In case you happen to be an urban runner who likes a variation in his routine or like to experience hiking trails in an innovative way, it is really difficult to ignore the passion of trail running. However, prior to fulfilling your desire, you will need running shoes which are built specifically for that purpose. There are several ways in which these running shoes are different from the typical road runners:
- Feet protection: The features present in the shoe aid in protecting the feet from any impact with rocks and debris. Abrasion and tears are avoided due to the presence of durable upper materials.
- Grip on strong terrain: You are able to move much better over mud, dirt, gravel, and rocks due to the lugged soles which help to improve traction.
- Tough construction: These shoes are intended for preventing excessive foot rotation. Furthermore, since you require shorter and more variable strides while running, pronation control is not very important.
We have penned down a handy list for you that contain the best trail running shoes in the market today with their reviews and features to help you have a better understanding of what you are about to buy.
Best Trail Running Shoes 2017-2018
|Saucony Peregrine 7|
|Salomon Speedcross 4|
|Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3|
|Inov-8 Terraclaw 250|
Saucony Peregrine 7
The Saucony Peregrine 7 running shoes help to handle virtually any trail that comes on its way mainly because of its rugged grip and flexibility. The Saucony Peregrine 7 provides reliable protection as well as traction due to the presence of an EBO rock plate plus a PWRTRAC outsole. By using a brand-new full-length Everun top sole, these Saucony shoes are ideal for a more responsive and smoother ride. It will protect your foot while traversing the trails by taking advantage of the all-new upper along with additional support. In short, the Peregrine 7 ensures a trail runner to experience a comfortable ride with its rugged and lightweight features which can handle almost anything.
Salomon Speedcross 4
The Speedcross 4 is a huge improvement on the best-selling SpeedCross 3 and is rightly considered to be among the most popular running shoes to run on the trail at present. Individuals who liked the Speedcross 3 will definitely find this particular product more useful. The Speedcross 4 features awesome traction on almost every surface and the reputed aggressive lug pattern has been enhanced significantly. They feature an amazing outsole which has been modified from the previous version along with a lower cut design around the ankle and the heel. It can handle any sort of terrain better as compared to other shoes and is intended for serious mountain running.
Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3
The Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3 has seen huge improvements over its predecessors. The significant features include a more protective and stiffer forefoot rock plate, additional cushioning foam in the heel, a more spacious as well as wider toe box, plus a brand-new carbon rubber outsole which is more durable as compared to the previous version. Above all, these running shoes do an amazing job of gripping the rocks and trail as well as shedding mud. Although the price is a bit more than the earlier versions, it is able to provide a better combination of stability, comfort and foot protection. It has been confirmed that they are also a fantastic modern scrambler and anybody will simply love to wear it while running.
The Brooks Caldera happens to be well-cushioned, responsive and ultra-distance running shoes to run off road. Being thicker beneath the forefoot, they help to provide rock protection as well as long-distance cushioning. However, these running shoes are a bit light having only a 4 mm heel-toe offset. The broader base helps to make you feel stable on trails. There is also a gusseted tongue in the upper part which helps to keep out the debris. Additional protection is provided to the foot by the presence of a double layer of mesh. The outsole which is made from sticky rubber helps to perform successfully on rocky surfaces.
Inov-8 Terraclaw 250
Performance is the hallmark of the Inov-8. The Terraclaw 250 are ideal even for the neutral runners since they come in a standard fit and also feature an open toe box as well as a tight heel which ensures a comfortable and smooth ride. The sole is created with a fantastic grip using a combination of soft and hard rubbers. Besides this, it also provides an amazing flexibility due to the presence of multi-directional triangular lugs. Although they might not have the same support or firmness underfoot as others on the market, these running shoes are light on the feet apart from being nimble with excellent grip on off-road terrain.
- Grip: You are certain to experience messy as well as uneven surfaces such as snow, mud, rocks, sand, roots, and so forth on the trail. Consequently, a better grip is needed by these running shoes to avoid sliding and falling. It is feasible to go up, go down, as well as traverse trail systems through various terrains by putting on these running shoes. Shoes specified for softer grounds are going to feature longer lugs that are spaced further away from each other. On the other hand, footwear which is more versatile is not going to be too much long and will also include more lugs that are closely spaced together.
- Weight: Trail running sneakers, similar to the road shoes, should be incredibly light in weight while providing the required safety as well as comfort. Too heavy sneakers will accelerate muscle fatigue and thus might prevent you from running long distances.
- Support: Trail runners include various levels of stability, namely, mild, neutral, as well as moderate stability. Your gait and your arch’s shape will help you to comprehend the sort of support you’ll need. You must also take into account the feel. Is it imperative for your running shoes to offer plenty of cushioning and thus aid you to run extended trail competitions? Would you need the footwear to feel minimalist and responsive? As a matter of fact, padding is quite common among them at the moment.
- Durability: Besides having the capability to stand up to different conditions the materials also must become capable of enduring hits, scratches, dirt as well as water.
- Breathability: Waterproof-breathable walls will prove to be great in case you happen to be jogging in snowy or wet conditions. The GORE-TEX® is actually a glaring instance of a water-resistant membrane that helps to keep the feet drier and warmer on chilly, wet days. It is feasible for you to get some additional padding from these types of shoes and, consequently, it might be necessary to go up a bit in terms of size. Very hot and dry weather conditions are perfect for mesh as well as fabric uppers. In spite of the fact that these components tend to be incredibly breathable as well as light, they are usually vulnerable to scratching. Mesh allows drinking water to drain and therefore helps to dry your footwear quickly which signifies that you must choose creek crossings.
- Protection: Unlike road shoes, trail running shoes, more safety is offered for the roots as well as the rocks. While a few have got toe bumpers to safeguard your feet others feature thin, shielding rock plates between the outsole as well as the midsole.
- Heel to drop: Heel to toe drop is actually a dimension that’s closely associated with the elevation of the padding. The difference in between the height at the forefoot and the height at the heel is going to determine this specific aspect. By matching your existing running footwear’s “drop” it will be feasible to stay away from messing with the biomechanics associated with your system. Remember that you ought to double-check the drop even though you are shopping for identical shoes. Midfoot or forefoot strike is actually encouraged by a low heel drop. Consequently, you will be able to land flawlessly, coupled with much better muscle engagement. This helpful biomechanical shift is definitely a huge appeal of barefoot as well as minimalist shoes. You should never make any unnecessary haste in case you are thinking of changing to barefoot or minimalist footwear. Here it must be pointed out that any footwear with medium and maximum padding will typically have a low heel drop. Not everybody can easily execute the modification from properly padded high-heel-drop shoes to properly-cushioned low-heel-drop footwear.
- Comfort: You can stay comfy on rocky surfaces while protecting your bones from any bruising just by having some midsole padding. You ought to think of trading padding for lighter shoes if you’re jogging on groomed paths. Nevertheless, bear in mind that a lot more protection is going to be required for your feet’s soles on a trail run.
There are so many trail running shoes available on the market today that choosing the best pair can present a real challenge. With the above reviews and buying tips we hope that we have helped you in the right direction!