Do you wear your favorite running shoes on every run you do? It’s technically okay to do this, but you can experience a better run, if you have the right shoes for a specific run. Therefore, if you’re hitting the trails, you can increase your comfort, protect yourself from debris and rocks, and get a better grip on trail terrain by wearing the best trail running shoes for women. Below, we’ll go over the different styles in the trail running shoe market, how you should choose great trail running shoes, and even recommend a few to help you get started.
Understanding Different Women’s Trail Running Shoe Styles
The first thing you need to understand about women’s trail running shoes is that there are several different styles to choose from and features that will make your run more comfortable on the trail. Things to consider when shopping include:
Extreme terrain grip
On and off trail designs
Tips for Choosing Trail Running Shoes for Women
You probably have a favorite running shoe style or brand. But, when you’re shopping for trail running shoes, you have to check for features that will make running on dirt trails with tree roots, big rocks, and even mud safer and more productive. Here are the traits you should look for when shopping for women’s trail running sneakers because these will make a huge difference in the quality of your runs.
Tip 1: Set Running Goals
When you begin shopping for women’s trail running shoes, you first need to set running goals. You may dream of running a 100-miler trail run someday, but if the near future includes 5-milers at your local park, you should shop for the now and buy another pair of running shoes in the future.
Tip 2: Check Shoe Width
If you never buy wide shoes, you might think you don’t need a wide trail running shoe, but that’s not necessarily true. If you plan on running long distances, you might need a shoe with a wide width. Why, you ask? Because a wide running shoe will give you plenty of room for your toes to stretch out, which is important for the comfort of distance, trail runners.
However, if you have a narrow foot, you want to make sure you don’t wear a wide trail running shoe. Wide running shoes on someone with narrow feet can cause clumsy stumbling on unpredictable trails. Instead, runners with narrow feet should choose a regular or narrow width shoe.
Tip 3: Inspect the Tongue
Have you ever worn a pair of shoes with an uncomfortable tongue? If you have then you’d know that it can be quite uncomfortable, especially for long periods of time. The other purpose of a shoe’s tongue is to keep rocks and other debris out of your shoe and away from your foot. When you’re shopping for women’s trail shoes, you want to choose footwear that will lay flat against your foot and the shoe without any gaps or uncomfortable rubbing during your foot’s running motions.
Now that we’ve gone over the different features of women’s trail running shoes and what to look for when shopping for this type of running shoe, we’re ready to help you choose the best footwear for your feet.
1. ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes
If you’ve been a runner for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with ASICS. The sports gear company has been around for decades and has a long history of providing women runners with a reliable tennis shoe. The women’s ASICS Gel-Venture 7 trail running shoe is an option. It features a comfortable rubber sole and brand-specific features that make it extremely comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system
Molds to the shape of your foot
Internal heel counter
Not recommended for those with plantar fascitis
Not very attractive design
Even the wide width isn’t very wide
If you want a budget-friendly womens trail running shoe and have an average to narrow foot width, you will probably appreciate everything the ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 7 Trail has to offer. However, if you like your running shoes fashion forward and have a wide foot, or suffer from plantar fascitis, you may want to keep reading for other recommendations on the list.
2. Saucony Women’s S10483-2 Trail Running Shoe
Saucony is another brand runners have trusted for generations.
The S10483-2 trail running shoe features a rubber sole, has a low-top shaft to help the shoe keep its form over time, and comfortable upper materials. Saucony offers a solid rockplate to help you stay safe and protected on the trail and several color options that will satisfy your style desires. Keep reading to learn more about this Saucony budget-friendly trail running shoe.
Wide forefoot and narrow heel
Tongue is semi-connected to shoe to prevent debris from entering
Not great for trail runs over 8 miles
Some runners experience hot spots in the heel area
Saucony’s reputation brings many experienced trail runners to this particular brand. It’s a great entry-level running shoe for those new to trail running. However, it’s not made to stand up to serious trail runners that will put a ton of mileage on the sneakers quickly.
3. Salomon Women’s XR Mission Running Shoe
Salomon isn’t as well known as some of the other big brands on this list, but it is one of the best budget womens trail running shoes on the market. The running shoe is a bit more expensive than the first two options, but offers runners a bit more in terms of comfort and technology. Keep reading to learn more about the Salomon women’s XR mission trail running shoes.
Made for road running and trail running
Contragrip outsole provides superior traction on trails
Quicklace secure lacing system
May need to size up a 1/2 size to get the right fit
The unique lacing system isn’t for everyone
Low arch support
Large tongue sets on top of foot
Most Salomon Women’s XR Mission Running Shoe pros and cons have to do with size. Salomon recommends sizing up in this shoe to get the right fit. It’s also important to wear the right socks while running on trails with these sneakers. If you follow these instructions and don’t have a low arch, you should be really happy with these shoes.
4. ALTRA Women’s Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe
The women’s Lone Peak 4 trail running shoe from Altra is a comfortable sneaker that will help you maximize your runs. When wearing this trail shoe, your toes will be able to spread out naturally increasing your stability during downhill descents and uphill climbs. Altra designed this women’s running shoe with heel and forefoot heights that encourage proper form while running trails.
True to size fit
Not ideal for wear on paved roads or indoors
No arch support
Can show signs of wear after 70ish miles or so
Toe pads can fall off with wear
If you are a serious trail runner and are planning to tackle rocky, mountainous terrain on a regular basis, you’re going to need a women’s trail running sneaker that can handle that type of pressure and strain. However, if you want a sneaker that you can wear on and off rocky terrain, you might not like the Altra trail runner.
5. ASICS Women’s Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner
ASICS makes the list twice because trail runners love the reliability of the brand. The women’s Gel-Kahana 8 trail runner from ASICS offers a variety of features and technology that make it a must have on the list of the best trail running shoes for women. Not only is this a highly-sought after running shoe, it also offers durability and stability on and off the trail. Keep reading to learn more about this shoe’s pros and cons.
Roomy toe box
Well fitting heels
Great stability for pronators
Extremely slick on wet weather
Tread spacing can allow rocks to get stuck
Shoe is extremely stiff
If you don’t need any arch support when running on trails, you’ll love the Asics Gel Kahana trail running shoes for dry runs on rocky, dirty trails. However, if it’s raining, icy, or snowy, you may want to skip the run or wear a different pair of shoes because these sneakers are extremely slippy on wet surfaces, which could prove to be dangerous.
By now, you’ve surely found a few great choices for the best budget trail running shoes. It’s important to know the terrain you’ll be tackling, the shape of your foot, and your running form. With all of this in mind, you’ll be able to score the best trail running shoe that will help you perform better and reach your running goals.