Trail running becomes tempting for the runners when you get to do a lot of sightseeing. It really gets you close to the nature that surrounds you when you go out in the wild. You need the best trail running shoes for men because it will not be a fun activity if you twist your ankle or slip on the muddy tracks. And the worst case scenario is when you are in such a situation miles away from your vehicle.
To make sure you don’t get into such a mess, we have developed this guide for your assistance. Here we will present you with our list of best trail running shoes for men. We have also developed a buying guide and FAQs to shed more light on how to find the best pair for trail running.
So let’s begin with the reviews first!
Top 10 Trail Running Shoes for Men 2020
Saucony manufactured the durable Peregrine ISO trail running shoes. The ISOFIT construction of the shoe provides your foot a comfortable ride at any surface. ISOFIT construction presents the dynamic upper that is ideal for trail runners.
Multiple technologies are used in each sole such as midsole, topsole, and outsole. These deliver the perfect responsive cushioning, reliability, and traction.
The EVERUN technology in the top sole of the shoes provides continuous cushioning while running. The midsole comes with PWRFOAM technology, which added rebound and offers a smooth ride. The PWRTRAC technology used to construct the outsole of the shoe that gives great traction for multiple surfaces and optimal grip.
The Peregrine ISO comes with the heel-to-toe 4mm offset that provides an extra natural ride. Your body along with feet will feel comfortable and permits you to do more work. It offers enhanced stability and cushioning features as well. You will enjoy more responsive and smoother riding due to the use of EVERUN technology.
In addition, the Saucony uses durable, tacky, and superior quality rubber at the construction of outsole. It provides extraordinary traction and presents abrasion resistance best trail running shoes. The height of the heel stack is 22.5mm and height of forefoot is about 18.5mm.
- You will feel smoother and comfortable ride with a responsive and moderate level cushioning.
- Peregrine ISO running shoes are available in two colors; black and blue.
- You can use this all around running shoes on all surfaces such as grass, trail and much more.
- The ISOFIT construction of the shoes offers a great blend of cushioning, reliability, traction, and stability.
- The heel-to-toe 4mm offset gives the runner a natural ride.
- You cannot use it in rainy weather because it is not waterproof or water resistant.
- It does not provide a great range of
Bushido II is the best trail running shoes for those men who are looking for a combination of stability, responsiveness, and comfort. La Sportiva designed shoes deliver superb traction and comfort with bomber protection. You will enjoy improved cushioning and the aggressive outsole provides you great stability and natural ride.
The best part? You can use Bushido II shoes on any surface such as grass or rugged trail. It comes with unbeatable protection and performance on rough terrain, which allows the runner to run on any mountain.
It is easily accessible in two colors such as black/yellow and carbon/tangerine. Trail runners can purchase it according to their size because it is available in different sizes.
The manufacturer uses slip-on construction to design these trail running shoes for men. It wraps the runner’s foot without exerting pressure points and compression. The heel comes with an enhanced design that maximizes the fitting and comfort at the same time. The superior quality material is used to deliver the midsole of the shoes that provide additional stability and traction on off-camber terrain.
La Sportiva uses the dual-compound of FriXion XT V-Groove 2 rubber with Impact Brake System that delivers guaranteed grip and stability on all type of terrains, wet or dry.
The tongue of the Bushido II shoe is padded, ergonomic, and highly breathable. The combination material is used to construct the upper of the shoes. These materials include thermal adhesive microfiber, Airmesh, high frequency welded RipStop, and TPU toe cap.
- The high-quality Airmesh material is used to construct the upper of the shoe that enhances the breathability.
- The superior quality rubber provides an excellent grip and superb stability on all type of terrain such as wet or dry.
- This lightweight shoe offers a more cushioning and smoother ride.
- You can purchase this more reliable and durable shoes in two combination colors and available in plenty of sizes.
- It is best trail running shoes for those men who are searching for superb traction and bomber protective shoes.
- These shoes are not designed for easy trails.
If you’re looking for trail shoes for orthotics then consider the Gel Venture 06. You can easily remove the sock liner to accommodate a medical orthotic. The company uses GEL technology at the forefoot and rearfoot that comes with a cushioning system. It allows the runner to move their foot through the gait cycle. The synthetic and imported quality materials are used to construct these shoes that enhance the breathability.
Furthermore, the outsole of the shoe is comprised of superior quality rubber that enhances the stability and offers superb grip at all surfaces. This AHAR outsole rubber is high abrasion rubber that delivers extraordinary durability.
It also gives the runner both downhill and uphill traction on any type of terrain. You can enjoy more cushioning and great comfort while wearing this shoe.
Gel Venture 06 has great versatility that allows the user to wear it for walking, hiking, and biking. The Asics designed trail running shoes that have 11.2 oz weight, the height of forefoot is 10mm, and the height of the heel is 20mm.
The Gel technology in rearfoot comes with a cushioning system that attenuates shock in the impact phase. It permits the runner a smooth transition to midstance.
That’s not all. . . Most runners appreciate the additional reinforcement on the side of the shoes. It also has a superb supportive heel collar. Gel Venture 06 the best trail running shoes are available in ten trendy colors that present the stylish look.
- The imported synthetic material increases the breathability of the shoes.
- Gel Venture 06 trail running shoes are stylish, durable, supportive, and comfortable.
- You will feel a great level of support and comfort for hiking, biking, and walking.
- The aesthetic look of Gel Venture 06 shoes is highly appreciated.
- The AHAR and TRAIL specific rubber outsole present high abrasion that delivers extraordinary durability and stability.
- This is a heavy shoe for trail running.
- The outsole of the shoes does not provide a great grip or stability on some surfaces.
HokaOneOne manufactured the all-around trail running shoes for men. The upper of the shoes increases the security, durability and offers improved flexibility.
An integrated tongue helps to provide comfort at each step and help to hold the tongue in the actual place. The heel counter of Speedgoat 03 is semi-firm, secure, and comes with a little flex.
In addition to that, the heel collar is well padded and has a medium height. The padded heel collar is necessary for a comfortable and smoother ride.
The laces of Speedgoat 03 are highly appreciated because these are a bit thicker as well as more textured. The rubber Vibram MegaGrip outsole is the ideal aspect of the HokaOneOne shoes.
The MegaGrip outsole rubber provides great traction in multiple conditions such as snow, rock, wet, loose dirt, dry rock, and off the trail as well. The upper mesh material increases the breathability and provides an enhanced level of support.
Midfoot uses the TPU to ensure a secure and comfortable fitting. The CMEVA foam is used to construct the midsole of the HokaOneOne trail running shoes that absorb the impact point.
Additionally, the uses of EVA present the lightweight cushioning running shoes. This is for not only trail running, but you can also use it while walking, hiking, biking, and many more.
- The midsole of the shoes uses the EVA technology that gives lightweight cushioning.
- The CMEVA foam is also used in the midsole that absorbs points of impact along with foot stability.
- Hi-traction and durable outsole is designed by using Vibram MegaGrip with 5mm multidirectional lugs for superior stability.
- The mesh construction offers a great level of support as well as enhances the breathability.
- It is accessible in three trendy colors and you can choose the appropriate size.
- The midsole is very thick that minimizes the feeling of trail in technical sections.
Salomon has designed the best trail running shoes for men using multiple technologies in the outsole, midsole, and upper of the shoes. The CONTAGRIP TA is used to design the outsole of the trail shoes that increase the grip on rugged, loose, soft, and uneven surfaces. It uses sharp and deep lugs mode, which balances the adhesion and durability.
Additionally, the Salomon uses the ENERGYCELL PLUS technology to present midsole of the Speedcross 05 trail running shoes. It gives extraordinary energy return, durability, and substantial cushioning. The upper of the shoes use the SENSIFIT that cradle the feet from midsole to lacing system. It also provides a snug, virtually, secure, and customized fitting.
The manufacturer uses the Quicklace lacing system, which strong and minimalistic lace at on pull tightening as well as easy on and easy off.
These are popular trail running pairs because it offers superb 10mm drop or heel-to-toe offset. The external pad of the shoe gives reliable traction. The midsole delivers to you a comfortable and smoother ride.
- The manufacturer uses the anti-debris mesh material at the upper of the shoes that prevent your foot from debris.
- A sockliner uses Molded OrthoLite that offers unmatched comfort and superior cushioning.
- Salomon Speedcross 05 running shoes are a cost-effective way to enhance your comfort and performance of shoes.
- The outsole uses the Chevron lugs with multi-directional grip and deep penetration that upgrade the traction on all surfaces such as mud, snow, loose dirt etc.
- It is available in six different and unique colors on the market that presents the trendy trail running shoes look.
- The upper of the shoes is not breathable as compared to other shoes.
Minimus MT10V1 trail running shoes have used synthetic and mesh combination for enhancing the breathability. The NB uses the Vibram sole that provides outstanding traction on all surfaces. This rubber Vibram sole offers great abrasion resistant running shoes. The imported fabric increases the durability and versatility of the shoes.
Here’s a catch. . . The manufacturer uses antimicrobial treatment while constructing trail running shoes to minimize the odor.
You will also feel more stable and comfortable on the rocky trail because of flex grooves and Vibram outsole. The heel-to-toe drop of the train running shoe is 4mm that offers a more comfortable and smoother ride. You can enjoy minimum cushion and the manufacturer designed the 4mm drop level that is heel-to-toe.
- The manufacturer uses some treatment while development processes to make it odor-resistant.
- The Vibram outsole and flex grooves offer great stability on rocky trails with superb tractions.
- It offers minimum cushioning and heel-to-toe 4mm offset.
- The combination of synthetic and mesh material enhances the breathability of the shoes.
- It is accessible in five trendy and different colors on the market.
- It comes with a narrow toe box and suitable for short distances.
- It is not suggested for high-impact movement.
The Caldera 2 trail running shoes offer medium to high arch support. The midsole of the shoes is highly stacked to provide a steady stride for long distances. It also protects against trail vulnerability.
The Brooks uses the rubber sticky outsole along with high lugs surface areas. It provides superb traction, downhill, and uphill.
The dual-layer protective mesh upper permits your feet to feel comfortable over the long run. The BioMoGo DNA technology uses to construct the midsole of the best trail running shoes for men. It gives dynamic cushioning for adapting to your stride.
Nevertheless, the combination of Ariaprene mesh and Cordura AFT cloth constructs the upper of the shoes. It enhances the draining, ventilation, and abrasion protection. The Galter Tab is used at the heel to secure Galter along with a loop and hook.
- The rubber sticky outsole and lugs deliver downhill, uphill, and outstanding traction.
- It offers a great responsive cushioning over a long distance as well as protecting from trail hazards.
- A dual-layered protective mesh upper provides a great comfort over longer runs.
- The midsole of the shoe uses the BioMoGo DNA that enhances the soft cushioning.
- This is budget friendly trail shoes that offer more comfort and smoother ride.
- The outsole of the shoes is too stiff.
- The toe box is too narrow and cramped.
The Terra Kiger 4 from Nike’s Air Zoom range is one of the best trail running shoes for men when it comes to breathability. Nike has used cutting edge technology in the construction of this running pair. Nike’s trademark Flymesh upper keeps the inner side of the shoe very comfortable for your feet. On the other hand the rugged outsole suites well for running on most of the terrains.
One of the best features of these shoes is the Flywire cables. These cables work with the lacing system of these running shoes and provide your ankles with excellent support.
The foam construction of the midsole directly links with the forefoot. This means that there will be a boost of energy in each step that you take during your run.
Moreover, there is a top cap also present right in the front and it will keep your feet well protected from any roots or rocks while running. The lug depth of 4mm might not sound too much but the waffle tread design offers excellent grip on easy trails.
- The 4mm drop of these shoes is best for easy trails.
- It is one of the best options for you if breathability is a top consideration for you.
- It also features a tough top cap that will keep your feet safe from any roots or rocks during the run.
- The size 10 of Terra Kiger 4 only weighs 19.4 oz that means it has a very lightweight construction.
- The waffled tread design offers excellent traction on maintained trails.
- This trail running pair is not the best choice for rugged terrains.
- It doesn’t offer enough cushioning and isn’t the ideal candidate if you are looking for extra support.
When a pair comes from Adidas, you know there is going to be plenty on offer. The Terrex Agravic is no different either. These trail shoes come in a variety of color combinations and you won’t have to compromise on your style statement in this case.
The construction of this pair involves 100% import quality textile. Why does this matter? This means that these shoes are very comfortable and highly breathable to wear. The offset of these shoes is a 6mm which is pretty standard while the moderate cushioning and all-around design make it an ideal option for most trail runners who like to mix their terrains up.
Its shaft is low-top from the arch and for this reason, you will get plenty of control even on uneven surfaces. It has the ability to adapt to the rocky surfaces and due to excellent cushioning, your feet will have endless energy to keep on running in the mountains.
The lug height of these shoes is 5.5mm which means that the traction offers plenty of gripping while the pattern has a design taken from Der Kaiser Tires.
- The Terrex Agravic boasts 100% textile for maximum breathability.
- The lug depth of these shoes is 5.5mm which offers superior traction on uneven surfaces.
- It is available in a variety of color combinations to suit your style and preference.
- Adidas has used Continental rubber to provide your run with exceptional gripping in rough terrains.
- The tread pattern of these shoes has a Der Kaiser inspired design.
- These shoes are not best for rugged trails.
- The shoes do tend to feel a bit heavy in a lengthy
The last trail running pair that features in our list is the Norvan VT from Arc’teryx. This trail-specialized running pair is available in two different colors.
Most of the shoes in our list are not suitable for rugged trails. But now the problem is solved. If you are a rugged trail runner then this is one of the best options that you will find on the market.
The best part of this running par is that it offers light to moderate cushioning. This means that the Norvan VT provides you that perfect balance between traction and support.
It features 9mm offset and there is a tough rubber pad sitting right in front to keep your toes safe during long jumps or steep slopes. It is among the best options for you to choose when it comes to sizing because it adapts to your feet very quickly.
Arc’teryx has used very breathable fabric in the construction of this pair. The level of cushioning that it has to offer also makes it a good option for hiking too.
Now you can carve your path in those muddy trails and rainy weather with confidence and steadiness. The mesh on the upper keeps your feet cool during your run. The geometric design of the tread delivers high trail performance with excellent precision.
- The Norvan VT features excellent midfoot and toe protection.
- Its breathable mesh on the upper allows your feet to cool down while you are running. It can prevent sweating even if you go for long runs.
- The lightweight construction of the shoes improves your running performance.
- Its MegaGrip rubber provides superior traction and controlled precision during running through rugged terrains.
- The 360-degree support system of the Norvan VT keeps your feet in right positions during strikes and assists in preventing injuries.
- These shoes feel a bit warm and are not ideal for not weather.
How to Choose Trail Running Shoes for Men
With so many options choosing for the right one that caters all your requirements becomes a bit of a daunting task. But there is no need to worry. We have prepared this buying guide for your assistance. By going through it you will be able to find those important features that you cannot ignore while buying a running pair for trails.
Features to consider before buying
When it comes to trails, the weight of any running pair is crucial. Lightweight shoes go faster because runners tend to feel comfortable in them. These pairs are less cumbersome too because you can cover more ground with less effort and fatigue.
But you need to be careful here. Don’t sacrifice support and comfort when looking for a lightweight design. For a standard measure look for a pair that is around 20 oz for a men’s size 9 or 10. Such a pair will have enough balance between being light and supportive.
This is something that you should not compromise under any circumstances. As you are going to use your pair on trails therefore, you will need plenty of traction. In terms of performance, traction can vary among different models widely. For this, you will have to see which trail category the manufacturer has designed a pair.
The shoes for easy trails don’t offer much traction. These pairs will not serve you any good on roots, mud or slippery rocks. On the other hand, the all-rounder pairs offer medium traction. These pairs will handle most of the trails with ease. The traction for rugged trails works brilliantly when the trials are covered with mud or snow and you have to deal with lose declines or inclines.
In addition to traction, the rubber compound of outsole, tread pattern and depth all have their roles to play in improving the gripping mechanism of a trail running pair. The rubber compound needs to be sticky.
Furthermore, the tread or lug depth needs to be high as it will enable the pair to bite into the loose grounds very easily. And when we talk about the tread design then it needs to be wide.
This is the areas where most of the shoe manufacturers try their best to stand out from the competition. In terms of stack height (height from the point where your foot sits within the shoe) trail running pairs differ a lot. The stack height can range anywhere from 11mm to 32mm. when the stack height is on the low side the cushioning will feel nimble and you will almost feel the terrain under your feet.
However, with extra stack height, your run will be very smooth and you will not fee the terrain under your feet. With tall heights, you will feel a bit uncomfortable when it comes to stability but of course, low heights don’t offer much support. So it’s better to stay moderate when it comes to cushioning and stack heights.
4. Heel-to-toe Offset
This is the height difference from toe to heel inside the shoe where your foot is. In the all-around category, the offset needs to range between 4mm to 8mm. This is the ideal height for most midfoot and heel strikers. The offsets are lower than 4mm or close to zero millimeter suits better for forefoot landings.
The rugged trail running shoes have the most dramatic offset drops that can range from 8mm to 10mm. However, offset or drop is more of a personal preference than any design standard. Some runners prefer zero offsets while others like it a bit on the high side.
While looking for a trail running pair the rule of thumb is to look for something that offers excellent stability. You don’t want to roll over on rough terrain as it might cause you an injury. For this reason, don’t go for a low-top lightweight shoe for trail running. Therefore, you should look for a solid platform for resisting hard strikes on uneven surfaces.
You don’t want a sweaty foot after your run therefore; you need high breathability for your training running pair. Mesh nylon is the most common material that the shoe manufacturers use in the construction of trail running pairs. Some shoe manufacturers also use a combination of mesh and fabric to keep the pair durable too.
7. Toe protection & rock plates
Most of the trail running shoes come with toe protection too. This is there in the form of a rubber guard or a cap that can absorb any type of direct hit very well. Due to the fact that trail running pairs are meant to be on the lighter side, the rubber guard is not going to be as substantial as a hiking pair features.
But it will keep you safe in case of any hit. If you want to keep your feet safe then you can also go for rock plates that can vary in sizes. However, you do need to consider that these additional protections will also contribute towards the overall eight of your trail running pair.
Types of Trail Running Shoes
Trail running shoes have different types based on the traction levels they have to offer. There are three different types of trail running pairs.
1. Easy trails
The running shoes for easy trails are best for those maintained paths or trail networks. These shoes are not for the steep or technical trails. If you compare these trail running shoes with the regular ones then you will notice a moderate increase in traction, underfoot and toe protection as well as stability. These shoes focus more on stability than support.
If you want the best of both worlds then you should choose the all-around category. The trail running pairs from this category offer a balance between support and stability. You will get that extraordinary traction in muddy, rocky or dirt conditions and your feet won’t feel stiff either. But if you are going for a more demanding trail then this is not the category to choose from.
3. Rugged trails
This is the most specialized trail running shoes of all. These shoes have very durable construction and are heavier than the other two categories. You can easily handle tricky slopes and long climbs wearing these. If you stick to those maintained trails then these shoes will prove to be overkill.
However, if you prefer to run where you have to deal with rocky climbs and steep slopes then you should choose your pair from this category.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the difference between trail running shoes and road shoes?
The primary difference between the two is the level of traction in the sole. A trail running pair is going to feature deeper lugs as well as a larger surface area as compared to road shoes. Their uppers have more mesh to prevent debris from getting in the shoe.
Moreover, trail running also has a lower drop as compared to road shoes. There is not much difference in terms of cushioning when you compare them both with each other.
2. What is the adequate lug depth for a trail running pair?
The lug depth is going to determine which type of terrain a pair is ideal for. If you are a person who loves to run in the park but also run on roads every now and then the best lug depth for you is 4mm. Lug depth lower than this measurement makes the pair better suited for wet tarmac or light trail. 6mm is the standard for conventional trails while anything more than 8.5mm is best for muddy conditions.
When going for trail running it is important that you keep its balance between traction and stability. However, you also need to consider what type of trail you will be running. Traction is the most important feature among all in addition to cushioning and stability.
The winner of this roundup of the best trail running shoes for men turns out to be the Peregrine ISO from Saucony. This award-winning pair boasts ISOFIT design that enables the shoe to adapt to your foot as you make your way on different surfaces. Saucony’s signature Everun topsole PWRTRAC outsole, PWRFOAM midsole, and EVERUN topsole combine durability, traction and cushioning. These features just get you prepared to run in the wild.
For any suggestions or questions, you can leave a comment below.
Time to run!