The 10 Best Trail Running Shoes 2020 – Hiking Camping Guide

The 10 Best Trail Running Shoes

If you have found a pair of road running shoes that work for your daily and long distance trail runs, then good for you! But, for the rest of us, we could all use a pair of durable trail running shoes for getting us over the hills and across varying terrains. Lucky for us, the experts at the leading shoe brands have drastically improved the overall performance of their trail running shoes over the past few years, and with that, we could put our trust (and feet) in their hands with confidence. In the following guide, we reviewed 10 of the best trail running shoes that you can buy today. Read on to find out our top pick! You’ll thank us later.

Best Trail Running Shoes: Product FAQ

1. What Are Trail Running Shoes?

2. What Do Trail Running Shoes Do?

3. How Do Trail Running Shoes Work?

4. Where Can You Buy Trail Running Shoes?

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, and Where to Buy. We were mainly concerned about the shoe’s sizing, breathability, mid-foot support, arch support, traction, grip, and finally, durability.

Overall Price Range of This Product
(and Similar Products)

Trail running shoes range in price from around $40 to $430. Some trail running shoes cost more because they feature a more rugged outsole, are made with Vibram soles, are more lightweight, or are coated with GORE-Tex waterproof technology.

What We Reviewed

  • Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4
  • ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes
  • Arc’teryx Norvan VT GTX Trail Running Shoe
  • New Balance Women’s Leadville V3 Trail Running Shoe
  • Altra AFM1859F Men’s Olympus 3 Trail Running Shoe
  • Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner
  • adidas Performance Men’s Thrasher 1.1 M Trail Running Shoe
  • The North Face Ultra Endurance Running Shoe
  • New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe
  • La Sportiva Bushido Running Shoe

Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes, Poseidon/Eggshell...
  • The fourth generation of our legendary Speedcross lug pattern is an even hungrier monster...
  • Feel one with the trail with a precise combination of Sensifit with Quicklace, performance...
  • Just enough to provide protection for technical trail running; Features mid feather upper...


Features

The first product on our list of the best trail running shoes is Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4. Made with 100% textile and synthetic materials, these sturdy shoes are the fourth generation of Salomon’s Speedcross family. Featuring a rugged lug pattern, these shoes are designed for tackling soft and technical trails. Combining Sensifit technology with Quicklace, these shoes offer convenient lacing and performance that lasts. Finally, these shoes feature a protective mid-foot construction to keep your feet cushioned on hard surface terrains. Each pair comes with Salomon’s 2-year limited warranty.

PROS

  • Comfortable right out of the box
  • Great for plantar fasciitis
  • Rugged sole for excellent traction and grip

CONS

  • Some users don’t like the lacing system
  • Some users find the shoes to be too narrow
  • Some users find the shoes to be too stiff

ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 6 Running-Shoes
  • Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a...
  • Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
  • Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.


Features

The ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoes are made with imported synthetic materials and a rubber sole. As the second product on our list of the best trail running shoes, this pair features Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System to absorb shock during foot landings while providing a smooth transition to your mid-foot stance.

These shoes also feature a removable sock-liner for those who need to use a medical orthotic. For the outsole, these shoes come equipped with reversed lugs to provide traction on a variety of terrain and to provide support during both uphill climbs and downhill runs. Finally, the outsole contains ASCIS High Abrasion Rubber for added durability and stability.

PROS

  • Great arch support
  • Great for plantar fasciitis
  • Fits perfectly
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Not supportive enough for some users
  • Squeaks for some users

Arc'teryx Norvan VT GTX Trail Running Shoe - Men's
  • Stay steady and confident on the trail in both good and rainy weather with the Arc'teryx...


Features

The Arc’teryx Norvan VT GTX Trail Running Shoe features synthetic imported materials, including a durable air-permeable mesh upper for added breathability and comfort. These stylish shoes truly deserve a spot on our list of the best trail running shoes. They feature a rugged TPU film to protect the heel, forefoot, and other high abrasion areas. Meanwhile, a zonal stretch liner lines all around the shoe for an even more customized fit. You can also count on Arc’teryx’s Trail Performance Geometry to bring you 360 degrees of comfort. Finally, these shoes feature GORE-Tex liner technology for keeping your feet dry.

PROS

  • Full foot liner
  • Lightweight
  • Minimal pressure points
  • Can handle a variety of terrain
  • Stylish design

CONS

  • Too narrow for some users
  • Pricey

New Balance Women's Leadville V3 Trail Running Shoe
  • Trail runner featuring protective toe bumper, gusseted tongue, and padded collar
  • Traditional lacing system


Features

The New Balance Women’s Leadville V3 Trail Running Shoes feature 100% imported fabric and synthetic materials. These durable shoes are on our list of the best trail running shoes for a reason: they are affordable and they live up to their claims. Featuring a protective toe bumper to protect your toes from rocks, these shoes also feature a gusseted tongue and padded collar for a secure and comfortable fit. Finally, unlike some of the other products here, these shoes feature a traditional lacing system.

PROS

  • Great arch support
  • Great for wide feet
  • Stylish colors
  • Wide toe box

CONS

  • Poor heel support for some users
  • Rubs up against the heel for some users

Altra AFM1859F Men's Olympus 3 Trail Running Shoe
  • More breathable and durable upper
  • More flexible midsole due to the addition of InnerFlex
  • Widened heel and outsole groove for stability and traction


Features

The Altra AFM1859F Men’s Olympus 3 Trail Running Shoes feature a durable mesh upper for great breathability and comfort. Built with a flexible midsole using Altra’s Innerflex technology, these shoes offer top-of-the-line support and cushioning unmatched with the other products on this list of the best trail running shoes. Featuring a widened heel and outsole groove for added stability and traction, these shoes are designed to handle tough and technical terrain.

PROS

  • Stable construction
  • Great traction and grip
  • Soft landings

CONS

  • Not very stylish for some users
  • Not very durable for some users
  • Pricey

Merrell Men's Trail Glove 4 Runner
  • Mesh & TPU upper; Vegan friendly
  • Trailprotect pad for underfoot protection
  • Breathable mesh lining, Vibram TC5 outsole


Features

As the only product from Merrell on this list of the best trail running shoes, the Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner feature a minimalistic design but a maximalist performance. These shoes feature a sock-like feel for a more natural running style. In addition, these shoes feature a Vibram TC5 outsole for added cushion and support where you need it. Finally, these shoes are made with a mesh, TPU upper for great breathability and comfort. Choose from over a dozen stylish colors.

PROS

  • Zero drop shoes
  • Great arch support
  • Lightweight
  • Fits like a glove
  • Improved laces

CONS

  • Not very breathable for some users
  • Outsole not grippy enough

adidas Performance Men's Thrasher 1.1 M Trail Running Shoe
  • Traction trail shoe featuring ventilated air mesh upper with three stripes at side
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transition with the injected EVA midsole
  • Polyester fabric and a nonslip footbed for added comfort


Features

The adidas Performance Men’s Thrasher 1.1 M Trail Running Shoe is made with 100% textile and synthetic imported materials and features a rubber outsole for added traction and grip. Like many of the other products on our list of the best trail running shoes, these shoes feature high-quality rubber for handling aggressive trail conditions. Meanwhile, the ventilated air mesh upper allows the feet to breathe, while the midsole’s EVA foam lining provides added support and shock absorption. Finally, these shoes are made with a durable polyester fabric and a non-slip footbed for lasting durability.

PROS

  • Great arch support
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish design
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Sizing tends to be small
  • Toe box too wide for some users
  • Too flimsy for some users

The North Face Ultra Endurance Running Shoe - Men's Cosmic Blue/Macaw...
  • Trail running shoe delivers a stable ride and unparalleled traction. Upper: Welded TPU and...
  • Gusseted tongue for protection from trail debris. Sole Unit: 17 mm/9 mm heel/forefoot EVA...
  • Ultra Protect CRADLE heel-stability technology. Single-density, compression-molded EVA...


Features

The North Face Ultra Endurance Running Shoe is a top contender for the number one spot on our list of the best trail running shoes. These shoes feature a mesh upper for added breathability, and a welded TPU and suede mid-foot support overlays for added support and impact absorption. These shoes also feature a gusseted tongue to keep debris from getting inside your shoes.

Also featuring an Ultra Protect CRADLE heel-stability technology, these shoes deliver long-lasting comfort so you can run as long as you desire. Finally, for the outsole, these shoes feature a Vibram Megagrip outsole for traction and grip not found in most other trail running shoes.

PROS

  • Comfortable and stable
  • Rugged outsole
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lightweight
  • Traditional lacing system

CONS

  • Sizing too large for some users
  • Pricey

Features 

The New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoes feature a Vibram sole for top-of-the-line traction and stability. These shoes also feature an Acteva midsole for added support and cushioning you can depend on. Whether you are taking these shoes on a long-distance run or for a quick mile, you can find joy in knowing that your feet will stay dry and smell fresh when you are done. That’s because these shoes come pre-treated with an anti-microbial coating to reduce odor—the only product on our list of the best trail running shoes to do that.

Pros

  • Wide toe box
  • Great flexibility and foot mobility
  • Odor-resistant treatment
  • Stylish, minimal design

Cons

  • Inconsistent sizing for some users
  • Too stiff for some users

La Sportiva Bushido Running Shoe - Men's
  • AWARD-WINNING - Designed for unbeatable performance on technical terrain, La Sportiva's...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - Low profile design weighs only 10.50 oz (298g), making it a go-to for long...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE PROTECTION - Outsole lugs have rounded edges and overlap the midsole for...


Features

Last on our list of the best trail running shoes is the La Sportiva Bushido Running Shoe. It features an award-winning design for tackling technical terrain. These lightweight shoes feature a low profile and STB Control construction for added responsiveness and stability. Featuring a rugged outsole with rounded lugs, as well as a dual-density FriXion XT V-Groove with Impact Brake System, these shoes deliver enhanced stability and cushioning on aggressive terrain.

Pros

  • Rugged outsole
  • Great traction and grip
  • Lightweight
  • Great for hiking

Cons

  • Sizing too small for some users
  • Too stiff for some users
  • Pricey

The Verdict

After reviewing all 10 products based on the four parameters, we present our verdict for the best trail running shoes you can buy today: the Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner. Don’t let this shoe’s minimalistic design fool you. This aggressive runner features a Vibram TC5 outsole designed for providing excellent traction on technical and aggressive terrain. For the upper, this shoe relies on mesh TPU materials for enhanced breathability and comfort. Overall, these affordable shoes are durable, versatile, and lightweight.

If you are looking to replace your old pair of trail running shoes, or are thinking of buying your first pair, be sure to check out Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner! We hope you’ve found this guide helpful.

Daniel Ryan
 

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