30 Best Trail Running Shoes in 2018

Most running shoes can give you the feeling of having a real test at the store. However, the actual test only comes when you start running a few kilometers. You will soon realize that the best trail running shoes that fit your feet and your running style is not ideal by the logo printed on it.

In general, you can use the shoes within 400-500 miles equivalent to 650-800km (3-4 months for regular athletes). Take a closer look at your shoes and check to see if the soles and shoe soles are flat or worn out. If so, then it is time to consider buying a new pair of running shoes.


Top 30 best trail running shoes to buy

1. Saucony Peregrine 7 – Best running shoes for all surface trail

Saucony Peregrine 7

Being the latest version of this well-known shoe trail, the Saucony Peregrin 7 is perfect for those who’s looking for a high quality, lightweight, and versatile trail running shoes. The 7 offers an ultimate secure for your foot for any terrain and elements.

The Peregrine 7 meets every professional athlete’s expectation with the design suited any terrain. The upper tightly-knitted mesh material keeps your foot away from harsh objects. Meanwhile, the TPU exoskeleton gives you a snug fit. And the EVERUN full-length top sole offers optimal cushioning throughout the running session.

Moreover, the outsole unit of the shoe makes use of the PWRTRAC material. It is a durable rubber compound which is aggressive against any technical terrain, even in snow or mud surfaces.

With those amazing features above, the Saucony Peregrin 7 is considered as the best trail shoe since Peregrin 4. The company succeeded in getting rid of problems from previous versions like stiff heel cup, short padding, etc. With all of its benefits, this shoe can be one of the most favorite products dedicated runners of all time.

2. ASICS Gel-scram 3 Trail Runner – Top Pick for Light and Fast

This shoe is greatly advised for the one who prefers running on hard surfaces. Especially, as for the neutral runner, the Gel-Scram provides a sufficient GEL cushioning system to comfort and secure your foot in place. Indeed, it attenuates shock during an impact phase significantly. So, you are granted a smooth transition to midstance.

Many runners highly appreciate its lightweight nature (312 g) because their feet can stay at ease during a long-distance run. Besides, its’ trail-specific rubber outsole that has some reserved lugs to offer an extra traction, deep flex grooves, and solid grip when running on uneven tracks.

Significantly, you would admire of its low heel-to-top drop as it supports to position your strike. So, its’ unessential to prop all your upper weight on the forefoot section that leads to some gait-related injuries.

Though some runner finds the shoe is haft-a-size smaller than what they are used to, it is worth having on the go as it is super durable. Particularly, after 30+ mile put on them, I hardly found any sign of wear and tear. However, it is a bit annoying to hear some squeaky sound made when putting on the shoe.

The shoe also delivers great foot protections. Specifically, its padded tongue and collar at the back fittingly wrap and secure your foot and ankle from sharp objects well. Moreover, there is some positive feedback about its variety range of color options as well as its quick front lacing. Also, you can have this optimal trail running shoes for an affordable price.

Also read: Top rated Asics running shoes on markets

3. Vibram V Trail Runner – Best Road-to-trail Trail Running Shoes

Vibram Women's V Trail Runner

In case you decide to transit from traditional trail running shoe to the minimalist one, this would be a wise choice to start. Truly, as for its definitely zero drop , you would gain a complete ground contact such as a barefoot-like running. You also may be surprised at its ultralight weight of 6.4 oz. Besides, it’s very durable and safe to wear on rocky or uneven tracks.

With 2.5 mm rubber midsole that features EVA 4mm foam and a thick rubber outsole, you do have to worry about foot injury risks. Particularly, The V-Trail applied the Vibram 3D cocoon technology to upgrade the sole to become a rock-stopping shield. And it also extends further into the ball section. So, your foot can stretch in all direction efficiently.

And not only quick drying, its Polyester also prevents any odor-causing bacteria thanks to an anti-microbial police fabric. So, it gives your foot a comfortable interior space during a whole run.

Along with a maximized breathability and soft upper, you can run on muddy or rocky trails stable, thanks to its multi-directional lugs. Overall, this shoe guarantees you a nice balance of durability and lightness, plus a great foot protection to connect obviously to the barefoot running experience.

4. Adidas Performance Duramo 7 M Trail Runner – Top Pick for Maximum Cushioning

Adidas Performance Duramo 7 M Trail Runner

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The Duramo is an entry-level shoe that is specifically designed for the runner who wants the efficient trail running shoes with an affordable price. Though there is a sufficient cushioning, you still able to enjoy its nature contact with the ground.

The Duramo also standouts for its eye-catching style with the various color scheme. Besides, its attractive appearance, it's hard to deny the shoe's super durability and notable outsole. Particularly, its TRAXION outsole that applied a Thermoplastic Polyurethane construction assists you greatly when running on slippery roads, off-roads surfaces or even mountain trails.

Indeed, it has solid grips to avoid you from sliding. Besides, its LIFESTRIKE EVA midsole is worth admiring for its flexibility and lightweight. Moreover, there is an abundant added cushioning to comfort your feet and provide a well-balanced platform for your performance efficiency.

So, despite its’ a bit unpleasant weight (246g) for the high mileage run, many runners love it for high durability, great fit-to-size, an enhanced breathability and a comfort given for your feet. Remarkably, with such efficacy features, you can have this barefoot running shoe with just an amazingly low price.

5. Merrell Grassbow Air – Best Soft Ground Trail Running Shoes

Merrell Grassbow Air

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Many runner reviews this shoe as an appealing combination of the trail running shoe and hiking shoe. Indeed, it provides a well-rounded foot protections and comfortability features for a varied mileage running. Particularly, its air cushioning in the heel section contribute significantly to the shoe's lightweight and comfortability.

Besides, your foot is protected by its shock absorption pad in the forefoot area. It can attenuate the impact of each strike to the ground. Moreover, its waterproof synthetic upper is truly useful to keep your feet dry in the wet conditions. As for the hot and moisture environment, its breathable air mesh allows your shoe breath efficiently. And your foot can stay cool, obviously.

Though its TPU molded heel is stiff base on some runner’s comment, it plays a crucial role in securing your foot when traversing on wet/dry terrains. Despite the unavailability of a break-in period, it does not bother the runners notably. Another highlight of the Grassbow is its easy lacing system that allows you to custom and tighten your foot snugly.

Additionally, the shoe’s durability is considerably enhanced thanks to its bellows tongue. It helps to prevent debris, dirt, pebble and any kinds of objects penetrating to the exterior and interior of the shoe. Last but not least, you may be impressed at its M-Select Fresh as its friendly microbes help to erase annoying odors.

6. Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Runner – Best running shoes in mountainous areas

Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Runner

One of the most excellent features of Speedcross 4 is the traction technology. Indeed, the producer has enhanced the lug blueprint of the Salomon Speedcross 4. As a result, you can climb uphill, downhill, or any high and rough surfaces thanks to the lug design. It also works very well in mud, snow or rock. With the mountainous areas, it is easy to run without the fear of slipping.

Specially made for runners who go hiking in the mountainous regions, the Speedcross 4 can repel the snow, heavy rain due to the tightly textured net. Also, there are the heel protection and firm toe to keep your foot from rocks, roots and sharp edges. The thick midsole can help you climb the trails which are full of massive rocks.

The Speedcross 4 is a lightweight shoe that it just weighs under 11 ounces. Although the thick EVA foam midsole was installed, the shoe’s weight is still moderately light. Besides, with the relatively snug toe box, the shoe size is ideal for runners who have narrow feet. However, you can even slip in the shoes if you have wide feet.

The Speedcross 4 has various advantages like its super traction. This traction can put you through in wet conditions or muddy areas. Also, the Quicklace system lets you close your shoes conveniently and fast, saving a lot of time for you. Notably, the 4th version’s outsole is proved to be more durable than previous versions. Although the anti-debris net limits the shoe's breathability, the shoe is still worth buying.

7. ASICS Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner – Best running shoes for rocky terrains

ASICS Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner

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With the solid toe cap, you can run over the flat and super rough surfaces. The Asics Kahana features the toe cap that can prevent you from rooty trails. Also, the cushioned and durable midsole lets you get through the hardest rocky terrains without affecting your stability.

To boost the maximum stability to the shoe, Asics has put a very wide toe box and bendable forefoot. Also, the Asics DuoMax backup system brings out a midsole foam layer inside the shoe’s basement to offer the best stability on the trail. The closure comes with round laces that help you take on and off the shoes quickly.

This shoe provides you the utmost comfort with a wider toe box. It can stretch out with extra wide feet, or dwell with narrow feet. The smart system we know is the elastic mesh. Also, the break in period and gel pads are original technologies that bring the best convenience throughout your journey.

Most of the runners who have tried the Asics Gel-Kahana 8 are highly impressed by the long-lasting fabrics and overlays. One more its pros are the tight-weave mesh. It can, in fact, repel the dirt and small pieces of rocks, giving your feet a clean environment. Nonetheless, some also complain about the outsole and tread as they are easy to wear out after using several times.

8. Adidas Outdoor Tracerocker– Best running shoes in wet and muddy condition

Adidas Outdoor Tracerocker

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Although the shoe upper is quite lightweight, the sole is very firm. Thus, it is very suitable for runners who do not want to take one more heavy thing in their race. Besides, the Gore-Tex technology will bring the best breathability for you along with the mesh upper. You will feel your feet dry and breathable all the time.

The sole of Adidas Outdoor AX2.0 offers you an excellent traction, whether you are walking on the roots or the muddy surfaces. It can also perform very well on volcanic rocks as it helps you has a grip on them. Particularly, in the mud and wet trail circumstances, the shoes will do its best.

One more great feature of the Adidas Outdoor AX2.0 is the water-resistance. In fact, it can keep your feet dry and clean. The uppers can dry quickly after touching water or getting soaked. I can say that the shoe’s water-resistant system is doing its job better than other trail running shoes.

You will receive a lot more benefits when buying this shoe. The cushioning can attract shocks very well, so you will not be worried about the stability. Also, the upper is excellent at avoiding dirt, fragments, and water, keeping your feet always clean and safe. Nevertheless, the shoe is limited in the size because the toe box is not customizable.

9. The North Face Ultra Endurance – Best Bang for the Buck

The North Face Ultra Endurance

This shoe can be assessed as one of the best trail running shoes recently. With its’ slightly lower price when compared to the rest, it naturally deserved the award of Best Buy. The North Face Ultra Endurance had surprisingly characteristics which is quite similar to the Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3. Sometimes, we may find difficulties telling these two products apart when wearing them on our two different feet.

By presenting as one of the most protective and comfortable shoes here, you will be glad to run with it and will satisfy with ease. If you want a pair of fantastic shoe which can last an adequate time as well as is cheaper than other similar shoes, it is just for you. This shoe was designed to keep the durability for running with ultra-distances, and the North Face Ultra Endurance fully accomplishes such goal.

If you need to choose some kinds of Ultra Trail running shoes, leave out those un-protective, not durable, and flimsy options. We could not run or walk longer distances with them. Adversely, this shoe was built with the same level of comfort but consist more cushioning. It also has the great protection for the upper and underfoot, making you very comfortable to run in. The single-piece outsole named Vibram Megagrip is highly durable and simultaneously grappy. In short, it is a shoe which you may put tons of miles for extra-long runs.

10. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3 – The best technical trail shoes

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3 is a successful mix of lightweight versatility and durable traction. Rugged outsole with multi-directional lugs offers maximum traction, paired with the Phylon midsole delivering a lightweight.

The outsole unit gives the runner sure protection against wear and abrasion. It has been specifically designed and tuned to deliver sure performance when it comes to soft ground, as well as surfaces that require climbing or descending. Traction is very important for this shoe, so it gives the runner an adequate amount of that.

The Flymesh upper is a noticeable point on this version for lightweight breathability. The Flymesh works hand in hand with the Dynamic Fit system to enhance midfoot and arch fit. High-abrasion TPU bars in the toe box and heel area keep your foot stay away from debris. Moreover, Nike enhances support and comfort for the shoe by EVA sock-liner adapting the curvature of heel and arch.

11. Salomon Sense Pro 2 – Best trail running shoe for men

Salomon Sense Pro 2

This shoe is the nimble machine for trail running thanks to its’ secure wrap of midfoot. This part uses the Endofit technology of Salomon to fit well with the rock plate which is somewhat very subtle. Also, it features many great technologies ultilized in S-LAB running shoes line of Salomon for less than fifty dollars. For runners preferring the firmer feel, its’ combination of kevlar Quicklaces and low-ground proprioception brings an incredible choice for you.

Despite some complains of a lack of traction delivery on the road, your performance is not impacted virtually. Indeed, its cushioning pads placed at the heel and forefoot are significantly improved by the advanced technology. So, you have a great contact with the ground on each strike as it delivers a barefoot-like responsiveness.

Even though Salomon Sense Pro 2 was not recommended to use with mud, its outsole made of sticky rubber was minimally lugged, letting it to works pretty well on rocks. As a matter of fact, road runners that like its’ firm midsole will love this shoe at a first sight. At a 6mm drop of the heel and 9 ounces in weight, it is definitely more minimal when compared to the practice. However, it might not satisfy runners who are currently searching for the wide toe box.

12. Saucony Peregrine 6 – Dedicated for different types of trail conditions

Saucony Men's Peregrine 6 Trail Running Shoe

The Saucony Peregrine 6 has been a favorite product of many trail runners for a long time. Up to now, it continues to prove itself as one of the best trail running shoes for a wide range of conditions. The 6th version of Saucony Peregrine not only retains its lightweight for neutral profile right at about 9 ounces but also outfit well with the especially burly shoe outsole.

Such element features the lugs having the teeth-like shape. So, it can work extremely well on the technical terrain as well as in slop. Besides, this shoe has the amazing rock protection along with the excellent cushioning. All of these features are consisted in the weight ratio of a nimble heel drop.

As a matter of fact, many runners, including me, have already given comments on its toe box which is a bit wide when combining with the locked down fit of midfoot. This shoe can be the true virtuoso for all trail runners who want to experience different types of trail conditions regularly on their daily training time.

13. La Sportiva Helios 2.0 – Best hard ground trail running shoe

La Sportiva Helios 2.0

For every one who is new to the aspect of trail running, the La Sportiva Helios 2.0 is indeed a choice you are not familiar with. In fact, the mountaineering heritage came from Italy of La Sportiva guarantees you the vest quality shoes for trail running. By choosing this shoe, you can own A fantastic pair for dry trails.

Also, the Helios already features the Morpho Dynamic shoe outsole of La Sportiva. Such element is both well cushioned and incredibly sticky. It is a pair of shoe made specially for trail running with the fast paced mode at the under 8 ounces with the low drop of 4mm. While it features a relatively dynamic lacing and broad toe box, the upper was accused of making you feel stiff as well as taking break in a timely manner.

Additionally, the breathable upper of the shoe seem to face with drainage issues right after the water crossings and in the wet conditions. Personally, I truly favor its low drop that grants a real smooth running experience despite it’s a bit heavyweight. Moreover, you can climb uphill or downhill without slippage risks thanks to its great traction provided by the lugs at the dedicated outsole.

14. Inov8 X-Talon 212 Precision - Best Soft Ground Trail Running Shoes

While the 14. Inov8 X-Talon 212 Precision is sometimes considered as the common trail shoe, it performs pretty well on dry and smooth trails without a doubt. As you may see, it Features the seamless Flywire/Flymesh upper of Inov8. So, this shoe version can be one of the best trail running shoes of this segment.

An innovative tongue named Mono-Wrap around your midfoot to offer enough protection from the debris as well as an extra secure fit. The pods of the shoe named Inov8 X-Talon 212 Precision in the forefoot and heel also add much to the wearing sensation toward a lightweight racing flat.

The shoemaker also employs the waffle sole which is always effective here to offer the fantastic grip right on dry rocks and surfaces. Meanwhile, this shoe lacks any type of rock and debris protection so it might not work on the tamer trails than that. The detailed figures of this shoe is 9 ounces and a heel drop of 4mm. Such specialty trail shoe kind started its niche some years ago, which was pioneered by some popular European brands like Salomon.

15. Altra Lone Peek 3.0 – A great option for non-technical trails

The Altra Lone Peek 3.0 is the most versatile trail shoes of Altra. The obvious improvement over the last version includes the dead-feeling midsole, more durable upper, food shaped toe box.

The all new upper makes the foot have a perfect design. The outsole is updated with multi-directional triangular lugs to reinforce stability. Fully cushioned Zero Drop platform help place the heel and forefoot at the same distance from the ground. Along with the foot-shape toe box offers accommodation for toe splay. The StoneGuard sandwiched between the outsole and midsole to provide flexible protection.

However, the upper with restrictive overlays causes some discomfort for not ventilating much. In theory, the lacing in the front of the foot is too tight keep your feet from slipping but in contrast, it would make the ankle flex almost impossible.

16. Pearl Izumi Trail EM N2 v3 – # 2 Best Hard Ground Trail Running Shoe

Pearl Izumi Trail EM N2 v3

Even though Pearl Izumi discontinued production of running products, Pearl Izumi’s trail shoe still has been a favorite for years of many runners. The Pearl Izumi Trail EM N2 v3 won’t let you down which blends low profile cushioning with adequate flexibility for any terrain.

As running shoes of Trails come within three categories. Of which, the Light trail ones, like this shoe, are designed well for the uniform surfaces. Let’s think of the fire roads, rolling hills, and gravel paths ahead. These shoes can be the lightest in weight as well as build specially to trail running purpose. This kind of shoe have highlight characteristics include: lightweight designs, moderately built stiffness, and soles with the shallow lugs.

The rubber outsole with aggressive multi-directional lugs delivers excellent traction on the toughest terrain. The midsole features 1:1 energy foam and the Dynamic offset, providing a very smooth move through midstance. The well-known seamless construction of Pearl Izumi creates a supple and supportive mid-foot fit.

17. Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 – Best for long distance runs

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2

The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 is the best shoes for long distance runs. Its maximum cushioning without compromising weight is what makes it stand out from any other shoe. Compare to its first version; the Challenger ART 2 is lightly improvement on the fit, fabrics, and sole.

The 4mm lugs on the outsole offer great traction on a variety of terrain. The midsole makes use of the EVA foam to provide additional cushioning without adding too much weight. The closed mesh upper did a great job of giving a snug fit and a locked down feel. With this version, durability issues haven’t been resolved yet.

Shoes have a tendency to tear open on the top and change shape after short-term use. Rugged trail running shoes are normally used for running activities on some hiking trails that may range from the masterwork of one trail engineer to the tract of one abandoned miner. Therefore, this category covers well the broadest sort of terrains. In spite of the fact that the high stack height offers a ton of cushioning but it still gives you an unstable landing platform.

18. New Balance Leadville v3 – Best trail ultramarathon shoe

New Balance Leadville v3

Inspired by the famous Leadville Trail 100 ultra-race, the New Balance Leadville is made to tackle what that race throws at you. So, its design offers ultimate cushioning and a lightweight ride to protect your feet from those exhausted 100 miles. Furthermore, it can handle other harsh surfaces.

A sewn in gusseted tongue with Fantom Fit upper help keep your foot out of all annoying debris. The most noticeable change in this version is the Vibram outsole which provides maximum surface contact. In the middle of the outsole is 4mm multi-directional lugs that offer more traction on many trail surfaces.

The REVLite cushioning technology provides a lightweight ride without minimizing construction or sacrificing cushioning. To offer more cushioning, the N2 foam is placed in the forefoot area between the midsole and outsole. Some nature aspects of this kind include: toe guards up front and hidden plates underfoot, sturdy materials and overlays, resilient midsole cushioning.

19. Altra Superior 2.0 – The best-fitting running shoe

Altra Superior 2.0

The Superior 2.0 is a great shoe for those who’s looking for a low-profile, lightweight ride, or zero drop platform. The shoe updates more grip and less weight which is essential for this product line. Altra’s Foot shape toe box allow the toes to spread out comfortably and relax.

A removable StoneGuard sits beneath the insole of this shoe to protect your feet from sharp rocks. With less demanding terrains, it can be removed to save weight. Innerflex midsole provides additional flexibility and cuts weight for an ultimate performance, while Trail Claw outsole is made of sticky rubber with lugs under the forefoot, claws under the toe to offer more traction on trails.

Until best trail running shoes without padding revolutionized this industry, cushioning level has had a dramatically change. Nowadays, there are many categories of cushioning for you to choose. For the Barefoot, the appeal of the shoe may let you have the enhanced feel toward the trail as well as your biomechanics.

20. Brooks Cascadia 11 – A perfect selection for any terrain

Brooks Cascadia 11

The Brooks Cascadia 11 is a great shoe for all sorts of surfaces. The mesh upper, BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning, four-point pivot posts, full-length segmented crash pad are special features that make it great. For the Minimal, it can be A good choice for all runners who desire the wonderful feel for their trail but are not comfortable without padding.

The mesh material manages moisture to help keep your feet cool and dry. The combination between ballistic rock shield and BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning makes this shoe the ultimate foot protection. The lug pattern on the outsole is very tight, which is mostly unchanged from the 10. This feature makes mud and debris stuck between more than other shoes.

The forefoot area is a bit narrow giving your foot an uncomfortable feeling due to the construction of the tongue. The Brooks Cascadia doesn’t show any strong improvements from the previous ones but it’s still a good selection for long trail runs.

21. Montrail Mountain Masochist III – Best used for obstacle racing

Montrail Mountain Masochist III

The Montrail Mountain Masochist III has many great features, making it a perfect selection for almost any terrain. Especially this is a great shoe for runners who want to tackle all of the race needs.

Made from quality materials, this Salomon’s shoes provide a precise and secure fit. The reason for this fact is that it owns the connection between the quick lace system and the special overlay system. The shoe is specially designed for wet surfaces. Anti-debris and water resistant fabric avoid any outside factors infiltrate the interior chamber. In addition, the Fluidfoam midsole of the Montrail is placed at the base of the shoes to keeps mud off and maintain the clean façade.

The 5mm chevron lugs deliver excellent grip in wet and muddy conditions. The outsole unit is comprised of durable rubber compound and multi-directional lugs offer an optimal traction on harsh surfaces like wood and rocks.

22. Mizuno Wave Ascend 8 – An ideal choice for men with overpronators

Mizuno Men's Wave Ascend 8 Trail Running Shoe

The Mizuno Wave Ascend 8 is an ideal shoe for neutral runners who need support for long trail runs. It delivers a durable outsole, a protective upper, and a responsible underfoot platform. For the Moderate aspect, and traditional runners, with sufficient padding so that you run over rocky and roomy trails in a comfortable way.

The Dynamotion upper help you secure the foot down on even the most rugged surfaces. SmoothRide Engineering gives your foot maximum comfort and smooth running experience. On the outsole, the X-lug pattern made of carbon rubber gives you a lot better traction and stability.

Mizuno’s AP+ midsole foam is what makes it different from other shoe companies. Furthermore, this shoe provides a durable cushioning thanks to its material. In the Maximum term, it is said that shoes with the maximum cushioning can be easier to reduce fatigue on joints during the long-distance runs.

Read more: List of best running shoes for men

23. Adidas Vigor Bounce – #2 Best for neutral runners

adidas Men's Vigor Bounce M Trail Runner

By buying the Adidas Vigor Bounce running shoes, you may grasp a precious chance to get a globally trusted brand. Also, it is a functional shoe that you indeed never regret choosing. If you love to run to a place where mortals may fear to do treading, this best trail running shoes are designed for you. It covers all aspects of the listed characteristics for the rugged-trail running shoes.

Featuring the textile construction and classic synthetic popular in almost all products of Adidas brand, this shoe is super durable, lightweight, and has the slightly padded design which offers you moderate support. If optimal and speed performance is your requirement, therefore, such solar yellow, blue, and gray themed shoe can be ready right now for your purchase.

The sole of the Adidas Vigor Bounce is the durable rubberized version with the synthetic forefoot which improves durability and stability. Also, the comfortable outsole and lining comes well to improve the multi-directional grip and the comfort respectively. From some unique essences, its’ materials are more resilient and its structure are stouter than the precedents. With all above feature, this product is suitable for neutral runners.

24. Adidas Galaxy Elite – Best trail running shoes for women

Adidas Galaxy Elite

The Adidas Galaxy Elite offers every necessary thing you may expect from the running shoes for women. They own a dedicated mesh upper which allows synthetic leather and air ventilation in the sides and front. This unique model of the best trail running shoes comes with the simple sole made of synthetic and features the ultra-lightweight design. However, it is still very elegant and attractive.

The interior of the shoe is padded well with a light and soft material which makes its’ entire part to be comfortable. By this way, it helps reducing fatigue and increasing the standard comfort. Ranging from 1mm to the maximum of 11mm, this toe-to-heel drop can be the obvious difference between its’ height at your forefoot and that at your heel.

Like other Barefoot shoes, the Adidas Galaxy Elite has a 1mm drop. Meanwhile, minimalist shoes usually have the drop of 1 to 5mm. Maximalist and Moderate shoes offer the broad range of drops from toe to heel. Its’ Fit is more important than any other consideration. Simply, your foot is divided into three group: Neutral Pronator, Over Pronator and Under Pronator.

25. Salomon S-Lab Wings – The most durable trail running shoes

Salomon S-Lab Wings

This option of the best trail running shoes belongs to the neutral trail category. It has the ability to deliver the incredible performance for all runners who love to streak directly through all kinds of trails with efficiency and ease. Debris and Soft ground will not become hindrances for you because the Salomon S-Lab Wings was optimized efficiently to handle the hazards and topography.

The experience of cushioned underfoot and Excellent traction are abounding together with this shoe. Its’ upper unit was constructed well to assist you in shielding your foot from all harmful objects, including debris. Such objects can be found anywhere around our environment. The lateral and medial sides have the wrapping mechanism which hugs your foot securely, yet snugly. Its’ inner sleeve can be indeed comfortable on your skin as it prevents the status of skin irritation. In the worst case, it can lead to welts or blisters.

Its’ mid-sole part features the wonderful components and compounds with high quality to ensure that your underfoot experience will be as secure and comfortable as possible. It is especially true since almost all trail runners will tackle their unpredictable terrain. Also, the platform itself can protect your foot from different types of impact, while ensuring to achieve the responsible cushioning.

26. Merrell All Out Terra Trail – Great neutral running shoe for daily training

Merrell All Out Terra Trail

If you are looking for a shoe featuring foot protection, traction, and all-round performance, Merrell All Out Terra Trail is a perfect one for you. The shoe delivers impressive 360°-foot protection while running on rough terrain. It is designed to provide maximum protection from all angles. The built-in sock liner is the main feature that wraps snugly around your foot, provides secured feel and prevents any debris or small people from getting inside the shoe.

In addition, the Trailprotect pad in the midfoot offers extra foot protection. The Vibram outsole utilizes diamond shaped deep lugs for reliable grip, help you to perform well on loose surfaces. The removable footbed is helpful for air drying, increasing the overall life of your shoe.

Being made of high-quality EVA, the Merrell’s shoe provides a lightweight foam featuring shock dispersing and moderate cushioning. Now and then, the inner sock rubs on the ankle cause a little uncomfortable feeling. But generally speaking, the shoe makes most of runners highly satisfied with its good looking, lightweight, durability and high grip.

27. Adidas Outdoor Kanadia 8 TR – Best for uneven terrain

Adidas Outdoor Kanadia 8 TR

The Adidas Outdoor Kanadia 8 TR is the eight generation of Kanadia. In this ride, Adidas offers some slightly changes. In this version, the most recognizable change that catches your eye is the thick side panel directly connected to the laces. This feature offers durability and locked down support.

The new mesh with synthetic overlays has a bit larger holes for excellent breathability. The full-length Cloudfoam midsole provides softer cushioning for step-in comfort and superior cushioning. Adidas also introduces a new outsole layout with the perimeter lugs are a lot bigger for optimal grip on uneven terrain.

For some runners, they found the 8th edition is slightly narrow compared to the previous one. But with those positive sides the shoe provides above, paired with its innovative design, many runners will be pleased when it comes to the good-looking, exceptional comfort and adequate support on challenging trail.

28. Tesla All-Terrain Trail Running Shoes T320 – Best for mud surface

Tesla All-Terrain Trail Running Shoes T320

Thanks to the successful blend of flexible sole, dynamic grip and superior breathable upper, the Tesla All-Terrain is designed for the muddiest of environments.

The shoe is rugged with a shock-absorbent synthetic midsole. Plus, outsole unit is made of TPR material which offers dynamic grip force and stability. The shoe uses mesh, nylon webbing, and high-quality PU material to enhance durability. Ergonomically form and rugged design offer optimal foot protection without sacrificing comfort. Pattern dimples are specially designed to deflect dirt and contaminates.

Overall, Tesla All-Terrain is highly appreciated for its value, sturdy quality, and the outlook as well. Furthermore, the price less than $30 is a big plus which is the number one concern of many people, but what you get is more than expected.

29. ASICS GEL Venture 5 – #2 Excellent choice for neutral runner

Asics gel venture 5

The ASICS GEL Venture 5 gives a snug fit and ultimate comfort due to technological combination of Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System, Removable sock liner, Trail Specific Outsole, and AHAR Outsole.

Rearfoot Gel makes the impact shock on joints unnoticeable. Renovation sock liner accommodates a medical orthotic. Trail Specific Outsole contains reversed lugs that provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain. AHAR Outsole is placed in critical high-wear areas for exceptional durability.

Overall, the ASICS GEL Venture 5 is a great all-round shoe with excellent traction, durability, and versatility. It’s not only comfortable but also suited for running, working out, off-road running, and more.

30. New Balance MT410V4 – #2 Best trail running shoe for men

New Balance doesn’t design its products to fit any image, it’s dedicated to helping athletes achieve their goal. This New Balance shoes once again meet and exceed expectations of many runners. The dread of the outsole is designed for all manners of terrain; it provides optimal grip that you won’t be slippery at all. The XLT performance footbed helps enhance cushioning which provides comfort and flexibility.

The material is super light and dry extremely quickly. The shoe can use not only on the trail run but also on casual activities without fear of wet conditions. Technology IMEVA foam in the midsole offers supportive cushioning for more comfortable.

There are some users found that the rubber treads are peeling off within a few days’ use. But in general, the New Balance MT410V4 is a comfortable trail running shoe what come in under budget.

Select the best pair of trail running shoes

trail running

Why should you buy trail running shoes?

I must say that it is essential to have one pair of trail running shoes in your shoe shelf. Most of the regular running shoes can be limited in their functions like the ground support and balance keeping. For this reason, the trail running shoes are made to complement the full service, giving your race the best stability.

Besides, you should consider purchasing a pair of trail running shoes due to the following factors:


Different from road running shoes, the trail running shoes have the mesh uppers which are firm texture. Hence, they can protect your feet and socks from trail fragments such as dirt, mud, and sand. In fact, the solid composition can prevent these pieces when you run comfortably.

The rubber caps, which you usually see on the trail shoe’s toe also play a significant role. People know them as the toe bumpers. Whether your feet collide the rocks or other hard things, these rubber caps help to secure your feet from unexpected pains and bruises.

Last but not least, there is the midsole lying inside some kinds of a bendable hard plastic plate. These function as a blocking door that bars all the sharp jags from tree roots, hard rocks, roots and so on. For this reason, your feet’s basement will not suffer from any surprising pain.


Whereas the road shoe’s soles grip the roads, the soles of trail running shoes make use of diverse traction. Some of them may be the multi-controlling lugs, extended lugs with teeth positioned cleverly to exploit grip. The road shoe’s soles are also not efficient on silt, rock, and dirt.

Besides, the gluey rubber complex is utilized to offer you more manipulation on various ranges of trail surfaces. For this reason, an excellent pair of trail running shoes will help you encounter with any difficult barriers on the journey without worrying about slippering.


The road shoes, in fact, only provide stability for runners who are overpronators. The trail running shoes can be suitable for all kinds of runners (neutral, overpronators and other types). As the stability system built inside the midsole, the trail shoes will make your footstrike straight.

With the purpose of holding your foot and keep it stable, the trail running shoe makes use of the super supportive materials on the uppers. Also, to offer the best stability, the heel fans out with a wide toe box that adjusts the perfect fit for your foot.

Types of Trail Running Shoes

The first step in selecting the best trail running shoes is evaluating which type of running trails you are going to do. A brand-new pair of trail running shoes will last for about four to seven months. That is, literally, a good way of taking the chance to try the substitute will not be far off.

Light trail

Followed by its name, the light trail is rather lightweight and suitable for even surfaces. The simple protection but powerful will protect your foot from roots and rocks. Also, the temperately firm builds can stimulate the stable foot appointment.

To shallow lugs and provide excellent traction on saturated soil, the soles are always available. In some normal trail shoes, the sufficient midsole cushioning allows you to run smoothly and conveniently in any conditions. Mainly, the smallest midsole cushioning helps you interact better with the best trail running shoes.

Rugged trail

Shoes for the rugged trail can be used for runners who run on some hiking trails. For prevention from roots and rocks, the toe covers the front and back along with the hidden plates lying in the foot’s basement. The hiking trails are often rough, so there are the durable overlays and materials opposed to thorns and sharp edges.

Besides, the supportive midsole cushioning comes with the function of attracting footfalls. The premium uppers and sturdy designs are responsible for soothing feet on roller coasters and rough surfaces. For increasing grip on the soft soil as well as meeting the various demands of clients, there are the sole with hard, multi-controlling lugs.

Last but not least, the smooth and grip rubber in some trail running shoes can even repel the wet rocks and wooden surface. Also, when the rubber is harder and less grip, it possibly guarantees the best durability.

Off trail

In the case that you are going to run on the dangerous trails with the mortal fears, the off-trail shoe is the best choice. The off-trail running shoes inherit all the features from the rugged trail running shoes. They have some extra improvements

You can find the midsole made of EVA foam in the best trail running shoes. However, the materials make an entire off-trail running shoe is more elastic than before. It is the polyurethane foam.

When you need your footfalls touch the flat ground quickly, the shoe’s composition will be more stable in case of any harsh force is employed. Besides, the waterproof function will let you run freely through streams, on the branches or even on the thick mud.

How to select the best pair of trail running shoes?

We will go into details with our four useful tips on choosing the best trail running shoes for yourself. These tips will probably not take you any effort or time.

1. Find the shoe fits you perfectly

The fit is the first and the significant factor in selecting the best trail running shoes. Whether the shoes are well reviewed with more stars at Amazon, it isn’t great unless it fits your foot. A good fit makes up for aspects such as foot size, arch shape and width and so on.

Pay attention to the shoe’s lasts: Each shoe product will contain its complex foot form called a “last.” Different runners have different last, so you need to find a last that is related to your foot size. Therefore, going online shops can broaden more chances of finding the most suitable shoes for you

Your shoe size is not a fixed thing: Don’t be ever subjective to presume your foot size. As you grow older, the foot will change. Thus, you should get measured whenever you can. To enhance the best performance, all you need is a shoe that offers satisfactory width and length in the toe box.

Get evaluated on the fit: If you cannot assess your fit for yourself, then find a specialist or an experienced runner to help you. When you buy shoes at the store, you can ask the staffs here, but you should pick a less busy time. Or you can go in the day after because your foot enlarges. So you can make sure that the shoes are adequate to your foot.

2. Consider the cushioning level

Cushioning level may be the only factor that lingered mostly unchanged for several years. Nonetheless, after some years, a counter development appears with the various cushioned midsoles on the marketplace. See list of best cushioned running shoes

Barefoot: There are the shoes with no padding supported. But the attraction can be that they allow you to improve the great feel on the trail, even with your biomechanics.

Moderate: This is the traditional trail running shoes. It combines an average amount of padding to assist you to run smoothly over rocky and rooty trails.

Minimal: Shoes belonged to this type are ideal for runners in the case that they want to make use of enjoying the best feel on the trail. If you are not comfortable with all the midsole padding, this kind is proper for you.

Maximum: These model provide loads of padding directly in its’ midsole. For runners who want to have a journey on super rough and harsh surfaces, they highly appreciate the maximum cushioning. Besides, some say the maximum cushioning can decline the tiredness.

3. Try on more than a few pairs

You can realize this is the most important factor when buying the best trail running shoes. Everyone has the distinctive foot size. The only way to find out which size you are about is trying them on. In case you don’t have time to go the stores, you can read the online reviews as much as possible.

You need to be rational when buying the trail running shoes. Some trail shoes have a brilliant appearance, but the quality is rather poor. One more thing, the famous brands do not mean you can fit their shoes.

If you buy shoes online, then check the return policy again, in case you are not satisfied with them. You should think about ordering the two pairs nearest to your size if you tend to return one.

4. Make your decision on foam or rock plate

If you are a runner who wants to challenge on the rocky, tough trails; you ought to own the shoe that prevents your foot from sharp edges. There are two terms of the system; they are rock plate or thick foam. Each has their pros and cons. But generally, the plates offer a natural feel and help foot place in the right place. And the foam can soak up more shocks, giving your race the excellent stability.


If you want to experience hiking trails in a new way or you’re an urban runner who wants to vary the routine, the siren call of trail running is hard to ignore. Four below standards will help trail runners decide on the best shoes to buy. Of which, Shoe type should be the light trail, rugged trail or off trail and the Cushioning: need Range from barefoot (none) to maximum. For Heel-to-toe drop, this measurement absolutely affects your running mechanics. Meanwhile, Fit is The most important aspect.

You can realize that choosing the best trail running shoes is not complicated as you have always thought, right? After reading this article and considering the options, I believe you will find the most appropriate shoes for yourself. Good luck to you!

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