6 Best Trail Running Shoes for Women 2018

Running trails is dirty business, but finding the right shoes doesn’t have to be. This time around we’ve combed through the mud and leaves to bring you the best trail running shoes for women. This brief article explains important characteristics for trail shoes, gives you several options to choose from, and explores our top three choices in detail. We’ll help you gear up no matter how far you go down the beaten path.

What You Should Consider

  • What Makes Trail Shoes Different. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can do your regular running shoes for your next off-road adventure. There are a few important differences between the two. And we’re not referring to superficial style or fit preferences.

Road shoes don’t have enough support, grip, or stability to get you through uneven terrain. Also, the mesh overlays that do wonders for ventilation are a detriment on trails where they allow dirt and debris to enter your shoe.

The best trail running shoes for women, and men, are sturdier and heavier than road shoes. The extra weight is due to the more durable materials they’re constructed from, and to extra features. Extra weight on the road could slow you down but is beneficial on the trails.

The outsoles have deeper larger lugs and a more aggressive tread pattern. This increases your grip and stability on rough obstacles such as rocks, branches, and inclines.

You’re more prone to foot injuries on trails than the road. Trail shoes usually have stiff toe guards to prevent injuries from accidentally kicking things in your way.

  • A Shoe For Every Kind Of Terrain. Trails are as varied as the runners using them. Some trails are dry, hard-packed surfaces while others are chock full of rocks, or even muddy. The terrain can be flat, steep, or a combination. Each is suited for a different shoe.

Wet conditions need wide lugs to release the mud.

Running on steep rocky terrain would benefit from soft rubber treads that grip tight, but have lots of protection.

The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women Guide

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1. Salomon Women's Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoe$$$4.7
2. Inov-8 X-talon 200 Trail Running Shoe$$4.6
3. New Balance Women's WT1210 NBX Trail Shoe$4.6
4. Merrell Women's Allout Fuse Trail Running Shoe$$4.4
5. Reebok All Terrain Super Womens Running Shoe$$$$4.4
6. Altra Women's Lone Peak 2 Trail Running Shoe$4.0

Top Women’s Shoes for Trail Running Reviews

1. Salomon Speedcross 3

Adventure company Saloman is all about mountain sports so they’ve mastered trail footwear.

The ripstop nylon upper is not only durable but does an excellent job of keeping out debris. The downside to that is that they drain slow so they’re best used in dry conditions.

We love that Saloman paid attention to details. They’ve included a pocket on the Speedcross 3 to hold your lace’s loops. They proved incredibly useful in keeping our laces out of the way during runs.

The lug pattern is superbly spaced and gets rid of mud easily. The arrow-shaped lugs on the forefoot face the opposite direction as those on the rear giving the Speedcross 3 giving us unsurpassed stability and traction.

Saloman continues to impress us with the Speedcross 3. They’re an all-around good performer for all conditions.

2. Inov-8 X-talon 200

The X-talon 200 is by Inov-8 combines a low drop anatomical fit with sufficient protection and support that is capable of anything.

Obstacle racers will definitely appreciate that your foot sits low to the ground and that the toe box is so flexible. It’s worth noting that the toe box may take some getting used to if you’re not familiar with the unique shape of shoes from Inov-8 and Altra.

The mesh forefoot is more open than that of Speedcross, but it drains better.

The luggy outsole helps them grip well to any surface. We found these especially capable on rocks and slick surfaces where footwork is important. And its reinforced lace eyelets are capable of surviving any abrasions.

X-talon 200 by Inov-8 is the best trail running shoe for women who need a combination of agility and durability; capable to handle even the most rigorous terrain.

3. New Balance WT1210 NBX

Inspired by the iconic Leadville Trail 100-mile Race, the WT1210 is geared towards those looking to go the distance.

We really like that New Balance constructed the upper portion with no seams. They have a durable rubber toe bumper and overlays. You really don’t have to worry about snags and abrasions.

The Leadville WT1210 offer phenomenal cushioning, and an extra large toe box. Both are truly appreciated after you’ve been on your feet a while.

That extra cushioning does make them cumbersome for technical trails but is perfect for mixed terrain; a tribute to Leadville’s course. They’ve got superb traction on those landscapes.

New Balance’s Leadville 1210 is certainly worthy of its namesake. They’re awesome for long distance mixed-terrain runners, but also for those of us prone to a bit of foot swelling.

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