These Are The Best Trail Running Shoes For Women

·3 min read

Right now, my social distancing runs are one of the few things keeping me sane. And I'm feeling especially grateful for trail running. For one, trails are way less crowded than city sidewalks, making it easier to stay the recommended six feet apart amid the coronavirus pandemic. But there's also something uniquely restorative about being out in nature — a peacefulness that acts as an especially effective counterbalance to the current stress.

What I've quickly learned about trail running, though, is that you have to have the right shoes. My current sneakers are amazing on the pavement I usually run on. But uneven, sometimes muddy terrain requires a sturdier, grippier footwear, ideally with some ankle support.

So I went looking for the best trail running sneakers on the market. Some of these picks might feel a little bulky for a city jog, but they're just right when you're taking your runs off road.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h2>Allbirds Trail Runners SWT<br></h2><br><strong>Why we love them:</strong> Name a more fly-looking sustainable sneaker. We'll wait. In addition to looking swaggy as heck, Allbirds' debut trail runner is as cushioned and tractioned as we'd expect from any off-road shoe, but with added perks of being made from eucalyptus tree fiber, sugarcane-based EVA foam, and a natural rubber outsole.<br><br><strong>Allbirds</strong> Trail Runners SWT, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.allbirds.com%2Fproducts%2Fwomens-trail-runners-swt" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Allbirds" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Allbirds</a>

Allbirds Trail Runners SWT


Why we love them: Name a more fly-looking sustainable sneaker. We'll wait. In addition to looking swaggy as heck, Allbirds' debut trail runner is as cushioned and tractioned as we'd expect from any off-road shoe, but with added perks of being made from eucalyptus tree fiber, sugarcane-based EVA foam, and a natural rubber outsole.

Allbirds Trail Runners SWT, $, available at Allbirds
<h2>Salomon Sense Ride 4</h2><br><strong>Why we love them:</strong> I know the "<span>quicklace" drawstring laces</span> are meant to be primarily functional, but they're also just fun to use — and deliver surprisingly comfortable support.<br><br><strong>Salomon</strong> Sense Ride 4 GORE-TEX® Invisible Fit, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zappos.com%2Fp%2Fsalomon-sense-ride-4-gore-tex-invisible-fit-slate-monument-pastel-turquoise%2Fproduct%2F9472099%2Fcolor%2F897834%3F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zappos" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zappos</a>

Salomon Sense Ride 4


Why we love them: I know the "quicklace" drawstring laces are meant to be primarily functional, but they're also just fun to use — and deliver surprisingly comfortable support.

Salomon Sense Ride 4 GORE-TEX® Invisible Fit, $, available at Zappos
<h2>Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 3<br></h2><br><strong>Why we love them</strong>: They look, dare we say... trendy? But they deliver in terms of performance too, with <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/best-running-shoes-for-women-2019" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:lugs for traction" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">lugs for traction</a> and a wonderfully breathable upper.<br><br><strong>Nike</strong> Pegasus Trail 3, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nike.com%2Ft%2Fpegasus-trail-3-womens-trail-running-shoes-gcsb5k%2FDA8698-600" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Nike" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Nike</a>

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 3


Why we love them: They look, dare we say... trendy? But they deliver in terms of performance too, with lugs for traction and a wonderfully breathable upper.

Nike Pegasus Trail 3, $, available at Nike
<h2>Hoka Challenger ATR 6</h2><br><strong>Why we love them</strong>: A sleek silhouette and lightweight construction make this Hoka style a fan-favorite for hiking and all-terrain runs.<br><br><strong>Hoka One One</strong> Challenger ATR 6, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hoka.com%2Fen%2Fus%2Fwomens-trail%2Fchallenger-atr-6%2F1106512.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Hoka One One" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hoka One One</a>

Hoka Challenger ATR 6


Why we love them: A sleek silhouette and lightweight construction make this Hoka style a fan-favorite for hiking and all-terrain runs.

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 6, $, available at Hoka One One
<h2>Brooks Caldera 5<br></h2><br><strong>Why we love them: </strong>They're lightweight for a trail runner, and this particular version is made with the brand's new "TrailTack" rubber sole, which gives you <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/waterproof-running-shoes" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:great traction on wet or dry trails" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">great traction on wet or dry trails</a>.<br><br><strong>Brooks Running</strong> Caldera 5, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.brooksrunning.com%2Fen_us%2Fcaldera-5-womens-distance-running-shoe%2F120341.html" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Brooks Running" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Brooks Running</a>

Brooks Caldera 5


Why we love them: They're lightweight for a trail runner, and this particular version is made with the brand's new "TrailTack" rubber sole, which gives you great traction on wet or dry trails.

Brooks Running Caldera 5, $, available at Brooks Running
<h2>New Balance Summit Unknown v2</h2><br><strong>Why we love them</strong>: Don't let the trendy two-tone sole fool you. The lugs on the bottom offer unmatched grip to keep you steady on uneven paths. <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/beach-running-shoes" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Plus, they're waterproof" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Plus, they're waterproof</a>. <br><br><strong>New Balance</strong> Summit Unknown v2, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zappos.com%2Fp%2Fnew-balance-summit-unknown-v2-black-neo-violet%2Fproduct%2F9360756%2Fcolor%2F839567" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zappos" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zappos</a>

New Balance Summit Unknown v2


Why we love them: Don't let the trendy two-tone sole fool you. The lugs on the bottom offer unmatched grip to keep you steady on uneven paths. Plus, they're waterproof.

New Balance Summit Unknown v2, $, available at Zappos
<h2>Merrell MQM Flex 2 Low Hiking Shoes </h2><br><strong>Why we love them: </strong>The brand cut its teeth making <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/best-womens-hiking-boots" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:high-performance hiking boots" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">high-performance hiking boots</a>, which means it knows how to engineer a shoe that handles terrain like none other. This sneaker gives support and protection without weighing you down.<br><br><strong>Merrell</strong> MQM Flex 2 Low Hiking Shoes, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rei.com%2Fproduct%2F165059%2Fmerrell-mqm-flex-2-low-hiking-shoes-womens%3F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:REI" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">REI</a>

Merrell MQM Flex 2 Low Hiking Shoes


Why we love them: The brand cut its teeth making high-performance hiking boots, which means it knows how to engineer a shoe that handles terrain like none other. This sneaker gives support and protection without weighing you down.

Merrell MQM Flex 2 Low Hiking Shoes, $, available at REI
<h2>Adidas Rockadia Trail 3 </h2><br><strong>Why we love them: </strong>These have plush cushioning that'll pamper your feet while you're in the wild.<br><br><strong>Adidas</strong> Rockadia Trail 3.0, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/3njNkER" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

Adidas Rockadia Trail 3


Why we love them: These have plush cushioning that'll pamper your feet while you're in the wild.

Adidas Rockadia Trail 3.0, $, available at Amazon

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Is It Safe To Run Outside During Coronavirus?

You Need These Chic Running Leggings

The Only Running Playlist You'll Need This Year