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Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

Best Trail Running Shoes

So you like hiking but feel hiking boots are uncomfortable? We know exactly how you’re feeling. That’s why we made our list of best trail running shoes for hiking. We’ve found the best trail running shoes better fit the needs of most hikers. If you’re hiking the Appalachian or Pacific Coast Trails from start to finish, that’s a different conversation, but most of our readers hike from time to time to see a waterfall, on weekends at their local trail, or on vacation. In those situations, hiking boots are overkill. A good pair of trail running shoes can be more comfortable, lighter, and have great outsoles that can hang with the best hiking boots.

If you wish to see all of our trail running shoe reviews gathered in one place with our road running shoe reviews, you can check out our Running Shoe reviews page.

Categories on this page are placed to easily help you find what you want. If you know what you need, you can simply click the category. If not, feel free to check out the whole list.

We’d also like to hear your thoughts on this list so share those in the comments section below. You can even share your own list.

Updated 7.04.2022

Let’s get into our picks:

Best Overall Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

Brooks Cascadia 16

Brooks Cascadia 16

The Brooks Cascadia 16 is everything you need out of a trail shoe. Ballistic Rock Shield, ample cushioning (the most they’ve ever put in the Cascadia), a wide base, and ample room for your foot to expand on long runs or hikes. They feel and perform like a trail running shoe but protect as well as a good hiking boot. The only potential issue is the Cascadia 16 may be too wide for some people. Narrow footers will need to either wear thick hiking socks or go down a half size. Oh, and one other thing. Ok, two. First, the Cascadia 16 comes in some awesome, flashy color combos. And second, there’s a GTX version with an enhanced GORE-TEX upper that will keep your feet dry during the rainy season. The Brooks Cascadia 16 is comfort, stability, and protection wrapped up in a reasonably priced package.

Fits: Slightly Wide, Drop: 8mm, Price: $130

9/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Brooks Cascadia 16 Buy Women’s Brooks Cascadia 16

Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G300 Max

Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G300 Max

The Inov-8 Trailfly Ultra G300 Max made it to our Best Running Shoes list. The G300 Max excels in two areas: cushion and traction. The cushion integrates Graphene into the brand’s G-Fly foam, making for a soft, bouncy ride that’s also stable. The traction is made of Graphene Grip, which stays true to its name, plus you get some excellent durability from the upper. Read full review.

Fit: True to Size, 6mm, Price: $190

9/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Inov-8 Trailfly G300 Max Buy Women’s Inov-8 Trailfly G300 Max

Nike Pegasus Trail 3

The Nike Pegasus Trail 3 is one of the more comfortable trail shoes on the market. The upper feels great on foot and stays comfortable all day. The React midsole is the best midsole on a Nike trail shoe in…well…a really long time. The only issue is traction on wet rocks and mud. On wet days keep these at home, but if you mostly hike in dry conditions, you’ll enjoy the ride. 

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 9.5mm, Price: $130

7/10
Total Score
Buy Nike Pegasus Trail 3

Brooks Catamount

Brooks Catamount

The Brooks Catamount is a well-rounded shoe that you’ll pick up regularly for your hikes. The DNA Flash foam midsole is nitrogen-infused. It’s snappy. The rubber outsole uses TrailTrack, a grippy and durable rubber compound that’s paired with thick lugs. The mesh upper will get dirty rather quickly (avoid the white if possible), but it’s a thick build, so don’t need to worry about its durability. This shoe will last hike after hike. Read full review.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 6mm, Price: $160

8/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Brooks Catamount Buy Women’s Brooks Catamount

Hoka Speedgoat 5

Hoka Speedgoat 5

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is Hoka’s premier trail running shoe. The Speedgoat 5 can work just as well for hiking but you’ll need to wear long socks. The top edge of the tongue is a little annoying, but if that’s covered, you’ll get a very comfortable upper paired with Hoka’s signature soft midsole. The outsole is durable and the Vibram outsole will last. If you enjoy wearing Hokas daily, then we’d recommend you stick with the brand for your trail adventures.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 4mm, Price: $155

8/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Hoka Speedgoat 5 Buy Women’s Hoka Speedgoat 5

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2

The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 is basically the trail version of one of our favorite New Balance shoes, the Fresh Foam More v3. The plush foam underfoot and plush foam lining are the keys. It’s a very comfortable shoe built on a wide platform plus there’s a wide version available. The 4mm drop works well on trails where you want to avoid instability when traversing rocks and roots. The smooth rocker shape is still present but the thick midsole may be a little much for hikers who like more trail feel. The Fresh Foam X Trail v2 is one of the most plushly cushioned and best overall trail shoes.

Fit: True to size, Drop: 4mm, Price: $165

8/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Fresh Foam X More Trail V2 Buy Women’s Fresh Foam X More Trail V2

Best Zero Drop Trail Running Shoes for Hiking

Inov-8 Terraultra G270

Inov-8 Terraultra G270

The Inov-8 Terraultra G270 boasts one of the best traction compounds available. It’s called Graphene Grip, and it’s so good that it almost justifies the high price it comes with. The upper won’t work for everyone. It’s a combination of mesh and a thick fuse. Though this isn’t anything new, the fuse may make the upper less comfortable than other shoes on the list. However, if all you care about is not wanting to slip, you’re in the right place. Read full review.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 0mm, Price $160

8/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Inov-8 Terraultra G270 Buy Women’s Inov-8 Terraultra G270

Altra Lone Peak 6

Altra Lone Peak 6

We’d call the Altra Lone Peak 6 the most popular zero drop trail running shoe on the market. It’s comfortable, versatile, and offers a wide toe box that accommodates lots of foot shapes. If you want something zero drop for your hiking adventures this is the most reliable option.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 0mm, Price $140

7/10
Total Score
Buy Mens’ Altra Lone Peak 6 Buy Womens’ Altra Lone Peak 6

Altra Timp 4

Altra Timp 4

Want zero drop but something softer and springier than the classic Lone Peak 6? The Altra Timp 4 is the answer. Named after a oft-hiked mountain in Utah County, the Timp 4 delivers soft cushion for long-distance hikes. It may be a little too soft for craggy hikes as you’ll likely feel the rocks beneath your toes so keep that. in mind. Otherwise, the comfortable upper and outsole that easily transitions from trail to road will make this a solid option for most weekend hikers.

Fit: True to Size, Drop: 0mm, Price $160

7/10
Total Score
Buy Men’s Altra Timp 4 Buy Women’s Altra Timp 4

Best Trail Running Shoes for Hiking – Coming Soon

Brooks Caldera 6

Brooks Caldera 6

The Brooks Caldera 6 is a unicorn trail shoe. Well-cushioned, super stable, and grips everything. As long as you buy the right size (you’ll need to go half down from your normal Brooks shoe size), you get an amazing shoe. Whether you’re trail running or hiking, you won’t find a better trail shoe. Plus, if you spend a lot of time on the trails, your body will thank you for the bouncy, protective cushioning the DNA Loft v3 midsole offers. Read full review.

Fit: Go a half size down, Drop: 6mm, Price $150

9.5/10
Total Score
Shop Men’s Caldera Shop Women’s Caldera

Thinking of a shoe we should add to the best trail running shoes for hiking list? Comment below or message us on Instagram or Twitter.

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