Running is one of the best activities to get involved in. It provides an easy and absolutely free way to burn calories and to keep your heart healthy. With that said, though, you shouldn’t engage in running unless you have the right shoes.
Without the right shoes, you could potentially injure your feet, making it much more difficult for you to run in the future. For this reason, it is important that you know what to look for in the best trail running shoes and how to choose the right shoes to match your needs and your budget.
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover our top picks for the best trail running shoes currently available, as well as information on how to make an informed choice when it comes to running shoes.
ADIDAS Outdoor Terrex Two Boa Shoes
Salomon S-Lab Sense 6
Columbia Montrail Variant XSR Running Shoes
The North Face Ultra 109 GTX Shoes
North Face Ultra Endurance Running Shoes
Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes
ADIDAS Pure Boost All Terrain Shoes
New Balance Minimus 10v1 Shoes
Salomon Sense Ride Shoes
How We Chose Our Ratings
Before we get into our picks for the best trail running shoes, it is important for you to understand how we arrive at our ratings.
First of all, know that we have no ulterior motives. We do not give ratings in the hopes of getting you to buy one particular product. Instead, our only goal is to provide real, honest, unbiased information that you can use to make an informed decision about which running shoes are right for you.
We put our ratings together by looking at reviews from real customers. We also pay attention to things like a brand’s overall reputation and how long it has been in business.We do lots of research and work to compile all the facts, all to arrive at honest, real suggestions for you.
Top 10 Best Trail Running Shoes
Hopefully, you now understand that you can trust us and our expert opinion. So, without further ado, we present to you the ten best trail running shoes of 2019.
Trail Running Shoes #10: ADIDAS Outdoor Terrex Two Boa Shoes
Our #10 shoes are great because they’re so incredibly stylish. In fact, they would have warranted a much better place on our list if we judged on style alone or if the price point wasn’t so high.
With that said, though, we really love these shoes, not just for their cool look, but also for the Boa lacing system, which utilizes a rotating dial to ensure a tight, easy lace.
In addition to being easily laced and easy to slip into and out of once they’re laced, we also love the fact that these shoes are incredibly lightweight but well-made at the same time, keep your feet from sweating too much, and are made out of environmentally-friendly materials.
Basically, if you can afford these shoes, they are a great option.
Trail Running Shoes #9: Salomon S-Lab Sense 6
Another good option to top our list is the Salomon S-Lab Sense 6 shoe. These shoes, like the ones above, are a bit higher-priced than many might like. Also, many people do wish they came in more color options than the overly-bright options available. With all of that said, though, these are still pretty awesome shoes.
The design is sleek and attractive, and the construction is lightweight, which many runners will appreciate. These shoes also tend to be quite comfortable and easily laced, as well as well-cushioned for superior comfort while running. Plus, these shoes have great grip, which makes them useful for running in absolutely any conditions. We also appreciate the fact that these shoes are very strong and well-made, meaning you’re more than able to get your money’s worth if you’re willing to spend it.
Trail Running Shoes #8: Columbia Montrail Variant XSR Running Shoes
- Seamless engineered mesh with no-sew for supportive protection. Enhanced heel fit via a molded external heel counter.
- New PearlFoam cushioning innovation provides superior energy return and durability in a comfortingly soft package.
- Unique guiding Fluid Foam cage provides an incredibly smooth transition.
We’re the first to admit that we had some reservations about including this particular shoe on our list. After all, they aren’t strictly trail running shoes. With that said, though, they’re so well-made that we felt we had no choice.
While these shoes can and do work well for trail running, they are actually designed to be suitable for all surfaces, especially cement or other hard surfaces. However, they can work in grass, mud, or anything else as well, which makes them worth buying.
We also love their gripping power on all of these terrains and the super comfortable cushioning. So, while these shoes are best used for people who run on paved trails, they are pretty wonderful all around, earning them a fair spot on our list.
Trail Running Shoes #7:The North Face Ultra 109 GTX Shoes
- For maximum protection underfoot and subtle pronation correction, the Ultra 109 GTX from The North Face gives you...
- The North Face
- Zinc Grey/Pompeian Red
We really like the North Face Ultra 109 GTX Shoes. However, the reason that they didn’t warrant a higher place on our list is because they tend to wear faster than we would have liked, especially given the high price and the usually-respectable brand name.
Despite these issues, though, these shoes are extremely comfortable and are well-cushioned enough to do well on even the hardest terrain. We also like the fact that they are very breathable and stay dry even in wetter climates.
Sure, these shoes could be a bit more rugged in the long-term, especially for the price, but, overall, they aren’t a bad pick, especially if you are a sporadic runner rather than an everyday type of runner.
Trail Running Shoes #6: North Face Ultra Endurance Running Shoes
- This lightweight yet protective trail runner delivers a smooth ride on any surface
- Designed for neutral pronators
- The Ultra Series provides critical impact and element protection while eliminating excess weight for unrivaled...
As you might have guessed from our last pick, we are quite fond of the North Face brand, despite its minor shortcomings. That’s why the next pick on our list is also from North Face: The North face Ultra Endurance running shoes.
We love these shoes for a lot of reasons, but especially for how well they hold up on long distance runs. They are much more cushioned and supportive than any of the other choices on our list, which makes them ideal for those longer than average jogs.
Plus, not only do they keep your feet comfortable while you run, but they also protect them. Featuring reinforced toes and strong heel plates, your feet don’t have a thing to worry about while you run...no matter how long you run.
Trail Running Shoes #5: Salomon Kalalua
- Stability : 3d chassis stabilizes the foot without sacrificing forefoot mobility
- Precise fit: sensifit with quick lace delivers a fast, comfortable fit for every foot.
- Aggressive grip: contagrip with aggressive lug design ensures grip on all surfaces and terrain types.
The first thing that you need to know about these shoes is that they often run smaller than comparable shoes. So, for best results, you may want to try them on in person or consider sizing up when you buy.
Aside from this minor inconvenience, these shoes are super lightweight and very comfortable. In fact, they’re so comfortable that many people wear them not just for running but for everyday use. These shoes lace up easily, are super breathable thanks to their partially mesh construction, and feature great traction. They may not be super fancy or superbly stylish shoes, but they’ll do the job well if you are looking for a basic and reasonably priced running shoe.
Trail Running Shoes #4: Salomon Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes
- Agressive Grip : Obvious and penetrating traction on soft ground. Ortholite sockliner
- Precise Foothold : Close-to-foot and comfortable feel.
- Lightweight Protection : Just enough to provide protection for technical trail running.
If you’re interested in an even better option from the Salomon brand, we strongly recommend the Speedcross 4 Trail Running shoes.
We’re the first to admit that, like the choice before, these aren’t the most beautiful or stylish shoes you’ve ever seen. If you don’t care about looks, though, you should get a lot of benefit from these shoes.
Most noticeable is their incredible traction. In fact, it’s the extra built-in traction that makes these shoes a bit awkward looking. They don’t work well on normal surfaces either, but for trail running and trail running alone, they are an awesome choice.
Trail Running Shoes #3: ADIDAS Pure Boost All Terrain Shoes
- Runner type: natural
- boost is our most responsive cushioning ever: The more energy you give, the more you get
- Water-repellent knit upper for adaptive fit and premium natural feel; Wider forefoot platform for better impact...
You should know that there’s really only one thing that kept these shoes from hitting higher on our list. That’s the fact that they don’t have an insole. That fact makes it hard to maintain proper running posture and overall good form in these shoes.
With that said, though, if you can get past the lack of insole, you’ll love the outsole, which features good grip and tread. These shoes are also water-repellent and stand up to wet terrain easily. These shoes are also super comfortable and lightweight, making it easier to obtain and maintain higher speeds while running.
Trail Running Shoes #2: New Balance Minimus 10v1 Shoes
- Acteva midsole
- Antimicrobial treatment to reduce odor
- 4 mm drop - due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 4 mm drop are...
Unfortunately, a lot of the shoes on our list thus far are pretty pricey, but you should be able to find these particular shoes at a much more reasonable price.
This cute little number from New Balance is incredibly lightweight, as well as soft and flexible in its design. As you can imagine, these airy shoes are super comfortable, but don’t worry. That doesn’t mean they skimp on the support.
They may not be very good in terms of protection against rocks and other risks of tough terrain, but they do protect your feet themselves. Thus, these are the perfect shoes for the average trail runner running on safer, smoother terrain. Plus, the price really can’t be beat.
Trail Running Shoes #1: Salomon Sense Ride Shoes
- GET A GRIP - Premium Wet Traction Contagrip outsole gives runners outstanding traction, even on technical trails and wet...
- GOOD VIBES - Salomon’s Vibe Technology pairs EnergyCell+, a high-rebound midsole compound, and Opal, a lightweight...
- EXCELLENT PROTECTION - OrthoLite sockliner uses a special kind of foam and an EVA heel cup to deliver support and extra...
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for- our number one pick. We had to go with the Salomon Sense Ride shoes for this one, though it was a tough choice.
We love these shoes because of how versatile and all-around great they are. They can be used effectively for running, walking, hiking, or even everyday use. They also have good traction, a breathable design, are fast-drying in the case of wet terrain, are very long-lasting, and are, best of all, one of the cheaper options on our list.
Of course, all of our shoes are great, but these really take the cake and qualify as the all around best shoe for any runner.
Hopefully, our picks for the best trail running shoes will help you to choose the right shoes to meet your needs. If you’re not interested in the shoes on our list, however, or if you want to do some shopping on your own, don’t worry. Getting the right shoes is easy if you know what to look for.
First of all, think about how much cushioning you want and need in your shoes. If you are someone who runs daily, for example, or someone who runs on very hard surfaces, you may want the maximum cushioning available. This is also true if you have a foot condition or are prone to injury for any reason. On the other hand, some people feel that too much cushioning can hinder their running ability and make them feel less in control while running.
For this reason, always ask about the cushion level of a particular shoe and, when possible, try the shoe on to make sure you get just the right amount of cushioning to match your preferences.
In addition to choosing the proper cushioning level, you also have to think about if you have any injuries or are prone to injuries. If you have or are, you’ll need a shoe with more support than average. This may involve spending some extra money, but it’s worth it if it keeps you healthy and safe.
Other things to think about as you shop include how often you run, the kind of terrain you typically encounter on your runs, and any special features you would like to have in your shoe, such as easy-lacing or some kind of warranty.
Basically, if you know what you want and need in a shoe before you start shopping, you stand a much better chance of getting the shoe that is truly right for you. So, with that in mind, start by making a list of what you want and need in a shoe. Then, armed with your list, you should have no problem picking the perfect pair, whether it’s from our list or not.