HAVE you ever been caught unawares on a long walk when the heavens have opened unexpectedly, leaving you with soggy socks for the rest of the day?
It’s not a great feeling, and can easily be negated with a pair of the best waterproof trainers.
Comfortable, easy to wear and endlessly practical, waterproof trainers are usually styled as low-profile hiking trainers or trail runners. They’re made from weather-resistant materials and come with Gore-Tex linings, which are both comfortable and prevent wet socks: what’s not to like?!
If you want to know more, we’ve got everything you need right here, from buying considerations to the best waterproof trainers on sale now.
Best waterproof trainers at a glance
- KEEN Men’s Nxis Evo Waterproof Hiking Shoe, from £32 at Amazon – buy here
An easy pick and one that features all the hallmarks of a classic waterproof trainer is this Keen pair. Made with a synthetic upper and a canvas insole, this comfortable, well-cushioned design has a robust all-terrain rubber sole that offers plenty of grip both on the pavement and halfway up a mountain.
The 4mm thick multi-direction lugs promise a reassuring amount of grip, while also remaining lightweight and flexible so as not to weigh you down. Elsewhere, the waterproof membrane will be sure to keep your feet dry no matter how hard it pours, while a mesh liner is sweat-wicking and breathable, so your feet won’t overheat.
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- FLOWING PLUME Waterproof Trainers, from £42.99 at Amazon – buy here
If you’re after a pair of waterproof trainers that resemble simple running trainers, try these from Flowing Plume. While on the outside they look like a regular, everyday design you might wear out and about or to the gym, they are, in fact, completely waterproof.
The uppers are made from a black and white stitched synthetic material, and the sole offers plenty of grip with its rubber construction. But inside the shoe is an integrated waterproof sock, promising protection from rain for up to 20 hours. Lightweight and easy to style, this understated pair would combine well with black tracksuit bottoms, hoodies and waterproof jackets.
- Path Waterproof Outdoor Walking Shoes, £39.99 at Mountain Warehouse – buy here
Ideal for walking in adverse weather, this Mountain Warehouse pair comes with a fully water-resistant upper as well as a waterproof membrane, so you can be sure that absolutely no water is getting in.
- Crestwood Waterproof Hiking Shoe, £90.00 – buy here
Made from a mixture of leather, mesh and webbing, this Columbia pair adds a slight luxurious spin on the classic hiking trainer. It’s also fully waterproof, with the brand’s Omni-Tech membrane, while the grip comes from the non-marking rubber sole.
- Holcombe Waterproof Low Walking Shoes, £44.95 at Regatta – buy here
A rugged design with its layered upper, this pair has Regatta’s Isotex and Hydropel tech, providing a barrier against rain and unexpected puddles.
- Berghaus Explorer FT ACT Mens GTX Shoes, from £95 at Amazon – buy here
Berghaus has collaborated with Gore-Tex for this pair, with the latter’s signature membrane lining providing full protection against the elements.
- Ridgerider 6 Gore-Tex Shoes, £45 at Reebok – buy here
The sleek, all-black design of these Reeboks ensures they can easily be worn as part of your everyday casual wardrobe. The Gore-Tex lining makes them waterproof though, while the lug sole offers plenty of grip.
- Nike Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX, £144.95 at Nike – buy here
Part of Nike’s signature Pegasus running shoe line, this pair has been designed especially for trails, with its Gore-Tex liner and chunky rubber sole offering lots of performance.
- Moab Speed GORE-TEX, £140 at Merrell – buy here
One of the best-looking designs on this list, Merrell’s Moab Speed would make for a stylish addition to your weekend rotation. When push comes to shove though the Gore-Tex membrane offers unrivalled waterproofness, comfort and breathability.
- Terrex AX4 Gore-Tex walking shoes, £74.99 at Sport Shoes – buy here
For this pair, Adidas has collaborated with all the heavyweights. A Gore-Tex membrane offers exceptional protection against water, while a Continental rubber sole gives you more grip than you’ll likely ever need.
What to look for in the best waterproof trainers for men
When it comes to materials, waterproof trainers are made from all sorts of different ones. The uppers may be constructed from leather, mesh or TPU and will typically come with a combination of all three.
The soles are nearly always rubber and come with studded or patterned traction, designed for extra grip in adverse weather. The key thing to look out for though is the lining. In order for trainers to be waterproof they must come with a waterproof lining, which keeps out the rain. This will often come in the form of a Gore-Tex lining, so keep an eye out for that.
Gore-Tex is one of the world’s most reliable waterproof fabric companies, so anything with that brand name will be guaranteed waterproof. Some shoe brands have developed their own waterproof membranes though, so read the product descriptions carefully and you’ll be well covered.
If you’re after a pair of waterproof trainers, chances are the design comes second. There’s no use after all investing in a pair of trainers that look good, but which let all the water in.
It’s good news that the design comes second then, as with waterproof trainers you’re fairly limited with what’s out there. You’ll likely only be able to find either hiking trainers or trail runners that are fully waterproof.
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Both styles are fairly technical, with trail runners generally looking more modern and high-tech, with panelled designs, fancy cushioning and innovative lacing systems. Hiking trainers are usually slightly more classic, with silhouettes not too dissimilar to more bog standard trainers.
You’ll likely also find fairly technical materials though, with robust rubber soles and plenty of padding around the tongue and ankle. Both styles are naturally best suited to wearing on outdoor pursuits, whether that’s a long walk, run or hike. But they can be worn more casually too. Try them with a pair of dark blue denim jeans, a fleece jacket mid layer and a waterproof parka, and you’ve got a versatile, water-resistant look that will keep you both stylish and dry.
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