Best Winter Trail Running Shoes

10 Best Winter Trail Running Shoes

Temperatures are dropping, days are getting shorter and it’s time to throw on another layer before heading out the door. But that doesn’t stop trail runners from doing what they love.

Just like you rotate clothes in your closet with the seasons, you should also rotate from summer sneaker to winter sneakers. Winter is here and that means it’s time to take a good look at your sneaker game. Even if you don’t live in a part of the country that gets a lot of snow, winters are generally wetter and cooler. We’ve got a list of the best trail running shoes for winter that will have you skipping up slippery slopes and maneuvering back down with speed and grace thanks to some of the most advanced technology out there.

Number 10

Brooks Ghost GTX

Brooks Ghost GTX

The Brook Ghost GTX is a durable, neutral daily runner that is a great trainer in colder, wetter conditions. The upper mesh is made from waterproof Gore-Tex (GTX) that keeps your feet dry without making them overly hot. The Ghost GTX is both protective and breathable. It has balanced cushioning thanks to Brooks’ DNA Loft foam (which is soft) and their BioMoGo DNA foam (which is firmer). Running in the Ghost GTX’s feels both cushioned and responsive. The outsole is made from blown rubber and while the shallow lug pattern will hold up to wet, muddy conditions, they are not really meant to be a true trail runner. The Ghost GTX performs best on slick road or smoother trails. The 12 mm toe drop is consistent with a strong, stable trainer but the snug fit in the heel and plush heel collar can irritate some runners. Overall, the Ghost GTX is a great choice for anyone looking for waterproof winter running shoes.

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Number 9

Altra Lone Peak Low RSM

Altra Lone Peak Low RSM

The Lone Peak Low RSM is Altra’s rugged and durable trail runner meant for tough conditions like rain snow and mud (RSM). Aside from all the features you’d expect from one of the best winter trail shoes – like a waterproof-breathable upper, excellent traction, and reinforced toe – it also has a few other features that elevate this as one of the best winter trail running shoes. Like all of Altra’s shoes, the Lone Peak RSM, has a zero-drop platform, plenty of cushioning, and a wide, FootShape toe box. The Lone Peak RSM has four gaiter traps if you need extra protection from the elements. The balanced cushioning makes for a comfortable ride and the MaxTrac Rubber along with the TrailClaw lugs provide reliable grip, even on the varied and uneven terrain. (The lugs really do work like claws.) Runner’s and hikers who want to keep going no matter the weather and conditions of the trail will not be disappointed in the Lone Peak Low RSM.

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Number 8

Hoka One One Speedgoat

Hoka One One Speedgoat

The Hoka One One Speedgoat is one of the best trail running shoes for winter. Like all Hoka One One’s the Speedgoat has maximum cushioning, that manages to feel both soft and responsive. The EVA foam provides this balanced cushioning while the rock plate provides excellent protection from debris on the trails or roads. The Speedgoat manages to feel both flexible and well-structured. A roomy toe box sits at the end of a small 4mm toe drop. The outsole has molded 5mm rubber lugs that ensure good traction and durability on some of the roughest, uneven terrain. Particularly useful for winter running and hiking, is the Speedgoat’s enhanced Waterproof Gore-Tex liner. Not only will your foot remain dry but the rugged mesh upper also prevents small rocks and debris from entering the shoe. The Hoka One One Speedgoat is one of the best women’s trail running shoes.

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Number 7

Altra King MT

Altra King MT

The Altra King MT is a great winter trail runner. It’s an Altra so you can expect the zero drop platform and FootShape toe box. You’ll find Altra’s Vibram MegaGrip Litebase foam in the midsole that delivers a light, responsive feel with adequate cushioning. The King is definitely a lighter shoe with a stack height of 19mm (compared to Altra’s Lone Peak that’s 25mm). Heel strikers and heavier runners might feel less shock absorption as the King is among Altra less cushioned runners. The Stone Guard rock plate provides ample protection from rough terrain but expect a firm and efficient underfoot feel. With a mid foot Velcro strap and snug upper, your foot will feel locked down but comfortable. The King comes with GaiterTrap for extra protection against harsh winter conditions and winter trail runners will be impressed with the gripiness of the foot shaped lug pattern. The Altra King MT really holds up on a variety of terrain, steep inclines and declines, and will protect your foot for miles and miles.

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Number 6

Inov-8 X-Talon

Inov-8 X-Talon

From its bold outward appearance to the advanced technology within, everything about the Inov-8 X-Talon is aggressive. Inov-8 was “forged in the fells and mountains” in Great Britain and was developed as a brand dedicated to adventure-seeking, outdoor enthusiasts. This is a shoe for serious trail runners. It boasts graphene infused rubber in the outsole which is covered in grippy 8 mm lugs. Because graphene is one of the strongest materials on earth, this shoe is incredibly durable. It is water resistant, has a protective toe bumper and has a rock plate to protect against some of the most rugged trails. There are a couple of different versions of this shoe with slight variations in the height of the midsole stack and toe drop but the X Talon line is not meant to be a highly cushioned running shoe. Rather these tough shoes are almost like cleats that will definitely deliver on mountains and hills in the toughest of winter conditions. The look of the women’s and men’s versions are equally intimidating. The Inov-8 X-Talon
Is one of the best women’s winter trail running shoe for any woman looking to send a message to the completion.

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Number 5

Brooks Cascadia GTX

Brooks Cascadia GTX

If the Inov-8 Talon X is for the more experienced trail runner, the Brooks Cascadia is more for beginners. This is not to say it’s any less —the Cascadia GTX is still a Brooks shoe — it’s just different. It features legendary stability thanks to its Pivot Post System. At key points in the shoe, there are posts to keep your foot level with ground. The beefy midsole contains Brooks’ BioMoGo foam for plenty of cushioning and an internal saddle system to keep the foot well protected. The most recent edition lost over an ounce in weight, but the shoe remains responsive, durable and supremely stable. The TrailTack outsole delivers great grip and traction making it one of the best trail running shoes for winter. The upper is made from waterproof GoreTex and has a Cordura Mud Guard for excellent protection against mud and debris. Like most Brooks’ shoes, it is a good choice for those with wide feet. The 10mm toe drop and well padded heel collar are also classic Brooks. The Cascadia is a super stable trail runner that will definitely keep your foot protected from wet and wild winter weather.

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Number 4

Salomon Speedcross GTX

Salomon Speedcross GTX

Salomon is one of the most trusted brands among trail runners and the Speedcross GTX is one of their best winter trail runners. The Speedcross GTX is a lightweight, well cushioned shoe with serious traction and grip for technical trails. The outsole (called Contagrip TA) has deep (6mm), sharp lugs making it one of the grippiest and most durable trail running shoes on our list. The upper can feel stiff but is very supportive. It’s complimented by a molded EVA midsole and lush Ortholite sock liner for added comfort. The EVA foam helps absorb shock and provide underfoot cushioning. The reinforced front, waterproof Gore Tex and mudguard all work to keep your foot dry and protected from water and debris. There is a more traditional 10mm drop that can help heel strikers on steep trails. The Speedcross has a narrower fit so best for those who prefer a snug fit (or try sizing up). The Speedcross GTX is made from quality Salomon materials and built to last under extreme conditions.

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Number 3

La Sportiva Bushido

La Sportiva Bushido

The La Sportiva Bushido is a neutral shoe with superior traction and stability. It’s not as protective as some of the other shoes on our list but that does not mean it lacks in durability or stability. The Bushido fits snugly and will have you feeling connected to the ground with moderate cushioning. The midsole is packed with compression-molded EVA foam which makes the newest model feel a bit springier that previous models. The heel was also redesigned to fix slippage problems. The new more secure heel cup has a shallow heel collar leaving the Achilles free from chaffing and rubbing. The FriXion rubber outsole has multi-directional, wrap-around lugs that provide ultimate traction on even the most technical trails. The protective toe cap helps will withstand loose rocks and roots. The upper is constructed from a microfiber overlay and welded ripstop fabric enhances the secure fit and stability.

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Number 2

Saucony Peregrine ICE+

Saucony Peregrine ICE+

The Saucony Peregrine ICE+ is packed with features specifically designed for tough winter conditions. Most notable is the outsole made with Vibram Arctic Grip to offer superior traction even on ice. The 6 mm rubber lugs will not cut through ice like a pick or ice skate but they do offer excellent traction in the same way snow tires off more traction. Saucony added a full length piece of EVERUN cushion in the top sole along with PWRFOAM in the midsole for excellent cushioning and responsiveness. The Peregrine ICE+ has a water resistant Flexshell upper with FlexFilm overlays for breathability. The toe bumper keeps the foot well protected from debris while the heel counter keeps ankles from rolling in unstable, slippery conditions. The Peregrine ICE+ has a 4 mm toe drop and more of a narrow fit. It can feel a bit heavier but in slower winters conditions, the weight is not much of an issue. Saucony built this shoe to be one of the best trail running shoes for winter.

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Number 1

Hoka One One Speedgoat MID GTX

Hoka One One Speedgoat MID GTX

If your primary concern in finding a winter running shoe is weight, look no further than the Hoka One One Speedgoat MID GTX. This ultra light – unbelievably light — boot is similar to the Speedgoat but the MID GTX fits over the ankle for a more winter-like boot design. However, it weighs in at just over 11 ounces — even lighter than some of the other low rise shoes on our list. The Speedgoat MID GTX has Hoka One One’s signature luxurious cloud-like feel. Comfort is undoubtedly this shoe’s super power. The heel collar wraps around ankle for superior protection. It also happens to be incredibly durable and is the ultimate match for extreme winter conditions. The Vibram sole with 5mm lugs has excellent grip on both wet and dry technical terrain. The waterproof Gore-Tex bootie has good moisture control and airflow. Unlike shoes that are more shallow, the mid high bootie prevent moisture and debris from breaching the sides. With its boot like appearance and sneaker-like performance, the Speedgoat MID GTX is one of the best winter trail running shoes on the market.

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