Dry feet make a huge difference in walking comfort, especially when walking in the rain. Waterproof shoes are widely available, although you pay a premium for them. You can also waterproof your shoes or boots yourself with a simple treatment.
Waterproof Shoes/BootsGore-tex lined boots and shoes are available in most brands of boots. You pay an extra $30 or more for this feature, which puts them in the $90 and above price range. My experience is that these are waterproof for several years. I include a pair of Gore-tex lined lightweight trail shoes in my walking gear, saving them for the truly-rainy days.
Waterproof shoe: Brooks Ghost GTX ()
Walk in your regular shoes - but wear a waterproof overshoe. The drawbacks are that these are often not designed for fitness walking, but for slogging around.
Single-Use Plastic Items
Single-use substitutes for overshoes include using those free shower caps you get in hotel rooms. They work fine for a single walk, and I've used them for some rainy half marathons. Another single-use fix is to use the plastic bag that your newspaper is delivered in. You can either wear them over the shoe or slip them over your socks before you put your feet in your shoes. However, I find that the bags keep foot sweat inside your socks and you end up with feet almost as wet as if they got soaked with the rain. A waterproof, breathable shoe is better as it allows sweat to be wicked away.
Step by Step: Using a Shower Cap Shoe Cover
Sealers and Treatments
Much more cost-effective is to buy a treatment such as Sno-Seal and some welt/seam guard, both available for around $5, and treat your favorite pair of leather shoes/boots.
For footwear made of nylon, spray with a waterproofing fabric treatment such as Scotchguard or Tectron. I find this does a less-thorough job, but it can reduce some of the wetness or take it longer for the rain to penetrate.
Next page > Socks and Gaiters for Rainy Walks