I’m sure many of you can agree that it is tough to walk or run on rocky terrain while wearing standard running shoes.
Running downhill on trails can be especially hard. I’ve definitely been left behind, carefully stepping down the mountain in my regular runners, while my friends run freely (and happily) down hills in their elite trail running shoes.
Thankfully, there are an array of trail running shoes to choose from, all of which can help to limit slippage and improve your overall trail running experience.
In this article, I will show you the best trail running shoes for women with flat feet, high arches, narrow feet, wide feet, and more. I will also discuss which shoes work on which type of terrain!
Want to find the best trail running shoe for you? I advise you to continue reading.
Review: Do you participate in trail races? If so, this shoe can benefit you in many ways. How?
It’s super flexible and lightweight, which can help you to fly up and down a mountain without worrying about carrying extra weight on your feet. Not only can this shoe help you scramble up a trail at a rapid pace, but it’s sticky sole provides additional traction.
It may be best to save this shoe for days when there’s lots of mud or for more intense training days since overuse may cause the rubber on the sole to wear down.
Heel pull loop – helps you to pull your shoes on faster.
Can wash easily – even if they are covered in mud.
Great for trail running races like the spartan race.
X-TALON outsole with deep cleats – extra traction.
May shrink after you wash them.
If you tend to race or train on tough terrain, this shoe may be for you! However, the rubber can wear down so you may want to save this shoe for important training sessions and races.
Topo Athletic Ultraventure Trail Running Shoes
Review: If your wide feet make it hard to find a suitable trail running shoe, you are in luck!
The Topo Athletic Ultraventure Trail Running Shoe is tailor-made for those with wide feet. Not only does this shoe have a wide toe box, but it’s comfortably cushioned as well.
This shoe also comes with Vibram XS Trek outsole, which helps to provide extra traction.
However, it does not come with a rock plate, which works to protect the bottom of your feet from rocks on more technical trails. Therefore, this shoe may not be the greatest option for intense terrain.
This shoe may also benefit those who suffer from plantar issues!
Vibram XS Trek outsole – helps with traction.
Gusseted tongue – stops dirt and rocks from getting into your shoe.
Abrasion-resistant engineered mesh upper – makes the shoe breathable.
Wide toe box.
Drainage ports – releases water and speeds up the drying process.
No rock plate.
This shoe can carry you across hiking trails and support you on all-terrain runs, but the lack of rock plate may increase your chances of a getting hurt from rocks and debris on extremely rocky terrain.
The Topo Athletic Ultraventure Trail Running Shoe may also be one of the best women’s trail running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Salomon Women's X-Mission 3 W Trail Running Shoes
Review: I just discussed one of the most comfortable women’s trail running shoes for wide feet, so you may be wondering which shoes are best for narrow feet?
It turns out that the Salomon Women’s X-Mission 3 W Trail Running Shoe hugs your feet but in a comfortable, cushioned sort of way. Even though this shoe fits narrow feet, it also comes with a spacious (but not too spacious) toe box.
Do you hate bending over to tie your shoe when you are hiking, running, or walking (okay, sometimes it can be a nice excuse to rest)? Well, these shoes come with a quick lace feature, which means you won’t ever have to wrap your laces like bunny ears.
Relatively true to size for most buyers.
The 3D grip on the outsole enables you to use this shoe on the road and on light trails.
Molded EVA midsole – adds a cushiony feeling to the shoe.
Not the best shoe for rough terrain.
If you have narrow feet, love to run on trails or on the road, you will love these supportive and comfortable shoes. However, they may not be the greatest shoe for tough terrains.
Saucony Women's S10483-2 Trail Running Shoes
Review: It’s vital to invest in snug fitting shoes when you run on trails! Why?
When you run down hills or are meandering through tough terrain and debris, you won’t want your feet slipping all over the place; you want your feet to feel comfortable and supported while you are exploring mountainous regions.
The Saucony Women’s Trail Running Shoe offers a seamless combination of comfort, stability, and support through their innovative technologies – Everun top sole, PWRFOAM midsole, and PWRTRAC outsole. You’ll feel comfortable on the way up and on the way down.
EVERUN Topsole – adds a bounce to your step.
PWRFOAM midsole – extra comfort and cushioning.
PWRTRAC outsole – can be used on various terrains.
Debris may get into the shoe if you are on super rough trails.
Overall, many consider these the best women’s trail running shoes in 2019 because of the support, comfort, and traction, but some may find that pieces of debris can sneak into the shoe.
Hoka One One Women's Challenger ATR 4 Trail Running Shoes
Review: Long hikes or trail runs can hurt the feet, so why not look for shoes with ultra cushioning?
The foam sole in these HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Challenger ATR 4 Trail Running Shoes help to provide extra comfort – you will feel like you are running on air!
However, the traction on these shoes can support you through a variety of terrain, but it may not have enough “stick” to carry you across slippery, wet terrain.
Lots of cushioning.
Good for trails and the road.
May need to try on in the store.
May not be the best in wet conditions.
If you want comfort, I advise you to look no further than these shoes. However, it is essential to remember that they may not work best on wet, slippery terrain.
Salomon Women's Sense Ride GTX Trail Running Shoes
Review: If you want comfort and durability while you run long distances on various types of trails, you may want to consider adding the Salomon Women’s Sense Ride GTX shoe to your collection.
Better yet, if you are caught trekking up a mountain when the rain starts to pour, you won’t have to worry about your feet getting wet because these shoes come with GORE-TEX® Invisible Fit™ waterproof technology.
These shoes may even benefit those who tend to overpronate.
Cushioned Ortholite™ – added cushion.
Great shoes for a variety of terrain.
May benefit overpronation.
Molded EVA midsole.
Premium Wet Traction Contagrip™ outsole – good for wet and dry terrain.
Slightly expensive (which may be because they are waterproof).
These waterproof shoes may be slightly more expensive than other trail running shoes, but they are worth the price.
Vasque Women's Vertical Velocity Running Shoes
Review: The Vasque Women’s Vertical Velocity Running Shoes make for great hiking or trail running shoes, whether you are going for a long or short trek—you’ll feel lighter and faster in this shoe.
This lightweight shoe will have no trouble carrying your feet across semi-tough terrain, it even comes with an ESS rock plate in the midsole, which can help to protect your underfoot from rocks.
Yet, the lugs may not be the greatest for super intense and technical terrain.
Roomy toe box.
May not work for technical trails.
This shoe is great for hikes or running on moderate terrain.
Brooks Women's Cascadia 12 Trail Running Shoes
Review: When you run for a long time on a trail, your feet tend to pivot and switch directions a lot, especially if you are dodging debris and what not!
Therefore, if you love to do long distance trail running, you will want a shoe that’s comfortable, lightweight, and supportive.
Is it even possible to find a shoe like this?
Well, the Brooks Women’s Cascadia 12 comes with an array of features that will work to support a long distance trail run.
For example, this shoe comes with a biodegradable BioMoGo midsole, which provides additional cushioning. It’s also equipped with Trail-specific Four-Point Pivot Posting System—a technology that supports your foot.
This shoe also features Full-length Segmented Crash Pad, which absorbs shock as your feet smash against the gravel.
Trail-specific Four-Point Pivot Posting System.
biodegradable BioMoGo midsole.
Full-length Segmented Crash Pad.
Heel pull loop.
Great for long distance runs.
Quick to dry.
Size may run small.
The supportive features in these shoes may make them one of the best trail running shoes for ladies who love to run for many, many kilometers.
Saucony Women's Peregrine 8 Running Shoes
Review: Do you have high arches? You may enjoy the Saucony Women’s Peregrine 8 Running Shoe.
When you have high arches, it is essential to look for a shoe with a lot of cushioning and support. People with high arches can experience a lot of pain if they wear the wrong shoe, much like flat-footed people.
So why are these one of the best trail running shoes for women in 2019 for people with high arches?
Let’s take a look:
This shoe comes with the typical Saucony technologies – Everun top sole, PWRFOAM midsole, and PWRTRAC outsole – these work together to boost comfortability, stability, and durability.
The Saucony Women’s Peregrine is also equipped with a shaft that measures low-top from the arch, which can benefit those with high arches.
Great traction – 6mm lugs.
This shoe offers support and comfortability for those with high arches.
Altra Women's King MT 1.5 Trail Running Shoes
Review: “I love slipping all over the place when I run in mud.” – Says no one ever.
Thank goodness this running shoe contains a Vibram MegaGrip outsole, which helps to provide traction on muddy trails.
Not only does this shoe work well in mud, but it also works for general hikes and runs. You’ll find that this shoe encompasses similar benefits to a heavy duty hiking shoe without the added weight.
Fully Cushioned Zero Drop Platform – you’ll feel like you are running barefoot on clouds.
Shoe drains well.
Won’t work well on pavement.
If you want shoes for a Tough Mudder race or something similar, you’ll love the Altra Women’s King MT 1.5 Trail Running Shoe
However, if you’re looking for a shoe that works well in multiple terrains, you may want to look for something else as these ones may not work best on the pavement.
Merrell Women's Glove 4 Trail Runner
Review: When you wear this shoe, you’ll feel like you are running in your bare feet—you’ll experience a lighter step, too!
This shoe comes with underfoot protection, which stops rocks from ruining your pleasant hiking or running experience.
However, although the protection pad works as a safeguard, you may want to avoid hiking on super intense trails, but you’ll feel amazing wearing this shoe on lighter trails.
The Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner comes with a 0mm drop, so it may be best to slowly adapt to running in this shoe, especially if you aren’t used to the shape and feel that comes with this shoe.
Feels like you are running in your bare feet.
3mm lugs so may be best to avoid more intense trails and stick to mild terrain.
These shoes may not be the best women’s trail running shoes for hardcore trail runners, but they’ll certainly do the trick for hikers and runners who enjoy walking or running on mild terrain.
Columbia Montrail Women's Caldorado III Trail Running Shoes
Review: This shoe is a standard, comfortable trail running shoe! It comes with a reinforced toe cap, which helps to protect your toes for unexpected debris or out-of-nowhere rocks on the trail.
In addition to the reinforced toe cap, the TrailShield protection plate feature works to shield your underfoot from rocks.
This shoe can support you on either mild or tough terrain, but you may want to avoid running on roads – doing so could ruin the rubber on the outsole.
FluidFoam midsole – great for stability and comfort.
Works for most terrain – except for pavement.
Reinforced toe cap.
TrailShield protection plate.
May not fit true to size.
If you are looking for a standard, comfortable trail running shoe that you can use on different terrain, you may want to consider adding the Columbia Montrail Women’s CALDORADO III Trail Running Shoe to your shelf.
New Balance Women's WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoes
Review: If you wear these shoes, I dare you to race your hiking or running companion up the mountain! Why?
You’ll feel extra light in these shoes.
However, don’t let the fact that these shoes are lightweight dismay you from thinking that they lack stability! This shoe has a wrap around the midfoot that works to offer additional stability.
Although this shoe offers good support, they may not work best for those who have foot issues, since they are extra flexible.
Work on multiple terrains.
Heel pull loop.
May need to order half a size up.
These barefoot-feel shoes will work for people who don’t have foot-related issues.
Asics Women's Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner Shoes
Review: Asics have been a long-time favorite for flat-footed people, and this trail running shoe is no exception!
It is essential for flat-footed people to find shoes that offer optimal support, especially in the midsole. And this shoe contains a DuoMax® Support System in the midsole, which helps to provide additional stability.
In addition to the DuoMax® Support System, this shoe also comes with SpEVA® Midsole Material, a technology that can help the midsole to last longer.
This shoe contains a variety of features that may benefit overpronators.
DuoMax® Support System in the midsole.
SpEVA® Midsole Material.
Great trail running shoe for overpronators.
Roomy toe box.
May not fit true to size.
These may be the best women’s trail running shoes for overpronators due to the stability in the midsole!
Altra Women's TIMP Trail Running Shoes
Review: Not only can you run comfortably for long distances on almost all types of terrain in this shoe, but the breathable upper protects your feet from the water.
If you are having trouble finding a comfortable, suitable shoe for wide feet, I recommend taking a closer look at this shoe!
However, if you don’t have experience wearing a zero-drop shoe, it is advised to go for shorter runs until you get used to the feel of the shoe.
Great shoe for wide feet.
Reflective – people can see you when it’s darker out.
This shoe works on mild to tough terrain.
There have been some complaints about the durability of the lace loops.
May not fit true to size.
Finding a comfortable shoe that accommodates wide feet can be difficult, which is why I recommend this shoe.
Important Features to Pay Attention To
Finding the best trail running shoes for women may not be as hard as you think, especially since there are many viable options out there for all types of feet and terrain!
When you are shopping for a new shoe, it is vital to pay attention to your personal needs (flat feet, wide feet, high arches, etc.) first and foremost, and once you’ve found a few shoes that offer you the support you need, you can ask yourself:
What types of trails will I run or hike with these shoes?
Once you’ve answered this question, you can begin to look at a variety of shoes and styles.
It is essential to pay attention to the outsole and lugs on each shoe, especially if you plan to run on super rocky terrain.
I advise you to look at the length of the lugs and whether the outsole provides enough traction for whichever trails you hope to tackle.
And it’s vital to ask yourself if you need something like a rock plate. Why?
If you are running on tough trails, a rock plate can help to protect your underfoot from rocks and debris.
The best trail running shoes for women depend largely on foot shape and which type of terrain the runner prefers! It’s important to recognize what your foot needs before you buy the flashiest trail running shoes around.
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Hi, I’m Emma Lynn
I’m a proud mother of two wonderful children and a wife to a loving, affectionate husband. I enjoy exercise – yoga (yes, I teach yoga as well), running, and going to different fitness classes from time to time.
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