Health and Wellness

The Top 4 Trail Running Shoes

Whether you are new to running or have been running for years, a good pair of shoes are essential to keep your run as comfortable as possible while helping to prevent injuries. There are several different categories of running shoes: road running shoes, trail running shoes, and cross-training shoes. Some shoes are very lightweight with minimalist design. This article is focused on those who love off-road running or even hiking. Running shoes with enhanced traction are ideal for off-road running where you may encounter slippery or rough conditions. Some running shoes are waterproof, which could be desirable if you like to run outside and in any weather conditions. You want shoes that are durable, though it is generally recommended to replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Trail running shoes are typically stiff to help prevent the potential of twisted ankles which could come with running off the beaten path where there may be roots and rocks in the way. When purchasing online, you definitely want your shoes to come with a good return policy in case they don't fit correctly.  Finally, you most likely also want to consider price when choosing a pair of running shoes.

Hoka One One SpeedGoat 2

The Hoka One One SpeedGoat 2 are great grippy running shoes that are good for long trail runs. This shoe was inspired by athlete Karl Meltzer, a world class ultrarunner.  It is known to work well on technical and challenging trails. The outsole is made of Vibram MegaGrip hi-traction technology, with multi-dimensional 5 mm lugs so that you get the best grip. The offset measures 4.5 mm, with a 32 mm heel stack height and 28 mm forefoot stack height. The men's version of this shoe weighs 9.8 ounces. The women's weighs 8.2 ounces.


Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 Running Shoe

The Hoka One One Challenger is a trail running shoe made with a "no-sew" speedframe construction to eliminate chafing and irritation during runs. It has a 5 mm offset, with a 31 mm heel stack height and 26 mm forefoot stack height. It is a good shoe to wear not just on trails but on roads as well, so this could be the pick for you if you don't like to limit your runs to one type of terrain. The men's version of this shoe weighs 9.5 ounces and the women's version weighs 7.9 ounces. They are not waterproof. Some note that this shoe feels a bit narrow, but there's definitely been improvement with the footbox width for increased toe comfort over previous versions.


Saucony Peregrine 7

The Saucony Peregrine 7 is a shoe that works well for trail running.  This shoe is the successor to the Peregrine 6. The lining helps to wick away moisture quickly so your feet stay dry and comfortable.  It is not water resistant or waterproof. These shoes weigh 9.4 ounces for men or 8.4 ounces for women. The offset measures 4mm, with a heel stack height of 21.5 mm and a forefoot stack height of 17.5 mm. They felt comfortable and grippy on the trail and offered good protection from trail conditions. They felt lightweight and minimalist to reviewers.


Salomon Sense Ride

The Salomon Sense Ride shoes are suitable for mixed weather conditions on the trail thanks to the Premium Wet Traction Contragrip. It grips very well on wet surfaces. The midsole is made of compressed EVA, a rubber-like material, and the midsole is designed to have a high rebound so you can make the most out of your run. The shoes feel soft and comfortable and have an 8 mm heel drop, with a 27 mm heel stack height and 19 mm forefoot stack height.  The men's shoes weigh 9.7 ounces whereas the women's weigh 8.8 ounces. Keep in mind that this shoe tends to run a bit big.


Bottom Line

Trail running is becoming increasingly popular. People love the beauty of trails, the challenge of the terrain, and the peacefulness away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Spending time in nature has been shown to be good for mental and emotional health and running can provide wonderful benefits physically without the cost of a gym membership. All you need is a good pair of shoes!  When choosing trail running shoes, you want something that has good grip for different surfaces and that will feel comfortable on your feet. Some shoes are more cushioned than others. Minimalist shoes usually have a drop height ranging from 0 to 4 mm, while moderate and maximalist shoes can offer greater drop heights.  Our favorite trail shoes out of all that we reviewed are the Hoka One One SpeedGoat 2, thanks to their grippiness, comfort, and breathability. Our runner up is the Hoka One One Challenger, which are comfortable not just on trails but on roads as well. The Saucony Peregrine offers great grip thanks to its tacky soles. Finally, reviewers also enjoyed running in the Salomon Sense Ride shoes which had a snug fit and good support.  

Our Research on The Top 4 Trail Running Shoes

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