Clocking miles during a wintry day? Make sure you've geared up properly, especially with running shoes for snow that can withstand the elements. “When you're picking the best shoes for running in the snow, you want to consider two main aspects: the traction and grip and what kind of protection the shoe provides from the elements,” says Eric Fruth, Co-Owner and Grassroots Coordinator of ColumbusRunning.com. “Ideally, you're looking for a shoe that has excellent grip on wet or icy terrain, and if it features a water-resistant upper or a weatherproof GORE-TEX upper, even better.”
- Eric Fruth, Eric Fruth is the co-owner and grassroots coordinator of ColumbusRunning.com.
In order to pick the right running shoe for you, look for shoes that list out features and materials specific to wet and cold conditions. “There are running shoes that use a rubber that gets tacky on wet surfaces, and that provides extra traction on everything from wet leaves in the fall to snowy paths in winter, says Fruth. “Some shoes are water resistant, which provides protection from conditions like dewy grass, while others are fully waterproof, ideal for anyone outside in the worst of conditions.” Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran runner, here are the best shoes that will hold up when the snowflakes start dropping.
The best running shoes for snow
When you need a lightweight running shoe for the snow, the Brooks Ghost 14 GTX is a great waterproof option that comes with the brand’s signature 100 percent DNA LOFT cushioning in the midsole. The carbon-neutral shoe is also constructed with a flexible fit, which is connected to the GORE-TEX Invisible Fit membrane. Get the men’s fit here.
For those runners who see themselves jetting off for a run during sleet, slushy, or snowy weather, then the Brooks Cascadia 16 (men’s shoes available here) is worth a peek. The TrailTack rubber outsole was created to focus on wet-dry traction. Hit a melted snow puddle? Not to worry: The drainage ports allow water to escape easily, while the Ballistic Rock Shield protects against pebbles and debris.
When you need a shoe to offer more traction on slippery surfaces, consider Salomon’s Speedcross 5 (find men’s sizing here). When you’re out in those backcountry trails where ice and snow might creep up on you, the ClimaShield waterproof membrane will help keep the shoe to keep dry while on wet surfaces. Combine this with the lugs on the outsole helps create sufficient grip on wet surfaces.
If you hit that melted snow pack during a morning run, having a shoe that can survive the drench is key. The Altra Lone Peak 5 (Men’s Lone Peak 5 available here) has clever engineering in the form of laser-cut drainage holes. “The shoe includes rugged traction and one of the most open, comfortable toe boxes on the market,” says Fruth.
If you’re looking for good winter sneakers that also provides maximum cushioning with its signature ‘Fresh Foam’ midsole, check out New Balance’s Fresh Foam More Trail v1’s. “The Fresh Foam More Trail v1 comes with a water-repellent upper and an extremely cushioned feel, great for long days on the feet in any kinds of conditions,” advises Fruth. Get men’s Fresh Foam More Trail v1 here.
When you need lightweight shoes that have trail-ready traction, the Nike WildHorse 6 (find men’s shoes here) has full-rubber outsoles and features abrasion-resistant materials in the forefoot and heel, with sticky rubber in the middle for grip. When you hit a sleet bank or snow patch, you can rely on the collar around the ankle that hugs your foot while helping prevent the debris from entering the shoe. There is also a woven heel helps keep your foot secure.
Reflective elements are an essential feature of running shoes in cold weather in order to add visibility during dark mornings and evenings. “The ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 comes in a Lite-Show version for the winter, adding high viz reflectivity to make sure that passing traffic spots you on the darkest days,” says Fruth. Men’s GEL-Kayano 28 are also available.
Available in three colorways: blue, coral, and pink, the Women’s Timp 3 by Altra is constructed with the brand’s “MaxTrac” technology which allows for grip and traction on different types of terrain. Altra’s signature ‘FootShape’ gives runners extra space in the toe box during those long trail runs. Find men’s Timp 3 here.
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