Best Waterproof Shoes for Trail Walks and Hiking

Best Waterproof Shoes for Trail Walks and Hiking

The desire to commune with nature can turn into a disaster if your feet get wet. Buying the best waterproof shoes could mean getting a style upgrade while still increasing your versatility on the trail, and this can extend to your weekends. Since numerous products are designed for this category, finding the perfect fit can get confusing.

We have carefully selected a list of the best waterproof shoes for men and women to get you started. When you are in the market for new kicks for trekking, it helps to consider how you plan to use them, the style you are comfortable with, the materials used and the underfoot's design. These factors are key to ensuring you buy the right shoes.

5 Best Waterproof Shoes

1. VESSI

Vessi offers one of the best waterproof walking shoes thanks to their style, versatility and comfort. You can get this footwear, for men or women, to use during a rain shower or go on outdoor adventures and fit in as your casual day-wear.

Whether you enjoy a weekend stroll through nature, going to work, or exercising, the Vessi brand has you covered with their fully waterproof shoes. You do not need rain boots, thanks to the direct knit integration manufacturing process that keeps your feet dry when encountering snow, mud or slush. Amazingly, the knit is also breathable, making the footwear comfortable.

Get the best waterproof sneakers that are much lighter while providing durable kicks for your long walks. Plus, the Vessi brand exclusively uses plant-based raw materials for shoe manufacturing.

  • Pros
  • Fully waterproof.
  • Dyma-text keeps your feet warm when it's cold and cools them when hot.
  • Lightweight.
  • Stylish options in shoes for women and men.
  • The footwear is made from cruelty -free process.

2. Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Walking Shoes

Men:

Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes, Black/Magnet/Quiet Shade, 7
  • Waterproof Hiking Shoes: Whether you are hitting the trails or looking for a solid work shoe,...
  • A Better Way Down: Designed with Descent Control Technology, the X Ultra 3 GORE-TEX hiking shoe...
  • Adventure Awaits: Whether you love a local day hike or hitting the trails for a multi-day...
  • Time To Play: Whether you are into trail running, hiking, backpacking, or mountaineering,...
  • Since 1947 Salomon has created innovative outdoor sports gear; From running and hiking to...

Women:

Salomon Women's X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes, ARTIC/Darkest Spruce/Sunny Lime, 5
  • Waterproof Hiking Shoes: Whether you are hitting the trails or looking for a solid work shoe,...
  • A Better Way Down: Designed with Descent Control Technology, the X Ultra 3 Gore Tex hiking shoe...
  • Adventure Awaits: Whether you love a local day hike or hitting the trails for a multi-day...
  • Time To Play: Whether you are into trail running, hiking, backpacking, or mountaineering,...
  • Since 1947 Salomon has created innovative outdoor sports gear; From running and hiking to...

If you are thinking of going on technical hikes, the Salomon X Ultra 3 is a suitable choice. The waterproof shoes are packed full of features like Control Technology for comfortable descents, a mesh upper that prevents debris from being trapped and an EVA foam for the EnergyCell midsole for absorbing shock. Plus, the mudguard at the base means you can rest assured that you will not slide on the trail.

The Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is designed to keep your feet dry by preventing water from entering the shoes from the top, even when subjected to pressure. As for comfort, the OrthoLite sock liner is breathable and gives you a firm foothold when combined with the lacing system.

  • Pros
  • The shoes offer excellent lightweight performance.
  • You get awesome flexibility.
  • Traction, durability and comfort are assured.
  • Reliable protection when hiking through rocky areas.
  • Gore-Tex ensures it is fully waterproof.
  • Cons
  • Gore-Tex versions are not ideal for warm conditions as your feet may sweat.
  • The Quicklace system is tricky for some users to grasp.

3. Merrell Women's Moab and Merrell Men's Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Men:

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
  • Leather, Mesh Upper
  • Vibram TC5 Outsole
  • Nylon Arch Shank
  • Merrell Air Cushion
  • EVA for Stability ; 5 millimeter lug depth

Women:

Merrell Women's Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
  • Leather & Mesh Upper
  • Vibram Outsole
  • Waterproof
  • Nylon Arch Shank
  • Air Cushion Comfort

If you want waterproof shoes that do not require you to break them in from the box, the Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Shoes will deliver! For starters, the product features M-Select Dry technology for sealing out the water while allowing moisture to get out of the interior. The result is that you can keep your feet dry and breathing during long treks.

Their Vibram technology in the rubber sole offers quality performance in stabilizing, gripping and durability. Additionally, the air cushion in the insole enhances your comfort by targeting your heel to ease the stress to your foot. Plus, the waterproof shoes are made with sustainability in mind.

  • Pros
  • Breathable while offering excellent waterproof protection.
  • Increases stability through the heel support and zonal arch.
  • Absorbs shock.
  • Protects against the weather.
  • It has rubber toe caps.
  • Cons
  • The footwear is too pliable for some users.
  • They can get heavy after a long walk.
  • Getting a larger shoe size might ensure a better fit.

4. Keen-Targhee 3 Low Height

Men:

KEEN Men's Targhee 3 Low Height Waterproof Hiking Shoe, Bungee Cord/Black, 7
  • WATERPROOF: The KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane keeps your feet dry and comfortable...
  • TRACTION: KEEN All-Terrain rubber outsole provides high-traction grip in muddy environments and...
  • SUPPORT: The Torsion stability External Support Shank (ESS) provides support on uneven...
  • FIT & COMFORT: Low-profile upper for comfort and secure fit with padded tongue and collar; The...
  • CARE TIPS: We've carefully selected leather uppers designed to last; However, if you're wearing...

Women:

Sale
KEEN Women's Targhee 3 Low Height Waterproof Hiking Shoe, Bleacher/Duck Green, 5 US
  • WATERPROOF HIKER: Protected by KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane; Made with waterproof...
  • ALL-TERRAIN: Features KEEN.ALL-TERRAIN rubber outsole with 4mm multi-directional lugs for...
  • SUPPORT & STABILITY: Removable, metatomical dual-density EVA footbed supports the arch; ESS...
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORT: A dual-density, compression-molded EVA midsole that's comfortable on the...
  • CONSCIOUSLY CONSTRUCTED: Environmentally preferred leather that uses less chemicals; Eco...

The waterproof leather of the Keen-Targhee 3 Low Height Hiking Shoe still provides breathable qualities for allowing moisture to escape while it keeps your feet dry. The rubber outsole has a non-marking feature when walking indoors but delivers incredible traction when wadding through a muddy trail.

As for stability, the waterproof shoes have an External Support Shank to help you out when hiking through uneven surfaces. Since the footbed contours with your foot, the shoe fits comfortably. Plus, it protects your ankle with extra padding as the durable product delivers long-lasting service.

  • Pros
  • You do not need to break them in once you buy them.
  • High-quality feel.
  • Waterproof leather for keeping your feet dry.
  • Cons
  • If the terrain is rough, you will not get adequate stability.
  • It is wide at the toe box.

5. La Sportiva Spire GTX Hiking Shoe

Men:

La Sportiva Mens Spire GTX Hiking Shoes
  • Durable abrasion resistant mesh upper provides protection while Nano Cell 2.0 structure...
  • Nano Cell 2.0 Technology works with Gore-Tex Surround aeration channels within the footbed and...
  • STB control system inegrates Gore-Tex Surround ventilation outlets and provides a comfortable,...
  • Vibram XS Trek with Impact Brake System sole provides traction and grip
  • WEIGHT: 15.50 oz (440g)

Women:

La Sportiva Womens Spire GTX Low Profile Hiking Boot, Clay/Celery, 6
  • Durable abrasion resistant mesh upper provides protection while Nano Cell 2.0 structure...
  • Nano Cell 2.0 Technology works with Gore-Tex Surround aeration channels within the footbed and...
  • STB control system inegrates Gore-Tex Surround ventilation outlets and provides a comfortable,...
  • Vibram XS Trek with Impact Brake System sole provides traction and grip

Nothing short of inclement weather conditions will stop you from taking a walk with the La Sportiva Spire GTX Hiking Shoe. Wet feet are not a concern thanks to the Nano Cell 2.0 technology combined with the Gore-Text Surround for structure and creating breathing channels. Plus, its mesh upper is designed to resist damage from abrasions.

The EVA midsole of the waterproof shoes is durable and provides cushioning against shock. Also, the Vibram outsole utilizes an Impact Break System for better traction while you traverse different terrains.

  • Pros
  • Highly resistant to abrasions.
  • Offers heel support and a protective toe cap.
  • Light and fashionable.
  • Shock absorbant features.
  • Breathable while being fully waterproof.
  • Cons
  • It does not last as long as the other shoes.
  • If you live in or want to visit harsh conditions, the product will not be ideal.

Key Considerations to Make When Buying Waterproof Shoes

a). Use

Manufacturers make footwear for different use cases such as casual wear, boat shoes, trail shoes, running shoes, dress shoes, walking shoes and hiking boots. Figuring out your intended use helps narrow down the options available since it is not enough to look for the best waterproof boots.

If you are planning outdoor adventures, you need to figure out the terrain, weather conditions, load you will carry and duration of your walks. After all, these factors will determine whether you will get the best waterproof shoes for your needs.

Terrain and Weather Conditions

It would help if you considered the topography of where you live or are planning to walk, whether steep or gradual inclines. Some waterproof walking shoes are designed for mountainous terrains and feature better traction, support and protection. Other stylish shoes are made for well-kept trails where comfort is more of a priority than supporting your feet or protecting them.

If you will be doing plenty of uphill climbs, it is best to look for footwear with a rugged tread for the rubber outsole to grip the trail well. It helps if you find those with a long shaft supporting your foot during the difficult treks. Plus, the best waterproof walking shoes should keep your feet dry if inclement weather is rampant or the trails are wet or soggy.

If heavy rain is a common occurrence in the area you live or want to visit, it is essential to find completely waterproof shoes. On the other hand, light rain or sunny conditions require breathable footwear that also guarantees dry feet.

Weight Carried and Duration of Walk

You need to find the best waterproof walking shoes with enough cushioning if you take long walks or carry heavy loads. Stiffer footwear provides your feet with ample support to prevent them from buckling under the weight or extended treks. Unless backpacking is on your to-do list, you can even buy waterproof sneakers for more comfort during long walks.

b). Style of the Waterproof Shoe

  1. Hiking Boots can either come as high-top or mid-cut variations. Ideally, a higher cut is better at offering ankle support, stability and protection while taking long walks or carrying a heavy backpack. If you are dealing with snowy conditions or mountainous topographies, you can look for a heavy-duty hiking boot.
  2. Trail running shoes are like an everyday sneaker that is designed for communing with mother nature. The footwear is more lightweight and comfortable than a hiking boot, making it much easier to run in. On the downside, a good pair of trail running shoes will not last as long as typical walking boots.
  3. Hiking shoes are much like mountaineering boots, but they are much lighter and low at the ankles. The low cut gives them more flexibility and makes them excellent for short outdoor adventures. Plus, they offer sufficient protection and comfort if your trail is rugged and you are hauling some extra weight.
  4. Minimalist or barefoot walking shoes keep your feet covered like socks, but with the added advantage of some protection from the bare ground. This footwear has no arch support since it is designed to increase flexibility, minimize the heel-to-toe drop, reduce the stack height and weight while allowing your feet to move as naturally as possible. If you want to feel the trail, these are the footwear for you.
  5. Approach shoes are the best bet for trails that are rocky and feature plenty of climbing. The rubber sole is super sticky to increase traction. Additionally, the adjustable lacing system ensures your feet are comfortable for different climbing situations.

c). Materials Used

  1. Warm conditions demand that you allow your feet to breathe to avoid sweating. The breathable mesh lets air flow in and out, but you will not get a shoe that offers waterproofing features. Still, the synthetic material used in making the footwear dries quickly.
  2. Leather is one of the most durable materials used for boots. In most cases, the rubber sole will wear out much sooner than the shoe's upper. It is not surprising that hikers and mountaineers prefer this waterproof and supportive material.
  3. Synthetic leather, polyester and nylon are popular with shoe manufacturers because they are cheaper to make, lightweight, and dry quickly. These qualities make them suitable for a wide range of uses, and when done right, the waterproof shoe can also be quite durable.

d). Underfoot Construction

  1. The insole of your waterproof shoes can either be pliable or firm for more versatility and support, respectively. On the other hand, some brands offer ventilation or a moisture-wicking lining to keep your feet dry. Ideally, it would help if you found shoes with removable footbeds for washing or replacing.
  2. Midsoles give footwear their structure by finding an equilibrium between rigidity and flexibility. The PU and EVA midsole combination offers support and shock absorbent features.
  3. Some shoes feature shanks, made from either plastic or metal, between the outsole and midsole layers. As a general rule, longer shanks mean firmer boots.
  4. Outsoles rely on rubber compounds for creating different shoes for varied conditions. Soft variations provide versatility, while sticky ones offer better traction. Additionally, a more aggressive pattern with deeper treads is preferred in other footwear meant for hiking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Waterproof Shoes

1. How to know if a shoe is waterproof?

Ideally, waterproof shoes are made from a combination of rubber and PVC materials for their sole and synthetic leather or neoprene for their upper. The upper layer is a non-porous membrane that keeps moisture from penetrating inside the shoe. Plus, it would be best to look out for Gore-Tex as it is the material of choice when you want to buy a waterproof shoe.

2. Is weather resistant the same as waterproof?

Weather-resistant shoes are not as effective at moisture protection as dedicated waterproof footwear. The former can prevent liquids from seeping into the shoe when it is raining or if your foot gets submerged in water. Moreover, a water-resistant shoe is ideal for light rainy days, but waterproof shoes are your best bet if you anticipate drenching conditions.

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