Are you the adventurous type who loves to run off the road and on uphill terrains? Then you’re a trail runner, and if you love trail running then you only need one thing to keep you going. The best trail running shoes, to cloth your feet.

These shoes are not your typical road running shoes for men and women. They are built differently with tougher and thicker soles so you can run as if you’re on the pavement.

There’s just one problem.

With plenty of trail running shoes for men and women to choose from, how do you decide which one to buy?

This is where we come in. We’re here to help you choose the best pair available in the market. In fact, we’ve created a list of the best trail running shoes to get you started on the right track.

Top 6 Trail Running Shoes For 2018

To spare you the headaches of researching the whole internet for trail running shoes, we’ve done a considerable comparison and came up with our top 6 list of the top trail running shoes for men and women in 2018:

ShoesTypeMaterialOutsole 
Salomon Speedcross 3StandardSynthetic/MeshContagrip non-marking rubber outsole
ASICS GEL Venture 5StandardSynthetic/MeshAHAR rubber outsole
Adidas Performance Kanadia 7 TRStandardSynthetic/Textile/MeshTRAXION™ outsole
Altra Superior 2 Running ShoeLow-profileSynthetic TrailClaw outsole
Saucony Peregrine 6Low-profileFabric, SyntheticPWRTRAC rubber outsole
Merrell Trail Glove 3MinimalistTextile/Synthetic/MeshVibram outsole

Keep scrolling for a detailed review of each pair of the best trail running shoes that we’ve found.

Salomon Speedcross 3 – Most Iconic Trail Running Shoes

best trail running shoes for hiking

The Salomon Speedcross 3 rail tunning shoes are advertised as the Salomon shoes that will “make every run an adventure.”

The Speedcross 3 has lived up to its hype.

The Salomon Speedcross version for both men and women have racked up mostly positive reviews.

While not the newest Speedcross around, the Speedcross 3 remains a top-rated favorite among the majority of trail runners because it does not only offer speed on the trail but it also promises precise fit and the best grip no matter the trail conditions.

And it’s very quick to lace up too. Just pull on the laces and will tighten accordingly.

You’ll get a trail-ready shoe with the ultimate grip and great traction at a bargain, which means you’ve found the best trail running shoes for both women and men.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Quick lace up
  • Comfy and precise fit
  • Contagrip for all trail conditions
  • Partly water resistant fabric

What We Didn’t Like

  • Too narrow on the toe box
  • Not ideal for wide feet

ASICS GEL Venture 5 – Best Buy Trail Running Shoes

best trail running shoes womens

Asics is giving other popular trail running shoe brands a run for their money with the ASICS GEL-Venture 5 running shoe. Whether you’re looking for an Asics trail running shoes for women or men, the GEL-Venture 5 is one we highly recommend.

And most trail runners agree with us.

With its AHAR outsole rubber technology, you can expect exceptional and long-lasting durability. The rubber outsole is strategically embedded to the shoe’s design complemented with the GEL cushioning system that weathers reduces shock as your feet hit the trails.

It also comes with removable sock liner which also makes this Asics trail running shoes an excellent choice. Great for the trail and on the road, this is one of the most versatile shoes that offers impressive durability and at a very affordable price too.

What We Liked

  • Great fit and everyday comfort
  • Exceptionally durable and rugged outsole
  • Rearfoot GEL cushioning for extra comfort
  • Ideal for a range of terrains

What We Didn’t Like

  • Too narrow for some users
  • Not the best grip
  • Not ideal for runners with high arches

Adidas Performance Kanadia 7 TR – Best Traction Trail Running Shoes

best mens trail running shoes 2018

One of the things that you need to look for in trail shoes is excellent traction. When you’re running off-road, you’re going to run a lot on mud, rocks and other rough, slippery terrains. Shoes with good traction will ensure that you’ll be able to perform at your best no matter the terrain.

And the Adidas Performance Kanadia 7 trail running shoe is one of the best when it comes to traction.

Featuring the brand’s high-grip TRAXION™ technology on the outsole, you’ll be able to handle multiple surfaces without trouble.

It also features a special mudguard that will keep mud, water, dirt, and rocks off your shoes.

Breathability is another plus. With the air mesh upper, you can run for hours without compromising comfort. All in all, the Kanadia 7 is lightweight, breathable and with a superior traction dedicated for runners who mostly run on off-road terrains.

What We Liked

  • Inexpensive
  • Superior traction
  • Breathable air mesh upper
  • Mudguard to keep off dirt, water and mud

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sizing issues
  • Not a lot of arch support
  • Soles may be too hard for some

Altra Superior 2 Running Shoe – Great Cushioning Trail Running Shoes

best women's trail running shoes 2018

Whether you’re off backpacking, hiking or trail running, the Altra Superior 2 Running Shoe is designed to excellently accommodate your needs. Just like what its name implies, this running shoes for men offers a superior TrailClaw outsole technology for exceptional traction and InnerFlex midsole technology for great cushioning.

These pair of shoes are available in a wider color option than the other shoes listed.What sets it apart from the rest is the fact that the shoes are built for harsh, demanding and unpredictable terrains.

With the added and more aggressive midsole foam, the Altra Superior 2 is not your everyday running shoe but your best bet for off-road trails.

It’s lightweight enough without compromising flexibility, how great is that?

What We Liked

  • Great cushioning
  • Exceptional traction
  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Low heel and wide forefoot
  • Aggressive tread for aggressive terrains

What We Didn’t Like

  • Too narrow heel area
  • Sizing confusion
  • Not as durable as expected

Saucony Peregrine 6 – Best Low Profile Trail Running Shoes

trail running shoes nike

There’s no doubt that Saucony has produced some of the best men and women’s trail running shoes on the market. With the Saucony Peregrine 6, it looks like the brand is adding another winning pair to their growing list.

Remade and well improved, the Peregrine 6 has the makings of the best trail running shoes of 2018 that will help maximize your performance on the trail.

It offers 3 times better traction on all surfaces, continuous cushioning and ultimate comfort. If you want something low-profile and lightweight that will let you run fast on any terrain, look no further than the Peregrine 6.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already a seasoned trail runner, this is one of the best buys you can make. Because it’s low-profile, it will feel ultra-lightweight.

What We Liked

  • Superb forefoot cushioning
  • Super lightweight and low-profile
  • Excellent push-through protection
  • 3x better traction than other rubber outsoles

What We Didn’t Like

  • Moderately more expensive
  • Not the most durable

Merrell Trail Glove 3 – Most Comfortable Trail Running Shoes

merrell moab waterproof traIL running shoes

The Merrell Trail Glove 3 has one thing that sets it apart from the rest and that’s the unbelievably comfort these trail running shoes offer. From glove-like fit to breathability and the Vibram grip soles, these trail running shoes for men is a clear winner.

And the best features doesn’t end with great traction and maximum support. It also features a TrailProtect™ pad for added foot protection. Now you can run most terrains confidently and at top performance.

If you’re a minimalist runner who wants just the right amount of cushioning and an overall “barefoot” feel, this shoe is for you.

The trail shoes is super lightweight perfect for fast runs on off-road trails. As bonus, the Merrell Trail Glove 3 is vegan-friendly and it’s available in a range of attractive colorways.

What We Liked

  • Glove-like fit
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Great traction and support
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Vegan-friendly

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not a lot of cushioning for non-minimalists runners
  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Unnatural arch support

Best Trail Running Shoes – Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’ve been trail running for a long time or you’re new to this type of running, there’s one vital question to ask yourself. How do I know which shoes are the best pair for my feet and my needs?

What is trail running?

Let’s first define what trail running is. Trail running is a type of sport where you run or hike trails that are off the beaten tracks like mountainous, rocky and sometimes, even wet and muddy terrains depending on weather conditions.

This type of running involves plenty of ascents and descents. Compared to typical road running, trail running is more challenging because of the environment. Therefore, you also need a different kind of running shoes to get the most out of the sport.

Why buy a trail running shoes?

The design and build of trail running shoe usually feature tougher and aggressive outsoles to give you the grip that you need on rugged terrains.

There are also added protection for your foot and against the weather. For instance, if the shoes have rubber outsoles, then they are better for traction on mud, rocks or snow.

So if you know that you’re going to predominantly run on all kinds of off-road terrains, it makes perfect sense to invest in the best trail running shoes for 2018.

What to consider?

There are some key factors to consider before you can head further.

First, you need to ask what type of trail runner you want to be. Will you be racing or doing up-tempo runs or you’re only doing trail runs occasionally?

Second, what type of terrain will you be running on frequently? Will you be running on steep terrains or on wet, muddy off-road trails?

You also need to consider different types of trail shoes for men and women. The most common types include:

Minimalist

This type of trail running shoes are designed to give you a “barefoot” experience while you run. They have little to no cushioning on the outsole and minimal features so you can run the natural way.

Low-profile

If you’re looking for something lightweight and also classy then you need some low-profile shoes. These shoes have low heel-toe drop and offer a little more protection than the minimalist running shoes.

Standard

Most of the best trail running shoes for both women and men fall under this category. Standard trail running shoes featuring aggressive, tough outsoles complemented with cushioning in the heel and underfoot protection.

These shoes usually have higher heels and most trail runners find this type the most comfortable.

Maximalist

If you’re looking for a pair of shoe that offers the most cushioning, what you need is a maximalist type of trail shoes. These shoes are pretty massive because of the amount of foam embedded into the design.

Then you need to get really specific by looking at factors such as cushioning, weather protection, weight and soles. And don’t forget the price either. It’s important not to be a cheapskate but also without going overboard with your budget.

Conclusion

Like other types of running shoes, there are no shoes that fit us all. In the end, the most important factor is fitting. After all, what good is the best trail running shoes for women and men if the fit isn’t right?

If you can find a pair that fits like a glove based on your foot type and works great for your trail running needs then you’ve hit the jackpot.

You’ll probably still need to do your homework like read running shoe reviews for 2018, but at least now you know the most important factors to consider. We also hope our list and buyer’s guide will help you make the right decision.