Can You Wear Running Shoes In The Rain?

I decided to go for a morning run the night before. However, when I woke up, it was raining outside. I didn’t want my running shoes to get wet, so I decided not to go for a run. But then I thought, can you wear running shoes in the rain?

Turns out, you can wear running shoes in the rain as long as you dry them afterward. Running shoes are made with materials that can withstand getting wet. However, you must dry them quickly afterward to avoid them from smelling bad.

Ahead, we will discuss If wearing your shoes in the rain can damage the shoes as well as the disadvantages of wearing wet shoes. I will also leave you with some shoe recommendations for running in the rain.

A woman running in the rain

Will Running In The Rain Ruin Your Running Shoes?

Materials used to make running shoes are designed to get wet and still perform well. You’re even supposed to wash your shoes every once a month or so which obviously makes them soaking wet.

So if the reason you skipped a healthy morning run on a rainy day is that you’re afraid to ruin your new running shoes in the rain, you have nothing to worry about.

The main thing you need to focus on to avoid damage is how you dry them.

Though it’s convenient to simply put them under the heat of the sun or throw them inside the dryer, this can actually damage the shoes.

Exposing running shoes to direct sunlight or high heat can cause the materials to break down and degrade faster. The same goes for the dryer – the high heat will shorten the lifespan of your shoes.

The best way to dry your shoes is to stuff them with newspaper and let them air dry in a cool, shady spot.

You may even speed things up by using an electric fan.

Related post: How Long Do Running Shoes Last? Here’s What The Experts Say

Marathon And Trail Runners Constantly Run In The Rain

Marathon runners and trail runners run for a long time almost every day to train for an event. And the rain will not stop them from running.

There are a lot of runners that I know of that prefer running in the rain as compared to dry weather.

According to a lot of them, there’s a feeling of peace with the sound of raindrops and the heavy pouring of rain on their bodies.

As a trail runner, I’m drawn to running in mud (for some reason I can’t explain). So I feel ecstatic whenever it starts raining. Sometimes I even go out of my way to get to the nearest trail and start running.

If raining does ruin running shoes, then marathon runners and trail runners wouldn’t be running with shoes.

Are There Disadvantages To Wearing Wet Running Shoes?

With regards to the safety of the shoes, aside from the possible stinking and the icky feeling, there are no disadvantages to wearing your shoes in the rain.

As mentioned, your shoes will not be damaged as long as you take care of them afterward, and you can use this opportunity to clean them more thoroughly than if they just got sweaty from a run.

Just make sure that you don’t soak them in soap and water for too long as this can also damage the materials. A quick rinse and a little scrub should do the trick.

The thing that you need to be more concerned with is blisters and chafing.

Wet shoes can cause blisters since they increase friction between your feet and the shoes. They can also make your feet slip inside the shoes which can also lead to blisters.

To avoid this, make sure that your shoes fit well before you go out for a run. If they’re too big, wear two pairs of socks so that your feet will be snug inside the shoes.

You can also apply some anti-chafing cream or gel on your feet before putting on your shoes.

My favorite anti-chafing cream is Body Glide. I have used them countless times and I believe they saved me from a lot of possible chafing.

Related post: Why Your Running Shoes Hurt Your Feet and What to Do About It

Should I Waterproof My Shoes If I Run In The Rain?

Maybe you’ve seen some ads for waterproofing spray that makes your shoes hydrophobic and wondered whether or not you should use them or not.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. Waterproofing your shoes may be good to prevent water from penetrating, but it also prevents the water from escaping.

The result? You’ll probably be running with a puddle of sweat inside your shoes after 10 miles.

And if the rain is strong enough, it’ll enter your shoes anyway.

Related post: Do Trail Running Shoes Need To Be Waterproof?

Shoe Tips When Running In The Rain

Say you gained the courage to run in the rain, you’d still need to keep in mind a few things regarding your shoes (and your feet in general).

Here are a few shoe tips when running in the rain.

  • Wear moisture-wicking running socks – they are light and they don’t absorb water making them more comfortable to run in.
  • Tie your shoes tightly – wet laces are more prone to coming undone so make sure to tie them tightly. You don’t want to be stopping every few minutes to retie your shoes.
  • Apply anti-chafe cream – as I’ve mentioned above, this will help prevent blisters caused by wet shoes.
  • Wear shoes with good traction – this is to avoid slipping and falling on wet surfaces.
  • Bring a change of shoes – If you’re not running near your house, bring extra shoes in your car.

For my socks, I like to use Rockay Accelerate Anti-Blister running socks (link to Amazon). They’re ultra-light, they fit well, and they wick away moisture very well too.

What To Do With Shoes After Running In The Rain?

As mentioned, the most important thing to do after running in the rain is to dry your shoes properly.

But because they’re already wet, it might be a good idea to wash them with soap and warm water.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to shoe aftercare after running in the rain:

  1. Remove inner sole and laces
  2. Rinse your shoes with warm water
  3. Scrub the shoe and the inner sole with soap and a soft-bristle toothbrush
  4. Rinse again with water to remove excess soap
  5. Dry by stuffing in newspaper and air drying in a cool, shady spot.
  6. Use an electric fan to speed up drying time
  7. Once they’re dry and put the inner sole and laces back in place

Depending on the weather and the drying method you used, it can take 24-48 hours to dry your shoes.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, DO NOT put your running shoes under the extreme heat of the sun or in the dryer.

I made a full step-by-step guide on how to wash your running shoe without damaging them. If you’re interested in learning how to wash your running shoes properly, I highly recommend you check that out.

What Shoes Are Best In The Rainy Season

Though running in the rain won’t ruin your running shoes, choosing the right running shoes is still important for comfort and safety.

As a general rule, look for running shoes that are breathable, light, and have a good grip. Good breathability allows water and air to flow in and out freely, and a good grip will prevent you from slipping.

One of my favorite shoes to wear when running in the rain is the Salomon Sense Ride 4.

Yes, they’re trail shoes but I still use them on the pavement when it’s wet. Basically, they’re my go-to trail shoes and wet condition shoes.

I like them because they’re very grippy, they dry very quickly, and they’re light. The upper material seems to be better than my road shoes in terms of dealing with water. You can check them out on Amazon.

I shared my complete gear guide to running in the rain in another article which includes what clothes to wear, if you’re interested in the proper rain gear, I recommend you read that article.

Related post: Complete Gear Guide To Running In Hot Weather (Summer Gear)

Final Thoughts

Running in the rain can actually be quite enjoyable. The sound of the rain, the fresh air, and the feeling of accomplishment can make it a great experience.

Just be sure to wear the proper rain running gear and do the necessary precautions to avoid injuries.

So go out there and enjoy the rain!

Nicho Mauricio

Running wasn't always my favorite sport. I was a CrossFit athlete and I loved every bit of it. But since the pandemic began, I was forced to stay away from the gym and train at home instead. Things got boring. That's when I decided to trail run with my friends. I instantly got hooked. So I started training and researching all things running. As a beginner, I want to buy only the best running gear and do only the best practices. This blog is where I share what I've learned in my journey and my experiences as a runner.

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