Can I Use Trail Shoes for Road Running?

can i use trail shoes for road running

Trail running usually requires shoes with more traction and stability because of the naturally rough and rugged nature of the terrain.

However, the option to run on trails is not always available; more often than not, the road is the only choice you have left.

If you are a trail diehard and the only shoes you own are a pair of trail shoes, you might want to ask: Can I use trail shoes for road running?

The quick answer is yes because trail shoes are versatile enough for different road conditions.

What Types of Shoes Are Used for Road Running?

The type of shoes you wear when you run varies depending on where you run.

This is to ensure the most comfort and prevent foot injuries that are far too common when wearing the wrong pair.

For running on roads, sidewalks, or tracks, you will want flexible and lightweight shoes. They not only absorb the impact from the hard surface but also stabilize your feet.

Moreover, look for running shoes with smooth and flat soles so that you can have a consistent surface with every repetitive stride.

Can I Use Trail Shoes for Road Running?

Because they are made for running on uneven terrain, trail shoes have larger lugs or cleats than road running shoes to ensure a more secure grip.

Some may even come with plates at the bottom to protect your feet from sharp objects and rocks.

To give you the level of support needed when running on rugged trails, you will also find them with stiffer midsoles.

So, can I use trail shoes for road running? Definitely, yes.

If you find a good quality pair of trail shoes, wearing them for running on paved roads should pose no problems.

They are often designed to be versatile enough that you can wear them for different purposes.

Best Trail Shoes for Road Running

Here’s a list of trail shoes that are taking the market by storm:


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1. Saucony Endorphin Edge

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The Saucony Endorphin Edge is sure to put those endorphins to work with its PWRRUN PB foam cushioning and Carbitex Monoflex carbon-fiber plate combination.

The PWRRUN PB is Saucony’s most dynamic and responsive cushioning, while the Carbitex Monoflex carbon-fiber plate works to give you fast push-off and stable landing every time.

With these technologies working together, you can go for miles with a good grip and much comfort.


This shoe has SPEEDROLL Technology that helps propel the runner forward with little to no effort.

If you like going for speed and efficiency, the Saucony Endorphin Edge will not disappoint because it does all those things without compromising stability.

Plus, this trail shoe has a three-quarter design to help your heel adapt better to various terrain conditions.

With a PWRTRAC outsole, this shoe will give you that incredible grip on the trail.

  • Overall Comfort

The Saucony Endorphin Edge has lightweight mesh that equates to higher absorption and less moisture retention.

It also has a big space for the toe box that is perfect for those with wider feet.

  • Shoe Weight

Trail running shoes usually sacrifice weight as one of their comfort features because the upper usually incorporates heavier materials to protect against rips and tears.

However, you will be surprised to know that these trail shoes weigh only nine ounces per shoe.

  • Drop

The drop is the height difference between the heel and toe support at the level of the midsole.

To compare, a traditional running shoe has a heel drop of 10mm and up, while in trail running, a minimized drop is preferred by many.

This shoe has a 6mm drop. Lower drops make your feet work harder for every step, which, in turn, results in stronger, more capable feet.


  • Springy full-length carbon plate
  • It has a good amount of cushioning
  • Spacious toe box
  • Secure fit


  • Expensive

2. La Sportiva Bushido II

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Do you think a trail shoe cannot hit responsiveness, stability, and comfort all at once?

If you thought yes, think again because the La Sportiva Bushido II has all that and more.

This trail shoe offers exceptional cushioning while maintaining a stable, lightweight, neutral, and aggressive outsole that no terrain is too tough to handle.

These shoes are the perfect choice for running the most technical of trails on steep hills.


With its impact brake system, the shoe’s outsole lugs give you good control during descents.

It also has FriXion XT V-Groove 2, which guarantees a superb grip on dry or wet terrain due to its dual-compound rubber.

  • Overall Comfort

Thanks to its easy slip-on build, the La Sportiva Bushido II wraps around the foot perfectly without straining pressure points.

  • Shoe Weight

At 10.50 ounces per shoe, this trail shoe is considered mid-weight overall. That said, this weight does not come as a surprise.

Most trail shoes have heavier builds because of their stability and outsole features that help them last longer on tough terrains.

  • Drop

Most trail runners advise keeping the drop low or sticking with zero drop shoes.

Without a steeper angle between your heel and forefoot, your feet exert less effort when climbing or going through tough terrains.

Given that information, you will be happy to know that this shoe has a good drop of 6mm.


  • Superb grip
  • Very stable strides
  • Tough materials but lightweight upper


  • Slightly stiff collar
  • Not waterproof

3. Saucony Peregrine 12

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This shoe is named after the fastest bird on earth, the peregrine falcon.  Fortunately, it was able to live up to its name as it can ace trails with pace.

The Saucony Peregrine 12 is a shoe that focuses on speed and agility with several technologies in place.

Easily fly through the toughest of trails or the simplest pavements with this trail shoe that is built to last.


This trail shoe incorporates the PWRRUN cushioning technology of Saucony, known for its soft and springy feel.

In addition to that, it features a traction-rich PWRTRAC outsole to help with a speedy take-off.

At the same time, the protective rock plate gives the user a more relaxed ride while shedding moisture easily.

  • Overall Comfort

Saucony Peregrine 12’s PWRRUN technology cushions the feet well. With the contoured EVA sockliner, you can have an even more customized feel.

The shoe also has a minimal upper design with a highly flexible overlay to provide ease in bending.

Of course, it also protects your feet against trail elements.

  • Shoe Weight

At 9.7 ounces per shoe for men and 8.3 ounces per shoe for women, this trail running shoe is very lightweight.

Even so, Saucony made sure all materials used were also durable and flexible at the same time.

  • Drop

These shoes have a good 4mm drop, which is best to avoid knee or hip injuries while running.

A low drop does a good job of dispersing impact, so it is distributed properly throughout your whole leg.

However, if you are someone who experiences Achilles pain while sprinting, go for trail shoes with more arch support.


  • Excellent grip
  • Environment-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable upper


  • Minimal toe protection

4. Dynafit Feline SL Trail Running Shoes

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The Dynafit Feline SL has a deep and aggressive tread, promising optimum traction even on the muddiest and steepest surfaces.

It is a bestseller in the Dynafit line, thanks to being such a versatile and sturdy companion of many trail diehards.


It has great responsiveness, traction, and plush cushioning, so this shoe is perfect for mid distances.

The Dynafit Feline SL assures lateral stability at the forefoot with its POMOCA outsole.

It also performs incredibly well in wet or slick areas due to its excellent grip in the mid-area and improved traction at both the toes and heel.

  • Overall Comfort

A precise, snug, and comfortable fit is highly achievable with the sensitive fit technology of these shoes.

If you are always in a hurry, you will love the quick lacing system and the Dynafit invisible lacing technology.

What’s more, these shoes boast an injection-molded TPU toe cap to decrease the adverse effects of toe and forefoot impact.

  • Shoe Weight

Although there is no single rule on how light or heavy a shoe should weigh, we still advise you to try on different kinds of shoes.

This way, you can know which one fits you and your build like a glove.

At 10.22 ounces, the Feline SL is not too heavy, nor is it too light. Amateur trail runners and experts will have no trouble getting their runs started with this one.

  • Drop

The Feline SL has an 8mm drop, higher than the rest of the pairs in this list.

Still, we added it to give you more options because different people have different feet and preferences.


  • Great grip
  • Toe and forefront protection
  • Sturdy
  • Suitable for soft and muddy trails


  • Higher drop than the rest

5. Brooks Catamount Men’s Trail Running Shoe

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Never lag behind your off-road trails again with the Brooks’ Catamount trail shoe.

This shoe is specifically designed to help you move swiftly on changing terrain. Plus, the ultra-light cushioning makes the experience a very comfortable one.


The Catamount is made for speed for more advanced runners who enjoy taking on the challenge of rougher terrains.

It has highly sticky traction due to its raised tread pattern and unique TrailTrack rubber.

This technology makes ground gripping easier, whether you are going up or down a hill.

What’s more, the same technology also helps keep you from slipping on wet surfaces.

The Ballistic Rock Shield between the midsole and outsole protects your feet from the risks of stepping on sharp objects.

  • Overall Comfort

These shoes incorporate a DNA FLASH foam.

This cushioning is nitrogen-infused to bring about great energy return and a shoe that can adapt to your unique stride.

  • Shoe Weight

Its weight of 9.3 ounces per shoe is due to its ultra-light and responsive cushioning technology.

With this shoe, every step gets a perfect bounce.

  • Drop

The Catamount trail shoe has a 6mm drop.

As mentioned, a smaller drop allows you to run as if you are barefoot. This natural gait will allow running to be an easier job.

Allowing your feet to be unhindered as they operate in a more natural position will result in a low-impact running gait.

Here, the middle foot will land first before the heel, avoiding any health problems for runners.


  • Aggressive grip
  • Can handle wet areas
  • Able to go through tough trails


  • Upper does not have the best hold

6. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 5 Trail Running Shoes

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Salomon’s Speedcross 5 is a masterpiece that has been perfected over the years.

This trail running shoe has a stable grip and a dynamic upper for better performance and fit, but can you wear it on paved roads?


This shoe has sharp chevron lugs with good spacing through its Mud Contragrip technology.

Basically, these lugs allow the shoe to deliver better push-off and braking grip against all surface conditions.

The upper is made of tight mesh that does a good job of keeping your feet dry. At the same time, it prevents the shoe from trapping debris.

That said, these shoes are not for super long runs, nor do they have a zero drop. Instead, they are great for handling mixed conditions with confidence.

  • Overall Comfort

The Speedcross 5’s upper is welded with SensiFit, allowing it to move like your natural foot. It also has a quick lacing system that makes an easy-on and easy-off system possible.

Not to mention, this trail shoe has an Ortholite insole.

This means it matches the contours of the wearer’s foot seamlessly for superior cushioning and breathability like no other.

  • Shoe Weight

The only downside that this shoe has is its weight.

From this list, Salomon’s Speedcross 5 weighs the heaviest at 11.28 ounces per shoe.

A “heavier” trail shoe means it can support runners on the heavier side since their shoe of choice should be able to carry their weight.

  • Drop

The Salomon Speedcross 5 has a 10mm drop, which will benefit users whose stride usually lands heel first. It can also help in preventing calf pains.

Contrary to other reviews indicating that a lower drop is better, that is not always the case.

For instance, an overstriding forefoot strike can be prevented by having shoes with a higher drop.


  • Excellent grip
  • Tight mesh upper keeps debris from getting in
  • Quick lace system
  • Can handle wet and muddy areas
  • Impressive protection


  • Heavier than other trail shoes
  • Higher drop

Trail Shoes for Running: Yay or Nay?

The best trail shoes will allow you to run freely across various terrain types, even something as simple as the road.

So, yes, the answer is you can.

A good grip is a factor you should always tick off your list when purchasing a trail shoe. Also, consider the comfort, weight, and drop.

For us, the Saucony Endorphin Edge tops this list because it is well-suited to weather the most technical terrains and the longest of distances.

Though expensive, these shoes are sure to give you what you paid for—top-notch quality.

4 thoughts on “Can I Use Trail Shoes for Road Running?”

  1. I appreciate you sharing your information on whether trail running shoes are appropriate for paved surfaces.
    Your article offers insightful information on the distinctions between trail running shoes and road running shoes and whether one pair can be used for the other.
    Readers will be better able to choose the right type of shoe for their running needs thanks to your thorough descriptions of each type of shoe’s various features and styles and how they affect performance.
    Once more, many thanks for sharing your knowledge on this significant subject and offering runners such a helpful resource!

    • Hi, Miki, and thank you.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Reading your comment, I believe you would like to know about this post. The article is about trail running shoes and concrete.

      Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you with anything else or if you have any questions.

  2. Thanks for this post. I’ve been looking for trail running shoes because my boyfriend and I will be running on a trail that’s real rugged.  I’m impressed most with your review of Saucony Women’s Endorphin Edge Trail Running Shoe.  At first I balked at the price – $199.  But, I’m really looking to invest in a good trail sneaker that will last for a long time. They’re stable and have a good grip-like sole. I also like that you referred me to a reputable source – Amazon.  Thanks for the review.

    • Hi, Shalisha Alston, and thank you.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Saucony is a really good shoe company. I am like you focus on quality and feel fair that things made of good quality and design could be more expensive than things which are not as good but cheaper. Normally, in the end, it can be cheaper to pay more at the start.

      Reading your comment, I believe you would like to know about this post. The article is a review of walking shoes from Saucony.

      Don’t hesitate to contact me to help you with anything else or if you have any questions.


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