- Rule of thumb: If in doubt, buy neutral shoes to avoid injuries.
- More about arch support in this video.
- Find your arch type by following steps from this video.
Our proprietary scoring system from 0 to 100 that indicates how liked a shoe is based on reviews and ratings from experts and users. It is a weighted average of user ratings and expert reviews adjusted for spam, shoes with few reviews, what version is reviewed and the credibility of the expert reviewer. Learn more
Disclosure: We earn
at no extra cost to you when you buy through us.
If you find a good deal on RunRepeat, you click to the retailer and you buy the shoe, we get a commission of the sale. This is how we pay ourselves. It does not make the shoe pricier for you.
Trail running shoes are associated with high-tier components and quality that is considered as industry-defining. Consumers don’t want off-road footwear that’s either flimsy in design or inconsistent in performance. After all, the harshness of the trails is a determinant for the longevity of a product. But some manufacturers and companies connect high-quality construction with a hefty price tag (about $120 and above), and people may not sit well with expensive trail shoes.
Fortunately, there are a slew of off-road running shoes that relatively cheap but are of decent quality. With such options, consumers won’t have to worry about having to cough up huge sums just to enjoy a positive experience on unpredictable topographies.
Elements of cheap trail running shoes for men and women
Consumers have a desire for wallet-friendly products, but they also abhor inconsistent quality or unwieldy design. Shoe companies circumvent such challenges with reliable components that don’t botch the overall strength of their creations or push the price higher than necessary.
Here are some elements of cheap trail running shoes:
Breathable mesh and thick overlays
The uppers of cheap trail running shoes utilize straightforward features that are designed to cover the foot and maintain a snug yet accommodating wrap. While many expensive options employ ripstop fabrics or textiles with advanced water repellency, the affordable ones use the same mesh that’s placed in many of their counterparts for road running. Also, companies use stitched-on overlays or a mix of stitched and printed ones to bolster the durability of the façade.
Industry-standard midsole foam
The cushioning system of a trail running shoe is focused on providing comfort and progression of natural motion. In no way should a footwear become cumbersome, especially if it is categorized as a part of a roster that encourages the speedy bending of the foot. With that in mind, shoemakers look to standard compounds like ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) which are cheap yet efficient at cushioning the impact shocks and enabling flexible movements. These materials are also not heavy.
Trail-optimized outsole rubber
One of the most integral parts of trail running shoes, whether they’re cheap or expensive, is the outsole. The capacity of the external pad to control the balance of the runner relative to the kind of surface that is being tackled is paramount to the overall feedback to be given. If an off-road shoe is slippery or unable to sustain traction over the rough surfaces, then runners won’t flock towards it. But if the product has a generous outsole configuration and grippy rubber (abrasion resistant, or sticky, or a hybrid of foam and rubber, etc.), then runners would most likely feel such unstinting quality translate to confident movements.
Brands known for the best cheap trail running shoes
Asics is a brand that is known for having top-quality shoes that aren’t too financially unappealing. Many of its creations are filled with performance-optimizing technologies like impact-mitigating gel wedges, abrasion-resistant rubber outsoles, and uppers that are flashy yet comfortable. All of these trappings work together to produce excellent performance. And the roads aren’t the only areas of responsibility; Asics trail running shoes are also given the same chance to shine, with some of them, like the Gel Venture and the Gel Kahana series, utilizing many features but having reasonable price tags.
Trail running shoes from Adidas usually look like road runners because they have somewhat flashy façades and modern aesthetics akin to modern-day sneakers. But the outsoles of these products stand out because they have an all-terrain configuration, which means that they’re crafted to work on both trails and the roads. Even some of the shoes that are exclusively meant for the trails, like the Terrex Tracerocker and the Rockadia Trail, have aggressive yet evenly spaced and merely semi-prominent traction patterns that can remain steady on flat ground.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should a good pair of trail running shoes cost?
If you have the budget and if you are an avid outdoor adventurer, then you should invest in a pair of running shoes that is well-reviewed and reasonably priced. Some well-received off-road products have prices that go between $120 to over $200. The brand, the technologies, the reliability, and the overall pizazz of the shoe may contribute to a hefty price tag. But if you’re a casual shoe enthusiast or a beginner when it comes to trail running, then you can search for shoes with price tags between $75 and $100. You may be shocked at the number of high-quality shoes that don’t have obnoxious prices.
How long do cheap running shoes last? Can I rotate between multiple pairs?
Most trail running shoes last between 300 – 500 miles (480 – 960 kilometers) if they are used frequently and liberally. But the unpredictable conditions of the trails may affect the longevity of the components. It is safe to rotate between shoes from your favorite brand or try out new pairs from other brands to enjoy different builds and possibly preserve the structural integrities of the rest of your pre-loved shoes.