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The Best Men’s Trail Running Shoe - 2021

Last updated on August 20, 2021

We looked at the top 12 Men's Trail Running Shoes and dug through the reviews from 49 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Men's Trail Running Shoes.

Best Men's Trail Running Shoe

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Our Picks For The Top Men's Trail Running Shoes

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

New Balance 481 V3 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

New Balance

481 V3 Men's Trail Running Shoe

Overall Take

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

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion & Apparel Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Lightweight Build

Saucony Excursion TR12 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Saucony

Excursion TR12 Men's Trail Running Shoe

Overall Take

Grid Cushioning SystemThese men's trail running shoes are both lightweight and durable.

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion & Apparel Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Versatile Pick

ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Trail Men’s Running Shoe

ASICS

Gel-Venture 6 Men's Trail Running Shoe

Overall Take

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

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion & Apparel Experts plus Runner Click, The Gear Hunt, RunRepeat, Shoe Advisor, WalkJogRun, Footwear Havens and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Trail shoe designed with a high amount of traction and suppot. The midsole ensures that the runners have a comfortable and shock absorbent run."
Cons
"This shoe is not waterproof which isn't a problem for urban runners, however, is a problem for trail runners. Trail runners does usually have a bit higher levels of moisturie than city streets"
  We Also Like

WHITIN Cushioned Men’s Trail Running Shoe

WHITIN

Cushioned Men's Trail Running Shoe

Overall Take

Multiple Colors and PatternsWhen you opt for these men's trail running shoes, you'll be able to choose from 10 different colors and patterns.

Experts Included
DWYM Fashion & Apparel Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the men's trail running shoes available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

49

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Boot Bomb, BestReviews, Runner Click, Verywell Fit, AmaPerfect.

65,884

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Men's Trail Running Shoes and also dug through the reviews from 49 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Men's Trail Running Shoes.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

New Balance 481 V3 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

User Summarized Score

8.8
12,439 user reviews

Our Take

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.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

WHITIN Cushioned Men’s Trail Running Shoe

User Summarized Score

8.6
660 user reviews

Our Take

You'll feel light on your feet when you go with these men's trail running shoes. They have an extremely durable build, a reliable rubber outsole and excellent multi-surface traction. Additional benefits include midsole technology for responsive cushioning and an air cushion system for max shock absorption.

Overall Product Rankings

New Balance 481 V3 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

1. New Balance 481 V3 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

Saucony Excursion TR12 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

2. Saucony Excursion TR12 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 1

ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Trail Men’s Running Shoe

3. ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Trail Men’s Running Shoe

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 12

WHITIN Cushioned Men’s Trail Running Shoe

4. WHITIN Cushioned Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 1

ALTRA ALM1953G Superior 4 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

5. ALTRA ALM1953G Superior 4 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

adidas outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoe

6. adidas outdoor Men’s Ax2 Hiking Shoe

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 9

Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe

7. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 12

New Balance Men’s Kaymin V1 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

8. New Balance Men’s Kaymin V1 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe

9. New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe

Overall Score: 8.7
Reviews Included: 8

adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail m Running Shoe

10. adidas Men’s Rockadia Trail m Running Shoe

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 7

Salomon Men’s Xa Pro 3D

11. Salomon Men’s Xa Pro 3D

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 13

Our Men's Trail Running Shoe Findings


New Balance 481 V3 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

Best Overall

What We Liked: 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.


Saucony Excursion TR12 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

What We Liked: You’ll find this men’s trail running shoe is available in eight different colors. The shoe is designed using trail-specific mesh and comes equipped with a cushioning system to keep your foot comfortable, even when you’re on a long run. Rugged terrain is also no problem for this shoe, as it’s outsole is made with a triangular lug pattern that will prevent you from slipping.


ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Trail Men’s Running Shoe

What We Liked: 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.


WHITIN Cushioned Men’s Trail Running Shoe

What We Liked: You’ll feel light on your feet when you go with these men’s trail running shoes. They have an extremely durable build, a reliable rubber outsole and excellent multi-surface traction. Additional benefits include midsole technology for responsive cushioning and an air cushion system for max shock absorption.


ALTRA ALM1953G Superior 4 Men’s Trail Running Shoe

What We Liked: Correct foot positioning is important, which is why you’ll want go pick up a pair of these men’s trail running shoes. They are designed to improve foot positioning and come with a FootShape toe box. You’ll also get added security and support, thanks to the innovative wrap-around upper.

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.

Our Men's Trail Running Shoe 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.”

DWYM Fun Fact

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.

The Men's Trail Running Shoe Tips and Advice

  • 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.