Trail-Running Shoes


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Reebok’s Floatride Energy 4 Adventure delivers a road-shoe ride with just enough toughness for dirt

Our editors tested five of the best carbon-plated trail shoes—and two alternative plated shoes—on the market. Here’s what we found.

Beware of these warning signs that indicate it’s time to get new kicks. Plus, use these expert tips to extend the life of your trail runners.

This shoe brings carbon-plated speed to the masses

After finishing the Appalachian Trail, I experienced severe pain in my lower right leg. Little did I know, toe socks and spacers would be my saving grace.

The Speedland SL:PDX might just change how runners think about their equipment

Our trail shoemeliers pick the best off-road running models to pair with each trail surface

Outside tester and mountain guide Andrew Skurka summed up the Lone Peak best in his roundup of backpacking shoes: “[It’s] a favorite of thru-hikers, who appreciate its extra-wide toe box and generously cushioned 25-millimeter stack height when putting in long days on well-maintained trails.”…

“Our test team applauded the thicker midsole, which has a segmented rock plate in the heel and air pockets in the forefoot, for soft landings and smooth, snappy takeoffs,” we wrote of the Terra Kiger in our 2022 Winter Buyer’s Guide. “Even with this beefier profile, the Kiger 7…

This year’s fastest kicks for every kind of terrain

With one eye for function and another for form, Nike refined the Terra Kiger for the trail shoe’s best fit, ride, and grip to date.

Our Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, likes the Challenger ATR 5 because its cushioned sole is kind on his body. “Hammering those mentally therapeutic miles and not complaining about aching knees afterward make the ATR 5’s some of my most cherished gear,” he wrote.

The North Face VECTIV Enduris is a well-cushioned ride with plenty of teeth, a surprisingly fast roll, and a wallet-friendly price.

The Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra is the first shoe that uses stronger-than-steel Graphene its midsole foam, and the result is long-lasting cushioning that holds up over the burliest of trails.

We put tough, dirty miles on these new customizable trail shoes that are generating buzz for their price tag — and find they deliver, with premium comfort and performance.

Whether you’re looking to transition from pavement to dirt or just log more and faster miles off-road, Saucony athlete Katie Asmuth has you covered with hard-earned tips and advice

After 315 demanding miles in the Bushido II, tester Andrew Skurka praised it for its “superb traction” and “excellent durability for a 10.5-ounce shoe.” Tip: it does run a little small, so we recommend trying a half-size up.

Asics make a burly trail statement with the Trabuco Max that grips onto and rolls over rough terrain.

Outside contributor Wes Siler called these the best hiking boots he’s tested. “If you need ankle support and weather protection, then you’ll find more of that in these Altras at less of a weight penalty, and with more comfort, traction, and support, than you will in just…

An improved, versatile Salomon Sense Ride invites you to bring on everything with confidence and comfort.

We round up 7 of the top new trail shoes available in 2021, showcasing a wide variety of rides to match your favorite trail terrain and running style.

La Sportiva's waterproofed Jackal is winter ready, mountain rugged and wide foot friendly.

5 Reasons trail shoes can improve your stride, strength and longevity this winter.

This update to Altra's burly-soled trail shoe smooths some rough edges, making it livelier, lighter and more flexible.

Topo's new Ultraventure Pro is a rugged, protective long-run or thru hiking shoe that takes on any terrain with panache and won’t soon succumb to wear or tear.

The traction, stability, and protection will arm you for adventure.

The Wildcross made our 2021 Winter Buyer’s Guide list of the best running shoes. It “absolutely slays loose, off-trail terrain, firmly grabbing sandy trails, rocks, and mud,” wrote testers Lisa Jhung and Cory Smith. “However, its chops on messy surfaces come at the expense of its ability…

The Ultra Pro is one of our favorite trail shoes. Its “relatively light weight lends a nimble feel (the men’s size nine is 10.3 ounces and the women’s size seven is 8.8 ounces),” wrote testers Cory Smith and Lisa Jhung. “One tester thought it ‘would be a…

Faster splits and higher summits are just around the corner

Inov-8’s new ultra trail running shoe combines grippy traction, high-tech cushioning, and enduring comfort to assist you in hours of trail climbing on any terrain.

We gave the Spin Ultra a Gear of the Year award for its unparalleled ability to handle trail runs of any distance. The Vibram Megagrip sole provides traction on rough terrain, and the TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) toe cap keeps your feet safe from stray roots and rocks.

In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, these were our favorite all-mountain chargers. “The toothy Vibram Megagrip lugs offer killer traction, and that surefootedness, combined with massive Hoka cush, inspires confidence on technical terrain,” we wrote. The third version of the shoe has an updated tongue and a heartier toe…

In our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide, this was our favorite all-mountain charger. “The toothy Vibram Megagrip lugs offer killer traction, and that surefootedness, combined with massive Hoka cush, inspires confidence on technical terrain,” we wrote. The third version of the shoe has an updated tongue and a heartier toe…

Dialed-in fit for ease in keeping the rubber side down on technical trails.

Grip and support on any dirt, at any distance

Jessica Rogers and her team make some of our favorite trail-running gear

Every year, Outside dedicates two whole magazines to gear. Here's what goes on behind the scenes.

This trailblazer was one of our favorite shoes for long and steep runs. “The Caldera 3 serves up road-worthy comfort in a trail-ready package,” we wrote. We found the EVA midsole soft and springy, while a protective toe bumper and mesh upper gives it the mountain chops to flourish…

3 New trail running shoes that make you feel connected to the terrain and light on your feet.

3 Trail running shoes that will take you from door to mountain top, deftly navigating pavement, gravel, dirt and rocks.

Dad knees and an aging body changed my mind about Hokas

If a low-top hiking boot and a cushy, lightweight trail runner had a baby, the New Balance Hierro v5 trail shoe would be it.

Salomon’s new Sense Ride 3 is made for the trail yet smooth and resilient enough for the road.

Meet one of our favorite trail-running shoes for those long and steep sessions. We highlighted these soft but springy kicks in our June 2019 issue for their slipper-like comfort, flexible outsole, protective toe bumper, and quick-drying mesh upper. “The shallow tread is best on well-traveled dirt,” we wrote.

In our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide roundup of the best running shoes, we recommended the Pegasus 36 Trail for mellow terrain. It has “toothy, multidirectional lugs that gripped dirt and gravel even in a rainstorm, and reinforcement in the upper that lent protection off-road without adding a lot of…

Our tester Wes Siler loves these shoes for hiking and backpacking trips. Siler said the Lone Peak 4 “is more comfortable and has better grip than anything else I’ve tested.” Altra designed the Lone Peak 4 for hikers and runners with a wide, comfortable footbed and exceptional traction on…

This trail runner is one of our top choices for big alpine outings. “With its narrow last, rock-solid fit, and big six-millimeter lugs, it can quickstep through sketchy rock piles and bank tight switchbacks with confidence,” wrote our tester.

When winter turns every surface into a trail, the grip, stability and robustness of trail shoes shine.

We featured the Challenger ATR 4 in our roundup of the best trail-running shoes of 2018. Though it’s thick soled, testers described it as “admirably nimble.” It’s great all-around, too: “Extra-long days on hardpack? Easygoing efforts? Both felt great,” our testers wrote.

Spry and responsive foul-weather trainers for road and trail

The Spin Ultra won our 2019 Gear of the Year award for its high-quality performance on the trail. The Vibram Megagrip soles “serve up unparalleled traction,” our testers said. Plus, Scarpa added extra cushioning to the Spin Ultra for all-day comfort whether you’re charging up a hill or doing…

Today’s trail shoes provide specialized features for a variety of different terrains. Here’s how to sort out what you need.

We sat through the 20-minute molding process, then took them out on dirt to see how they performed

The Lone Peak 3.5 is one of AT hiker Eiryn Reynolds’ favorite pieces of gear. Its aggressive lugs grip the trail and offer comfort on long-distance days. The wider toe box allows for a more natural foot stance and fewer blisters.

Whether you're on burly mountain ridges or buffed singletrack, these kicks have you covered

The Salomon X-Mission 3 is a versatile, comfortable hiking shoe for people with narrow feet, according to one of our gear columnists, who said it “will do just fine for everything but the gnarliest backpacking trips.”…

Lightweight hikers that command the path

A practical guide for purchasing your next pair of trainers

Our testers picked the Caldera 2 as one of the best trail runners of summer 2018. “This was the shoe we reached for when we wanted to take it easy on our dogs,” they wrote. “On most trails, the Caldera provided ample protection.”…

In the past few years, trail runners from the French gear company have started showing up on runways. Why?

Contributor Justin Nyberg picked the Caldera 2 as one of the best trail runners of summer 2018. “This was the shoe we reached for when we wanted to take it easy on our dogs,” he wrote. “On most trails, the Caldera provided ample protection.”…

One of our favorite trail running shoes of 2017, the Trailbender impressed testers with its cushioning. “We were pleasantly surprised by how well this shoe bombed full-speed down deeply rutted trails,” they wrote. “It’s a confident, cushioned shoe that delivers support, not just stack.”…

The founder of the Boulder Running Company is opening a new store and merging it with his physical therapy business

Light up the trails with these all-terrain performers

Altra founders Golden Harper and Brian Becksted will remain involved under the new ownership

Two new running shoes designed specifically with the ultrarunner in mind

Get low, ride high, and stomp everything in between

From a totally reinvented ski boot to a wetsuit that's good for the environment, this is the stuff we're most excited about

In our ongoing Weekly Escape series, we aim to transport you from your desk to an incredible place in 2 minutes or less.

Our three favorite trail runners

Seeing a beloved piece of gear get discontinued is a bit like going through a rough breakup. Pearl Izumi’s decision to terminate its Run line left our writer particularly devastated.

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