5 Best Saucony Trail Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
5 Best Saucony Trail Running Shoes in 2024
We earn affiliate commissions at no extra cost to you when you buy through us. Why trust us

Whether running at your local park or competing for your first ultra, trail running offers an awesome break from the monotony of the flat, paved roads.

Of course, when you’re planning to conquer rugged paths and technical terrain, you need to have a dependable trail running shoe that provides grippy traction and protection against sharp rocks. One of the most reliable brands out there that we don’t hesitate to recommend is Saucony.

We listed here our highly-rated Saucony trail running shoes, each of which we have given comprehensive reviews. We based our verdict and review on the meticulous lab analysis and in-field wear tests we performed. 

How we test trail running shoes

To make our fantastic selections, we’ve put in many hours poring over Saucony’s impressive lineup of trail running shoes. Together with our team of wear-testers and shoe lab technicians, we‘ve tested and analysed 30+ models on this list. Our entire approach involves:

  • Investing our own money to buy all the Saucony trail running shoes to ensure we’re 100% transparent and unbiased.
  • Performing mechanical tests inside the RunRepeat lab, which includes cutting the shoes into pieces and analysing over 30 parameters, from flexibility, outsole traction, and durability, to the softness of the midsole and waterproofing, etc.
  • Wear-testing each model in various trail running conditions logging at least 30-40 miles.

Best Saucony trail running shoes overall

What makes it the best?

We navigated trail routes with finesse and confidence in the Peregrine 14. Its light and agile build makes us quickly adapt to any environment while its deep lugs deliver unwavering traction in the woods. Though backed up by lab analysis, it’s our own experience that cements Peregrine 14’s status as the best Saucony trail shoe.

Its solid grip encourages us to challenge ourselves with tougher terrains, knowing its 4.7-mm lugs can handle slippery slopes effortlessly. We feel secure knowing the reliable outsole would protect us from any slips. Plus, its lug arrangement is cleverly spaced to shed underfoot debris. 

Peregrine 14 feels light and airy on foot, almost like we can fly. At 9.4 oz (266g), it’s significantly lighter than the average Saucony trail shoe (9.9 oz/281g). 

Its grounded and fluid nature enhances agility as the shoe gives much ground feedback for quicker adaptation. Our calliper reveals a minimal 2.2 mm drop, much lower than the 7.9 mm average. We’re free to move as the shoe barely resists us, confirmed by an average result in our flex test. 

Unfortunately, its focus on versatility means it isn’t the most explosive trail shoe. We recommend checking speedier options for races.

Pros

  • Natural running feel
  • Superb value at just £150
  • Flexible and comfortable
  • Heel security
  • Plusher tongue
  • Cushioned insole
  • Rock plate
  • Highly versatile

Cons

  • Limited energy return
  • Somewhat firm
Full review of Saucony Peregrine 14

Best Saucony trail running shoes for race

What makes it the best?

Saucony Endorphin Edge is always race-ready with its fast and light nature, delightful cushion, and secured ride. It gives the speed and confidence every runner needs, making it our ultimate trail racer among Saucony shoes.

This off-road racer doesn’t drag us down with its feathery 9.5 oz (269g). It’s as light as the average road running shoe and has the benefits of a trail shoe. It’s hard to slow down with this pair because of its snappy carbon plate and rocker structure. Our flex test in the lab confirms the pop of energy we experience, as it’s 76.9% more resilient than average. Every step down launches back with greater energy return.

Endorphin Edge excels in any race distance with its pillow-like cushion that prevents our feet from strain. Our durometer validates that its velvet foam is 27.7% softer than the average trail shoe.

The outsole can withstand any terrain with its 3.4-mm lugs that bite through puddles and loose dirt. We can easily manoeuvre without any slips because of its grip and without any lateral wobbles because of its wide enough base.

The heel fit may feel loose to some runners, causing heel slippage. We recommend checking other options for a more snug fit in this area.

Pros

  • Fast as hell
  • Comfort written all over it
  • Super smooth ride
  • Light AF
  • Protection can't be more awesome
  • Breathable under warm temps
  • Toe box is ready for ultras
  • Carbon plate is not harsh
  • Grippy on wet, loose, and soft trails
  • Also great for the roads

Cons

  • Unstable at slow paces
  • Loose heel
Full review of Saucony Endorphin Edge

Saucony trail running shoes with the best foot protection

What makes it the best?

Endorphin Trail crushes any terrain with its thick, dense midsole, super aggressive lug design, and sock-like upper. It's built like a tank, providing armour and zero ground feel like no other. No doubt, it delivers the best foot protection among the Saucony trail lineup.

Its skyscraper stack rises 36.3/31.1 mm vs. the 31.8/24.2 mm average, making it one of the tallest trail shoes we’ve tested. That’s a lot of material to protect the feet from sharp rocks. It's lined with mesh on the edges to ensure the midsole doesn’t get damaged. Being the first trail shoe to have the renowned PWRRUN PB midsole, it attacks the trails with vigour and energy.

Its robust, full-length rubber outsole serves as an added shield. Our durometer measurement of 87.5 HC shows it’s harder than the 85.1 HC average. This reassures us that it's more resistant to wear and tear. We can confidently take on rocky terrains and even soft mud because of its deep 4.5 mm lugs that increase traction.

Its bootie upper hugs our feet in place and gives much-needed lockdown to prevent smaller rocks from getting in our shoes.

The downside of all the added protection is the added weight. At 11.0 oz (312g), it’s extremely heavy vs. the 10.4 oz (296g) average.

Pros

  • Amazing grip
  • Sock-like fit
  • True to size
  • Aggressive
  • Peppy midsole
  • Rock protection

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not breathable
  • Poor draining
Full review of Saucony Endorphin Trail

Best Saucony ultra trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

In our off-road adventures with Saucony’s trail line-up, we discovered that Xodus Ultra 2 suits its name. As our top ultra shoe, it made brutal miles feel like a walk in the park. No arguing between trail and feet, with ground-muting cushion and an added stability boost. Our lab also confirms it’s a comfy place to be in all day with its breezy upper and flexible build.

The cut-in-half XU2 reveals a dual-foam setup that is an above-average 34.1/26.8 mm for long miles. The bulk of the midsole consists of a balanced 27.5 HA foam, which feels propulsive. Meanwhile, the second foam lies in the heel. Our durometer shows a firmer 29.5 HA for stability and protection. The insole is 7.2 mm thick for extra comfort.

Other than the firm foam, its 4.6-mm lugs underfoot contribute to our surefooted strides. Even the midfoot sidewalls guide us without being too intrusive. We couldn’t deny the shoe’s remarkable stability, especially in faster paces.

Though it weighs the same as the average trail shoe, its adaptive nature and breathable upper add a feeling of lightness. In our bend test, it emerged 10.5% more bendable than average. While on our breathability test, it earned an impressive 4/5.

We highly encourage wearing reflective elements when running in the dark because XU2 has none.

Pros

  • Snug, secure fit
  • Highly breathable
  • Enhanced lacing from v1
  • Responsive midsole
  • Upgraded durability
  • Solid, stable feel
  • Long-run-ready cushioning

Cons

  • Bootie upper might feel odd to some
  • Slightly heavy for its size
  • Firm cushioning
Full review of Saucony Xodus Ultra 2

Best lightweight Saucony trail running shoes

What makes it the best?

After multiple wear tests and intensive lab tests, we endorse the Endorphin Rift as the best lightweight shoe among Saucony’s trail lineup. It’s everything speed-oriented—snappy, responsive, feathery, and agile—with a robust and grippy outsole to boost our confidence on diverse terrains.

The Endorphin Rift's lightweight design, akin to road-running shoes, is evident in its weight of just 9.0 oz (255g), compared to the 10.4 oz (294g) average trail shoe. Surprisingly, despite minimalists sacrificing cushioning, it retains a generous amount of light and bouncy PWRRUN PB cushioning, delivering leg-saving support with its 33.0/25.1 mm stack. Our durometer readings confirm it to be 26.2% softer than average.

Additionally, Saucony's Speedroll technology and rocker geometry promote responsive toe-offs, enhancing the overall running experience.Moving laterally and bending our feet feels relatively easy as the midsole doesn’t resist our natural movements. Our lab tests reaffirm its fluid ride by showing a torsional rigidity of 3/5 and a result that’s 9.9% more bendable than average.

To ensure our surefootedness and stability, Endorphin Rift heightens its traction through 4.5 mm deep, sticky, and multi-directional lugs. On top of this, the PWRTRAC compound exhibits mind-blowing resistance against our Dremel by showing 77.8% less damage than average.However, while the deep lugs are a plus in muddy conditions, we believe less depth would have resulted in less bulk and a more responsive ride.

Pros

  • Fantastic PWRRUN PB midsole technology
  • Ideal for summer runs due to its breathable upper
  • Capable of handling muddy terrain with ease
  • Upper and outsole showcase incredible durability
  • Sufficiently cushioned for ultra-marathons
  • Exceptional cushion-to-weight ratio
  • Sock-like upper provides a fantastic fit
  • Excellent heel lockdown
  • Handles faster paces effortlessly

Cons

  • Tongue design needs enhancement for ultras
  • Lugs could be slightly shorter
  • Price point is probably too high for some budgets
Full review of Saucony Endorphin Rift
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.