WINTER TRAIL RUNNING SHOES

OUR RECENT REVIEWS OF THE BEST SHOES FOR THE BOGGIEST OF TERRAINS YOU’LL FIND IN THE UK


by Paul Halford |

SALOMON SUPERCROSS

SALOMON SUPERCROSS

Buy now

These shoes are rugged but with a sense of flair. If you're running a 10km on rolling u2013 occasionally damp u2013 forest paths, then these are the kind of footwear you'd choose. For something that looks and feels a bit pacey, the cushioning is actually quite soft u2013 happy on urban trails, ecstatic on the rough stuff. The 10mm drop means you'll be at home in them from the very first mile u2013 indeed our test involved four hours in the wilds of Wales straight out of the box, so you can't argue with the comfort and fit. Salomon's Speedlace system means they feel controlled on descents, your foot firmly in control. Verdict: A pacey feeling, cushioned shoe that copes with mud

NEW BALANCE HIERRO BOA

NEW BALANCE HIERRO BOA

Buy now

If you wish to stand out from the crowd, then these are the shoes for you. We easily spotted them in action at the sharp end of the UTMB so if they can handle 25 or more hours and as much ascent as Everest on the move, you know they must be comfortable and can handle plenty of the rough stuff. The fit is as interesting as their looks as Boa's fastening system locks your foot perfectly into position. The Freshfoam is wonderfully cushioned while the Vibram MegaGrip outsole does all you require when it comes to keeping you in one piece on rocky, slippery surfaces. The shoe has an 8mm drop. Verdict: Fashionistas meet your must have shoe for 2020 8/10

BROOKS CASCADIA 14

BROOKS CASCADIA 14

Buy now

Over the years we've run in all sorts of Cascadia versions and it's nice to be able to track the undoubted improvements this perennial favourite features. If you're an urban trail-type these are well worth considering given the soft, stable platform you'll experience. Indeed, you'll barely notice the transition from road to path, although we should add this shoe isn't a fan of deep mud. That said, the TrailTack traction did handle canal path mud comfortably enough. Working off an 8mm drop, the shoe has some neat additions, not least the Cordura Mud Guard which protects from debris, while allowing water in and out. Verdict: Comfortable in a soft, friendly sort of way 8/10

INOV-8 TRAILROC G 280

INOV-8 TRAILROC G 280

Buy now

These are exactly the kind of shoe if, 1. you fancy running quickly; 2, you need a bit of support and protection and 3, comfort is the name of the game. We couldn't have tested these in more demanding and varied conditions u2013 loose rubble, mud, smooth forest paths u2013 and they emerged unscathed. They feature Inov-8's graphene outsole which is super hard-wearing but that's almost incidental to the fit and protection these shoes offer. The rock plate does exactly what you'd hope from such a piece of kit, while the shoe's relatively light weight makes it a comfortable option for longer races. It has an 8mm drop. Verdict: Responsive, hard wearing and happy on and off the road 9/10

ON CLOUDVENTURE PEAK

ON CLOUDVENTURE PEAK

Buy now

These are interesting beasts. The blurb says they're great for hill repeats and we couldn't agree more u2013 boy, they're light. These really have only one thing in mind and that's fast running. There is an acceptable amount of cushioning but everything about them from the lightweight uppers made of durable ripstop fabric to the split forefoot design and narrower midfoot is all about getting you from A to B as quickly as possible. They'll do that from a 4mm drop but to be honest, such is the response you probably won't notice that too much. Grip is surprisingly good thanks to the varied patterns in the outsole. Verdict: Strictly for days when pace is the name of the game 8/10

HOKA ONE ONE EVO SPEEDGOAT

HOKA ONE ONE EVO SPEEDGOAT

Buy now

Running in the winter is going to involve a lot of bog standard miles u2013 outings where you'll need stability, cushioning, a good fit and, should you feel the urge, response if you fancy upping the ante a tad. The Speedgoat ticks all these boxes and more. We particularly like the way it works off a 4mm drop but such is the cushioning that's easy to get along with right from the get-go. Technology includes mesh construction, Hoka's unique oversize EVA midsole and very noticeably a wider platform which has been designed to provide a more stable base on varied terrain. There are multidirectional lugs for grip. Verdict: Lightweight cushioning on a stable foundation 8/10

SAUCONY SWITCHBACK ISO

SAUCONY SWITCHBACK ISO

Buy now

278g (UK 8) These shoes could be your new flexible friends. The amount of flex they offer, combined with a supremely grippy outsole that takes wet rocks and even slimy tarmac in its stride, makes this footwear ideal for quick running through mixed terrain. Operating off a 4mm drop, the focus is very much on responsiveness, but comfort levels are also high, thanks to Saucony's perennially popular EverRun foam in the midsole. Getting to grips with the Boa closure might take a few runs to perfect, but once secured to the correct tension, you'll get many miles u2013 and smiles u2013 out of this pair of high-performing off-roaders.**** Verdict: Speed shoe ideal for multi-terrain adventures. 9/10

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us