If you’re going to go for a run in the wilderness, a normal pair of running shoes won’t cut it.
You’ll need the extra cushion, traction, and durability that comes with trail shoes, which are specifically engineered to take the worst of what nature can dish out and keep on performing mile after mile. Check out our choices for the best trail running shoes available to buy right now for men, whether you’re prepping for an ultra-marathon or just a quick jog in the woods.
Brooks Cascadia 14
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro Boa
Adidas Terrex Two Parley Trail
These trail shoes are also better for the environment than your average sneaker—Adidas and Parley use yarn made from reclaimed ocean plastic for the knit upper. You’ll appreciate cushioning and the Continental rubber sole for light trail runs, too.
The most common complaint most people have about trail shoes is that they just can’t compare to the comfort and feel they get from their favorite road shoes. This shoe from Nike, which imagines its iconic Pegasus line as a trail runner, brings out the best in both worlds, with two Zoom Air units and a surprisingly grippy, rugged outsole that makes all but the toughest trails feel like blacktop.
Altra Timp 2
If your run takes you through wet terrain, these waterproof lightweight trail runners can help to keep your feet dry. The stretchy ‘membrane’ keeps the shoes light, so you won’t get bogged down when you splash along your path.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
Hoka One One’s go-to trail shoe is named after a champion ultra-runner Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, and boasts performance to match the pedigree. The shoe features the brands’ signature cushion, and the fourth edition has an improved breathable mesh upper.
Men’s Peregrine ICE+
Winter runners, read this: These shoes are made to handle the snow, ice, and slush of the colder months. A Vibram sole and deep lugs keep you from slipping and sliding (too badly, at least), while Saucony’s running shoe technologies help you to push the pace.
The North Face Ultra Swift FUTURELIGHT
You can expect the best from The North Face’s trail shoes, which are made with the brand’s high-tech Futurelight material, a super-breathable, super-thin nanomembrane that still manages to keep water out. That, and a proprietary traction system make these a great choice for warmer, wet runs.
Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2
Some shoes are about support, some are about traction—these are all about speed. The S/Lab Ultra 2 have a specialized energy return midsole, like road runners, a super snug fit, and a minimalist lacing system so you can hit the trail and get moving.
Inov-8 Terraultra G 260 Men’s
If you’re more of a trail grinder than a speed goat, you’ll appreciate how tough, sturdy, and durable these kicks can be. Heavy duty materials like graphene-enhanced rubber and even Kevlar make the shoe trail-proof. The adaptive upper, which is designed to expand with your feet as you run longer distances, make this shoe all about the rough-and-tumble nature of ultrarunning.