585 best neutral trail running shoes

Based on reviews from 2,787 experts and 177,913 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to neutral trail running shoes. Updated Jun 2020.

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  1. Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 - Ebony Black
  2. Salomon Sense Ride 3 - Black/Ebony
    Any color
    Salomon Sense Ride 3 - Balsam Green / Vanilla Ice / Sulphur
    Salomon Sense Ride 3 - Black/Ebony
    Salomon Sense Ride 3 - Lyon Blue/Smoke Blue
    Salomon Sense Ride 3 - Stormy Weather/Pearl
    $120 $90 Save 25%
  3. Brooks Cascadia 14 - Navy Blue Grass Grey
    Any color
    Brooks Cascadia 14 - Navy Blue Grass Grey
    Brooks Cascadia 14 - Grey/Navy
    Brooks Cascadia 14 - Grey/Pale Peach/Pearl
    Brooks Cascadia 14 - Black Rumba Red Coral
    Brooks Cascadia 14 - Black / Grey / Burnt Ochre
    $130 $100 Save 23%
  4. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail - Cargo Khaki/Team Gold-black-ocean Cube
  5. Altra Superior 4.0 - Blue / Gray
  6. Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex - Grey
  7. Hoka One One Torrent - Black
  8. Asics Gel Venture 7 - Electric Blue/Sheet Rock
  9. Salomon Speedcross 5 - Black
  10. Salomon Speedcross 4 - Black
  11. Adidas Response Trail - Black/Orange/Blue
  12. Saucony Mad River TR - Citron Black
  13. Merrell Trail Glove 5 - Green
  14. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 - Black
  15. Saucony Peregrine ISO - Black
  16. Brooks Caldera 3 - Black Grey Nightlife
    $140 $98 Save 30%
  17. Altra Olympus 3.5 - Blue / Yellow
  18. Arc'teryx Norvan VT 2 - Green
  19. On Cloudventure - Orange
    $160 $150 Save 6%
  20. Hoka One One Challenger 5 ATR - Ebony Black
  21. Salomon Supercross GTX - Black
  22. Merrell Trail Glove 4 - Pink
  23. Brooks Cascadia 13 - Black
    $130 $90 Save 31%
  24. Asics Gel Scram 5 - Metropolis White
  25. Asics Gel Venture 6 - Grey
  26. Merrell Momentous - Black/White
    $120 $84 Save 30%
  27. Hoka One One Stinson ATR 5 - Grey
  28. Salomon Sense Ride 2 - Hawaiian Ocean / Navy Blazer / Mallard Blue
  29. Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 - Gray
  30. Altra Lone Peak 4.0 - Green

Neutral running shoes, or sometimes referred as cushioned shoes, are designed for runners with a normal gait. Generally, these shoes have the right amount of cushioning for underfoot protection and comfort. Neutral shoes can be categorized as road or trail running shoe.

  • Road Running Shoes – Typically, these shoes are light and flexible. They have less aggressive outsole since they are designed for even surfaces and hard pavements with slight irregularities. Most of the road shoes are versatile that they can be used for speed training and daily runs.
  • Trail Running Shoes – Trail shoes have more sturdy construction and aggressive lug patterns. These shoes also provide more protection compared to road running shoes.

Features of a reliable neutral trail running shoe

best neutral trail running shoes
Best neutral trail running shoes - November 2019

Not all trail running shoes are created equal. Some are designed for neutral runners while others are for overpronators. Trail shoes are also classified according to different terrains - light, rugged, and off-trail. In finding a reliable neutral trail running shoe, here are some of the features one must consider:

  • Cushioning – Neutral trail running shoes should provide firm yet responsive cushioning. The amount of cushioning should be enough to provide the necessary underfoot protection without affect ground feel.
  • Foot Protection – Neutral trail running shoes have the necessary protective technology to keep the foot well-protected while running on varied terrains. Some of them are equipped with protective rock-plate and toe cap.
  • Durability – Trail running means rough running environment. Trail running shoes should be made from durable materials to prevent early wear and tear.
  • Traction – Running on light or rugged terrains requires durable traction. The shoe should have a sturdy sole unit and aggressive lug configuration. With the maximum grip, runners should be able to take the uphill and downhill runs confidently.
  • Waterproof feature – Trail running may involve running on muddy or wet surfaces. It is a huge plus if your trail running shoe has a reliable waterproof feature. It should be enough to keep your foot dry while keeping the coverage breathable.

Neutral trail running shoes vs. Neutral road running shoes

Compared to road running shoes, most of the neutral trail shoes are slightly expensive because of the more advanced technologies incorporated into the shoe for better protection and performance. Most of these shoes are also heavier especially those with waterproof coverage. On the other hand, road running shoes are more breathable and flexible.

Either a road or trail running shoe, neutral runners should find the best pair of running shoe that fits well with their preferences. The right shoe should provide unmatched comfort, reliable cushioning, and maximum protection for a more satisfying running experience.

15 best neutral trail running shoes

  1. Salomon Sense Ride 3
  2. Salomon Speedcross 5
  3. Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex
  4. Hoka One One Speedgoat 3
  5. Hoka One One Torrent
  6. Altra Superior 4.0
  7. Adidas Response Trail
  8. Brooks Cascadia 14
  9. Saucony Mad River TR
  10. Salomon Speedcross 4
  11. Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5
  12. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail
  13. Asics Gel Venture 7
  14. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5
  15. Merrell Trail Glove 5
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com