The Best Trail Running Shoes for Women in 2020

Natalie Cecconi
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One of the most wonderful things about trail running is the way it challenges you. With the wrong shoes, running trails can hurt, even if you aren’t really going that far. If you are just starting out, stick with road running shoes. Those are the best running shoes for women that will protect you from painful blisters and stop you from damaging your feet.

When you are ready to upgrade, you will want trail running shoes. But that is a big leap! There is a lot more to trail running than road running, and trail running shoes are a lot different.

To help you choose the best trail running shoes for women, we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide.

NameCategoryProduct
Brooks Cascadia 14Best Overall
Brooks Cascadia 14
Brooks Caldera 3Budget Pick
Brooks Caldera 3
ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running ShoeUpgrade Pick
ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running Shoe

1. Brooks Cascadia 14

Our rating: 9 / 10


Brooks Cascadia 14

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Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Breathability
  • Good grip
  • Stable
  • Performs well in wet conditions

The Brooks Cascadia 14 are trail running shoes designed for adventures. You can use these shoes for training, day hikes, and even for running. They are durable and they are incredibly comfortable.

The Cascadias are built with a lightweight engineered mesh upper and a rubber toe cap. The cushioning is designed to keep your feet protected and comfortable during long distance runs. It features full-length BioMoGo DNA midsole that flexes with every landing to give you the natural feel.

These shoes are breathable, lightweight, and comfortable. The price is also very reasonable, so it’s very easy to recommend these as the best trail running shoes for women in 2020.

2. ALTRA Women's Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


ALTRA Women's Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Best for long-distance running
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Very lightweight
  • Good traction

Cons:

  • Not ideal for very rocky terrain
  • Can be a little narrow

If you are looking for a trail running shoe and you enjoy long-distance running, the ALTRA Women's Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe is the right choice for you.

The Lone Peak model is the fourth generation of the popular Lone Peak line from ALTRA, a company known for its trail running shoes. It features an updated toecap, color design, and material that make it more durable. The design of the shoe is lightweight and it weighs 9.9 ounces.

The Lone Peak 4 also features a responsive midsole with a lot of cushioning. This enables you to run without much impact. The cushioning also keeps up with your every step to make sure you feel fresh.

3. ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10


ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Won’t break the bank
  • Very comfortable ‘ fit perfectly once you get the right size
  • Durable
  • They provide great traction on dirt trails
  • No breaking-in period required
  • Good breathability
  • Affordable
  • Look cool and can be used for many purposes
  • Come in 8 colors
  • Solid customer service

Cons:

  • They run a bit long, but this doesn’t bother most people
  • They’re not waterproof
  • Not quite the best traction in the rain
  • Not ideal for wet mud
  • Won’t work well on trail climbs; the tread is better for flat and downhill running

(8 Colors)

The AL0A4QTP TIMP Trail Running Shoe is a lightweight, comfortable women’s trail running shoe. This shoe works especially well on dirt trails due to its aggressive tread and good balance.

The cushioned heel stands out, making it a lot more comfortable for the heel strike. This shoe comes in 3 widths: medium, wide and extra wide.

4. Brooks Caldera 3

Our rating: 7 / 10


Brooks Caldera 3

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The Brooks Caldera 3 is a very intelligently designed and well-made running shoe. It features a multi-dimensional fit and precision landing zone to add stability and support to your stride.

The shoe has a 3D heel fit for width, volume, and heel hold, as well as a medial posting for strengthening, which is filled with GEL cushioning.

The Ttr Heel Segmented Crash Pad developed by Brooks features an advanced cushioned landing zone that absorbs the shock of running on different types of terrains.

5. HOKA ONE ONE Women's Challenger ATR 4 Trail Running Shoes

Our rating: 7 / 10


HOKA ONE ONE Women's Challenger ATR 4 Trail Running Shoes

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The Women’s Challenger ATR 4 trail running shoe from Hoka One One is a wonderful addition to our list of the best trail running shoes for women. It has a responsive, and sturdy tread pattern making it highly effective when running on different types of terrains.

This shoe has a beautiful purple color and a very spacious toe box. It also looks really sleek and comes wrapped in a protective box, perfect for gift giving opportunities. According to reviews, the shoe is very durable and the traction works well on most trails

It also works well on both wet and dry conditions. The first few runs with these trail runners will require some break-in time, but after that they will do an excellent job of providing your runs with the utmost comfort

6. Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 7 / 10


Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe

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The Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoes are a pair of energy-returning, all-terrain approach shoes with a smart, quicklace system, a wider fit, and a gender-specific design. These minimalist shoes provide exceptional durability, optimal performance, and water-resistance due to their breathable and lightweight mesh.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a pair of trail running shoes that will perfectly combine comfort and support with a lightweight feel, then this is a good option to consider.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best trail running shoe for women?

The best trail running shoes for women include: the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 4, the Salomon XA Pro 3D, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, Saucony Peregrine 6, the Merrell PureGlide 6, the Brooks PureCadence 3 and the Under Armour Speedform Gemini 3.

These shoes are the best because they are light, provide excellent traction and support. Also, they have reinforced rubber outsole patterns that provide excellent grip on rocky surfaces.

In addition, these shoes have open mesh fabric that allows them to breathe and keeps you cool and dry. Other notable features that make these shoes stand out are their Geometric lugs that give them extra stability and support. Also, there are removable socks that protect your feet against small rocks in your shoe.

What is the best shoe for trail running?

The best shoe for trail running really comes down to personal choice. Trail running is usually a more diverse experience than typical pavement running and this often means a need for more types of shoes.

Obviously some shoes are better than others. But, one thing to remember is that the perfect trail running shoes will depend on your own preference and activity level.

Trail running shoes have a few different features that make them especially good for outdoors.

Which trail running shoes are best for wide feet?

The market of trail running shoes has become an overcrowded one, making it difficult to determine which is the right option for you. For women who have much wider feet, selecting the best trail running shoes can be almost impossible.

The truth is, the problem of finding trail running shoes for women with wide feet is not very different from that of the average wearer. The difficulties are just more obvious for women with wide feet. So, let’s talk about the best trail shoes for women with wide feet. We will also shed some light on the trail running shoes for women with narrow feet.

Can you wear trail running shoes on road?

Yes, it is possible to wear trail shoes for road running if you have a cheap pair of shoes especially for road running. Beginners should learn more about the trail running shoe before going on a trail. If you are planning to have a trail run first, think about the climate. Just because you can wear trail shoes on road running does not mean you should. It is possible to wear any type of running shoe but they will cost you more. It is, however, possible to wear trail shoes on road running.

Conclusion

When trail running shoes are recommended to female runners the first models that come to mind are Asics GEL-FujiTrainer and Salomon GCS15 GTX Trail Running Shoes. Both are great but there is one model that is a little better. We have prepared a complete guide to tell you which ones are the best, how they are better than the others and whether you need to switch to trail running shoes for your next outdoor adventure.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Brooks Cascadia 14Best Overall
Brooks Cascadia 14
Brooks Caldera 3Budget Pick
Brooks Caldera 3
ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running ShoeUpgrade Pick
ALTRA Women's AL0A4QTP TIMP 2 Trail Running Shoe