Trail running is one of those sports where you use nature’s beauty to improve yourself and achieve the absolute best. Sadly, most runners, are limited to pavements, gardens, or treadmills and don’t enjoy what it feels like to run with nature.
Kudos to you for giving yourself a break from regular running and experience trail-running. Of course, if you are going to run on uneven, single-lane, and challenging tracks, you’ll need something more supportive than regular running shoes.
Trail running shoes will help cushion your legs against rocky patches, protect from uneven surfaces, and obviously, mud and dirt from entering.
On this page, you’ll find our top 5 selections for the best trail running shoes for women in 2020. We have considered several important factors including weight, traction, cushioning, breathability, toe protection, etc. to finalize this list you can trust.
Table Of Contents
Top 5 Best Trail Running Shoes for Women in 2021
1. Saucony Peregrine ISO – Best Overall
Starting off the list one of the most popular trail running shoes on Amazon – Saucony Women’s S10483-2 Trail Running Shoe, newest ISO release. These tick all the boxes in terms of comfort, traction control, weight, durability, and of course, budget.
To offer nearly a custom fit, these shoes come with ISOFIT dynamic upper with wings that attach to laces. You won’t struggle with loose shoes as that can make you slip at uneven trains.
While we enjoyed comfort with proper cushioning, foam midsole, and snug-fitting, we were most impressed with its outsole. The PWRTRAC outsole is capable to save your feet from sharp rocks and mud while providing great traction.
We tested these shoes with run-on trains with a mix of snow, wet leaves, ice, and mud, and to our surprise, they barely slipped at all. It’s safe to say that Saucony Peregrine ISO is the industry-best when it comes to trail running shoes.
- Responsive cushioning
- Very stable
- Medium cushioning
- Great traction control and anti-slip
- Built on an already popular (and stable) platform
- The forefoot is wide enough
- More suitable for mid-distance trail runs
- Missing toe guard
- Less arch support
2. Brooks Women’s Caldera – Runner Up
If you have been doing the research for trail shoes on online stores like Amazon, you’d have repeatedly seen Brooks Caldera as one of the top picks. These are designed for ultra-distance trail runners which means they are well-cushioned, highly responsive, and light-weight.
The front footbed is wide enough to perfectly fit every woman’s feet. While forefoot is thicker and features a 4 mm offset. Luckily, they also offer good arch support and you won’t be disappointed with the shoe’s traction on difficult surfaces.
To prevent laces from untying (which is a serious problem), Celdara comes with a little lace pouch on the tongue that can hold laces in place. It also has a double mesh upper to offer better breathability while preventing small debris from entering inside.
The overall weight of a shoe is just 9 ounces and unlike Saucony Peregrine, these have a toe guard. If you need lightweight and extremely comfortable trail running shoes for ultra-distance trails, you can’t go wrong with Brooks Caldera.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Good arch support and toe guard
- BioMogo DNA midsole
- Double mesh upper
- True to size
- Good traction
- Slightly expensive
- It May look clunky to most women
- Not ideal for short and fast runs
3. Merrell Women’s Glove 4 – Budget Pick
Trail running shoes typically go for over 100 bucks but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good one for a cheaper price. Merrell Women’s Glove 4 is one such popular choice amongst budget-conscious runners.
The latest version has been improved in protection and looks more stylish than previous ones. According to our thorough test and various online reviews, we found them to be very suitable for short and long-trail distance runs.
Apart from being inexpensive, these shoes are well designed and look visually appealing. The upper part is made with lightly padded synthetic material which provides decent support. As far as breathability is concerned, these are one of the best in the category.
Being minimal shoes, they lack heel cup and the heel collar has little padding which is standard for the type. Fitting is also pretty good and we didn’t find ourselves stopping to tie laces very frequently.
- Inexpensive pick
- Good slip resistance
- Unique design (minimal)
- Tongue and laces are more comfortable and secure
- More flexible and better fitting
- Vibram Outsole and mesh upper
- Few complaints of pain in the early days of wearing these shoes
- Mesh is very thin
- Loose ankle
4. Salomon Women’s X-Mission 3 W – Best for Short Runs
In the footwear industry, Salomon has a great reputation for making versatile trail shoes for both men and women. X-Mission 3 is another masterpiece designed to work properly on various surfaces making trail-to-asphalt transitions quite easy.
With a 3D Mesh upper, they provide excellent breathability and the Sensifit overlay system helps in providing glove-like fitting. Another welcoming move is the Quicklace system that makes it super easy to adjust the tightness without worrying about untying.
To support the foot when running, they have included Sensiflex stretch panels which also help in flexibility. During our trial, we didn’t find any complaints about traction or performance, they perform better than you’d expect even on the trickiest trains.
However, due to their weight (at 250 grams), these aren’t well suited for long runs and if used can make your legs tired sooner.
- Multi-surface support and can be comfortably used on varied terrains
- Quicklace system makes it easier to adjust fitting
- 3D Mesh upper
- Anti-abrasion rubber with non-prominent gripping
- Sensiflex stretch panels provide better support and flexibility
- Heavier and not suited for long runs
- The Toe area is a bit tight
- Not true to size (runs smaller)
5. La Sportiva Bushido II – Best for Rocky Trails
Moving on, this is the final pick to be the best trail running shoes for women in 2020. La Sportiva Bushido II are well known for their structure and construction making them stand out from other competitors.
Due to their distinct design, these pairs are best suited for rocky trails as they can protect from sharp rocks while being slip-resistant.
In terms of comfort, these have been largely improved from their previous generation and provide a better amount of traction while trailing. Many will also find them to be responsive and providing excellent stability.
Coming to features, these shoes are equipped with dual-density FriXion XT 2.0 V-Groove2 in addition to Impact Brake System. In the upper area, you’ll find a tongue unit that is highly breathable, ergonomic, and padded to provide extreme comfort even on long runs.
- FriXion® Red for maximum grip
- Unique design and construction
- Good support
- Amazing toe protection
- The tongue unit is padded, ergonomic, and highly-breathable
- Narrow toe box
- Cushioning could have been better
Do you have flat feet? And are you troubled while running because of the wrong pair of shoes? Check out our article on the best running shoes for flat feet.