10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Power and Adventure! 2024


Even though I run on the road or on the treadmill most of the time, I also like to go on trail runs from time to time. In order to get the best possible support, I tested different shoes and will show you my 10 best trail running shoes here. Believe me they make the difference!

Best Trail Running Shoes to Conquer every Terrain!

Saucony Peregrine 12

Great price performance
Saucony Peregrine 12
$79.64

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Stellar grip that's unfazed by rocky trails
  • ✅ A nimble design that doesn't hold you back
  • ✅ A snug, well-ventilated fit perfect for longer jaunts

Con´s:

  • ❌ Narrow fit may not favor wider feet
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05/18/2024 01:41 am GMT

Right out of the box, the Saucony Shoe beckoned me to hit the trails. The first thing I noticed was how light they felt on my feet, almost like I had an edge over the undulating path ahead. Their grip on mixed terrain fed my confidence with every stride.

As someone who’s particular about breathability, these shoes didn’t let me down. The air flowed freely, keeping my feet fresh despite the relentless sun overhead. They hugged my feet snugly—a perfectly contained fit without any unwanted movement or annoying slippage.

New Balance Nitrel V5

50+ bought in past month
New Balance Nitrel V5
$54.99

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Supreme comfort and fit
  • ✅ Lightweight and supportive for daily miles
  • ✅ Attractive design and quality materials

Con´s:

  • ❌ May require a break-in period for optimal comfort
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05/18/2024 02:13 am GMT

There’s a sense of excitement every time I slip into the New Balance Shoe. From my first jog, they’ve struck a balance between sturdy support and breathable comfort that’s tough to come by. They’ve snugly wrapped around my feet, creating a sense of security without any unnecessary pressure.

The lightweight design really shines when I’m clocking longer distance days and I’ve returned home without the heavy-footed drag I’ve felt with other shoes. Their visual appeal isn’t lost on me either; they’re stylish enough to transition from the trails to a casual day out.

Having tested them on various terrains, I’ve found a few areas where they could improve. While they offer decent traction, in the muddiest conditions, I’m left wanting a bit more grip. And as with any new shoe, I’ve had to give them a little time to conform to my feet’s unique contours.

Adidas Terrex Trailrider

Great running feeling
Adidas Terrex Trailrider
$94.98

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Exceptional grip on diverse trails
  • ✅ Lightweight, enhancing agility
  • ✅ Stylish, doubling up for casual wear

Con´s:

  • ❌ Sizing runs a bit large
  • ❌ Only comes in a single colorway
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05/18/2024 01:59 am GMT

Lacing these up, the snug fit and immediate sense of stability were undeniable. The Continental Rubber outsole seemed to cling to rocky paths as easily as it did to slick, muddy slopes.

Over time, I did notice some wear on the shoes, particularly after frequent, intense sessions on rugged terrain. Still, for the seasoned trail aficionado or the casual weekend hiker, the Adidas Terrex Trailrider strikes an impressive balance between functionality and fashion, all the while staying rooted in comfort.

New Balance Fresh Foam Garoe

Ready for all terrains
New Balance Fresh Foam Garoe
$83.20

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Exceptional comfort
  • ✅ Lightweight design
  • ✅ Stylish look

Con´s:

  • ❌ Size runs slightly large, requiring size adjustment
  • ❌ Limited color options 
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05/18/2024 02:26 am GMT

On my first run, the cushioning system worked wonders, supporting each stride on uneven terrain with ease. The lightweight construction meant I could nimbly navigate through more technical trails without feeling weighed down.

Durability is often a concern with trail shoes, but after several runs, the Fresh Foam Garoe shows no signs of early wear. The rubber sole grips well, providing a confident connection to the ground, which is crucial for those rocky inclines and slippery descents.

However, I did notice the size ran a bit large, so consider aiming a half size smaller when you order to ensure a snug fit.

Speedcross 5 for Trails

50+ bought in past month / My favorite
Speedcross 5 for Trails
$111.25

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Over 12K positive Amazon reviews
  • ✅ Remarkable traction across varied surfaces
  • ✅ Notably comfortable for long runs
  • ✅ Impressively durable over rigorous terrain

Con´s:

  • ❌ Higher price point
  • Less breathability
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05/18/2024 02:41 am GMT

Strapping on a pair of Salomon Speedcross 5s, I immediately felt a sense of assuredness on the trails. The grip is something you’d have to experience to believe; each step on muddy paths felt as secure as if I were running on dry pavement. It’s like my feet had developed a superpower for adhesion, allowing me to tackle inclines and slippery declines with confidence.

The comfort, oh the comfort! Long runs often lead to sore feet, but in these, my feet were cradled in cushioned bliss. There was no question about it – these shoes are made for distances. They’re the trusty companion for your endurance tests, wrapping your feet in a supportive embrace that seems to say, “Go ahead, I’ve got you.”

Over time, durability has proven to be another of the Speedcross 5’s strong suits. I’ve taken them through the wringer – rocks, roots, you name it – and they’ve come out relatively unscathed. The wear and tear you’d expect after such beatings just didn’t show, making them a reliable investment for the frequent trail runner.

While their high-quality build justifies the cost, the price can nudge budget-conscious runners to ponder the purchase. Lastly, they wrap snugly around the foot, but that snugness could lead to warmth and less airflow on hotter days, although it’s a minor caveat on an otherwise stellar trail runner.

ASICS Gel-Venture 8

300+ bought in past month
ASICS Gel-Venture 8
$54.95

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Over 21K positive Amazon reviews
  • ✅ Superb fit
  • ✅ The sole provides excellent traction
  • ✅ Lightweight design

Con´s:

  • ❌ The style might not appeal to everyone's aesthetic preferences.
  • ❌ They fit well but check the size chart as brand sizing can vary.
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05/18/2024 02:27 am GMT

Slipping these shoes on, the first thing I noticed was how snug they felt. They weren’t too tight nor too loose, and that’s crucial when you’re navigating uneven ground. The traction really impressed me; I felt confident making my way over wet rocks and loose gravel.

The aesthetics might not be for everyone – they’re practical rather than flashy. But that’s a minor point. Size wise, double-check the chart when ordering; everyone’s feet are different, and while my pair was spot on, that might not hold true for everyone.

Overall, the ASICS Gel-Venture 8 delighted me with its performance. You feel the support, not the shoe, and on the trails, that’s exactly what you need.

Saucony Peregrine 12

Great Women´s Trail Running Shoe
Saucony Peregrine 12
$99.98

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Exceptional grip on various terrains
  • ✅ Comfortable fit with no break-in period
  • ✅ Attractive design turns heads on the trails

Con´s:

  • ❌ Narrow fit may require a break-in for some
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05/18/2024 04:16 am GMT

My wife just got back from an invigorating run in my new Saucony Peregrine 12s, and boy, is my wife impressed! The traction had her confidently navigating through the toughest of tracks—she even took on a particularly challenging route, and not once did she question her footing. There’s just this wonderful sense of security with every step.

Initially, my wife was curious about the comfort level, as new shoes can be quite a gamble. However, these fit like a glove right out of the box! The suppleness of the upper combined with the snug fit had her cruising through the miles without a second thought about her feet.

One aspect that stood out to her was the style. Trail running doesn’t mean you compromise on looks, and the compliments she received today are testimony to that. A dash of color on the trails doesn’t hurt, and Saucony has nailed both form and function with this one.

ASICS Gel-Venture 9

200+ bought in past month
ASICS Gel-Venture 9
$59.95

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Exceptional grip on uneven surfaces
  • ✅ Supportive design and durable construction
  • ✅ Breathability and comfort right out of the box

Con´s:

  • ❌ Slightly heavier than expected
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05/18/2024 05:01 am GMT

Hitting the trails with these ASICS, I immediately noticed the standout grip, which had me tackling rough patches with confidence.

They offered a breezy fit that kept my feet cool even after miles of running. Straightaway, they felt snug without the often-required ‘breaking-in’ period. The cushioning was ample, making long-distance runs less taxing on my feet.

Some might find them a bit on the hefty side, especially when comparing to lighter trail shoes.

NB Fresh Foam 510 V6

Made for trail running
NB Fresh Foam 510 V6
$45.23

Pro´s:

  • ✅ The cushioning is like a cloud
  • ✅ Tough soles tackle trails easily
  • ✅ Water-resistant edges

Con´s:

  • ❌ The toe box can feel tight if you're used to roomier shoes.
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05/18/2024 05:01 am GMT

The soft embrace of the shoe around my foot made each mile more enjoyable. Breathing in the crisp air, I admired how the tough soles gripped the underfoot terrain, instilling confidence in my stride.

During a particularly damp section of the path, I appreciated how the water-resistant edges kept my feet dry. It’s a well-thought-out feature for unpredictable weather.

I’ll note, though, the toe box felt snugger than expected. Given the shoes’ overall comfort, it’s something to get used to, but folks who favor a wider toe area might want a trial fit first.

New Balance Fresh Foam Garoe Mid

Good shoe, edge too high for me
New Balance Fresh Foam Garoe Mid
$99.99

Pro´s:

  • ✅ Exceptional cushioning
  • ✅ Robust traction
  • ✅ Versatile for both trails and casual wear

Con´s:

  • ❌ Lace hooks may be tricky for some users
  • ❌ Top edge can rub against the ankle without proper socks
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05/18/2024 05:16 am GMT

It’s like walking on air, but with the confidence that you won’t be thrown off balance by the unpredictable nature of the trails. I’ve taken them through various terrains, and the AT Tread outsole hasn’t let me down yet, gripping to both wet and dry surfaces with ease.

However, I need to talk about the shoelaces. While the looks of the lace hooks are sleek, they can be fiddly, taking a few tries before getting a snug fit. That’s a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme, though. Another note is if you’re someone who doesn’t like wearing thick socks, be aware that the shoe’s top edge can rub uncomfortably against your ankle. A pair of cushioned socks should sort that out quickly.

Buying Guide

🌟 I Consider the Terrain

I understand that best trail running shoes vary drastically depending on the terrain. For smoother trails, I’ll opt for shoes with a balanced mix of traction and cushioning. However, for technical terrains with rocks, roots, and mud, I’ll need aggressive treads for grip and underfoot protection to prevent bruises from uneven surfaces.

🏃 I Evaluate Cushioning

I know that cushioning in best trail running shoes is paramount for comfort, especially on longer runs. If I expect to run on hard-packed trails, I seek firm midsoles which provide stability. On the other hand, for softer grounds or long distances, I look for shoes with more cushioning to absorb shocks.

Trail TypeRecommended Cushioning
Hard-packed trailsFirm cushioning
Soft, muddy trailsEnhanced cushioning
Table about cushioning levels for best trail running shoes

🔄 I Check the Fit

The right fit means everything to ensure that I don’t end up with blisters or toe injuries. I make sure there’s a thumb’s width of space in the toe box and that my heel doesn’t slip. I also consider the width of my feet and look for a tighter fit for better stability on uneven terrain.

🔒 I Look at Protection Features

I’m aware that protective features like toe guards and rock plates are crucial in shielding my feet from obstacles. Toe guards prevent stubbing, while rock plates, incorporated in the midsole, protect my feet from sharp objects.

Checklist:

  •  ✅ Toe guard
  •  ✅ Rock plate
  •  ✅ Abrasion-resistant upper

🥾 I Assess the Ankle Support

I consider best trail running shoes with proper ankle support to prevent rolls and sprains. While some prefer low-top for freedom of movement, I might choose mid to high-top trail shoes for additional ankle support if I often run in areas where there’s a higher risk of ankle twisting.

I can also recommend our articles about the best running headphones and beach running shoes. There is also the right one for you here!


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Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on runfitjourney.com.

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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