What is the best women’s trail running shoe? After pouring over 100 of the top trail contenders on the market, we’ve selected 13 of the best to compare side by side. Our female team of crushing trail treaders spent over 200 hours running up and down trails throughout the world. After an exhausting period of testing, we’ve taken a small break, done a little yoga, and sat down to select award winners. We hope our advice helps you find the best trail runner for you.
1. inov-8 Roclite 305 GTX
Crushing trail miles in the inov-8 Roclite 305 GTX is a real treat. It didn’t take long to realize this shoe is a unique one. Equipped with a waterproof overlay and numerous protective features, it handles inclement weather to bluebird days equally well. The water-resistant overlays make it a perfect compadre for stream crossings and wet days. The well-spaced Tri-C sticky lugs utilize three different kinds of rubber to ensure traction on everything from muddy trails to deep sand. Our biggest caveat was its stiff upper and status quo stability. This shoe also provides tremendous traction and protection. Ladies, take a gander at this year’s Editors’ Choice award winner!
2. Saucony Peregrine 7 – Women’s
The Saucony Peregrine 7 – Women’s is the perfect pick for those looking for a great deal and an amazing shoe. As our Editors’ Choice for a few years in a row, this low profile option sports exemplary versatility for a decent price of just $120. Its design balances great foot protection and sensitivity that can easily cross over from roads to trails. The outsole is incredibly bitey – providing high performance on both technical terrain and dirt roads. As one of the most breathable shoes tested, it’s suited for hot days and super comfortable! The superior foot protection comes in the form of a rock plate and extra cushion in the midsole that protects from extended impacts on the trails. The Saucony Peregrine 7’s logo “Run Anywhere” is faithful to the shoe…you can truly go anywhere and expect exceptional performance. Since this shoe sports such great versatility for a decent price of $120, this is our Best Buy Award winner.
3. Salomon Speedcross 4 – Women’s
If you’re looking the best in traction out there, the Salomon Speedcross 4 – Women’s is the best option! We slogged this shoe through all the nastiest stuff we could think of; snow, slush, rocks, kitty litter, mud, and sand. The deep 5mm multi-directional chevron lugs are composed of a sticky rubber that grips to almost anything (except super slippery surfaces), giving any runner the confidence to charge up and down switchbacks. Not only that, the construction is durable and seamless, providing protection from stubs and trail debris. Because of its extraordinary performance in the ‘nasty’, we have given it our Top Pick for Sloppy Surfaces.
4. HOKA ONE ONE Challenger ATR 4 – Women’s
In search of comfort? The new HOKA ONE ONE ATR Challenger 4 features an uber plush midsole that will have you hitting the trails for hours on end. This maximalist trail runner has a bomber outsole that grabs and suctions to the trail. Best for dry or flat surfaces, it does great in all sorts of climates. The thin, streamlined outsole is super breathable and quick to dry making it a perfect option for river crossings or wet weather.
5. Altra Lone Peak 3.5 – Women’s
Wide feet? If yes, take a long look at the Altra Lone Peak 3.5. As a personal favorite of the lead editor, this foot-shaped trail shoe features an extra large toe box. It provides ample wiggle room for your toes while protecting them along rough trails and terrain. And they’re comfy, too. Its fit is true to size with a new stretchy and breathable upper. The trail claw stone guard and moderate cushioning underfoot protect feet from rocky trails and painful surfaces. The Lone Peak 3.5 is suited for all lengths of runs, with the Ultra distances in mind. In addition, it moves well over all terrain, integrating ‘zero-drop’ technology that is best for midfoot to forefoot strikers. If you’re looking for a shoe designed to let your toes splay out while on the run (or if you have really wide feet) then this Top Pick for Wide Feet is our top recommendation.