1. Altra Lone Peak 1.5
Best All day Shoes: Altra’s founder, Golden Harper, had a new product earlier this year and we are able to get a sneak peak at some of their award-winning trail line. The updated Lone Peak 1.5 were designed around the storied Wasatch 100 endurance race. With beefy soles, excellent “breathability”, and a weight of under 10 ounces, this is the trail shoe for all day adventures. You will feel the lightness in your soles and feet.
2. La Sportiva Helios
Best Short-Distance Shoe: These shoes are absolutely amazing and insanely light. However, don’t mistake the Helios for a lightweight, even if it does come in at just over 8.1 ounces. This hard charger is perfect for everything from short tempo runs to full blown trail half marathons. The toe and heel caps protect you on the rough trails, and the over-lugged sole sticks to everything. Go ahead and turn the speed up to eleven.
3. Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra
Best Race-Day Shoe: Brace yourself for this wonderful and astonishing shoes. Designed in collaboration with world champion ultra runner Kilian Jornet, this update to Salomon’s popular Sense shoe features additional cushioning and deeper lugs. While these changes add an ounce of weight, the Sense Ultra still only comes in at 7.4 ounces, even with a durable 13-millimeter heel. At $180, they’re a little pricier than other options, but come race day, these sturdy, nimble shoes will leave your opponents seeing red and that’s a good thing.
4. Brooks Cascadia 8
Best Shoe For Heel Strikers: Cascadia is back for another brilliant and durable shoes. The eighth edition of the Cascadia holds up Brooks’s strong trail tradition. A beefed-up BioMoGo DNA foam protects your feet from even the sharpest boulder hopping trails. The upper design is easy on the eyes, but more importantly, it keeps your feet locked in place, especially important on slick Pacific Coast or New England Trails. This is the comfort shoe your feet have been asking for.
5. Merrell Barefoot Trail Run Ascend Glove
Best Minimalist Trail Shoe: Mountain Hiking can never be so fun with Merrell shoes. If you’re looking for more connection to the trail, the Ascend Glove from Merrell provides the perfect minimalist platform with zero drop and only 6mm of cushioning. Ventilated and Gore-Tex-lined options are ready for any conditions. With a Vibram outsole and Merrell’s “Trail Protect” padding at critical points, the Ascend will be ready to go long after your feet are screaming for a break.
6. The North Face Single-Track Hayasa
Best Ultralight Shoe: The North Face collaborated with renowned Japanese runner Tsuyoshi Kaburaki to design the fastest trail shoes on the planet. Hayasa also means “speed” in Japanese. These shoes live up to its name because of the ultralight touches it brings and a neutral platform, minimal foot bed and lightweight toe and heel protection. These shoes are not for the faint of heart or beginners. However, if you’re looking for a new set of tools to push you further, maybe a little then Hayasa is what you need.
7. Newton Terra Momentum
Best Everyday Trainer: The new Newton Terra Momentum has become popular nowadays. People use them to handle everything from urban gravel paths to tricky ridge-line traverses. The flexibility of the shoes’ Action-Reaction technology makes them suitable for any runner’s style. If you don’t have the cash to spring for a few pairs of shoes , these Newton trainers are easily versatile enough to take on any terrain.
8. New Balance Leadville 1210
Best Long-Distance Shoe: Being filthy during “fun runs” are inevitable. Dirty, grimy feet are a constant in ultra-distance running, the inevitable result of grueling miles hoofed through the worst dust and mud imaginable. Clean feet mean fewer blisters and more time spent smiling during your run, and the breathable uppers of New Balance’s Leadville 1210s are tightly stretch woven to ensure that trail debris stays on the trail. A combined Vibram outsole and an N2/Revlite (New Balance’s proprietary cushioning foam) mid sole make for a plush slog through long miles.
9. Hoka One One Rapa Nui Comp
Best Cushioned Ride: People always love a more “comfortable feel” shoes. Hoka One One spurned the minimal debate and instead built a line of shoes with as much cushioning as possible. The result is a “running on air” feel. The oversized midsoles, with almost double the EVA cushioning foam of many other brands, function as foot-sized shock absorbers to provide superior flexibility and far more comfort than than competitors’ stiff rock plates.
10. Pear Izumi EM Trail 2
Most Stable Shoe: Great comfortable shoes are always number one priority. Pearl Izumi took their proven E:MOTION carbon rubber sole system and paired it with a new, completely seamless upper. The result is an EM Trail 2 that’s the most stable shoe on the market. If you’re prone to rolled ankles, the bio mechanically designed E:MOTION mid soles help keep you on track to good mid foot form, even when you’re tired and would otherwise get sloppy. The water shedding and wicking uppers round out a great feature set. Trust us, you won’t want to take them off.