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My Favorite Fall Lightweight Rain Coats, Comfortable Rain Boots, And Water-Resistant Running Shoes That You’ll Actually Enjoy Wearing In the Mud

I was highly unprepared, fooled by the 2 weeks of hot sun after landing in Portland. But as I looked at my weather app (HA CORRECTION AS MY IMPASSIONED METEOROLOGIST HUSBAND ANNOUNCED THE IMPENDING DOOM/RAIN like it was a 5-day countdown) it was time to shop and get prepared for the life unknown in the mud. My goal isn’t to look cool, it is to enjoy being outside with our kids (and dogs) for extended periods of time, and the only way I’m going to do that is to be comfortable. And remember it’s not summer (so I need to be able to layer) and yet it’s not cold yet – no parkas or sherpa coats. What we need are comfortable, movable, lightweight, layerable, weather-resistant clothes and shoes to play in the mud like the real moms we are.

Rain Jackets

I had a snow parka, but not a “rain jacket” (remember Oregonians don’t really do umbrellas unless running from the parking spot to the store) so I actually needed an education from my friends. They said – for fall you want a lightweight shell that you can layer under, but not a thin windbreaker or a rubber coat. It needs to be cozier, and at least one that ends below your bum so your pants (or at least seat) can stay dry. I looked online at Patagonia and Northface but they did feel more “winter” (too hot for now) but I found a couple that I really like thus far.

Trail Model Rain Coat

This L.L. Bean one is extremely lightweight (like throw in a bag easily) and has a drawstring if you are into that. It goes below the butt, is a nice color, and is sized nicely to easily layer over a sweatshirt. It has a good drape if you are into that. And listen there is something throwback about L.L. Bean that I love – it’s a heritage brand from Maine and that feels sweet and nostalgic to me.

Waterproof Jacket

Even though I had checked that box I was at the mall to find rain boots and popped into Lululemon like the MAM I am. It had been YEARS since I had been in, which I took as a sign of how great their product is (I loaded up in SOUPtember 2018 and have been wearing the same stuff since). I was disappointed in the colorways this time around and it just felt less cool in a lot of ways (I can’t get over their sizing – you have to size up like 3 full sizes). Now, this might have just been the buyer of this location, to be fair, but I just wasn’t attracted to very much at all (lots of teals and chartreuse). But I found this jacket in the men’s department, unbeknownst to me) and actually really liked it. Admittedly I’m not 100% sure I need both so this one might go back. This one has more structure and warmth than the L.L. Bean, is boxier, more oversized, and has a cooler pocket (???). It kinda feels like you are wearing your boyfriend’s coat, in a good way. I like the sleeves (little buttons that give the elbows volume). It has more of an athletic vibe…

1. Girl on the Go® Trench Coat | 2. Women’s Torrentshell 3L City Coat | 3. Women’s Rain Coat | 4. Women Blocktech Coat | 5. RainOut Forecast Shell II | 6. Oversize Water Resistant Rain Coat | 7. Lakeview RainOut Parka | 8. City Breeze Waterproof Rain Jacket | 9. Women’s Waterproof Packable Raincoat

My Favorite Rain Puffer

Lightweight Long Coat

I blogged about this last year and it’s still going strong – My Uniqlo lightweight long coat. Now, this is not technically “waterproof”, but it is weather-resistant and more importantly like wearing a blanket made of air. It’s magical. In winter at the mountain house, I would layer it with a fleece underneath but it’s actually perfect for drizzly morning walks just over a t-shirt for fall. I wore it in the rain (but not pouring) and didn’t feel a thing (but you wouldn’t go “play in the rain” in it). I originally had the short version and the vest (still do) but this one, down to my ankles and not bulky is a DREAM to wear.

1. 2020 Skyliner Model Down Parka | 2. Katelyn Water Repellent Puffer Jacket | 3. Pack it Down Jacket Long | 4. Women’s Ultralight Packable Down Coat With Hood | 5. Palouse Down Parka | 6. Women’s PrimaLoft Packaway Coat

Waterproof Running Shoes

Water-Resistant Running Shoes

Now these I wanted to be super waterproof. I have gotten very into power walking the pups, in the rain and mud and I’m not stopping. My Nike friends recommended their Gore-tex line but their fall hasn’t launched yet and the rain is here so to avoid wet feet Brian actually found me these from Columbia on sale for $75 and I’ve been wearing them daily (3 times daily). They have good treads for traversing the roads and trails and my feet stay bone dry in the rain. Do I wish they looked cooler? Not really but I know that they could be cooler. So knowing that these are something that will get a ton of wear and tear I’ve still got my eye on what will be launching soon.

1. Nike Pegasus Trail 2 | 2. Cloudflyer Waterproof | 3. Escape FUTURELIGHT Trail Running | 4. Norvan LD 2 GTX | 5. Women’s Wool Dasher Mizzles | 6. Loom Waterproof Sneakers

Rain Boots (The Better Wellies IMHO)

Rain Boots

OH DID I FIND THEM AND I WILL NEVER GO BACK. These are like wearing Uggs, but outside and with a tiny bit of an edge. On the outside they look utilitarian and rugged, but they are so soft and comfortable inside. Not to mention how lightweight they are. They aren’t big cumbersome rubber boots that you have to layer like 4 socks under to have some cushion or warmth. They are insulated, but not fur-lined – so they’ll keep you cozy but not sweaty. DONE. And now that I know they make kids versions, as soon as my munchkins stop growing so fast that we have to buy two pairs of boots per season, I’m going to get some for the kids, too. (Although I do love a classic Hunter or Welly, for sure, especially for true puddle jumping)

Classic Rain Boots

1. Original Tall Waterproof Rain Boot | 2. Minimalist Ankle Rain Boots | 3. Refined Creeper Tall Rain Boot | 4. Cirrus™ Tall Rain Boot | 5. The Lace-Up Lugsole Rain Boot | 6. Darcy Mid Calf Rain Boot

Rain-Resistant Chelsea Boots (Low Rain Boots)

Chelsea Boots

I bought these a couple of years ago for the boot review but never actually needed them til now. YAY. They are super simple and classic and yes, they are stylish. These are great for general rainy days where I want to go out shopping – in and out of cars, etc but want to look somewhat stylish.

1. Original Waterproof Chelsea Rain Boot | 2. Women’s Chelsea Rain Boots | 3. Refined Chelsea Boot | 4. The Chelsea Rain Boot | 5. Women’s Rugged Wellie Chelsea Boots | 6. Brex Chelsea Bootie

The Duck Shoe – (A Couple Fails But I Still Really Want Some)

Tall Boot

I may have gone on a bit of a L.L. Bean bender (and no, this was wine-free as it is SOUPtember) but I just got so excited to actually need a pair of these classic duck shoes (were these originally for duck hunting?). Neither worked out for different reasons but I wanted to show you anyway.

Navy Low Boot

I knew I could style these to look pretty darn cool, which again isn’t the point but I pictured wearing them to the pumpkin patch with the kids or just, I don’t know, enjoying a fall day out with friends feeling a little less basic.

1. Women’s Slimpack Lace Duck Boots | 2. III Hiker Duck Boot | 3. DREAM PAIRS Women’s Mid Calf Winter Snow | 4. Women’s Leather Tall Duck Boots | 5. Hunt Pac Mid Boot | 6. Women’s 8″ Bean Boots

So here I am, ready (or trying to get ready) for life in A LOT more rain. Of course, I’d love to get any more recs from those of you who know the rain life. xx

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7 months ago

We were able to visit my brother and his family in Alaska this summer and EVERYONE was wearing some version of the Xtratuf boots (esp the low ones in the summer). I live on the coast in SC so they are hard to justify but I realllyyyy want some!

And you didn’t mention socks, but I have finally discovered wool socks and WOW WOW WOW what a difference! The best are FITS socks- . Incredible, comfy even when wet and odor-resistant. I’m sold on quality socks for forever now. I think those would make a difference for your comfort in Portland conditions, too.

Have a wonderful fall!

7 months ago
Reply to  M

Yesss! My dad was a US Merchant Marine in WWII and he swore that cotton socks under woollen socks were IT!
They were expected to wear these – keeping your feet healthy was primary to survival, apparently.
T5ge cotton is supposed to wick the dampness from your feet…or sumthin’ like that (?).

7 months ago
Reply to  M

Low XtraTuffs are referred to as Alaskan sneakers. Ha. The mud as things thaw is pretty brutal so these are great.

7 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly with getting wool socks. I’m a teacher at a nature preschool and know this from experience. Having warm, dry feet makes the difference between a fun day in the rain and a miserable one. Another recommendation for spending extended time outside in the rain is to get rain pants for you and the kids. Are they stylish? No. Will you be more comfortable? Yes. Don’t get the one piece rain suit (too hard for kids to manage in a bathroom emergency). My favorite boots for kids are Bogs.

7 months ago
Reply to  Barbara

Another yes to wool socks. I’m a Smartwool fan myself. After spending a few weeks hiking all day in New Zealand drizzle, I’m also a fan of rain pants. And if you’re going to be really active out there, pit zips are really nice to have in a jacket.

7 months ago

My big issues in the rain: 1) cute shoes I can wear to work that I don’t have to change to feel professional (the Chelsea boots are close- but the ones I have don’t have enough traction for slippery sidewalks); and 2) puffy hair from the rain. I used to live in Oregon and the moisture is great for the health of my hair, not so much for the style.

7 months ago
Reply to  wally

Yes! 15 years living in Portland and I never figured out not-puffy hair!

7 months ago
Reply to  wally

Sorel has a lot of options that are rain proof. I have a few pairs that don’t look like they would be water proof at all. Give them a look.

Colleen S
7 months ago

Big plug for Northwestern brand Sorel–their waterproof boots, sneakers, and everything are my go-tos. I have a pair of suede, waterproof tall lug-sole boots that I have been wearing for six years now and they are holding up beautifully (and I get at least one compliment whenever I wear them). My first pair was their slimpack short rain boot that are also still going strong probably for 8 years now. I don’t know how they do it.

7 months ago
Reply to  Colleen S

I was just ogling the Sorels in this post. They are so stylish and comfortable, and they hold up perfectly for years.

7 months ago
Reply to  Colleen S

Is it just me, or do the Sorel soles have no grip? I admit I’m often wearing mine on snow/ice…

Emily Selmer
7 months ago

As a lifelong resident of rainy, windy Western Washington, my two near perfect recommendations are: Allbirds Wool Mizzles (regular and high top versions) and The Northface Apex Flex Jacket! I live in these fall to early spring!

7 months ago

Have to add a recommendation for Helly Hansen Sailing gear. It’s world class for competitive sailors, but they’re amazing for us regular folk too. Specifically I LOVE the W HP Racing Jacket. Often on sale on Amazon or through the HH site so if you can hold off until that happens, do. I have a North Face Precip jacket that is breathable and great for camping, but it always looks wrinkled and doesn’t add any real warmth. But the HH fits over most layers and Works in drizzle and more Minnesota winter days than I expected it too. Also LL Bean preppy is never not cool. You can pay more, but…although Sorel is as good and has classic and fashion forward options.

7 months ago

Blundstones! Breathable and water resistant. Until recently I lived in Vancouver, BC, and commuted in them to work. Waiting at the bus stop, walking 10 minutes from the bus stop. In “winter” (Van doesn’t have a real winter like the rest of Canada, just rain) I also used them to ride my bike to work because I didn’t want to buy additional rainproof runners. I wore them in the rain for longer periods of time too and never got wet feet, but they probably qualify as water resistant rather than waterproof. It feels like everyone in Vancouver wears them and has been wearing them for ages.

7 months ago

For waterproof sneakers–I mean, literally 100% waterproof–I recommend Vessi. those things are miraculous! The material is stretchy and looks like it would let water through, but it doesn’t. I have worn them in a downpour, in deep puddles, and my feet stayed dry. They have been a godsend for my morning walks with my dog, who likes to play on the dewy grass–my feet used to get so wet. I chose the least attractive (IMHO) style–the slip-on–because I didn’t want to fuss with laces. Full disclosure: I don’t love the fit. They’re a bit loose in the back (I need to put something in the heel to keep it from sliding a bit) and this style has no arch support (I had to put in an insert)–although I know other styles have more. But I am still so happy with them b/c they are so effective in keeping my feet dry.

7 months ago

I agree with wool socks. For exercising in the rain, it helps to wear darn tough or smart wool athletic socks. Your feet won’t feel wet even when they are. They also keep your feet cool and dry in summer heat.

7 months ago

My Recs!

Sorel Out and About or Conquest boots… both way cooler duck boots. Shorter than traditional but keep me warm and dry in rain, slush or snow.

Blundstone for the coolest weather resistant Chelsea boots. I get compliments every time.

All Birds mizzels for sneakers. Not really a running shoe but a perfect sneaker in the rain.

I also have the ankle Hunter boots. The short play boots. Love them.

I am a huge LL bean and Patagonia fan but my rain coat is the Lands End one you linked. It’s just perfect. It has a vest shell that is removable so it’s a great rain coat on a summer day or in an almost snowing rain.

7 months ago

20 years in Portland!

Three reccos:

1) While it does rain basically every day, there is also a sun break (minimum a rain break) everyday too. For your mental health, do what you can to time breaks to the weather!

2) My favorite jackets of all time are from Nau. They are local and GET our weather. Their boiled wool jackets are 100% waterproof enough for the winter and it’s magical how warm but not hot the jacket is. Can’t reccomend enough! Also great men’s coats!!

3) Have to echo the wool socks and Bogs. Although, honestly, I tend to live in sneakers in the winter… but the garden & park visits with the pup in mud season get Bogs. 🙂

Jennifer Barnes
7 months ago

I wish it would rain here in arid California! If you are ever looking for more dressy waterproof boots, this brand has such cute styles. I literally found myself walking through a creek in a pair and they are extremely waterproof. Blondo:

7 months ago

I second this brand recommendation! I live in Portland and used to bike to work daily in the rain wearing Blondo booties and my feet literally never got wet. Also +1 to the rain pant recommendation, I like Black Diamond bc their gear is cut to be active so it’s very comfortable.

7 months ago

I’m a big fan of my Patagonia Torrentshell rain jackets. I have the shorter one for hiking and a longer one for day to day use. Actually waterproof and has a brimmed hood to keep the rain off my glasses. My recommendation is to go with a legit rain jacket with GORE-TEX or DWR and not just something that is water resistant. The water resistant stuff is often cuter, but outside of a light drizzle on a short walk, you’re just going to get wet.
For shoes, I like my Sperry duck boots. I have fleece lined ones that are more for winter/snow use, but I imagine their non lined ones would be good for spring/fall weather. I’d also recommend Altra Lone Peak all weather trail runners. They won’t keep you dry in the pouring rain since water will inevitably leak in the sides around your ankles, but they’re great for lighter rains. They also have great traction so you’re not slipping all over the place.

7 months ago

Imma let you in on two awesome Canadian shoe companies:

Cougar – stylish rain boots, winter boots – all of it.

And an Indigenous owned company that makes incredible waterproof mukluks:

7 months ago
Reply to  Lia

I bought myself a pair of mid height mukluks from Manitobah as a “you can do it!” present when I moved to NW Montana. They’re so comfortable and warm and waterproof. I’m wearing them now to watch my kids play soccer on frost-covered grass.

7 months ago

The closest thing I have to any of this is my gumboots for serious gardening in my nano-woodland or for using the edger, for safety. They’re made in Italy and have floral fabric between layers of clear ‘rubber’. No way could I have afforded them, except I bought them at this crazy sale at the beginning of a summer many moons ago?!? LOL🤣 I’ve been wearing them for sooo many years, the tread has nearly worn off! I’m no good for wet weather footwear, obviously.

Ironically, Blundstones are an Australian brand! Crazy how such a great boot came from a mostly-desert island, yet, enormous cattle stations (ranches) created a need, and believe it ir not, we do have some snow country, too.

Drizabone is a brand of oil cloth rain-proof jackets (also Australian) that the overland cattle drovers wear. We’re talking thousands of miles on horseback! Flexible, non-plasticy and very stylish!
This would go sooo well with your Akubra hat you got in Sydney, Emily!!😃

7 months ago

A couple of recs from a PNWer in the outdoor industry: • blundstone boots are the best. Warm and dry and not cold, the way some duck boots can be. It’s the ONE shoe I wear bc I forget about all the others come fall and winter. If in between sizes go up. • bogs boots especially for kids. They hold up so so well so check the resell market if your kids are growing so quickly you’re worried about spending that kind of money. • it’s crazy pricey but fjallraven’s canvas rain jackets are beautiful and perfect for fall weather here. I have the “Stina” for fall / light drizzle. The Swedes know how to handle this type of weather 🙂 It’s a “forever” jacket, or that’s what I told myself when I bought it. The zipper is on the opposite side so don’t let that drive you bonkers. • arc’tryx does a nice light down jacket (LT I think it’s called) that is the perfect layer under a rain jacket for when it’s a bit cold but not full on puffer weather. Like a down zippy sweatshirt. • Sorel does cute things that are legit practical and durable.… Read more »

Roberta Davis
7 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

I love my Blunnies and wore them walking all last winter!

This came at a purrrrrrrrfect time! i was just looking for rain/wet boots for running outside in. Perfect for Michigan fall. Plus running outside in wet grass to dump the compost. Yay!

Roberta Davis
7 months ago

I live in Seattle and try to walk every day. Rarely need a real cold-weather coat, and usually wear a rain coat as you describe above. To me, it’s important to get one with a hood that will stay in place so you can see where you’re going, and also has the ability to snap tight around the neck to keep rain out, and has waterproof pockets to keep my phone dry. I wore my Blunnies to walk in all winter last year and they were fine. Also, having a coat that is long enough so the rain doesn’t drip down onto your pant legs/thighs is important for comfort! I usually wear a fleece and another layer underneath. And my hands get very cold in the damp chill, so warm gloves are a must for me! I see a lot of people wearing fleeces with a down vest over them when it’s not raining, like walking around the neighborhood or walking their kids to school. Welcome back to the damp and chilly and rainy Northwest! It can often feel colder than a snowy winter in the Midwest.

7 months ago

Bogs is another locally made, Oregon based brand of rain boots. I have a few great pieces (as do my kids) and love them. They also support local environmental groups and have a great donation program for when kids outgrow their current pair of boots.

Robin Bruce
7 months ago

🇨🇦 On Vancouver Island , Helly Hansen is great, skip the LuLu lots of ethical reasons and price is ridiculous for product. I have a pair of Keen boots that are 7 yrs old. Umbrellas are for tourists, coat needs a hood! Oh and wool socks.

7 months ago

I just bought the Marmot EVO Dry Kingston jacket and I love it. I walk my german shephard in ALL kinds of weather, and this jacket is light, breathable, simply styled but with all the bells and whistles: adjustable cuffs, adjustable hood crown for your head or around a ballcap, longer tail in the back with a cute crossover style, and an internal waist drawstring. It’s on sale now and I’m so glad I got an outdoor jacket from an outdoor brand that doesn’t scream OUTDOOR GEAR or sport lots of logos.

7 months ago
Reply to  Emily

Just ordered! Thanks for the rec! I’m in portland also and have 3 shorter rain jackets but the booth coverage on this one with the cross back looks next level!

7 months ago

Love this! LLBean is just the best for winter wear, hands down. I bought some of their lined sweatpants last year, and will never never go back to cheap ones for wear in actual winter. Their quality is so good.

I have a lot of love for Hunter rain boots with their sock liner that you have to buy separately. I once wore a pair for 8+ hours walking around in NYC in snowy streets in January, and my feet were surprisingly never cold or sore. I finally wore the treads out on those, and this year bought a new pair that are a little lower. The lower pair is much easier to take off (the high ones were a battle and would practically suction to my feet lol).

I really do love Ugg boots for winter (the ones that have leather on the outside, not suede). They clean off nicely and keep your feet toasty.

Sorel are nice for being outside in the winter if you don’t have to walk far & are more standing around (they can get rather heavy).

7 months ago

I too did this when I moved to Portland from a sunnier clime – the freaking out about rain coming and thinking I needed to buy so much to be ready for it. 3 unworn pairs of waterproof boots later I can tell you I wear Blundstones every day from Oct to April or so, and they do everything. I have a thin Columbia rain coat I can layer under and a large wool coat that’s resistant to rain from Pendleton and I am good to go. That said, I don’t have kids or dogs so I am maybe not forced outside as much as you. It’s not going to rain as much as you think. I promise.

7 months ago

I really like the lululemon jacket! Nice color, looks very comfy and good for layering. But of course if it’s not your style as much as the other rain jacket, there is no point in keeping it 🙂

7 months ago

Allbirds are not water resistant. I have a pair and just walking the dog through dewy grass in the summer makes them unenjoyable to wear.

If you want to start actually supporting sustainable brands you should start linking to Patagonia items on these outdoorsy clothing posts. They also have a worn wear site where you can get lightly used items for cheaper.

7 months ago

Sorry Emily,that short bean coat won’t work for more than a run to store! As a fellow northwestern, rains have gotten more driving with global warming, so you want your thighs covered.Also you want square pockets, a zip / flap op[tion is nice. For all day, armpit zips are nice. for boots I have a JCcrew Chelsea boot. I love bogs too but they don’t work on high arches. … I wonder why you don’t check eBay,( esp. for kids boots? ) One does love a raincoat wardrobe as a seattlite.

7 months ago

Schnee’s Boots of Montana- they are beautiful and have incredible quality. Pricey but will last forever.

7 months ago

I’m guessing one of your local friends has already told you this…but just in case…you absolutely need to check out the Columbia employee store. They own Sorel, Mountain Hardware, and Prana in addition to Columbia. It’s a one-stop-shop for outdoor apparel. And it’s all 40-60% off retail!

7 months ago
Reply to  kiki

Plus one to this! I was surprised no one mentioned it yet.

Also recommend you check out some of the local kids consignment stores for used Bogs. You’ll find great deals locally, and can sell once your kids outgrow. We moved here from LA a few years ago and that’s been a great source for us.

7 months ago

These jackets are dope,l have odered some for my family

7 months ago

You should really check out Kamiks. They are cute and super light weight. I love the Sorel look, but I can get that same look with Kamik’s but they’re not heavy at all! And their kids boots are great too. Also recommend their snow boots for adults and kids. I’m a huge fan, clearly.

7 months ago

I got some for my kidzs,They are cute and super light weight.

7 months ago

 I admit I’m often wearing mine on snow

7 months ago

I like your choices and your sentiment- to get out in nature with your family. Enjoy all the seasons! For a light rain jacket, I recommend the British brand, Joules. I have one of their lightweight raincoats in a fun pattern, and it’s perfect protection for rainy days in New York whether I’m walking my dog (who hates umbrellas) or running to/from the subway. It has a great adjustable hood (this was important to me) and smartly designed cuffs and pockets. Joules often has sales and you can find secondhand, too. Thumbs up.

Jessica Zeidman
7 months ago

Just bought the Bogs and they’re amazing. After 2 Colorado winters, I feel I’m finally ready. Lite-weight, warm but not suffocating, easy to pull in, just great.

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