After dealing with the best running shoes, we are here to talk to you about how to choose the best trail shoe and ultra trail. Before listing the products, it is very important to understand the meaning and use you will make of the trail running shoe, based on the distance and terrain you will face.
How to choose the best trail running shoes
A trail running shoe is very different from a road running shoe. Running on rough trails with holes, roots and stones along the way, the trail shoe must be cushioned and protective. This implies a more structured upper and greater protection in the upper and lateral part of the foot.
Let’s see the difference between trail running shoes:
- Trail shoe up to 40 km: a trail runner, on this mileage, relies heavily on a reactive shoe. Comfort is left in the background, cushioning is important but it is not the fundamental element and protection must always be present. Therefore, the more a shoe is suitable for short and fast trails, the less cushioning and protection it will have, all in favor of lightness and reactivity.
- Trail shoe from 40 km to 80 km: the runner who faces these races is certainly looking for greater cushioning than the aforementioned shoes, precisely because the distances begin to lengthen. Cushioning and protection are therefore very important features while reactivity and speed take a back seat.
- Ultra trail shoe, for distances over 80 km:the distances are really extreme and, for this reason, the shoes recommended for running an ultra trail must be well cushioned to cushion all the steps you will take. Very protective and slightly heavier than the other models, with a well-structured upper that can protect you from the obstacles you will encounter along the way.
- Trail and ultra trail shoe in Gore-Tex: if you face high mountain races in winter, with climatic situations such as cold, snow and rain, this type of shoe is your salvation. Thanks to the protective membrane in Gore-Tex, waterproof and breathable, your foot will remain dry and warm. They are also well cushioned and will ensure maximum comfort along the trails.
What are the best trail running shoes of 2022
Trail shoes up to 40 km
Asics Gel-Fujitrabuco Sky
The Asics Gel-Fujitrabuco is the trail shoe of the Japanese brand developed with French champion Xavier Thevenard three times winner of the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. At just 220g, it is one of the lightest trail running shoes on the market and, at such a low weight, it offers high-level support and protection.
The FlyteFoam midsole with GEL technology guarantees maximum cushioning, especially when running fast on the trails. The small holes on the insole take advantage of the natural movement of the foot to repel water and the sole features trail running specific lugs for greater grip on trails.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Salomon S/Lab Pulsar
According to some Salomon Running athletes, the Salomon S / Lab Pulsar is the best shoe released by the French brand in recent years. This product was created to break iconic records for Kilian Jornet in trail and ultra trail races.
This shoe allows you to run fast along mountain trails because it is dynamic, precise and ultra light. It weighs only 170 grams. Thanks to the breathable Matryx mesh the shoe wraps the foot with extraordinary homogeneity, as if it were a glove. The midsole is made of light and reactive foam, offering long-lasting cushioning and energy return thanks to an effective rebound effect.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Shoes suitable for races from 40 km to 80 km
Scarpa Spin Ultra
The Scarpa Spin Ultra is a trail running shoe model intended for both top runners and mountain running enthusiasts. The shoe is agile and responsive. The innovation linked to the precision of the lacing is very interesting, thanks to the Sock-Fit LW construction system, which guarantees the absence of compression points, guaranteeing maximum comfort and wrapping the foot.
The upper is netted with PU exoskeleton welded both internally and externally. The front, on the fingers, is padded with respect to the hips. The Velox LB Max sole with medium density EVA midsole is made with Vibram Litebase technology to reduce the weight of the sole by up to 30% and it is combined with the Vibram® Megagrip compound.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Scott Supertrac 3
The Scott Supertrac RC 3 have become, over the years, one of the most popular trail running shoes for runners who want to tackle technical races on dirt roads and uneven high mountain trails. Compared to the previous model, the midsole has been improved thanks to the eRide technology that offers greater durability and traction. The upper, made with Swiss Schoeller dynamic fabric, also offers great comfort and protection from roots and stones that you can find along the way.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Ultra trail shoes from 80 km upwards
Hoka Mafate Speed 3
The Hoka Mafate Speed 3 is certainly one of the best shoes for ultra trail running. This shoe adapts perfectly to your needs, whether you are a high-level athlete who runs at a brisk pace or a walker with a few extra pounds who travels long distances with a backpack on his shoulders.
The new upper in sustainable mesh has been designed to guarantee even more protection and a dual density sole in EVA and rubberised EVA, with a Vibram 5 mm tank, guarantees great traction on uneven and technical surfaces. The Mafate Speed 3 has been designed following the advice of the best Hoka One One athletes who have been able to develop a truly top of the range product.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
La Sportiva Akasha
The La Sportiva Akasha are one of the most used shoes by ultra trail runners during their epic exploits. They are super cushioned shoes with an incredible level of protection. As I mentioned in the introduction to the article, when you run a long-distance race on uneven ground, it is essential to have your foot protected to avoid beating on stones and roots.
This is thanks to the ProTechTion HF technology which guarantees greater strength in the foot area. The La Sportiva FriXion Red® compound, on the other hand, aims to mix grip, wear resistance and impact absorption while keeping the shoe comfortable and safe during your runs.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3
The Salomon S / Lab Ultra 3 are resistant and breathable shoes, designed to complete races and long distance training on mountain trails. Comfort and performance come together in this product, giving life to one of the most coveted shoes in the world of trail. The Ultra 3 is much lighter than the previous model and combines a durable and breathable mesh upper with cushioning that increases comfort. The sole, with Contagrip TA technology, guarantees durability and grip even on slippery and uneven ground, it will always make you feel safe!Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Scarpe da trail in Gore-Tex
The Speedcross 5 GTX is a shoe suitable for those who want to run and walk in the mountains with the advantage of having a new and innovative waterproof protection in Gore-Tex that allows you to face any terrain. The Quicklace lace system helps you tie your shoes without knots and effortlessly and, thanks to the Sensifit system, the shoes adapt perfectly to your foot with a fit and a unique comforts.
The sole, made of thin and resistant rubber, uses the Wet Traction Contagrip technology that guarantees good traction even on wet surfaces. The extraordinary cushioning and precise fit have made the Speedcross 5 GTX one of the most popular shoes for running in winter in cold weather.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Salewa Dropline Gore-Tex
The Salewa Dropline Gore-Tex is an agile, stable shoe with excellent impact protection. The quick-drying Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining allows you to keep the foot protected from external atmospheric events. The high-performance EVA midsole guarantees good cushioning and comfort even during longer runs and walks.Buy it on Amazon at the best price of 110.98£