10 Best Trail Running Shoes for Women

Last updated 16. January 2020

Are you trying to find out what the best trail running shoes for women are? When you’re searching for something as important as running shoes, then you must be sure that you’re buying the right pair. Trail running offers more hazards and risks than road running.

It can also put more strain on your feet and joints. If you’re wearing the wrong pair of running shoes, then your health will suffer. The aim of trail running is to make you healthier, not to cause injury to yourself. Don’t worry, though. There is some seriously great trail running shoes on the market.

Related Review; Letsfit Fitness Tracker.

To help you find your ideal pair, here is a list of the ten best trail running shoes for women:

View The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women

1. ASICS Women’s GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe

ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoe

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These rubber-soled running shoes for women are a perfect example of the quality that you can expect from Asics. And, as with most Asics running shoes, they feature a gel cushioning system, which will offer you good shock absorption and protection. The outsole has been designed specifically for trail running and offers multi-surface traction.

If you have difficulties finding running shoes that give you enough toe space, then these are for you, as they are very roomy in the toe department. Besides being comfortable and durable, they also look great and come in a wide range of bright colors.

+ Lots of toe space
+ They can accommodate orthotics
+ Bright, colorful design
+ The soles don’t collect mud
+ Rubber sole gives great grip

Why We Liked It – These trail running shoes by Asics offer an enormous amount of support, are comfortable to wear, and have great grip. They also wear well and look good too.

2. Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail

Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail

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These trail running shoes tick every box. They are extremely light, weighing between 260g and 300g. They are completely water resistant, so no matter what weather you go out trail running in, your feet will remain dry. The sole features Wet Traction Contragrip technology, which means you won’t slip, even in the rain.

The laces are easy to tighten and can be done so quickly, because of the Quicklace system. They also offer a really snug fit that will perfectly cradle your foot. They have an anti-debris mesh too, which will ensure you’re protected against twigs, stones, and any other vegetation.

+ Water-resistant
+ Comfortable, secure fit
+ Lace tightening is quick and easy
+ Very light
+ Grip well in every weather condition

Why We Liked It – They have everything. Your feet won’t get wet. You won’t slip over. You will be comfortable. And you can run freely because of their lightness. What more do you want?

3. ASICS Women’s Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner

ASICS Women's Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner

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As the first pair of Asics on the list, these trail running shoes feature a gel cushioning system that will soften any impact when you’re running. As these running shoes have been designed specifically for trail running, they have an outsole that has reversed lugs. That means you’ll get both uphill and downhill traction on every type of terrain.

The SpEVA material that the midsole is made from gives great bounce back, as well as reducing any midsole breakdown. If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of trail running shoes, then you’ll love the toe room this pair offer, as well as the well-fitting heels, which means no blisters.

+ Comfortable, with lots of toe room
+ Suitable for all terrains, including rugged trails and uneven roads
+ Come in a range of colors
+ Gel cushioning system for great shock absorption
+ Enhanced support and stability

Why We Liked It – Asics have thought of everything you might encounter when out trail running, but the comfort that you get from them is their best characteristic.

4. New Balance Women’s Nitrel v1 FuelCore

New Balance Women's Nitrel v1 FuelCore

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New Balance has a reputation for producing excellent sports footwear at affordable prices. These trail running shoes offer quality on a budget. They are made from lightweight materials, but this doesn’t come at a price, as your feet are well-protected when wearing them.

The mesh gives your feet an opportunity to breathe, which is always appreciated when on a long trail run. They offer great arch support, while also feel comfortable to wear. The outsole has been designed to deal with the most rugged terrains. No matter how long you run for, your feet will remain comfortable throughout.

+ Great value for money
+ Excellent arch support
+ Lightweight
+ Breathable mesh
+ No pinching or discomfort

Why We Liked It – They are a great pair of trail running shoes, which will offer your feet protection, while remaining light and comfy to wear, and all for a low price.

5. Merrell Women’s Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

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If you’re looking for a barefoot trail running shoe, then these are the pair for you. They have been specially designed so that they will enhance the human foot’s innate ability to offer stability to the body during swift changes of movement. They will fit your foot perfectly without any slippage when you run.

Imagine a glove for your foot, and that’s close to how they will feel, but with the protection of a Vibram rubber sole. They are flexible and light as a feather. And they are suitable for wide feet.

+ As snug as a pair of socks
+ Offer stability during variable movement
+ Very light
+ Will take up no room in your bag or suitcase
+ High-quality Vibram sole

Why We Liked It – If you’re looking for barefoot trail running shoes, then these are ideal for you. They are flexible, light, and offer your sole excellent protection.

6. JOOMRA Women’s Minimalist Trail Running

JOOMRA Women's Minimalist Trail Running

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These are a great pair of simple minimalist shoes that are very affordable. They have rubber outsoles with a circular lug design. You’ll get a good grip, as well as a good response on rugged terrain. They also have a wide toe box, so you’ll find them to be roomy and comfortable.

If you’re vegan, then you’ll be happy to know that they have been produced using animal-free products and processes. Many of the trail running shoes at the lower end of the price scale can chafe or pinch, but you’ll have no such problems with these from JOOMRA.

+ Low price
+ No chafing or pinching
+ Good grip
+ 100% vegan
+ Can be worn barefoot or with very thin socks

Why We Liked It – Because they’re so cheap, then you’d think that the price tag is the best thing about them, but actually, they are just a very good pair of trail running shoes for women.

7. Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion TR12 Sneaker

Saucony Women's Grid Excursion TR12 Sneaker

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These are a really good-looking pair of trail running shoes. But they are much more than pleasant to look at. They feature a grid cushioning system, which is the very first of its type. The cushioning technology is in the sole. And it has been engineered with the purpose to boost your athletic output and stability.

The outsole is perfect for trail running, as it features triangular lugs, which provide excellent grip. The meshing will lock your feet in too, giving you better comfort, and reducing issues caused by slippage.

+ Beautiful design
+ Grid cushioning and stability technology
+ Outsole perfect for trail running
+ Affordable price
+ Will boost athletic performance

Why We Liked It – The grid cushioning technology gives them a different feel to the other trail running shoes for women that are around, which makes them comfortable and well-suited for athletic performance.

8. ASICS Women’s Gel-Kahana 8 Running

ASICS Women’s Gel-Kahana 8 Running

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As with the other Asics trail running shoes for women that are on this list, they include the rearfoot gel technology cushioning system, so any shock will be attenuated during the impact phase of your trail run. They have reversed lugs, which will give you good traction whether you’re going uphill or downhill.

Finding a pair of trail running shoes that provide excellent arch support can be difficult, but if arch support is important to you, then these might be for you. They are also perfect for runners with overpronation.

+ Good shock attenuation from gel cushioning technology
+ Durable
+ Uphill and downhill traction
+ Good arch support
+ Suitable for flat feet

Why We Liked It – They have great arch support, which is ideal for runners with flat feet or those with overpronation. They’re comfy and look good too.

9. Salomon Women’s XR Mission Running Shoe

Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe

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Salomon is known for its innovation and incomparable quality. This pair of trail running shoes for women are very special. The Sensifit and Sensiflex technology will give you an extremely smooth run, whether on rugged terrain or a road. They easily adapt when you transition from one surface to another.

They are breathable, light, and flexible. You’ll have no aching feet after a long trail run. You’ll get good traction, even on slippery surfaces, because of the Contragrip outsole. The Quicklace technology means that you only need a quick pull to customize the tightness.

+ Smooth motion on all terrain
+ Suitable from trail and road running
+ Excellent grip
+ Easy to lace
+ Very wide toe box

Why We Liked It – If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of trail running shoes for women, which will suit all terrains and are also comfortable and breathable, then these are your ideal pair.

10. Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner

Merrell Women's Glove 4 Trail Runner

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If you love the freedom and feel of running barefoot but hate how dirty your feet get or are worried about stepping on something sharp, then these are the ideal pair of trail running shoes for you. They have a flexible, Vibram rubber sole that offers good grip.

The toe box is wide enough for your toes to avoid feeling trapped, but not so wide that they will move around. They fit like a glove, and the tongue – which has an innovative wrap design – offers a lot of comforts and always stays in place. A great pair of trail running shoes for women.

+ Fit like a glove
+ Good grip
+ Wide toe box
+ Suitable for high arches
+ Perfect for barefoot runners

Why We Liked It – They are one of the best pairs of barefoot trail running shoes for women on the market, and, as ever from Merrel, they are a pleasure to wear.

Trail Running Shoes for Women Buyers Guide

When it comes to choosing your next pair of trail running shoes, there are a number of important considerations that should affect which ones you decide to spend your money on. It’s easy to be distracted by a sleek, eye-pleasing design, but comfort is far more important than looks.

You’ve also got to think about the sort of terrain you’ll be running on and the weather conditions that you’ll most likely be dealing with. You’ve got to have good traction and grip to protect you from slips and falls that can put you out of trail running for some time. Here are the things to think of when choosing your next pair:

Grip and Traction

When you go out trail running, you could find yourself on all sorts of terrain. You need a pair of trail running shoes for women that will give you a good grip. Otherwise, you could easily slip and get badly injured. To reduce the risk of hurting yourself, make sure you check what grip is offered by your future pair of running shoes. The best guide for good grip is the depth and shape of the lugs.

The deeper the lug, the more grip you’re going to get on muddy terrain, but it comes at a cost, as deep lugs are not suitable to roads or smooth surfaces. If you tend to transition from one terrain to another, see if you can find a pair of trail running shoes that adapt easily to other surfaces. But if you run on rugged, muddy, or hilly terrain then you’ll get the best traction through deep lugs, so keep this in mind when choosing your next pair of running shoes.


Your feet must be comfortable when they’re inside your trail running shoes, and they must remain comfortable for the duration of your run. The width of the toe box is important, as it needs to be wide enough so that your toes aren’t squashed, but not so wide that they will move around.

Chafing and pinching are other problems that will have a negative effect upon your comfort, so finding a pair of trail running shoes that fit properly is paramount. Your feet also need to be able to breathe, so a meshing that allows this is another important consideration.


As any trail runner will tell you, supporting your arches when running is extremely important so that you don’t cause any long-lasting injuries. The type of trail running shoes that you will choose will depend entirely on your type of arches, high arches will require one type of running shoe, whereas flat arches will need another. If you wear orthotics, then you need to make sure that they can be inserted easily into the trail running shoe too. This isn’t always possible.

Water Resistant or Waterproof

Most trail running shoes are water resistant, rather than being waterproof. This is because to waterproof the running shoe, it would need to be completely sealed, which would greatly alter flexibility and breathability, two things that are integral to a good running shoe.

If most of your trail running will be done in the rain, though, then you might have to scout around for a good pair of trail running shoes that are completely waterproof, rather than just water resistant.

Shock Absorption

During the impact phase of your run, you’ll need cushioning to provide you with good shock absorption. There are many different types of cushioning technology nowadays in trail running shoes for women. For example, Asics use gel, whereas Saucony uses a grid system.

Each manufacturer tends to have its own signature design. Some focus on cushioning the heel, while others spread the cushioning around the sole of the foot. Make sure you choose a cushioning technology that suits your style of running.

What are the benefits of a barefoot trail running shoe?

The running shoe is a human invention, designed to make running more comfortable, but the human foot has managed to run without it for the majority of our existence. In fact, many experts suggest that running barefoot is much better and effective than wearing running shoes.

The thick, cushioned soles that many running shoes have can cause the runner to land on the heel, and this can lead to innumerable long-term joint issues. The problem that a lot of people have with running barefoot is the fear of slicing their feet on something sharp or the difficult-to-clean dirt that is impossible to avoid, especially when trail running.

A barefoot running shoe will give you all the countless benefits of running barefoot without the risks that actually running barefoot offers.

I have wide feet. What sort of trail running shoes should I buy?

One important element that everyone with wide feet has to think about is the width of the toe box, if it’s too narrow, then you’re going to find your toes squashed and very uncomfortable. Generally, most trail running shoes for women will offer an option to order a wider version, so you won’t have a lack of choice. Barefoot trail running shoes can be an excellent option for people with wide feet, and they will also make joint problems far less likely.

Expert Tip

Before you choose your next pair of trail running shoes for women, make sure that you have thought carefully about the type of terrain you will be running on. If the terrain is rugged or wet and muddy, then it will offer ample opportunities for you to slip and harm yourself. Therefore, you will need to make sure that you have a pair of running shoes with deep lugs that will give you a good grip.

But if you often transition from trail running to road running, then you need to make a compromise and find a pair that are adaptable to several types of terrain, even though they could be unsuitable for very rugged terrain.

Did you know?

According to a study by NHS Scotland, runners are 30% less likely to die prematurely. That’s just one of many good reasons to get outside and run. Trail running is especially good for your health because it works all the muscles in your body. What’s more, it’s completely green, so your good health won’t come at the cost of the environment.


The best trail running shoes for women will combine comfort and support, with great grip, and will also look good, while also offering good value for money. But the best trail running shoes for you will suit your running style, as well as your foot type.

A pair that are comfortable for one person, won’t be for another, purely because of the width of the foot and the height of the arches. It is imperative that you buy a pair of trail running shoes that will suit the terrain you will go running on. There’s no point having deep lugs if you’re constantly transitioning from road to trail.

But if you’re going to be running on wet, muddy terrain then you absolutely need deep lugs, or you’ll end up slipping over and hurting yourself. The most important thing to remember is that you will be wearing these trail running shoes, so make sure they’re suited to your feet, running style, and the terrain you will run on. Find more advice on training here.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running Shoe, Plum/Coral - 6.5 M...
  • Gain Traction: Maxtrac Outsole And Multi-Directional Lug Pattern For Best...
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  • Go Further: Highly Cushioned Softer Midsole For Miles And Miles Of Comfort
Bestseller No. 2
Saucony Women's Grid Excursion TR12, Burgundy/Grey, 9 M US
  • Grid cushioning system
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Trail specific mesh
Bestseller No. 3
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam Hierro V6 Trail Running Shoe, Black...
  • Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is precision engineered to deliver an...
  • Synthetic/mesh upper with zonal TPU threads for added support and...
  • Laser perforations for ventilation

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By Jason

Passionate writer, Scooter Dad, Father of two, Super active, Tough Mudder conqueror reviewing the some of the top sports related products me and my sons use and love. If you have any suggestions for improvement of MPS, please ping me a message.

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