10 Best Trail Running Shoes of 2024

Trail running is a fantastic way to explore the outdoors while keeping yourself healthy.

Whether you prefer jogging through picturesque forests, alongside waterways, or amidst mountains, trail running offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature. The terrain can range from rugged winding tracks to wide, well-maintained paths, allowing you to get off the pavement or treadmill and feel the ground beneath your feet.

If you want to experience the host of physical and mental benefits trail running provides, choosing the right shoes to stay safe and get the most out of each run is crucial. 

To help, our team of expert reviewers, composed of avid trail runners, has thoroughly tested numerous pairs of men’s and women’s trail running shoes. Based on our assessments, we have compiled a list of the top ten trail running shoes for 2024.

Why Try Trail Running?

If you have yet to try trail running in the past, this is the year to start. At Marathon Sports, we’re big fans of trail running because it combines the mental health benefits of the outdoors with the physical health benefits of running.

The following are just a few of the many perks you’ll notice when you start trail running:

  • Improved fitness
  • Superior appreciation for natural surroundings
  • Therapeutic effects of being outdoors
  • Improved balance
  • A sense of achievement

Some runners complain of boredom when logging miles day after day on a track, the pavement, or a treadmill. Trail running is rarely dull, as your surroundings are constantly changing. Many trails wind through scenic areas, which makes running even more entertaining. The countless benefits of trail running make it one of our favorite ways to log miles and strive for our fitness goals.

What Makes a Great Trail Running Shoe?

There are numerous women’s and men’s trail running shoes on the market, which makes choosing the best one for you a challenge. The right trail running shoe for one person may not be perfect for the next. That’s because runners have different running styles, foot shapes, injury histories, and personal preferences.

Generally, more rigid trail running shoes with extreme traction are ideal for technical trails with loose or slippery terrain. They won’t transition well to road runs because they feel too stiff and unforgiving. Hybrid shoes have less pronounced traction on the bottom and are less stiff. They transition better from trails to the road and back again.

The Importance of Trail Running Shoes

If you trail run often, you should invest in quality trail running shoes. The right shoes can help prevent injury by providing superior traction on loose terrain. They may also offer superior protection from debris, water, and dirt. Trail running shoes generally have more support and are more durable than traditional running shoes.

The Review Process

The Marathon Sports reviewers not only research and review shoes but also put them to the test on various terrains and lengths of runs. These trail running shoes were tried out on mountain singletracks, dirt paths, and pavement to assess their comfort, durability, support, fit, and traction. 

The ten best trail running shoes for 2024 were selected based on a combination of the reviewers’ running experience, research on shoe technologies, and consumer feedback.

The 10 Best Trail Running Shoes for 2024

Choosing the best of the best was challenging with so many quality pairs of trail running shoes on the market. However, our reviewers combined their personal running experiences with hours of research to create this list of the top ten trail running shoes for 2024.

  1. HOKA Speedgoat 5
  2. Brooks Cascadia 17
  3. Altra Lone Peak 8
  4. Saucony Peregrine 14
  5. Altra Olympus 5
  6. Topo Ultraventure Pro
  7. Saucony Xodus Ultra
  8. HOKA Mafate Speed 4
  9. Brooks Caldera 6
  10. Topo Ultraventure 3

HOKA Speedgoat 5

HOKA Men's Speedgoat 5 Harbor Mist/Black lateral side
HOKA Men's Speedgoat 5 Harbor Mist/Black lateral side
HOKA Men's Speedgoat 5 - Black/Evening Primrose
HOKA Men's Speedgoat 5 - Stone Blue/Dark Citron
HOKA Men's Speedgoat 5 - Thyme/Fiesta (1123157-TFST)
HOKA Men's Speedgoat 5 - Fiesta/Radiant Yellow
Sale

HOKA Speedgoat 5

Men's Shoes
original price:$154.95 price:$123.95
HOKA Women's Speedgoat 5 Harbor Mist/Spruce lateral side
HOKA Women's Speedgoat 5 Harbor Mist/Spruce lateral side
Hoka One One Women's Speedgoat 5 - Blue Coral/Camellia (1123158-BCCML)
Hoka One One Women's Speedgoat 5 - Coastal Shade/Green Glow (1123158-CSGG)
HOKA Women's Speedgoat 5 - Festival Fuchsia/Camellia
Hoka-womens-speedgoat-5-deep-lake-ceramic
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HOKA Speedgoat 5

Women's Shoes
original price:$154.95 price:$123.95

The HOKA Speedgoat 5 was made for rugged terrain and features some of the most innovative technology in trail running shoes. The HOKA Speedgoat 5 is also .5 ounces lighter than the Speedgoat 4.

The shoe features Vibram® Megagrip traction—some of the industry’s best. It’s able to provide traction on rocks, loose soil, and more. The Speedgoat’s Meta-Rocker shape provides smoother transitions and more stability while on the ground. A molded EVA sock liner adds comfort, while the shoe’s double-layer mesh protects feet and remains durable year after year.

A significant advantage of choosing the Speedgoat 5 is that HOKA manufactures it using recycled materials. The new, double-layered mesh features recycled content, and the laces are recycled polyester. Trail runners love the outdoors, and this shoe seeks to lighten runners’ negative impact on their surroundings.

Brooks Cascadia 17

Brooks Men's Cascadia 17 Blue/Navy/Firecracker lateral side
Brooks Men's Cascadia 17 Blue/Navy/Firecracker lateral side
brooks mens cascadia 17 trail running shoe gray side view
Brooks Men's Cascadia 17 Blue/Surf the Web/Sulphur lateral side
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Brooks Cascadia 17

Men's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$104.95
Brooks Women's Cascadia 17 Oyster/Blackened Pearl/Purple lateral side
Brooks Women's Cascadia 17 Oyster/Blackened Pearl/Purple lateral side
Brooks Women's Cascadia 17 White/Navy/Bittersweet lateral side
Brooks Women's Cascadia 17 Navy/Purple/Violet lateral side
Sale

Brooks Cascadia 17

Women's Shoes
original price:$139.95 price:$104.95

The Brooks Cascadia 17 gives the ever-popular Cascadia series a major boost in terms of comfort, stability, and control. A deeper cushion offers amazing support for rugged trails and makes the Cascadia 17 as good for hiking as for trail running.

Another eagerly awaited upgrade is Brooks Trail Adapt technology, a high-performance layered design that combines smooth DNA LOFT v2 foam, a strong Articulated Ballistic Rock Shield, and a resistant forefoot outsole with six zonal pods.

The Articulated Ballistic Rock Shield ups the game for trail running with segmented “fingers” that adapt better to uneven terrain while providing the same great impact protection for runners. The Cascadia 17 features zonal pods that imitate the split design of mountain goat hooves. In addition to allowing for better traction in wet or muddy environments, this design delivers better control and flexibility for rocky terrain.

All in all, the Cascadia 17 shows that Brooks has a clear vision for this series as a workhorse, go-anywhere shoe for trail runners, hikers, and adventurers.

Altra Lone Peak 8

Altra Men's Lone Peak 8 Black/Green lateral side
Altra Men's Lone Peak 8 Black/Green lateral side
Altra Men's Lone Peak 8 Navy/Black lateral side

Altra Lone Peak 8

Men's Shoes
price:$139.95
Altra Women's Lone Peak 8 - Black/Gray
Altra Women's Lone Peak 8 - Black/Gray
Altra Women's Lone Peak 8 Mineral Blue lateral side

Altra Lone Peak 8

Women's Shoes
price:$139.95

Our reviewers have consistently rated Altra’s Lone Peak shoes as a great trail-running option, and the version 8 upgrade makes the list once again. The eye-catching color scheme is likely to be the first thing you notice when checking out this shoe, but its overall balance is the feature that will make you want to lace up and hit the trails. The forefoot and the heel are the same distance from the ground and provide a softer impact, a more natural running form, and better technique.

The MaxTrac™ system on the outer sole has specially placed canted lugs that really grip the trail surface. The Altra Lone Peak 8 EGO™ foam midsole has been completely redesigned and gives your feet superior support. It has a wide toe box and a satisfying grip. The men’s and women’s versions are designed to address biological differences in the feet. It may take a couple of trail runs to get used to this zero-drop shoe, but once your calves adjust to the feel, this could quickly become one of your favorite trail-running shoes.

Saucony Peregrine 14

Saucony Men's Peregrine 14 - Black/Carbon lateral side
Saucony Men's Peregrine 14 - Black/Carbon lateral side
Saucony Men's Peregrine 14 - Bough/Shadow lateral side

Saucony Peregrine 14

Men's Shoes
price:$139.95
Saucony Women's Peregrine 14 - Black/Shadow lateral side
Saucony Women's Peregrine 14 - Black/Shadow lateral side
Saucony Women's Peregrine 14 Dew/Orchard lateral side

Saucony Peregrine 14

Women's Shoes
price:$139.95

The Saucony Peregrine 14 maintains its predecessor’s reputation as an all-around great performer for daily running. Balance is the name of the game here, from the low drop heel-to-toe design to the 5-millimeter chevron lugs for wet, muddy, rocky, and flat terrain. Runners looking for dependability, performance, and value have many reasons to love the Peregrine 14.

This rugged running shoe offers several upgrades compared to the Peregrine 13, such as a 6.9-millimeter layer of enhanced PWRRUN+ foam. The soft-yet-responsive foam offers better cushioning and energy return for jumps and rough terrain.

The Peregrine 14 also shaves some weight off the design, clocking in at just 9.4 ounces — perfect for trail running performance. At the same time, the shoe features a harder rubber outsole (92.4 HC versus 85.5 HC) and a rock plate layer for all-terrain durability.

Reviewers particularly love the Peregrine 14’s versatility. Both the materials and design adapt well to trails, backroads, park paths, and other environments. The engineered mesh construction breathes well in hot and cold weather.

Altra Olympus 5

Altra Men's Olympus 5 Burnt Orange lateral side
Altra Men's Olympus 5 Burnt Orange lateral side
Altra Men's Olympus 5 - Gray/Teal
Altra Men's Olympus 5 - Orange
Altra Men's Olympus 5 Blue lateral side
Altra Men's Olympus 5 Sand lateral side
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Altra Olympus 5

Men's Shoes
original price:$169.95 price:$94.95
Altra Women's Olympus 5 - White/Blue
Altra Women's Olympus 5 - White/Blue
Altra Women's Olympus 5 Purple/Orange lateral side
Altra Women's Olympus 5 Orange side view
Altra Women's Olympus 5 Dusty Teal lateral side
Altra Women's Olympus 5 brown/red lateral side
+4
Sale

Altra Olympus 5

Women's Shoes
original price:$169.95 price:$94.95

The Altra Olympus 5 is made for rugged terrain. It’s the bulkiest shoe on our list of the top ten best trail running shoes, but that also means more protection, a spacious toe box, and ample cushioning. The Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures runners feel grounded even when running on rocky, snowy, or unstable terrain.

Like Altra’s other trail running shoes, the Olympus 5 features zero drops to encourage the foot’s natural movement. The cloud-like comfort means you’ll enjoy softer impacts and a more energetic feeling from the first mile to the last. Our reviewers appreciated that this Altra shoe doubles as a sturdy, protective, and grippy hiking shoe as well.

The Altra Olympus 5 weighs 11 ounces. It’s a trail running shoe for those who like rugged terrain and are okay with sacrificing some weight for comfort and protection. Our team’s only complaints were about its bulkiness and higher price point.

Topo Ultraventure Pro

Top Men's Ultraventure Pro - Forest/Orange (M044-FORORG) Lateral Side
Top Men's Ultraventure Pro - Forest/Orange (M044-FORORG) Lateral Side

Topo Ultraventure Pro

Men's Shoes
price:$149.95
Topo Women's Ultraventure Pro - Teal/Mint (W044-TEAMNT) Lateral Side
Topo Women's Ultraventure Pro - Teal/Mint (W044-TEAMNT) Lateral Side

Topo Ultraventure Pro

Women's Shoes
price:$149.95

The Topo Ultraventure Pro is one of the best-looking trail running shoes on our list (in our opinion). It’s also an ideal option for runners who prefer a trail running shoe that remains comfortable for thru-hiking too.

Stand-out features include the three-piece ZipFoam™ midsole with its exterior TPU heel counter that provides stability and promotes proper running form. Like several other trail running shoes on our list, the Topo Ultraventure Pro features the extra-grippy Vibram Megagrip outsole. It’s a shoe that remains balanced and stable in slippery conditions.

The Topo Ultraventure Pro is truly made for trails with firm pliability, a flexible ESS rock plate, and gaiter compatibility. It’s a trail running shoe for adventurers.

Saucony Xodus Ultra

Saucony Men's Xodus Ultra - Black/Charcoal (S20734-05)
Saucony Men's Xodus Ultra - Black/Charcoal (S20734-05)
Sale

Saucony Xodus Ultra

Men's Shoes
original price:$149.95 price:$0.00
Saucony Women's Xodus Ultra - Black/Charcoal (S10734-05)
Saucony Women's Xodus Ultra - Black/Charcoal (S10734-05)
Sale

Saucony Xodus Ultra

Women's Shoes
original price:$149.95 price:$119.95

The Saucony Xodus Ultra is for long-distance trail runners who demand comfort from start to finish. It also includes significant advancements over the Xodus 11, including a lighter weight structure, more spacious toe box, improved rock plate, and more.

Saucony reduced the lug height by .5mm and increased spacing to reduce weight while keeping plenty of traction and stability. New 6mm cushioning ensures the Saucony Xodus Ultra remains comfortable no matter how many miles you conquer. Other outstanding features include ultralight PWRRUN PB, a durable PWRRUN frame, and a three-piece PWRTRAC outsole. There’s plenty of grip, flexibility, and comfort with this shoe.

The Saucony Xodus Ultra is undoubtedly our favorite for long-distance trail runs. We also appreciate that Saucony now uses recycled materials in the shoe’s upper.

HOKA Mafate Speed 4

Hoka Men's Mafate Speed 4 -Thyme/Fiesta
Hoka Men's Mafate Speed 4 -Thyme/Fiesta

HOKA Mafate Speed 4

Men's Shoes
price:$184.95
HOKA Women's Mafate Speed 4 - Deep Teal/Water Garden
HOKA Women's Mafate Speed 4 - Deep Teal/Water Garden

HOKA Mafate Speed 4

Women's Shoes
price:$184.95

The HOKA Mafate Speed 4 is our favorite new trail running shoe from HOKA. It’s a comfortable trail runner that can easily double as a road running, trail racing, or hiking shoe if needed.

Our team appreciated the changes HOKA made for the Mafate Speed 4. The new PROFLY+ midsole offers pillow-like comfort and energy that you can feel every time your foot leaves the ground. The outsole is a firm and durable layer that protects the bottom of your feet while providing unrivaled stability.

The HOKA Mafate Speed 4 is also one of our favorite shoes for running in muddy or wet terrain. The rubber bottom is thick, which puts a necessary barrier between the elements and your foot. The traction features three-tiered lugs with sharp edges that grip slippery surfaces. All this protection would make runners think this is far from a lightweight shoe, but the Litebase outsole keeps the weight under control and the shoe feeling lively.

Brooks Caldera 6

Brooks Men's Caldera 6 - Oyster/Blue Depths/Pearl (1103791D071)
Brooks Men's Caldera 6 - Oyster/Blue Depths/Pearl (1103791D071)
Sale

Brooks Caldera 6

Men's Shoes
original price:$149.95 price:$99.95
Brooks Women's Caldera 6 - Oyster/Blissful Blue/Pink (1203661B093)
Brooks Women's Caldera 6 - Oyster/Blissful Blue/Pink (1203661B093)
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Brooks Caldera 6

Women's Shoes
original price:$149.95 price:$99.95

The Brooks Caldera 6 is the most cushioned trail running shoe on our list, and it’s made for logging countless miles on the trails. Imagine a traditional long-distance running shoe with cloud-like cushioning but the extreme grip of a top-quality trail running shoe. The Brooks Caldera 6 is exactly that.

The next-level softness of the DNA LOFT v3 cushioning provides optimal comfort from the first mile to the finish line. The TrailTack rubber outsole offers the traction and protection from rocky terrain trail runners need. Our reviewers also appreciated the fit of the Brooks Caldera 6, which feels like it’s made for your foot. The lace keeper holds laces in place so they’re not pulled away by debris, and the upper fits snugly around the foot without sacrificing breathability.

Brooks first released the Caldera in 2017, and has been upgraded every year since. Our reviewers agreed that the Brooks Caldera 6 is the best version yet.

Topo Ultraventure 3

Topo Men's Ultraventure 3 Grey/Red lateral side
Topo Men's Ultraventure 3 Grey/Red lateral side
Topo Men's Ultraventure 3 - Green/Forest

Topo Ultraventure 3

Men's Shoes
price:$149.95
Topo Women's Ultraventure 3 - Navy/Blue
Topo Women's Ultraventure 3 - Navy/Blue

Topo Ultraventure 3

Women's Shoes
price:$149.95

Topo is one of our favorite trail running brands, and the Ultraventure 3 is the lightest, most comfortable shoe we’ve seen from the company. Topo’s new ZipFoam is ultra-lightweight, soft, and incredibly responsive for achieving your next PR.

The newly-designed Vibram XS Trek EVO outsole is durable yet flexible, allowing the shoe to perform on multiple surfaces. The Ultraventure 3 is highly cushioned for going the distance but with moderate flexibility for support and protection. We found that the Ultraventure 3 also made a great hiking shoe, with its breathable mesh upper and comfort that lasts even the longest thru-hikes.

One of the greatest attributes of the Ultraventure 3 is that it is made with sustainable materials. The mesh upper keeps three plastic bottles out of landfills per pair.

Finding Your Perfect Fit

Now that you’re equipped with a list of the best trail running shoes for 2024, it’s time to find your perfect fit. Our Marathon Sports Right Fit™ service customizes your shopping experience to your wants and needs. Walk into any of our stores and undergo the quick and easy Right Fit™ process.

We’ll gather information about your running style, foot shape, fitness goals, and more to help us find the perfect trail running shoe for you. Our team will go even further to help you find the clothing and gear you need for your favorite trail running environments.

It’s Time to Hit the Trails

Trail running is one of the best ways to spend the warmer spring and summer months outdoors, and a new pair of trail running shoes can provide the motivation you need to get out there.

Shop all ten trail running shoes above and our vast selection of running and clothing gear here at Marathon Sports. We hope to see you out on the trails soon!

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