Like all running shoes, the design of trail running shoes should protect the feet. Trail runners love to try out new terrains and these may be rocky, muddy and rough. Although you can use your road running shoes for other runs, you must have special shoes for some purposes.
Trail running shoes have a special design to fit the rough terrain. Not only are they re rigid, light, but they also have very good traction. Moreover, the heel-to-toe drop and a heel height of trail shoes are usually less. As a result, you will be more stable and respond faster to your changing terrain.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks for Best Trail Running Shoes
It is quite clear by now that trail running shoes differ a lot from road running shoes. Overall, trail running needs a lot of confidence and having the best trail running shoes will help in boosting it on any trail.
Salomon makes this trail running shoe mostly from synthetic material. It is a great running shoe when you want to run through rough terrains. Easy to break in with an endoFit technology, this shoe will give your feet the desired security and snug fit. Moreover, light in weight and waterproof, it assures you of a good run in any weather.
Furthermore, the quick lace system ensures that your laces do not come undone. Also, it is easy to adjust the fit of the shoe. Salomon makes the Speedcross rubber sole with a Contragrip technology. Additionally, it has a lug pattern will give you great grip and comfort on all trails.
ASICS makes this trail running shoe mostly from synthetic and rubber materials. It is comfortable, durable, and light for a trail running shoe. Moreover, it .also has good airflow. On top of that, its shaft that measures about low-top from the arch makes sure that there is minimal stress on the ball of your foot. Its outsole is durable and gives great grip with its reversed lugs and ASICS High Abrasion Rubber.
Furthermore, its sockliner is removable and suits the needs of people who need more cushioning or orthotics. Additionally, this shoe also gives you the natural fit that you need for stability. It also gives support from its ergonomic design. Finally, this shoe has a rear-foot gel cushioning that absorbs shocks well and makes the transitions very smooth.
Good heel support
Rugged and one-piece outsole
Good fit and does not need breaking in
Gives great comfort and support for both road and trail running
Merrell makes this trail running shoe of both synthetic and textile materials. As the name implies, it has a snug fit and is comfortable. This trail running shoe is light in weight and flexible. Moreover, it does not have a heel-to-toe drop so you are protected from injurious falls and landings.
Furthermore, added protection is provided by its Trail Protect padded insole. Also, you will enjoy the durability of its Vibram TC5 outsole for a very long time. Your feet will be warm and dry with its breathable mesh upper and lining. Lastly, it’s 4mm cushioning guarantees comfort.
Perfectly snug fit
Completely flexible and light in weight
Great for trail runners with high arches
Has a spacious and comfortable toe box
Gives a very good grip with TrailProtect technology and Vibram TC5 outsole
Brooks has made this trail running shoe mainly from synthetic materials. With light in weight, flexible and springy cushioning, this shoe will give you all the structural support you need. It has a breathable mesh upper that is overlaid with synthetic and microfiber. The Thermoplastic EVA Ballistic Rock Shield between the outsole and midsole protects the forefoot. The midsole has a full-length S-257 Cushsole compound as an insole board.
Furthermore, along with eco-friendly BioMoGo DNA, this gives great cushioning and flexibility. For shock absorption, you have a full-length Segmented Crash Pad, while the Four-Point Pivot Posting System will make your heel and forefoot stable. Moreover, other features include a universal sprung platform, lace-up closure system, heel-pull loop, removable sockliner, padded tongue and collar, and an outsole powered by 3D Hex Lugs with high-surface-area. Also, the entire outsole is made with durable anti-abrasion HPE Plus rubber.
North makes this trail running shoe mainly from leather. It is known for its exceptional stability and traction on slick and uneven trails. This stability running shoe has a lace-up closure system and an upper mid-foot coated with PU leather.
Furthermore, the shoe has an integrated compression-molded EVA midsole and a rubber UltrATAC outsole. Overall, your feet will enjoy the protection that the TPU toe cap and TPU Snake Plate give. Moreover, the shoe gives you great grip while running on wet, rugged or slippery terrains. In addition, it is backed with Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Range waterproof and is breathable and light in weight.
Very sturdy and comfortable for different terrains and weather conditions
Inov makes this trail running shoe mostly from synthetic and textile materials. This shoe is also great for trails that range from mild to moderately technical. It has a sticky Dual-C rubber outsole to grip slick rock. Moreover, the outsole has a multi-directional lug pattern to allow the quick release of debris.
Additionally, for protection, the foot has a light in weight and double-layered toe-cap and overlays that are welded to the forefoot area. On top of that, the tongue is sewn diagonally to further protect the foot from rocks and debris. Overall, the innersole will quickly mold to the shape of your feet to give the desired comfort and balance.
Very light in weight
Lugs are hard, flexible and give a good grip
Cushioning gives good ground feel
The blue dye in the upper sometimes stains the feet and socks
Reebok makes this trail running shoe mainly from synthetic materials. This shoe renews confidence on any trail with its outsole that gives 360-degree grip with square, indented lugs. The outsole also has an Obstacle grip and Rock Guard to protect your feet from rocks and other harmful objects. The Duragrip upper is waterproof and durable.
Furthermore, the perforated tongue is very light in weight and will not soak up moisture. Moreover, a good lace-up system and breathable mesh lining add to the value of this trail running shoe. It also gives stability and support for your feet and will keep them dry while you explore new terrains.
Very good drainage
Light in weight
The shoes are pricey
Quite slippery on smooth surfaces
Causes blisters at the back of the ankle for some users and needs long socks
Salomon makes this trail running shoe mostly of mesh and rubber. It is light in weight and has good airflow. This trail running shoe will give you a good ground feel as well as comfort with its minimal cushioning. The sole with a lug pattern and Contagrip will give great grip and sticky traction on mild and rough trails without sacrificing speed.
Furthermore, the mesh material used to make this shoe is breathable and comfortable. In addition, this shoe will keep your foot secure and flexible. The Quick Fit lacing feature ensures easy wearing and removal of this great shoe.
Adidas makes this trail running shoe mostly of textile material. One of the most striking features of this shoe is the Fit Pods that are attached on both sides of the heel. These give great support and stability, along with a molded Fit Counter. Excellent grip and traction are given by the outsole, while the midsole gives a very springy and comfortable cushioning.
Furthermore, the arch stress is greatly reduced by the double-folded material in the tongue and so the impact will be well-absorbed by the wider forefoot. The upper is well knit and will effectively repel water, keeping your feet dry and warm. Also, for runners who love to enjoy a natural stride and adaptive fit with each stride. Pure Boost will give these and much more to give you a very good trail run.
ASICS makes this trail running shoe mostly of synthetic materials. Capable of boosting your confidence, this shoe has a rugged rubber outsole with reversed lugs. As a result, this gives you great traction no matter how rugged your terrain is. Moreover, the toe guard is reinforced with durable materials to protect your feet from rocks, debris, and sharp and harmful objects.
Furthermore, this shoe has a durable SpEVA midsole to ensure you have a bouncy energy-return with every stride. A gel cushioning system also consequently protects your legs from shock upon impact while also giving you a smooth transition to midstance. Additionally, a comfortable OrthoLite sockliner will keep you running on any trail with ease.
Gives good cushioning at the heel
Gives very good grip on trails
It is light in weight
Has amazing insoles
Not very breathable
Too narrow and not suited for people with wide feet
Gives no support for people with high arches
In conclusion, trail running shoes differ from road running shoes in their build. Although heavier, trail running shoes will give you all that you need to run easily and protect you from injury. Overall, choosing a shoe that is not suitable for the terrain can pose a risk. Hence, we have picked some of the best trail running shoes that will make your off-road runs successful.