New Balance Men’s M990v4 Trail Running Shoe
Last updated date: March 16, 2021
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We looked at the top Men's Trail Running Shoes and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Men's Trail Running Shoe you should buy.
Update as August 20, 2021:
Checkout The Best Men’s Trail Running Shoe for a detailed review of all the top men's trail running shoes.
In our analysis of 49 expert reviews, the New Balance Men's M990v4 Trail Running Shoe placed 9th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
The latest in our Made in USA series, the 990v4 provides the perfect blend of cushioning and stability. With a hybrid upper for breathability and ENCAP technology for comfort, this classic running shoe continues our legacy of great performance and iconic style.
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Our Expert Consultant
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.
Overall Product Rankings
An Overview On Men's Trail Running Shoes
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
The Men's Trail Running Shoe Buying Guide
- 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.
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