When it comes to running, whether for leisure or competition, the most important gear is your running shoes. Gone are the days when all a runner needed was a pair of white tennis shoes.
Now, there are shoes that have cutting edge technology to provide the best footwear for every runner. The best trail running shoes are designed and made for everyone, from the casual Sunday runner to the 42-k marathon competitor.
The technology available for shoes is not just for comfort, but also for protection and support. This is especially important for runners who travel across all kinds of terrain and under all sorts of weather. Shoe companies are constantly looking for new ways to develop and design the best running shoes.
Let’s take a look at three of the top of the line running shoes so we can decide which of them are the best.
1. Speedcross 4 GTX Trail Running Shoes
The Salomon Men’s Speedcross 4 GTX Trail Running Shoes is made from textile and synthetic material that makes this pair lightweight. The rubber sole features an extensive lug pattern for better grip on rough and slippery terrain.
The Salomon shoes also features the signature Endofit and Sensifit technology that allow for better grip on any terrain while still providing comfort for the runner. They also boast techno fabric of a GORE-TEX show, making it weather resistant why still being aerated.
Aesthetically speaking, the shoe looks like it was designed to power through most terrains. The lugs on this shoe provide runners with grip and traction. With that said, any terrain or surface won’t be a problem when you use these during your run.
Lastly, this Salomon product line also offers an array of bright colors and colorway combinations so you can choose the look you prefer.
- Sensifit technology makes for secure and snug fit
- GORE-TEX fabric makes it weather proof but still breathable
- Features Quicklace for convenience
- Multiple color designs and colorway combinations available
- Heaviest shoe from the Speedcross Series (350 grams)
- Quicklace can bunch up on top of the shoe
- Not the softest materials used for the shoe’s interior and insole
2. New Balance Men’s 510v4 Cushioning Trail Running Shoes
New Balance’s Men’s 510v4 cushioning trail running shoes are made from synthetic and textile materials to protect the feet from the worst terrain while still keeping it dry and aerated. The shoe is made with a rubber sole for durability along with an AT Tread Outsole for better grip on different kinds of surfaces.
In addition, this pair of shoes from New Balance features ACTEVA midsole for better support and ABZORB heel to cushion the heel while running. They also boast the New Balance Ultra Soft Comfort Insert in the inside of the shoe for better comfort and support during runs.
Aesthetically, the New Balance running shoes are a little plain and mild. Compared to other running shoes that are vibrant and colorful, the 510v4 looks plain-looking, even for New Balance Shoes. There are other colorways, but it is all in the same drab color schemes. However, what the pair lacks in style, it more than makes up for in substance and durability.
- Soft insoles from custom made inserts
- Arch support from midsole inserts
- Durable outsole for all types of terrain
- Synthetic material for protection from all kinds of weather
- Toe protection adds to the overall weight of the shoe
- Limited colorways offered, and even then the available colors are simple
- The design is too bulky especially for a running shoe
3. Merrell Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner Shoes
The pair of Merrell’s Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner shoes is made from textile and synthetic materials along with mesh and TPU technology that makes them suitable to be used in different terrains and all kinds of weather. They also feature the Merrell Vibram sole to help cushion the feet while running.
In addition, they boast Merrell’s innovative Barefoot design for a very snug but light feel. The shoe’s sculpted design also makes it fit like a glove but offers the same protection and durability of other Merrell footwear.
In terms of appearance, these Merrell shoes are definitely unique. Called the Trail Glove, the shoe looks like it was made to look like a perfectly fitting glove for a runner’s feet. The design looks like the shoe was streamlined and it looks sleek and aerodynamic. This can be very helpful, in terms of comfort for the feet when running across hard surfaces.
Finally, despite being lightweight, the materials used to make the shoes still provide protection and support. The Merrell’s Men’s Trail Glove 4 Runner shoes are also available in several colors, including bright red and neon green.
- Very lightweight material. The shoe weighs only .5 lbs
- Multiple colorways available
- Small and easy to pack compared to other running shoes
- Low cut for maximum ankle flexibility
- Low cut style provides minimal protection from water entering the shoe
- Elastic strap at the tongue could get bunched at the top of the shoe
- The design has minimal mid-arch foot support in the insole
Best Trail Running Shoes: The Verdict
When it comes to choosing the right running shoe, there are a lot of factors to consider. It really depends on what kind of runner you are and what kind of trail you run on a regular basis. But essentially you want comfort, protection, durability, and of course, you want your shoes to look good.
If you’re looking for all terrain shoes, then the Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX is the one for you. If you’re looking for protection and more rugged-looking shoes, then the New Balance 510v4 cushioning trail running shoes would be your choice. If you’re looking for comfort and a snug fit, then the Merrell Trail Glove 4 Runner shoes are the perfect pair for you.
When you take everything into consideration and you are talking about all runners in general, the best trail running shoes among these three will have to be Merrell Trail Glove 4 Runner. Despite offering the least protection, the style and comfort that the Barefoot design offers have been a hit with runners for several years.
The reputation of Merrell for creating durable, all-terrain footwear also has that going for it. You just know that the Merrell shoes will last longer than the other two choices. The streamlined design along with the comfort and protection that the shoe offer makes it the best choice on this list.