Running

Best Trail Running Shoes in 2018 – For Men & Women with Buying Guide

Do really you need to choose trail running shoes?

As the trails and tracks get icier and muddier, it is advisable that you wear the right trail running shoes before you embark on this outdoor activity. The running shoes you choose for this activity should be capable of overcoming anything that the trail throws at them. While this choice is an important one, running shoes for trails come in a vast array of styles and designs. As such, choosing the right running shoe can be a daunting task for beginners as well as seasoned trail runners.

Analogy Of Trail Running Shoes

Again, you should note that some running shoes are suited for various running levels. All in all, there are several aspects that you should consider while shopping for the ideal trail shoes. For instance, you should buy shoes that are lightweight, waterproof, comparatively durable, offers reliable support and grip. Since this choice is not an easy one, we took the liberty to try out the various running shoes available today. Based on our test results, here are 5 of the best running shoes for trails you should consider buying today.

5 Best Trail Running Shoes

ImageProductForPrice
ASICS GEL-Kayano 22Men
Salomon Speedcross 4 W Women
Adidas Vigor BounceMen
ASICS GEL-Venture 5 Women
Nike Free RunMen

1. ASICS Men’s GEL-Kayano 22 Running Shoe – Best Trail Running Shoe with Motion Guidance


The Asics Gel Kayano 22 trail running shoe is rated the best by many users today for a reason. Among the most fascinating features of the shoe is the FlyteFoam Technology. The manufacturer uses this technology to give this running shoe enhanced cushioning and comfort optimal support and balance as well as reduced weight. In addition to this innovative technology, the GEL-Kayano 22 has a horde of impressive features to offer, some of which include:

Superior Construction

This trail running shoe boasts of a seamless upper and sole construction, using superior materials for enhanced performance and durability. The upper part of the Gel Kayano 22 is, without a doubt, as appealing as the rest of the shoe. While the new design of the shoe is rather new, it still borrows some of the unique aspects of the outgoing model. For instance, the upper part of the shoe features an intuitive integration of mesh for enhanced flexibility, breathability and comfort.

The sole construction of the new Gel Kayano 22 is essentially borrowed from its predecessor. As a result, the running shoe still delivers exquisite performances as well as perfect stability its predecessor was renowned for. The new model has also retained the Asics High Abrasion Rubber on its outer soles. This further enhances the impact absorbing capabilities of the shoe.

 Pronation

Again, the new model has also retained the midsoles and outsoles used in its predecessor model. As such, the shoe still has a 10 mm offset. This further integrates stability into the new model. Collectively, these features allow the shoe to offer enhanced support and allow the user to push to his limits.

Performance

With regards to performance on trails, fewer Shoe models can beat the Gel Kayano 22 trail running shoe. Owing to its lightweight, soft interior, ergonomic design, foam-padded midsole and multi-layer Gel, this shoe is rated a high-performer for both seasoned runners as well as beginners.

What We Liked About This Shoe

  • Offers impressive protection against impact while taking on long trails
  • It features a solid construction using high quality fabric/synthetic materials for the upper part and rubber for the sole
  • Offers FluidRide bounce-back cushioning for enhanced support and comfort
  • The FluidFit multi directional reinforcement and the    Gait-enhancing Impact Guidance System used on this shoe offer superior support and structure.

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Among other things, the innovative Biomorphic Fit Upper, Impact Guidance System and Space Trusstic System are some of the aspects that set this shoe apart from its competitors. If you are looking for support, comfort, cushioning and motion guided performance; you should buy the Asics Gel Kayano 22 trail running shoe.


2. Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 W Trail Runner – Best For Premium Traction on Soft Ground


For years now, the Salomon Speedcross has been a trail shoe of choice for both experienced and novice runners. This may be attributed to the aesthetical appeal, performance as well as traction and support offered by the shoe. So, why would you buy the Salomon Speedcross 4W trail shoe?

Refined Performance

Just like its predecessors, the 4th generation of the Salomon Women’s trail running shoes boasts of exceptional performance. This may be attributed to a combination of efficiency and comfort features it packs. The iconic trail shoe is lightweight, highly cushioned and features monster grip that is effective even on soft grounds. In addition to a superior grip, the shoe offers enhanced protection for the feet and delivers a precise foothold, hence allowing you to reach your optimal performance.

Innovative ContraGrip Technology

The ContaGrip technology by the manufacturer features a precise combination of density, geometry, and compound. Such aspects of the shoe are specifically optimized to deliver exceptional performance on certain surface conditions and sports, such as trail running.

Sensifit and Quicklace Mechanisms

The Sensifit technology by the manufacturer is meant to cradle your foot away from the midsole and towards the lacing system. This allows the shoe to deliver a snug, secure and almost-customized fit around your feet. Additionally, these running shoes feature a Quicklace mechanism, which is essentially a strong and minimalistic lace mechanism. With this mechanism in place, you only need to pull the laces once to tighten the shoes around your feet.

What We Liked About This Shoe

  • Features Sensifit and Quicklace technologies for a comfortable and snug fit of the shoes around your feet.
  • Comes with a mud guard and monster grip for enhanced performance on wet and muddy conditions
  • Equipped with Anti-debri mesh for enhanced breathability under all conditions

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Salomon Speedcross 4 is essentially a more refined version of the renowned Salmon Women’s running shoes. While still offering the same stability and durability the shoe is known for, the 4th generation of the shoe delivers unmatched performance and support.


3. Adidas Men’s Vigor Bounce M Trail Runner – Best Trail Running Shoe for Responsiveness


As you may be aware, Adidas is a renowned brand for producing some of the best athletic performance fashion products. This being the case, the Adidas Men’s Vigor Bounce M Trail runner shoe is no different from other leading products by this brand. Over the years, this trail running shoe has earned a reputation for lightweight, versatility and its unique bounce technology. Here are some of the things this shoe will offer you:

Lightweight

When it comes to long-distance trail running, the weight of your shoes is very important. Heavier shoes will definitely slow you down, hence reduce your performance. Since the Vigor Bounce M Trail runner was specifically designed to conquer trails, it is lightweight—weighs about 9.5 oz—yet has all the features you need for a comfortable and safe run.

Responsiveness

The midsole of this shoe is made of BOUNCE material—a material that is extremely bouncy and springy. This material will return energy very well and evenly whenever you press your feet against the ground. In addition to absorbing shocks on your trail, this Bounce material makes the shoe highly-responsive.

What We Liked About This Shoe

  • Boasts of a durable construction, comprising of a rubber sole and synthetic/textile materials for the upper part
  • The shoe is lightweight, weighing about 9.5 ounces
  • The shoe is ideal for people with neutral feet types and features a midsole drop of 8.5 mm
  • Uses BOUNCE material for enhanced comfort and responsiveness
  • Features a supportive synthetic cage, hence offers one of the best Lockdown mechanisms in the industry

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

The Vigor Bounce is a solid trail running shoe by a popular brand. The midsole and outsole of the shoe are equipped with an array of performance and comfort features. The shoe is ideal for any trail-oriented athlete who is looking for a mix of affordability and superior features.


4. ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe – the Best Affordable Trail Running Shoe


Performance trail running shoes do not have to be ugly looking; the Asics Women’s GEP-Venture is a true embodiment of beauty and fashion. To top it all, this shoe offers variety, when it comes to aesthetics. Currently, female trail-oriented runners can choose between the indigo glow with living coral and pink and the silver with turquoise, gray and lime punch colour variants when buying these shoes. In addition to visual appeal, these shoes have a horde of features to offers, as discussed below:

Comfortable, Snug Fit

Just like the other Asics range of products, the Women’s GEL-Venture 5 comes in an array of sizes. The shoes are available in half size, which makes it easier for runners to get a size that matches their feet. Basically, these Asics trail running shoes span in size from five all the way to 12. As such, you will surely get a shoe size that fits the length and width of your feet. Again, the shoe has an approver rating of 84 percent for offering the perfect fit. As such, sizing should not be a problem when you are ordering your GEL-Venture 5 running shoes. The men version of this shoes were selected for our top running shoe list.

Remarkable Comfort

Asics running shoes are renowned for their comfort and support. The Asics Women’s GEP-Venture 5 does not fall short, in this regard. It is equipped with a capable cushioning system to soothe the feet whilst ventilating them and allowing them to breathe. The cushioning system in these shoes comprises of an absorbent rubber outsole and a removable foam sock liner. These should be enough to offer you the comfort you desire while taking on long-distance trails.

What We Liked About This Shoe

  • The shoe is one of the best-rugged running shoes by Asics, designed to deliver remarkable performance on various surfaces.
  • The rubber sole in these shoes is made of high abrasion rubber, making the shoes highly-durable
  • Equipped with a GEL Cushioning System for enhanced support and comfort
  • The removable foam sock liner makes the shoe ideal for orthotics

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

Are you a female trail runner with neutral feet and are looking forward to exploring the wide and open spaces in the wilderness? Then you need the Asics Women’s GEL-Venture 5 trail running shoes.


5. Nike Men’s Free Run Flyknit Running Shoes – The Best Trail Running Shoe for Flexibility


The Men’s Free Run Flyknit Trail running shoes are mainly a more cushioned version of the popular Nike’s flexible Free concept. One of the things you will love about this shoe is its lightweight, along with reliable cushioning. The exemplary cushioning performance offered by the shoe may be attributed to its single density midsole. The shoe has several other desirable aspects as well.

A Richly-Filled Foam Midsole

Initially, Nike only focused on producing the best low-profile running shoes with flexible midsoles. It was not until recently, that the manufacturer started increasing the level of midsole cushioning in their shoes. The Free Run Flyknit is one of the shoes by the manufacturer that has benefited from this rich addition of foam cushioning. For additional cushioning, the shoe also features Lunarlon inserts and soft foam cores by the manufacturer.

Updated Design

In addition to the introduction of softer cushioning in this shoe, the manufacturer also updated the outsole design of these Men’s Free Run Flyknit Trail running shoes. For instance, the manufacturer the popular Hexagonal grooving with an innovative new triangular lug pattern—popularly referred to as the ‘Tri-star’—in this shoe.

What We Liked About This Shoe

  • It features a synthetic and mesh upper part for enhanced durability and breathability
  • The heel material on this shoe is not stretchable hence offers structure
  • Features a rounded heel so as to offer a more natural range of motion
  • The shoe offers a sock-like fit owing to its ability to stretch and incorporation of targeted areas
  • Fitted with rubber soles for extended durability

 

>> Final ThoughtsCustomer Reviews

If you are looking for an extended range of motion, support, structure and durability in your new trail running shoes, you should consider buying the Men’s Free Run Flyknit Trail running shoes by Nike.


Best Trail Running Shoes Buying Advice – What to Consider

Theoretically speaking, trail running should be one of the simplest sports today; you just have to lace up the right trail running sneakers, find the ideal stretch, and go. Unfortunately, things are not always this easy, especially when it comes to choosing the right running shoes for trail running. So, what makes a pair of sneakers right for trail running? Basically, the right trail running shoes should be a compromise between walking boots and tough thickness, disregarding the rigidity and weight associated with the two.

>> Preparation for running long distance

This is why most of the trail running shoes available today feature a lower frame design. Additionally, trail running shoes will have less bulky cushioning, as compared to conventional road running shoes. With the right trail running shoes, you can go ahead and enjoy the peaceful calm and steady rhythm sensation associated with trail running. If you are shopping for the best trail running shoes, you should put the following aspects into consideration:

The Type of Trail Running Shoes

What type of trail running shoes should you buy? The various trail running shoes may be categorized into several groups that have overlapping characteristics and ill-defined, if I may say. While the following are not the standard industry definitions of these shoes, they will help you understand the type of running shoe you should get.

  • Low-Profile trail Running Shoes

The main distinguishing aspects of the low-profile running shoes include lightweight and a sleek design. Additionally, these types of running shoes for the trail feature a relatively low heel-to-toe drop, often between 0 and 6 mm. The fact that these shoes have a lower stack height means that they have less material between your foot and the ground.

This being the case, low-profile trail running shoes are considered to be more sensitive and to offer less protection for the underfoot. If this is your preferred type of running shoes, it is advisable to apply a running style that resembles the physiology of a natural stride. In other words, you should try to land the forefoot whilst avoiding heel striking.

  • Minimalist/Barefoot Trail Running Shoes

Some runners prefer taking on their trail runs on bare feet or in sandals. The minimalist running shoes are specifically designed for such athletes. In this regard, the barefoot running shoes try to mimic the natural way humans move on earth on two feet, while still protecting the soles of the runner’s feet. As a result, most barefoot running shoes for trails have a 0 mm heel-to-toe drop. Additionally, these shoes do not have any form of protective features or cushioning.

  • Maximalist Trail Running Shoes

Rather than putting emphasis on the heel-to-toe drop, maximalist running shoes focus on offering your feet the best cushioning possible. As a result, they have a comparatively high stack height because of the foam used in between the ground and your feet.  This type of running shoes is ideal for long ultra races and for older athletes.

  • Traditional/Standard Trail Running Shoes

Most of the trail running shoes available today fall into this category. This type of shoes has a comparatively long heel-to-toe drop, mostly between 6 mm and 14 mm. Most of the traditional trail running shoes are designed to offer more protection for the underfoot. As a result, most athletes find these shoes more comfortable to run in, especially when taking on long trails. These shoes are also considered to be more comfortable on rough terrains.

  • Motion Control Running Shoes

Most of the shoes that fall into the above discussed categories are natural. This is to say that they do not have additional features to regulate the motion of your feet while you are running. If you can afford it, you should consider buying trail running shoes that have motion control features as well. Such shoes will try to support your feet differently, especially if you happen to be an excessive pronator. When buying running shoes with motion control features, you should emphasise on the comfort of your feet, rather than the mechanism they use.

>> Best Time to go for running

The Type of Feet You Have

Regardless of the type of trail running shoes you opt for, you need to ensure that it offers optimal comfort for your feet. As such, the type of feet you have will also influence your choice of trail running shoes. To help you understand your foot anatomy, here are the 3 main feet types and the type of running shoes that work for them:

  • Under Pronation

If you are an under pronator, your heel hits the ground at an increased angle and with minimal pronation.  As a result, you experience a considerable amount of shock on the lower leg and more pressure on the smaller toes, on the outer sides of your feet. Under pronation is commonly associated with such running injuries as heel pain, ankle strain and shin splints. If you have this type of feet, you should consider buying running shoes with additional cushioning to prevent such injuries.

  • Neutral Pronation

Do you feet land on the outer side of the heels and then rollercoaster in slightly after coming into contact with the ground? Then you have neutral feet and should experience an even distribution of pressure, starting from the front of your feet, while running. Runners with neutral feet can use almost any type of running shoes. However, your emphasis should be on the comfort of your feet while shopping for the best trail running shoes.

  • Over Pronation

Over pronation runners’ feet land on the out sides of the heels, but then roll excessively inwards soon afterwards. This kind of landing transfers a considerable amount of pressure to the inner edge of the foot ball. Some of the running injuries, commonly associated with over pronation, include bunions, shin splits and hell spurs. If you have this type of feet, you should get running shoes that offer your feet enough support and structure to prevent this inward roll.


Conclusion

Just like many other novice trail runners, you may be thinking of minor shopping considerations like the lacing system and grip of the various running shoes. Well, these are minor considerations; without proper cushioning, structure and support, running shoes is more likely to harm you than help you. Such are the aspects that have been emphasised throughout this trail running shoe buying guide.

With the various considerations discussed in this guide, you should get running shoes that are tough enough for rough terrain, yet are comfortable and supportive. If you do not have the time to go through the many trail running shoe makes and models, just choose any of the 5 trail running shoes reviewed above—they are some of the best trail running shoes today.

About the author

Nik Paterson

Hello, Welcome to my second home, here in this OutLifeGear blog I spend a lot of my free time writing tips, outdoor guides and product selection guides. I am an outdoor person and know how much it is crucial to be prepared for the outlife adventures. So this is where you will find all my sharings.
>> Happy OutLife

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