Accordingly, we recommend avoiding quick laces if you often fiddle with your laces to get the fit just right. Whether your foot is striking soft ground or sludge, you’ll scamper right through with the Salomon Speedcross 5. Most runners will find this extra support to be overkill on smooth paths, and the lightly cushioned midsole is noticeably less comfortable than an all-around model like the Speedgoat or MTN Racer (especially on high-mileage days). A waterproof shoe like the La Sportiva Jackal GTX makes the most sense when the extra warmth (i.e., less ventilation) is a good thing, such as during the shoulder seasons or winter. We’ve found the Hoka Speedgoat above to be a bit more versatile, even while topping the Peregrine in weight and responsiveness. Read more… La Sportiva Bushido II shines on long distance trails with plenty of steep ups and downs. In general, the level of grip provided will closely follow the categories above. Second, with minimal materials and bulk, a trail runner simply does not offer the same amount of protection as beefier hiking footwear, especially those with generous rubber rands and leather uppers. For brisk walks on the trail or even around town in rainy weather, the waterproof New Balance 910v4 is a great choice. Known as the “stack height,” which is the measured height from where the foot sits inside the shoe to the ground, trail running models range from very thin to heavily cushioned. But most summer runs, even if you’ll be crossing a stream or two, are oftentimes still best in a pair of mesh non-waterproof shoes that drain reasonably quickly. In fact, we’ve spoken to some PCT thru-hikers who made the switch from boots to trail runners mid-trip, and they’ve had nothing but good things to say about their levels of comfort and nimble feel—provided they kept their pack weight down. This not only keeps you comfy but also stabilizes your footing and absorbs the impact. Here are my choices for the Best Trail Runner shoes for hiking, based on extensive research from multiple sources and personal tests that myself and friends have done: 1. The Altra Lone Peaks sport a wide toe box allowing for full foot splay. Category: All-aroundWeight: 1 lb. For wide feet, you’ll want a more roomy option like the Altra Lone Peak 4. We’ve logged over 400 trail miles in one pair of MTN Racers and overall have been very impressed with the shoe's high degree of comfort, durability, and trail-handling. Wide, narrow, or average, you’ll need a trail running shoe that matches the width of your feet. This style of shoe is for the bold and daring trailblazers. Slip on a pair and take them for a spin on your favorite rugged trail. While there are some trail running techniques to help you improve performance, without the right trail running shoes for the job you won’t stand a chance. For technical terrain, you’ll want grippy outsoles with deep lugs that provide good traction and stability. The performance-oriented and narrow fit isn’t for everyone, but the Speedcross’s thick midsole and supportive upper material makes it a capable, mountain-ready design. The design of the shoes is innovative, offering convenience with laces that don’t tangle and a quick-drying mesh that resists debris. You get a lot of features we look for in a trail running shoe, including a cushioned midsole, breathable upper, and a lightweight build. But you do get some options within the Peregrine line, including a waterproof GTX model ($150) and an ST (soft terrain) version, which features longer lugs (6.5mm compared to 5mm) and a debris-resistant upper and quick-lace system for $130. But for light trail use, the Venture is a solid choice and a nice value.See the Men's Asics Gel-Venture 7  See the Women's Asics Gel-Venture 7. Category: All-around/easy trailsWeight: 1 lb. Light-trail shoes offer modest protection with traction best suited for well-groomed trails. Trying to move fast over rough terrain in a pair of lightweight low-top shoes may seem like asking for an injury (and it can happen), but today’s trail running shoes do offer a stable ride that is resistant to ankle rolls. The momentum in hiking footwear is moving away from bulky boots toward lightweight shoes and even trail runners that are faster and more comfortable. A model like our top-rated Hoka One One Speedgoat provides fantastic grip in dirt, mud, or over rock, and keeps your feet protected and comfortable. The Spin Ultra, Torrent, and MTN Racer feel extremely light on your feet (great for speed and high-mileage days) while the Salomon and Arc'teryx are super tough and built for off-trail exploring. Finally, we don’t recommend trail running shoes for heavy loads or particularly rugged terrain, when you’ll want a more supportive option. Otherwise, we recommend most people start and end their search here.Rugged Trails Hiking and Backpacking in Trail Running Shoes, Back to Our Trail Runner Comparison Table. Despite weighing a bit more than the aforementioned shoes, the Jackal feels particularly lightweight, and the soft foam lends a bit more spring to the step than the Scarpa in particular. Within the mountain running category, the Salomon Sense Ride 3 is the best all-rounder, but there are a number of other options. When she’s not busy studying for a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife, you can find her exploring new trails and searching for cool spots to bust a camp. In the end, we think the Spin Ultra performs slightly better on trail while the Sense Ride 3 is a better choice for cross-country travel. Built for speed, these are the trail runners you’ve been dreaming off. This feature mimics barefoot movement allowing for a more natural range of motion and full foot splay. 2.6 oz.Cushioning: Light/moderateDrop: 5mmWhat we like: A Hoka shoe for Hoka skeptics; responsive and fast.What we don’t: The upper feels a bit sloppy; light cushioning is not ideal for high-mileage days. Shoes for easy trails feature a combination of outsole rubber and exposed midsole, which lends a lightweight, springy feel but suffers particularly on slippery rocks, roots, and mud. Another scenario where waterproofing may come in handy is if you use your trail runners for year-round hiking. In addition, the aggressive outsole is one of our favorites, with substantial lugs and tacky Vibram Megagrip rubber that hold well in everything from dry dirt and mud to steep rock. Category: Rugged trailsWeight: 1 lb. Products. The Caldera offers a whole different take on a trail runner, with a stack height reminiscent of a Hoka One One, the wide toe box of an Altra, and overall more flexibility and cushion than the Cascadia for tackling long distances on moderate terrain. Wide, narrow, or average, you’ll need a trail running shoe that matches the width of your feet. The Speedgoat above is a nicely cushioned go-to for well-established trail networks, but it suffers on cross-country terrain like rock and snow. Combining key traits of both a trail runner and an approach shoe, Arc’teryx’s Norvan VT is an ideal pick for moving quickly in mountainous terrain. No matter what model you choose, the Peregrine continues to offer an impressive combination of comfort, performance, and high-quality materials.See the Men's Saucony Peregrine 11  See the Women's Saucony Peregrine 11. Sportiva continues to churn out quality shoes built for speed, these trail shoe. 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