Why pay twice if you can have a fast and responsive trail runner and a sturdy hiker in one shoe? If you are someone who's after a hybrid like that, we've gathered the best hiking-ready trail running shoes for you.
We've tested 10+ pairs of these extraordinary hybrids to make your footwear shopping as convenient as possible. Housed in this fantastic selection are our top picks in a handful of categories — from the stickiest pairs down to the shoes that offer the best value.
The top-rated models you see here are not random. These extraordinary trail shoes for running and hiking were rounded up through our foolproof review process:
We purchase trail running shoes for hiking with our own funds.
We run in these hybrids to determine each pair's trail-centric capabilities.
At our lab, we put these kicks through a series of tests, including those that gauge each shoe's responsiveness, breathability, and more.
Our reviews on the best trail running shoes for hiking also reflect opinions from other shoe experts and regular runners.
As a result, we get to rank these high-quality trail running shoes more efficiently. We use a CoreScore from 0 to 100 to compare these options. Those that made the cut are what you see making up this compelling lineup.
The Salomon XA Pro 3D is a trail running shoe that’s built with some of the most impressive technologies. The features of the upper were really made dependable, and the midsole offers a very comfortable system to keep the foot protected and supported. Although it is an expensive shoe, its quality, value, performance, and design are worth the price.
Looking for a versatile trail shoe? Take the Altra Olympus 4.0! From gravel path, dirt single track, beat-up forest roads, and technical rocky climbs, this shoe just made us run with confidence! And since it's billed as a long-distance trail shoe, we had to see for ourselves that it delivers. And deliver it did! It gave our feet all the protection and comfort they could ask for.
A trail shoe we'd take during ultras. the Hoka Speedgoat 4 just bit through all the super technical terrain we put through! Even better, it made our strides surefooted with its intense focus on stability. We tell you, this shoe is a tank! It's going to swallow all the harsh elements with ease. It's not Hoka soft, but for the protection it brings, at $145, it's worth all the money spent!
The Pegasus road series just holds a special place in our feet, we just had to see it in trail action. And voila! 50 miles later, the Nike Pegasus Trail 3 won us over with its uber plush landings! Unlike other trail shoes, it's NOT dense nor dull, it's stable and comfy and will make your run cloud-like. When faced with slick surfaces, however, it shows its limitations.
If you're looking for an all-around trail shoe that can segue from road to trail easily this is not the shoe for you. On the other hand, if you want to add a heavy hitting member to your trail arsenal to be used when conditions and terrain dictate, look no further. The aggressive tread alone will win you over.
The Altra Lone Peak 5.0 is a trail shoe that will make run with confidence! It's sturdy underfoot, supportive, and it's got the right blend of comfort and responsiveness. Throw in any terrain, and this show will bite its way through them!
A beast in all our trail runs, the Saucony Peregrine 11 was more than confidence-inspiring! It's a tank that mutes out all the harshness of the trails while eating up everything you throw at it! From slick mud, snow, dry, and rocky stream crossings, this shoe just bites hard and deep into the ground. It's also built to run fast, and we got exactly that in the Peregrine!
Brooks updates their venerable trail crusher in this 16 version of the Cascadia. If you demand stout grip, a stable platform, and bright colors take a look at the Cascadia 16. It’s true to size, durable as hell, and packed with features like a ballistic rock plate, lace loop, and enough upper lacing eyelets to ensure a custom fit. These aggressive kicks are ready for adventure!
At an affordable price, the Asics Gel Venture 8 does a fantastic job on the trails! It's extremely grippy even on wet and muddy sections, comfortable, and secure. And all these come in a light and durable package! The Gel Venture is a shoe we'd consider for anything short to mid-distance.
For us, the Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a surefire winner in the trail running scene! It's a beast that has INSANE grip, loads of underfoot protection, and a fun, lively ride. Now, that's a combo you don't get every day from a dedicated trail shoe! It can eat up anything you throw at it, for sure, but where it shines is during steep climbs, telling you so much of its ground-digging traction!
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.