Find the best trail running shoes, including minimal and barefoot models, right here, thanks to independent reviews and ratings by real trail runners, endurance athletes, and outdoor enthusiasts. Don't forget the technical wicking running socks and compression socks.
For more top-rated outdoor footwear—including hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering boots, climbing shoes, and sport sandals—check out our full Footwear reviews and ratings for real-world user reviews.
The best running footwear, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on January 30, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Running Footwear Reviews
Pretty great trail shoes for hiking and running in loose conditions. Very comfortable, nice fit, looks great, but not without some drawbacks. Having been transitioning my gear from a more traditional kit to a more lightweight/UL backpacking kit, one of the first things I considered was moving from a traditional light hiking boot to a lighter trail shoe for hiking and backpacking. Luckily I found these on a closeout sale, and was immediately drawn to their sharp good looks (the brilliant colors of… Full review
The Superior 4.0 is a supremely comfortable shoe, with many improvements over its predecessors (better fit, materials, flexibility). Yet the 4.0 maintains most of the best characteristics that make this model my favorite hiking shoe. They are responsive to the trail, fit my narrow feet perfectly, and the tread is excellent for gripping loose gravel and even snowy patches. They are lightweight and dry fast. My only disappointment is that they did not last quite as long as my Superior 3.0/3.5s. Description… Full review
These are a lightweight, low profile trail shoe. I have been using them for backpacking (as a guide, and recreationally) on well-maintained, rocky, gravelly, and moderately muddy tracks in Tasmania and Nepal. They lack the cushion needed for heavier packweights (15+kgs) over long or hard trails, but are comfortable at lighter weights or shorter days. The Salomon Sense Pro 2's are a light and low-profile trail runner that makes a good backpacking shoe for lightweight packs and/or shorter distances. Full review
Every day and twice on Sunday. Hands down the most comfortable running shoe I've ever worn. You won't be disappointed. The large toe box is different from most brands, but I'm sold. Full review
The traction is fantastic and stability (particularly on technical descents) is superb. They're a heavy shoe, but don't feel overly heavy on the trail. They size small, I've gone up a full size and they still feel snug. The lacing system and build are excellent. Had these for three months and used them a fair bit trail running on steep muddy trails over winter in Wellington, New Zealand. The traction is fantastic and stability (particularly on technical descents) is superb. In mud and on wet rock… Full review
They extend cold weather running. Added protection for the feet. And extremely lightweight and flexible. This is my third winter with my Insulated Trek Ascents. They definitely lengthen my minimalist running season (my first preference is barefoot) into the winter month. I bought a size up as suggested by the website. They fit good barefoot or with an extremely lightweight sock, but the next pair I order will be a size larger than that. Just so it’s clear, my regular Vibram FiveFingers are a size… Full review
Incredible grip. Very lightweight. My choice of footwear is typically none—I prefer barefooting for my warm weather adventures. When a shoe is required (over stimulated feet, the terrain gets too rocky) one of my go-to shoes is the Trek Ascent. They simply protect my feet and allow me to carry on. Full review
The Hoka Challenger ATR 5 is a great trail running shoe that can double as a nice backpacking shoe for people looking for a nice comfortable shoe with plenty of room in the toe box and that's also available in wide sizes. I am home based in Washington state but make regular trips to California to visit family and when I do I always try to squeeze in a backpacking or fishing trip to the east side of the Sierras. In Washington I generally wear a lightweight hiking or mountaineering boot for most of… Full review
Is it a sock? is it a shoe? Yes! Skinners sock shoes might be a new category in outdoor footwear. I recently acquired some Skinners Sock Shoes. What? They are basically a sock covered on the sole with a protective rubber polymer. I believe that this might be new category of outdoor footwear. I'd say they offer more protection that a sock and perhaps less protection than a minimalist shoe. I suppose the closest comparable footwear might be minimalist footwear like FiveFingers Shoes, Merrell Trail… Full review