Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: James Leigh

Want better traction and zero falls during your trail run? Kick away your road shoes, consider investing in a perfect pair of trail running shoe & become a winner.

Trail runners shoes have come a long way since a few models began appearing on store shelves heretofore 25 years. More than just what they’re known best for (robust outer soles) they possess amazing other features that make these shoes more compatible with trail running.

No matter how far you wanna trail, picking the best trail running shoe according to your taste is an important step for you to be in the right mindset. There is an array of options in the market when you head to, made for every type of track and preference. Here in this blog, I’ve rounded up some of the best picks from popular retailers so you can find yourself around best road running shoes without asking your running partner.

Best Trail Running Shoes

What to look for?

Long-distance running shoes require ticking the following boxes:

  • Must be lightweight
  • Responsive cushioning
  • Must be comfortable
  • Don’t let your foot marinating in sweats
  • Has some amazing speed to break the ground (if its a speed run)

Things to remember:

Replace running shoes once they’ve covered 400 to 500 miles.

Always be in a new or slightly used pair of shoes for a marathon.

Best Comfortable Trail Running Shoes

Best Cushioned Trail Running Shoe

Topo Athletic UltraVenture 2

  • ✔️ Thick & spongy footbed
  • ✔ Built with 3 piece EVA foam
  • ✔️ Sturdy cushioning
  • ✔️ Optimized for breathability and strength
  • ✔️ Drainage “gills” for water release & quick-dry
  • ✔️ Tit for wide feet
  • ❌ No rock plate
  • ❌ Loose fit in the midfoot

Meet the Ultraventure—a perfectly cushioned minimalist trail shoe stuffed with more cushion.

Cushioning in a new trail shoe? This factor has seen the most change in recent years with brands offering more cushion to maximalists and little cushion to minimalists. However, this shoe hits two birds in one go.

So, if you’re someone who wants to feel like you’re running on a cloud with cushioned trail running shoe, get this one!

Best Neutral Trail Running Shoe

Brooks Caldera 6

  • ✔️ Enough cushioning
  • ✔️ Lightweight
  • ✔️ Nice arch support
  • ✔️ Can handle roads to trails
  • ❌ Not provide traction in muddy conditions
  • ❌ Took little longer than other shoes to break-in
  • ❌ Doesn’t excel in the speed department

Brook’s Caldera 6 is a true darling when it comes to comfort and versatility. Being the fourth version of its series, Caldera 6 is a perfect combination of a thick mid and outsole for more protection. This road shoe is well cushioned but without the bulk. The underfoot midsole is an EVA-based midsole that provides a high level of rebound and energy return.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Gender

Different gender means different needs. Find out our picks of good trail shoes according to your gender.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Women

Altra Lone Peak 6

  • ✔️ Wide toe box with high stack height
  • ✔️ Solid traction
  • ✔️ Super comfortable
  • ✔️ Breathable
  • ✔️ Rock plate with protection underfoot
  • ✔️ Durable
  • ✔️ Grippy
  • ✔️ Lightweight
  • ✔️ Cushier soles
  • ❌ Mesh isn’t so durable
  • ❌ A bit tight in the midfoot
  • ❌ Heels kind of rub

For overall quality and performance, Altra Lone Peak 6 is a true darling for female trail runner. Moreover, the shoe has been awarded for being the #1 choice of thru-hikers across the globe, which makes it the best women’s trail running shoes for hiking as well.

Here are some pros and cons of the shoe that you must check out.

Best Men’s Trail Running Shoes

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 - Unisex

  • ✔️ Protective midsole and upper
  • ✔️ Sock-like fit
  • ✔️ Stable ride
  • ✔️ Durable
  • ✔️ Grippy outsoles
  • ✔️ Lightweigh
  • ✔️ Perfect cushioning
  • ❌ Kind of expensive
  • ❌ More than enough padding in upper
  • ❌ Slightly narrow

Best Trail Running Shoes


  • ✔️ Comfortable fit ground feel
  • ✔️ keep a hold on the wild paths
  • ✔️ Comfortable cushioning
  • ✔️ Perfect for every kind of terrain
  • ✔️ Nice speed
  • ✔️ Protective toe cap
  • ✔️ Made with high-performance EVA foam
  • ✔️ Anti-debris mesh
  • ❌ Non waterproof shoes

Best Trail Running Shoes For Heel Pain

Shoes can make or break a run. Here is a list of Ideal trail shoes according to different foot shapes and needs.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Wide Feet

Altra Lone Peak 6

  • ✔️ Heel to toe drop
  • ✔️ Protective underfoot
  • ✔️ Stable
  • ✔️ Roomier enough for wide feet
  • ❌ Kind of heavy
  • ❌ Tight in the midfoot
  • ❌ Poor durability
  • ❌ Badly rubbing heels

Do you belong to the wide-fam who can’t squish into those “normal” width trail shoes?

Then it’s time for you to give a big hug to these zero drop shoe ya’ honey!

With a roomier toe box and locked-in feel of the lacing system, your foot will feel more protected and more power. It represents the evolution of trail shoes that helped Altra launch a new paradigm in shoe design a decade ago. The shoe was founded on the idea that road runner is best served by running in shoes with a level platform that has a wider toe box to allow their feet to move and flex naturally, as they do when they’re barefoot.

The solid protection you will experience (both for the tops of the feet and bottoms) wearing this is matchless. The midsole (made of a sandwich of StoneGuard Rock plates and Altra’s new foam compound) provides ultimate defense without being overly thick.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Flat Feet

Asics Gel Venture 8

  • ✔️ Perfect arch support and stability
  • ✔️ Gel cushioning system
  • ✔️ Stay on place laces
  • ✔️ Protective mesh upper
  • ✔️ Super durable
  • ✔️ Ample cushioning
  • ✔️ Responsive shoe
  • ❌ Heavyweight
  • ❌ No rock plate
  • ❌ Poor traction on gnarly surfaces
  • ❌ Narrow width
  • ❌ Wearing them in hot weather is not comfortable

Trail Runner with flat feet look for shoes that have proper arch support to distribute their body weight and support the arches of their feet. There are brands creating road running shoe to meet the needs of people with flat feet, but nothing says trail like Asics Gel Venture 8.

These built-to-last, super soft, and supportive shoes are a perfect match for people with flat feet. The top feature of the shoe is the EVA midsole which improves bounce-back characteristics and decreases the midsole breakdown providing you ultimate protection during tough times. When combined with a rear gel cushion, this foam midsole provides ample support for a number of surfaces.

Moreover, these best cushioned trail running shoes are super lightweight, as well, helping to reduce the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe. In a nutshell, there is no heavy strain on your foot, ample arch support, and stability that your flat feet need, this is just ideal stuff for you!

But before you make your mind, it’s better to look at some cons too, so you can rest assured of things ahead of the race day.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Overpronation

Saucony Hurricane 23

  • ✔️ Responsive ride
  • ✔️ Max cushioned stability
  • ✔️ Energy return to the highest degree
  • ❌ Available in only 2 colors for men & women
  • ❌ A bit heavy
  • ❌ A bit loose in the heel area

Is stability for overpronated foot you need to take care of when you’re on trail run?

Then Saucony’s Hurricane 23 is all that you need! Stability is overkill when it comes to Hurricane 23!!! You can literally run miles and miles without aches, where your ordinary neutral trail running shoes fail. It is because of the rock-solid medial post, which supports the extremely overpronated gaits but sits nestled deep inside a hunk of Saucony’s super bouncy foam called PWR RUN+. This foam when in heels gives a firm sensation, when on the forefoot, it feels soft and gives exceptionally high energy return throughout. While there is a sticky outsole tread that has high-abrasion rubber at the outer heel & toe which makes the shoe super durable also.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Altra Olympus 5

  • ✔️ Budget-Friendly
  • ✔️ Very Stable
  • ✔️ Comfortable
  • ✔️ Durable construction
  • ❌ Less Aggressive outsole
  • ❌ Not recommended for technical terrain

About 5-10% of the running injuries caused by Plantar Fasciitis as revealed experts. Plantar fasciitis happens when a strain to a thin ligament (Plantar Fascia) causes inflammation. Exercising and running on trails or hard surfaces or wearing less cushioned shoes during physical activity can ignite the cause. According to experts, people with plantar fasciitis need extra cushioning in their running shoes of 2024 to relieve pain and provide support. So, if you’re experiencing plantar Fasciitis pain and it’s holding you to perform to the fullest, look no further than Olympus 5 by Altra. These plantar fasciitis training shoes is perfectly cushioned with gel and Altra’s classic cushioning in the rear foot. Notably, it takes the shape of the shoe, making every step comfortable and smooth. Perfect cushioning comes with perfect shock absorption which is just unparalleled. Moreover, the shoe comes with removable sock liners that allow runners to insert heel support taking comfort to the next level. So, if you’re someone with Plantar Fasciitis, I’d suggest checking these pros & cons before buying it for real.

Best Trail Running Shoe For Heavy Runners

Brooks Glycerin 20

  • ✔️ Well-cushioned and comfortable fit
  • ✔️ Great for distance running/recovery runs
  • ✔️ Comfy updated engineered mesh upper
  • ✔️ Durable on technical trails
  • ❌ Lacks desired responsiveness
  • ❌ A bit on the heavy side
  • ❌ Not versatile as others in the market
  • ❌ Not enough energy return

If you are a heavy runner you may heard many times that "Do running shoes help knee pain?" You know how it feels when it comes to finding the right running gear that supports knee as well. With so many product variations in the market, you may have learned a bunch of advice from people to go for a stability shoe, or one that is highly cushioned, however, this is wrong. Heavy runners need a balance of cushioning and ride comfort. And when it comes to the perfect level of cushioning and comfort for heavyweight trail runners, Brooks Glycerin 20 Running Shoe is an option to consider! Made of full-length DNA midsole, the shoe provides a nice level of cushion so the firm undertone makes the ride supportive for heavy dudes. It offers all-around comfort in a seamless upper, and a structured, secure fit with a stretchy 3D Fit Print saddle. Though it may seem sleek, it is certainly heavy-duty. All the materials in the shoe are very high quality and durable to bear heavy kicks towards the ground. These shoes are highly recommended for long runs and recovery runs and can suffice for longer tempo runs.

Although it is a bomb, however, small updates to the products could be a game-changer for heavy trail runners. Here are some pros and cons of the shoe that you should check out too.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Supination

Brooks Catamount

  • ✔️ Internal saddle system gives close-to-foot fit
  • ✔️ Heel pivot prevents excessive outward rolling
  • ✔️ Soft cushion & responsive ride
  • ✔️ Gore-Tex lining for waterproofness
  • ✔️ Extra traction over wet & dry surfaces
  • ✔️ Soft and flexible upper
  • ❌ A bit heavy
  • ❌ Kind of noisy
  • ❌ The heel collar is a little stiff

Runners with supination are at a high risk of injuries such as shin splints, knee pains, strains, plantar fasciitis, and stuff.

If you’re one, you can feel the pain as well as the frustration of finding the right pair of running shoes, right?

Well, been there, done that, brother, let’s cry together!

You know your chances of injuries can be reduced with just one right pair of shoes. Glad there is Brooks Catamount to wipe our tears!! These shin splints trail running shoes are an ideal pair of shoes for people who supinate while running. There is a pivot system in the midsole that helps minimize the tendency of your feet to roll outwards. Its advanced pivot system works like a stabilizing suspension system, connecting with the uneven ground underfoot to keep your foot level from off road landing to push-off. Notably, no matter how long you run, its Cordura mudguard keeps the debris away allowing your food to stay dry.

Best Zero Drop Trail Running Shoes (Arch Support)

Merrell Moab Flight

  • ✔️ Budget-friendly
  • ✔️ Maximum support and comfort
  • ✔️ Zero drop shoes
  • ✔️ Lightweight
  • ✔️ Super stable
  • ✔️ Solid traction
  • ✔️ Great ground connection
  • ❌ Light duty thread
  • ❌ Not well-cushioned
  • ❌ Narrow fit
  • ❌ The upper mesh isn’t super durable

Back in a decade, when prices of sports shoes were skyrocketing, one thing that grabbed the attention of many trail runners was the price of Merrell Moab Flight…which gravitated them and made them fall in love with these shoes. These are ideal heel to toe drop running shoes that offer an intimate trail feel. Compared to most trail running shoes offer, this one has a very different, and highly noticeable comfort. It is due to the high arch combined with a narrow fit through the midfoot which makes it the best trail running shoe for high-arches. These high arches trail shoes is so pronounced that it feels as if it is designed to control inward pronation. Build with 3 layers of super plush foam in the underfoot, you can expect maximum support and protection.

Best Trail Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes protect to keep your feet against bruising and provide you ultimate support and comfort. Here is our pick for the great trail running shoes that are best for hiking also.

Best Trail Running Shoes For Backpacking

Hoka Speedgoat 5

Hoka Speedgoat 5 - Men
For Men
Hoka Speedgoat 5 - Women
For Women
  • ✔️ Comfort in a lightweight package
  • ✔️ Amazing traction with tough rugs
  • ✔️ Water & mud protection
  • ✔️ Gusseted tongue for breathability
  • ✔️ Wider forefoot
  • ❌ Less protection in the heel area
  • ❌ Moderate energy return
  • ❌ Kind of stiff
  • ❌ Lacking speed

Hiking shoes should fit snug everywhere, tight nowhere, and offer room to wiggle your toes. With a lot of similarities and comfort, many hikers are preferring trail running shoes for hiking. And if you’re finding the best trail running shoes for hiking, look no further than Hoka Speedgoat 5. It is nicely rugged and gets you through slippery rocks and hard nails like a pro. Whether you plan on crossing creeks or stepping into dry sand, waterproof footwear is a safe and versatile bet. Grippy on the uphill and secure on the downhill, the Speedgoat 5 is badass when it comes to hiking. In addition, the aggressive outsole is one of our favorites, with substantial lugs and tacky Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole that hold well in everything from dry dirt and mud to steep rock. So, if you want to hike uphills without carrying loads of bulk on your foot while doing mountain trails, put your foot in these perfect trail running shoes that are perfect for hiking.

Best Trail Shoes for Mud

Mud is a must when it comes to trail runs. Here is our find for the best trail running shoe which is made for the worst conditions.

Best Trail Running Shoes for Mud

Xero Shoes Prio

  • ✔️ Amazing traction
  • ✔️ Super comfortable
  • ✔️ The lacing system has a nice grip
  • ✔️ Mud resistance
  • ✔️ Comfortable ride
  • ✔️ Deep lugs to cover terrain dry, wet, or muddy
  • ❌ Heel to toe drop
  • ❌ Fails to drain water
  • ❌ Feels warm inside
  • ❌ High heel counter

Okay, so if I am to describe these shoes in a world, I’d say “tough”. They have everything you need to beat the mud. Speed cross 5 is tough enough to be the best trail shoes for a spartan race as well. Its upper includes a guested tongue and a reinforced mesh aiming to keep debris at bay. With fit being generous, there is ample cushion in the forefoot as well as in the heel. Extended to the tips of the toes & sticking out to the side, their chevron-shaped outsole lugs are just spaced far apart that are ideal for shedding mud.

Best Road to Trail Running Shoes

Are you a real pro? Here are our two bomb finds you can answer the call of your inner mileage junkie. These are our top favorite, best trail running shoe, highly recommended for pro runners.

Best Long-Distance Trail Running Shoes

Salomon Outbound Prism GTX

  • ✔️ Perfect, glove-like fit & feel
  • ✔️ Dual-density midsole
  • ✔️ Shock attenuation
  • ✔️ Dual-density midsole
  • ✔️ Water Repellent
  • ✔️ Quick lace lacing system
  • ✔️ Cushioned pad for protection and increased wear
  • ✔️ Durable
  • ✔️ Super responsive
  • ❌ Narrow heels
  • ❌ Hard to on and off

When it comes to the real race, the real day, things should be taken seriously! One less consideration of small things can change the level of confidence and comfort. If there is one thing that unites professional trail-running athletes around the world is the choice of shoe they make, which is none other than Salomon Outbound Prism GTX. With an added layer of protection rigidified toe cap & arch), it is a perfect combination of comfort and softness. The shoe is minimalist while retaining all the key features like ground filter and precise foothold. Designed for precision & performance, this shoe is made to tackle through the most technical terrains.

Best Trail Running Shoes for Ultra Marathons

Altra Lone Peak 6

  • ✔️ Wider foot shape toe box
  • ✔️ Cushioning and energy return
  • ✔️ Protection from roots, rocks, and other trail debris
  • ✔️ A reasonable distance of heels and forefoot from the ground
  • ✔️ Encourages low-impact foot strikes
  • ✔️ Heel to Toe drop, underfoot protection, and super stable
  • ❌ Not heavy but not lightweight
  • ❌ Tight in the midfoot
  • ❌ Badly rubbing heel

For ultra trail marathoners, Altra’s Lone Peak 6 is a champ. You can jump in the pool of mud, climb to the flakiest mountains, get through technical terrains, and hills with these on cuz there is enough to support you! This shoe features a moderate amount of cushion which laces your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage proper, low-impact form throughout your run. The “Footshape’ toe box allows your toes to relax and spread out naturally for more stability and comfort. Designed keeping gender needs in mind, each of the pieces is customized to fit the different anatomy of everyone’s foot. Hook-and-loop tab allows strapless gaiter attachment that prevents debris from building up beneath the shoe. While a perfect combination of grip, traction, and durability make the shoe eat up gnarly terrain like a boss.

So, if you want to get through ultra-marathons, mark this one in your good books.

Best Trail Shoe Gaiters

Gaiters are a must when you’re out on dirty routes. Below is our top find.

Best Trail Running Gaiters

Altra Trail Gaiters

  • ✔️ Easy on & off
  • ✔️ Integrated Velcro on the heel
  • ✔️ Comfortable and durable fabric
  • ❌ Only 2 sizing options available
  • ❌ calf-cuff is a bit tight

Mud dives are a must when you’re on a trail run. There can be bushes, there can be debris and random shit that can hold you from success. From rocks in shoes that make you go “ouch” to annoying sand in your shoes that cause irritation over time, to snow that melts and marinades your feet…. a bunch of random shit can ruin your run. Glad there is something to keep those nasty things at bay.

Altra’s trail gaiters are purposely made to ensure that rocks, sand, dirt, and even snow don’t get into your shoes and cause blisters or discomfort. Perfect to be combined with just any shoe, these gaiters are made of stretchy and abrasion-resistant fabric that is both breathable and durable. You may not like layering extra things than needed on your foot while running…Altra has accounted for it. There is no hassle putting them on and off and you can literally change your shoes and socks without removing them.

Best Trail Shoe Brands

Asics Trail Shoes

Asics has some worth checking stuff for those looking for the best Trail Running shoes in the market. Among a plethora of options the brand offers, here is our find for the best trail running shoes from the shelves of Asics.

Best Asics Trail Running Shoe

Asics Gel Fujitrabuco 8

  • ✔️ Comfortable
  • ✔️ Great traction and responsiveness
  • ✔️ Protective
  • ✔️ High build quality
  • ✔️ Aggressive outsole with good grip
  • ✔️ Fit is amazing
  • ✔️ Fast and facile lacing system
  • ❌ Upper material gets too hot in summer
  • ❌ Hard to breathe sometime via mesh upper

Asics is a bomb when it comes to making well gel-cushioned shoes. It offers a full range of trail runners shoe that combines gel cushioning with rugged outsoles, giving runners ultra protection during off-road miles. Although the whole of the range is designed to tackle everything from rocks to debris, water to snow with comfort and support too, one thing that speaks from the moment you put your foot in is their “Gel Fujitrabuco 8”.

It looks fast, feels fast, smells fast, and indeed is super fast. Built with Asics’ FLYTEFOAM midsole, it has a super flexible forefoot that gives amazing grip through rough times promising protection at the same time. Responsiveness is crazy nice also that stands up to the toughest terrains as well.

Brooks Trail Shoes

Brooks is another top brand featuring an array of shoes that can compete with some of the best trail running shoes around the market.

Best Brooks Trail Running Shoe

Brooks Cascadia 16

  • ✔️ SUV-like stability
  • ✔️ Super comfortable
  • ✔️ Nice traction
  • ✔️ Accommodating fit
  • ✔️ Breathable upper
  • ✔️ Easy and facile lacing system
  • ✔️ Suitable for both running and hiking
  • ❌ Earthy color choices
  • ❌ Not enough wide

Featuring the right cushioning, stability, and flexibility for every kind of trail runner, Brooks offers an amazing collection of running shoes. Runners from the trail to the road running have been relying on the brand as they make some excellent running shoes and nothing else. Our top favorite from Brooks trail running shoe is the Cascadia 16 that goes perfectly for most of the trail runners around there. For a well-rounded fit and ride, it is hands-down a stellar trail running shoe.

It is the most flexible product in the range so far that offers multi-surface traction. It has two triangle-shaped pivot systems in the midsole that offers amazing stability on uneven ground and sets the shoe on a TrailTack outsole for grip on dirt.

Merrell Trail Shoes

Best Merrell Trail Running Shoe

Merrell Trail Glove 6

  • ✔️ Zero drop shoe
  • ✔️ Vibram outsole
  • ✔️ Wide toe box
  • ✔️ Airy & breathable
  • ✔️ Solid outsole with good grip
  • ✔️ Mesh and TPU upper
  • ❌ Uncomfortable midsole
  • ❌ Too many extras to feel barefoot
  • ❌ Arch-support uncomfortable to some people

Started out as a budget-friendly sports shoe company, Merrell has been in everyone’s good books for decades. Known for being versatile, durable, and comfortable, Merrel is a class! You can expect more than what you paid for, whenever you’re at Merrel and that’s especially when you buy Merrell Trail Glove 6. It’s a shoe with a low-profile build that is amazingly lightweight and breathable. With platform 11.5 millimeters at the front and 11.5 at the back, this stands among the best zero-drop shoes.

It has super breathable mesh insoles and integrated linings that provide comfort throughout the ride. While you can enjoy an enhanced ground feel with its barefoot-style construction. Also, you can enjoy a very secure grip on uneven terrains offered by the Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole.

Nike Trail Shoes

Best Nike Trail Running Shoe

Nike Pegasus Trail 3

  • ✔️ Perfect for road and off-road runs
  • ✔️ Great for training, marathons, and 50k trail races
  • ✔️ Best for moderate and technical trails, rocks roots, through creeks and streams, through snowy or icy sections
  • ✔️ Highly cushioned
  • ✔️ Soft breathable upper
  • ✔️ Built-in faux gaiter prevents debris
  • ❌ Little heavy in weight
  • ❌ Drop feels a bit too high

Nike trail runners shoe offer all the essentials needed in a trail running shoe like comfort, speed, and protection from rugged terrain with react foam cushioning. Amongst the awesome range, Nike’s Pegasus Trail 3 is our top pick.

Salomon Trail Shoes

Designed purposely to give trail runners a responsive ride with a good feel for the ground, Salomon has some worth checking out stuff. Here is our find from Salomon.

Best Salomon Trail Running Shoes

Salomon Sense Ride 4

  • ✔️ Performs well on a variety of terrains
  • ✔️ Stays comfortable even through long runs
  • ✔️ Grip capacity is versatile enough to handle hard and soft ground
  • ✔️ A full-bodied and long-lasting cushioning system
  • ✔️ Wide enough to fit everyone
  • ✔️ Spacious toe box
  • ✔️ Breathable on road and trail
  • ❌ Not 100% waterproof shoes
  • ❌ Inner sleeve could be little more comfortable

For more than a couple of decades, Salomon’s running shoes have been renowned for robust construction, comfort and fit. The company prides itself on developing trail runners shoes that deliver protection, stability, durability, and a great feel so runners can focus on the mission they’re running. Ever Since their first trail shoe, they’re winning hearts by combining the goodness of hiking boots into a running shoe. And if there is one shoe that I’d recommend is their Sense Ride 4.

It is a versatile shoe that can work on uneven terrain as well. Nicely cushioned, it offers a stable and comfortable ride. It's counter grip outsole rubber offers strong traction while the internal sleeve on the upper takes the shape of your foot. Its EnergyCell+ midsole and OrthoLite insole combine for a cushioned feel, keeping your foot in shape through miles.

Best Gore Tex Trail Running Shoes

Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX

  • ✔️ Full heel to toe Gore-Tex coverage
  • ✔️ Excellent motion control
  • ✔️ Super protective
  • ✔️ One pull quick lacing
  • ✔️ Amazing grip on any terrain
  • ✔️ Perfect stability
  • ❌ Heavy and burly
  • ❌ More of a hiking shoe

With weather moving towards the chilly side, millions of runners around the globe cast indoors due to cold, wet and windy conditions that transform trail running from a joyful athletic escape into a miserable tale of numb toes and soggy socks. Well, there is something that kisses goodbye to such conditions, & that the Gore-Tex technology. It’s a sheet that covers runners’ feet from harsh weather making the shoe windproof, waterproof and breathable. So, if you want to fight back against winter’s vindictive ways like a pro, look at Salmon’s XA Pro 3d GTX shoes cus they are the best running winter trail shoes in our opinion.

Designed to be indestructible for adventure racing, this beasty tank of a shoe offers optimal protection on any trail. It offers added motion control, arch support, doesn’t skimp on protective features, and is a good option for those who feel that they need more shoes than what an average traditional shoe has to offer. Fused with a full premium wet traction grip and a fully waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, this shoe lets you ignore wet and concentrate on the adventure ahead which makes the shoe stand among the best running waterproof trail shoes in the market.

Saucony Trail Shoes

Saucony trail shoes are known for being super versatile. Here is our pick from the digital aisle of Saucony.

Best Saucony Trail Running Shoes

Saucony Peregrine 12

  • ✔️ Perfect for variety of terrain
  • ✔️ Durable with Amazing Grip
  • ✔️ Aggressive lugs
  • ✔️ Perfect uphill and downhill traction
  • ✔️ PWRRUN cushioning with 4mm drop
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
  • ✔️ Handle even the most technical paths
  • ❌ Gives a bulky feeling
  • ❌ Not recommended for pavements
  • ❌ Kind of tight heels

No doubt Saucony has been making some of the best trail shoes in the market. Known for perfect cushioning, science, and its unique innovative technology, you can expect a bunch of cool features in your next running shoe for Saucony. The best one I would suggest from Saucony would be their Peregrine 12.

Altra Trail Shoes

Altra makes great running shoes notable for being roomier and all-around comfortable. Here is our find from Altra’s collection.

Best Altra Trail Running Shoes

Altra Lone Peak 5

  • ✔️ Perfect lacing system for a locked-new fit
  • ✔️ Rock plate in the midsole works as a protective buffer
  • ✔️ Altra’s notably wider toe box
  • ✔️ Tweaked midsole foam for more durability
  • ✔️ Foot protection is of this shoe’s strongest attributes
  • ✔️ Unparalleled traction
  • ✔️ Best stability running shoes
  • ❌ A bit heavy
  • ❌ Kind of tight in the midfoot
  • ❌ Badly rubbing heel

Altra is known for its unique fit and comfortable shoes. Engineered with high technology and innovative technique, their shoes give a more natural fit to your foot. Moreover, you can expect amazing cushioning, energy return, and stability when it comes to the overall performance. Out drop pick from Altra for trail running is their Lone Peak 5!

New Balance Trail Shoes

Best New Balance Trail Running Shoes

New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6

  • ✔️ Offers a soft and bouncy ride
  • ✔️ Clingy grip
  • ✔️ Provides excellent traction
  • ✔️ Multi-directional lugs
  • ✔️ Ideal for climbing up and bombing down
  • ✔️ Synthetic breathable mesh
  • ✔️ Quick turnover with the aggressive upturn on the toe
  • ✔️ Perfect amount of cushioning
  • ❌ Not a lot of structure to the upper
  • ❌ Narrow trails can be hard to navigate due to the wide base

New Balance is known for blending style with performance in one pair of shoes. You can always expect good looking shoes that are super functional and made to beat the competition.

Cheap Trail Running Shoes

It takes just one gear, but really, trail racing can be expensive! Here are some of our finds if you’re looking for yourself without draining your budget.

Best Budget Trail Running Shoes

Merrell MTL Skyfire

  • ✔️ Internal bootie for a locked-in fit
  • ✔️ Breathable mesh lining
  • ✔️ Removable EVA foam insole
  • ✔️ EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort
  • ✔️ Rock plate for protection
  • ✔️ Lightweight
  • ✔️ Reflective details for increased visibility in low light
  • ❌ Narrow forefoot
  • ❌ Utilitarian upper isn’t flexible

Again, Merrel is known for the prices too good to be true. No matter what product you wanna buy, you always get more for what you paid for. When it comes to the best trail shoes for your bucks, it has to be something from Merrell. Our top finds for the best cheap trail shoes is Merrell’s MTL Skyfire cuz it only costs a hundred bucks and is “sooooo awesome!”

Designed purposely to give a kick to speed, this lightweight shoe can climb up rocky elevations. Its deep 5mm lugs provide amazing traction on slippery grounds, while to help you get through technical terrains, there is enough cushion for your support. You can literally go hiking, get through hills, rock-hop in gnarly and technical terrains, MTL Skyfire is your champ.

Best Under 100

Under Armour Charged Bandit Trail 2

  • ✔️ Well-cushioned
  • ✔️ Lightweight
  • ✔️ Breathable
  • ✔️ Secure fit and a great overall foot support
  • ✔️ Comfortable with great heel cushioning
  • ✔️ Nice color options
  • ✔️ Best affordable trail shoes according to reviews
  • ❌ Lack of arch support
  • ❌ Sole becomes wet and loses traction sometimes
  • ❌ Not recommended for wet conditions

When it comes to racing, the only gear it takes (shoe) can really drain your bank account. With so many added features, some models can cost you like a little more…how would you suck it up? I glad there are a bunch of trail shoes that you can get for under $100 with nice functional features. Our best find from an array of best value trail shoes is Under Armour Charged Bandit Trail 2.

This lightweight shoe costs less but is a bomb. There is an engineered two-toned mesh upper that offers increased ventilation. The first impression that makes everyone gravitate towards it (price, being lightweight, and visually appealing) extends to overall comfort and support as well. While its anatomically placed flex grooves offer proper flexibility in the key areas. Built with nice cushions, it keeps your feet energized and cool.

Best Lightweight Trail Running Shoes

Lightweight trail shoes make you carry less weight for every mile of your run, making the shoe, less of a distraction. Here is our find that is super lightweight.

Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2

  • ✔️ Narrow fit that isn’t irritating
  • ✔️ Ultralight
  • ✔️ Good ground contact
  • ✔️ Solid traction
  • ✔️ Responsive
  • ✔️ Ground feel
  • ✔️ Vibram Megagrip outsole
  • ✔️ Breathable
  • ✔️ Quality
  • ✔️ Style
  • ❌ Not enough cushioning
  • ❌ Too minimalist for some runners
  • ❌ Niche shoe, lacking versatility

The Arc’teryx Norvan SL 2 is an ultralight climber-inspired trail shoe, made for those who want an excellent grip on steep and technical terrain. Known for being ultra-light, these super compact shoes provide some serious traction. It is a snug-fitting aggressive shoe that feels firm underfoot but has plenty of flexibility and grip. It is the best minimalist trail shoes that offer a bunch of nice options that a perfect pair of trail shoes offer.

Best Rugged Trail Running Shoes

Having enough rugs on the surface is a must when it comes to trail runs. Here is our find for the most rugged trail running shoes for light trail.

La Sportiva Bushido II

  • ✔️ Engineered mesh construction
  • ✔️ Maximum breathability and support
  • ✔️ Wraps your foot like a sock
  • ✔️ High frequency welded ripstop
  • ✔️ Super stable
  • ✔️ Perfect amount of protection
  • ✔️ Great for technical terrains
  • ❌ A little heavier in weight
  • ❌ Lacks cushioning
  • ❌ Best for narrow feet

Offered by a company that excels in climbing, it’s a little surprising that we have some perfect trail running shoes coming from La Sportiva. With a semi-stiff platform and burly rugs, this one stands among perfect shoes for technical trail runs. They’re responsive, provide amazing grip with ultra distance and are super stable over challenging terrains.

Best Selling Trail Running Shoes

If you’re one who checks reviews of others before hugging something, I’ve done pretty much for ya’! Here is our find most loved by athletes.

Best Rated Shoes

Nike Pegasus Trail 3 GTX

  • ✔️ Enhanced rock plate
  • ✔️ Responsive cushioning
  • ✔️ A good fuse of stability and speed
  • ✔️ Amazing traction on soft terrain
  • ✔️ Protective
  • ✔️ Flexible
  • ❌ Lugs make it unsuitable for paved surfaces
  • ❌ Not super recommended for pavements
  • ❌ Unspacious heels

Saucony’s Peregrine 12 stands among shoes that have the best trail running shoe reviews of all time. Known for its speed while riding, it has long been a Runner’s World award winner. It offers a nimble ride, has an uncanny ability to bite down mud, giving amazing traction on a variety of terrains.

Video Credits : The Running Channel

FAQs (Best Trail Running Shoes)

Depending on different foot shape, budget, preferences, and type of the terrain, there is a different shoe for every runner. Lone Peak 6, Salomon Sense Ride 4, Salomon Ultra Glide, La Sportiva Bushido II, Topo Athletic's MTN Racer 2, Brooks Divide 2, Inov 8, North Face Women's Flight Vectiv, Hoka One One Torrent 2, Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8, and Saucony Peregrine 12 ST are the ones that we recommend most.
Considering a bunch of factors, Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 - Unisex tops the list among a bunch of perfect trail running shoe for men.
Ones that have aggressive lugs, are robust, supportive, comfortable and have ability to survive weathers and random shit through the terrains.
Well, there are a bunch of brands offering some worth checking stuff, including, Nike, ASICS, Salomon, New Balance, Saucony and more.
Yeah, if you have the right shoe such as Nike Pegasus Trail 2.

Author Box
James Leigh

James Leigh

James Leigh is a certified health professional, physiotherapist, and a seasoned runner who wins Boston Marathon, with a wealth of experience under his belt. Passionate about sharing his expertise with fellow runners. James is your go-to expert for your health, wellness and running tips.