Determining If It’s Better to Walk or Run in the Rain

Stu K of Debunked explores whether it is better to walk or run in the rain in order to be drier upon arrival at one’s destination. The answer is not as obvious as it seems.

For decades, people have speculated that  running through the rain may, somewhat   counterintuitively, result in you actually  getting wetter than if you had just walked.  This is based on the idea that, although  you’ll spend less time in the rain if you reach your destination faster, moving forward quickly through the rain that is falling in front of you will mean you’ll  hit more raindrops than if you’d just walked,  resulting in a wetter you when you  arrive at where you want to be.

Determining If It’s Better to Walk or Run in the Rain

Adding further complications to this age-old question are such factors as wind speed, direction of the raindrops, and body weight. Factors most of us won’t notice, much less consider, when caught in a downpour.

The question of  whether or not to run or walk in the rain throws up a range of unexpected  concerns and considerations, and indeed, much of the scientific discussion of  the issue deals with very specific theoretical  aspects of the problem that aren’t at all  practical to consider in the real world. I don’t know about you, but having  to factor wind speed and direction, as well as how fat you are, into your decision on  whether to walk or run through the rain  feels just a little like over-doing it.

That being said, it is more likely that one will stay drier if they run in the rain.

So, to answer the original question, it appears  pretty clear that running in the rain will   leave you drier upon arrival when compared to  walking, but for many it may not be worth doing so.