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The Best Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Last updated on June 14, 2024
Best Men's Trail Running Shoe

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Men's Trail Running Shoes

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

GoodValue Water-Resistant Flexible Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

GoodValue

Water-Resistant Flexible Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Whether you're looking to hike up a mountain or blaze through the forest, these men's trail running shoes have you covered. Their designed for all terrains and have a waterproof coating to keep your feet nice and dry when bad weather pops up. Additionally, the shoes are quite comfortable, thanks to the inner mesh lining and padded tongue and collar...

Overall Take

Five Color OptionsYou'll find this men's trail running shoe comes in a choice of red, black, green, blue and orange.

 Runner Up

SOBASO Breathable Rubber Soled Men’s Trail Running Shoe

SOBASO

Breathable Rubber Soled Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Slip your feet right into these men's trail running shoes and you're ready to go. Although the shoes are easy on and easy off, they do feature a unique front drawstring for a custom fit. Athletes will appreciate the rubber sole for better traction, as well as the skin-friendly fabric for comfort during long runs.

Overall Take

Economical PickYou won't have any trouble sticking to your budget, thanks to the affordable price tag on this men's trail running shoe.

 We Also Like

New Balance 481 V3 Leather & Mesh Men’s Trail Running Shoe

New Balance

481 V3 Leather & Mesh Men's Trail Running Shoe

You won't have to stick to smooth surfaces when you opt for this men's trail running shoe. The AT tread outsole provides strong traction, allowing for runs on rocky and uneven surfaces. Inside the shoe, runners will enjoy ultra-soft cushioning that keeps feet from getting tired and sore.

Overall Take

Excellent TractionThe comfort collar on this men's trail running shoe hugs the ankle for added softness and support.

 Strong Contender

ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Removable Sock-Liner Trail Men’s Running Shoe

ASICS

Gel-Venture 6 Removable Sock-Liner Trail Men's Running Shoe

This men's trail running shoe is a dependable trail running shoe that can also act as a solid street shoe for everyday wear. The pair come in an abundance of color options to ensure that it fits your style. These were light and comfortable in our testing.

Overall Take

Multi-Purpose PairThis men's trail running shoe works well in all situations, from the trails to the city streets.

Buying Guide

For outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, running on the paved sidewalks of a city might feel a little boring at times, and the thought of getting that exercise on a treadmill may be even worse. It’s common to want to find a way to get out in nature and combine your exercise with some fresh air and pleasant sights. Trail running mixes all these things into one invigorating activity.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Trail running can be described as meditative by many of those out there running uphill and downhill through woods or mountainsides. This simple activity can be practiced with nothing more than a pair of comfortable workout clothes and, of course, a good pair of trail running shoes. The right footwear will help immensely in being able to safely enjoy trail running. For those of you who are new to the sport, there are a handful of things you’ll want to look at before purchasing a pair of appropriate trail running shoes for yourself.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Trails obviously vary greatly based on the steepness of the trail itself and the weather conditions.  One thing that remains constant with the surface of the ground in most trail running areas is that the amount of friction or grip that you’ll be able to feel is much less than what you’re used to on a sidewalk or treadmill. Trail running shoes are designed with this in mind, offering soles with various knobs along the bottom to make them suitable for all terrains. Similar to hiking boots or slip-resistant shoes, a trail running shoe features a soft rubber grip that runs perpendicular to the direction that your shoe would want to slide. Running along a slippery path with traditional running shoes is simply asking for a fall and potential injury to the runner, so it’s important to take this design feature seriously when looking for a good pair of trail running shoes.

Trails often wind through forests or rocky areas. The midsole of a good trail running shoe will be soft enough to allow you to run over this varied terrain without feeling every little detail of the ground below your feet. This really helps keep the runner in a constant state of motion, as they won’t be needing to find a perfectly flat landing zone for each step in their stride. The harder rubber outsole will be the first line of defense against these uneven steps, and the midsole will make the whole thing comfortable. A shock-absorbing midsole, as seen on the ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6, will go even farther by cushioning the impact force on joints like your knees and ankles.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

While running through nature, you might occasionally get caught under a rain cloud or have a creek to tread through. Or perhaps it’s just so hot out that your feet are sweating a lot and creating their own moisture. In any case, a proper trail running shoe will have you covered with breathable types of mesh on the upper body of the shoe.  A breathable trail running shoe can really help cut down on how hot your feet get out on the trail. The mesh uppers let your feet and socks dry on the fly and prevent nasty blisters from forming.

The feel of the shoe on your foot is obviously a big factor in purchasing any pair of shoes. The style of shoelaces on a trail running shoe will have a big hand in this feeling of comfort. They need to be able to hold the shoe snuggly to your foot while having eyelets spaced out in a pattern that doesn’t impede on your foot’s motions during the run. A pair of trail running shoes should also be very lightweight to help runners feel less fatigued as they take thousands of steps during the course of a run. In a situation like this, every gram can matter when it comes to how much weight you’re strapping to the bottom of your feet.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

“You’re looking for that traction on the bottom of the foot but also durability on the outside of the foot,” Stephanie Mansour, a certified personal trainer and the founder of fitness brand Step It Up Steph, advises. She notes that you want a supportive and protective material that’ll keep your foot safe from sticks, roots or rocks.

“Unlike a running or a walking shoe, you’re looking for a shoe that is a little bit stiffer,” Mansour says. “This is because it needs to withstand the treacherous environment that you won’t find in a gym or on a sidewalk. These shoes need to be built to last.”

MORE: What to look for when buying new running shoes

Our Expert Consultant

Stephanie Mansour   
Certified Personal Trainer, Health and Wellness Expert

Stephanie Mansour, host of “Step It Up with Steph” on public broadcasting, has been coaching women for over a decade on how to lose weight and make it last. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis on women’s studies and psychology from the University of Michigan. She holds certifications in life coaching, personal training, yoga and Pilates.

What to Look For

  • If you plan to use these shoes for everyday activities or to split time between running on trails and running on streets, you might want to get a pair that has slightly less aggressive knobs on the outsole. The bigger pieces can help a lot with traction, but the less aggressive sole allows you to feel the pedals in your car better and can be less cumbersome to walk around in on a daily basis.
  • Finding a shoe with the right arch support will also help you to feel comfortable as you run. The midsoles and insoles on your trail running shoe should hug your arch properly to give you the best fit. They will then act as your shock absorbers, so that your feet and knees can handle the endurance without being beaten up too much.
  • The materials and construction quality of a trail running shoe are important. Keep in mind that these shoes will be pounding the ground in some rough conditions. Look for highly rated brands that have a history of producing good quality shoes or hiking boots; when it comes to a decision like this, which can impact the health of your knees and feet, it’s important to make quality a priority.

More to Explore

Trail running has become increasingly popular as an exercise in the past decade. There was a 1,000% increase in organized trail running races in the 10 years between 2008 and 2018. Perhaps the increase in popularity is related to our bigger societal focus on environmentalism. It’s also possible that the sport is becoming known as a more spiritual and meditative form of running than sprinting on the treadmill.  After all, what’s more peaceful than getting exercise while also connecting ot nature? Either way, there is no denying that trail running is a beloved way for people to get out and exercise.

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