If you live to run, chances are you are out running in all kinds of weather - you don’t care if it’s too cold, you keep running to stay warm, and if it’s often wet you may have considered purchasing a pair of waterproof running shoes to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
Thanks to modern materials technology, no longer do athletes simply have the choice of wearing cotton or leather. Cotton had the advantages of being light and breathable but once the old-fashioned shoes we used to wear playing sports got wet, then things got really uncomfortable. Leather shoes are great in the dry for many people, but again once they get wet a couple of times you come home with a pair of misshapen shoes, often with a salty tide line along the sides when they dry, and a few blisters to go along with the problem.
Waterproof running shoes have an integral membrane that keeps moisture from getting into the upper part of the shoe. One complaint about some waterproof trail shoes is that while they do a great job of keeping the water away from the feet, they tend to make the feet hot - obviously it would be pointless adding any ventilation holes!
Waterproof running shoes tend to be more expensive than non-waterproof shoes, but if you run in cold and wet weather, you may actually welcome a little added warmth to your feet.
If you are looking for a pair of waterproof shoes specifically for trail running you may find that you will pay anywhere up to $150 for a pair. But like the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”. In a situation where you are running through mud puddles, streams and across boulders, you need a pair of reasonably lightweight and waterproof running shoes that will last. Comfort of course is primary, followed by durability, and these waterproof running shoes can be far too expensive for most folks who only run occasionally. The good news is that all of the major companies now stock waterproof running shoes, but personally I don’t think it’s a good idea to buy them online without trying a pair first.
A specialist sports store should understand that you are going to use your waterproof running shoes for a specific purpose and will let you try many on for size before purchasing - although it’s doubtful that they will let you run a couple of laps around the shopping mall in the snow and rain! Testing them out for arch support is very important, as there’s nothing more fatiguing and painful than running five miles in a pair of shoes with insufficient arch support, knowing you have to run five miles back again.