You don’t need to compromise anymore on what footwear you choose when heading out for an outdoor adventure. Whether bombing down a boulder-strewn trail in a steep canyon or embarking on a quiet cruise down a wooded path, you can be sure we’ve found the trail shoes to fit your specific needs.
Need surefooted trail shoes to assist in traversing over roots and ripping through mud puddles? Sure thing. What about a stiff, light technical kick made for high-alpine adventures? We got you. Or maybe your stoke is a comfy-but-grippy shoe that appropriate to transition from local trail to brewery? No problem. We picked the coolest, most competent trail shoes out of the newest models from the best brands. No matter your desired outdoor endeavor, you’ll be covered.
1. Best for Long Trail Runs: Altra Timp 3
Altra matches its signature roomy toe box with a strong but flexible (and highly cushioned) midsole, and then shods it with a grippy sole so long runs on sketchy terrain fly by.
2. Best for Tough Trails: Columbia Escape Summit Outdry
A supportive profile and foot-securing lace system power over trails, while a durable, 3D-printed, waterproof upper on a responsive midsole means encompassing protection.
3. Best for Peak Bagging: Dynafit Alpine DNA
Scramble high-alpine scree and steep descents with sure-footed speed in these silly-light (8.5 oz) racers—the TPU upper adds support without extra weight, and smooth rocker profile makes for easy strides.
4. Best for Desert Stomps: Danner Trail 2650 Campo
These light, breathable hikers keep you cool and protected in harsh, dry conditions. Laser-cut perforations and mesh in the uppers increase air flow, while drain holes shed water.
5. Best for Tricky Terrain: Hoka One One Mafate Speed 3
A fat midsole doesn’t mean that you can’t tear up the technical; the Mafate’s compressed cushioning doesn’t add much weight (or suck much energy), paired with an aggressive, high-traction Vibram sole with long 5mm lugs.
6. Best for Trail to Town: Vasque Satoru Trail LT
Vasque’s lightest shoe is styled for the street without compromising an ounce of trail cred. The light and bouncy, yet cushy, midsole is bound by an exclusive, grippy, featherlight Vibram sole.
7. Best for Posting PRs: Merrell Moab Speed
These lightweight trail runners mix a mesh and TPU upper (for strength and ventilation) with a grippy Vibram sole (4mm-deep lugs) plus an integrated rock plate. Recycled laces and lining provide added eco-shine.
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