Trail Running Shoes

Running off road presents different challenges than sticking to pavement, so make sure you’re equipped with a pair of trail running shoes to take on any obstacle ahead.

Trail shoes employ stickier rubber and more aggressive outsole lugs to help you keep your grip on muddy trails and slippery rocks. Mesh uppers engineered for drainage help let water out after a stream crossing, and hardened rock plates protect against jagged stones and roots.

When you step off the beaten path, these are the shoes you’ll never want to be without.

How Trail Running Shoes Are Different

A few key components make trail running shoes different than your regular road running shoes.

The biggest difference between your trail shoes and your road shoes is the outsole. Some shoe designers use different rubber compounds that offer more slip resistance for crossing wet rocks or smooth roots.

Most trail running shoes also make use of deep rubber lugs on the outsole, which help grip loose dirt or mud. Usually, those lugs are multidirectional, giving you traction when you’re running uphill or downhill.

Some shoes have a dedicated rock plate—a thin piece of plastic or other material sandwiched into the midsole—which adds some stiffness and extra protection if you happen to step on a jagged rock.

Can You Use Road Running Shoes for Trail Running?

Can you use your road running shoes for trail running? It depends.

Road running shoes might be fine on mellow trails that haven’t seen rain in a few days—think of those meandering park loops or easy going neighborhood paths. But if your route takes you up and down steep inclines or you’re dealing with lots of mud or water, it’s best to buy a high-quality pair of trail running shoes to give you more confident footing.

Free Shipping & Returns on Trail Running Shoes

Not sure about buying a new pair of trail running shoes? Don't sweat it. Get free shipping on orders over $99 at Fleet Feet.

If you don't like how your new shoes look, fit or feel, we'll take them back within 60 days. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.