Trail running brings a whole new dimension to fitness and health. Trail running is not only a way to stay fit, but it also allows you to spend time outdoors, where your mind and body can rejuvenate. A solid pair of trail runners shoes is essential for your safety and health. Trail runners offer more stability and protection than traditional running shoes.

There are many types of women’s running shoes that include trail running features. So how can you choose the right one? This shopping guide will walk you through all the features that you should consider before you buy. Take a moment to check out our top picks to wear on trail runs.

You will need more support for your feet if you are carrying more weight. It doesn’t really matter if that weight is your body, or a backpack.


There are many types of trail running shoes for women

Barefoot These shoes offer less traction and less cushioning than traditional running shoes. However, they are more comfortable to wear on well-groomed trails. Before you go for a long run, ensure your feet are comfortable with the shoes.

Light/Easy Trails:Light running shoes for trail runners are similar in design and weight to regular running shoes, but provide better protection against rocks, roots, sticks and traction on groomed trails.

Trail running shoes for all terrain: If you enjoy running on rough trails, then a trail-running shoe that can withstand any type of terrain is the right choice. These shoes are made with rock plates, toe protectors, and more sturdy designs to keep you safe and upright. This type of shoe has a more varied traction pattern to ensure better grip on different terrains.

Off Trail:Off trail running shoes can be used for running and hiking . These shoes are made from durable materials that have increased rigidity to prevent your foot (and others) from twisting. These are the most water-resistant trail shoes of all.


Every foot is unique. A shoe your friend likes or that has great reviews might not be right for you. Your foot should be able to comfortably fit the shoe. Every brand has a unique foot shape, known as a “last,” which it uses to design its shoes. A brand might have a last that fits you better. You shouldn’t be afraid to try different brands and models within the same brand.

Measure the length and width your feet before you buy. Your feet will change as you age and gain weight. Don’t be surprised to see your feet changing over time. You might want to consider brands that have a wider forefoot if you have problems like bunions, or hammertoes. The shoe should be snug, but allow for enough freedom to move your toes.


You shouldn’t run for too long in barefoot shoes if you make the switch. You may need to take several weeks or months before your feet are strong enough to wear the shoes for a full day. Begin with just a few minutes, and then go on to full-length runs when your feet feel strong and well-adjusted.



The type of trail shoe will have a different level of traction (provided by lugs at the soles). Lighter trail shoes offer the most traction. Off-trail shoes, on the other hand, are more suitable for snow, mud or at an incline level. All-purpose shoes fall somewhere between. The sole rubber makes a big difference in how durable the shoe is and how traction it provides. The sole is soft rubber, which provides grip for wet conditions or when you have to climb over fallen trees. It wears quickly. The grip of hard rubber is much stronger in dry conditions, and it lasts longer.

Drop your heel

The difference in height between the heel and the toe of a shoe’s heel is called the heel drop. A typical range for heel drop is between 0 to 12 millimeters (about a half inch), though some shoes might have more. To avoid affecting your stride, match your heel drop with the shoes you are wearing. Your foot, stride and comfort are all important. The middle range between 5mm to 8mm is the best place to start when deciding on the right heel drop for your trail running shoes.

Higher heel drops: A higher drop in the heel can provide more cushioning, but it is possible for the foot to push against the toe bed if the foot strikes the ground.

Lower Heel Drop: A healthy running platform is encouraged by a lower heel drop.

No heel drops: Barefoot shoes without heels may put too much pressure on the midfoot or heel for those who strike the ground with their heels or lack the strength to support their arch.


There are four levels of cushioning: minimal, moderate, maximum, and barefoot.

Wearing barefoot shoes You can feel every bump on the trail. These shoes are great for running, but can be difficult to get used to. These shoes have no cushioning, so you will feel every root and rock.

Minimum: If you aren’t ready to go barefoot yet, minimal cushioning might be the best choice. You can still feel the trail but have some protection from the midsole cushioning.

Moderate cushioning: Trail running shoes offer improved stability and feel similar to regular running sneakers.

These shoes provide the most cushioning. Although you are protected from ground obstacles, the cushioning can affect your running efficiency as you won’t be able to feel the ground for timing your takeoff.


Shoe manufacturers are not the only ones trying to reduce their weight. Shoes that are lightweight reduce fatigue. Both waterproofing and rock plates add weight, but they keep you comfortable over long distances. To save weight, you will have to decide how much protection you want on your feet.

Rock plates:Rockplates protect your feet against rocks and other debris. These plates also give the shoe more stability. The rock plates can be made of flexible, thin foam or a stiff shank. These plates can reduce foot pain and fatigue. Some trail shoes don’t have rock plates. If you are going to be running on rocky terrain you should read the specs.

Toe bumpersToe bumpers are similar to rock plates and are designed to protect your feet while on trails. They are typically a rubber toe protector that extends from your sole or a cap that absorbs shocks caused by kicking rocks.

Water resistance/waterproofing: In some climates, standing water and streams are the norm. Shoes with water resistance are shoes that have a Gore Tex layer between their exterior and liner. Waterproofing increases the shoe’s weight and stiffens it. However, this is not for everyone.

Comfortable feet: Sweaty feet are not comfortable. Shoes with nylon mesh allow heat and moisture to escape.

Lacing systemSome trail shoes have the same standard lacing holes that regular running shoes. There are many ways to lace your shoes to suit specific running needs. A quick-lace system is now available from some manufacturers that allows you to tighten your shoes with just one pull. Although you won’t be able adjust the shoe’s fit as easily with a traditional system like a regular one, it is great for those who want to get out on the trail quickly.


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