moab 2 WP women’s shoe provides excellent ankle and heel support.

In addition to that, the arch support and the lacing system with tugs are incredibly supportive in trail running.

This waterproof trail running shoe provides you maximum traction on slippery rock slabs and uneven, sloppy trails.

In addition to a Vibram sole, the Moab 2 sports a distinctive tread pattern consisting of circles, wavy swishes, and intersecting lines.

Shoes with a more open tread pattern seem to grip loose scree better than those with smaller spacing between some of the tread patterns.

The softer rubber, on the other hand, is highly sticky, particularly on exposed rock.

Pros

  • Vibram sole
  • Suitable for extra wide feet
  • Vibram TC5+ sole
  • Lightweight
  • M Select FIT by Merrell. Contoured footbed made of ECO+-blend EVA with improved zonal arch and heel support

Cons

  • Bulky and not the most cushioned
  • Questionable waterproofing

7.2
Expert Score
Width8.8
 
Toe box7.3
 
Arch support5.6
 

Final Opinion

The Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof stands out as a reliable, workhorse hiking shoe. It is competent in most areas without being ostentatious.

It’s a touch hefty and may not be the most comfortable shoe, but it has fantastic traction and will save you some money over the competition. So, they may be the best waterproof trail running shoes.

4. Columbia Men’s Redmond V2 Waterproof Hiking Boot

Columbia Men's Redmond V2, Pebble/Dark Adobe, 12

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Lace-to-toe
  • Heel to Toe Drop: Mid drop (5-8mm)
  • Weight: 22.54oz/639g
  • Cushioning: Maximum

This trail running shoe is meant to be one of the best trail running shoes by combining excellent function and performance. This versatile hiker will provide agile and comfortable service.

The Omni-TECH seam-sealed membrane bootie structure of the Redmond V2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe, paired with our TECH LITE lightweight midsole, provides long-lasting comfort with better cushioning and excellent energy return.

If you plan to run on steep, rough terrain, you’ll need shoes with sticky rubber outsoles and plenty of protection.

Since the Redmond V2 has a rubber sole, that makes it a perfect fit for steep and rocky trails.

To ensure a secure grip on various surfaces, this running shoe’s outsole has the Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber.

It has top-quality metal rivets and lacing aglets and reinforced and trail-tested main webbing aglets as it is of great importance for hiking boots to have a durable lacing system.

This particular running shoe provides a leather, mesh, and webbing blend that offers lightweight, breathable support for on and off the trail.

Its responsive midsole delivers ample cushioning and excellent energy return to propel you forward in comfort.

At the same time, the durable rubber outsole provides sure-footed traction on uneven terrain and slick surfaces, making it one of the best trail runners.

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Excellent grip on sole
  • Appealing design

Cons

  • The waterproofing needs improvement
  • Some false statements concerning a high-rise cut

Final Opinion

The Columbia Redmond V2 Hiking Boots are a nice-looking set of boots that appear to be helpful in a variety of scenarios.

They lack the substantial construction of other all-weather and heavy-duty hiking boots, but they seem to be comfortable.

5. Salomon Speedcross 5 Men’s Trail Running Shoes

Salomon Men's SPEEDCROSS 5 Trail Running Shoes For Men, Black/Black/Phantom, 9

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 10mm 
  • Weight: 110z/329g
  • Cushioning: Medium
  • Category: Neutral, Stability

The Salomon is considered one of the most innovative and substantial manufacturers of outdoor sports gear since 1947.

In continuance to their reputation, they did not let us down on their hiking boots section.

To this very moment, the Salomon trail running shoes are one of the core competitors in the market.

The Speedcross 5 is the ideal shoe for trail runners who aren’t afraid of wet, muddy terrain thanks to its redesigned lugs and more dynamic upper.

The Salomon Speedcross 5 is one of the ideal trail shoes for those who want to overcome soft, tricky trails thanks to its powerful grip, accurate foothold, and protection.

With multi-directional and deeper cut Chevron lugs on the outsole, these shoes can grip loose soil, soft terrain, and even mud.

OrthoLite, is a molded foam that provides superior cushioning, ventilation, and durability.

The mid-sole is embedded with EnergyCell Plus, a high-rebound midsole material, that provides long-lasting cushioning and durability.

Debris is kept out of the foot and footbed area by the shoe’s anti-debris mesh. The Quicklace one-pull lacing system works in conjunction with the SensiFit to ensure a secure fit.

Pros

  • Maximum traction
  • Top-notch lacing system
  • Great waterproofing
  • Exceptional breathability
  • Best for terrain

Cons

  • Limited or specific use
  • The tounges hold water because of their thickness

9.7
Expert Score
Comfort9.8
 
Light weight9.7
 
For working out9.7
 

Final opinion

If you’re searching for a shoe that can easily transition from the road to the trail, the Salomon trail running shoe is not the shoe for you.

In contrast, if you’re looking for a hard-hitting member of your trail crew, go no further than the Grizzly. Simply because of the aggressive tread, you’ll be sold.

6. The North Face Men’s Ultra 109 Waterproof Trail Shoe (Wide)

The North Face Men's Ultra 109 Waterproof Trail Shoe, TNF Black/Dark Shadow Grey, 11

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 10mm 
  • Weight: 32.640z/925.32g
  • Cushioning: Moderate
  • Category: Neutral, Stability

With its waterproof DryVent membrane, ultrATAC outsole, and strong toe cap, the Ultra 109 WP excels in all weather conditions.

Comfortable shoes are immediately apparent as you put the Ultra 109 on. Comfortable and supple are the words that come to mind when describing the uppers of this shoe.

When you open the box, they’re ready to go. The lacing system has a wide range of adjustability, which secures the shoe right below the ankle without feeling constricting.

Although the toe box is big enough for us to use thicker wool hiking socks, those with wide feet may have more constrictions in the midfoot than we do.

During a long day on the trail, the insole provides excellent support and comfort for your feet.

When it comes to adaptability, you won’t have any problems donning these shoes and hitting the trail or a hard surface like pavement for a run without feeling weighed down.

The North Face employed a rubber compound dubbed UltrATAC in the design of the Ultra 109.

Despite its flexibility, this rubber is hard enough to hold onto loose materials like sand and scree while also being soft enough to spread across rock slabs and pavement.

The Ultra 109’s sole provides good edging support when traveling or scrambling on rocky terrain because of the shoe’s ESS shank.

For waterproof trail running, the Ultra 109 WP’s Hydroseal waterproof breathable inner will keep your feet from becoming too hot and sweaty, while Dryvent’s top will keep them dry during our 5-minute stream test.

Together, these features make the Ultra 109 WP an excellent option for trail runners.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Affordable
  • High-end traction
  • Top-notch water resistance
  • Removable insole

Cons

  • In the area of support, this particular running shoe scores low

9.1
Expert Score
Comfort9.3
 
Durability9.1
 
Water resistance9.0
 
Value for money9.0
 

Final Opinion

This shoe can do a lot more than merely trek trails, and we believe it to be a convenient hiking shoe.

You can run on rougher surfaces, like packed gravel or pavement, without experiencing the jarring sensation that comes with stiffer shoes because it is light and flexible enough to be utilized as a trail running shoe.

Overall, we think this is a good hiking shoe, especially with the waterproof inner, and the price makes it even more enticing.

7. Brooks Ghost 13 GTX

Brooks Ghost 13 GTX® Black/Ebony/Red 8 D (M)

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 12mm 
  • Weight: 10.9oz/309g
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Category: Neutral, Stability

When it comes to road running shoe that makes waves with how they perform, look no further than the Brooks Ghost 13 GTX.

The Ghost is one of the leading shoes sold in the Brooks line and is one of the better-selling running shoes in the United States.

True to size and medium volume from toe to heel is two critical advantages of this shoe.

If you are a frequent trail runner, then your trail running shoe must be well cushioned for your comfortability purpose.

Well, if you are seeking the best trail running shoe that provides the utmost comfort, seek no more-

The Ghost 13 GTX’s cushioning is top-notch. You’ll notice right away how very comfortable this shoe is when you place your foot in it.

If you’re a long-distance runner, don’t worry about your feet hurting you because of the luxurious feeling you get from this shoe.

The 12mm heel-to-toe offset and the hefty heel cushion encourage a heel-striking stride.

There is no need to worry because this shoe contains a heel crash pad that distributes the force and improves your stride.

Your feet will fall in love with the DNA LOFT foam in these sneakers since it provides exceptional and comfortable cushioning without sacrificing the shoes’ durability.

The Omega Flex Grooves in the midsole ensure that your shoe is as flexible as they come. Its upper is lined with the GORE-TEX Invisible Fit membrane.

Now, some would suggest Brooks Cascadia over the Ghost 13. Here’s some insight that proves the Ghost 13 is way better than the Brooks Cascadia.

Brooks Cascadia weighs more than 1oz higher than the Ghost 13. In case of cushioning, the Ghost again beats the Brooks Cascadia.

The heel-to-toe ratio is also better in the Ghost 13 than the Brooks Cascadia.

Pros

  • No compromises in comfortability
  • Built with high-end technology
  • Water and mud resistant
  • Weighs lighter than many GTX models

Cons

  • Quality of the outsole rubber is not so good (fast wearing)
  • Low responsiveness in the midsole
  • Other than comfort, many essential elements of a good trail running shoe are absent

Final Opinion

What comes to mind first when you think of Brooks Ghosts is their shock-absorbing ride and the comfort they provide for medium-to-long distance running sessions.

This Ghost GTX 13 running shoe has no compromise in breathability for its waterproofed uppers. When it’s hot outside, it helps keep feet dry, while a downpour keeps them drier.

If you are looking for a more cushioning shoe than average with durability to satisfy your runner urge, then I will suggest this particular trail running shoe.

8. Saucony Men’s Peregrine 10 GTX Trail Running Shoe

Saucony Men's Peregrine 10 GTX Trail Running Shoe, Black/Pine, 8.5

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Features

  • True to Size
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4mm 
  • Weight: 11oz/312g
  • Cushioning: Maximum
  • Category: Neutral, Stability

Peregrine 10 GTX was loved by its target audience and ardent supporters. Many people agreed that it is a high-performing shoe because of the outsole’s strong traction and the upper’s ability to breathe.

Customers were blown away by the high level of excellence in the product’s materials, technologies, and features.

The Peregrine 10 GTX is undeniably one of the best waterproof trail running shoes reworked from the previous Peregrine 10 GTX.

The running shoe is designed to be taken off-road and used in wet situations to explore a range of routes and terrains. This shoe upper is made of Goretex fabric to keep your feet dry and safe from trail debris.

The outsole’s rock plate and 6mm lugs with slots for additional studs provide excellent traction while running over rough terrain. Extra-tacky rubber ensures that your feet are protected and secure.

On top of a cushioned and responsive EVA foam, the Formfit midsole is designed to cradle the foot and provide support and guidance.

You won’t have to think twice about the Peregrine 10 GTX’s cushioning. It is highly cushioned, considering the best trail running shoe category.

Pros

  • High-end cushioning
  • Wider toe box
  • Slender looking
  • Admirable in wet trail

Cons

  • Hard impact on landing
  • The flat back laces are somewhat impractical

Final Opinion

If you’re searching for a reliable running shoe that can keep up and protect your feet on rough terrain, we recommend the Peregrine 10 GTX.

This is the best waterproof trail running shoe when it comes to robust walking shoes with excellent grip on every terrain.

Buying Guide of the Best Waterproof Trail Running Shoes

1 Pair Best Waterproof Trail Running Shoes on the floor

Hiking or trail running is a challenging sport. Their running shoe carries the utmost importance for any trail runner as they protect the runner from any injuries.

All things considered, traction, cushioning, durability, waterproofing in the trial shoes should be top-notch.

The hiking shoes are entirely different from any other regular shoes, and a decent one can cost you a decent amount of money.

You should exactly be aware of where you’re spending your hard-earned money.

So, here are a few things that you should consider before buying your pair of trail shoes.

Traction

Most of the traction seen on road shoes comes from the shoes’ vast surface area in contact with the ground.

Trail shoes with a flat outsole pattern function well like Slickrock on Moab. Climbing shoes have a “sticky” outsole because of the softer rubber in the outsole.

Taking a different strategy is necessary when hiking on muddy or sandy routes.

Deep, aggressive lugs prevent a runner from slipping out of control when stopping or turning on a trail that is prone to shifting.

Trail runners can fall into severe injuries without good grip or traction by falling or slipping off the track.

So, remember to check out the quality of traction a running shoe can provide before buying.

Stability

A lower-to-the-ground feel is achieved by trail shoes with thinner, denser midsoles. As a result, there is less possibility of tripping and falling and more reactivity.

Trail runs necessitate more excellent stability than road runs because of the rocks, roots, and uneven terrain they encounter.

Best trail running shoes tend to prevent your foot and ankle from rolling while running on rough terrain.

Rolling your ankle on a hiking trip can be a hassle for you and your team members.

So, I suggest looking at all the available trail shoes and comparing them with your necessity before buying one.

Protection

Trailing on uneven terrain takes a heavy toll on feet. So, for the best trail experience, trail runners need to choose a suitable running shoe matching the trail condition.

A regular running shoe is structurally different from the ones you need for terrain, and it won’t meet the protection criteria for hiking.

Typical trail shoes have a small rock plate that protects the runner from rocks and other debris by pushing them through.

Inov-8’s Terra Shank mimics the bones in your forefoot, while The North Face’s Snake Plate looks like a trail switchback.

Both of these rock plate patterns don’t drastically alter the flexibility of a trail shoe.

Thus, think about which running shoe will give you the utmost protection in hiking before investing money into one.

Waterproofing

Hiking on muddy and wet terrain can be challenging if you don’t have waterproof trail shoes.

The water gathered in your shoe can cause you Hypothermia and other sicknesses if not dried soon.

The waterproof trail shoes can prevent those sicknesses, relieve you from the unnecessary hassle of taking your shoe off for drying often and give you the best trail experience.

So, it is a must to buy a waterproof hiking shoe if you plan to go trail on muddy and wet terrain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are waterproof shoes an absolute necessity for trail runners?

In most cases, waterproof trail shoes are not absolutely necessary. But you don’t want to take any chance of falling sick while on a hiking trip, do you?

Does breathability matter in a hiking shoe?

Yes, it certainly does. Because more breathability ensures that your feet don’t overheat or sweat much.

Can you use your trail shoe as a regular running shoe?

Since the trail shoes are mainly made for off-road running, they can serve you on your regular running without any hassle.

Conclusion

From our research and practical use, we have found that Columbia Women’s Ivo Trail Waterproof Hiking Shoe is undoubtedly one of the best trail running shoes for women.

If you are planning a hike on wet and muddy terrain so you can execute hassle-free hiking without any known danger you can rely on this sneaker. 

For men, we have found that Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe works the best.

However, there are different shoes for different purposes too. And to be honest, every one of the shoes is a great choice.

We hope our article helped you to make a fair decision. So, get your shoe and hit the terrain.

References

Hi, I'm Golam Azam, founder of shoebuyingguide.com. I have completed my Bachelor's degree in Leather and Footwear Engineering. After that, I have decided to help people by keeping their feet healthy with the exact information on footwear. Now I have started my own blog about all kinds of shoes. Just like you, I also love to research shoes in my spare time. I share my knowledge with shoe lovers on this site.

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