Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking[Buying Guide & Reviews]

Running Shoe

If you love to escape the city and explore the trails, then, you will need a good pair of trail running shoes. These shoes should give you a good enough grip over muddy and uneven terrains. This means that the shoes must come with deeper lugs on their treads.

Identifying the perfect trail running shoes for your hiking endeavours might not come off as easy as there are a lot of options to pick from. No need to worry though as our guide will help you through. In this guide, we will therefore be covering some of the best trail running shoes for hiking.

So, let’s get into it.

Seven Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking [Buying Guide & Reviews]

Unlike your everyday running shoes, trail running shoes will offer you better foot protection from technical terrains, puddles, and rocks that you may encounter as you go about your hiking endeavours.

We will therefore be reviewing seven of the best trail running shoes for hiking. Let’s get started.

1. Saucony Men’s Peregrine Trail Running Shoes

If you want to explore confidently off-road, these waterproof, grippy, and protective trail running shoes come with the perfect cushioning for your endeavours. For the latest version of these shoes, Saucony has cut down on the weight of these shoes to offer a lightweight pair of shoes.

The size of the lugs in these shoes come in slightly reduced and they are made of tacky rubber. These lugs come in handy to ensure that you have the right bit of confidence for wet surfaces and tricky terrain. The outsole of these shoes has been carefully designed for drainage or winter stud customization. So, hiking in wet conditions should not be an issue.

These Saucony trail running shoes come with a 4mm heel-to-toe drop to offer you a good center of gravity and balance as you hike on technical trails. This means that with these shoes, you can be certain that falling is limited to the barest minimum. These shoes also feature a new sock liner that envelopes well around your feet to increase your comfort.

Despite the lightweight construction of these shoes, they come with a rock plate beneath the PWRRUN midsole. This will come in handy to deliver good underfoot protection from sticks, stones, and rocks.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • 4mm heel-to-toe drop for a good centre of gravity and balance.
  • Outsoles designed for drainage stud customization.
  • Sock liner that envelopes well around your feet.
  • Rock-plate for good underfoot protection.

2. La Sportiva Men’s Bushido II Trail Running Shoes

These Bushido II shoes mean business as soon as they step outside of their box. These shoes are a perfect fit for trail running on pointy-shaped hills. They come with a design and fit that is aggressive featuring a lateral connection between the uppers and the sole.

The connection between the uppers and the soles of these shoes means that they will deliver the stability you need on the trail. So, hiking on technical trails wouldn’t be an issue with these shoes. The lugs have been modelled with a style and design that helps you stay comfortably in control as you move downhill. You can put faith in the impact-brake system.

The outer lugs of these shoes rise up and wrap around the midsole. This will help you gain the confidence you need when going through corners and it offers extra protection against sticks and stones on the path. The studs on the central section provide you with extra traction and support. The midsole also comes with great cushioning for better comfort.

The lacing system of the Bushido II shoes comes in great to help you lace them tight and good. This helps with better connection and reduces the chances of losing a shoe on muddy terrains. The upper of these shoes has been designed to keep the weight down. These shoes come with a modest 6mm drop between the heel and toe to accommodate different foot sizes.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight and stable.
  • Lugs that help you stay in control of your descent.
  • Outer-lugs for extra protection against sticks and stones.
  • Lace system for better lace connection.

3. On Cloudventure Peak Trail Running Shoes

When you want to move light and incredibly fast through mountains with enough grip and confident footing, then the On Cloudventure shoes should be a great priority. These shoes are great for intense and short-form racing on mountain trails.

These shoes might be initially stiff but once you get on to rough trails, they get off the buff. The more technical the trail is, the better the experience you will be getting with these shoes. With a lowered drop of 4mm, they favour good running mechanics and a typical footfall. These shoes are fast, lightweight, and comfortable out of the box.

The sock-like inner, the welded skeleton, and the tensioning between the laces of these shoes combine for a sublime fit with zero hot spots. The rigid heel at the rear of these shoes comes in to hold your feet in place. This helps to reduce lateral roll and it will improve your confidence and ability to run fast over technical and rocky terrains.

The On Cloudventure shoes come with their signature cloud pods that feature on the rear grip zone to provide the cushioning that you need as you move through downhill landings. These shoes will help you for your speedy missions on the trail.

Highlighted Features:

  • A lowered drop of 4mm for good running mechanics.
  • Fast, lightweight, and comfortable.
  • Sublime fit with zero hot spots.
  • Rigid heel at the rear of the shoes to hold your feet in place.
  • Cloud pods for better cushioning.

4. Nike Women’s Wildhorse 6 Racing Shoes

These thickly-cushioned Wildhorse 6 shoes from Nike run wild on gnarly trails. They combine an aggressively lugged outsole, a protective rock plate, a padded tongue, and a reinforced upper to offer a wrap-like fit for your runner’s feet.

These shoes come in durable, rugged, and secure on rough terrains. However, you still stand to benefit from a soft spongy ride when you hike on smooth surfaces. These shoes feature an interior boot construction which when you combine with a gusseted tongue, you have a performance-oriented fit for any size and shape of feet.

The Wildhorse 6 shoes come with a lightweight and breathable mesh upper, a sock-like collar, and a lacing system that ensures that the boots are locked down mid-foot. Even though they are great for technical terrain, their React Foam midsole also helps them deliver great performances on smooth surfaces. They fit well, run great, and have a cool look.

These shoes have been designed to provide maximum grip on challenging terrain. These shoes come with a great fit, more breathability, and better stability. With these shoes, you have a great blend of comfort, protection, and durability.

Highlighted Features:

  • Durable, rugged, and secure on rough terrains.
  • Interior boot construction and gusseted tongue for a performance-oriented fit.
  • Lightweight and breathable mesh upper.
  • React Foam midsole for great performances on smooth surfaces.
  • Comfortable, protective, and durable.
  • Maximum grip on challenging terrain.

5. Salomon Men’s Wildcross Trail Running Shoes

These Wildcross shoes come in armed with an aggressive fang-filled full rubber Contagrip outsole to deliver fit-for-anything trail running shoes. They feature multi-dimensional 6mm lugs that help you grip any path no matter how bad the surface is.

These shoes are effectively waterproof and they are quick drying when they are breached. This means that these shoes are designed to battle different elements head-on and work well with sludgy and sodden trails. Even though these shoes might run hot during the mid-summer, they help your feet breathe well in them.

The Contagrip outsole of these Wildcross shoes helps them bite down on technical terrain well and cling to surfaces more efficiently. This also helps the shoes shed mud quickly to give you excellent traction even on slippery climbs. They come with excellent foot control as you go downhill in your hiking endeavours.

The generous high rebound midsole of these shoes helps them absorb plenty of impacts and this energy is recycled to deliver a big bounce as you move upwards. The connection between the cuff and ankle of these shoes comes with a lot of cushioning for your feet. The upper of these shoes combine water-repellent TPU mesh and Gore-Tex lining for a more stable fit.

Highlighted Features:

  • Multi-dimensional lugs for great grip on any surface.
  • Effectively waterproof and quick drying.
  • Contagrip outsoles to bite down on technical terrain and cling to surfaces.
  • High rebound midsole that helps the shoes absorb impacts.
  • TPU mesh and Gore-Tex lining.

6. Merell Agility Peak 4 Men’s Trail Running Shoes

This new version of the Agility Peak 4 shoes by Merell comes with a slight tick midsole that features lightweight FloatPro foam. They feature outsoles that come with Vibram Megagrip traction to offer you a good grip on slippery surfaces. They also come with the typical rock plate that protects your feet against impacts from stones and sticks.

These shoes come with an enhanced ground and foot connection as they feature FLEXconnect dual-directional flex grooves in their midsoles. The uppers have been designed to give you extra comfort as they come with an integrated lacing system and a padded collar.

These Agility 4 Peak shoes boast some other additional features. They come with a large fabric at their heels for ease in wearing and pulling them off. There is also a D-ring at the base of the laces that you can use in attaching a gaiter. They also feature a breathable mesh lining and a protective toe cap to protect your feet.

With these shoes, you get a lot of protection on rugged trails. The sole and insole of the shoes have been designed to feel spongy. The boots come in excellent for trails and their cushioning will excel well when you hit hard-packed and rocky surfaces. The soles will ensure that the shoes do not store debris as you go about hiking.

Highlighted Features:

  • FLEXconnect dual-directional flex grooves for a good ground and foot connection.
  • Protective toe cap to protect your feet.
  • Large fabric at the heels to ease wearing and pulling off.
  • D-ring at the base of the laces for attaching a gaiter.
  • Cushioning for great performance on rocky surfaces.

7. Xero Shoes Mesa Trail Running Shoes

This hyper-agile Mesa Trail is one of the most footloose and fancy-free trail running shoes that are available on the market. These shoes have been designed to assist your feet for light, fast and agile running on different terrains from smooth to rocky paths.

These shoes come with a low-to-the-ground construction that is essentially a 5mm flexible rubber outsole, an interior foam layer alongside an insole that is cushy, breathable, and removable. They also come with a thin and breathable moisture-wicking lining that helps to enhance their interior feel for a comfortable experience.

The chassis of these shoes are a bit thin although this does not deter the protection that these shoes offer. The outsole of these shoes is made from durable rubber with 3.5mm lugs to give great traction and better protection.

The reinforced toe bumper of these Mesa Trail shoes assists stubbed toes for a more secure fit. Even for sparsely cushioned shoes, they still come off with great comfort. You can be certain that these shoes will provide you with an exceptional feel.

Highlighted Features:

  • Thin and breathable moisture-wicking lining for a better interior feel.
  • Reinforced toe bumper for a more secured fit.
  • Outsoles for great traction and protection.
  • Cushy, breathable, and removable insoles.


Working out the ideal shoes for your trail running or hiking activities is a very involved process as there are many options to pick from. We have however helped you streamline those options to some of the best available.

So, go through our reviews and pick for yourself an exceptional trail running pair of shoes.

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Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.