The 9 Best Trail Running Shoes

Stay comfortable and safe no matter the terrain

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Our Top Picks
"Trail hikers and trail runners alike sing the praises of these shoes."
"It has more shock absorption and improved cushion, which you‘ll notice if you walk or stand for long periods."
"Tapered lugs provide rugged traction with a lightweight design."
"Built tough to support your foot and traction on trails."
Best for Plantar Fasciitis:
ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes at Amazon
"Provides solid support and shock absorption."
Best for Wide Feet:
ASICS Running Shoes at Amazon
"By incorporating Gender-specific pillars under the toe, trail runners experience a softer but stable feel."
Best for High-Arches:
Brooks Running Shoe at Amazon
"The neutral support offers high energizing cushioning, a component those with high-arches appreciate."
Best for Flat Feet:
Mizuno Running Shoe at Amazon
"The pronation control offers the stability those with flat feet often need in a running shoe."
Best for Long Distance:
Inov-8 Trail Running Shoes at Amazon
"Trail runners appreciate the exceptional grip across all terrains and conditions."

If you’re new to running trails or have been running the beaten path for some time, you might be looking for your first, or tenth, pair of trail running shoes.

Trail running shoes are designed to support and protect the feet on rugged terrain. Often heavier than a standard running shoe, trail shoes offer durability, stability, and defense from the uneven landscape.

Originally built to increase traction, trail running shoes now come with various features that offer cushioning, foot protection, and aggressive lugs to prevent slipping on demanding grounds. They are made with durable soles to shield against pebbles, sticks, and other debris runners come across on the trails.

These shoes are built for drainage, so they don’t get waterlogged, even in puddles or ponds. On the most challenging terrain, they offer increase underfoot protection to allow runners to experience versatile landscapes. 

Here are the best trail running shoes on the market.

Best Overall for Women: Salomon Speedcross 5W Trail Running Shoes

If you know a lot about trail running, you probably know about Saloman shoes. They make a variety of styles that trail running enthusiasts constantly give top marks to. The Speedcross 5W Trail Runner is the fifth generation of one of its most popular styles.

With a tough lug pattern on the sole, they’re meant to tackle even the toughest trails and help you accomplish your goals through dirt, mud, and even snow. They’re lightweight, have ample cushioning, and come in a ton of great color choices. They also have a special single-pull lacing system that makes them easy to take on and off and adjust for your comfort. Trail hikers and trail runners alike sing the praises of these shoes for their comfort and great traction.

The shoes are vailable in sizes 5 to 12 in a variety of colors.

Best Overall for Men: Adidas Men's Terrex Agravic Cross Trainers Trail Running Shoe

Trail runners love the Adidas Men's Terrex Agravic Cross Trainers Trail Running shoe, mainly due to its continental rubber outsole, which enhances rugged trails. You can feel the outsole’s grip on challenging surfaces. Raised treads help dig into the dirt and keep you grounded, even in the most technical of runs.

The ultra boost material is a combination of cushion and firm responsiveness. It has more shock absorption and improved cushion, which you‘ll notice if you walk or stand for long periods. The midsole is ideal for hiking and backpacking but could be a little harsh on smoother trails.

The shoes are stylish enough to pair with jeans for an everyday outfit. They come in sizes 6 to 15 and in colors Black/Grey/Red and Solar Red/Black/Grey.

Best Budget: Nike Nike Juniper Trail - Men's Trail Running Shoe

Nike Juniper Trail Men's Running Shoes

Markedly less expensive than the rest of their shoes, most trail runners agree you can’t go wrong with Nike. The Nike Juniper Trail maps out a smooth ride for your trail runs. It's built for jagged trails, keeping your eye on the road ahead. 

Tapered lugs provide rugged traction with a lightweight design, giving you the confidence to tackle the rocky terrain. This shoe runs true-to-size at an affordable price for its quality. It's durable, stylish, and, more importantly, suitable for the trails. 

The shoe comes in sizes 6 to 11 in a variety of colors.

Best Lightweight: New Balance Men's Minimus 10 V1 Trail Running Shoes

New Balance

When you want to be light on your feet during trail runs, it’s hard to beat New Balance's MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoes. As lightweight as they are, they’re still built tough to support your foot, and the Vibram outsole provides traction on trails, no matter what conditions you encounter. Overall, runners rate these trail shoes highly.

The company notes that this shoe does run small and suggests you order up a half size larger than your regular New Balance shoes. The shoes come in sizes 7 to 14 in regular and wide widths.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes

Asics

Plantar fasciitis can be a nightmare for runners, as those with the condition often experience pain that shoots through the bottom of the foot and heel. The right shoes are key to help relieve and prevent that pain, and for many, these ASICS GEL-Venture running shoes fit the bill.

They contain ASICS’ special GEL, which provides solid support and shock absorption, which is exactly what you need when you suffer from plantar fasciitis. They also come with a removable sock liner, which you can take out if you need to add an orthotic to help even more. The soles have reverted lugs, which provide traction for uphill, downhill, as well as mixed terrain. They come in a variety of widths, and with a relatively affordable price tag.

The shoes come in sizes 5 to 14 in regular and wide widths. Plus, you get to choose from 23 colors!

Best for Wide Feet: ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 23 (D) Running Shoes

Runners with wide feet can often feel like their toes are being compressed, making it difficult for them to commit to the trail experience. Since its release in 1997, the Gel-Nimbus has developed quite a fan base for its cushioning unit and contoured design lines. By incorporating Gender-specific pillars under the toe, trail runners experience a softer but stable feel.

The ORTHOLITE X-55 sock liner provides runners with a responsive stride. The components of the GEL-NIMBUS 23 shoe help increase the softness without forgoing the integrity of the shoe's ride. The 23rd version improves the shoe's support and comfort so runners can go the distance

The shoe comes in sizes 5 through 12, in regular and wide widths. It's also available in a wide variety of colors.  

Best for High-Arches: Brooks Men's Ghost 13 Running Shoe

The Brooks Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for zero distractions so you can focus more on your trail run. The neutral support offers high energizing cushioning, a feature those with high-arches appreciate. Segmented Crash Pad provides an integrated shock absorber system, which eases every step and stride for smooth heel-to-toe transitions.

It's available in many vibrant colors in sizes 5.5 to 15, and in regular, wide, and narrow widths.

Best for Flat Feet: Mizuno Men's Wave Inspire 16 Road Running Shoe

The pronation control in the Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 offers the assured stability those with flat feet often need in a running shoe. It features the X10 outer sole for increased durability and the U4ic Midsole, which provides optimal shock reduction. 

The shoe delivers an engineered mesh upper for a sleeker look, with a firm ride and stable feel. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and provides solid support. It comes with great sole padding, and the tread is appropriate for trails or wearing to work. 

Smooth ride support wave brings an ideal balance of cushion and lightness to every step. Available in sizes 7 through 16, it comes in trendy colors like Salmon Buff-black, Castlerock-phantom, teel Grey-marshmallow, and others.

Best for Long Distance: Inov-8 Mens Terraultra G 270 Trail Running Shoes

The shoe features an ultra-thin Graphene-enhanced outsole, delivering a top-quality grip. Trail runners appreciate the exceptional grip across all terrains and conditions. The Graphene-enhanced outsole also improves the sole's resilience, ultimately giving you more miles in these kicks. 

It features a wide toe box and solid heel lock. Even after running several miles, the grip is phenomenal and responsive, with top-notch support and protection. It is available in sizes 7 through 15 in a variety of colors.

Heading

If you've been on the trail for a while, you’ve definitely heard of Saloman shoes. For women, the Salomon Women's Speedcross 5W Trail Running Shoe is an excellent example of the brand's top-notch quality. The sole’s tough lug pattern tackles challenging trails with dirt, mud, and snow. They also have a unique single-pull lacing system that makes them easy to take on and off and adjust for your comfort.  


For men, avid trail runners love the Adidas Men's Terrex Agravic Cross Trainers Trail Running shoe. Trails are uneven, rugged, and sometimes treacherous, so the continental rubber outsole is popular with trail runners. Runners say they can feel the outsole’s grip on challenging surfaces. Raised treads help dig into the dirt and keep you grounded, even in the most technical of runs.

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