10 Best Trail Running Shoes in 2020

One of the most intriguing forms of physical activity is running, specifically, trail running as it introduces us to mesmerizing sightseeing. Trail running is an intense physical activity which includes running and hiking on unpaved paths and tracks with steep gradients. Generally, trail running is done in places having warm climates and paths which are easy to follow. It is similar to fell running and mountain running. For the best trail running experience, it’s very crucial to grab a good pair of the best trail running shoes

Your daily running shoes must be decent but you surely need a particular pair of accurate trail running shoes. You need to make a checklist of the features to buy the perfect trail running shoes. These shoes should be more stable with accurate cushioning level, heel drop and gripped in order to protect your foot from rocks and accidental foot rotation. For different kinds of trails you need different shoes, the most important thing your pair of shoes should include is stability, comfort, and perfect grip. This is all you need in your best train running shoes. 

Given below is a list of the authentically tested and surveyed trail running shoes that would overjoy your trail running adventure. As we already know footwear is an important factor in physical endeavors, we should certainly choose them wisely.  Therefore, we are here to provide you with the best options to enable the best trail running experience with amazing shoe varieties.

Best Trail Running Shoes

1. SALOMON Men’s Xa Pro 3D GTX Trail Running Shoes

These wonderful XA PRO 3D GTX shoes are one of a kind with the superior advanced chassis to enhance stability in the worst and the most rugged terrain.

The supreme grip technology helps the runner to get rid of risks and get a full-fledged running experience in any kind of terrain. It will help to climb steep ground along with wet terrains.

These shoes are protected with the GORE-TEX technology to ensure the protection of the toe area in order to reduce over-pronation and maintain the shape of the foot.

These shoes have the technology to manage wet, hard, loose and dry terrains to boost confidence and performance. The EVA midsole helps in enhancing performance as well as shock absorption.

These are waterproof making the experience worth cherishing. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Stable, supportive midsole ideal for technical trail
  • Waterproof protection
  • Strong lace for one-pull tightening. Easy-on, easy-off
  • Best for hiking
  • Reinforced toe cap improves longevity and shields toes

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not Durable

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2. SALOMON Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes

These Salomon women’s speedcross trail running shoes have a synthetic upper mesh along with the combination of TPU technology for a solid grip while running on any terrain. The precise foothold helps in making the foot stable in one place.

The combination of sensifit with quick lace is appropriate for proper fit.

These are lightweight in order to ease the runner, the contagrip outsole helps to run on any harsh surface without any risk. Thanks to the ortholite insoles for making it comfortable and of excellent cushioning. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Rugged trail running shoe for technical trails
  • Water-resistant textile
  • Protective toe caps guard against bumps and abrasion
  • Comfortable, good fit, lightweight
  • Perfect design

Reasons To Avoid

  • A bit narrow

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3. Saucony Men’s Peregrine ISO Trail Running Shoe

These pair of Saucony men’s shoes can be considered as one of the best trail running shoes because of its immense comfort. These shoes are superior as they have a brilliant outsole to provide traction.

Saucony men’s peregrine ISO are excellent for trail running as the surface could be muddy, rocky as well as wet therefore these would be helpful to go through such surfaces.

These shoes offer a comfortable fit which helps to get a wonderful experience, the wings on each side are attached with laces to make them more comfortable and stable.

The TPU sock liner and midsole are better for a perfect grip and shock absorption and are proved to be better than EVA technology. These trail running shoes can manage all at once. 

Reasons To Buy

  • All-Terrain grip for excellent traction
  • Adaptive fit for every runner
  • Ultra-responsive cushioning for comfort on any surface
  • Rubberized toe tip enhances durability and protection
  • Best for trail running

Reasons To Avoid

  • Price

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Best shoes for running on trail

4. ALTRA Women’s Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe

best trail running shoes

These pair of trail running shoes are ideal for people running on steep surfaces and would like to have a pair of footwear with longer durability.

These shoes have a breathable upper mesh with sandpaper textured toe cap and enhanced drainage holes. The outsole is multifunctional with carved lugs in order to examine complete traction.

These lone peak shoes are specially designed for mountain peaks at any pace. These are the hardest and extremely durable shoes you will ever own because of the strong upper mesh and rubber sole.

Reasons To Buy

  • Places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage proper, low-impact form throughout your trail run
  • Zero drop heel-to-toe promotes a natural stride
  • Removable 5mm contoured insole
  • Comfortable trail running shoes
  • Updated mesh uppers with integrated tongues offer comfort and durability

Reasons To Avoid

  • No arch support

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5. Adidas Men’s Terrex Tracerocker Trail Running Shoe

best trail running shoes

This pair of Adidas men’s Terrex Tracerocker trail running shoes are ideally made for walking and running on all sorts of terrains.

The upper mesh is very much durable and would really save your shoes from being defected because of rocky and harsh surfaces. These upper mesh is designed in such a way that they make the running experience very comfortable even in unpredictable terrains.

The EVA midsole is very light in weight to enable perfection and long-lasting comfort. The Traxion outsole helps in traction and perfect grip of the runner avoiding slippage on wet surfaces and discomfort. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Breathable, abrasion-resistant mesh upper with synthetic overlays
  • Lightweight, shock-absorbing midsole
  • TRAXION design combines stability & grip
  • Perfect design
  • Breathable

Reasons To Avoid

  • Size issue

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6. Merrell Women’s Trail Glove 4 Trail-Running Shoe

best trail running shoes

Merrell women’s glove 4 trail running shoes are ultralight with breathable upper mesh making the runner’s experience more comfortable.

They have protective pads placed underfoot in order to guard the shoe against stone bruising. The lightly padded collar and tongue enable immense support and comfort.

The midsole and outsole are extremely supportive in order to get a perfect trail running experience. 

Reasons To Buy

  • New and improved Barefoot 2 fit provides stability during rapid movement
  • Zero MM Offset From Heel To Toe
  • Mesh and TPU upper with breathable mesh lining
  • Wide toe-box
  • Comfortable fit

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not durable

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7. Altra Men’s Olympus 3.5 Trail Running Shoe

best trail running shoes

These are another best trail running shoes selected by most of the trail runners due to its superior grip and comfort.

These ALTRA MENS OLYMPUS 3.5 trail running shoes are extremely flexible and known for its brilliant midsole quality.

This pair can provide the utmost stability and comfort in all kinds of uneven surfaces. The upper fabric mesh pattern is very durable, the inner flex also helps to enable comfort and stability.

The mega grip rubber outsole provides stability and traction on uneven terrains. The midsole has remarkable cushioning to provide immense support as well as a painless lightweight experience. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Breathable upper
  • Great cushioning
  • Great for hiking
  • Perfect design
  • Stable shoes

Reasons To Avoid

  • Durability issue

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Best trail running shoes for hiking

8. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Women’s Trail Running Shoe

best trail running shoes

These Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 trail running shoes are another best trail running shoes. It has zoom AirPods underfoot in order to provide a little pop and protective ride.

They have multifunctional lugs for excellent traction on trail surfaces without any discomfort. The synthetic upper mesh helps in extra and supreme durability as well as helps your foot to breathe.

The Flywire cable helps in complete support and making the footwear ultralight. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Perforated mesh and synthetic upper
  • Lugged rubber outsole ensures traction on variable trail surfaces
  • Wide forefoot and grooved outsole
  • Lockdown lacing system 
  • Perfect design and colors

Reasons To Avoid

  • Price

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9. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner shoe

best trail running shoes

Asics men gel Kahana 8 trail runner shoes are very comfortable and are remarkable for its durability even after running on odd surfaces.

It is mainly designed for runners who need better and stable arch support for activities like hiking and trail running.

It has a unique gel technology in the heels to aid shock absorption, another special feature of these shoes is the SPEVAFOAM midsole which enhances support and provides perfect bounce back.

These shoes can surely be considered as one of the best trail running shoes.

Reasons To Buy

  • Great arch support
  • Rated highly for rugged trail performance
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • perfect design
  • Solid grip

Reasons To Avoid

  • Narrow width

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10. HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Speedgoat 2 Trail Running Shoe

best trail running shoes

These HOKA ONE ONE train running shoes are very durable and comfortable, the runner can attack any of the terrains, be it rocky or wet.

The multi-directional lugs help to explore the most difficult terrains that too in an easy manner. The cushioned heel provides and incredibly responsive ride in order to enhance the trail running experience and explore the natural beauty.

The open and engineered upper mesh enables breathability and support, the midfoot cage construction provides stability and comfort. Thanks to the EVA midsole to provide utmost and lightweight cushioning.

Reasons To Buy

  • Breathable and support
  • Reinforced speed frame: Provides durability on the trail
  • Oversize EVA midsole: Provides lightweight cushioning
  • The wider base and traction allows your feet to glide right over rugged, wet terrain
  • Perfect design

Reasons To Avoid

  • Too narrow toe box

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Trail Hiking Shoes Buyer’s Guide

best trail running shoes
Best Trail Running Shoes

While practicing trail running, it is very important to wear a perfect pair of the best trail running shoes. As we already know, trail running is an activity that includes rocks, mud, and wet terrain. One should always choose a perfect trail-friendly running shoes. To get the best trail running shoes one should know all the features essential for the trail running terrains. Through this buyer guide provided by us, you will be able to get the appropriate trail running shoes.

Weight of the shoe

The most important feature in a perfect pair of shoes is its weight, lighter the shoe, more comfortable is the venture. We especially give a high priority to the weight of the shoes while selecting them for the purpose of trail running. Light shoes are fast and easy to carry, they avoid clumsiness. Along with the unique and peppy design, it is very important to find a pair of shoes with lightweight fabric and other materials. There are shoes which are ultra-light and reduce the risk of heaviness and uneasiness.

On the peak ends of the scope, there are these best pairs of shoe Salomon women speedcross 4 which are considered to be ultralight. The Adidas Men’s Terrex Tracerocker is extremely light and durable in order to provide a wonderful experience while the SALOMON Men’s Xa Pro 3D GTX is super strong and tough and built for harsh and rocky trails. Both are appropriate for short-distance trail running. 

Traction by the shoes

The strong rubber outsole of the shoes is of the most essential features to consider as the best trail running shoes. The traction of the shoes depends on numerous models of the shoe you own. Shoes for harsh, muddy and rocky surfaces need much more grip as compared to the shoes for easy trails. Also, there are all-rounder shoes that can deal with all the external conditions.

Shoes with rubber compounds are sticky to the ground and are good for rocky surfaces such as ASICS Men’s Gel-Kahana 8 whereas, shoes with a softer feel are better for muddy terrains like HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Speedgoat 2. The tread depth or lug depth is not always mentioned by the brand but you can still get an idea by looking at the sole in the image provided. The lug design must be widely spaced and tall in order to give the best results.

Cushioning of the shoe

It is the most important feature of the trail running shoes which generally differs brand to brand. It is the feature which is mostly needed in all kinds of shoes and helps in better functioning of the footwear both inside out. Cushioning is the feature where brands have really tried to differentiate themselves and make their particular trail running pair of shoes unique. Trail running shoes are both, lightly and heavily cushioned. Saucony Men’s Peregrine ISO is very right with a featherweight midsole whereas Altra Men’s Olympus 3.5 are heavily cushioned.

There are shoes which only have a small amount of cushioning and can result in better functioning, but also there are shoes that use a heavy EVA and provides longer comfort and support. The largely cushioned shoes are much more comfortable such as Altra Men’s Olympus 3.5. They generally give us a smooth ride and don’t let us feel the ground underfoot.

Both light and heavily cushioned shoes are bought as well as are liked by the people. It varies from person to person and the need of the runner that what kind of shoes they actually need. Most of the shoes we have listed are moderately cushioned and would help you if you are new to their selection.

Heel to toe drop of the shoe

As per the name, this function of the shoes is the difference in shoe height. This is the area where are foot sits, between the heel and the toe. Almost all our selected trail running shoes have a drop up to 4-8 mm, which is an ideal drop and is comfortable for the foot to exercise all the activities. There are shoes also with 0mm as well as this figure rises up to be 8-10 mm, the highest heel to toe drop.

Drop is a feature related to comfort as well as personal buying preference. There are people who tend to buy a Zero drop design whereas there are people who desire to buy a 6-8 mm drop.

Both high and low drops are prone to injuries, it depends on person to person which drop is comfortable for whom. All you need is confidence and a clear choice to prevent injuries and experience an amazing run.

Stability of the runner

Stability is one of the most essential factors when we talk about any kind of running, especially trail running. Running on rocky, harsh, muddy or wet trails is a heavy task as compared to running on tracks and paths. If you are planning to buy an ultralight pair of trail running shoes, your decision is extremely wrong. Lightweight shoes increase the chance of injuries. Stability starts with a solid platform, a strong pair of shoes which is rigid and can sustain the hard ground. Some shoes have shank’s, it is somewhat a hard piece of plastic or nylon that is placed in between the outsole and the midsole in order to increase the stability of the footwear.

Some brands also add heel cups to the shoes for rollover protection and accurate structure. The stiffer the shoe is, the stability is greater. Adidas Men’s Terrex Tracerocker and HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Speedgoat 2 are of greater stability because they are stiff and rigid, both inside and outside.

Waterproofing of the shoe

We already know that trail running is an intense running activity that helps to explore nature in an adventurous way. Trail running includes terrains like rocks, mud, water, and such other things. Therefore, it is very important to own a pair of best trail running shoes. Waterproof shoes are very important for an excellent running experience or different kinds of trails. The waterproof shoe is very important for trail running. The most common waterproof feature for trail running is GORE-TEX, it consists of a waterproof and breathable material fixed in between the upper mesh and inner fabric.

The extra waterproofing layer adds a little weight to the shoes. Therefore, people who would like to choose lightweight shoes, forget the waterproofing feature, as it adds weight to the shoe, around 2 ounces. However, waterproofing is the best option when you choose to run on rainy days or in monsoon prone areas which are muddy and wet. For this problem, the GORE-TEX technology plays an important and significant role. The best option to grab is SALOMON Men’s Xa Pro 3D GTX for the best trail running experience even in muddy and wet trails.

The breathability of the shoes

A sweaty foot is an uncomfortable and stinky foot and leads to an embarrassing moment. This situation results in inappropriate running experience. The breathability of footwear is the ventilating ability, one of the most important features of trail running shoes. Nylon is the perfect fabric for the best waterproof mesh of the trail running shoes. To extend the breathability along with the durability, it is very important to have a particular breathable mesh in your shoes to avoid discomfort and sweat.

Toe protection

Trail running is such an activity that includes pain along with adventure. You can get some injuries if you don’t wear a perfect pair of trail running shoes. You surely need extra protection while performing trail running. There should be extra toe protection in your trail running shoes in order to protect your toe from hazardous trails. An appropriate pair of trail running would surely have a rubber cap at the toe area to protect you from rocks when you accidentally kick a rock on your trail.

Rock plates

Same as the protection provided by toe cap the rock plates are also very useful as well aa important. These are placed between the outsole and the midsole in order to save your foot placed on the ground from steep rocks. These plates vary from brand to brand regarding the thickness and quality. They add a little bit weight to the shoe but are protective. It may vary from person to person about how much protection they need and on which kind of terrains they run.

Categories of trail running shoe

best trail running shoes

Twisted trails

Trail running shoes for the rugged or twisted terrains are specifically designed in order to protect the runners and give them an excellent experience. Shoes like (shoe name), (shoe name) and (shoe name) are light yet very much suitable for trail running, long climbs and tricky downfalls. These shoes keep you solid and at a fixed place, as a result, you can experience a safe activity in the natural habitat. If your run features steep incline, mud, water and rocks you should surely go for specific rugged trail running shoes. 

Easy terrains

To run on daily running trails which are less dangerous obstacles like steeps and rocks, it is recommended to purchase a pair of easy trail running shoes. As compared to the daily running shoes these are a bit more durable and supportive but less heavy than the rugged ones. These shoes are designed for moderate traction, comfort, and support in order to keep the runner feel easy while running on the normal trail. These are very flexible and supportive with an appropriate grip. However, they would not help much for mountainous terrains and heavy hiking trails. For those trails, you would have to upgrade your shoes as per your needs.

Shoes for all kind of terrains

Most of the people indulged in trail running opt for the all-rounder trail running shoes because of their perfect blend of simplicity and other important features. A shoe like (shoe name) is perfect as an all-rounder shoe as it is super comfortable provides grip in mud and water as well as support in steeply inclined paths. It won’t let your foot feel stiff on easy-going tracks nor it would make you feel hopeless and scared while running on rugged trails. One reason which could be possible to not choose the allrounder shoes is the preference of the trail and the design.

Best Trail Running Shoes FAQs

Q. Why do we perform trail running? 

A. Trail running is something very different and exquisite from other forms of running is basically correlated to nature and it’s different forms. Trail running is different to each of us as we have various preferences for the trails to be covered. For some of us, it could be a gentle run on natural paths whereas for the other group of people it could be a very adventurous experience.

Q. How to choose the best trail running shoes for scrambling?

A. Wondering to buy the perfect trail running shoes? Don’t worry Specially shoes are there to provide you with the best possible solution to all your problems. Trail running shoes are a bit stiffer than normal running shoes. They are of immense grip and support for a brilliant trail running experience. We keep on surveying hundreds of trail runners who run on various trails, in order to get the exact idea of the appropriate features of the footwear. The best trail running shoes require superior cushioning, breathability, extra support along with perfect grip. All these features make them appropriate for any kind of terrain and on any occasion. These shoes, provided in the list are authentically chosen by us and would ensure the best results.

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