mens trail running shoes

What are Trail Shoes?

Trail running shoes are designed to handle all kinds of surfaces and terrains. These can include: grass, road, fell, forests and woodlands and much more. Generally the shoes have plenty of cushioning on the inside and a deeper grip on the outsole. The upper section of trail shoes is much more durable than road trainers.

Certain shoes have more grip and less cushioning, with a much lower profile. This is perfect for softer surfaces and extreme terrain, which can include off the beaten track surfaces. For more look at choosing the right running shoes.

In recent years off-road and trail running has seen a massive boost in popularity. This has been reflected in all of the major shoe brands releasing trail shoes. This is great for the consumer as it gives such great choice, but with so many different options to choose from it can become overwhelming and confusing to know what shoes you actually need. We have compiled this list of the best mens trail running shoes to help you decide what’s the best shoe for you.

Before we begin there are a few points to consider.

  • There is no one shoe that is ideal for every surface, so you might have to compromise. You will need to decide whats most important to you. Either Grip or Cushioning. Generally trail shoes with the most cushioning have medium grip, and the shoes with the highest grip have low or medium profile, which has less cushioning.
  • Another question you will have to ask yourself is can i justify buying an extra pair of shoes for the trails. Would you be better suited to by a multi terrain shoe? That can cope with all surfaces?
  • A final question you should ask yourself is, what kind of surface will you be doing the majority of your running on. when you’ve answered this it will be mush easier to choose a suitable shoe.


Lets take a look at some trail running shoes.

Saucony Peregrine 5 mens trail running shoes saucony

saucony peregrine 5 review


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The Saucony Peregrine 5 running shoe is what a trail trainer should be. Its lugs (grooves) are 5mm deep and is made from Saucony’s own high-abrasion XT-900 rubber. The lugs are laid out, like a row of chevrons, with the front part at a backward angle and the back half at a  forward angle. This allows the fullest grip possible on all manner of surfaces and more importantly allows ascending and descending effortlessly. Another great advantage of this lug set-up is that it allows for a decent amount of flexibility all the way through. This is because it lets the base plate of the outsole be thin and close to the shoes midsole.

Another advantage of this lug setup is that it allows for a good amount of flexibility throughout the shoe, because it allows the base plate of the outsole to be relatively thin and close to the midsole.

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The first thing thats apparent about the Pregrine 5 is the vibrant colours that nearly blow your socks off. This seems to be a trend with shoe brands at the moment, each one trying to out colourfy the other.

The shoe is attractive looking but I’m sure once you hit the trails it won’t stay that way for long. Lets be honest a trail shoe is supposed to have mud caked all over it.


The Saucony company have established themselves as one of the best designers of road shoes over recent years, and what i like about the Peregrine 5 is that it has a fit similar to their road shoes. As size fitting goes, the shoe is a perfect fit for me. I like shoes to be narrow and have a snug fit, and this ticks all the boxes for me. But i do have narrow feet Mens trail running shoesand there is plenty of room within the shoe for movement, including the toe box and the heel cup.


Taking in to consideration other Saucony shoes tries, the Peregrine 5 has a much more cushioned feel than the others. But its just enough to get the nice sponge feel and that ground contact, thats oh so important. Im usually not a big cushion fan, coming from road and track running, i like to really feel the surfaces I’m running on. But this shoes seems to really get it right.

This is a perfect shoe, for all types of runners and all kinds of running surfaces. That extra bit of cushion allows you to easily change from grass and fell, to harder road surfaces.

See what other are saying about the Saucony peregrine 5



Brooks Cascadia 10brooks trail running shoes

Men's Brooks Cascadia 10 review

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Brooks are a company that have worked hard over the last 10 years to break the grip, that some of the giants of the running industry have on the market. They have established themselves as a pure running company, where as some other branched out to all sports. This has help them cement a devoted following of fans that rave about their products.

Brooks was one of my first sponsors as a professional runner and i do have a soft spot for their shoes. But this gives me an excellent idea of the whole shoe range seeing as I’ve been wearing them for years.

The cascadia is my go to shoe whenever i am running off road or on softer surfaces. The stability that the shoe offers is right on the money. The base is a little heavy compared to other shoes but thats just my personally preference.

The lugs at the bottom of the shoe are deep and work perfectly well on slippery and muddy surfaces. The lugs are multi-directionaly along the edges for that extra bit of control.



A similar look to the Saucony Peregrine 5, but is more like a traditional trail shoe, where as the former is more similar to a road shoe. The Cascadia comes in 3 different colour styles, red, green and yellow. Don’t worry they will be mud coloured soon enough.mens trail running shoes




The shoes fits perfectly on my narrow feet. There is plenty of room for those who like that bit of extra real-estate. I like to pull my laces as tight as possible, because i prefer my trainers tight and snug.

The shoe feels heavier than other trail shoes, but offers more in the way of speed than you would have expected. The fit of the upper section and the midsole material gives back a snappy feel with every foot strike, yet it provides adequate cushioning for those longer runs.



Brooks is a brand thats close to my heart having been sponsored by them for a big part of my running career, so i may be a little biased towards them, but I’ve been fair in my list.

A great all round shoe, very comfortable and idea l for all types of running surfaces. The only problem i had with the shoe was the weight of the sole. Having said that it didn’t seem to impact on the speed of stride. Also the wear of the upper part of the trainer goes quickly. This can impact the overall performance of the shoe over time and will make you change your trail running trainers more often than maybe you would like.


ASICS Gel-Fujirunnagadeasics mens trail running shoes

asics trail running shoes

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The Asics Gel Fujirunnagade is not a shoe that id come across before, but i knew what a great company Asics are and i couldn’t wait to try these trainers out. 

Asics are my shoe of choice at the moment. I wear the Nimbus for all my road running activities and have always liked their track spikes.

The first thing that you notice on these trail shoes is the bright orange lugs at the base, (which are very deep) and the attractive army like green upper. The shoe is super light compared to the Brooks Cascadia and the feel is great. With perfect cushioning and a nice snug fit.

The lugs are one of the deepest that I’ve seen, but are very springy and sponge when running on harder surfaces. Its a perfect harmony between the softer ground and the harder. Also these deep traction treads are great for going up and down hill respectively. I think the one word for the lugs is aggressive.


The first thing that you notice on these trail shoes is the bright orange lugs at the base, (which are very deep) and the attractive army like green upper. The trainer feels like it will keep out most things that you’ll throw at it. A great design which looks a bit like Godzilla. Is a shoe thats built to last as much as anything else.

mens trail running shoes


The shoe is super light compared to the Brooks Cascadia and the feel is great. With perfect cushioning and a nice snug fit. The shoe weighs around 9.2 oz which is light compared to the others, this is in part because of a Solyte® midsole material. The heel part of the shoe has a 6mm drop and a 5mm at the front.

I like that fact that the shoe feels stiff and well put together. Some reviewers have complained about a stiff part on the heel and the fact that it causes rubbing, but i didn’t have any of these problems and loved the shoe more than any other here.mens trail running shoes


Even though the treads are an aggressive under-sole, in never felt that way. They were comfortable and great to wear. The only quark i had is that they are a little too much like a walking shoe than a running shoe. But if your planning a long run/hike these will offer the support you need wether in flat or hill, road or soft ground.

Best aspect is the price…


New Balance MT1010v2new balance mens trail shoes

best mens trail running shoes

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5/6 years ago New balance were very much a company who were hiding in the shadows, quietly building up fans and followers. Shoot forward to 2015 and they are a fully fledged heavy weight sports apparel company.

The MT1010 V2 ( lets stick with MT) is marketed and pushed towards the minimal shoe sector. But in reality its more of a hybrid thats between a traditional trail shoe and a minimalistic shoe.

The shoe is very narrow but thats the way i like to wear my shoes (nice and tight). People with bigger/wider feet might not like the snug feel. A note of caution on rugged and rocky terrain: because the bottom of the shoe isn’t as cushioned as more traditional trail trainers you will definitely feel the stones and rubble under your sole. This might be a problem for some runners.


A nice upper that looks compact and light. The design does look a little like it might fall apart any minute, but to get that lightweight shoe they may have had to cut back on aspects that, other trail shoes have.



A noticeably light shoe which has a 4mm drop. In the past I’ve had achilles problems, and one thing that has affected it is a high heel on my running shoes. This shoe does have a high back and this is something that I’m not a fan of. I know lots of adidas trainers have a high heel and I’ve never got on well with them.

Lots of people have complained about the construction of the shoe, especially after a few heavy runs. Customers have said that the shoes falls apart and loses some of its support.


I don’t think its the perfect all-round trail shoe, but i do feel like it has its place on this list. Its better suited for shorter races/runs, as the longer you go the more you will miss the lack of a cushioned support and sturdy upper. In an ideal world you would have a few pairs of trail shoes for different terrains and needs, this shoe would be ideal for shorter/quicker runs that are on more flatter surfaces.

The shoes main focus is its ultra lightweight feel which acts and looks more like a racing flat trainer than a traditional trail shoe. I liked this shoe, but i feel you need to choose the right time and place to get the most out of it.