What to wear when trail running - 3 of our top picks

Run off-road with confidence in any of these 3 trainers, guaranteed to hold up against the rigours of trail running.

What to wear when trail running

Running up steep hills and along rough terrain requires a shoe that can withstand a lot of impact. After all, a casual trainer that is built for flat surfaces just doesn’t provide the support, durability and traction that is necessary in order to complete a high-quality, off-road run. In fact, runners who tend to frequent these kinds of tracks but do not invest in their footwear are more likely to find themselves at the will of a progress-halting injury.

Whilst it is safe to say that the base design of a running trainer doesn’t differ much from the off-road and trail running variety, there are a few important alterations that make them the best choice for tricky surfaces and hill-ridden environments. For example, the average trail running shoe contains an aggressive tread pattern for better traction and grip, stronger soles in order to improve durability and a higher focus on waterproofing in order to account for wet weather conditions. This means that runners can purchase a trail shoe that meets their requirements as specifically as possible without affecting other important qualities like comfort and breathability in the process.

Read on as we go over three of the finest running trainers for trail sports on the market…


adidas Terrex Trailmaker GXT

Image from adidas.

Available in all-black, the finish of this adidas running shoe is subtle by design yet attention-grabbing by performance. From the outer sole to the upper, the Terrex Trailmaker GXT offers unbeatable protection against the elements whilst prioritising comfort at every turn and this makes it a versatile option for trail runners. A bungee lacing system provides additional comfort and the design of the upper focuses on support and comfort by utilising dual mesh layering that is tough enough to withstand the impact of debris out on the track whilst also prioritising breathability and allowing air to enter and circulate around the shoe effectively.

Although the Terrex Trailmaker GXT is a trainer built for off-road environments, adidas have followed their tradition of an EVA foam midsole with a twist by also opting for a patented adiprene unit, too. The merging of these two components delivers the most responsive technology yet in order to support the foot and ankle on even the most unstable terrain. At a weight that is light enough to reach high speeds, it is safe to safe that the Terrex Trailmaker GXR is a running trainer that adidas have planned for in order to provide durability and versatility with every stride.

New Balance Minimus 10v1 Trail

Image from New Balance.

With its black synthetic mesh and snippets of electric yellow, this New Balance running trainer is a trail essential. After all, the brand is a well-known name in the industry and has been for some time which means that the Minimus 10v1 Trail is a shoe that deliver fashionable performance whilst ensuring that the finished product is able to support the foot and ankle for stable movement with each stride. The outer sole is actually made from a material known as Vibram, a special rubber blend that is specifically designed in order to deliver grip on trails and unstable terrains. In addition to this, it is also incredibly durable which means that the wearer can rest assured that their footwear has the ability to withstand the test of time.

Furthermore, the outer sole also utilises lugs, a common component in these types of running shoes, which provide additional traction when ascending and descending steep hills. Although the focus of this New Balance trainer is stability, there is also a priority on comfort too as the Minimus 10v1 Trail uses Acteva foam within the midsole which provides responsivity and cushioning in order to deliver an enjoyable running experience from start to finish. Plus, it is 12% lighter than EVA foam which means that the overall design of this running trainer is incredibly lightweight, making it a wardrobe essential for any trail runner.

Mizuno Wave Daichi 4

Image from Mizuno.

As a stylish trainer, it is safe to say that the Mizuno Wave Daichi 4 is a shoe that certainly turns heads on the running track. In fact, it is designed with women in mind and blends a dark grey mesh with a pink pigment around the edges in order to add a welcomed splash of colour. After all, trail running may be more gruelling than traditional road workouts but that doesn’t mean that women can’t partake.

With this said, it is important to invest in a quality pair of off-road running shoes, and luckily the Wave Daichi 4 offers just that! Made with neutral runners in mind, the outer sole of this trainer has been designed under a partnership with Michelin in order to provide a finish that can handle everything and anything a trail wants to throw at a shoe.

By using carbon rubber, this Mizuno shoe offers traction on even the wettest surfaces which means that the foot and ankle are protected from injury at all times. Plus, the Mizuno Wave range is named after its midsole technology and, as the name suggests, a wave-shape provides expert cushioning and impact absorption in order to deliver a fully supported run on any surface. As a lightweight option, it is safe to say that this trainer manages to tick every box when it comes to trail running.


Find the best prices for trail running trainers at FOOTY.COM today.

Writer, watcher, wearer and player of all things football.