Conquer your most challenging trail by wearing the best trail running shoes which offer excellent cushioning and superior grip on various terrain condition
Trail running is a sport that requires running and hiking on an unpaved pedestrian path or dirt road which often takes place on a hilly and rocky stretch of land. This popular outdoor sport has a heavy following and the number of new trail runners increases massively around the world each year. In the United States alone, a recorded increase of several new trail runners was around 250,000 annually with participants as young as six.
Trail running doesn’t differ much from running on pavement, but many trail runners say they experience less impact stress compared to the road running. Plus, being out there surrounded by nature makes it more spiritual in terms of experience.
While the best trail running experience takes place in the most amazing natural features of the terrain, this sport will require you to have a special pair of running shoes tailored for off-road running.
What are the best trail running shoes?
The best trail running shoes can keep your heel always aligned with your body as you make determined efforts to deal with uneven surfaces and rocks of your favorite trail.
The best trail running shoes:
- have an excellent grip on the ground on various terrain condition
- offers excellent cushioning which can prevent foot pain and injury
- can help improve your form
- can protect you from rocks and abrasions on the ground
- is durable and dependable in taking you there and back
5 Best-Selling Trail Running Shoes
Note: If your foot’s support type is neutral to underpronation (supination), your best shoes are neutral-cushioned shoes but if you have fallen arches or overpronation, your best shoes are stability/motion control shoes.
Table of Contents
Best Trail Running Shoes (Neutral to Supination)
Here’s a list of the best trail running shoes for neutral to supination (in no particular order):
1. ASICS GEL-Scram 5
2. ASICS GEL-Venture 7 (Best budget buy, OutdoorGearLab)
3. ASICS Gecko XT (Best all-terrain, OUTSIDE)
4. ASICS Alpine XT (Best in class 2018, Gear Institute)
5. New Balance FF Hierro v5
6. New Balance Nitrel V3
7. New Balance Summit QOM/KOM (Best for rugged terrain, RW)
8. New Balance FF Gobi v3 (Best road to trail, COACH)
9. On Cloudventure
10. Salomon Ultra Pro (Editor’s choice, RW)
The best ASICS trail running shoes have Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Systems which reduce impact from heel-strike through toe-off, SpEVA midsole which provides lasting comfort under your foot, and Durable AHAR rubber outsole which has excellent abrasion resistance, good cushioning, and reliable traction and grip.
The best New Balance trail running shoes have Skeletal FantomFit upper which offers lightweight structural support and breathability, Toe Protect technology which provides reinforcement and protection of your toes against the elements while you run, EVA midsole which provides lasting comfort under your foot, and AT tread outsole with multi-directional lugs which allows you to tackle any trail at any weather condition with ease.
The best On trail running shoes have CloudTec technology which delivers a soft landing and explosive take-off. These shoes also have Helion super foam for a big energy return, responsiveness, and protection. On Running shoes also have Zero-Gravity foam, which is ultralight with advanced abrasion pads for superior grip and longevity.
One of the great features of a trail running shoe is that it also performs well on the roadside.
11. Salomon X-Mission 3
12. Salomon Speedcross 5 (Trail legend, Triathlete)
13. Salomon XR Mission
14. Salomon Sense Ride 3 (Editor’s choice, RW)
15. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail (Best for mellow terrain, OUTSIDE)
16. Nike Wildhorse 6
17. Merrell Mix Master 3
18. Merrell Bare Access XTR (Best affordable zero drop, OutdoorGearLab)
19. Merrell Trail Glove 5
20. Saucony Peregrine 10 (Best buy, OutdoorGearLab)
The best Salomon trail running shoes have SENSIFIT technology which wraps your foot for a secure yet flexible fit, QUICK LACE system which allows you to make quick and easy change on the laces as you run, EVA midsole which provides lasting comfort under your foot, and High Traction Contagrip technology which provides a reliable traction on wet weather and winter.
The best Merrell trail running shoes have Vegan-friendly features which are 100% synthetic materials, TrailProtect pad in the midsole which offers protection on rough terrain, and Barefoot technology which allows you to be flexible and agile on your run having the zero-drop or minimalist experience and protection from a durable shoe.
No single trail is the same, but you can have one great trail shoe that can take on any unique terrain and challenge.
21. Saucony Xodus ISO 3 (Most plush, Gear Institute)
22. Saucony Koa TR (Best road to trail, COACH)
23. adidas Terrex Speed
24. adidas Terrex Agravic Boa
25. adidas Terrex CMTK
26. Brooks Cascadia 14 (Most cushioned, RW)
27. Brooks Caldera 4
28. Hoka Challenger ATR 5 (Best for cushioned bliss, OutdoorGearLab)
29. Hoka One One Evo Mafate 2 (Editor’s choice, RW)
30. Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 (Best for max cushioning, OutdoorGearLab)
The best Saucony trail running shoes have TPU exoskeleton which delivers structural support on the foot, EVERUN top sole which delivers smoother landings on the heel and reduces pressure in the forefoot, EVERUN Landing Zone technology under the heel for maximum energy return upon impact, PWRFOAM midsole which distributes pressure evenly for a smoother ride and added rebound, and a sticky PWRTRAC rubber outsole which provides long-lasting traction and abrasion resistance.
The best adidas trail running shoes have cushioned Cloudfoam midsole which has soft, lightweight cushioning designed to give you freedom from tired feet and painful heels, mesh and knit upper for comfort and breathability, grippy Traxion/Continental Rubber outsole, and abrasion-resistant weldings for protection.
The best Hoka trail running shoes have removable foam insoles, Meta-Rocker geometry which creates a smoother transition from heel-strike through toe-off, PRO2LITE dual-density midsole which offers cushioned heel and firm forefoot, and Strategic Hi-Abrasion rubber outsole which reduces weight and provides optimal grip.
31. Hoka One One Stinson ATR 5 (A favorite, Women’s Health)
32. La Sportiva Akasha (Editor’s choice, Trail Runner)
33. La Sportiva Mutant (Gear of the year, OUTSIDE)
34. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
35. La Sportiva Akyra
36. La Sportiva Blizzard (Best for snow, OUTSIDE)
37. Altra Lone Peak 4.5 (Spring 2020 awardee, RW)
38. Altra Superior 4 (2019 awardee, SHAPE)
39. Altra Timp 2
40. inov-8 Terraultra 260 (Editor’s choice, OutdoorGearLab)
The best La Sportiva trail running shoes have slip-on construction which wraps your foot like a sock; updated heel design for increased comfort and fit; injection-molded EVA midsole with an external structure for shock absorption; and FriXion XT V-Groove2 which incorporates dual-compound rubber guaranteeing superb grip on any terrain, dry or wet
The best Altra trail running shoes have FootShape toe box which allows the toes to relax and splay naturally. This design helps deliver optimal comfort. These trail runners also have fully cushioned Zero Drop platform–a famous technology that provides a low-impact landing, Natural Ride System (NRS) which delivers a more natural ride, and DuraTread and TrailClaw outsole which offers a reliable grip on the most distressing terrain.
Best Trail Running Shoes for Overpronation
Here’s a list of the best trail running shoes for overpronation (in no particular order):
1. ASICS GEL-Kahana 8 (Best buy, RW)
2. ASICS GT-2000 8 Trail
3. Salomon XA Pro 3D (Most supportive trail shoe, RW)
4. Brooks Adrenaline ASR 14
5. adidas Supernova Trail
6. New Balance Leadville v3 (Best in class, Gear Institute)
7. Saucony Guide ISO 2 TR
8. La Sportiva Akyra
9. La Sportiva Bushido II (Editor’s choice, Trail Runner)
10. On Cloudventure Midtop
The best ASICS trail running shoes for overpronators have removable foam insoles, DuoMax Support System which provides smooth overpronation control, SpEVA midsole which improves cushioning and bounce-back, GEL System in the midsole designed to enable optimal shock absorption, Trusstic System in the mid-foot area which provides stability and helps control torsion, and Trail Specific Outsole which provides great uphill and downhill traction on various terrain.
The best Salomon trail running shoes for overpronators have Sensifit technology which provides a precise and secure fit, Quickfit System which provides a one-pull lacing system, optimized protective heel and toe cap, EVA midsole which provides the highest level of shock absorption and bounce-back, and Contagrip outsole which provides traction and durability on various terrain condition.
The best Brooks trail running shoes for overpronators have removable insoles, BioMoGo DNA cushioning system which adapts to your weight and speed and provides custom ride, Progressive Diagonal Rollbar which provides overpronation control and smoother transitions, Flextra rubber outsole which offers enhanced flexibility and custom support, and Segmented Crash Pad which provides cushion and smooth heel to toe transition.
The best La Sportiva trail running shoes for overpronators have MEMlex EVA midsole which provides optimal underfoot support and shock absorption, Aggressive Trail Rocker2 outsole which ensures the stickiest grip, best traction, and impact braking system, and EVA Rock Guard which protects feet from rocks and abrasions.
To achieve tip-top form, gradually aim for the trail shoe with a minimalist feel. This will allow your lower leg muscles to work and strengthen, the desired fitness that can save you from any foot injury later.
In terms of orthopedic claims, most of these brands don’t state that their shoes are orthopedic (or they stay away from any orthopedic claim) but we have included their shoes in the list because of actual consumer reviews and testimonials. We hope that these shoes will work for you.
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