These are one of the best trail running shoes, but what is the best time for running on the trail? As much as it’s great running when the weather is happy and sunny, trail running during autumn and winter also has its upside.
Running releases serotonin in your brain, also known as the ‘happiness hormone’, a vital substance in the soul-sapping winter months. If you are penciling in trail running as your New Year resolution, it’s a great choice, but one that can earn great fitness and health rewards.
If you are planning to escape the run-off-road and tarmac, ensure that you are lacing up a pair of trail running shoes built to resist with everything the wilds can throw at you.
To help you find the best trail running shoes, our running experts have hunted down premium shoes available in the market, from lightweight racers to full-on hill-conquering, ice-busting, trainers that will transform you into a human mountain goat.
Well, without any further delay let’s move towards the best trail running shoes for you. Here you go:
- 0.1 #1 ASICS Venture Running Shoes
- 0.2 #2 Inov-8 Running Shoe
- 0.3 #3 ArishiRunning Shoe
- 0.4 #4 Salomon Men’s Shoes
- 0.5 #5 Merrell XTR Sweeper
- 0.6 #6 ASICS Running Shoe
- 0.7 #7 Adidas Trail Shoe
- 0.8 #8 ASICS Women’s Shoes
- 0.9 #9 Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe
- 1 #10 Salomon GTX Trail Running Shoes
- 1.0.1 Features
- 1.0.2 Characteristics of a reliable trail running shoe
- 220.127.116.11 Reliable traction on both light and rugged terrains.
- 18.104.22.168 Waterproof.
- 22.214.171.124 Durable construction.
- 126.96.36.199 Reliable underfoot cushioning.
- 188.8.131.52 Cushioning options for trail shoes include the following:
- 184.108.40.206 Additional foot protection.
- 220.127.116.11 Choosing the best trail running shoes
- 18.104.22.168 Where will you be running?
- 22.214.171.124 Are you going to use the shoe for racing or training?
- 126.96.36.199 Do you need a waterproof shoe?
- 188.8.131.52 How stiff the sole should be?
- 184.108.40.206 How much support do you need?
- 220.127.116.11 Barefoot or maximum cushioning?
- 18.104.22.168 Will the shoe provide me with the grip I needed?
- 22.214.171.124 Close or snug-fitting?
- 126.96.36.199 Additional in-store buying tips
#1 ASICS Venture Running Shoes
This one of the best trail running shoes brings plenty of support and structure to a responsive platform. But the outsole is what we like the most— aggressive sticky lugs line the perimeter and bottom of the shoe, making it easy to virtually grab hold of uneven terrain.
Also, we appreciated the heavy-duty rubber sole that protects the foot when you kick into rocks.
A breathable mesh upper and just the best amount of cushion in the midsole make this standout shoe adaptable to manage long, slow mileage and also speedy workouts.
Its premium sock liner have great rebound properties and offers best moisture management and a good level of breathability.
- Fabric, Manmade
- Rubber sole
- Ortholite X-40 Sockliner
#2 Inov-8 Running Shoe
Fans of Inov-8 Running Shoes are anatomical forefoot design who prefer a little more heel-toe drop should check out the Ultraventure.
The shoe has a roomy Altra-esque toe box with lots of space for your feet to splay, plus a pillowy-soft three-piece EVA foam midsole.
Our testers liked that it didn’t feel too light, flimsy, and quick to wear down, but also not too heavy.
The upper and heel counter offers secure foot lockdown without providing any discomfort. A strong gripped Vibram outsole with 6mm lugs helps you find secure foothold in slippery conditions.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures low-top from arch
- AT Tread outsole offers versatile traction
- EVA foam insert increases comfort
- Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
- Toe Protect technology
- Upper features no-sew construction Inov-8 Running Shoe
#3 ArishiRunning Shoe
Best trail running shoes by ArishiRunning have a graphene-enhanced rubber sole which offers the toughest grip on all the rough and hard trails.
Its underfoot technology delivers the best balance between responsiveness and comfort.
Also, the zero drops promote great natural foam during ultra-marathon and long-distance.
There is an important size note for these shoes to consider. That is it comes up a 5 on the scale fit.
- Rubber sole
- Graphene enhanced rubber
- Super tough breathable mesh upper
- Underfoot technology delivers the perfect balance between comfort and responsiveness
- Zero drops promote the natural form
- The shoes come up a 5 on the fit scale
#4 Salomon Men’s Shoes
Salomon makes plenty of shoes for walking long on trails, but the company made this specific shoe for going long and fast on trails.
This one of the best trail running shoes is made with premium materials.
The sole of the speed cross 5 offers larger lugs with updated geometry and more space to deliver even better push of grip and braking grip in every surface condition.
Its speed cross 5 creates a cradle for the heels to ensure stability and clean foot strike through the stride. It uses properly welded upper with dissociated sensi fit arms, it dials in comfort and moves very naturally with your feet.
- Rubber sole
- It offers a great grip.
- Gives perfect stability
- Uses welded upper and offer a perfect fit
- Closure Type: Lace-Up
#5 Merrell XTR Sweeper
The Merrell XTR has always had a place in our hearts for its maximum traction and deep lugs, coupled with an uncanny ability to transition to the road.
These one of the best trail running shoes are my favorite. It offers traditional lace-up closure with completely recycled laces for the best fit.
It has 40% recycled mesh breathable upper, 30% recycles integrated EVA footbed with a cushioning layer for increased support and comfort.
Its barefoot construction is simply great for enhanced stability and proprioception during different movements.
- Traditional lace-up closure
- . 40% recycled breathable mesh lining.
- 100% recycled Hyperlock™ TPU film heel counter
- 30% recycled integrated EVA footbed
- Celebrate the unsung heroes of every race
- 40% recycled plastic mesh
- 100% recycled TPU upper.
- 100% vegan-friendly construction.
- Merrell Barefoot construction for increased proprioception and stability
#6 ASICS Running Shoe
The ASICS Running Shoe is a cult favorite that works for different runners, from beginners to longtime trail racers. Its shaft measures approx low top from arch.
Also, it offers a rearfoot gel cushion system. It resists shocks during the impact phase and allows a fine transition to mid-distance.
The removable socks liner is simply great. You can remove the socks liner to accommodate a medical orthotic. Our testers praised these features, and also the confidence-building traction, soft cushion and durable mesh upper on these rugged trail runners.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System
- Removable Sockliner
#7 Adidas Trail Shoe
This version by Adidas trail shoes is one of the best trail running shoes.
Its shaft measures almost 0-6 around men sandal. This brand has a long history and fine deep roots in the sport.
Everything they do is somehow connected with sports. It is driven by a rent less pursuit of innovation of accumulating sports expertise.
Adidas cater to professional athletes to any individual who is a beginner in sports.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately 0-6″ from arch
- Boot opening measures approximately 6-12″ around
- adidas Men’s Sandal
- The Adidas brand has a long history in sports
- Driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation
#8 ASICS Women’s Shoes
These best trail running shoes are made in the USA. It offers breathable mesh upper and synthetic leather for the best comfort.
This pair of shoes are super light, comfortable, and breathable to enhance fit and performance.
It offers a reinforced toe cap. The reversed lug offers downhill and uphill traction on every type of terrain.
- Made in USA or Imported
- Synthetic Leather and Mesh Upper
- Reinforced Toe Cap
- Trail Specific Outsole
#9 Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe
This pair of shoes is made of synthetic and textile material. The rubber sole is very soft and with these best trail running shoes, you can walk on any terrain with ultra-comfort.
The shaft measures the low top from the arch. Innovative midsole offers great responsiveness and durability at 40% light in weight than other foams with comparable performance.
- 100% Textile and Synthetic
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
- All-terrain outsole
- Innovative REVlite midsole offers premium responsiveness and durability Synthetic/mesh upper
#10 Salomon GTX Trail Running Shoes
This one of the best trail running shoes has a rubber sole for great comfort and durability on rocky terrains. It offers an aggressive grip even on slippery trails.
The contagrip outsole have a versatile lug pattern which is ready for any surface from dry to even wet. Also, it offers instant comfort from the first time you wear them.
The proven Salomon and mesh upper deliver a perfect fit. You can wear these shoes in any weather conditions. A full membrane makes sure to offer you comfort in any climate and weather conditions and keeps your feet dry.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately mid-top from arch
- Aggressive Grip
- Offers great comfort
- Weather protection and keep your feet dry in any climate
- closure type: lace-up
Characteristics of a reliable trail running shoe
Reliable traction on both light and rugged terrains.
A good trail running shoe offers reliable traction on different surfaces. Trail running shoes have either solid or soft rubber compound on the outsole. Soft rubber outsole provides more grip on wet rocks, roots, and other slippery surfaces. On the other hand, hard solid rubber delivers durable traction on stones, hard rocks, and debris.
Trail running shoes have moderate lug patterns which are enough to provide grip on uneven surfaces. On technical terrains, an aggressive lug pattern is vital. In addition to traction, a reliable trail shoe offers a more stable platform.
Waterproof running shoes offer great protection on wet and rainy terrains. Some waterproof shoes use the GTX membrane while others use brand-specific waterproofing technologies. Waterproof shoes are expected to be more durable and heavy as compared to other non-waterproof shoes. Non-waterproof shoes provide lesser foot protection, yet still, they deliver reasonable performance on technical terrain. If you do not want to get a waterproof trail running shoes for any reason, consider buying a shoe with the water-repellent feature.
Rough terrains demand you to wear tough running shoes. A reliable trail shoe comes with durable construction. All materials are of great quality, and the overall design is well-made. Trail running shoes are sturdy from the upper to the outsole. These shoes are designed for the rugged trail have more durable outsole and delivers great protection in even high abrasion areas.
Reliable underfoot cushioning.
Trail running shoes always do not have maximum cushioning. There are some trail shoes for minimalist runners and bare feet. Your trail running shoe needs to offer a reliable underfoot cushioning that suits your preference.
Cushioning options for trail shoes include the following:
Maximum – These shoes are with a significantly generous amount of padding in the midsole. Some runners like to wear shoes with max cushioning because it reduces joint fatigue on tough and long-distance runs on uneven terrains.
Moderate – Traditional trail running footwear offers a moderate level of midsole foam that allows runners to run with comfort on rocky surfaces.
Minimal – Trail running shoes with minimal padding are great for those people who prefer better ground contact than the underfoot cushioning.
Barefoot – These shoes have no midsole padding. Barefoot runners found satisfaction when they feel the trail while running. Shoes for barefoot runners are comparatively light in weight.
Additional foot protection.
Reinforced soles, toe caps, toe bumpers, and alike come in handy for trail running. They offer additional protection from bruising and other accidents by sharp and rough trail objects. Salomon, Merrell, and The North Face are some shoe brands that use materials that offer additional foot protection.
Choosing the best trail running shoes
At RunRepeat, we feature reviews of trail running shoes for competition or daily use. During race days or day to day training, a runner needs to wear the appropriate shoe on the trail. In finding the best trail running shoe, ask these following questions:
Where will you be running?
It is very important to think about where you are going to run. Ask yourself – Will you be running on muddy or wet surfaces or grounds with sharp rocks and stones? You might need a pair of shoes that can cross from road to trail or running shoe that can survive a technical, rough terrain. Getting the right shoe for an accurate terrain is very vital as it will not only make your running experience satisfying, it will also affect the durability of the shoe.
Are you going to use the shoe for racing or training?
Racing trail shoes are differently built from training shoes. Trail shoes for the competition are light in weight, they use less cushioning, and have a lower heel-to-toe drop. The trail race shoes are made for speed, and you need to get the best pair if you actually want to win a race.
Do you need a waterproof shoe?
Will you be running quietly often in the rain or through puddles If yes, then you need to purchase a waterproof trail running shoe. It is mandatory that you are completely protected when you run through wet surfaces.
How stiff the sole should be?
When running in the trail, you might need a stiffer sole as it provides enough foot protection. Sole stiffness plays an important role in offering a comfortable and springy ride. You must find a trail running shoe with a stiffness that is right for you.
How much support do you need?
You need to find a trail running shoe that can offer you with the right amount of stability. Your foot and ankle should have enough support, so your ankle would not roll. The best trail running shoe should allow your foot to immediately adapt to uneven surfaces.
Barefoot or maximum cushioning?
Pick the right trail shoe by determining the cushioning amount you need. More cushioning means comfortable running and lesser impact. Often cushioning comes with stability, and you need more of it, particularly on hard foot strikes. If you prefer close contact with the ground, then buy a barefoot trail shoe that offers fine foot protection.
Will the shoe provide me with the grip I needed?
The grip is one of the important most aspects that you need to consider when buying a trail running shoes. You should purchase a shoe offering a durable grip on both uneven and wet and surfaces. If you are going to run on a muddy, soft surface, then you need to buy a shoe with aggressive outsole lugs.
Close or snug-fitting?
Every runner has his own preference when it comes to the shoe fit –some prefer a close-fitting while others want it snug. Ideally, if you want to perform better on the trail, you need to get a running shoe with a tight-fitting. It should be secure and tight in the heel and a bit roomy in the toe-box area to allow the toes to freely move for added stability on various terrains.
Additional in-store buying tips
Determine how much support by rolling your ankle your shoe support. It should help you determine if (1) you can move your ankle comfortably and freely and (2) your ankle is supported when while running your trip. Ankle movement and support are crucial in trail running.
To know how the shoe performs on downhill and uphill runs, you need to run in forward and backward motion.
Bring a thicker sock to get the right fit and size. Usually, runners wear thick socks while running on the trail. It is good to use the type of sock that signifies your preferences.