RunningShoo Guide: Best Trail Running Shoes 2016
Whether you are new to Trail running or an experienced Trail Runner, we are sure that you will find our Trail Running Shoes Guide 2016 helpful and informative.
Trail running has grown in popularity over the past few years and offers a great way for runners to get away from the pollution and noise we see in towns and cities. However, running on trails can present a number of other potential challenges to runners particularly with regards to shoes. If you’re intending on running on trails you are going to encounter slippery and uneven surfaces including mud, sand, rocks, roots.
As such, it is important that you have the right shoes. Many major running brands have developed a range of trail-specific shoes which are specifically designed for off-road terrain. Trail running shoes differ markedly from your standard running shoes. For instance they are lower profile to reduce the chances of rolling your ankle. In addition, they provide additional support and grip for running on wet and muddy terrain. These features come in handy when you are descending steep slopes or traversing across rocky ground.
The range of trail specific shoes on offer varies considerably and the type of shoe you purchase should be dependent on the type of terrain you’ll be running on. For instance if you’re intending on running over mountainous terrain you’ll need a shoe that’s designed for this surface. In addition, many of the trail specific shoes provide waterproof protection, which comes in handy during the British winter.
Many trail runners, particularly those running over rocky, mountainous terrain, also use a set of gaiters which provide additional protection for your lower leg and prevent stones getting into your shoes.
So Let’s Get Started
To help you get started, we’ve presented an overview of some of our favourite trail-specific shoes. These cover both cushioned, stability and lower profile shoes. For beginners, we do not recommend lower profile training shoes.
Key points to consider before buying your trail running shoes –
- Make sure you research the type of shoes that suit the terrain you’re going to be training/racing on. Shoes vary considerably by support, weight, grip and durability.
- If you can, try on your shoes before purchasing. This will ensure that shoes fit correctly and offer the right balance of comfort and support. Remember if a shoe is not comfortable while walking on flat terrain it will be ten times worse on rocky or uneven trails.
- Review the full range of shoes available, many new brands offer trail specific shoes.
- If you’re going to be running over rocky or mountainous terrain consider purchasing a set of gaiters for added protection.
Mens Trail Running Shoes
Brooks Cascadia 10 (Cushioning)
Our view – The Brooks Cascadia 10 provides runners with a great combination of cushioning and support to keep you protected on off-road terrain. The shoe features a 4-point pivot system, which helps your feet adapt to rocky or uneven ground. The midsole features Brooks adaptive DNA cushioning and a full-length crashpad which provides plenty of cushioning and helps to disperse shock. The shoes upper contains Brooks moisture management mesh and hydrophobic foam which helps keep you dry when the weather take a turn for the worst.
ASICS Gel Fuji Trabuco 4 (Neutral)
Our view – The Asics Gel Fuji Trabuco provides trail runners with a great combination of cushioning and support you help you complete your runs in comfort. The shoe is designed to provide maximum grip and traction on steep mountain ascents and the midsole features ASICS SoLyte which provides light but ample cushioning and shock absorption. In addition, ASICS have added a Rock Protection Plate which protects your foot from rocks and branches. The shoes outsole contains ASICS High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR+) and reserved lugs. The combination of thee features provides runners with excellent traction on muddy trails. The shoe upper features an anti-gravel tongue that prevents debris from entering the shoe. The shoe is suitable for all terrain and would work best for a neutral runner or mild overpronator.
Saucony Xodus 6.0 (Cushioning)
Our view – For runners who need maximum grip the Saucony Xodus 6.0 is the shoe for you. The shoe features a sticky rubber Vibram outsole that the provides incredible traction on wet and muddy terrain and slippery rock surfaces. The shoe also features a rock plate, which has been incorporated into the outsole of the forefoot providing maximum protection for the runner from sharp rocks and debris. This shoe would work well for runners attempting difficult and highly technical terrain.
Inov-8 X Talon (Low-Profile)
The Ino-8 Talon 212 is a minimalist shoe offering trail runners an extremely lightweight shoe with plenty of grip for the roughest of terrain. The shoe fits securely has a low platform to help reduce the chance of rolling your ankle. The shoe features a mesh upper that helps to keeps your feet cool while also allowing any moisture to escape. These shoes are ideal for runners who are looking for a light trail shoe for racing over tough terrain.
New Balance Minimus 1010V2 (Low-Profile)
Our view – The Minimus 1010V2 is a minimalist shoe but one that offers plenty of cushioning for trail runners which ensure a comfortable ride. The beefed up Vibram outsole provides plenty of grip giving the runner confidence on wet and muddy terrain. The midsole contains NB’s REVlite foam to provide maximum cushioning for the runner whilst keeping weight to a minimum. The shoe is built on NB’s NL-1 last and features NB’s Rock Stop Plate to provide maximum protection for the runner. Best of all, the shoe weighs in at only 460g. The shoe is ideal for lighter runners operating in difficult conditions or highly technical terrain.
Womens Trail Running Shoes
Brooks Cascadia 10 (Cushioning)
Our view – The Brooks Cascadia 10 provides a highly flexible but comfortable trail running shoe for women and is designed for those looking to run over tough terrain. The shoe offers great stability and superior fit that ensure that you stay comfortable during long runs. The shoe also features a 4-point pivot system provides added stability which helps your feet adapt to rocky or uneven ground. The upper contains Brooks moisture management mesh and hydrophobic foam which helps keep your feet dry and comfortable. This is a heavier shoe but would work well for runners who are looking to run through muddy parks or trails.
ASICS Gel Fuji Trabuco 4
The ASICS Gel Fuji Trabuco provides trail runners with a great combination of cushioning, responsiveness with the traction required for any off-road trails. The outsole features a reverse lug pattern and the rock protection plate ensures that you have maximum protection. The midsole features ASICS SoLyte, which helps to keep the shoe light and responsive enough for rocky climbs. The shoe upper features ASICS Mono-Sock Fit System, which aims to provide the runner with a sock like fit. The shoe provides a great combination of cushioning, support and grip for runners covering a range of terrain.
Saucony Excursion GTX TR 9
The Saucony Excursion GTX TR 9 allows you to tackle any terrain in all weather conditions. The shoe features a range of Sauconys technologies, including the IMEVA midsole and the GRID system to absorb impact and stabilise the runner at the same time. The shoes outsole provides plenty of traction and grip in the muddiest of conditions. This is courtesy of the multi-directional rubber lugs and complex tread design. The shoes upper is constructed of breathable GORE-TEX, which is waterproof but still breathable to help keep you dry and comfortable.
RunningShoo Tip for Trail Running
When running on trails be sure to run with a friend or in a group. Ensure that you inform someone where you are going and always carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies.