In addition to durability, whatever your level of trail running, it’s important to find a shoe with an outsole that helps you run fast, controlled, and protected. The best trail running shoes should provide an outsole that offers adequate grip and traction for all-terrain—tame and technical.
Lastly, cushion counts. Figuring out what level of cushion you prefer is unique to every runner, but here are some basics every trail running shoe should have. For starters, a Balanced Cushioning™ platform that positions your heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground. This feature can be found in all Altra shoes and encourages better alignment, better form, and a low impact landing. Now let’s look for the actual level of cushion you prefer in your shoe. If you’re looking for a high cushion shoe, check out our options with a thicker midsole for a soft, yet responsive ride like the Olympus 4 or the Timp 3. For those looking for more of an underfoot feel, explore options with a thinner midsole like the Superior 5 or the Lone Peak 5.