5 Best Trail Running Shoes

Blazing a trail by foot is one of the best full body workouts you can have, and people are starting to take notice now more than ever.

The often-tough terrain forces you to be light on your feet and sometimes, the ground can make this quite difficult.

There luckily are some great footwear options out there that can work with your body to minimize the impact on each and every step.

We have compiled a list of what we feel are the best trail running shoes available today.

trail running shoes

We have compiled our list of the best trail running shoes using a grading system compiled of factors including brand reputation, materials used in the manufacturing, and overall quality of the shoes.

Accuracy and honesty are extremely important to us, so we have also considered customer ratings and testimonials when coming up with our list. The following is our list of the top 5 best trail running shoes.

- The 5 Top Trail Running Shoes -

1

Salomon Men's SPEEDCROSS 4 Trail Running Shoes, Dark...
  • Agressive Grip : Obvious and penetrating traction on soft ground
  • Precise Foothold : Close-to-foot and comfortable feel
  • Contragrip rubber sole; MIDSOLE HEIGHT : 30mm/20mm (10mm drop);WEIGHT: 310g

This fourth iteration of the popular trail running shoe from Salomon has much to offer. The Speedcross 4 comes with built-in Gore-Tex technology. This waterproof and breathable fabric is made out of Teflon, so you know it is durable.


Their patented technology not only repels water but allows air to pass through. This awesome combination will ensure that you not only stay dry when hitting a puddle on your trail, but that your feet also stay cool for the entire duration of your run.


To tighten your shoes, simply pull down on the lower lace connector located at the top of the tongue of the shoe with the press of a button. The upper connector will work as the tightening mechanism. The more you pull the upper piece upwards, the tighter the shoes will become.


In addition to the easy-to-lace functionality, these shoes also come with built-in Sensifit that works to cradle the foot comfortably. This technology works to accentuate and fortify the natural contours of the foot to make the shoe feel more like an extension of your body than an accessory. This secure and snug body will make it feel like these shoes were custom made for you in mind.


The shoes also offer a Contragrip rubber sole that works to form a tight seal between the bottom of your foot and whichever type of terrain you choose to run on.


The sole is not only highly durable, but it is light enough that you can get a great feel for the ground. This intimate contact with the ground will offer immediate feedback to let you know exactly which level of pressure you should be using in certain areas.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied Amazon.com customer, Scott A. Steiner, says, “I find them incredibly valuable, especially on rocky or technical trails, to be able to feel the ground. I generally put between 400-500 miles on them before retirement.

2

Vibram Men's V Trail Runner, Black/Grey, 9.5-10 M US / 43 EU
  • Our latest version of the spyridon mr/elite running shoes. Upper Material- Polyester + Spandex
  • Vibram 3d cocoon technology molded into the sole provides rock-stopping protection, now extended...
  • Multi-directional lug design outsole for grip in all directions

At the first sight of this innovative trail running shoe, you’ll notice that it’s unlike most. In fact, it is shaped like your foot and even comes complete without the toes cut out.


If you are wondering if this minimalistic approach to the sole of the shoe translates to less support, the answer is a resounding no.


The V Trail offers a Flex Grip design built into the arch of the sole. This system works to evenly disperse the landing forces so that the balls of your feet feel much less stress. This will make for an ultra comfortable run every single time.


The 3D cocoon technology built inside the sole will protect your foot from any and all rocks or pebbles that you might land on top of.


The foot by itself is built for running and Vibram is fully aware of this. Instead of creating a traditional trail running shoe with a closed end that minimizes ground to foot feedback, they have chosen to build on the growing trend of a toe-form-fitting tip.


On your very first run, you will notice that your balance is noticeably better as your individual toes are able to truly feel the ground and balance accordingly. This technology is made to allow the best possible foot impact sensory and protection and the end result certainly does not disappoint.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied Amazon.com customer, Mack, says, “I bought these wanting to hate them, but I just can’t, and my feet have felt better since I started. Your mileage may vary, but if you've tried every other way to alleviate foot pain then maybe this is it.

3

ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe, Carbon/Black/Silver, 7...
  • FLYTEFOAM MIDSOLE TECHNOLOGY Our FlyteFoam technology provides exceptional bounce back and...
  • FLUIDRIDE MIDSOLE: ASICS FluidRide midsole provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and...

The aptly named Nimbus will make you feel like you’re running on a cloud. Its gel-infused sole provides incredible shock absorption, canceling out even the toughest of terrains.


If you’re looking for a trail running shoe that sits more on the side of the traditional attire with some added specs, this is the shoe for you.


The rubber sole of the Nimbus 20 is infiltrated with patented flytefoam technology. This lightweight and ultra-responsive cushioning allows for an exceptional bounce back and a firm step each time.


Although the fibers that make up the network of cushioning are extremely soft, their tightly compacted placement throughout the sole makes them highly durable and prevents the soles from flattening out like other soft soles running shoes.


The fluidride midsole adds to the responsiveness of the sole. It works to reduce shock and eliminate strain.


Its layered formatting ensures that the very bottom of the sole receives intimate contact with the ground, while the upper proration remains slightly harder and capable of providing your foot with the support that it needs.


Nimbus 20 also sports a jacquard-mesh fluid fit body that works to fit the contours of your foot snuggly. This mesh will move with your foot much like a liquid would. As you take each step, the mesh will move accordingly, but always will return to its original form and structure when no longer in motion.


The hardened 3D printed overlays will rest on top of the mesh, providing you with even more stability and strength.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied customer, Steven Amend, says, “I have always liked Asics shoes, but this pair makes my feet feel like I'm walking on marshmallows.

4

Columbia Men's Mountain Masochist IV Outdry Trail Running Shoe,...
  • New abrasion resistant mesh with 3D printed overlays for enhanced fit and support are complimented...
  • Featuring OutDry waterproof breathable membrane construction.
  • Fluid Foam midsole for exceptional cushioning, flexibility and support.

You may know Columbia for their fantastic coats made for all types of weather, but they also put out some great trail running shoes with the help of footwear partner, Montrail.


You will be able to feel the time and focus spent on these shoes as soon as you put them on. The Montrail insole uses a patented thermomoldable insole that works to mold to your foot to provide it with support during your entire run. Activated by the heat of your foot, the structure of the insole will actually change and adapt to suit your foot – only to regain its original form once you take off the trail running shoes.


The abrasion resistant mesh body is extremely durable and will allow much-needed air flow through the shoes to cool off your feet during a particularly grueling run.


3D fortified overlays will work to add to the strength and structure of the shoes as well. The breathable membrane of the mesh is treated with OutDry technology that gives the shoes much needed waterproof capabilities.


There are no free laces here to trip over. Where you would normally lace the shoes is a lacing connector that you simply just push and pull down. To tighten according to fit your specific perfect tightness, pull on the closed looped lace above the connector as much as you need.


Columbia Montrail knows that sometimes you will be running on some truly rough and tough terrain that sometimes can be full of unknown obstacles. To combat these sometimes-treacherous obstacles, these two partners have strengthened the toes of the shoes with a Kryptonite outsole with full strength TrailShield technology. If this one-two punch just sounds powerful, it’s because it certainly is.


Their technology protects the tips of your shoes much like the steel toe of a boot would, but they uniquely combine this strength and durability with much-needed breathability and movement capabilities.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied Amazon.com customer, Fransico Montes, says, “Perfect for hiking running sports and action activities or even everyday walking. Bought these for my Costa Rica trip and in the dense rain forest with lots of rain. These kept dry in the toughest conditions!

5

New Balance Men's 510 V4 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Magnet, 7 M US
  • ACTEVA Midsole
  • ABZORB Heel
  • NB Ultra Soft Comfort Insert

If you are looking for a more simplistic trail running shoe that is a little more on the economical end, this offering from athletic shoe powerhouse, New Balance will be perfect for you. It comes complete with its own breathable mesh elements that will work to keep your feet at the perfect temperature.


Accompanying the mesh is heavy duty rubberized elements that will work to keep you both dry and supported throughout the entirety of your run.


Featuring a unique all-terrain tread, the bottom of the shoes are made for any trail running course you can throw at it. The nooks and crannies of the tread provide you with serrated elements at the midsole and tapered block-like elements that will absorb the impact of whatever hard obstacles you might land on top of.


New Balance utilizes their highly effective Abzorb technology in throughout this highly durable tread. This durable technology will take the brunt of all impact, protecting your feet from any unnecessary damage from a particularly rough landing.


Everything about this shoe on the outside is strictly performance based and made for your protection. The inside, however, offers a super comfortable insole that will hug your foot and keep you feeling great the entire time you have them on.


The Ultra Soft comfort insert will make you feel as if you’ve placed a separate therapeutic add-on into the shoe. With just one run, you’ll surely fall in love with these highly affordable trail running shoes.

Customer Reviews

Satisfied Amazon.com customer, Michael3, says, “Very comfortable and lightweight for a trail running shoe. Plenty of room in the toe box and seems to have slightly more room in the heel area than most shoes.

Comparison Table

Buyer’s Guide for Trail Running Shoes

trail running shoes

Image by yellowcat from Pixabay

We are extremely confident that you truly cannot go wrong with any of these trail running shoes. We feel that they are the best shoes available to help you blaze a trail.

All of these shoes offer the high durability and strength you look for in an all-terrain shoe and will be worth the investment no matter what your budget may be.

These shoes are not only built to last, but also have the comfort of the runner in mind.

If your current trail running shoes just aren’t doing what you need them to do, you can give any of these 5 options a try and see how they work for you. You will not be disappointed.

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