Trail running is a sport which consists of running over hiking trails. If you think you can run on such a mountainous terrain with your hiking shoes, well you couldn’t have been more wrong.
Best Trail Running Shoes for Men – Quick Pick
If you’re in a hurry, here are our two favorite trail running shoes for men in this review.
- Hoka One One Men’s Stinson 3 ATR Trail Running Shoe – Editor’s Choice for 2018 (best Value for the Money)
- New Balance Men’s MT 410V4 Trail-Running Shoe – (Comfortable, Lightweight, Excellent traction on the soles, Good grip and Fantastic shoe fit)
Although the best hiking shoes are great for hiking, they are more sturdy, cushioned, bulky and provide you with ankle support because they are specially designed to help you cover those long distances with a backpack. While the best trail running shoes for men are more lightweight, thick-soled, highly flexible and low to the ground to give you that utmost comfort while running on such challenging terrains.
Note that even the running shoes are different from these, as these provide extra underfoot protection. They also tend to have a rock plate or extra foam cushioning to protect the bottom of your feet from obstacles not found on the road.
Since trail running takes place on softer surfaces than road races, the best trail running shoes for men tackle the specific demands of the off-road environment whether that means rocks, roots, mud, loose dirt and gravel, grass, or even steep scrambling. They have more durable outsoles than road running shoes, featuring sticky rubber and large, grippy lugs to help you gain the grip you need.
Cushioning is not as important so the shoes are less ‘cushioned’ than your regular hiking shoes. Additionally, trail running shoes are low on the ground which provides the best stability and is capable of handling smooth, rocky, wet, and dry terrain.
Which is why I made a list of all the best trail running shoes for men from flexible and lightweight shoes for smooth trails to tough and stable designs for tackling a technical or mountainous terrain.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Men in 2018
- 10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Men Reiews in 2018
- 1. Hoka One One Men’s Stinson 3 ATR Trail Running Sneaker Shoe – Good Arch Support
- 2. Salomon Men’s Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe
- 3. Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe
- 4. New Balance Men’s MT 410V4 Trail-Running Shoe
- 5. Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking Shoes Mens – Perfect for Overpronators
- 6. ASICS Men’s Gel-kahana 8 Trail Runner – Perfect Plantar Fasciitis
- 7. Saucony Men’s Grid Excursion tr10 Running Shoe
- 8. Inov-8 Men’s X-Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe
- 9. Columbia Men’s Redmond Trail Shoe
- 10. Adidas Men’s Duramo 7 M Trail Runner
- Why are Trail Running Shoes Necessary?
- How to Choose the Best Trail Running Shoes for Men?
- The Best Pick
10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Men in 2018
10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Men Reiews in 2018
The Hoka One One Stinson 3 ATR Trail Running Shoes has been redesigned from the ground up and features the signature category of trail running shoes defining cushioning and support. The Stinson 3 ATR is designed to be durable enough for roads while providing you with ample traction on the trails.
It includes a more balanced Meta-Rocker for improved forefoot support and tuned underfoot geometry for improved ride and stability off-road.
The no-sew design Lycra ComfortFrame in the upper will give you a sock-like and more secure fit. It has been designed to enhance the fit in the heel and midfoot area, wrapping around the foot for a snug and comfortable fit. The breathable Upper The upper unit of the Stinson ATR 3 gives maximum breathability through its air mesh upper. The lightweight air mesh material allows optimal airflow, keeping your feet cool and dry.
The ATR comes with a full-length Compression Molded EVA cushioned Midsole providing impressive cushioning, added stability and it increases impact protection which is also needed for long runs. The midsole of the Stinson 3 uses the Active Foot Frame technology which increases responsiveness and feedback and allows your foot to sit in the midsole.
Hoka’s Meta-Rocker midsole geometry is specifically designed with a low heel-toe differential and a sculptured outsole to create a unique fulcrum effect, like a rocking chair, to encourage a guided gait cycle.
This design supports the runner’s natural form while promoting an efficient, smooth roll from initial impact to toe-off. Styles with a Late-Stage Meta-Rocker have the transition zone placed in front of the metatarsal heads, which provides a more stable base of forefoot support.
Features I Like:
- Active Foot Frame Technology
- Full Length Compression Molded EVA
- Soft and comfortable
- Secure fit
- Impressive cushioning
- Added stability
When your off-road trek takes you even further off the beaten path, Salomon’s Speedcross 3 is there to carry you through. Lightweight construction meets the aggressive tread of the Mud and Snow Contagrip sole for a premium blend of performance and fit. The Quicklace system gets you suited up so you hit the ground running and never look back.
The upper is constructed precisely to securely wrap the foot. With support and comfort, the Sonic Pro employs varying technologies to offer the best fit possible. The Contagrip is a precise combination of geometry, density, and compound, optimized for specific sports and surface conditions. And the Sensifit cradles the foot from the midsole to the lace eyelets, providing a precise and comfortable fit.
A 3D open stretch mesh makes up the underlayer which provides maximum breathability, letting fresh air permeate the interior to keep the foot cool and refreshed. Externally it features Sensifit technology – a system that Wraps to the foot with a precise and secure fit, Sensifit cradles the foot from the midsole to the lace system, providing a stable, precise, snug fit all around the system.
The Midsole is made of a light cushioning compound offering you supportive comfort while retaining a lightweight embodiment. The midsole utilises Salomon’s proprietary lightweight compressed EVA. This ensures you a smooth gait cycle transitioning. The format assists with keeping weight down and maximising responsive cushioning by actively reducing forces pressed upon the underfoot.
OrthoLite sock liner which combines a specific Ortholite foam and an EVA heel cup. Ortholite foam creates a cooler, drier, healthier, better-cushioned environment under the foot. It will not break down or lose effectiveness over time.
One of the final components to the upper is the simple and user-friendly quick lace system. Quicklace is a single highly resilient polyester Kevlar string that runs through a series of friction free lace eyelets.As you pull, the lace closes evenly for a better fit, which delivers precision adjustment and a secure lockdown, with a lace pocket to neatly stash away any excess that may get in your way.
Features I Like:
- Comfortable and durable
- Protective rubber toe cap
- Ortholite insole
- Dual-density EVA midsole
- Water-resistant and anti-debris mesh
- Mud Guard
- Quick lace and lace pocket
The Vapor Glove 2 from Merrell is a solid barefoot running shoe that can function well. Its security is snug and precise, and its flexibility is next to the natural movement of the foot. Feather-light and breathable, mesh upper is made for comfort in hot conditions and moulds to your foot for an ultimately natural, uninhibited fit and stride.
The Merrell Vapor Glove is a shoe for someone looking for a barefoot experience, but once just enough shoe to keep their feet clean and give a little protection from cuts. The Vapor really does feel like a glove and has no more interference with your foot movement than a latex glove would on your hand. I find that the Vapor actually has less interference than FiveFingers which artificially separates your toes a little.
The Long-lasting M Select Fresh prevents sweat and moisture from affecting the freshness of your shoes. The antimicrobial agents penetrate and disrupt the reproduction of the odour causing microbes in your shoes. The Lug patterns provide stability in all conditions, with no lugs placed under the arch, so your foot flexes more naturally for greater comfort. Sure traction on both wet and dry surfaces in even the most extreme temperatures.
There’s more than one way to make a shoe. Vegan-friendly uses 0% animal products while providing 100% comfort and style. Feel good. Look good.
Personally, i loved these shoes. The upper is thin but has limited breathability when compared with a more open mesh found in some running shoes. The forefoot and midfoot is unpadded, but there is a tiny bit of padding around the heel. There is some minimalist padding around the ankle opening as well. I find the Vapor to be remarkably comfortable, even for protracted periods.
Features I Like:
- 100% vegan-friendly construction
- Versatile Sticky Vibram outsole for traction
- Zero drop
- Great ground feel
- Protective toe section for trails
- M Select FRESH odor-wicking tech
- Durable and dependable
- Very lightweight
- Secure and breathable
The trail-specific outsole on these men’s New Balance 412 trail running shoes gives you superior cushioning and traction while you take on any terrain.
This shoe is equipped with an all-terrain outsole, meaning you will be able to comfortably run on all terrains. It also has an XLT performance footbed that conforms to the curves of your foot for optimum comfort. The padded tongue features logo lace keeper for enhanced visual appeal. These trail-running shoes are available in a variety of colours, meaning there is something for everyone.
New Balance, is dedicated to helping athletes achieve their goals. It’s been their mission for more than a century. It’s why they don’t spend money on celebrity endorsements. They spend it on research and development. It’s why they don’t design products to fit an image. They design them to fit. New Balance is driven to make the finest shoes for the same reason athletes lace them up: to achieve the very best.
Weighing in at 9.4 ounces this in itself is reason enough to purchase them. The NB MT410V4 might lack angle support for trekking, but the traction is second to none. Scrambling up dirt tracks and mountains has been a pleasure.
Thanks to the super light material they also dry extremely quickly if you need to get them wet. The ‘Acteva Lite’ Midsole and ‘EVA Foam’ Sock liner mean that I can walk in these shoes for hours without any discomfort making them ideal for your intended use of running.
Features I Like:
- Excellent traction on the soles.
- Good grip
- Fantastic shoe fit
Adidas Outdoor FORMOTION footwear is designed for enhanced motion control and downhill comfort. Constructed with a synthetic and textile upper for durable comfort with maximum breathability, the Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX Hiking shoes is one of the best trail running shoes for men out there.
All-synthetic construction makes these vegan-friendly
The Traxion outsole offers maximum grip during fast and athletic hikes in rugged terrain. The Adidas Terrex Fast X GTX hiking shoes boast aggressive rubber outsoles for sure traction. The Continental Rubber offers for optimal grip in wet conditions.
Thee GORE-TEX liners make these boots waterproof yet breathable, for comfort in a variety of conditions while the EVA midsoles absorb shock, cushion feet and provide gentle support to your feet. Also, the thermoplastic urethane shanks deliver torsional stability and arch support which in turn lets the protection plates guard your feet against stone bruising.
The Adiprene in the forefoot and under the heel maintains propulsion and efficiency while the Pro-Moderator medial support device can prevent overpronation.
The OrthoLite moisture-wicking sock liner has an antimicrobial finish on the footbeds that deters odours leaving your feet comfortable, dry and odour-free.
Quick-drying nylon linings help wick moisture away from feet to enhance in-boot comfort
Airy nylon mesh uppers feature synthetic leather overlays for support with easy quick-pull lacing that will deliver you a snug fit with minimal fus.
Features I Like:
- Quick-drying nylon linings
- Torsional stability and arch support
- Prevents overpronation
Weighing just 11.9 oz, the ASICS Men’s Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner is known for durability, stability, and its rugged style. The GEL-Kahana 8 shoe offers the GEL Cushioning System for comfort and performance where the rubber meets the road or trail.
Built as an all-conditions version of a road shoe, the Kahana is a versatile choice when your trail run starts at your door. Its gel-and-foam midsole delivers the comfort you’d expect from a road shoe on a pavement and includes a few typical stability features.
From a soft crash pad on the outer edge of the heel that softens your landing to a firmer post under the arch to prop up an overpronating foot, the GEL-Kahana 8 will give you utmost comfort.
The trail-specific additions let you maximize your time on loose surfaces and include deeper tread and sharper edges to improve traction and a tight-weave mesh upper to keep dirt out. That construction will also keep your foot warmer if you use it on
roads in the winter.
The Trusstic system technology reduces the weight of the sole unit while retaining the structural integrity of the shoe. The Real Foot GEL Cushioning System attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to the instance. And the SpevaFoam Midsole Material Improves bounce back characteristics and decreases midsole breakdown.
It is also equipped with a DuoMax Support System that is a dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, positioned sport specifically.
Features I Like:
- Visually appealing
- Durability of the fabrics & overlays.
- Good laces
- Padded collar & tongue
- Trail specific traction outsole
- Provides stability
- Great impact resistance
- Good arch support
The Excursion TR 10 is a burly, durable, and comfortable trail fiend that can handle moderately difficult terrains. It has exceptional comfort, good traction, and surprisingly runs lighter than how it looks or what the numbers indicate on the scale. The very affordable price, superb protection, and no-fuss functionality should make this shoe a worthy candidate if you are a trail enthusiast.
Be prepared for your next off-road challenge in the Excursion TR10, featuring an XT-600 carbon rubber outsole that will deliver traction control when you need it most. Plus, the upper weld will give you a lightweight support, adapting well to your all-terrain state of mind.
The compressing materials will provide you with the underfoot feel and amount of impact protection between the foot and running surface. The difference in height between the heel thickness and forefoot thickness of the shoe.
Cushioning is distributed more evenly between the heel and forefoot in shoes with an 8mm offset. The result? Your body stays in a more balanced and comfortable position with every foot strike.
Also, it comes with a pronation control built into the shoe. Pronation is the inward rolling of the ankle through the gait cycle and these shoes will help you to balance that out.
However, you must note that this style tends to run small. So for an accurate fit, I would recommend purchasing a 1/2 size larger than you typically purchase.
Features I Like:
- Very affordable
- Quite light
- Excellent breathability
- Plush tongue and collar
- Heel Grid System offers stable heel cushioning
- Exceptional durability
- Great cushioning
- Traction is very good
The Inov-8 X-Talon 212 is a racing shoe that can handle both soft and hard terrain. Aside from being a reliable mid-range racing shoe, this shoe doesn’t disappoint when it comes to hiking and obstacle running. It offers a good combination of durability, speed and protection that’s reliable and competent.
A flexible, lightweight racing shoe that delivers unrivalled grip over soft or extreme terrain and is super-fast on dry trails too. The number one choice for elite athletes wanting to run fast off-trail. An all-terrain running legend that does it all. Popular for both racing and training, it is durable, protective, fast, and delivers outstanding grip on softer, looser terrain.
The 8mm sticky rubber studs not only claw through soft terrain but also hold firm on the harder ground, delivering you a phenomenal all-around grip. Weighing just 212g and boasting incredible flexibility, it compliments the foot’s natural movement and increases speed. A 6mm heel-to-toe drops and injected EVA midsole deliver superb underfoot comfort, even on rough, steep terrain. The rand that wraps around the shoes upper ensures outstanding protection against stones and other debris. The DWR coating repels water, helping feet stay drier.
Race and run super-fast over soft or extreme terrain with this flexible, lightweight trail running shoe. The X-TALON 212 is the number one choice for elite athletes wanting to run fast off-trail. A fast and protective shoe that delivers consistent grip on softer, looser terrain.
Features I Like:
- Exceptionally durable
- Consistent grip
- Solid support
- Great lugs
- Flexible and fast
- Water repellant
- Responsive cushioning
- Injected EVA midsole
- Heel pull loop
The Columbia Redmond is an inexpensive, lightweight trail shoe that is best suited for short, easy trails and yard work. The upper is a combination of suede leather, mesh, and webbing with an Omni-Tech waterproof breathable membrane. There is no shank between the Techlite lightweight midsole and the Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber outsole.
The Columbia Redmond Waterproof shoe is lightweight yet durable and provides comfortable protection and excellent support while you’re out on the trail.
This shoe boasts Columbia Techlite lightweight cushioning that forms a more gentle rubber layer just above the rigid sole. It absorbs impact and yields energy return through a midsole that compacts when your foot hits the ground and expands when you lift. The Redmond has a footbed that is squishy and bouncy, and the heel didn’t seem to sink into the heel box.
The Omni-Tech™ waterproof breathable seam-sealed membrane bootie construction keeps out the wet elements for a drier, more comfortable environment. This non marking Omni-Grip rubber compound with a heel crash zone and multidirectional traction lugs will provide excellent traction on both wet, dry and rugged surfaces.
Full-length Techlite™ midsole provides lightweight cushioning, shock absorption, and comfortable support. The Techlite stone shield on the forefoot protects your foot against abrasions. As far as comfort is concerned, this Columbia model does have a sunny side. It was one of the most breathable models.
Features I Like:
- Durability and breathability
- Stability and better mobility
- Lace-up closure
- Comfortable protection
- Excellent support
- Excellent traction
The Adidas Duramo 7 is an entry-level shoe that’s made for those who wants to have affordable yet efficient running gear. It has a comfortable and appealing design, as well as its durable nature. The cushioning is also great.
These men’s trail running shoes combine simple design with expert construction and materials to deliver high performance. A breathable air mesh upper keeps you comfortable, while a soft supercloud footbed gives you plush, responsive cushioning.
The Men’s Duramo 7 mantra is simple. Run better with a high-performance shoe. Featuring a textile upper with 3D print layered over a breathable mesh, this shoe has a soft and comfy with a SUPERCLOUD midsole and sock liner.
Specific to all extreme models the Adidas Duramo 7 has protective overlays combined with a durable mesh that offers you support for off-road runs. The ADIWEAR extends protection against wear and tear. Also, the CLOUDFOAM offers a superior plush feel.
The lacing system is fairly standard and uses wide laces to provide tighter knots. As I mentioned earlier, the lacing system combined with the seamless upper gives you a pretty snug fit.
Features I Like:
- Suitably comfortable
- Snug and secure
- Lightweight and unrestricting
Why are Trail Running Shoes Necessary?
You simply cannot underestimate the importance of the best trail running shoes. These are a highly essential, even more, a mandatory trail running gear that you cannot substitute with other regular running and hiking shoes.
The best trail running shoes for men offer ultimate comfort even on the roughest terrains.
How to Choose the Best Trail Running Shoes for Men?
Whether this is the first time you are purchasing trail running shoes, or you are replacing an old one, picking new shoes is always tricky.
There is not a definitive list that I could make and tell you how to pick your pair. But there are a few pointers I could lead you to help pick you out a pair of the best trail running shoes for men.
Comfort is probably the most important criteria when it comes to selecting a running shoe, or any footwear at all for that matter. You must find the right fit and see if that is comfortable. Everyone’s foot is different which is why it is also the criteria most difficult to rate because it is so subjective.
What feels amazing to one person could be unwearable by another. Some products are wide in the toe box while narrow in the heel, and some are just really narrow or wide throughout.
Find out which one feels the most comfortable and buy that one.
The soles of the feet are among the most sensitive areas of your body. So if you intend to run on rocky and uneven terrain, which is what we do when we trail run, then your shoe will need adequate underfoot protection. The largest component of protection should be found underfoot, the combination of the outsole and midsole.
Underfoot protection comes in one of two forms either a rock plate made of a hard plastic or composite material that adds rigidity to the shoe and absorbs impacts, or a thick foam cushioning
Surfaces like mud, snow, ice, grass, slippery or wet rocks, tree roots, logs, talus, scree, loose dirt and others are commonly encountered along the trail, so you need a trail running shoe that will grip when it matters.
Every time you wear something on your foot, you are modifying your body’s natural ability to stand and move from a stable platform.
Landing on the ground and pushing off for each stride from a stable platform is a fundamental aspect of running, and one that is greatly affected by the type of surface you are running over.
You must pick a shoe that is stable regardless of the variable terrain. Some shoes bend and morph to the running surface, forcing you to adjust your landing and push-off. While others will require you to change your stride to ensure a stable platform.
So the way to ensure a stable platform is to pick a pair of shoes that are wider and flatter, especially in the forefoot. So your foot can play out naturally as it goes swiftly through the incredibly complex motion of landing and then pushing off again.
Weight is another one of the most important factors to consider before you pick a pair of the best trail running shoes for yourself. Since you will be running, it is essential that you pick a pair of shoes that are lightweight and will help you run easily on the most uneven terrain.
The Best Pick
Before you go about on a trail run, you need a good pair of trail running shoes suitable for running on a smooth, rocky, wet, and dry terrain. Amongst all the best trail running shoes for men, personally, I would have to pick the Hoka One One Stinson 3 ATR Trail Running Sneaker Shoe as my favourite.
With an improved forefoot support, the 3 ATR is designed to be durable enough for roads while providing you with ample traction on the trails.It is super comfortable to wear and run and the impressive cushioning adds to my stability when I am taking over challenging mountainous terrains. It is breathable and has a secure fit that is also capable of resisting water.
For me, these are the best pair of shoes I could take when I am running on the trails.