You probably landed here because, after years of running on roads and pavements, you've reached a point where you feel like switching things up and taking on more challenging pursuits, aka trail running! As you gear up for your off-road adventures, the first step is to invest in a pair of promising trail running shoes. Why? Let’s explore the reasons and discover three of the best trail running shoes.

What are the different types of terrains? What features should your trail running shoes have to tackle them safely?

  • Rocky terrain: When traversing rocky surfaces, you will encounter small pebbles, jagged rocks, and large boulders, testing your balance and coordination skills. To safely navigate this type of terrain, you require trail shoes with excellent grip, stability features, and ample cushioning.  
  • Forest terrain: In wooded areas, you will face challenges such as protruding roots, fallen branches, leaves, thorns, and scrubs, increasing your chances of tripping or slipping. Trail runners opting for forest terrain need shoes with thick, protective soles to prevent injuries. 
  • Sandy terrain: In coastal areas or desert landscapes, you will run on sand that provides less traction and requires more energy to push through. While an extra calorie burn is guaranteed, the chances of overuse injuries are higher. The solution? Opt for the best trail running shoes with lightweight design, flexibility, and good traction. 
  • Marshy terrain: Maintaining grip and keeping the feet dry are the most common challenges when crossing slippery, muddy paths. Wearing waterproof hiking shoes ensures comfort throughout the run and prevents losing footing. 
  • Mountainous terrain: Running on steep uphill climbs and downhill descents is a high-impact trail adventure with increased risk of injuries. So, grippy, cushioned, and durable hiking shoes are a must! 
  • Water terrain: Crossing streams, rivers, ponds, and other water obstacles calls for investing in waterproof hiking shoes

Get adventure-ready with the best trail running shoes

Brooks Cascadia 17

With Brooks Cascadia in its seventeenth edition, it is clear that it is one of the best hiking shoes out there. Thanks to the new Trail Adapt System, it is well-known for its ability to provide all-terrain comfort, stability, and protection. DNA LOFT v2 cushioning and a TrailTack Green Rubber outsole ensure that cushioning and traction are not compromised. 

All in all, it is great for beginner and experienced trail runners alike looking to explore long-distance trail running. But if you are into speed training, the next shoe is for you! 

Brooks Catamount 2 

Thrill-loving trail runners interested in traversing technical terrain with rugged surfaces, steep ascents and descents, tight turns, and obstacles like fallen trees or creek crossings will love the comfort and protection that Brooks Catamount 2 gives. It is also built to help you achieve your trail racing goals.

Talking about tech specs of these trail shoes, the lightweight DNA FLASH midsole promises responsiveness and adaptive cushioning, the tough SkyVault propulsion plate helps push the pace, and the TrailTack rubber outsole offers durable traction on both wet and dry surfaces. The toecap and mudguard ensure added protection. 

Brooks Caldera 7

Long trail runs on easy-to-moderate terrains are a breeze with the Brooks Caldera 7 trail running shoes. All credits go to the plush nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3 cushioning, optimized to be lightweight, responsive, and durable. The TrailTack Sticky Rubber outsole enhances grip on dry surfaces, while the improved TPEE air mesh upper promises a secure fit and breathability. 

Another standout feature of these hiking shoes is the easy road-to-trail transitions, which give you the best of both worlds. The widened base also makes it perfect for individuals with wide feet.