- Rainy weather doesn’t have to keep you from wearing sneakers on a daily basis if you add a water-resistant pair to your rotation.
- Since the weather can be unpredictable, we rounded up six styles that look great on a daily basis and can handle rain and puddles.
- Our top picks include shoes from Vessi, Nike, Converse, Cole Haan, and Vans.
Sneakers are hands down the best footwear choice when it comes to casual comfort, style, and performance.
Many people successfully wear sneakers year-round, but intermittent changes in the weather can make that difficult. While the knit and mesh materials used on most sneakers today are great for lightweight performance, they can be horrible for keeping your feet warm, dry, and protected from the elements. Personally, I love sneakers so much that I prefer to wear them over other shoes, regardless of the weather.
Whether you like to go jogging in the rain, or simply hate wearing traditional boots in the fall, there are plenty of sneaker options available. Over the years, I’ve come to find plenty of sneakers that can handle the elements in style, so I rounded up my top picks, below.
Here are the best sneakers to wear in the rain:
- Best water-resistant travel sneakers: Vessi Cityscape
- Best water-resistant running sneakers: Nike Air Max 270 Bowfin
- Best water-resistant high-top sneakers: Converse Chuck 70 Gore-Tex High Top
- Best water-resistant low-top sneakers: Nike Air Wildwood ACG
- Best water-resistant dress sneakers: Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND Wingtip Oxford
- Best water-resistant suede sneakers: Vans Sk8-Hi MTE
The best water-resistant travel sneakers
A true waterproof sneaker didn’t exist for years, but Vessi finally made it happen with the Cityscape, a shoe that can be fully submerged.
Vessi sneakers are 100% waterproof and can be fully submerged without any seepage thanks to its proprietary Dyma-tex material. The special material has millions of tiny holes in the membrane layer that allow heat and sweat to escape while keeping water completely out. When we tested them, we found this material construction to be exceptionally effective.
Although Vessi is a newcomer in the sneaker industry, its performance and versatility make it a very good option for people in need of sneakers, especially those who live a busy life on the go. The sneaker’s light weight and comfort are great for those who are adventurous, but if you’re venturing into more treacherous terrain, you’ll probably want a shoe with a rugged outsole. Most of the Cityscape’s outsole is made of EVA (which isn’t as grippy as rubber) with two rubber strips in the midfoot and a rubber section on the heel for traction. I also found them to be a bit hard to put on because there’s no heel pull tab – a small but useful feature found on most sock-like sneakers.
All in all, the Vessi is a superior option with its 100% waterproof material. Whether you’re running on a beach, traversing a shallow stream, or simply protecting your feet on a rainy day, the Vessi Cityscape – and all of their other styles – will keep your feet dry under just about every circumstance.
Pros: Completely waterproof, lightweight, breathable, easy to pack
Cons: More durable sneakers available, minimal traction, hard to put on
The best water-resistant running sneakers
Named after a fish that can breathe underwater and on land, the Nike Air Max 270 Bowfin is designed to traverse wet and dry terrain, making it a solid sneaker choice for running or trail adventures.
The Air Max 270 Bowfin debuted in February 2018 as the latest installment in the Nike Air Max saga. Inspired by Air Max 180, the Air Max 270 got its name from the massive 270° Max Air unit at the heel. It provided runners with the cushioning needed for running on hard-hitting pavement, but the technology has since been adopted for a variety of uses.
By combining the ruggedness of a trail shoe, the water-resistance of a water moccasin, and the tooling of the 270, the Bowfin model thrives on land and in water – just like the fish it’s named after. With a bungee-cord lacing system, you can easily tighten the shoes without taking time to tie them.
Although the design is distinctly technical, Nike’s ability to create streetwear-ready styles is exemplified here. You won’t have any issues rocking them on a day with no rain our rugged terrain in sight.
With a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Nike, most reviewers found the Air Max 270 Bowfin to be exceptionally supportive and sturdy. However, the general consensus is that they run small. Most reviewers suggest going up a half size for a comfortable fit.
Pros: Built for rugged terrain, easy-to-use lace system, great cushion and support
Cons: Somewhat bulky, runs small
The best water-resistant high-top sneakers
Reimagined for the rain, this Chuck 70 High Top features a fully waterproof Gore-Tex upper and thicker moisture-wicking laces.
The Converse Chuck 70 is one of the most popular lifestyle shoes ever, but the traditional canvas uppers won’t hold up in the rain. To remedy that, Converse teamed up with Gore-Tex to create a rain-ready style using the waterproof material. Enter the Chuck 70 Gore-Tex High Top.
Gore-Tex is a unique material that’s designed to be 100% waterproof, while still being breathable. Its effectiveness has led to the material being used for everything that people would conceivably want to be waterproof, including hats, jackets, gloves, sneakers, and shoes.
This pair of Chuck 70s, in particular, uses the material on the entire upper along with thicker moisture-wicking laces. The top half of the sneakers incorporate Gore-Tex branding so people can see that they’re waterproof.
Just like all other Chuck 70s (and Chuck Taylor All-Stars), I recommend going a full size down, as Converse run very large.
Pros: Classic design, tried-and-true Gore-Tex material, plush padded insoles
Cons: Not much support
The best water-resistant low-top sneakers
By taking the style of the Nike Air Force 2 and adapting it to the brand’s All Conditions Gear line, the Air Wildwood is built to handle rain, mud, and rough terrain in style.
In 1989, the Swoosh introduced Nike ACG as its line of apparel and sportswear for all climates. While the footwear mostly consisted of no-nonsense hiking boots and trail shoes, the Air Wildwood was one of the closest designs to an everyday sneaker, making it one of the most desirable shoes in the ACG line.
Loosely inspired by the Air Force 2, which released three years prior, the Air Wildwood has a low-top design and a mostly flat sole. Its adaptation to the ACG line comes in the form of durable leather uppers to keep water out, chunky midsoles for softening the ride, and sawtooth waffle outsoles for grip on any terrain.
Thanks to its stylish low-top aesthetic, the Nike Wildwood is perfectly suited for normal city living – but when the rain picks up or you decide to hit the wild woods, you can count on them to keep your feet dry.
Pros: Durable leather upper, stylish look, iconic ACG branding
Cons: Limited ankle support as a low-cut
The best water-resistant dress sneakers
- Cole Haan
The Cole Haan 2.ZERØGRAND is a modern menswear staple in its own right. With rubber foxing added to the perimeter of the shoe, this water-resistant version will keep your feet dry.
As the second iteration in Cole Haan’s ZERØGRAND Wingtip lineage, the 2.ZERØGRAND walks the line between a sneaker and a dress shoe. It features lightweight and breathable knit upper and outsoles with the brand’s Grand.Os technology, which mimics the motion of feet.
Naturally, knit sneakers don’t always fare well in the rain, so Cole Haan created a water-resistant version with rubber foxing around the perimeter of the shoes to prevent water from leaking in. The small but notable addition won’t exactly protect you from torrential downpours, and it definitely doesn’t mean you can submerge your feet in water. But if you like to keep a comfortable business casual look during the workweek, this is a solid shoe for handling the occasional rainy day and all the puddles you might pass on your commute.
As for sizing, the water-resistant pair fits the same as the standard pairs. I would recommend going a half size down to get a good fit length-wise. I find that the 2.ZERØGRAND runs narrow, so they may not be a good fit for you altogether if you have an exceptionally wide foot.
Pros: Comfortable, lightweight, breathable
Cons: Less water-resistant than other shoes on this list, expensive
The best water-resistant suede sneakers
In addition to its weather-resistant suede upper, the Sk8-Hi MTE features a warm inside lining and a beefed-up lug outsole for traction in rain and snow.
You might not want to skate in these, but the Vans Sk8-Hi MTE is a sure way to remain stylish without sacrificing warm and dry feet. The sneaker takes the classic skate silhouette and transforms it into a great alternative to boots.
They feature Scotchgard-treated leather uppers for water resistance, fleece-lined interiors, reinforced lace eyelets, and rugged outsoles. For those who are mostly concerned with style, you’ll be happy to find that the Sk8-Hi MTE comes in a variety of colors, although the black pair is an undeniable classic.
Pros: Warm linings, extra traction for rain and snow, classic Vans design, lot of colors available
Cons: Not optimized for skating