So, you’re on the lookout for the best trail running shoes for men but don‘t know where to begin your search? We here at OriGym understand how difficult finding the right trail shoes can be with so much on offer, so we’ve taken the task of research off your hands and all you have to do is pick your perfect match from our ultimate shortlist.
We have tried and tested all the options the UK market has to offer and from that shortlisted only the best. We took into consideration a number of variables, including: durability, protection, stability, breathability and lightness so you can take solace in knowing these 15 options are nothing short of the best.
What Are Men's Trail Running Shoes?
Men’s trail running shoes are traditionally heavier than any other trainer or sports shoe and designed to support and protect the foot on rugged terrain. The best men's trail running shoes offer durable soles with much more aggressive tread patterns to defend the feet against the likes of rocks, sticks and other obstacles a runner may encounter on the trails. To read more about the benefits and features of trail running shoes for men, scroll down to our FAQs section at the end of the article.
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The trail shoes market isn’t exactly flooded with the most attractive products, however, if this is an important factor for you, then we have the best trail running shoes for men in the UK up next for you.
Brooks is a company dedicated to creating products for runners to help improve the quality of their run. Every aspect of the design of their products is intentional and designed specifically to improve your run. What’s more, because Brooks knows that over 100 million people choose to run outside, they understand the importance of caring for the environment. This is why they are constantly working to reduce their environmental impact and to create positive social change.
The Caldera 4 men’s trail running shoes are designed to cope with a wide variety of terrains; from roads to trails, they can do it all. These trail running shoes for men are fitted with mudguards and a toe cap, which gives your feet some much-needed protection when you are running in more challenging terrains.
They also come with a sticky rubber outsole, coupled with fairly large lugs, which provide traction when running both up and downhill and on wet, slippery surfaces. However, whilst these lugs are big enough to provide traction, they are also small enough that you can easily run on the road in them as well as on the trails.
Another feature of these trail running shoes for men is their BioMoGo DNA midsole. BioMoGo DNA is a special type of foam that Brooks use for their midsoles as it provides great, long-lasting cushioning to the feet. This foam is great for a number of reasons, as it not only makes the trainers comfortable to wear over long periods of time, but it also adapts to the shape of your foot and allows for a springy stride.
One of the very few negative aspects of these men’s trail running shoes is that, whilst the lugs do provide some traction, they are not quite aggressive enough to hold up in really muddy conditions. This is the compromise of having a shoe that transitions well from trails to roads; there won’t be a lot of traction to help you feel stable in really slippery terrains.
While your shoes are, of course, the most crucial factor to a successful run, it is important that you do not disregard the significance of your entire running outfit. Check out our article on the best running gear of 2020 to guarentee the chances of that new PB.
In terms of design, these Brooks trail running shoes for men have a very attractive look. Colourful and quirky enough to stand out from the crowd, but minimal enough to not be outlandish. Overall, these are a great shoe that offer brilliant features, impressive tranformation technology and a stylish appearance.
#2 - Salomon Sense Ride 3
Rated 4 out of 5 for stability, these are the ultimate product for those searching specifically for the best men's stability trail running shoes.
The first of two entries from the poplular sportswear brand, Salomon believes that it is only through play that we progress; this is why they are passionate about creating sports gear that helps people find the joy in playing. Salomon is driven by their love of outdoor sports, innovative design and high quality craftsmanship to create products that will make people fall in love with playing in the great outdoors.
The Salomon Sense Ride 3 men’s trail running shoes are designed to perform in a range of challenging terrains. The outsole of these shoes is made of rubber Contagrip, which provides amazing traction in wet, slippery conditions. What’s more, the outsole is covered in Profeel film which ensures your feet are protected from any sharp objects on the ground. For further traction, the outsole of these men’s trail running trainers is fitted with large, aggressive lugs which anchor the foot in wet and uneven terrain, such as mud, grass and rocky trails.
When you're finished up here and by the slim chance you haven't come across a pair of trail running shoes that meets your demands, it might be worth your time to check out our buyers' guide on the best mud run shoes of 2020.
In addition to this, for the times when you are running on particularly challenging trails, the Sense Ride 3 trail running shoes (men's edition) are fitted with features to protect your feet. These include: a protective rock plate and debris-resistant mesh. This mesh, which is situated on the upper part of the shoes, is also extremely breathable and effective at getting rid of any twigs, leaves, and thorns that you might pick up on the trails.
In terms of comfort, these trail running shoes for men are built with two layers of cushioning to protect your feet and absorb the impact of your strides. This cushioning creates a soft, but firm fit which makes it really comfortable for wearing on both long and short runs. What’s more, for added comfort, these trainers come with an internal fit sleeve that wraps the foot and sits on top of a soft, OrthoLite insole.
Another product coming in at under £100, a rare find within this market, the Sense Ride 3 makes a great option for anyone looking specifically for cheap men's trail running shoes.
One downside to these trainers is that the laces could be deemed too long. There is a convenient pouch for them to sit within the tongue of the trainers, however, they still present an inconvenience when attempting to tuck away as a result of their of their length.
The overall design of these Salomon trail running shoes is really sleek and stylish. They also come in a wide range of colourways to choose from:
- White / White / Balsam Green
- Stormy Weather / Pearl Blue / Lapis Blue
- Lyons Blue / Smoke Blue / Lemon Zest
- Balsam Green / Vanilla Ice / Sulphur
- Black / Ebony / Lead
- Goji Berry / Quiet Shade / Red Orange
- Green Gables / Alloy / Oil Blue
Topo prides themselves on creating products that encourage instinctive human movement through modern comfort and performance-based designs. Topo provides running shoes for all kinds of runners, whether you enjoy endurance racing, like ultramarathons, or you like some diversity in your training, preferncing the likes of triathlons. Whoever you are and however you like to train, Topo designs comfortable, lightweight trainers that are bound to suit your needs.
These Topo Athletic Runventure 3 men’s trail running shoes are designed to perform in a wide variety of terrains. These trainers come with a Vibram outsole, which provides unmatched grip and traction on slippery, muddy terrains. Moreover, these men’s trail running shoes have multidirectional tread on the outsole. This delivers excellent grip on wet, challenging surfaces, but is not overly large or obtrusive, which means it can also be used in a number of other terrains, such as the track or the road.
Furthermore, these trail running shoes for men come with a water-repellent mesh upper section, complete with drainage ports to keep your feet fresh and dry throughout your run.
If you are specifically looking to purchase a pair of waterproof trainers and cannot find what you're looking for in this article, then you should head over to our guide of the best waterproof trail running shoes of 2020 where we're certain you'll find your perfect match.
One of the main selling features of this shoe is that it is minimalistic in attributes. This is so that it can be lightweight and mimic the feeling of running barefoot. However, it does mean that there is less cushioning than in a lot of other trail running shoes on the market. These shoes do come with flexible forefoot rock plates to protect the pads of your feet from any rocks under foot - however, especially for those who are used to running in a more protective, cushioned shoe, these Topo Athletic Runventure 3 trail running trainers may need time to adjust to as they could prove to be uncomfortable, certainly initially.
Overall, the design of these Topo men’s trail running trainers is very simple. However, you do have the choice between two, dark-toned colourways:
#4 - Merrell MTL Skyfire
Merrell was created with the simple vision of sharing the power of being outside. They believe that everyone should be able to experience the joy of getting out in nature and they have created products to help people do just that.
Merrel also understands that, in order to enjoy nature, we have to protect it. This is why they have committed themselves to recycling as many materials they can. They use fabric made from single use water bottles, repurpose factory waste to make new shoe components and are constantly searching for new ways to do more.
Like all good trail running shoes, these Merrell MTL Skyfire shoes are designed to be used in a variety of different terrains. For instance, the outsole of these trainers is made with Merrell’s mountain-grade Quantum Grip rubber, which provides amazing traction in slippery or uneven conditions. For further traction, the outsoles are fitted with large lugs that provide grip on both wet, muddy surfaces and technical trails where there can be loose rocks and tree roots.
If you do prefer to run on technical trails, these men’s trail running trainers come with a rock plate which protects your feet from any debris or jagged rocks. What’s more, these shoes are fitted with moulded TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) heel counters for extra stability. Heel counters are the plastic inserts in the back of the shoe, which are designed to provide support by cradling the heel and the arch of the foot.
Moreover, these trail running shoes for men provide both durability and breathability. The upper section of the shoes is made with mesh and, again, TPU, which is lightweight and tear resistant. This is especially handy if you are running on technical trails, where you are bound to encounter debris that could potentially damage your shoes.
While £100 may seem like a large sum of money, this is in fact a great price for shoes in this field; so if you’re on the market for some impressive, cheap men's trail running shoes, we cannot recommend this product from Merrel enough.
In terms of comfortability, Merrell’s best men's trail running shoes do come with an internal bootie, into which your foot slides in order to provide a snug, secure fit. However, unlike a lot of other trail running shoes for men, these trainers are not built with a lot of padding. Instead, the midsole is made from a thick foam that is really reactive, meaning it is easy to build speed, but isn’t the most comfortable footbed. For this reason, these trainers work much better over shorter distances.
The way in which your shoes can either make or break the success of a run, so can the bag or storage that assists you on your journey. To ensure you're kitted out with only the most beneficial equipment, make sure to give our guide on the best running backpacks a read.
An important and admirable factor to note about these men’s trail running shoes is that they are vegan. It can be hard to get good quality trainers when you are avoiding animal derived materials, so these are a really great find.
In terms of design, these trail running shoes for men come in 3 colourways, all of which are a mix of neon and dark colours:
- HV Black
What is a shortlist of the best trail running shoes for men if it doesn’t feature this entry from Altra?
Altra was founded by Golden Harper and Brian Beckstead, who became friends when they started running together in high school. Running has been a huge part of their friendship, so much so that they decided to create their own running shoes. They created these men's stability trail running shoes using their unique Zero Drop technology, which they found to drastically improve their running experience. Now, they have grown into one of the biggest brands in the running trainers industry and sell products that are loved by runners everywhere.
These Altra Superior 4.5 trail running shoes are perfect for taking on long, technical trail runs as they hold up in a wide variety of terrains. These men’s trail running shoes are fitted with large lugs that provide a solid, claw-like grip on wet, slippery surfaces. This, in addition to the MaxTrac rubber outsole on these shoes, gives them a lot of traction in slippery, uneven conditions.
Moreover, these trail running men’s shoes come with removable stone guards which make them ideal for running on more technical trails. These stone guards can be fitted into the inside of the shoes when you know you will be running on more technical trails and feel you need an extra bit of protection. However, they can easily be removed when you are running on normal, less challenging ground - making this a great transitional shoe that capture the needs of a variety of runners.
Granted, specialist running and sports trainers come at a cost, however, priced at just £84.01, this is the cheapest product on our shortlist, making this the ultimate option for those looking for the best budget men's trail running shoes.
Another great feature of these men’s trail running shoes is their extremely cushioned midsole. These trainers are made with Altra’s unique Quantic midsole, which acts as really comfortable padding for your feet whilst also being lightweight and flexible.
As mentioned, one aspect of these trail running shoes for men that really makes them stand out from competitors is their super lightweight design. These Altra Superior 4.5 trail running shoes are the lightest model yet in the Altra Superior series. They are designed to mimic the sensation of running barefoot, which is said to be the ideal way to run.
As we approach the colder months, it is vital you kit yourself out thoroughly and responsibly when embarking on longer distance runs. We advice you to take a look at our shortlist for the best running gilets that promise to offer insulation to your outfit without weighing you down.
Something that is important to note is that these men's stability trail running shoes are made with Altra’s Zero Drop footbed. This is extremely comfortable and beneficial to your running style; however, if you have never run in Zero Drop trainers before, it can take some adjusting to. Therefore, it is best to give yourself some time to wear them in before tackling any long runs.
In terms of design, these Altra trail running shoes for men are pretty basic, but they do come in 3 colourways to choose from:
#6 - Saucony Peregrine 10
If you have read any men’s trail running shoes reviews, you may already be familiar with the Saucony Peregrine 10.
Saucony is a sportswear company, founded back in 1898 who, for 122 years, have been making high-quality products that empower runners to push their training to the limits. Saucony is committed to innovation, which is why everything they produce is designed to push boundaries and find new solutions to problems in order to create the best product possible.
Saucony’s entry for the best men's trail running shoes in the UK are suitable for all types of terrains. From dry, rocky ground to wet, muddy trails, these shoes are designed to help you run to the best of your ability. What makes Saucony men’s trail running shoes perfect for wet terrains is the deep lugs which cover the outsole. These lugs, which are raised treads on the outsole of the shoe, help to anchor your foot and create traction in the harshest conditions, such as rain, snow or mud.
If your feet tend to swell during longer runs, these top rated trail running shoes for men will be particularly good for you. The upper section is fitted with Saucony’s ISOFit technology, with wings on either side of the shoe that attach at the laces. This unique design offers a fit that feels customised to your foot shape as well as allowing the shoes to move with your feet as they potentially swell up during a longer run.
Your feet will also feel extremely supported from the bottom section of these men’s trail running trainers, as they are designed using Saucony’s Everun topsole technology. This is a thin layer of fabric located between the sock liner and the midsole, which is extremely durable and bouncy, thus allowing for a comfortable, springy stride.
If you have found your way to this article, it is fair to assume that you're serious about running - and if that is the case, surely you're interested in a device that will enable you to track your data? If you haven't already, then we recommend taking a look at our buyers' guide of the best running watches of 2020 - offering features such as GPS, heart rate monitors, training plans and much more.
In terms of the overall look of these trail running men’s shoes, they are very basic, but do offer some choice in terms of their design. When picking your trainers, you can choose between 4 colourways:
- Red Mutant
#7 - Altra Lone Peak 4.5
Our next entry is for those of you on the market for the best men's trail running shoes for wide feet.
This is the second pair of trail running shoes from Altra on this list. This speaks for the quality of Altra’s products as, when it comes to off-road footwear, they are hard to beat.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.5 trail running shoes for men are suitable for wearing across a range of different terrains. The outsole of these trainers is made from MaxTrac Rubber material, which combines grip, traction and durability to help you excel in the toughest of terrains. What’s more, this outsole is covered with TrailClaws, which are multidirectional lugs that have been placed beneath the metatarsals in your feet to provide traction on any surface.
Moreover, these men’s wide trail running shoes are perfect if you like to run on technical trails, as they are fitted with lightweight rock plates in the midsole. This acts as a layer of protection for your feet against stray rocks and debris that you may come across on technical trails.
The midsole of Altra's Lone Peak men’s trail running shoes is also padded with firm foam cushioning for added comfort. The cushioning in these shoes is firmer than a lot of other shoes on the market, so they may take some getting used to. If you can get past the firm footbed, this lack of cushioning is beneficial as it means the midsole has a better energy return, allowing you to pick up speed easier.
We understand that it can be challenging to find good trail running shoes if you have wide feet as your toes often end up feeling cramped, which can then lead to blisters and a great deal of discomfort. This is one of the reasons why these Altra men’s trail running shoes are so great as they come with an especially large toe box, which allows the toes to move freely.
Another great feature of these trainers is that they are super breathable. The upper section of the Lone Peak 4.5 trail running shoes (men's edition) is designed using a durable air-mesh material which is quick to dry, thus allowing your feet to stay fresh and dry while you run.
The design of these trail running shoes is simple, yet fun. It comes in one, basic colourway: grey/blue; but it features a fun detailing of mountains on the side of the shoe, along with the French flag and the yellow from the sole that adds a vibrant pop.
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Asics is one of the most renowned brand names in the fitness industry. They sell a wide range of shoes, clothing and accessories, all of which are loved by runners around the world. The name Asics is actually an acronym for the Latin expression ‘Anima Sana In Corpore Sano’, which means ‘(You should pray for) a healthy mind in a healthy body’. This sums up the whole ethos of Asics as they are all about creating products that encourage people to pursue total body health.
These Asics FUJITRABUCO PRO trail running shoes for men are designed to perform across a wide variety of different terrains. The outsoles on these trainers are made from the brand's specialised tough ASICSGRIP material which provides great traction on slippery, uneven surfaces.
What’s more, the outsole is fitted with deep 6mm multidirectional lugs, which allows you to grip onto all kinds of challenging terrains. This level of grip and traction makes these top men's trail running shoes perfect for wearing on technical trails. However, when running on more technical trails, you often encounter a lot of debris and obstacles; this is why these Asics trail running shoes (men's) come with a rock plate, so your feet are protected from any sharp or dangerous objects underfoot.
Another great feature of these ASICS FUJITRABUCO PRO trail running shoes (men's edition) is that they provide an extremely secure fit. This is largely due to the sock liner, which comes up high on the leg to ensure a very secure, close fit. The mesh material of the upper section of these men’s trail running trainers also help to provide a secure fit. This mesh material is multi-layered, which makes it extremely thick. Whilst this is amazing for stability, its thickness means that it is not overly breathable, which may cause some discomfort in hotter climates.
For more inspiration and guidance on creating the most effective running attire, you may find our guide on the best running accessories of 2020 an insightful read.
In terms of comfort, these trainers are fitted with a soft, lightweight midsole. This midsole is made from Asics’ FLYTEFOAM Lyte technology which creates a solid amount of cushioning, even for longer runs. This FLYTEFOAM also provides a good level of energy return, meaning it is easier for you to pick up speed while you are running.
The overall look of these Asics trail running shoes for men is pretty minimal in comparison to other Asics products, but can be made more exciting depending on what colour you choose. The shoes feature similar elements to that of all Asics trainers, with the large Asics logo displayed across both sides. These trail running shoes come in 3 colourways:
- Directoire Blue/Black
Reputation is an important factor to consider when investing into specialised sports gear, so that is why we present to you Hoka’s top rated men's trail running shoes.
Hoka is a company that was built around the goal to improve endurance race times for runners by designing a shoe that specifically enables runners to go downhill faster. In finding a solution to this problem, they created a design that reinvented the running shoe, and in turn, have earned themselves the accolade of the best trail running shoes for men.
While Hoka offers one of the best products for downhill running, it's important that you prepare yourself throoughly if you're new to this style of sport. For more tips for running downhill, including technique and injury prevention informtation, check our our full guide.
These Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 shoes are ideal for those who like to run long distances over a variety of terrains. These men’s trail running shoes are designed with a Vibram Megagrip rubber outsole, which provides amazing traction in wet, slippery conditions. What’s more, the outsole is fitted with 5mm lugs, which add extra grip and stability to the shoe. As well as providing traction on wet surfaces, the outsole in these top rated trail running shoes for men is also helpful for providing grip on technical, uneven trails where there are obstacles like loose rocks and raised tree roots.
Another great feature of these trail running shoes for men is the super secure midsection. The midsection of these trainers is covered with 3D printed overlays, which provide support to the arches of your feet and give the shoes a very secure fit. This midsection is also really comfortable as the midsole is made of a cushioning, lightweight foam.
This entry for the best men's trail running shoes in the UK are specifically built for endurance, hence why the foam midsole creates an extremely comfortable fit, especially when the shoes are worn over long distances. However, this comfort does come at a price, as these men's black trail running shoes are less reactive than some of the other shoes on this list, thus making it harder to pick up speed.
Breathability is another huge selling feature of these trail running shoes for men. The upper section of these shoes is made from mesh, which is extremely breathable and allows your feet to stay fresh and dry, even on long runs. Moreover, the Speedgoat (men's edition) are designed with a gusseted tongue, which features cut-outs that improve breathability even further.
If you have particularly wide feet, it can be really tricky to find trainers that fit comfortably. That is why Hoka have designed these trail running men’s shoes with a wider forefoot - as it allows for a secure, comfortable fit for those with wider feet, even over long distances.
One of the few disadvantages to this offering is that they are on the heavier side of the market. This is because of all the features that the Speedgoat 4 has in order to improve comfort when worn. This shouldn’t be an issue for most people but it is something to consider if you typically prefer lighter running shoes.
In terms of design, these men’s trail running shoes offer a lot of variety. They are available in 7 bright colourways:
- Gold Fusion/Black Iris
- Dark Gull Grey / Anthracite
- Majolica Blue / Mandarin Red
- Myrtle / Limelight
- Cordovan / High Risk Red
- Black Iris / Bright Marigold
- Black Iris / Evening Primrose
#10 - Brooks Catamount
Brooks is one of the biggest brands out there when it comes to trail running shoes for men, which is why this is their second product on our shortlist.
The Brooks Catamount trail running shoes have a number of design features that allow them to perform at a high level across a broad range of terrains. For instance, these trainers have a TrailTack outsole which is made from a tacky rubber material and provides traction in slippery or uneven surfaces. Additionally, the outsole is fitted with large lugs that provide amazing grip and traction on the most challenging of terrains.
Furthermore, these trainers are ideal if you like to run on technical trails, as they are made with a Ballistic Rock Shield. This rock plate protects your feet from any obstacles you may encounter underfoot, such as: sharp rocks, raised tree roots and debris.
On the whole, this shoe is designed for speed. For this reason, everything about the Brooks Catamount is lightweight. For example, the midsole in these men’ trail running shoes is made with DNA Flash technology, which infuses Brooks’ lightweight DNA foam with nitrogen to create a springy footbed that is perfect for picking up speed.
In terms of comfort, the Catamount trail running shoes (men's version) are moderately comfortable but, as they are so lightweight, they are less padded than some of the other shoes on this list. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are wearing the shoes on shorter, faster runs, but could cause discomfort if you were to wear them for longer distances.
Another element that is potentially compromised as a result of the lightweight nature of these good trail running shoes for men is their durability. The upper section of Brooks' trainers is made from a perforated mesh material which, whilst light and breathable now, isn’t the most long-wearing fabric.
Summer is prime time for trail running - and with that means you need the right accessories that are going to assist you during those warm and sunny endeavours. Before you leave our blog today, be sure to check out our list of the best sports sunglasses of 2020 that will combat the summer's blinding sun.
The colourways of these shoes, which is : white/iced aqua/blue, looks attractive when fresh out of the box, but it may show signs of wear very quickly.
If you have read any men's trail running shoes reviews, then you will know Hoka is a prominent name for sportswear in the trail running field, and if you haven't, their notability on our list should indicate it.
This is the second pair of trail running shoes from Hoka on this list, which speaks for the quality of Hoka’s products. Hoka is a runner’s dream as they sell shoes to suit a wide range of running styles. The EVO MAFATE 2 are trainers designed for running on trails, tracks, roads and hiking, as well as a variety of lifestyle shoes.
This pair of trail running shoes for men is designed to perform over a variety of different terrains and really excels in tough, technical runs. They are extremely durable, thanks to its Kevlar-reinforced Matryx fabric, which helps it to hold up on rocky trails. This fabric is a stretchy panel, which covers the front of the shoes and expands with the foot during each stride to ensure maximum comfort.
This trail running shoe for men is also fitted with Vibram Megagrip outsole, which ensures a good connection between your foot and the ground, thus helping you to keep your balance in uneven terrain. Moreover, the EVO MAFATE 2 men’s trail running shoes have extremely thick soles, so your feet will be protected if you are running through an area with sharp rocks.
If you are someone who lives in a wetter climate and like to run where there may be slippery rocks or muddy trails, these attractive men’s trail running shoes are perfect for you. Along with the Vibram Megagrip outsole, this trainer has multidirectional lugs (raised treads on the sole of the shoe), which provide traction in the most challenging terrains.
In terms of comfort, these men’s trail running trainers are fitted with a very generous amount of cushioning in its interior. What’s more, in response to feedback on their previous version of this shoe, Hoka have enlarged the toe box. It is important, especially for those with wider feet, that your toes don’t feel constricted during a long run, as it can be uncomfortable and potentially damaging to your feet. This is why there is now plenty of room in the front of these Hoka trainers to ensure your toes never feel cramped.
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In conjunction with the impressive technology this shoe features, sometimes your body needs an extra boost to ensure you reach your full potential while running. When you're done here, make sure to check out our recommendations for the best running supplements to fuel your run.
One downside to these men's wide trail running shoes is that their laces can loosen over time. This isn’t too big of an issue over a short distance; however, loose, untied laces can get pretty irritating, and potentially even dangerous if left untied on longer trail runs.
The overall design of this shoe is very bright and colourful. They also offer some variety in colour options; you are given the choice between a black and orange colourway, and a blue and yellow one.
#12 - Arc’teryx Norvan SL
Arc’teryx is a sportswear company that was founded on the idea that there is always a better way. It is based in Canada, where each product is created and put through rigorous testing in the Coast Mountains, which provide a range of climates and extremely challenging conditions and terrains.
Being based in such a naturally beautiful part of the world, Arc’teryx has a great appreciation for the environment, which is why they place such a heavy focus on the sustainability of their products. Arc’teryx strives to use the best, most sustainable, materials possible to create high quality products that will last a long time.
These Arc’teryx Norvan SL men’s trail running shoes are suitable for a range of different terrains. They can be worn when running through technical trails as they have a Vibram Megagrip outsole, which provides great traction on slippery or uneven ground.
Moreover, the outsole is fitted with 3mm lugs which provide an extra bit of grip and stability. Whilst these trail running shoes for men do provide a good amount of traction, they won’t hold up in really muddy, slippery terrains.
The Norvan SL's can be used for all kinds of running, but they are specifically designed for speed. For this reason, the design of these trainers is minimal, as the goal is to be as lightweight as possible. In fact, these top rated men's trail running shoes were originally designed by climbers to be a compact and lightweight shoe for traversing crags.
In order to achieve such a low weight, these trainers do come without a lot of features that you may expect from a trail running shoe. For instance, there are no rock plates on these shoes, so they are not ideal for wearing on really technical runs, as your feet are pretty much unprotected from debris. Moreover, the footbed of these men's stability trail running shoes is padded with very minimal cushioning, which is perfect for speed, but could cause discomfort over longer distances or challenging terrains.
One of the great things about these trail running shoes is that they are highly breathable. The upper section of these trainers is made from a mesh material that allows moisture to escape, thus helping to keep your feet cool and dry.
In terms of the fit of the Arc’teryx Norvan SL trail running trainers (men's version), they are especially snug. The shoes are fairly narrow through the midfoot and heel. However, they become wider in the forefoot to improve foot-to-ground contact and also increase traction on steep inclines. This design is perfect for short, fast trail running as it allows you to be nimble on your feet and provides a better connection between your feet and the ground.
In terms of design, these men’s trail running shoes are simple but bright. They come in 3 colourways:
- Pulse/Smoke (lime green/grey)
- Paradigm/Nucleus (teal/orange)
- Proteus/Black (steel blue/black)
#13 - Inov8 Roclite G 275
If you’re on our list searching for the best men's trail running shoes in the UK for running on diverse and unpredictable terrain, then you’re in luck.
Inov8 is a sportswear brand that was created in the beautiful British Lake District. As such, it is aimed at those who love trail running and other kinds of off-road trekking. Inov8 is one of the biggest names in the trail running market and their shoes are extremely popular amongst off-road runners everywhere. Each product produced by Inov8 is made to the highest quality, with innovation at the heart of its design process. They are always looking for ways to improve their products, making them lighter, faster and more efficient.
These Inov8 Roclite G 275 men’s trail running shoes are perfect for running through a variety of challenging terrains. For example, they have a graphene-infused outsole, which is 50 percent stronger than the material of the average running shoe. This tough outsole means that these men's black trail running shoes are perfect for taking on technical trails, where you may encounter obstacles like sharp rocks and brambles.
Moreover, the outsole of these trail running trainers for men is fitted with deep 6mm lugs, which provide great grip on slippery, wet surfaces. For further help on technical trails, these trainers also come with a rock plate which provides added protection for your feet against rocks and debris.
Another feature, unique to Inov8, which justifies the Roclite’s title of the best trail running shoes for men is their Meta-Plate shank. A Meta-Plate shank is a 3-finger polymer plate that runs along the bottom of the shoes and aligns with the metatarsals in your foot. This allows for flexibility in your forefeet whilst providing a good level of control as your feet move.
Overall, the fit of the shoe is extremely comfortable as it allows your feet to move freely, never feeling restricted. This is partly because of the flexibility of the Meta-Plate shank, but mainly due to the upper section of the shoe. The upper section is made from Adapterweb materials that move with your feet, allowing them to comfortably expand and swell during a long run.
Notably, these men’s trail running shoes are the lightest in Inov8’s Roclite series. On one hand, this is great because it helps to mimic the sensation of running barefoot and it means that there is a good energy return. However, it does mean that these shoes are less cushioned than some heavier shoes on the market. The cushioning in the forefoot is firm, but comfortable; however, the heel isn’t very well padded, which means the impact can feel a little harsh.
One downside to Inov8’s top rated trail running shoes for men is that, whilst they are mostly water-resistant, the mesh material of the upper section does let water in. However, this isn’t too much of a big deal as the shoes dry pretty quickly.
If you're new to trail running, or running as a form of exercise in general, and you're looking for guided ways to improve your performance, then we believe you will definitely benefit from taking a look at our article on the best running apps for beginners; here you will find 13 apps that were designed with you, your abilty and future goals all in mind.
The design of these men's trail running shoes is pretty basic, but it does offer some variety in terms of colour. It comes in 3 simple colourways:
#14 - La Sportiva Bushido II
La Sportiva was founded in 1928 by Narcisso Delladio, who began making hand-crafted wooden clogs for lumberjacks and farmers in the Fassa and Fiemme valleys in Italy. His skilled workmanship was respected and admired by all who wore his shoes and, as a result, his business soon began to grow, producing shoes for all kinds of outdoor activities. To this day, La Sportiva is dedicated to making high-quality footwear for every kind of outdoor activity, including, of course, trail running.
These La Sportiva Bushido II men's trail running shoes are designed to perform on all types of off-road terrain. These trainers are fitted with FriXion Red double compound outsoles, which support running over a number of different surfaces. For instance, the outsole is covered in large round lugs, which rise sideways, touching the midsole. These lugs create a gradual support angle with the ground and help your foot to remain stable over challenging terrains. This makes them great for running on wet, slippering surfaces and on technical trails where you may encounter obstacles like rocks, debris and tree roots.
If you do like to run on technical trails, these top trail running shoes for men come with a variety of features that are designed to protect your feet. These include:
- A rubber toe cap
- Ripstop mesh in the upper section of the shoe
- A rock plate at the forefoot.
Furthermore, the construction of these men's trail running shoes in the UK means that they are extremely stabilising for your feet. These shoes are made with a TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) skeleton, which is an extremely durable material, whilst also being flexible, further justifying their place as one of the best men's trail running shoes in the UK.
This skeleton lies laterally on the upper section of the shoes and then reaches down to wrap around the midsole. The effect of this is that the shoe has a very stable, secure fit so you feel supported throughout your runs.
In terms of comfort, these men’s trail running shoes have a moderate amount of cushioning. La Sportiva didn’t go overboard on the cushioning because they wanted the shoes to remain reactive so you would still be able to build speed easily. This does make for more of a firm fit but is perfect for those wanting to focus on speed during their running.
Another great feature of these men’s trail running trainers is that they are highly breathable. This is because the upper section is made with a mesh fabric that allows your feet to stay fresh and dry while you run.
In terms of design, these top-rated men’s trail running shoes come in 6 vibrant colourways:
- Opal/Apple Green
- Black/Tropic Blue
#15 - Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3
Finding a great quality trainer for trail running that comes with a water resistant element isn’t always easy in today's market. But we have pulled out all the stops and found you the best men's trail running shoes with waterproof features.
Salomon is an extremely popular brand for men’s trail running shoes, which is why this is their second feature on this list. They produce men’s trainers for a wide range of activities, such as hiking, winter sports, water sports and running. In terms of trail running specifically, these Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 trainers are one of the best on the market.
What makes these men’s trail running shoes so great is their versatility. Whether you want to run on more technical trails, on the road or even across slippery rocks, these trainers are the perfect choice. For more challenging surfaces, with obstacles such as rocks and raised tree roots, the S/Lab ltra 3 waterproof trail running shoes (men's edition) are fitted with a rock plate to protect your feet. These trainers are also designed with a rubber Contagrip outsole which provides amazing grip on wet, slippery surfaces.
In terms of comfort, these top men’s trail running shoes are fitted with a highly durable polyurethane foam midsole, which creates excellent cushioning and protection for your feet. This is especially helpful when running longer distances. What’s more, the midsole is made with EnergyCell, which is the brand’s unique design that allows for great energy return to really give you that extra spring in your step when you are running.
If we haven't already sold this product, then another great feature of these men's waterproof trail running shoes is that they are really lightweight. The upper section of these shoes is made with an anti-debris mesh fabric. This prevents any rocks or debris from getting trapped in your shoe during your run. Moreover, because it is mesh, this material is extremely breathable and not at all constricting to your feet.
Another lightweight product that can aid your run throughout all seasons of the year is a good quality running hat. If your running gear is yet to feature this useful accessory, then why not treat yourself by checking out our article on the best running caps for men and women and get one in the basket.
Some other notable features of these men’s trail running shoes:
- They are water repellent: the fabric of the trainers is covered with a treatment that stops it from absorbing water during light rain.
- They come with a moulded sock line which creates a very comfortable fit as it follows the natural shape of the foot.
- They come with Salomon’s Quicklace design, which allows you to tighten the shoelaces in just one pull. This makes them really easy to take on and off.
The design of this shoe is pretty simple, but still has a decent amount of colour. There is a lack of variety in terms of choices, however, as it is only available in one colourway: Maverick / Racing Red / Maverick.
What is the difference between trail running shoes for men and running shoes?
Where trail running shoes are generally made with a ‘stickier’ rubber that has more grip, and/or outsole lugs to aid traction on dirt and soft surfaces, general running or road running shoes tend to be designed using a smoother, blown rubber outsole. This benefits the user in terms of grip on surfaces such as pavement.
Another difference between trail running shoes and road running shoes is the addition of a rock plate. Trail running shoes benefit from an added rock plate (hard plastic inserts situated between the midsole and outsole of the shoe) which protect the foot against jagged rocks and roots; road running shoes do not feature rock plates as they generally do not need this sort of protection.
Trail running shoes will also be made purposely with increased durability features in order to manage and survive rough terrains. While road running shoes are still durable, they tend to be designed with fewer features so they can ensure they remain lightweight.
Finally, the last significant difference between trail running shoes and road running offerings is their flexibility. Trail trainers are always designed to be stiffer (which protects the ankles and feet from rough and unstable terrains), whereas road running trainers are generally much more flexible and offer softer midsoles for added cushion to protect the runner when running on pavements.
What to Look for in a Trail Running Shoe?
#1 - Grip
A key element to a quality trail running shoe is all in the grip and traction. Trail running shoes are designed with specific features that enable the runner to combat more rugged terrains. Lugged soles improve traction to help you move more sure-footedly over dirt, mud, gravel, roots and rock slabs. Elements to look for when analysing the grip of a shoe are: large lugs, sticky rubber compounds, and multi-directional lugs with teeth that are strategically placed to maximise grip.
#2 - Stability
Unlike many other styles of running shoes, the stability in trail running shoes tends to come from the upper part of the trainer. Trail shoes usually offer supportive materials that aim to strap the runners foot down and prevent it from maneuvering around too much. That, combined with the more secure fit in the heel that trail shoes generally have, provides stability within the shoe.
#3 - Protection
The protection of trail running shoes can be offered from a variety of both external and internal features depending on the shoe. For instance, trail running trainers often feature tighter-weaved mesh uppers which work to protect the runner’s socks and feet from trail debris.
The durable upper materials the shoe features also work to withstand abrasion and tears. Trail shoes with toe-bumpers (the rubber caps on the toes of trail shoes) protect the toes from any potential pain, damage and bruising, in the event of hitting a hard surface. Finally, the majority of trail shoes will feature a flexible, hard plastic plate in some form within the midsole. This particular element is there to shield the feet from any sharp objects (such as rocks, sticks, etc.).
#4 - Heel-to-Toe Drop
In trail running shoes (men's), the heel-to-toe drop is generally lower, allowing the runner to remain lower to the ground. This provides better ankle stability and enhances proprioception (otherwise known as the sense of self-movement and body position). With good proprioception comes enhanced responsiveness and greater awareness on uneven surfaces.
Before You Go!
We’ve reached the end of our shortlist of the best men's trail running shoes in the UK and with that we hope we have provided you with enough diversity and selection for you to find the perfect shoes for you.
Finding the perfect trail running shoes for men is key to the success of your run, so take your time in the selection process.
On a final note, If you have an interest in pursuing a career in fitness that allows you to provide tailored nutrition plans, take a look at our Level 4 Nutrition for Sport course.
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