The best waterproof Nike shoes

by Solereview editors
Published: Last Updated on

The waterproof upper of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex.

This article has been updated with current models for January 2024. Most of the shoes in this guide have been replaced with their updated versions. Except for the narrower ‘B’ width, the women’s models are almost identical to men’s. When you make a purchase using the retailer links, we may earn a small commission.

Nike footwear with a Gore-Tex membrane used to be a common sight during the mid to late 2000s. Nike ACG – short for ‘All Conditions Gear’ – used to be a technical product category with a broad assortment of outdoor footwear. Many of them had waterproof GTX uppers.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex.

Soon after, Gore-Tex footwear disappeared almost entirely, only to return on the Pegasus Trail a couple of years ago. Sure, there were stray sightings of Nike GTX models now and then. However, the availability was usually scarce and inconsistent across seasons.

Also, Nike sells its seasonal ‘Shield’ assortment. That said, Nike Shield shoes are water-repellent and not waterproof. Nike Shield is specifically designed for cold weather with additional features like high-visibility trims and insulation.

The water resistant finish of the Nike Pegasus 38 Shield.

The Pegasus Shield has a water-repellent upper mesh, but is NOT waterproof.

Things have changed of late, as Nike shoes with Gore-Tex uppers are making a comeback. There’s more to choose from across different categories, be it the Jordan One Element or React InfinityRN 4.

Solereview recommends: Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex

If we had to pick a single waterproof shoe out of Nike’s entire line-up, the Pegasus Trail 4 would be it.

Though this shoe is marketed as a trail shoe, it’s a road-trail crossover that also does well in urban settings. The lack of gaiter attachment points, upper protection, and low ride stability limits its use to gentle slopes or flat trails. If you’re interested, our detailed review is here.

The soft React midsole is comfortable enough for everyday runs or casual wear, and the shallow lugs grip well on asphalt.

The water beading upper of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex.

The waterproof upper beads water.

The heel gaiter of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex.

The debris-blocking mock gaiter returns. This section is not waterproof, so it will absorb moisture.

The Nike Pegasus Trail 4 Gore-Tex submerged in water.

The outsole of the Nike Pegasus Trail 4.

As long as the trails are flat and non-technical, the shoe performs as advertised.

Even with the Gore-Tex membrane, the upper is surprisingly supple – therefore making it a comfortable shoe for most use cases. The heel has a soft gaiter extension to prevent the debris from getting inside.

The waterproofing is effective till the gusset attachment point, so this shoe keeps the feet dry on rainy days. Also, the React foam is sensitive to temperature changes and will stiffen during freezing winters.

2) Waterproof sneaker: The Nike Air Jordan 1 Element

The Air Jordan One needs no introduction, and adding a Gore-Tex lining is one of the best things that has happened to this iconic sneaker.

Its street credibility isn’t the only reason why people wear the AJ1; its everyday comfort and durability make it a practical choice as well. So retro-fitting it with a waterproof membrane makes perfect sense, as it increases the shoe’s versatility. The supportive Hi-top upper works together with the Nike Air cupsole to deliver everyday comfort.

Besides the waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, the Air Jordan 1 Element also has high visibility. The swoosh logos on the sides are reflective, thus making the AJ1 a good fit for the cold and dark months.

3) Waterproof daily trainer: Nike React Infinity 4 Gore-Tex

The React Infinity 4 Gore-Tex is an okay running shoe. The soft ride means that its stability isn’t the greatest, and its closed mesh upper limits the Infinity 4’s use to the colder months. But if you can overlook that, the Infinity 4 is an excellent shoe for wet weather conditions.

Not only is the Gore-Tex-equipped upper waterproof, but the outsole uses the ‘Storm Tread’ rubber that works so well on wet roads. The Storm Tread rubber is a regular fixture on the Pegasus Shield, so it’s good to see the same material on the Infinity 4.

It’s worth mentioning that the outsole geometry of the Gore-Tex differs from the regular version. Here, the outsole lugs are closely placed for increased contact area.

4) Waterproof road-trail hybrid: Nike Juniper Trail 2 Gore-Tex

The Juniper Trail 2 Gore-Tex has a lot in common with the Pegasus Trail 4. Like the latter, the Juniper Trail 2 is NOT meant for technical trails, but rather a ‘soft-roader.’

The outsole design gives it away. Just like the Peg Trail, the shallow lugs, perforated outsole, and transition groove are the markings of a road shoe.

In other words, the Juniper Trail 2 is a road-trail crossover – the midsole is sufficiently comfortable for road runs, while the overall ruggedness works well on flat trails. The rubberized toe area, closed mesh, and ‘flaps’ over the tongue minimize the debris from getting inside. The synthetic panels on the midfoot and heel add structural reinforcement.

While non-insulated, the Juniper Trail 2 is a better shoe for winter than for the warmer months. The closed mesh, tongue flaps, and heathered lining do a good job of blocking the wind, and the waterproof Gore-Tex upper keeps the water out.

5) Waterproof Utility sneaker: Nike Mountain Fly 2 Gore-Tex

It’s good to see the Nike ACG line make a comeback. Short for ‘All Conditions Gear’, ACG was the default category for Nike’s outdoor footwear.

Today, the ACG assortment has a mix of retro-hiking and modern ‘Gorpcore’ silhouettes. The Mountain Fly is the latter; it uses outdoor elements, but repurposed for urban use.

Many of those rugged features come in handy. The aggressive outsole design provides traction and protection, whereas the foam midsole provides all-day comfort. The upper is reinforced with a durable rubber bumper, TPU overlays, and long-lasting mesh. A toggle lacing and inner gusset keep the feet locked in.

Finally, a word on the upper fit and sizing. Because of the aggressive rubber bumper, there isn’t much space for the toes to move around. This peculiar design makes the Mountain Fly feel like a shoe with short sizing, so this takes some time getting used to. The heel collar height also feels slightly lower than the norm.

6) Waterproof lifestyle sneaker: Nike Air Max 90 Gore-Tex

Who would have thought? The Air Max 90 is now available in a waterproof Gore-Tex version. Over the years, we’ve seen many variants of the AM90, but never a waterproof one.

So here it is – the AM 90 Gore-Tex. Except for the prominent ‘Gore-Tex’ callout on the tongue and midfoot, the rest of the shoe is the Air Max 90 we’ve come to know. The midsole has the recognizable ‘Max Air’ window and familiar cushioning softness that comes with it.

On top, the comfortable upper combines soft mesh with leather panels and molded detail for a secure fit. The thick waffle rubber outsole provides dependable grip and durability.

Water repellent, but not waterproof Nike shoes

These two models are winterized versions of the standard Pegasus and Winflo. They do a decent job of keeping the water out, but the uppers are not waterproof – just water-resistant.

7) Nike Pegasus 39 Shield

The Pegasus 39 Shield isn’t waterproof, but rather a winter-ready variant of the Pegasus. Except for the midsole, there aren’t many shared parts with the Pegasus 39.

For example, the wet-traction outsole (Storm-Tread) lugs on the Shield version aren’t a part of the standard road Pegasus. Nor is the insulated upper with the fused synthetic splash guards on its side. The closed mesh and insulated tongue keep the feet toasty during the colder winter months.

The water repelling mesh of the Nike Pegasus 38 Shield.

The surface finish of the Pegasus Shield’s mesh beads water.

Even though the knit mesh isn’t waterproof, it has decent water-beading properties due to the surface treatment. The synthetic mudguard on the sides is waterproof, so the Pegasus Shield has effective water-repelling properties. The reflectivity has vastly improved over the previous Pegasus 38 Shield.

8) Nike Winflo 9 Shield

Just like the Pegasus 39 Shield, the winterized Winflo 9 Shield exists alongside the regular – and less expensive – model by the same name.

The midsole with its full-length Air cushioning delivers the same smooth and cushioned ride from the non-Shield model. But that’s where the similarities end; additional features like the tacky outsole and water-repellent upper make it a better running shoe for the wetter and colder weather.

It’s important to emphasize that the Winflo 9 Shield is not waterproof. Nonetheless, the welded panels on the upper and water-repelling finish on the mesh give it a substantial wet-weather advantage over standard summer shoes.

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