5 Best waterproof trail running shoes for men in 2020

Waterproof trail running shoes are exactly what they say on the tin (well, box), they’re trail shoes that are waterproof. 

5 Best waterproof trail running shoes for men in 2020

Yep, that’s right, not all trail shoes are created equally and, if you’re looking to be running where water lives (see: the UK) you’re not going to need a normal pair of trail shoes, but rather a pair that won’t let the wet stuff in. 

Believe it or not, waterproof trail running shoes are especially popular for those running off-road. Nobody wants to run with wet feet, with water sloshing around the shoe, so it’s time to do something about it.

We’ve got five of the very best waterproof trail running shoes for men in 2020, alongside some neat information as to how you can pick the shoe that’s right for you.

1. New Balance waterproof trail running shoes – New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V5 Gore-tex Trail Running Shoes – Aw20

5 Best waterproof trail running shoes for men in 2020

Not only is the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro a great looking shoe, but it functions perfectly too. 

A GORE-TEX upper combined with all the protection and grip that you’d expect from a great trail shoe makes this runner a real contender. 

Key features:

  • GORE-TEX Upper – Lets the shoe have both durable waterproof protection and incredible breathability.
  • Toe Protect – Protects the foot against all those pesky general trail hazards.
  • Fresh Foam Midsole – The signature springy and stable cushioning from NB.
  • Multi-Directional Outsole – Lets the shoe have maximum surface contact to avoid slip.
  • Drop of 8mm – The sweet spot for those looking for a great place to start experimenting. 

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2. Best waterproof trail running shoes for wide Feet – Inov8 X-talon Ultra 260 Trail Running Shoes – Ss20

Best waterproof trail running shoes for wide Feet - Inov8 X-talon Ultra 260 Trail Running Shoes - Ss20

It’s often difficult to find a pair of trail running shoes for wide feet, but Inov8 have managed to build a great waterproof solution for those with the wider foot.

There’s sticky rubber, DWR and of course the Meta Flex Groove, keeping your wide feet planted firmly on the trail. You couldn’t ask for more.

Key features:

  • DWR – Ensures the shoe is both water resistance and breathable.
  • PowerFlow – A great resilient cushion with incredible memory retention.
  • DFB Shank – Perfect for that extra kick of energy from every strike.
  • Sticky Rubber – Keeping you glued to the ground in wet conditions.
  • Meta Flex Groove – Encouraging natural forefoot flex during toe-off.

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3. Best budget waterproof trail running shoes – Inov8 Terraultra 260 Trail Running Shoes

Best budget waterproof trail running shoes - Inov8 Terraultra 260 Trail Running Shoes

The best shoes on a budget also come from Inov8, thanks to a great solution in the Terraultra 260 shoe. 

We love waterproof trail running shoes almost as much as we love good deals, the Terraultra contains everything you need to get up and running (literally) and for a fraction of the cost of a top shoe, yet with one of the leading brands in the fell and trail running scene. 

Key features:

  • Mesh Upper – Lets the shoe have unparalleled breathability.
  • Exteroflow – Ensures there’s plenty of cushioning.
  • DFB Shank –  Perfect for that extra kick of energy from every strike.
  • Grooves – Great for grip and prevent aquaplaning too.
  • Zero Drop – Natural movement of the foot in the shoe, minimal protection.

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4. Salamon Spikecross 5 Gore-tex Trail Running Shoes – AW20

Saloman Spikecross 5 Gore-tex Trail Running Shoes - AW20

GORE-TEX has been the next big thing for some time now, and for good reason too! 

It likely comes as no surprise then that Salomon has developed a fantastic trail running shoe in the Spikecross 5 to take advantage of the technology. They’re super durable, waterproof and boast incredible breathability – and they come in red!

Key features:

  • GORE-TEX Upper – Lets the shoe have both durable waterproof protection and incredible breathability.
  • Sensifit Technology – Ensures the shoe boasts a precise and secure fit.
  • EnergyCell+ Midsole – An energy return that you can’t live without.
  • OrthoLite Insole – An insole that offers superior cushioning, comfort, breathability and durability.
  • 12 Tungsten Spikes – Tough spikes making light work of snow, ice and anything in-between.

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5. Best trail running shoes for overpronation – Adidas Supernova Trail Running Shoes

Best trail running shoes for overpronation - Adidas Supernova Trail Running Shoes

Last on the list, it’s one for those who overpronate and we’re opting for the Adidas Supernova Trail. 

The iconic silhouette from the brand with 3-stripes is perfect for those battling with overpronation when they’re running. There’s the fantastic boost midsole in this seam-free shoe, giving the Supernova all the bite to back up the bark. 

Key features:

  • Mesh Upper – Provides both a breathable and flexible fit.
  • Seam Free – Minimal chances of chafing and foot discomfort. 
  • Lace Closure System – Provides the shoe with both a snug and secure fit.
  • EVA Sockliner – Keeps the foot as comfortable as possible.
  • Boost Midsole – The famous boost midsole, ensuring a lightweight and responsive cushioning.

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What to look for in a pair of waterproof trail running shoes?

Knowing what to look for in a pair of waterproof trail running shoes is more important than simply picking up a shoe with a great reputation. 

There are four main items in the criteria that all runners should try to meet when picking up a new shoe in cushioning, waterproof features, tread & traction and the heel-to-toe drop. The correct solution for each of these will be different for each runner, and although a good “one-shoe-fits-all” approach can be prescribed, finding the perfect shoe will be as much about personal preference as it is the science behind the sneaker.

So, let’s take a look at each of the criterion in a little more detail, opening the floor up to discussion as to what features you should look out for when choosing a brand new pair of waterproof trail running shoes. 

Cushioning

The level of cushioning in a running shoe is another area that’s often up for debate with some runners preferring to “float” whereas others like to “feel”. 

There’s no real right answer for the amount of cushion that you should be opting for, and personal preference plays the largest part. In general, there are four main cushioning levels that runners can opt for:

Barefoot

As the name suggest, these are running shoes with no padding allowing the wearer to feel the trail and let your body do the rest. 

Minimal

If you’re not fully committed to the barefoot shoe, a minimal cushion might be for you. There’s much of the same benefit, but with a thin layer of the good stuff to reduce discomfort. 

Moderate

Moderate padding is the most common for trail running shoes and allows for enough padding to ensure comfort over a rocky trail. 

Maximum cushioning

A shoe with maximum padding is what you’re be looking at if you’re trying to minimise the stress on the joints and keep things easy on longer runs. These are often given negative feedback due to the inefficient “mushy” feel. 

Top tip: we recommend choosing a waterproof trail running shoe with at least minimal cushioning, but ideally moderate to maximum. This reduces your risk of injury when hitting the trails, jumping puddles, and dodging the odd fallen tree.

Waterproof features

If you’re looking for a pair of waterproof trail running shoes, there’s at least one feature that you’re guaranteed to want to look for – I’ll give you a clue, it’s in the name. 

Yes, of course, that feature is the waterproof capabilities of the shoe and if you’re going to be stomping your way through puddles, streams and rivers (if you’re particularly adventurous), you’re going to want a shoe that keeps your feet nice and dry. 

There are countless benefits to keeping your feet dry, both in general and when hitting the trails, but I think we can all agree that it’s never nice to have wet feet. For me, that’s a good enough reason to opt for a waterproof solution, when running through wet trails, that is. 

Tread & traction

Next up on the list, it’s the tread and the traction that is offered by a waterproof trail running shoe that’s vital to take note of when picking up a new pair of runners.

It’ll come as no surprise that underside of your shoe is one of the most important considerations when choosing trail running shoes. When you’re moving over tricky terrain with plenty of nooks and crannies, that last thing you want on your feet is a pair of Adidas Sambas. Instead, you’re going to want the equivalent of a pair of tractor tyres to grip the ground, ensuring that you’ve got the utmost trust in your foot placement.

Again, the amount of tread and traction is a little up for debate in the world of trail running, with some preferring a chunkier tread to others. The decider of what you should be looking for comes in the answer to the question of “where are you going to be running”. 

If your go-to trail is nothing more than a dirt pavement, you’re not going to need the pinnacle of traction. However, if you’re planning on scaling mountains, running the hills and turning the adventure up to 11 – you might want to consider focusing on that extra traction and tractor-tyre like grip.  

Heel-to-toe drop

It may sound like a wrestling move or some kind of local barn dance, but the heel-to-toe drop, for the unaware, is simply the difference in height between the heel and the forefoot in a shoe. 

The heel-to-toe drop is usually given in millimetres and can range from 0mm to, well anything you can dream up really. Typically, minimal shoes will have a heel-to-drop of 0mm, minimalist shoes will have a drop of around 0mm to 4mm and the rest of the pack follow suit between 4mm and around 12mm.

If you’ve not heard of the heel-to-toe drop before, there’s nothing to worry about, although you should keep it in mind when shoe shopping for your new trail running kicks. If you’re not sure where to begin, a great start point is by looking at your other running or athletic shoes. 

You don’t want to go meddling with your bodies biomechanics, so keeping these constant is always a good idea. Ideally, running in a low heel drop shoe is the best as it encourages a midfoot or forefoot strike, ensuring a strong landing platform with the best balance and muscle engagement, but it’s not for everyone. 

To cut a long story short, it’s different strokes for different folks – try out a pair towards the middle of the scale and go from there!

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