9 Best Men’s Trail Running Shoes for Every Budget

Daniel Bishop
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Trail running is a unique sport because of how it digs into the earth. The soft mud, loose dirt, and sharp rocks it finds hold many advantages for runners, and works to toughen those feet that land upon the trail.

But to take advantage of trail running's many benefits, running shoes that are both controllable and tough as nails are necessary!

If your running goals include conquering the trails, or if you simply want to look less like a baby ostrich when running, you should consider what you need in a trail-running specific shoe.

This guide will help to address your questions about trail running shoes, and provide reviews of some of the top options available.

NameCategoryProduct
Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh TrainersBest OverallHoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers
Saucony Men's Switchback ISO Trail Running ShoeBudget PickSaucony Men's Switchback ISO Trail Running Shoe
Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh TrainersUpgrade PickHoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers

1. Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers

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Pros:

  • It offers a superb level of impact protection
  • Lush cushioning with a bouncy feel
  • Excellent traction in almost all outdoor conditions
  • Seamless traction-enhancing uppers
  • Wool in the linings helps improve the structure and durability
  • Has a sleek, attractive design
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • It is a little slippery on wet surfaces
  • It’s only available in a couple of colors (black or white)
  • It’s not lightweight

According to reviews, the Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers is the ultimate trail running shoe, and we are inclined to agree. It boasts a number of features that will keep your ankles and feet safe, and offer a rewarding experience off-road.

This trail shoe has a wide mid-foot to give your feet a strong base. It also has a super padded upper and insole to keep discomfort to a minimum. The footbed is made of a synthetic and foam combined material. This is a good feature for wet conditions as it will help to keep your feet dry.

The lugs on the outsole are spaced well, and the shoe has a relatively low-to-the-ground feel that drives the foot into the ground.

2. Saucony Men's Switchback ISO Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Saucony Men's Switchback ISO Trail Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • The well-cushioned midsole and Ortholite insert provides superior comfort
  • This is a highly versatile shoe that is suitable for a variety of terrains
  • The outsole has rubber lugs that provide great traction
  • The molded heel and toe give your feet the protection they need
  • The flexible and breathable mesh upper makes it quite comfortable
  • The aggressive design gives you the traction you need to stay above water
  • The quality of this shoe is second to none
  • It provides a wide variety of shoe sizes to choose from
  • The design of this shoe is ideal to suit any athlete
  • The price of this shoe is pretty reasonable

Overall, this is a great choice for a trail running shoe and comes with a lot of features that make it quite versatile. It’s durable and has great traction.

We also like its air mesh material, which makes it resistant to water and pretty comfortable. It’s ideal for offering comfort and support in rugged trail conditions.

When it comes to trail running shoes the Saucony Switchback is one of the best. With superior comfort, durability, and traction, this shoe is a hit with outdoor adventurers.

3. ALTRA Men's AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

ALTRA Men's AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Have exceptional traction on difficult terrains
  • Thicker material allows it to be durable and lightweight
  • They can take a beating
  • Stylish designs made for men
  • Maximum support
  • Easy to maintain
  • Very comfortable
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons:

  • Prices are a bit high
  • The sizes run large

The ALTRA Men’s Al0a4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5 is the ideal shoe for trail running.

They have a reason to be proud of these shoes as they are well-made with superior craftsmanship and are a class apart from the rest.

They have an aggressive outsole design with lugs and grip that can hold on in even the most rugged terrains.

4. adidas Performance Men's Galaxy M Trail Runner

Our rating: 8 / 10

adidas Performance Men's Galaxy M Trail Runner

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Pros:

  • Lightweight materials
  • Molded EVA midsole that supports the arch
  • Reinforced heel and toe for durability
  • Low profile, flexible outsole
  • Breathable mesh upper for comfort
  • Synthetic overlays for stability and support

Cons:

  • Runners with high arches may find it uncomfortable to wear
  • Heel drop could intimidate beginning runners
  • Removable insole is not ideal for runners who prefer a thinner fit.

The adidas Performance Men’s is an excellent choice for trail running. It offers a lightweight design with midsole support.

The outsole is molded for durability and comfort. The waterproof mesh upper and synthetic overlays ensures compliance with sport standards, while the molded EVA midsole provides stability and support under the arch and heel. The outsole spreads the load across a large surface area to help prevent overpronation.

This makes the adidas Performance Men’s especially tough on hilly terrain or rough trails. The upper also offers ankle support, making it ideal for trail running or off-road adventures.

5. Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • It offers a superb level of impact protection
  • Lush cushioning with a bouncy feel
  • Excellent traction in almost all outdoor conditions
  • Seamless traction-enhancing uppers
  • Wool in the linings helps improve the structure and durability
  • Has a sleek, attractive design
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Cons:

  • It is a little slippery on wet surfaces
  • It’s only available in a couple of colors (black or white)
  • It’s not lightweight

According to reviews, the Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers is the ultimate trail running shoe, and we are inclined to agree. It boasts a number of features that will keep your ankles and feet safe, and offer a rewarding experience off-road.

This trail shoe has a wide mid-foot to give your feet a strong base. It also has a super padded upper and insole to keep discomfort to a minimum. The footbed is made of a synthetic and foam combined material. This is a good feature for wet conditions as it will help to keep your feet dry.

The lugs on the outsole are spaced well, and the shoe has a relatively low-to-the-ground feel that drives the foot into the ground.

6. Nike Men's Trail Running Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nike Men's Trail Running Shoes

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • The sole is great for off-trail trails and rugged terrains
  • Has good traction in all kinds of conditions
  • They are super light
  • Has good feel in rocks and slippery surfaces
  • It has a midsole that’s quite flexible
  • It is durable as it lasts for around 6 months for long distance runners

Cons:

  • It isn’t that suitable for beginners as it is quite stiff
  • It gives you blisters if you are not used to running shoes
  • The insole can be quite discomforting for some people

The Nike trail running shoes for men have a Dynamic heel and toe for extra flexibility. There’s also the IMEVA midsole with a 10% compression nylon. The outsole features rubber for good traction on all sorts of surfaces. This also has a lug pattern that maximizes flexibility and ground feel.

The design is very light and comfortable. The convex ankles help to boost your performance and the upper is flexible and adaptive. So that the shoe will feel like an extension of your feet while you’re running.

This is a shoe that’s best suited for long distance runners. It’s made specifically for people who are training and runs a lot of miles.

7. ASICS Men's Gel-Quantum 360 5 Running Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

ASICS Men's Gel-Quantum 360 5 Running Shoes

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Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable and well-cushioned
  • Fantastic athletic performance
  • Utilizes plush gel cushioning
  • Wrapped arch support
  • Anatomical foot shape
  • Great lateral support
  • Five hook & loop support bands for precise fit
  • Trusstic System for added stability without extra weight

The ASICS Men's Gel-Quantum 360 5 Running Shoes are a pinnacle shoe of the trail running and training world. A runner's dream come true.

These shoes are made for long-distance runs and the short to medium runs during the week. They provide the runner with protection against the elements and they provide a firm, protective grip during endurance training.

These shoes are so popular that they are some of the most highly rated shoes that are available. I tout them as a phenomenal pick and also recommend them simply because of how great they are. If you have a few extra dollars to spend and need a great pair of trail running shoes, then look no further.

8. La Sportiva Men's Bushido II Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

La Sportiva Men's Bushido II Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Single-layer mesh upper provides maximum breathability
  • Perforated sock lining for comfortable wear
  • Midsole built for all-day-long comfort
  • Grooved outsole ideal for aggressive trails
  • Abrasion-resistant sticky rubber to provide traction on different terrains

The La Sportiva Men’s Bushido II is one of the most popular shoes for trail running. Some customers even go on a few extra miles and use them for activities like biking. The bottom line is that you can use them for a long time, because they are made to last.

The Gore-Tex membrane takes care of your feet from nature’s elements, while the Roclite Sole guarantees maximum traction and traction on different terrains. The single-layer mesh upper provides maximum breathability and lightweight performance.

The Bushido II is one of the few shoes that will definitely last you more than one season.

9. Inov-8 Mens Terraultra G 260

Our rating: 6 / 10

Inov-8 Mens Terraultra G 260

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Pros:

  • Zero drop
  • Maximum cushioning
  • Supreme stability
  • 360 degrees of rotation

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Difficult to put on
  • Very stiff for the first couple of uses

There are many great trail running shoes produced by Inov-8, but our pick is the Terraultra G 260, a great option for anyone looking for a shoe with huge loads of cushioning. It has a maximum amount of cushioning and the midsole is perfect for longer runs.

The shoe is built for rugged trails or paths and the upper is incredibly comfortable. It won’t have any rubbing points when on any skin or toe nail. Its rounded shape also limits that chance of hitting the laces on anything when running, especially when you’re on a rocky path.

The sole is made from a sticky rubber which is able to give your feet the traction that is needed on hard trails. Overall stability is also incredible as the shoe offers 360 degrees of rotation along with an awesome grip which allows a run over a variety of surfaces.

10. Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoes Mens

Our rating: 6 / 10

Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoes Mens

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Durable
  • Flexible
  • Efficient comfort for running
  • Great for trails
  • Wonderful for technical terrains
  • Socks are odor resistant

Cons:

  • Some users found the shoe slightly too narrow
  • The laces are weak

The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoes are some of the best shoes you can get for trail running. They are comfortable, light weight, flexible, sturdy and can take quite a beating. The midsole and outsole are made using the same material. This leads to some natural shock absorption.

The shoes are prepared with HMT-Surround. All around, the shoes are prepared with a HMT-Surround midsole which includes HMT heel, HMT crash pad, and HMT-S. These will help provide optimum traction and stability.

The fore-foot is prepared with a thin layer of rubber and in the mid-foot, there is a Mid-Foot Frame which is considered to be the big toe. All these will allow you to have the flexibility, support and traction.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best inexpensive running shoes?

No one is ever excited to buy new shoes, including runners. However, a good pair of shoes can make a huge difference to your injuries and performance. From a performance perspective, the most important feature to consider is the outsole. A shoe that provides stability and traction is the best, particularly if you run on uneven footing such as trails.

Is it OK to use trail running shoes on road?

Trail running shoes are for trail running, period. They’re more rugged and have features that are ideal for rough terrain. They have sticky soles, aggressive treads, and a wider forefoot for stability. But if you are an off-road runner trying to find a shoe to do both, you may want to give up your dream of using one shoe for both surfaces or at least embrace the fact that some compromises will be made when using a trail running shoe on road.

How much should a good pair of running shoes cost?

How much should a good pair of running shoes cost? That’s a tough question to answer because all brands have different price points, and it’s difficult to compare running shoes normally available for a fraction of the price of higher-end brand running shoes.

Should you size up in trail running shoes?

Smart shoppers make sure to purchase the correct size in men’s trail running shoes. There is no need to size up or down. The only time that matters is if you are a half size. In this case, you would want to order down, not up. For example, if you’re number is a 9.5, the proper fit is going to be a 9 in most trail runners. A size 9.5 might find that their foot is too large for the shoe.

Conclusion

If you’re into trail running, keeping an eye out for a quality shoe is a must. Trying to run fast on uneven terrain can put quite a bit of stress on your feet. So, if you’re thinking of giving trail running a try, then you need to make sure your feet are well protected. With the right pair of appropriate trail running shoes, you’ll be kept well protected from trips and falls on the rough terrain. And even if you don’t have plans of going competitive with your trail running, it’s always best to protect your feet from potential injuries, right?

This trail running shoe guide can help you by revealing top products in the market.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh TrainersBest OverallHoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers
Saucony Men's Switchback ISO Trail Running ShoeBudget PickSaucony Men's Switchback ISO Trail Running Shoe
Hoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh TrainersUpgrade PickHoka One One Mens Challenger ATR 5 Mesh Trainers