Latest trail running shoes reviewed

A mix of shoes for all sorts of terrain

Adidas TERREX

by Trail Running |

Merrell Moab Flight

Merrell Moab Flight

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These shoes tick many boxes, but letu2019s start with the most important u2013 theyu2019re instantly easy to run in, with a 10mm drop, exceptional cushioning and effective lacing. The grip of the Vibram outsole is particularly decent, keying into wet stone with no issue. Not only are the laces 100% recycled, but the mesh upper also contains 70% recycled material, and the sole is 30% repurposed rubber. Plus, because it uses no animal products in its glue (or anywhere else, for that matter), the entire shoe is vegan.
Weight: 263g (UK8) Verdict: Immediately comfy, cushioned shoes for all runs. 8/10

Cimalp 864 Drop Evolution

CIMALP 864 Drop Evolution

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This womenu2019s-only model is a new addition to the range. The concept is great u2013 it guides you down from an 8mm drop to 6mm and just 4mm using the insoles provided (8mm = comfort, 4mm = speed). First impressions were of a slightly stiff shoe, but this is a little deceptive as once on the go it does feel more responsive and soft but with ample firmness. The grip is as good as you will get on a trail shoe and felt responsive and confident on loose rocky trails. The downside comes for anyone who wants to use an orthotic; without an inner, the shoe becomes one with minimal drop and missing much of the cushioning. Weight: 278g (UK 5.5W) Verdict: High on versatility, but perhaps a little overpriced. 7/10

Arcu2019Teryx Norvan SL2

Arcu2019Teryx  Norvan SL2

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These shoes are packed with technical innovation yet they weigh almost nothing! In the past weu2019ve taken the Norvan high into the Alps and this will surely will be the shoe of choice for discerning cabin baggage-only passengers. The hydrophobic TPU mesh upper squishes for packability, while the Vibram Megagrip outsole delivers durable performance across a range of conditions. Itu2019s bonkers light, but not at the expense of cushioning and performance. It sounds minimalist, but thanks to the cushioning and build you could run hours on mountain paths in these no problem. It features 3.5mm lugs and a 7mm drop. Weight: 195g (UK11) Verdict: A sheep in wolves' clothing. Light but enduring. (8/10)

Adidas Terrex Speed SG

Adidas Terrex Speed SG

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The Speed SG is a lightweight, grippy option for racing and speed work. With a low-profile 4mm drop midsole made from Lightstrike u2013 the replacement to the Boost compound u2013 the ride feels responsive and smooth, but not to the detriment of protection. In the upper, the fit is locked in and snug u2013 enough for a racy feel without being constrictive u2013 but may not suit wider feet. The recycled plastic mesh is unlike many other shoes but is hyper-breathable and allows water drainage in soggy conditions. Deep lugs of Continental rubber will be best suited to soft conditions, making this a good option for fell racing or off-road intervals. Weight: 225g (UK11) Verdict: A go-to for when the going is soft but the pace is high. (8/10)

La Sportiva Cyklon

La Sportiva Cyklon

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Itu2019s difficult not to get excited by these shoes, not least because of their colour! But, what really stands out is the fit. It uses the Boa fit system for incredible stability when you venture off the beaten track. Features include the Dynamic Cage for that precision fit and Boau2019s cartridge system to ensure security. The shoe works off an 8mm drop and has a wide toe box and a high protection sleeve around your ankle. Designed for skyraces, these are all about technical terrain, hence the TPU toecap and thermo-adhesive side panel for structure and stability. Thanks to the 7mm lugs, it can cope with a variety of surfaces. Weight: 349g (UK11) Verdict: Technical shoe that works well on every surface. (9/10)

Altra Timp 3

Altra Timp 3

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Youu2019d be forgiven for thinking u2018zero dropu2019 and u2018barefootu2019 were interchangeable phrases u2013 but Altra proves this isnu2019t true. The Timp 3 sports the brand's zero-drop tech and Foot Shape toe box (which allows toes to splay naturally and accommodates foot swelling on long days). The foot sits on 29mm of Quantic cushioning, providing a smooth ride in transition that feels natural and cushy, making it a forgiving entry point for anyone looking to trial a 0mm drop. The outsole will perform on moderate road distances, but they shine on summer trails. The pull-tabs and gaiter attachments on the heel and tongue are also neat additions. Weight: 311g (UK8) Verdict: Comfy entry to zero-drop with some tidy details. (8/10)

Craft CTM Ultra Carbon

Craft  CTM Ultra Carbon

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Thereu2019s no avoiding the carbon plate debate. At 258g, Craftu2019s entry stacks up a little heavier than its tarmac-focussed cousins, but this may be an unfair comparison with the CTM being aimed at multi-terrain and ultra distances. The eye-catching CTM will be at home over various terrain thanks to the arrow-shaped 3mm lugs on the outsole, though they are more aligned to road and dry trails. The 10mm drop and carbon plate encourage smooth, springy toe-off and the Vault foam strikes a balance between response and cushion. The upper is breathable, but could be trimmed down for a snugger fit over the toe box. Weight: 258g (UK8) Verdict: An ultra-oriented take on the current carbon plate trend. (7/10)

INOV-8 Parkclaw 260 Knit

INOV-8 Parkclaw 260 Knit

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u201cThe ultimate shoe for road-to-trail runningu201d says the Inov-8 website, and after many miles in them weu2019d have to agree. The compact outsole lugs feel very much at home on the road, but take them into the woods and they still feel surefooted and stable where most road shoes will really start to struggle. A lower-profile stack height and 8mm drop gives good ground feel and naturally this requires a sturdier midsole for protection u2013 which it has. In the upper, the knit material looks smart and holds up well to the abuse of miles, but combined with the wider fit would make this a solid option for those with broader feet. Weight: 260g (UK8) Verdict: Nothing flashy but performs many roles very deftly. (8/10)

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