Top Women's Trail Runners Reviewed

Trail running is quickly becoming one of the most common recreational activities for active women.

Luckily there is a wide variety of selection to choose from to find your best trail running shoe.  This can also create a lot of confusion.

Trail runners can be used in for many different occasions.  Trail running, hiking, even as women’s hiking boot replacement.

Plenty of trail runners provide enough traction and ankle support that you can easily replace your old, dusty boots with a fresh pair of trail running shoes.

It’s always good to compare women’s trail runners vs hiking boots.

We’ve also included an ordered list of our favorite Women’s Trail Runners just below.

Learn more in our Top 25 Hiking Boots Round-Up.

Top Women's Trail Runners Rankings

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof No
    Sex Women
    Current Price from $74.95
    Pros Very lightweight, Molded TPU heel counter for added heel and ankle support, Grippy Vibram outsole, ,
    Cons Not waterproof, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe is a durable hiking shoe perfect for hiking and playing in the outdoors.

    The Merrell’s offer a Vibram built sole with .5mm lugs to give you a ton of traction and grip when hiking through most terrain. The mesh-lined upper the is extremely breathable and well vented.

    Merrell’s molded TPU heel counter adds stability in the heel to help avoid loose ankles.

    Even though they are not waterproof they can handle some light water exposure and will dry quite quickly.

    The inside has some nice cushioning and the shoe is quite flexible so they can stand up to a lot of abuse.

    Even after long days on the trail, you won’t have to deal with any blisters or foot pain.

    The footbed is also treated with M-Select fresh to help fight off any excess sweat and foul odors.

    They’re extremely lightweight at around 10 ounces, so they’re perfect for warmer day hikes.

    If you’re looking for a lightweight shoe for the trail and beyond the Merrell’s will give you a ton of value.

    Read our full review of the Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Aero Water Shoe

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof No
    Sex Women
    Current Price No products found.
    Pros Lightweight, Fitted design, Vibram soles with flex grooves for better traction, ,
    Cons Run small, Narrow width, , ,
    Our Take:

    The New Balance Women’s WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe will serve you on and off the trail.

    They outsoles are built w. a Vibram sole with flex grooves traction so you know you’ll get maximum comfort and grip on the trail along with the ability to fearlessly explore the rockier terrain off trail as well.

    Not much heel to toe drop in these so your foot will feel very secure while running.

    The midsoles are very thin but still do a great job at shock absorption.

    These shoes are also designed more curvy to fit the contours of your feet.

    It’s easy to forget you’re actually wearing the shoe at the time due to how naturally comfortable they feel. Stretchy tongue and collar for easy foot entry and exit.

    They’re also odor-resistant, anti-microbial treated to keep them smelling fresher longer.

    Just keep in mind you have to get these at least a half size bigger than your normal shoe size as they do run a bit small.

    They’re also more narrow so not great if you have a wider foot.

    No products found.

    Read our full review of the New Balance Women’s WT10v1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe

  1. Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 W Trail Runner

  2. Editors Rating:
    (4.7 / 5)

    Best For Runners

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof No
    Sex Women
    Current Price from $99.99
    Pros Snug Fit with little drop, Perfect for outdoors running and hiking, Lightweight, ,
    Cons Stiffness, Not great for city walking, , ,
    Our Take:

    Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 W Trail Runner is an incredibly comfortable trail running shoe that will help you tear through the outdoors like you’re running on a treadmill.

    Salmon’s are at the top of the game when it comes to shoes built for the outdoors specifically.

    The Sensifit and Contragrip technology help keep your foot secure and protected from any hazards you can experience running through nature.

    The quicklace feature is also nice for those who like to slip in and out of their runners.

    Some people aren’t crazy about the “lugginess” of the shoe, but you can hardly notice as these shoes are so lightweight and tough.

    The downside of these runners are the fit can be a bit too tight and stiff for some and wearing them anywhere other than the trail, like the gym or street, can be a bit uncomfortable.

    Otherwise, if you need a good shoe for the great outdoors these are great!

    Read our full review of the Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4 W Trail Runner

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof Yes
    Sex Women
    Current Price from $119.90
    Pros Wide Toe Box, Mesh and well placed synthetic uppers, Extra cushion in the sole, ,
    Cons Too cushiony for some runners,, Problems with blisters, , ,
    Our Take:

    The Altra Women’s Lone Peak 3 Trail Runner is great for those looking for a trail runner with a lot of toe room.

    The toe box on these shoes is incredibly generous and will help you find space in the front of the shoe where other shoes leave your toes stuffed like sardines.

    The rest of your foot benefits resting snug inside the contours of the rest of the shoe with zero drop.

    There’s a ton of cushion on the bottom, so even if you don’t use these for trail running, you’ll find them very comfortable for long walks or even just standing for long periods of time.

    Great for those with plantar fasciitis or sensitive feet.

    The uppers are made of mesh with tougher synthetic overlays in more vulnerable areas for added protection and durability.

    The laces are strong and durable and make for more tightness around the top of the foot for a more fitted style.

    The biggest downside is some runners complain that there may be too much cushioning that creates a “trampoline” type feel.

    Some people also complain that the extra room in the toe box has lead to blisters on the balls of their feet.

    Read our full review of the Altra Women’s Lone Peak 3 Trail Runner

  3. KEEN Women’s Oakridge Waterproof Shoe

  4. Editors Rating:
    (3.8 / 5)

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof Yes
    Sex Women
    Current Price from $74.05
    Pros Waterproof and breathable, Lots of moisture and odor protection inside the shoe, Plenty of grip on the outsole, ,
    Cons They have a very stiff feel, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The KEEN Women’s Oakridge Waterproof Shoe is durable, tough trail runner that will keep you light on your feet while still able to handle tough terrain.

    The uppers are made from waterproof, lightweight leather and mesh for protection and breathability.

    Combined with the KEEN dry waterproof, breathable membrane these shoes will keep your feet dry through rain and wetter trails.

    The interior is made from a Hydrophobic mesh lining and clean sport NXT which helps to wick away any sweat and moisture.

    This will help keep your socks dry and help to avoid swamp foot and blisters while helping to do away with foul odors.

    The front of the shoe includes a toe protector to help with those rockier, unpredictable trails.

    Below your feet rests on an EVA midsole which will help with shock absorption and flexibility.

    The outsoles include a multidirectional tread pattern that provides excellent grip no matter what kind of terrain you’re dealing with.

    On the inside, there’s a ton of space even if you have a wide foot you’ll find these run a bit loose.

    If you’re looking to move from a boot to a shoe for hiking the Oakridge’s are a great place to start.

    Read our full review of the KEEN Women’s Oakridge Waterproof Shoe

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof No
    Sex Women
    Current Price from $41.85
    Pros Super lightweight, Good traction in the outsole, Molded foam footbed for added comfortable fit on your foot, Mesh uppers offer lots of ventilation,
    Cons Constant heel rubbing, Stiff feel, , ,
    Our Take:

    The Adidas Performance Women’s Rockadia W Trail Runner will offer you really good support for a lightweight running shoe on or off the trail.

    The uppers include a durable mesh and synthetic textile materials for ventilation and toughness.

    There’s also a padded tongue and collar for added comfort around your ankle.

    They feel very light on your feet and offer great traction on the bottom of the sole.

    Surprisingly good traction on the sole, you can feel confident taking these off-road and even dealing with a little street ice.

    You also get good arch support and room in the toe box along with a molded foam footbed.

    We did find these to be a bit stiff but felt with a little time to break them in you can get some more comfort.

    They also tend to rub the back of your heel a little more than we like so be prepared to ditch your low cut socks for something a bit higher.

    Read our full review of the Adidas Performance Women’s Rockadia W Trail Runner

  5. Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner

  6. Editors Rating:
    (3.4 / 5)

    Shoe Style Trail Runners
    Waterproof No
    Sex Women
    Current Price from $79.99
    Pros Great traction, Snug fit, No drop, Lightweight,
    Cons Tight fit, Potentially weak longterm materials, , ,
    Our Take:

    The Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner is a “barefoot” all-purpose athletic shoe that will give your feet comfortable in a variety of different activities.

    Whether its the gym or a jog in nature these trail runners provide lightweight support and enough traction to help you conquer your fitness goals.

    The Glove 4’s give you a nice snug feel with no drop in the back and the mid and then lots of room in the toes to give you the space you need up front.

    There’s good padding on the bottom and the sides without any rub in the back.

    You also get great depth on the bottom lugs to handle the surprises of the outdoors.

    Our only complaint is the snugness of the shoe in the middle and the back is a bit narrow.

    For most people, this isn’t a problem, but for those with wider feet just be aware that these can fit tight.

    Long-term durability can also be problematic in some of these shoes as Merrell does experience complaints of their heels wearing out fast but this can be a case by case basis.

    Read our full review of the Merrell Women’s Glove 4 Trail Runner

Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Women's Trail Runners Buying Guide 2019

How to Pick

Trail Runner Advantages

  1. Weight – This is a no-brainer.  While most hiking boots weigh 3-4 pounds, most trail runners weigh around a pound.  Not only does this help your feet but keeps up the pace with less overall soreness.
  2. Breathability– Trail runners are light, and usually built with mesh and Gore-Tex for water protection.
  3. Flexibility – Along with a high torsional rigidity, most trail runners are built to get beat up.  Along with a strong grippy sole and tough uppers, these shoes should easily contour to your feet’s needs and be easy to break in.  Also keep in mind, despite not being touted as waterproof, if your trail runner gets wet it doesn’t take much to dry and won’t weigh you down if they do get soggy.  Even better, there are a number of trail runners that are sold as waterproof.

Trail Runner Disadvantages

  1. Little Ankle Or Foot Protection – In a trail runner you sacrifice the full foot and ankle protection you get from a boot.  Most ankle and foot injuries on the trail happen in shoes.  Unless sold as waterproof you’ll probably deal with water and rocks inside your shoe at some point as well.
  2. Cheaper Materials – Many trail runners are made cheaply in foreign countries and can fall apart by just looking at them the wrong way.  They can have all the features in the world, but if the seams can’t hold and the laces quickly whither away then they’re no good.

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Nick P

Nick spent his mostly unsupervised youth raising hell in the woods and ponds of 16 Acres in Springfield, MA (AKA Hell's Acres). He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves hitting the northeast trails when his schedule allows and camping on his roof deck when it doesn't.

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