Trail shoes for summer 2021

The latest trail footwear put through their paces by our experts

Saucony Peregrine

by Trail Running |

Decathlon Evadict Trail MT Cushion

Decathlon

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Given the research, technology and incredible team involved in the development of this shoe, you can't but help do a double-take at the price. Seriously, though, there's no cutting corners in these shoes, although thanks to the 5mm lugs that secure your foot you can swerve around them at pace. The team does much of its research and development in the Alps, so it's also no surprise these are beautifully cushioned as you drive off a wider platform. You probably want to steer clear of bogs, but apart from that they're a good go-to offering for most surfaces. They use a 4mm drop so you're quite low to the ground. Weight: 256g (UK6W) Verdict: A nice, no-fuss go-to shoe for most runs. (8/10)

The North Face Fight Series Vectiv

North Face Vectiv

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Itu2019s difficult not to be excited when the word carbon is involved, especially when your heart rate numbers suggest a faster than usual run is going very, very easily. And what does that run feel like? A harder-type ride with acceptable rather than sensational grip u2013 greasy surfaces were a small problem. The fit is comfortable and certainly built for long, long days u2013 the UTMB, marathons u2013 but such is the response youu2019ll find them the shoe of choice for shorter efforts. The technical details include that all-important 3D Carbon Filter Plate and a super responsive Rocker Geometry midsole, all working from a 6mm drop. Weight: 330g (UK11M) Verdict: Be warned, you will have fun in these!u202f (9/10)

Saucony Peregrine 11

Saucony Peregrine 11

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Long runs, muddy runs, short sharp efforts, long easy days in the forest u2013 these will be your shoe of choice for the running equivalent of your commute. An everyday classic that gets about its business in a reliable, comfortable manner. A harder feel on the pavement turns super responsive and cushioned off-road thanks to Sauconyu2019s PWRRUN cushioning system. The shoe sits low on a 4mm drop, but such is that soft feel, you donu2019t think youu2019re low to the ground. The PWRTRAC tacky rubber Saucony uses digs in nicely to provide great grip on just about every surface, while the durable, protected upper offers a secure fit. Weight: 345g (UK11M) Verdict: For all but the most horrific of conditions. (8/10)

Hoka Mafete Speed 3

Hoka Mafete Speed 3

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This shoe demands a lot from you. One, it says you must have the desire to get a move on, and two, you better do so on the wettest, nastiest surface you can find. This is a wide fitting, wonderfully cushioned beast that is more than ready to tackle deep mud and generally wet, nasty surfaces. Working off a 5m drop, you'll straight away feel nice and springy, although oddly for a Hoka shoe, not necessarily that elevated. The numbers also tell you it's a little heavier than version 2, but the technology u2013 dual-density EVA outsole and the Vibram 5mm lugs that provide all that security make it feel... well, just that little bit faster. Verdict: 303g (UK8M) Verdict: Nice combo of pace and cushioning. (9/10)

Scott Kinabulu 2

Scott Kinabulu 2

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Traction rather than grip is the key word to get in your mind when it comes to Scott shoes, which have long been about security as you move at pace. The Kinabulu does just that. The lugs are strategically positioned to give you great traction and control over the different level of rocks, roots, and trails. They secure your foot, providing a firm base from which to take off. In addition, there are strategically oriented chevrons placed all around the forefoot, which will provide extra stability and support. The shoe has an 8mm drop u2013 so feels instantly good u2013 and uses Scott's Kinetic Foam in the midsole for a softer type ride. Weight: 347g (UK11M) Verdict: All about off-road, but secure adventures. (8/10)

Inov-8 Terra Ultra G 270

Inov-8 terra Ultra G 270

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It's no surrpise this shoe feels fast and responsive. given the 0mm drop. The new Powerflow Max cushioning means it provides more than adequate cushioning for longer miles, while the new midsole foam and boomerang insole help increase energy return. Indeed, you you can definitely feel the bounce effect as you stride across the trails. The shoe also has Graphene grip and 4mm outsole lugs which are placed pretty much perfectly for every surfance. Plus, the water dispersion channels ensure the shoes will drain away and water you may encounter. That said, wet, deep mud was an issue, but when isn't that the case? Weight: 299g (UK10.5M) Verdict: For those who want comfort and speed. (9/10)

NVii Terra TT

Nvii

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What were by far the lightest shoes in our test will be sure to see us up the speed this spring, especially with a 6mm drop from heel to toe. However, with plenty of cushioining, these are ideal for longer runs, too. The very lightweight upper offers adequate protection. The 4.5-5.5mm studs provide enough grip for all but the most testing surfaces, which again makes them perfect for those expeditions with plenty of variety. These did initially leave our tester with some blistering at the top of the foot perhaps due to a lack of forgiveness in the upper's material u2013 however, with persistence, this passed. They just take some breaking in. Weight: 234g (UK7.5M) Verdict: A good all-rounder for long or faster-paced runs. (8/10)

Salomon Alphacross Blast GTX

Salomon Alphacross Blast GTX

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Checking in on the higher end of the heel drop spectrum at 10mm, the Alphacross feels like the utilitarian twin of the Supercross which we tested last issue. The upper is surprisingly comfortable and pliable for a shoe that is both extremely tough and incorporates Gore-Tex waterproofing, perfect for a British winter (and autumn... and spring... and summer!). The Contragrip outsole and substantial lugs offer great grip on soft ground but would equally be fine on loose stones and rock. The midsole gives the shoe a more rigid ride and u2018protectiveu2019 feel that some will love, whilst others may take time to get used to. u202f Weight: 340g (UK8M) Verdict: A tough everyday shoe good for long days and hiking. (7/10)

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