It is that time of year again. Time to break out the trail running shoes for those weekend hiking trips. Are you purchasing trail running shoes for the first time? Or are you just upgrading your old shoes to a newer durable pair? Finding the right trail running shoes is very important so that your feet have the right support to navigate through the trails.
How Much are Trail Running Shoes?
There are many different types and brands of trail running shoes for all budgets. New Balance, Salomon, and Hoka are just a few of the well-known brands that are highly recommended. Whether your budget is $50 or $200, the right pair of shoes is out there for you.
The price of trail running shoes varies greatly. You can find shoes that cost as little as $30, or you can spend up to $200 on a good pair. This all depends on your skill level and the type of ground that you will be running on.
For beginner runners: If you are doing some trail running for fun or just for some exercise here and there, then I would recommend spending less than $50 on a pair of trail running shoes. With a pair less than $50, these shoes can also be used for other activities such as walking, working out, etc.
For intermediate runners: We recommend spending anywhere between $50-$100. This will give you a good pair of trail running shoes specifically designed for navigating through hiking trails at a price that will not be breaking the bank.
For advanced runners: If you are at a more advanced level and participate in a heavy amount of trail running, then the $200 pair of shoes might be the best option for you.
Here is a break down of the recommended shoes and their costs, from least expensive to most expensive.
What to Look for in Trail Running Shoes
Trail running shoes are designed to be a type of shoe that is more durable than your typical running shoe, but less bulky than a traditional hiking boot. It is important that the shoe is lightweight but also provides support for different types of terrains such as dirt, rocks, roots, etc.
They are built like hiking boots in the sense that both trail running shoes and hiking boots both have soles that grip the ground for better traction and have durability for the different surfaces of trails. Here are the advantages of trail running shoes:
- Lightweight: Trail running shoes are designed to be lighter than hiking boots, so this allows for faster running at a steady pace.
- Breathable: They are designed to be more breathable than hiking boots, so they will dry out quicker in situations such as puddles, sweat, river crossings, etc. Although hiking boots tend to have a waterproof design, they trap in sweat and moisture. So, the breathable design of trail running shoes is an attractive quality.
- Not Bulky: They are not as bulky as traditional hiking boots, so this makes it easy to move around at a quicker pace.
- Traction: It is important to have traction on the bottom of trail running shoes because hiking trails can have a lot of divots and obstacles. I am sure we all have experienced tripping on roots and rocks while walking or running through hiking trails.
Especially with runners who are moving at fast paces, it is important that they have a shoe that is designed to withstand the rocks, dirt, river crossings, roots, etc. It is easy to miss a rock or root sticking out of the ground and potentially trip and fall. To avoid injury, trail running shoes are designed to grip the ground and avoid those slips and falls.
Best Trail Running Shoes
The Women’s UA HOVR Phantom Running Shoes are a great option if you are looking for a pair of trail running shoes under $200. The average cost is $140. These are a great option because they are designed for runners who need flexibility and cushioning. They have rubber outsoles and a textured designed for elevated traction and durability. Great for running trails.
These trail running shoes are great for providing cushion, flexibility, and comfort along with durability and a lightweight feel to make it easier to run through those trails. They have a breathable design and carbon heel pods that provide greater traction. These shoes go for around $120 and come from a very reputable company.
The Women’s Hoka One One Bondi 6 shoes are a great option for trail running. They provide a durable sole making it easier to make your way through the trails, and the maximum cushioning makes them comfortable for this type of terrain. They are highly rated and average $120 per pair. They are designed for all foot types and come in a variety of colors. The firm design also provides maximum support around the ankles to help avoid injuries in case of any slips or falls while running through the trails. I would highly recommend this brand.
The Salomon S/Lab Sense 7 Sg Trailrunning Shoes cost on average about $109. So, this is a great option if you are looking for a durable trail running shoe for a cost under $200 but still of good quality. The company offers a lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They are designed with a lightweight feel and precision for running on trails. There are larger soles and spacing for different types of terrain, such as wet areas and soft/hard ground. They come in red, black, and white are a unisex style shoe.
These women’s trail running shoes are a great option if you are looking for a durable shoe under $200 but also with some style added to them. They come in a nice bright pink color and cost about $102 per pair. They are lightweight and flexible, making it easier to run through trails at a steady pace. The shoes are slip on, which makes them easier to take on and off along with preventing the chance of tripping on shoelaces while running through trails. These shoes have a very high rating and come from a reliable company. As you can see, there are many great options for trail running shoes under $200 for both men and women. In this price range, you can find a great durable shoe with unique qualities that provide ankle support and prevent potential injuries that are common when running through trails and different types of terrain.
The Men’s UA HOVR Sonic 2 Running Shoes are a great shoe if you are looking for options under $100. They feature a unique tongue design, which helps to maintain a supportive fit for trail running. There is high abrasion rubber on the heels which are designed for different types of ground conditions. The shoe is lightweight and flexible, making this a great option for runners that need a shoe to be able to run on different terrains. The average price of these shoes is $92 and the company, Under Armour, is a trustworthy and reputable brand.
Similar to the men’s version of this shoe, the Women’s UA HOVR Sonic 2 Running Shoe is a very breathable and flexible pair of trail running shoes and is perfect for those with a budget under $100. The average price is just under that, costing around $97. The shoes come in a variety of colors a provide a great amount of cushioning, making them a comfortable option for running through hiking trails. There is a ‘zero gravity feel’, and the material is fast drying in case of any wet conditions that you stumble upon.
The Hoka One One Men’s Torrent Shoe is an ideal pair of trail running shoes with proper cushioning and support for the obstacles faced with trail running. The lightweight, breathable design helps with speed, and the durable design allows the bottoms of the shoes to grip to the ground and prevent possible slips on rocks, roots, etc. This pair of shoes averages a cost of $84, so it is a great option for those with a budget under $100. I would highly recommend this brand of Hoka shoes.
This brand of women’s trail running shoes goes for around $67 and comes in grey and black, for those of you that prefer the neutral colors that do not stand out. They have an award-winning cushioning design making these shoes a great option for those looking for comfort when picking out the right trail running shoes. The design offers protection for different types of terrain and provides durability for a variety of surfaces. There is external support for additional protection and rubber outsoles. These are the perfect option for a good women’s trail running shoe under $100.
The Brooks Running Men’s PureGrit Trail Running Shoes have a flexible design and a stretchy material making them great for trail running. The lightweight and flexible design make these shoes ideal for the different surface levels that you may be coming across. The bottoms of the shoes grip to the ground and help to avoid any slips and injuries. The tongue of the shoes makes them secure around the ankles. This pair of shoes cost around $90, making it a great option for those with a budget of under $100. There is a wide variety of trail running shoes, but as you can see, a budget of under $100 can still get you a durable shoe designed for trail running. There are many options for both men and women, and you cannot go wrong with these recommendations listed above.
The Women’s Saucony Excursion TR13 Wide trail running shoes are a great option if you have a budget of under $50. They go for just below that, at a price of $49.99. They are ideal for running through dirt and have a knit mesh design with supportive overlays and support for your foot and ankle. The design of this shoe protects from the debris of hiking trails. They provide cushioning for comfort and come in black. You can also choose whether you want a wide style or regular. This is a trail running shoe that I would highly recommend.
These men’s trail running shoes are one of the better options out there for, the lower budgets. These trail running shoes go for around $30. Cannot beat that! They are made of synthetic leather and a mesh upper, offering a lightweight feel for a more comfortable run through the trails. They also feature a reinforced toe cap, and the soles are designed specifically for the surfaces of hiking trails. They come in a variety of different colors and designs. The company is a very highly rated one, and these trail running shoes are proven to be of durable quality, able to last for a long time.
The New Balance Women’s Trail T410v6 Running Shoes go for an average price of around $40. The material is man-made, making them durable offering a secure fit. The rubber outsoles help to provide maximum traction on the hiking trails. They are designed for a variety of surfaces and come in a few different colors. The cushioning makes for a comfortable fit. They have great customer reviews, and this is a trail hiking shoe that I would highly recommend for women.
These are great off-roading trail running shoes for men. They come in a black and grey design and have a synthetic/mesh upper. There is protection over the toes and a midsole design that offers stability and durability for the different types of terrains. They are designed to be very lightweight, making it easier to run at a faster pace through the hiking trails. These shoes cost about $28, making it a great option for those with a budget under $50.
The Asics Women’s Gel Venture Trail Running Shoes cost around $30, making them a very affordable option for women in search of a durable and reliable trail running shoe. They can take on tough surfaces, such as dirt, rocks, etc. The gel design of these shoes helps with shock absorption, which is why they are known to be a comfortable pair of shoes and highly rated by customers. They shape your feet and provide ankle support to prevent potential injuries. I would highly recommend this pair of gel trail running shoes for women.
Trail Running Shoes vs Hiking Boots
The main use of hiking boots is for those who are seeking an adventure traveling up heavy terrain, which could potentially involve tall rocks, mud, river crossings, thick roots in the ground, etc. That is why hiking boots are designed with a bulkier style and thick material. They also tend to be waterproof and have a higher cut ankle support.
A lot of hiking trails for hikers are uphill at first, and then downhill, so there is a specific design intended for shoes that grip firmly to the ground when going uphill and then providing support on the way down to prevent slipping and falling while descending back down the rocky trails.
On the contrary, trail running shoes are not designed for those rugged and intense hikes up mountains. They are designed for running through trails at a steady pace, so they need to be breathable so that moisture and sweat are not trapped inside.
They also need to be more lightweight than traditional hiking boots so that your feet are not weighed down, which could potentially slow down your pace. They also are not as high up around your ankles, providing flexibility for running through the trails. And the soles are designed for traction on the ground, but not like the traction that is needed for regular hiking.
Men’s vs Women’s Trail Running Shoes
There is not too much of a difference between men’s and women’s trail running shoes. They are both built for the same purpose and have the same features such as lightweight, breathable designs, flexibility and support, traction for different types of terrain.
Although, the main difference is that women’s feet tend to be shorter and narrower compared to men’s feet, so the women’s shoes will have a bit more of a lightweight feel to them. But overall, there is not much of a difference between men’s and women’s trail running shoes.
How long do trail running shoes last?
The lifespan of trail running shoes for hiking trails can vary depending on the quality of shoe that you are buying and how much use you are getting out of them. If you are a heavy runner and are running through the trails often, then your shoes might need to be replaced a little sooner.
The quality of your purchase makes a difference too. The trail running shoes in the $200 price range can last up to 3-5 years before needing to be replaced. This is because over time, the bottoms of the shoes will be worn down, and it will be time for a new purchase.
A cheaper pair of shoes may give out on you sooner, just because of the slightly lesser quality. But overall, a pair of trail running shoes should last you at least a couple of years. Therefore, they are a great purchase because you will not need to be replacing them yearly unless you run so much that the bottoms get worn out faster.
What are the Best Trail Running Shoes?
Overall, there are so many different types of trail running shoes out there for both men and women with a wide variety of prices. You can spend anywhere from $30 to $200. Some of the most reputable brands are New Balance, Under Armour, Asics, Saucony, etc. When looking for a good trail running shoe, it is important to look for those shoes that have a lightweight, breathable design.
This will make it easy to keep a quick, steady pace without trapping in heat and moisture. Also, it is important that the shoes provide traction for different types of terrain that you may be encountering. This includes dirt, river crossings, rocks, roots, etc. The recommendations listed above are highly rated with proven quality features and a variety of prices for all budgets.
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