The right pair of running shoes can make a good run an exceptional one. However, nothing is more polarizing to a runner than getting caught in a downpour. While on the one hand, it can be very refreshing, especially towards the end of your run, it can also ruin your shoes. So, how to waterproof running shoes to enjoy the benefits of running in the rain without destroying them? Let’s take a look.
What Are Running Shoes?
You would be surprised as to how many people believe that any pair of sneakers or trainers can be worn when running, but this is a misconception that can lead to both damaged shoes and damaged feet. When you walk into your local shoe store and see the towering wall of running shoes, you can very quickly become overwhelmed by the number of options.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a pair of running shoes, like how often you run, the type of shoe you need, and what you need your shoe to do. Is there a best running shoe?
There is only the best running shoe for you, and that pair may be the worst pair someone else has ever used. The ideal running shoe for you is totally dependent on your biomechanics, your feet’s shape, and how much running you actually do.
Running shoes are specially designed to protect your feet from surfaces such as tarmac, to provide traction on various terrains, and to support your feet and cushion landing shock. So, there’s a lot to look out for.
Choosing an ideal pair of running shoes is more of an art than it is a science. Most runners use a trial and error process to find the brand and model that feels right to them, both comfortably and functionally.
It is imperative that you buy shoes that are designed for running. Running shoes are manufactured to sustain the shock of 2.5 times your body weight, which is created each time your foot strikes the ground.
Not only do proper running shoes make you look pretty cool, but they also provide the best possible protection for your body, legs, and feet. Your foot is forced to absorb almost three times your body weight each time you impact when running, making a running shoe with great cushioning imperative.
Waterproofing Running Shoes
There is perhaps nothing more annoying to a runner than having water sloshing around your toes. It is not only highly distracting, but the prolonged exposure to water can have some adverse effects on your feet, such as the dreaded athlete’s foot.
Water-resistant shoes have been out for a few decades now, and are available in numerous different models that offer anything between mild water resistance to extreme waterproofing. However, a shoe’s water-resistance is only as good as its height.
All waterproof shoes, regardless of their level of water-resistance, will only prevent water from entering the shoe up until the heel collar. Any water that is higher than this section will enter your shoes, and the material that prevents water from entering the shoe will end up preventing the water from escaping.
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent your feet from getting wet (not waterproofing your shoes exactly) is to wear waterproof socks. Even if your shoes are water-resistant, you still have a chance of stepping in a puddle and getting water in your shoes.
If you want to completely waterproof your shoes, you should use wax. Wax is naturally water-resistant, and beeswax is an environmentally friendly option to keep your feet dry.
It can easily be applied to canvas-type shoes and does not involve the use of any chemicals. You can buy beeswax in most hardware stores, health food shops, or straight from the source – honey makers.
Tips For Running In The Rain
Rainy weather does not automatically mean that you can not go for a run. In fact, you should take advantage of every opportunity to run in the rain.
Try wearing a hat with a brim when running in the rain. These hats will keep water out of your face to improve visibility, even during a downpour.
If it’s cold, dress in layers. The essential layer is the one that is closest to your body. Of course, you will also want to wear a raincoat.
Finally, be visible. Downpours affect the visibility of everyone involved, especially vehicles, so it is important that you wear high-visibility clothes to prevent accidents.
What To Do When You Can’t Run
Even the most dedicated runners will find times where they are not able to run, so here are a few pursuits that are good alternatives to running.
Outdoor training exercises such as road cycling, off-road cycling, cross-country skiing, and rowing. These are great exercises for those who love all things outdoors and perform best out in the open.
Gym training exercises like cross-trainer, stationary bike, handcycle, and stationary rower. While these exercises do not have the added bonus of being outdoors, they simulate outdoor conditions quite accurately.
Waterproofing your shoes is not as difficult as it sounds, though, in all honesty, you are going to get wet at some point during a run, so water-resistant shoes are not absolutely necessary. However, you can’t be too careful, so if you can pick up a pair of waterproof shoes, don’t hesitate to do so.