The best trail running shoes provide stability, traction and comfort. Here are five of our favorites for your next Ragnar.
Ragnar Trail Running Relays are basically a summer camp for adult runners! You get to run through forests, valleys and mountainsides with a crew of your friends. It’s a challenging, unforgettable experience. To amplify your experience and ensure that you’re ready to tackle distance and varied terrain, you’ll need the right shoes with terrain-specific features. We’ve selected five of our best-selling and top-performing trail shoes for nature running.
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3: The CUSHIONED CONQUERER
Image via @HOKAONEONE on Instagram
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3
WEIGHT: Men’s 10.3 oz | Women’s 9.1 oz
The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat three is the perfect shoe to attack technical trails. This shoe lives up to its namesake, “The Speedgoat” Karl Meltzer, winner of the most 100-mile trail races. The Speedgoat 3 is the most cushioned on this list and features aggressive Vibram® MegaGrip 5mm lugs that grip and grab all terrain. The engineered mesh lets air flow and the widened toe box is a plus when you’ve got three runs to tackle in 36 hours.
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5: The LIGHT ALL-TERRAIN TACKLER
Image via marathoner @trackclubebabe on Instagram
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5
WEIGHT: Men’s 9.3 oz | Women’s 7.6 oz
First up is the lightest all-terrain tackler of the five. If you’re a fan of Nike’s React foam cushioning, get excited because the Terra Kiger 5 features full-length React foam cushioning. This shoe is super breathable and thanks to the perforated mesh upper, it also drains water. The rugged waffle lugs and sticky rubber outsole grab well across all surfaces and in any direction. This is the most flexible on the list and feels the most like an everyday road shoe.
Brooks Cascadia 14: The Tried-And-True Trail Shoe
Brooks Cascadia 14
WEIGHT: Men’s 10.7 oz | Women’s 9.5 oz
As famous on the trails as Bigfoot, the legendary Cascadia has been racing through dirt, roots and rocks in several iterations for 14 years. The current Cascadia 14 is the sleekest and lightest yet, adding a super comfy Ariaprene tongue and a 3D Rubber Printed Mud Guard for more protection and comfort. Underfoot you’ll find a rock shield that deflects stones – essential for trail runners. The cushion is tuned so it’s just a touch softer this year. You absolutely can’t go wrong with the SUV-like stability and dependability of this trusted trail servant.
Shop Brooks Cascadia 14
Salomon Speedcross 4: The GRIP & RIP Speed Demon
Salomon Speedcross 4
WEIGHT: Men’s 10.9 oz | Women’s 9.2 oz
Grip it and rip it! If speed and grip is your trip, reach for the Salomon Speedcross 4. Boasting the most aggressive tread on the list, the Speedcross is all about cinching up the awesome Quicklace system and letting this hungry monster eat up soft, technical trails. The Speedcross 4 protects feet from trail hazards and is light enough to elevate your pace. The Sensifit upper virtually customizes all around your foot. Lace ‘em up for raw fun in the wilderness!
Altra Lone Peak 4.0: THE TECH-LOVERS DREAM
Image via ultra runner @2spry on Instagram
Altra Lone Peak 4.0
WEIGHT: Men’s 10.4 oz | Women’s 8.7 oz
Where the road ends, the fun really begins in the Altra Lone Peak 4.0. This entry is chock-full of cool features like TrailClaw™ that positions canted lugs right below the metatarsals for better traction at toe-off. Then there’s the eVent upper with billions of tiny pores for waterproof breathability in any conditions. This year’s Lone Peak has better drainage capacity and a smoother fit thanks to the integrated tongue. So go ahead, relax and spread your toes in the Footshape toe box for better climbs and descents.
Author bio: Martin Sandman is stoked on training, surfing, motorcycles and breathing deeply. Martin is a Copywriter and word nerd at Road Runner Sports and has been with the company for years.