6 options for 2021 trail running shoes



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Trail running shoes are for people who run off-road on uneven surfaces. This type of running shoe comes with features that include protection against sharp objects and soles with extra grip. A person can consider the fit and type of terrain they will run on before purchasing a pair of trail running shoes.

This article explores what trail running shoes are, what to look for in this type of running shoe, and some products available for purchase online.

Trail running shoes are designed for running on rocky or muddy surfaces. A person may find that trail running shoes provide more stability than road running shoes when running on uneven ground.

A person can also benefit from rock slabs in some trail running shoes. These are plates between the midsoles and the outsoles that protect the feet from sharp objects.

Before committing to a purchase, a person may want to consider some of the benefits of trail running shoes, including:

  • Trail running shoes are lightweight and breathable.
  • They provide protection against sharp stones and rocks.
  • They are suitable for running on a wide range of surfaces.

Cons can include loosening laces and a firm fit that can be uncomfortable for people who run long distances.

A person may consider the following factors before purchasing a pair of trail running shoes:

  • Lug length: People can choose trail running shoes with a short spike pattern on the sole if they plan on running over rocks and hard dirt. A deep studded pattern can be useful for muddy or soft surfaces.
  • Shoe width: People with wide feet or those who want to run long distances can choose shoes with a wide forefoot. However, these may not be the best option for people with narrow feet.
  • Shoe weight: Companies sometimes display the weight of shoes on their product pages. People may find this helpful because they can make sure that the shoe won’t feel too heavy or uncomfortable after long periods of time.
  • Price: Trail running shoes often have a one-time purchase price, but some brands also accept monthly payments.
  • Padding: A person may look for shoes that have a padded collar and tongue. These provide support and can prevent the collar and tongue from rubbing on the feet. This can be beneficial if a person plans to run for long periods of time.

Please note that the author of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based.

Hoka One One Homme Evo Mafate 2

The Hoka One One trail running shoes feature lightweight, secure fabric and a breathable upper for an enhanced fit and a soft, flexible feel.

Other features include:

  • a 5 millimeter (mm) Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole
  • a sculpted arched gimbal that supports medial control
  • support cushion
  • a weight of 10.03 ounces (oz)
  • carved horns
  • a thick rubberized foam midsole that provides a soft landing

The shoes have a rubber composition which can be beneficial for grip on wet rocks.

Customers can choose from two color combinations: black and poppy red or cyan and citrus.

The price at time of publication is $ 170. People can choose to pay for the shoes in four installments.

The company offers a 30 day return policy for refund or exchange.

Inov-8 Roclite 290 Trail Runner Woman

These trail shoes are designed for women and designed for multi-terrain running. They are made from synthetic materials and have a rubber sole. The company claims that the design of the shoe is flexible and suitable for fast running speeds.

Other features that a person can benefit from include:

  • a drop of 4 mm
  • a damped pipe for shock absorption
  • a weight of 11 ounces
  • a y-lock system that keeps the heels in place

People can choose from a range of colors and sizes.

At the time of publication, the price of the Roclite 290 Women’s Trail Running Shoes Inov-8 ranges from $ 42.54 to $ 117.60.

Altra Men’s Lone Peak 5

The Altra Men’s Lone Peak 5 trail running shoes have a rubber sole and a stack height of 22mm.

The company claims that its MaxTrac outsole provides traction and makes the shoe ideal for any type of terrain. There is also a StoneGuard skid plate for protection against stones and rough terrain.

The shoes also feature:

  • a balanced cushioning platform that supports shape and alignment
  • Altra EGO foam for extra energy return and a soft, comfortable feel
  • quick-drying mesh upper

This product is available in different sizes and color combinations, such as dark slate and red, khaki and gray and orange. They weigh 11.01 ounces.

At the time of publication, the price of these shoes ranges from $ 120 to $ 179.95.

Brooks Catamount

According to the company, Catamount men’s trail running shoes are suitable for people who enjoy trail running and trail running.

These shoes include the following features:

  • ultra-light cushioning
  • flexible protection
  • sticky traction for traveling uphill or downhill

The Catamount men’s trail running shoes are available in various colors and sizes and weigh 9.3 oz.

The price for these shoes at time of posting is $ 160.

The company offers free shipping and returns.

Salomon Speedcross 5

Salomon men’s trail running shoes feature chunky studs. The company claims it helps a person grip when pushing and braking on any type of surface.

The Salomon Speedcross 5 shoes offer several features, including:

  • multidirectional grip that can improve traction
  • OrthoLite sockliner for added cushioning, breathability and durability
  • Quicklace lacing system
  • a rubber outsole

According to the company, the shoes have a tight mesh that doesn’t trap debris between the foot and the insole.

The Salomon Speedcross 5 is available in different colors and sizes. A person can use the company’s size guide to help them choose the right fit.

The price at the time of publication is $ 130. A person can also pay for these shoes in monthly installments.

Nike Pegasus Trail 2

According to the company, while the Pegasus Trail 2 running shoes are aimed at women, variations are also available for men.

The Pegasus Trail 2 includes the following features listed by Nike:

  • a perforated tongue that resists water and increases drainage
  • a cage in the middle of the foot that keeps the foot secure
  • toe fangs that increase traction
  • synthetic materials and textiles

The shoes weigh 9.54 oz.

Nike states that a person can use these shoes for rocky terrain.

The price of the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 at the time of publication is $ 130.

Nike offers free shipping and a 30 day return policy.

According to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), a safe running shoe should have the following characteristics:

  • Minimum drop from heel to toe: It’s the difference in thickness between heel and toe cushioning. ACSM recommends shoes with no drop or with a drop of 6mm or less.
  • No motion or stability control components: Additional components can interfere with the natural movement of the foot.
  • Lightweight: Running shoes should be 10 oz or less for men’s shoes and 8 oz or less for women’s shoes.

According to ACSM, a person should avoid the following footwear characteristics:

  • high and thick padding
  • high drop from heel to toe
  • additional arch supports or orthotics

The American Exercise Council (ACE) suggests that when preparing in a gym or other training facility, a person should engage in exercises that mimic trail conditions, to avoid injury when heading outside.

The ACE explains that running affects more than the legs and feet, as the force of hitting the ground while running impacts up to the neck. It indicates that good mobility and stability of the ankles, knees and hips are essential to stay safe while running on varied and rugged trails.

Trail running shoes are for people who run on uneven surfaces. They can offer extra grip and provide stability and support to the toes. Some models include additional protection against sharp objects, such as stones, sticks or roots.

A person may wish to consider their general fitness level before choosing a trail, to ensure that it is suitable for their level of fitness and is safe for them. They can also take their foot shape and any health considerations into account before purchasing trail running shoes.

A person can research and purchase trail running shoes online and explore the features that will suit them before purchasing a pair.



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