4 Best Snow Running Shoes in 2024

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
4 Best Snow Running Shoes in 2024
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While other people stop and go home because the weather decides to snow, you continue to brave the elements and keep putting one foot in front of the other to reach your goals. For dedicated runners like you, the grind never stops.

That said, it is wise to exercise caution when running outside during the winter months. Having the proper snow running shoes that provide support and protection from cold and slick surfaces is very important.

To help narrow down your best options, we’ve secured models of snow running shoes available in the market. After that, we tested and analysed each of them on the road, on the trails, and inside our shoe testing lab to make our top recommendations. In this article, we highlight the snow running shoes that truly wowed us during our testing.

How we test running shoes

As a team of wear-testers and editors here at RunRepeat, we tested and evaluated every model on this list.

To make the final cut, our entire approach includes:

  • Purchasing all the shoes we test with our own money to ensure a 100% honest review.
  • Performing a battery of mechanical tests inside our lab, which includes cutting the shoes into pieces and analysing over 30 parameters, from midsole softness, durability, outsole traction, and many others.
  • Going for short and long runs in cold temperatures and snowy conditions, averaging 30-40 miles on each model. We record every bit of valuable information we get from our rigorous wear tests.

Best running shoes for snow overall

What makes it the best?

In our extensive trials, Speedcross 6 GTX keeps our winter runs warm, agile, and secure. Our lab confirms its reliability across diverse terrains, boasting adhesive traction and a protective build that instils confidence on icy paths. With this Salomon pair as our top snow running shoe, there is no excuse to skip winter training.

As we navigate corners, melted snow, and hills, we maintain control, all thanks to the shoe's impressive traction. Its 5.0-mm lugs, 1.4 mm deeper than average, provide extra grip, especially on softer ground. With chevron-shaped lugs spaced strategically, it effectively sheds snow underfoot.

The tightly knit upper has a Gore-Tex membrane that feels warm and safe, blocking off moisture and cold air. Our breathability tests confirm its impermeability with the lowest 1/5 score, making it perfect for winter. 

With speed in its name, it handles fast paces well with its agile and supportive nature. The midsole combines gentle and rigid elements for a balanced ride. The cushion provides ample protection while increasing its density for stability. Our durometer confirms it’s 23.7% firmer than average. On the other hand, its flexible midsole flows with our feet for a more natural feel.  Unfortunately, its heavy weight of 11.5 oz (325g) is hard to ignore, especially during tempo sessions.

Pros

  • Fully functional Gore-Tex membrane
  • Ample cushioning for long adventures
  • Excels in challenging, technical terrain
  • Rapidly sheds mud
  • Agile and tenacious grip on twisted trails
  • Remarkable durability
  • Ideal for heel strikers

Cons

  • Completely lacks breathability
  • Midsole could feel overly firm for some
  • Exceptionally heavy
Full review of Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX

Running shoes for snow with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

Hoka Challenger 7 GTX has a winter-ready construction, unwavering traction, and abundant cushioning which us feel right at home even during extended runs in sub-zero temperatures. No doubt, it’s our top cushioned snow-running shoe as our lab confirms its supreme comfort and protection for any weather and terrain.  Beneath our feet is an enormous gentle foam that keeps us chasing the miles. Our calliper reveals a mega-stack of 39.2/28.1 mm, delivering excellent impact absorption and bottomless cushioning. The shoe's cloud-like comfort is emphasised by its 19.5 HA reading on our durometer. In cold conditions, it only firms up by 9.7% vs. the 27.0% average increase, maintaining consistent comfort regardless of temperature changes. The upper effectively shields us from cold winds, falling snow, and debris. Our shoe dissection uncovered multiple protective layers, including a Gore-Tex membrane, contributing to its perfect score on our Dremel test (5/5). With its low ventilation score in our breathability test (2/5), it ensures warmth and waterproofing, ideal for winter running. This hybrid shoe shines on ice thanks to its 3.8 mm lugs, providing reliable traction for safe snow running. Our durometer reveals the Durabrasion rubber measures 81.0 HC, striking a balance between grip and durability. Regrettably, this already stiff shoe becomes even more rigid in cold conditions. Runners who prefer more agility and a natural feel should bid this Hoka goodbye.

Pros

  • Fully waterproof and winter-ready
  • Secure lockdown thanks to the gusseted tongue
  • Amazing stability
  • Provides a comfortable ride on roads and easy trails
  • Ideal for long runs
  • Generous CMEVA cushioning underfoot
  • Surprisingly lightweight given its stack height
  • Just $15 more than the regular version

Cons

  • Lacks reflective elements
  • Potentially too stiff for hiking for some users
  • Higher heel-to-toe drop than anticipated
Full review of Hoka Challenger 7 GTX

Running shoes for snow with the best durability

What makes it the best?

Running in the snow has never felt more effortless and secure than when wearing Salomon's XA Pro 3D v9 GTX. In our tests, this shoe proved to be extremely protective against elements typically encountered on icy runs—cold, slippery surfaces, and instability. Among snow running shoes, this pair boasted the highest level of durability.

The shoe's upper features a waterproof GTX membrane that shields us from moisture and chilly winds. In our lab, the tightly braided upper exhibited minimal breathability, scoring a mere 1/5 for ventilation which is perfect for winter. Additionally, the shoe incorporates a toe bumper for protection against hard ice and rocks.

Even on uneven paths, the cushioning provides reliable support without bottoming out, regardless of foot strike location. Our durometer readings indicate it's 23.6% firmer than average. The 3D chassis further bolsters stability by resisting extreme twisting and lateral movements, thereby reducing the risk of injuries.

Supporting the shoe's robust build is the Contagrip outsole, which seamlessly combines traction and durability. The 2.8-mm lugs offer a secure grip on slippery ice, while the rubber outsole exhibited minimal wear even after rigorous testing in challenging conditions.

Individuals with broad feet or those who prefer wearing thick socks should note that the toebox has an aggressive taper, providing only 75.7 mm of space in the big toe area compared to the 78.1 mm average.

Pros

  • Incredibly protective
  • Extremely stable and supportive
  • Great traction even on wet surfaces
  • Watertight Gore-Tex upper
  • Flexible and forgiving on the foot
  • Makes a great hiking companion
  • Effectively dampens landings
  • Generously padded from heel to tongue
  • No lace bite whatsoever
  • Durable, high-quality construction
  • Simple yet snazzy design

Cons

  • Could be lighter
  • Rather firm cushioning
  • Upper needs breaking in
  • Lacks the agility for technical trails
Full review of Salomon XA Pro 3D v9 GTX

Best budget snow running shoes

What makes it the best?

Nike's Juniper Trail 2 GTX emerges as our go-to choice for snow running, blending stability and warmth at a wallet-friendly £130 price point, earning the best budget title. Compared to the £160 average cost of waterproof runners in our lab, it offers exceptional value without sacrificing performance. Even in freezing conditions, our feet felt at home, courtesy of the Gore-Tex membrane and tightly knit upper that scored a 2/5 in our breathability tests, ensuring reliable protection against moisture and cold. The padded upper material, scoring a rare 5/5 in our Dremel test, serves as our long-lasting shield.

Underfoot, the generous 34.5/24.3 mm stack cushioning is an effective shock absorber, while our durometer reveals a firm 30.3 HA platform that boosts stability in our strides. The wide and hard-to-twist midsole improves our balance and mitigates ankle rolls, while its high flexibility enhances comfort and adaptability. Our bend test confirms it’s 20.3% more malleable than average.

However, the outsole's durability-focused design sacrifices grip, making it less suitable for pavements with melted snow. We advise caution in such conditions for safer runs.

Pros

  • Impressive upgrade
  • Top-notch waterproofing
  • Amazing durability
  • Exceptional stability
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Spacious toebox
  • Excellent for winter conditions

Cons

  • High price increase
  • Firm ride
  • Grip could improve
Full review of Nike Juniper Trail 2 GTX
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.