If there is one thing I hate it is getting caught out in the rain and ending up with soaking-wet feet and shoes. Rainy weather can ruin your shoes and give you soggy feet so let’s talk about how to keep shoes dry in the rain.
I find that there are really two elements to this problem. The first is when you have a great pair of new or expensive shoes that are not made from water-resistant materials. You know that if you get caught in a heavy downpour when you are wearing them you might not just have wet shoes but ruined footwear.
The second is that whilst you know your footwear could survive getting rained on the last thing you want in your life is to end up with soaking-wet feet for the rest of the day.
Here’s what you can do to try and prevent the problem and keep your feet dry and shoes dry.
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Check The Weather Forecast
Ok, I am not being facetious but stating that one of the easiest ways to keep shoes dry in the rain is not to go out in wet weather in the first place.
Of course, you can’t stay indoors forever to avoid heavy rain but taking the time to check the weather forecast allows you to make smarter decisions about the shoes you are going to wear that day.
I regularly check the forecast and even look at the weather radar to see if a heavy downpour is likely. If it looks like it is going to rain significantly then I adapt my footwear to something waterproof or at the very least water resistant.
Similarly, my husband tends to avoid doing his morning runs on days when he knows it is going to be too wet. This saves him from getting soaked and his sneakers from getting waterlogged.
Whilst you can’t avoid wet weather in every circumstance you can certainly mitigate any potential damage to your shoes, especially ones that are expensive or that aren’t made from a waterproof material.
Find Some Shelter
My next obvious answer about how to keep shoes dry in the rain is to seek out shelter as fast as possible in order to prevent soggy feet and wet shoes.
Shelter is obviously much easier to find if you are in a city or town. Usually, you can run into a store or coffee shop or hide under a bus shelter. This solution poses far more of an issue if you are outdoors in the country.
Trees can provide shelter if the canopy is large enough and there are leaves on the branches but of course, you need to be wary if thunder or lightning is around. Never shelter under a tree if there is a thunderstorm as that is one of the first places that could be hit by lightning.
Wear Waterproof Boots or Rain Boots
The next solution to help you keep your feet and shoes dry is either wearing waterproof boots or rain boots when you are expecting any kind of significant rain.
Note that waterproof boots are very different from water-resistant boots!
A water-resistant boot like these DC Men’s Pure High-top Skate Shoes is usually fine to wear in light rain or drizzle outside. Usually, the products that the material has been coated with will help to repel water and moisture to keep your feet dry.
However, if you wear these boots for a prolonged period of time in heavy rain or whilst you are walking through any water they will eventually let moisture in and you will get wet feet.
In comparison these KEEN Men’s Nxis Evo Low Height Waterproof Hiking Shoes have been manufactured to keep your feet dry in wet weather.
When a shoe is waterproof like these heavy rainfall in not going to cause you any problems. The waterproof material will simply resist any water and your feet and socks will still stay dry.
Whilst these are hiking shoes plenty of people are using them for general walking because they keep feet comfortable and dry. This means they are the perfect style of footwear if you want to avoid wet feet and being stuck with shoes that are saturated from the rain.
There are of course also rain boots which do a brilliant job of repelling water and keeping your feet dry in wet weather.
Rain boots have come a long way since I was a child. Now the more expensive brands don’t just offer waterproofing but can also keep your feet warm when it is well below freezing outside. They can cope easily with snowy conditions and stop moisture in its tracks which keeps your feet dry and comfortable.
Muck Boots Arctic Sport Boots for example are rain boots that can also keep your feet comfortable in -40 °F to 40 °F (-40°C to 4°C).
The Muck Boots brand also has a huge range of other rain boots that come in ankle length, mid-calf or knee lengths depending on your needs. You can get boots with additional traction, fleece lining, and comfort insoles.
Use Waterproofing Sprays To Stop Wet Feet
If you have a pair of shoes or boots that isn’t waterproof or water-resistant then there are plenty of sprays or products out there that can help you to stop your footwear from absorbing moisture. One example is Jason Markk Shoe Protector and Repellant Spray.
Whilst you may not get an entirely waterproof shoe by using products like this you should be able to help your footwear be able to cope better with rain or light drizzle.
These sprays or products don’t just stop your shoes from getting soaking wet they can also prevent stains or discoloration as well so they are a great tool to use if you want to keep your shoes looking good.
Just remember that whilst they can help to repel water they are unlikely to help in sustained wet weather or if your feet are in standing water for too long. They will also usually work better with leather shoes rather than textile footwear or products such as suede or velvet.
Carry Extra Footwear With You
Learning how to keep shoes dry in the rain sometimes means that you have to put up with some mild inconvenience. In particular, bringing an alternative item of footwear with you when you go out.
Clearly, this is easy to do if you are traveling in a car to your destination. You can just put another pair of shoes or boots into your trunk and change into them if you reach your destination and your find that it is pouring rain.
This is clearly harder to do when you are walking as it means carrying an extra pair of shoes or boots with you either in a bag, backpack or waterproof shoe bag.
This would of course this effort could totally be worth it if it saves you from ruining a good pair of shoes or getting wet feet.
Packable Rain Boots
Whilst normal shoes and rain boots tend to be rather bulky and heavy to carry there are some solutions that you could look at which make life easier for yourself.
My favorite find is these lightweight packable rain boots.
Whoever came up with this idea is a genius because these waterproof portable rain boots are so easy to carry as they weigh around 2 pounds. They also fold up into a really small size which means they take up hardly any room.
The only downside to these boots is that they don’t fit wide calves. Hopefully, someone will start making them in wider calf sizes because there is a huge demand for wide-calf wellies and boots out there.
Use Plastic Bags to Keep Feet Dry
My next tip is only for emergency use only and isn’t a long-term solution to keeping your feet dry.
It involves either wrapping plastic bags around your shoes or alternatively putting on plastic bags over your socks and then putting on your shoes. The latter is designed to stop your feet from getting cold and wet and the former protects your shoes.
The only problems are that trying to walk with slippery plastic bags over your shoes is a recipe for a tumble, slip or fall. This means that realistically this method only works well if you do this whilst standing still as short-term protection.
With regards to the plastic bags inside your shoes well that doesn’t protect your shoes at all and only helps to stop your feet from getting wet. Plus your socks are no longer going to be moisture-wicking because this is going to cause sweaty feet. Do this too often and you are likely to create a breeding ground for athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
Use Waterproof Shoe Covers or Galoshes
Luckily there are alternatives to the plastic bag tip that I just gave you that involve shoe covers or galoshes.
You don’t regularly hear about galoshes now but they were a big deal back before rain boots were more popular. These are a type of overshoe made from rubber that slips on over your normal shoes and keeps your feet dry. Unlike plastic bags, good galoshes have treads on the bottom of them allowing you to walk around in the rain without slipping over.
Galoshes come in all shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Some just about cover a dress shoe whilst others are taller and cover your ankles.
As these are lightweight they are easy to carry around if you need to use them quickly.
How to Keep Shoes Dry When Hiking In The Rain
If you are hiking and what to keep your feet dry then waterproof hiking boots are obviously one great solution. However, if you want to take things a little further then you need to buy gaiters.
The problem you have when hiking in pouring rain or in wet terrain is that many hiking boots don’t stop moisture from getting inside your shoes in the top section around the ankle. This means that you can soon get wet feet as your socks get saturated.
Gaiters solve this problem by covering the section from your ankles to your calf or knee, depending on the size you get, so that water can’t get inside your footwear.
As they attach by elastic or velcro they are really simple to get on and they are usually lightweight as well so are easy to fold up and carry.
Just make sure that you choose a pair that is breathable to prevent sweat from causing you a problem.
Wear Waterproof Socks for Dry Feet
Leakdry Waterproof Socks are also something that you can use when you are hiking or walking for long periods in wet weather.
Once again these don’t prevent your shoes from getting wet but they can help to stop water from getting to your feet if water does seep through your shoes.
These socks are also moisture wicking which is great for preventing a build-up of sweat which can cause discomfort and encourage fungal infections.
What To Do When Shoes Get Wet
Hopefully, my tips have shown you how to keep shoes dry in the rain. If however, your shoes have got wet then you should try and remove them at the earliest opportunity and start to dry them out.
The drying process for shoes isn’t complicated but it needs to be done carefully to make sure you cause as little damage to your footwear.
You can read my guide on how to dry leather boots so you can get some ideas of the methods you can use to protect your shoes as you get rid of any moisture.
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