7 Best Trail Running Shoes For Men in 2022

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
7 Best Trail Running Shoes For Men in 2022

The list of men’s trail running shoes is quite extensive. With nearly 500 models of men’s trail running shoes, selecting can be a drag. 

And if you’re looking to buy some of the most outstanding trail shoes for men, this list is made just for you. We have carefully selected the best shoes in five different categories.

How we test trail running shoes

As avid critics of running shoes, we get down to the nitty-gritties of each trail running shoe for men before we hail them as our top pick. We have even invested in our very own shoe testing facility to examine each model more closely and accurately. 

There are also steps we strictly follow to keep our choices as bias-free as possible: 

  • We buy each trail running shoe for men we assess with our own money. 
  • To see how they perform and how durable they are, we log at least 30-50 miles in each model. 
  • In our lab, we cut each of them open to see their parts and technologies. 
  • We then measure every aspect of the shoe via multiple parameters, including breathability, cushion, strength, and more.
  • To see how they stack up against other running shoes, we generate their CoreScore using thousands of expert and user feedback.

Best trail running shoes overall for men

Salomon Sense Ride 4
Salomon Sense Ride 4

Corescore

86
Great!
4.3 / 5 from 1,137 users
87 / 100 from 7 experts

Pros

  • Fits wider feet
  • Energy-efficient ride
  • Great lacing system
  • Doesn’t weigh you down
  • No heel slip
  • Insane grip
  • Really durable

Cons

  • Runs ½ size longer
  • Needs breaking in

Verdict

The Salomon Sense Ride 4 screams trail-ready, and there’s not one thing about it that we don’t like. If you’re planning to have an enjoyable and confidence-inspiring run on the trails, this bruiser won’t let you down. 

It’s heavy-duty and it can take the abuse from the harsh and difficult terrains. With its 31.7% stiffer midsole, and 6.7HC tougher outsole, it will take you miles before you can even put a dent to it. 

On steep ascents and long distances, the Sense Ride is a no-brainer. It has so much grip with its 3.5mm lugs, surefooted isn’t even enough to describe our experience. 

Unlike other trail shoes, the Salomon Sense Ride packs a lot of bounce. Cruising through the rough outdoors wasn’t just easy. It was also fun. 

Despite its clunky weight at 10.5 oz, this trail beast didn’t let us down, literally. Because of its spring, it felt nimble. 

Protection and comfort are also taken up a notch with the Salomon Sense Ride 4’s upper. It’s generously padded, you don’t have to worry about stubbed toes and poking from sharp trail elements. Even better, it hugs the feet with plushness, it’s the epitome of premium.

See our full review and facts

Best Nike trail running shoes for men

Nike Pegasus Trail 2 GTX
Nike Pegasus Trail 2 GTX

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 306 users
89 / 100 from 8 experts

Pros

  • Outstanding waterproofness 
  • Great for road-to-trail transitions
  • Lively ride
  • Feels lighter than it is
  • Good grip
  • Perfect for autumn and winter
  • Runs true to size
  • Undeniably durable

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Semi-gaiter lets snow in
  • Bulky

Verdict

The Nike Pegasus Trail 2 GTX is a trail shoe that REALLY impressed us. It kept our feet dry all throughout the wet conditions we ran! It's made for training runs so don't expect anything fast. Instead, expect a superbly bouncy and comfortable shoe that will mute out all the rocks and roots underfoot. Even better, in areas of grip and durability, this shoe will wow you!
See our full review and facts

Best off-trail trail running shoes for men

Salomon Speedcross 5
Salomon Speedcross 5

Corescore

91
Superb!
4.6 / 5 from 52,580 users
90 / 100 from 27 experts

Pros

  • A beast for difficult rugged trails
  • Perfect for mud
  • True to size
  • Responsive
  • Spot-on cushioning
  • Fits like a glove
  • Superior traction
  • No break-in
  • Foot protection

Cons

  • Limited for specific use 
  • Thick tongue holds water

Verdict

The Salomon Speedcross 5 is hands down the king of grip. With its insanely grippy outsole, we have dubbed it the “cleats version” of trail shoes. 

It has 4mm lugs, while other trail shoes generally have 3.2mm lugs. It digs deep into the ground, there’s very little to no chance of tripping over rugged and uneven terrains in the Speedcross. 

Stability is also amped up by the shoe’s glove-like wrap. And the laces make it a ton easier to maintain a locked-in fit. They’re a breeze to cinch down, and they stay locked throughout the run. 

It’s not a waterproof shoe, but the Salomon Speedcross does an excellent job of keeping the feet dry. From creek-crossing splashes to snow, no water penetrated into the shoe. 

If you want to tackle the great outdoors with confidence, there’s nothing more trail-ready than the Speedcross 5 from Salomon.

See our full review and facts

Best men's trail running shoes for ultra

Altra Olympus 4.0
Altra Olympus 4.0

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 1,759 users
89 / 100 from 15 experts

Pros

  • True to size
  • Wide toebox
  • Built for long runs
  • Superb cushion
  • Excellent traction
  • Durable Vibram sole
  • Light for a maximal shoe
  • Gusseted tongue
  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Not very responsive
  • Expensive

Verdict

There’s not one thing about the Altra Olympus 4.0 that we don’t love. And as an ultra running shoe, it delivers with flying colors. 

The Altra Olympus is designed to excel at high-mileage runs. And in 100-mile races, this is our top go-to. 

If there’s one thing about it that we can’t move past, it’s the maxed-out cushion that provides unmatched protection and comfort on the trails. It mutes out the harshness underfoot and effectively absorbs all the impact. 

Like a true Altra, its toe box is an exemplar of roomy, which is always good news to ultra runners. With the ample space up front, you don’t have to worry about restrained motions when your feet start to swell. 

Sealing the deal, the Vibram outsole has a claw-like grip. On rocky, muddy, and loose surfaces, our strides remained anchored and steady. And if it’s durability you’re after, this outsole is THE definition of sturdy. 

The Altra Olympus 4.0 has endurance written all over it. And if you want to compete in your next ultra with comfort and protection in mind, then don’t write off this trail runner.

See our full review and facts

Best road-to-trail trail running shoes for men

Brooks Caldera 5
Brooks Caldera 5

Corescore

88
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 1,323 users
85 / 100 from 9 experts

Pros

  • Cushioned
  • Welded overlays
  • Superb grip
  • Very durable
  • Gusseted tongue

Cons

  • Not so breathable
  • Stiff, heavily padded heel

Verdict

From door to trail, nothing beats the Caldera 5 as a commuter shoe. 

It’s not overbearing on paved roads. And when it’s time to tackle the trails, it has a reliable grip. 

The Caldera 5 is a soft and lively shoe. It’s very cushy and it has a spring-like bounce, making our strides come to life. 

Visually, it’s big and brawny. And that’s exactly how it runs. It’s very sturdy, it still doesn’t have any signs of wear and tear from the upper down to the outsole. 

Lockdown is also an easy 10/10. The Caldera has a gusseted tongue that makes foot entry convenient. Even more, it steps up the shoe’s security, preventing excessive rolling.

All of these come at a hefty 10.5 oz. But if you’re looking for the best road-to-trail transition shoe, there’s nothing better than the Brooks Caldera 5.

See our full review and facts

Best value trail running shoes for men

Brooks Divide 2
Brooks Divide 2

Corescore

84
Good!
4.3 / 5 from 647 users
88 / 100 from 4 experts

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Nice tongue design
  • Laces stay in place
  • Secure lockdown
  • Protective
  • Comfortable cushioning
  • Light
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Dull ride
  • Lacks plushness
  • Some durability issues

Verdict

For a shoe that does so much, the Brooks Divide 2 costs so little. For only $100, it has the makings of an expensive trail shoe. 

If there’s one thing about the Divide that wowed us it’s the shoe’s versatile traction. From the pavement to the great outdoors, it bit through everything. 

On the road, it wasn’t too aggressive. On the trail, it delivered a slip-free ride. 

What’s more is it mimics the comfort of a road shoe. It has a very cushy midsole, our strides were pain-free from the first mile down to the last. We didn’t even need recovery after! 

There’s also the gusseted tongue that we love so much. Sliding our feet into the shoe was fast and easy, and it also upped the lockdown. It wrapped snugly, not once did we experience wobbling. 

For the wide-footed runners out there, this shoe will make your feet happy. It has sufficient volume and width up front, you won’t feel constricted. 

All the mentioned features aside, the Brooks Divide 2 is also loaded with a rock plate. So if you want protection on a budget, don’t pass up on this one.

See our full review and facts

What are the cheapest men's trail running shoes in 2022?

  1. Adidas Runfalcon 2.0 TR - from $37
  2. Asics Trail Scout 2 - from $37
  3. Asics Gel Scram 6 - from $40
  4. Asics Gel Venture 8 - from $41
  5. New Balance Nitrel V4 - from $42
  6. Nike Juniper Trail - from $51
  7. Saucony Mad River TR 2 - from $52
  8. Adidas Terrex Soulstride - from $54
  9. Saucony Canyon TR - from $55
  10. Merrell Rubato - from $61
  11. Merrell Agility Synthesis 2 - from $64
  12. Asics Gel Excite Trail - from $65
  13. New Balance Shando - from $70
  14. Merrell Nova 2 - from $70
  15. Asics Gel Sonoma 6 - from $70

See all men's trail running shoes sorted by lowest price

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.