TOP 19 Best Women’s Trail Running Shoes Reviewed & Compared 2019

5 (100%) 2 votes

Traction like a mountain goat?

Quick drying?

Flexible enough to conform and overcome any trail obstacle?

Strong enough to keep jagged rocks and sharp sticks from penetrating your sole?

Check! Check and Check!

This list of the 19 best trail running shoes for women check ALL the right boxes!

TOP 19 Best Women’s Trail Running Shoes 2019

Dynafit Alpine Pro Running Shoes

Review: This Alpine pro trail running shoe has too much good stuff. The Alpine pro has extreme grip, thanks to the Vibram sole, invisible laces, an 8mm drop and a rocker midsole that propels you forward.

My favorite feature?

The carbon shield in the midsole is your knight in shining armor, protecting you from jagged rocks and sticks from penetrating the sole.

Pros

  • Carbon shield in the midsole protects feet from sharp objects.
  • Rubber heel and toe bumper take a beating so your feet don’t have to.
  • Stretch mesh covers the laces keeping then secure and outta your way!

Cons

  • Kinda pricy, but totally worth it IMO.

Takeaway

This will become your daily trail training shoe, and is my choice for best women’s trail running shoes of 2019.

Salomon Women's Speedcross 4 Trail Sneakers

Review: These high cushioned support and stability shoes are a good choice for Overpronators.
These trail runners are for running on soft trail conditions, not jagged rocks, branches, and other sharp underbrush.

The lugs are 6mm, in a chevron shape, and far enough apart that they easily release mud and dirt while being able to really dig into soft terrain so you won’t slip.

They have a super strong quick lace that you can tuck away so it stays out of the way.

These shoes have a fine mesh cover which ventilates your feet without letting dirt, dust, and debris inside. Nice!

Pros

  • Ideal for muddy and soft terrain, loose gravel and dirt.
  • Quick Laces 4 times as strong as standard laces.

Cons

  • Run narrow – but wide sizes are available.

Takeaway

Best women’s trail running shoes for Overpronators and soft trail terrain.

Merrell Women's Glove 4 Trail Runner

Review: These 0 drop minimalist shoes keep your feet in touch with the ground and offer excellent feedback. They are a great barefoot style trail running shoe.

Minimalist shoes are known for allowing you to feel the ground, and if you run over rocks and roots, that might hurt.

These vapor glove 4s do a good job of preventing break through and pain, while still allowing you to keep connected to Terra Firma.

Pros

  • Roomy toe box room for proper toe splay.
  • Flat, 0 drop, allows a totally natural foot motion.
  • Vibram rubber sole is grippy and wears well.

Cons

  • They run short.

Takeaway

Best women’s trail running shoes in a minimalist style.

Hoka Challenger ATR 3 Women's Trail Running Shoes

Review: The Hoka Challenger ATR3 is a good trail running shoe for over supinators, or those whose feet tend to fall outwards as they run.

Their pod-like 4mm lugs provide traction and support. They are really well cushioned so you will not feet every root, rock or branch you hit as you fly down the trail.

My favorite feature?

They are designed with a meta rocker that rockets you forward as you run, so you feel light and bouncy as you move forward.

Pros

  • Great trail running shoe for over supinators.
  • Meta rocker design, drives you forward.
  • Great arch support.

Cons

  • Mesh top is vulnerable to tearing.

Takeaway

Like running on clouds, these are the most comfortable women’s trail running shoes.

Altra Women's Lone Peak 3.5 Shoes

Review: Altra Lone Peak 3.5 shoes are comfortable and have a really good grip. They also have “Stoneguard” underfoot protection, so you can run in rough terrain with peace of mind and pain-free.

The Altras are light, have a stretchy outer that fits comfortably, and the mesh is very well ventilated so your feet really stay cool.

Pros

  • Maxtrac trailClaws Canted Sole lugs offer excellent traction.
  • Stoneguard protects your foot from rocky sharp terrain.
  • Fit designed specifically for the female foot.
  • Well ventilated.

Cons

  • Fits wide.
  • Not at all water resistant.

Takeaway

Great women’s trail running shoes for wide feet.

La Sportiva Women's Wildcat Trail Running Shoes

Review: This neutral trail running shoe is well cushioned with aggressive traction. Ideal for rocky and technical conditions, you will love the support, stability and comfort you get from these Sportiva wildcat running shoes.

Sportiva has managed to make these shoes breathable without allowing your foot to get wet or letting debris in. Impressive!

Not only is the traction above par, but these shoes have a break system built into the outsole so you can stop fast if you need to.

Pros

  • Lots of cushioning.
  • Stable, neutral running shoe.
  • FriXion AT sole for grip.
  • Impact Brake System built into sole.

Cons

  • Not waterproof.

Takeaway

Best trail running shoes for ladies who like extra cushion.

Newton BOCO All Terrain Women's Running Shoes

Review: The Newton BOCO trail running shoe has an upper that is durable yet breathable, which is a sigh of relief for your feet. Rain, snow and hail will not penetrate, but sweat and heat and exit keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

These women’s trail running shoes weight in at a scant 8.7 oz and have a low 3mm drop to keep things natural.

The multidirectional lugs give you traction on uneven trail surfaces, and the rubber bumper protects your toes from impact with rocks and other trail obstacles, debris.

Pros

  • Durable weatherproof upper.
  • Low heel to toe drop, close to the ground feel.
  • Action-reaction lugs return energy to every stride.

Cons

  • Pricy.

Takeaway

Light and responsive, excellent women’s trail running shoes.

Saucony Women's Xodus ISO 3 Sneakers

Review: Light, flexible and nimble are three words I would use to describe the Saucony Women’s Xodus ISO 3 trail running shoes.

These trail runners contain Sauconys famous Everrun midsole for comfort and great energy return.

These shoes also sport the Saucony PWRTRAC technology, a tacky rubber sole that resist wear and affords great traction.

Pros

  • Everrun energy return midsole.
  • Sticky PWRTRAC outsole.
  • Trail-specific ISOfit upper with rubber melt overlay to keep dirt out.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

Protective shoe with ample cushion and traction.

Nike Women's Air Zoom Terra Kiger 4 Running Shoes

Review: The Nike Terra Kiger 4 is designed with trail running at its core.

The flymesh upper is light and breathable, the lugs on the sole are large and made from sticky rubber to give you footing on the trail, and there is a rubber cap that covers the toe that protects your toes from rocks and other trail hazards.

Pros

  • Light breathable upper.
  • Zoom air midsole puts some bounce in your step.
  • Waffle lugs and sticky rubber give traction in wet conditions.

Cons

  • Runs a bit small.

Takeaway

Sturdy women’s trail running shoes, great for wet conditions.

These Zoom Air Kiger’s are perfect for the trail, but Nike also makes some great all-around running shoes.

If you are looking for everyday running shoes we have a specially curated list of the best running shoes for women here.

Columbia Women's Alpine FTG Sneakers

Review: These shoes from one of the original trail running shoe brands, Columbia, allow you to feel the ground beneath your feet, without cutting your foot on a rock, of course.

They through the magic of advanced “outdry” technology, they manage to be both waterproof and breathable, have a comfortable, well-cushioned midsole and aggressive traction that helps you in wet or dry conditions.

Pros

  • “Outdry” technology keeps you dry.
  • Comfortable and well cushioned.
  • Sticky rubber, 4mm lugs-great traction in all conditions.

Cons

  • No quick laces.

Takeaway

The stay dry women’s trail running shoe.

Speaking of being all wet, don’t neglect hydration on the trail pick up a hydration pack and never lug around an awkward water bottle again.

ASICS Women's Gel-Kahana 8 Trail Runner

Review: These Asics Gel-Kahana shoes have ample space in the toe box, a snug fitting heel, and good support for runners with Plantar Fasciitis.

The shoe has rear foot gel pad in the midsole, and a rubber sole made for the trail – so you stay secure and sure-footed on the trail.

Pros

  • Reversed lugs for traction both up and downhill.
  • Rearfoot gel absorbs shock.
  • Duomax support sole – good for Plantar Fasciitis.

Cons

  • The shoe can get hot.

Takeaway

Best women’s trail running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis.

Ladies, do you suffer from flat feet? We have a list dedicated to you! Check out the best trail running shoes for flat feet here.

Altra Women's Superior 3.5 Sneakers

Review: Popular choice with trail runners for a simple reason – they perform well on the trail.

These Superior 3.5 women’s trail running shoes are lightweight, wear well, and give you mountain goat like traction – no joke!

The shoe matches the shape of a woman’s foot without chafing or causing blisters. I just love this trail running shoe!

Pros

  • 0 Drop.
  • Well cushioned shoe.
  • Excellent traction.

Cons

  • Runs small.

Takeaway

These women’s trail running shoes have great traction on the trail.

La Sportiva Bushido II Women's Running Shoes

Review: The La Sportiva Bushido II women’s trail running shoes are great for running in sharp, rocky terrain thanks to the dense EVA midsole layer that protects your tootsies from rocks and roots.

In addition to protection, they have great traction too. They are appropriate for scrambling, and tough, technical terrain.

Pros

  • Breathable and comfortable stretch mesh upper.
  • Impenetrable rock guard shield underfoot.
  • Tacky rubber outsole affords excellent grip.

Cons

  • Runs a little small.

Takeaway

The best trail running shoes for women for 2019, for rocky and technical terrain.

The Bushido II are some of my favorite running shoes, especially for technical terrains like hills and boulder scrambling.

Nike Women's Air Max Zoom Wildhorse 5 Running Shoes

Review: This Nike trail running shoe is the 5th iteration of the Wildhorse line. This version is a bit snugger up front, and a little lighter too.

Paired with the zoom technology that puts a bounce in your trot as you take on the trail, and a rock shield that ensures you are not stopped in your tracks by a rock or twig underfoot.

Pros

  • Rock shield prevents pain from stepping on wayward rocks and roots.
  • Zoom air technology will have you flying down the trail.
  • TPU meld overlays keep sand and dirt out.

Cons

  • This shoe is tighter than other versions. Good for narrow feet.

Takeaway

Best trail runner for narrow feet.

Adidas Women's Terrex Tracerocker Trail Running Shoes

Review: The Adidas Terrex Tracerockers standout feature is the fact that they are engineered specifically for a woman’s foot.

They also have stick, all direction traction so you can stop on a dime and maintain your footing in precarious terrain.

In addition to that, they are breathable and comfortable, and that is important too!

Pros

  • Traxion multi-directional super sticky grip.
  • Comfortable and breathable mesh upper.
  • Made, ergonomically, to fit a woman’s foot.

Cons

  • The insole is hard.

Takeaway

Women’s trail running shoes with the best grip.

Merrell Women's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Shoes

Review: Go all out with these Merrell All Out Blaze trail running shoes. These shoes are designed to dry quickly in wet conditions.

They are also extremely breathable and ventilated, allowing heat and moisture to escape so you stay comfortable.

Plus the shoe is designed with M Fresh Technology to prevent bacteria, germs, and odor from creeping up. Gross, I know, but good to know if you are trail running in wet conditions. Right?

Pros

  • Super-fast drying and lightweight.
  • M Fresh Technology prevents odor and bacteria growth.
  • Unifly midsole protects from rocks and other trail hazards.

Cons

  • Not very padded – but that allows them to dry faster.

Takeaway

If you run in wet conditions like crossing creeks & wet grass, these are for you!

La Sportiva Women's Mutant Backcountry Running Shoes

Review: OK, these mutant shoes do look like they are from another planet, but I think they look pretty darn cool.

The heel loop and the Spyraltongue lace guard/hiding place contribute to the unique look.

The FriXion XF sole allows you to stop and start or change direction without losing traction, and the impact brake system helps you stop on a dime.

I’d say these shoes are out of this world!

Pros

  • FriXion XF sole for max traction.
  • Fashion forward look.
  • Hidden laces.
  • Incredibly light weight.

Cons

  • Narrow in the toe box, better for narrow feet.

Takeaway

This is one mutant you will want to keep in your closet. Fantastic trail running shoes.

New Balance Women's WT10v1 Minimus Running Shoes

Review: This very popular minimalist shoe is a good choice if you want to hit the trails and feel the ground beneath your feet.

The tactile feedback is sensational, while the lightweight foam, midsole wrap, and Vibram rubber outsole make sure the run is not a painful one if you are running over rocks and other trail debris.

The Vibram sole is engineered with flex grooves to allow your foot to move naturally and give you the traction you would have running barefoot.

Pros

  • Vibram rubber outsole, flexible with superior traction.
  • Foam midsole wrap for protection and comfort.
  • Minimalist barefoot style.

Cons

  • Runs small.
  • Can feel rocks and pebbles underfoot.

Takeaway

An excellent minimalist style women’s trail running shoe.

Inov-8 Women's Roclite 290 Trail Runner

Review: The energy returning powerflow midsole and graphene rubber grip soles will have you digging these women’s trail running shoes. The tread digs into any terrain giving you unbeatable grip in mud, rocky gravel or even hard packed trails.

The shoe is flexible and well cushioned, for ladies who want a little support from their trail runners.

Pros

  • Graphene grip helps you get traction on wet or rocky terrain.
  • Powerflow Energy returning cushioned midsole.
  • 4 mm drop, natural stride.

Cons

  • Runs small.

Takeaway

Good traction, ample flexibility and plenty of cushion. One of the best trail running shoes for women out there.

close up of an women's feet wearing trail running shoes on rocky terrain trail

Best Trail Running Shoes for Women – a Quick Buyers Guide

Grip, Material, strength, and flexibility are the 4 keys to the best trail running shoes for women.

Get a Grip!

When you are looking for a pair of trail running shoes, the grip is one of the most important factors.

I like my trail running shoes to have the grip and agility of a mountain billy goat. I need to keep my footing on slimy wet rocks, scrambling over boulders, and loose sand and gravel should never be a problem.

I really like the Graphene rubber soles of the Inov-8 Women’s Roclite 290 Trail Runner for their all weather, all condition grip.

The Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail Sneaker work well for soft sand, gravel or other loose material trails. They have 6 mm lugs and the lugs are spaced far enough apart that the trail crud falls off instead of getting stuck between the lugs.

woman fitness silhouette sunrise running

Be a Material Girl!

Sometimes being materialistic is just what a girl needs. When it comes to the best trail running shoes, look for material that is breathable, yet keeps dust, sand, and another crud outta your shoes.

Also would not hurt to get a pair of shoes that dry super fast and are designed for skipping thru streams and puddle jumping.

I found the Columbia Women’s Alpine FTG that do just that. They are designed to dry fast thanks to the outdry technology, and they also prevent microbes and germs from growing due to anti-microbial technology.

Stay Strong, Be Tough

A trail running shoe MUST be strong and tough.

A must-have feature I cannot live without is a shield or plate built into the midsole that protects my tootsies from rocks and other sharp objects from stopping me in my tracks.

The Dynafit Alpine Pro running shoe have a built-in carbon plate in between the insole and the outsole that protects feet from sharp trail hazards.

The Altra Women’s Lone Peak 3.5 shoes have a similar “Stoneguard” built into the midsole to keep sharp objects out.

And the La Sportiva Bushido II Women’s running shoe have a built-in rock guard and are the best shoes for technical terrain.

In fact, several of the best trail running shoes for women have a similar feature.

woman trail runner running with hydration backpack

Be Flexible

Trail running shoes must be flexible. Rigid, chunky and heavyweight shoes might be OK for hiking, but they won’t cut it for trail running.

Saucony Women’s Xodus ISO 3 sneaker are some of the most flexible shoes out there. They have a dynamic upper that moves with your foot.

The minimalist shoes like the Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner and New Balance Women’s WT10v1 Minimus trail running shoe also have flexible soles that allow the sole of your foot to conform to uneven trail surfaces.

I personally really like minimalist style shoes for running because they give so much feedback and allow you to stay connected to the ground.

Minimalist shoes also dry really quickly due to containing less material.

fitness woman runner trail running

Well, ladies, it seems we have reached the end of the trail.

This wraps up the best women’s trail running shoes quick guide.

Hopefully, this list of the 19 best trail running shoes for women contains your perfect pair.

Now all you need is to find a pair of women’s running shorts that don’t chafe or give you a wedgie.

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Katie

Katie

Katie is a busy wife and mother of four. She is a freelance writer and frequent contributor on Garage Gym Power. She guards her gym time jealously, and would rather miss a PTA meeting or get takeout for dinner than miss a workout.