Best kind of shoes for running on rough terrain

2:15 a.m. on November 23, 2017 (EST)
Zain Muhammed
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

WHat is the best pair of shoes that I can grab for running on rough terrains? Whether Nike, Adidas or puma, I am willing to pay for a good quality pair.

8:35 a.m. on November 23, 2017 (EST)
2,017 reviewer rep
414 forum posts

Look to trail runners, and while the brands you list might work you may have better luck away from the mass-market casual wear brands that you mention and looking instead at Altra, La Sportiva, Inov-8, Brooks, Salomon, etc.

But don't buy based on brand, buy based on fit. Go someplace like REI where you will find a good selection and try them on, walk around the store, etc.

9:58 a.m. on November 23, 2017 (EST)
118 reviewer rep
499 forum posts

REI would be an excellent source;my store is well equipped with trail runners and the sales folk know their stuff.

10:58 a.m. on November 23, 2017 (EST)
6,632 reviewer rep
1,216 forum posts

I'll put in a + for Inov-8. I have had a pair of X-Talon 8s and am now running in X-Talon 12s. They're really tough -- the soles wear out before the uppers start to crack or fall apart, unlike a lot of shoes I have used. And they bite well on both dirt and rock.

11:31 p.m. on November 26, 2017 (EST)
Rob R
940 reviewer rep
783 forum posts

Altra Lone Peak or Superiors

11:19 a.m. on November 30, 2017 (EST)
andrew f. @leadbelly2550
8,035 reviewer rep
2,383 forum posts

above all, shoes that fit well.

second, shoes that lace tightly and stay that way. on uneven ground, i place a premium on feet not sliding around.

third, some sort of partial shank or protection from roots and stones underfoot

fourth, treads that do a better job gripping uneven surfaces.

a number of shoes check these boxes.  not only trail runners from the major running shoe companies, but also shoes from some hiking boot/outdoors sources like The North Face, Salomon, Treksta, etc.  

7:52 p.m. on December 5, 2017 (EST)
Mike Mineart
3,587 reviewer rep
150 forum posts

I have a pair of New Balance Leadville V3 that I have been pretty happy with that you might take a look at.

12:19 a.m. on December 20, 2017 (EST)
Jordan Hufford
129 reviewer rep
12 forum posts

Salomon is definitely the company I'd trust for trail-running or whatever rough terrain you plan on running. Altra or Sportiva are definitely trustworthy brands as well. I'd never trust Nike, as any shoe I've had from them is crap. They're only good for style or sports. Adidas carries some decent trail runners from what I've seen or at least some sort of light hiker shoe. Either way, make sure it's a company that puts a major focus on trail running.

Ultimately, you need shoes that fit. Trail running will demand a lot of your shoes so they need to fit. I implore you to go to an REI or some outdoors store to try shoes on for feel.

6:35 a.m. on January 19, 2018 (EST)
7 reviewer rep
158 forum posts

above all, shoes that fit well.



Beyond that there are 3 basic types of trail running shoes:  minimalist, those with ultra thick cushioning, and those with a rock plate. 

My personal preference is the rock plate though this may be because I do more lightweight backpacking and "fast" hiking than trailrunning.  I have had good experience with ASICS, Montrail, and Brooks.  


9:29 a.m. on January 23, 2018 (EST)
Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
2,487 reviewer rep
4,635 forum posts

Not to sound flippant, but the best shoes are the ones that fit your feet best.

Beyond that, there are a lot of quality trail runners out there by outdoor brands (many mentioned above) with varying degrees of cushion, durability, stiffness, etc. to account for personal preferences and needs.

I'm personally partial to La Sportivas.

You can read trail runner reviews here on Trailspace:

I also recommend visiting your local running or outdoor store.

July 10, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply