Whether you’re starting out in the world of trail running, whether you have plenty of experience behind you, or whether you’re looking to take your runs to the next level, choosing the right trail running shoes to suit you and your style of running is incredibly important.
However, with so many different brands and models out there, it can be a challenge to know which one is right for you and to ensure you’re spending your money in the right place. With so much to consider, it’s easy to give up and just choose anything; meaning you risk getting the wrong ones, or even causing yourself an injury!
Instead, we’re here to make things easy. In this guide, we’re going to explore the ten best trail running shoes available today, as well as detailing a complete buying guide full of all the information you need to know when it comes to knowing what to look for. Let’s get straight into it!
View The Best Trail Running Shoes Below
1. ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe
Kickstarting our list, we’ve chosen the ASICS Gel Venture Running Shoes. These are the fifth generation of these trail running shoes designed specifically for women runners who want to get the most out of their runs. ASICS is a leader in the trainer world, and is well-known for its quality products, these running shoes being no exception to that rule.
These shoes are manufactured from 100% synthetic materials which are not only vegan-friendly but also super lightweight and doesn’t run the risk of holding you down or prevents you from reaching your full potential.
Since these are trail shoes, they come with a durable Abrasion rubber sole designed exclusively by ASICS to help you maximize grip and to protect your feet, and a slight 2.25-inch shaft to help position your feet, as well as professional cushioning to ensure you’re entirely comfortable.
With bright overlays to improve visibility, and even ten unique styles, designs, and patterns to choose from, what more could you need from your trail running trainers?
+ Removable inner sole for maximum comfort
+ Reflective materials on the outside to increase visibility
+ Highly durable rubber sole to stand the test of time
– Geared specifically towards female runners
Why We Like It – When it comes to ASICS trainers, comfort is one of the number one priority because if you don’t feel comfortable, you’re not going to perform your best. This is why, in addition to the comfort features listed above, you can enjoy a removable cushioned insole.
This is designed to provide a significant level of support to your foot, and if you wear orthotics to match your feet, these shoes are perfect because there’s space for them!
2. Salomon Womens Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker
If you’re looking for a premium experience when it comes to your trail running shoes, Salomon is a great option that has the core aim of ticking all the boxes of what you’re looking for. Designed as a sneaker, you’re sure to take your runs to the next level with these.
While coming in at a premium price tag, the Speedcross Trail Sneakers pride themselves on their standard durable rubber sole. With the ability to last for many years while maximizing grip and minimizing your risk of injury, what more do you need?
There’s even state-of-the-art technology used here including anti-dirt and anti-moisture materials that help to keep your shoes clean, even when you’re on a dirt trail. This, of course, is ideal for making sure you remain lightweight and not held back by debris.
If you’re looking to complete two runs or more a week, these are the trainers that will undoubtedly be able to keep up with you.
+ Plenty of different styles and designs to choose from
+ Featherweight construction to keep each shoe light
+ Molded sockliner interior for maximum comfort
– Might be too expensive for some budgets
Why We Like It – The technology implemented into these trainers is beyond belief, and it’s surprising how much Salomon have crammed into here. This includes QuickFit lacing technology, and even endoFit, which is designed to keep the shape of your shoe correct to your feet.
3. ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes
ASICS is a leading trainer manufacturer and has been at the forefront of the industry for several years now. This Gel-Venture edition is now the sixth in the series and contains a ton of excellent features to help you improve your trail running experience.
For example, perhaps the most notable feature is the Rearfoot Gel Cushioning system. This is designed to cushion your feet proactively in certain key areas where pressure is usually found with typical trainers. This helps to keep the trainer lightweight but ensures your foot is safe and sound.
Made from synthetic materials, these trainers are 100% vegan-friendly, and contain the standard rubber sole that promotes protection for your feet and improves overall longevity, making this one of the best trail running shoes out today!
+ Patented GEL Cushioning System to help keep you running for longer
+ Comes with a removable sock liner for orthotics
+ Lots of different colors, styles, and designs to choose from
– Slightly more expensive than typical trainers on this list
– Designed for female runners
Why We Like It – You’ll love just how many different versions of this trainer there are available. With different colors, unique designs, and plenty of styles to choose from, you can easily find a pair of ASICS trainers to suit your personality and other running apparel!
4. ASICS Mens Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
If you’re looking for the same benefits that the ASICS Gel-Venture offers above, but you now want it in a men’s version, this is the only running shoe you’re going to need to consider. In fact, nearly everything is the same, so just read the entry above!
All jokes aside, these trainers do come with all the Gel Cushioning features, removable sock liner, and durable rubber sole that you’d expect from the ASICS 6 line. The only real difference with these is a slight difference in shape, and then the designs of the shoes themselves.
There are over 20+ unique designs to choose from, ranging from vibrant colors to help you stand out, to more neutral colors like grey and black, all ensuring you’re able to find a running trainer that suits you perfectly.
+ An excellent trail running shoe designed with men in mind
+ Lots of unique styles and colors to choose from
+ Comes with the state-of-the-art Gel Cushioning System
– Slightly more expensive than other trainers on this list
Why We Like It – Easily the best aspect of these trainers is the supportive design. For example, there’s a low top arch found in the trainers which are designed to nurture and support your foot while you’re running across varied terrain, which is much more adaptive, and better for your feet when running through trails.
5. New Balance Men’s 481V3
If you’re looking for a men’s trail running shoe that’s slightly more budget-friendly than the ASICS, but still comes rammed with a ton of premium features designed to give you the best running experience. That’s a great performance for a great price!
These trainers are made from a combination of leather and textile materials, which means you’ll be able to enjoy optimal levels of comfort no matter what kind of trail you’re on. This is then complemented by the Ultra Soft New Balance inset which, of course, can be removed if you wish.
There’s also a hardened yet durable rubber tread on the bottom, as you would see with more premium models, and even cushioned midsoles to ensure your feet are nicely looked after. All this comfort coupled with the high performance features these trainers pride themselves on, and you’ll have everything you need to be your best.
+ Incorporates New Balance’s Cush+ technology to keep everything comfortable
+ Available in three unique colors and styles
+ Highly durable rubber sole to protect your feet and maximize grip
– Fewer style options to choose from than other brands
Why We Like It – Easily the best feature of these trainers is the Cush+ technology found throughout it. This is New Balances’ patented cushioning technology that prides itself on being extremely lightweight while protecting your foot in key locations, ensuring you stay focused on your run, rather than achy feet.
6. Salomon Men’s Xa Pro 3D
Heading back over to the coveted Salomon brand now, this time for another textile and synthetic trainer that’s designed for men who want to make the most of their trail running experiences.
Of course, as with most of the trainers on this list, this pair features a thick rubber sole, although it’s a little bit thinner than other trainers, which makes the entire trainer more lightweight. However, you won’t miss out on any of the protective features.
Fortunately, the Xa Pro also features a leading technology known as Aggressive Grip. This is the name for the design used on the bottom to help you traverse any kind of terrain in any weather environment while reducing the risk of your slipping.
Maximum traction means maximum performance. There are several versions and styles of this trainer available for you to choose from, and even specialist mention of the arch which is designed to bend naturally around your foot, ultimately providing you with the best posture and support.
+ SensiFit technology for the best fit for your feet
+ Aggressive Grip to give you optimal performance over any terrain
+ Multiple styles and designs to choose from
– Designed for men in particular
– Slightly more expensive than your typical trail trainer
Why We Like It – Thanks to the SensiFit and QuickLace technology that Salomon integrates into most of their premium trainers, you’ll be able to enjoy a perfect fit with these. The fully customizable range ensures you’re able to find a snug and supportive fit without having to worry about crushing your foot or getting blisters!
7. WHITIN Men’s Minimalist Trail Runner
What we love about barefoot trail running shoes is the fact that you get all the benefits that a premium and traditional trainer provides (like the ones in this list), but you get them in a much lighter form that helps you really connect with the paths you’re running.
These are known as ‘minimalist running trainers,’ and this is exactly what WHITIN has to offer with this next pair of trainers. With a barefoot design, these trainers will only come up to your ankles, but still, boast the same durable rubber sole and QuickLace laces to help you get the best fit.
What’s more, these trainers are designed with a wider toe area than typical trainers, so while you’ll still get a perfect fit, you won’t have to worry about your toes getting crushed. Furthermore, thanks to the removable sock liner, if you need more space, or wear orthotics, you’ll have more than enough room here.
+ Removable interior sock liner to make sure you have the perfect fit
+ A barefoot design that guarantees to keep your feet light
+ A wider toe area to make sure your toes aren’t crushed while you’re running
Why We Like It – If you pay attention to the planet and you like to look for animal and cruelty-free products in your life, these are the trainers for you. Designed from textiles and synthetic materials, these trainers are 100% vegan-friendly.
8. Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion
What makes the Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion running trainers special is suggested in the name itself; the Grid Excursion. This refers to the pattern on the bottom of the trainers, which is designed to improve grip and traction beyond belief.
If you’re planning to traverse extreme terrain or at least a path with a lot of rocks, it’s these kinds of trainers you’re going to want on your feet. Fortunately, the benefits of Saucony trainers doesn’t stop there.
It’s coupled with a rubber exterior sole, as you would expect, and the rest of the trainer is produced using 100% synthetic materials. This means no animal products, no leather, and no textiles; which is great if you’re looking for a pair of trainers that’s good for the planet.
+ Grid Cushioning to support common pressure points around your foot
+ 100% animal and cruelty-free materials
+ Patented grid design on rubber sole to dramatically improve grip
– Arch support isn’t the best, but it’s not bad
Why We Like It – Not only are these shoes good for the planet, but they’re also good for your feet! With a mesh interior to keep your feet warm and comfortable, and Grid Cushioning to support known pressure points, you can feel safe in the knowledge your feet are well looked after, no matter what your goals are!
9. ASICS Women’s Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner
Making our way back over to the ASICS brand now, this time focusing our attention on the Women’s Gel Kahana Trail Runner shoes. These trainers are made from a mixture of synthetic and textile materials that hold together well and can last a long time, but also remain breathable and keep your feet from getting wet.
All of these features are ideal when it comes to trail running. In true ASICS fashion, these trainers come with the ASICS true Gel Cushioning system which helps to support every part of your feet while actively looking out for key pressure points.
Although there are only four different styles to choose from, the ASICS Kahana is all about providing you with everything you need to perform to the best of your abilities; especially when it comes to supporting and comfort.
+ Comes with patented SpEva Midsole technology to prolong the life of your shoe
+ Features a DuoMax Support System to keep your feet in the best positions while running
+ Made from a mixture of lightweight synthetic and textile materials
– Limited style and color designs to choose from
Why We Like It – What really sets these trainers apart from the rest is the SpEVA midsole material. This is a specially designed material that helps you get enough bounce back during your runs to keep your feet supported and to dramatically increase the overall lifespan of your midsole.
If you run a lot or like to push things to the limit, these are the trainers you’re going to want by your side!
10. Adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail m Running Shoe
Last, but certainly not least, we finish off our list of the best trail running shoes with a winner you’re bound to fall in love with. Created by the iconic Adidas, a legend in the sports and footwear world, the men’s Rockadia trainers here are everything you need and more.
A synthetic/textile blend, these breathable trainers are built using thin layers of fabrics to create the ultimate support for your foot, no matter what kind of terrain or environment you’re running over.
This is coupled by the external upper mesh section that helps the entire trainer to stay ventilated and breathable, regardless of whether you’re running through wet conditions, or just through sweat from all your hard work.
With a grip on the sole designed specifically with trail running in mind, all thanks to Adidas decade’s worth of experience in the running industry, you can run safely in the knowledge that these are trainers you can trust.
+ Created using Adidas’ decades worth of experience in trail running
+ Beautiful aesthetic designs to choose from
+ Made from breathable textiles/synthetics
– Can be expensive compared with other brands
Why We Like It – In true Adidas fashion, the designs and the styles you can choose when shopping with these trainers are out of this world. Whatever color scheme you go for, you’re sure to feel amazing, not only boosting your performance thanks to the integrated design technology but also making you feel great while doing it!
Trail Running Shoes Buyers Guide
As you can see, while there are many similarities out there when it comes trail running shoes these days, it’s worth keeping your eyes open to see what’s best for you. You need to make sure you’re thinking about your style of running, and what it is you need exactly.
To help you make these important decisions, here’s our complete buying guide to detail what you need to look out for. This helps you to learn everything you need to know to make the purchasing decision that’s right for you!
One of the most important things you’ll want to think about is the size of your trainers. This doesn’t just mean choosing the right size for your feet but also considering the size in which the running shoe is designed.
Many modern trainers now come with wider toe areas, or even optimizing lacing technology, all coming together to give you the best experience.
It’s so important to think about what materials your trainers are made from because it will be made or break as to whether your trainers allow you to be your best. You need the materials to be lightweight, and you’ll need them to be breathable, so your feet don’t get wet.
The last consideration you’ll want to think about is how much you’re willing to spend on your trainers. We’re at a point now where the more you spend, the more you’re going to get in terms of features, so bear this in mind.
It’s tempting to get a really cheap pair to get you going, but if you invest just a little extra in quality pair, you’ll be giving yourself the very best experience possible when it comes to trail running.
Did You Know?
Yes, trail running shoes are different from your traditional running trainers! While you can use any running trails, trail running shoes are designed specifically to give you the support you need when you need, no matter what surface you’re traveling over. Unfortunately, not all traditional running trainers will do this, and will usually result in a lot of pain if you try!
When choosing trail running shoes, if you’re buying online, buy your size, plus a size smaller and bigger. This way, you can get the size that’s right for you, and then refund the other two pairs you don’t need! Just make sure the company accepts returns before you buy!
Comfort should always be a priority when buying running trainers, so make sure you’re looking at shoes with cushioned areas to help your feet stay nice and snug. If not, you’re not going to last long with your running activities!