×

Best Women’s Trail Running Shoes

Trail running has become an increasingly popular activity, with organized races growing around 1,000% in the last 10 years. Whether you’re interested in trail running for leisure or competitions, the right pair of sneakers can enhance your performance.

The running takes place on unpaved surfaces outside of city landscapes, and shoe styles in the category are designed to protect feet from rugged terrains. Tread grooves that are incorporated in the footwear help deflect rocks and other intrusive elements.

Look for styles that have plenty of padding between the midsole and outsole to minimize impact on the rough surfaces you’ll encounter on trails. Here, we’ve come up with some of the best choices for women’s trail running shoes.

For more than 75 years, Footwear News has been the shoe authority. Our coverage spans top industry news, retail trends, head-to-toe fashion, athletic and outdoor analysis and more. Footwear News’ global network of editors has carefully curated all product selections featured using our expansive brand knowledge and thorough research to find quality, long-lasting items. If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Watch on FN

1. Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker

Packaged in a stylish design, Salomon’s Speedcross 4 trail runners come with enhanced grip for soft trails. The women’s shoes incorporate anti-debris mesh and a mudguard.

Pros: The sneakers feature a smart construction that can be used during wet conditions thanks to its water-resistant mesh material. The footwear includes support from the brand’s Sensifit tech for a snug fit with its Quicklace system for easy-on easy-off movement. The EVA-shaped Ortholite footbed enhances rebound.

Cons: Be sure to break them in before a rigorous run. Some wearers find the fit too snug.

Salomon Womens Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker

2. Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner

Merrell offers an option that’s stylish and functional with its Glove 4 Trail Runner. Coming in seven different colorways and with underfoot padding, the comfy sneaker has the durability to deliver when you need it the most.

Pros: The shoes feature a Vibram outsole, which provides enhanced traction on several types of surfaces. Some fans of the sneaker describe it as having a “barefoot feel.” They’re also perfect for walking in the city or on rugged trails.

Cons: They can be slippery on some surfaces.

Merrell Women's Glove 4 Trail Runner

3. JOOMRA’s Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

JOOMRA’s Minimalist trail running barefoot shoes are built with versatility in mind. The outsoles come with circular lug patterns for an enhanced grip and traction suited for a workout at a gym or on an unsteady trail.

Pros: The shoes are lightweight and have a barefoot silhouette that fits the shape of your foot. The topline is constructed to add a snug feel to prevent slipping. Removable insoles enhance comfort around the arches and help to balance pressure.

Cons: The silhouette is designed with three different fits. Check the brand’s size guide to make certain your selection will fit right.

JOOMRA's Minimalist Trail Running Barefoot Shoes

Access exclusive content