Best Lightweight Trail Running Shoes for Men and Women In 2023

Best Lightweight Trail Running Shoes for Men and Women

Trail running is an excellent way to stay fit and enjoy the great outdoors. It goes without saying, that the most important bit of gear needed for this pursuit is a solid pair of trail runners.

More to the point, lightweight trail running shoes are essential, as they provide the necessary support and protection without weighing you down.

When it comes to choosing the best lightweight trail running shoes, there are several factors to consider. The first thing to keep in mind is the terrain you’ll be running on.

Different trails require different types of shoes, so it’s essential to choose a pair that’s appropriate for the terrain you’ll be tackling. Other factors to consider include the fit, cushioning, and durability of the shoes.

At Happily Ever Hiker, we’ve spent hours researching lightweight trail running shoes to identify the top performers. We looked at a range of factors, including the shoes’ weight, traction, and breathability, to determine which ones offered the best combination of comfort and performance.

In this article, we’ll be sharing our top picks for the best lightweight trail running shoes, so you can find the perfect pair for your next trail run.

Best Lightweight Trail Running Shoes

Product
ALTRA Superior 5
Best for Women
ALTRA Women's Lone Peak 6
Best for Men
ALTRA Men's Lone Peak 6
Brooks Women's Cascadia 16
ALTRA Men's Superior 5
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ALTRA Women's AL0A5483 Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate - 8.5 M US
ALTRA Women's AL0A548E Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Navy/Light Blue - 9 M US
ALTRA Men's AL0A547L Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Gray - 10.5 M US
Brooks Women's Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe - Pink/Flambe/Cobalt - 8 Medium
ALTRA Men's AL0A546Z Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Red - 10.5 M US
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Amazon Prime
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Amazon Prime
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Product
ALTRA Superior 5
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ALTRA Women's AL0A5483 Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate - 8.5 M US
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Best for Women
Product
ALTRA Women's Lone Peak 6
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ALTRA Women's AL0A548E Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Navy/Light Blue - 9 M US
Prime
Amazon Prime
Best for Men
Product
ALTRA Men's Lone Peak 6
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ALTRA Men's AL0A547L Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Gray - 10.5 M US
Prime
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Product
Brooks Women's Cascadia 16
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Brooks Women's Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe - Pink/Flambe/Cobalt - 8 Medium
Prime
Amazon Prime
Product
ALTRA Men's Superior 5
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ALTRA Men's AL0A546Z Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Red - 10.5 M US
Prime
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We know how important it is to have the right gear when it comes to trail running. One of the most important pieces of equipment are your shoes.

Finding the right pair of shoes can make all the difference in your performance and overall experience on the trails. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best lightweight trail running shoes on the market.

These shoes are not only lightweight, but also durable, comfortable and provide the necessary support for your feet. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced trail runner, we’ve got you covered with our top picks.

ALTRA Men’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe

ALTRA Men's AL0A547L Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Gray - 10.5 M US

If you’re looking for a comfortable and durable trail running shoe, the ALTRA Men’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe is a great option.

Pros

  • The MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern provide excellent traction on a variety of surfaces.
  • The balanced cushioning platform encourages low-impact landings and allows you to go further on the trail.
  • The FootShape toe box allows your toes to relax and spread out naturally, making for a more comfortable running experience.

Cons

  • Some users may find the shoe to be too wide, especially in the heel area.
  • The cushioning may be too soft for some runners who prefer a firmer feel.
  • The shoe may not be as breathable as other trail running shoes.

In our experience, the ALTRA Men’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe is a great choice for those who prioritize comfort and traction on the trail.

The MaxTrac outsole and TrailClaw lug pattern allowed us to focus on the trail ahead without worrying about slipping or losing traction. We also appreciated the balanced cushioning platform, which made it easier to go further on the trail without experiencing discomfort or fatigue.

However, we did notice that the shoe may be too wide for some users, especially in the heel area. Additionally, the cushioning may be too soft for those who prefer a firmer feel. Lastly, the shoe may not be as breathable as other trail running shoes, which may be an issue in hotter weather.

Overall, we recommend the ALTRA Men’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe for those who prioritize comfort and traction on the trail. With its MaxTrac outsole, TrailClaw lug pattern, and FootShape toe box, this shoe is a great option for trail runners who want to go further and stay comfortable on the trail.

ALTRA Men's AL0A547L Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Gray - 10.5 M US
  • 🏆 RUNNER'S WORLD 2022 AWARD WINNER: Best Trail Shoe 🏆
  • Stay Focused: With our MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern for grippy traction, you can focus on the trail infront of you
  • Go Further: Balanced Cushioning platform places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings
  • Run Naturally: Our FootShape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally
  • Get Comfortable: Altra EGO midsoles provide a responsive yet soft ride

ALTRA Women’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe

ALTRA Women's AL0A548E Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Navy/Light Blue - 9 M US

We highly recommend purchasing the ALTRA Women’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe for its comfortable fit and exceptional grip on the trail.

Pros

  • The MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern provide excellent traction on any terrain.
  • The Balanced Cushioning platform encourages low-impact landings, making for a comfortable run.
  • The FootShape toe box allows your toes to relax and spread out naturally, reducing the risk of blisters.

Cons

  • The shoes can be difficult to slide on at first due to the snug fit.
  • The color may differ slightly from the product image, so be aware of that when making your purchase.
  • Some users have reported receiving mislabeled shoes, so double-check your order upon arrival.

We recently took the ALTRA Women’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe out for a spin and were impressed with its performance.

The grip on the trail was exceptional, and we never felt like we were slipping or sliding. The Balanced Cushioning platform made for a comfortable run, even on rocky terrain.

The FootShape toe box was a game-changer for us. Our toes were able to relax and spread out naturally, which reduced the risk of blisters and made for a more enjoyable run. The shoes were also lightweight and breathable, which helped keep our feet cool during longer runs.

While the shoes can be difficult to slide on at first due to the snug fit, once they’re on, they fit like a glove. We did notice that the color of the shoes differed slightly from the product image, so be aware of that when making your purchase.

Overall, we highly recommend the ALTRA Women’s Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe for anyone looking for a comfortable and reliable trail running shoe.

Sale
ALTRA Women's AL0A548E Lone Peak 6 Trail Running Shoe, Navy/Light Blue - 9 M US
  • 🏆 RUNNER'S WORLD 2022 AWARD WINNER: Best Trail Shoe 🏆
  • Stay Focused: With our MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern for grippy traction, you can focus on the trail infront of you
  • Go Further: Balanced Cushioning platform places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings
  • Run Naturally: Our FootShape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally
  • Get Comfortable: Altra EGO midsoles provide a responsive yet soft ride

ALTRA Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe

ALTRA Women's AL0A5483 Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate - 8.5 M US

If you’re looking for a lightweight trail running shoe that offers comfort, grip, and durability, the ALTRA Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The MaxTrac outsole and TrailClaw lug pattern provide excellent traction on all types of terrain, helping you stay focused on the trail ahead.
  • The Balanced Cushioning platform encourages low-impact landings, helping you go further without causing unnecessary strain on your joints.
  • The Altra FootShape toe box allows your toes to spread and encourages proper, low-impact form throughout your run, helping you stay comfortable for longer.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the shoes run small, so you may need to order a half size up to ensure a proper fit.
  • The shoes are relatively expensive compared to some other trail running shoes on the market.
  • The shoes may not be suitable for runners with very high arches or other specific foot conditions.

We recently had the opportunity to test out the ALTRA Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, and we were impressed by its performance.

The shoes are incredibly lightweight, making them ideal for trail running and other outdoor activities where you need to be agile and nimble on your feet. The grip provided by the MaxTrac outsole and TrailClaw lug pattern is excellent, and we felt confident and secure on a variety of surfaces, from loose gravel to wet rocks.

One of the standout features of the ALTRA Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe is the Balanced Cushioning platform. This technology helps to position your heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings and helps to reduce the risk of injury. We found that this feature really helped to reduce fatigue and soreness, even after longer runs.

Another thing we appreciated about the ALTRA Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe is the Altra FootShape toe box. This design allows your toes to spread out naturally, which can help to improve your balance and form. We found that this feature really helped us to maintain proper posture and avoid unnecessary strain on our feet and legs.

Overall, we would definitely recommend the ALTRA Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe to anyone who is looking for a lightweight, comfortable, and durable trail running shoe. While the shoes may not be the most affordable option on the market, we think that the quality and performance they offer make them well worth the investment.

ALTRA Women's AL0A5483 Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Dark Slate - 8.5 M US
  • Stay Focused: With our MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern for grippy traction, you can focus on the trail infront of you
  • Go Further: Balanced Cushioning platform places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings
  • Stay Comfortable: Signature Altra FootShape toe boxes allow your toes to spread and encourages proper, low-impact form throughout your run
  • Lock In: The wrap-around fit keeps your foot stable so all you have to do is lace up
  • Removeable StoneGuard

Brooks Women’s Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe

Brooks Women's Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe - Pink/Flambe/Cobalt - 8 Medium

If you’re looking for a reliable and comfortable trail running shoe, the Brooks Women’s Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe is a great option.

Pros

  • The release grooves in the midsole provide enhanced adaptability on rough terrain.
  • The TrailTack rubber outsole provides wet-dry traction, making it suitable for all terrains and conditions.
  • The DNA LOFT v2 Technology provides softer and lighter cushioning, giving added comfort to the foot.

Cons

  • Some users may find the shoe to be a bit heavy.
  • The shoe may not be suitable for those with wider feet.
  • The price point may be a bit high for some users.

We’ve been using the Brooks Women’s Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe for a few weeks now, and we’re impressed with its performance.

The shoe is designed to adapt quickly to changing terrain, providing stability and comfort to the runner. The release grooves in the midsole allow for enhanced adaptability on rough terrain, while the Ballistic Rock Shield now includes vertical grooves to provide side-to-side adaptability.

The DNA LOFT v2 Technology provides 10% softer and 20% lighter cushioning than previous models, making it comfortable for long runs. The TrailTack rubber outsole provides wet-dry traction, ensuring high performance on all trails and conditions. The drainage ports allow water to escape quickly, and the gusset keeps out sand and small debris, making it suitable for all environments.

However, some users may find the shoe to be a bit heavy, and it may not be suitable for those with wider feet. Additionally, the price point may be a bit high for some users. Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and comfortable trail running shoe, the Brooks Women’s Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe is a great option.

Sale
Brooks Women's Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe - Pink/Flambe/Cobalt - 8 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Trail Runners who want to explore and feel protected on changing terrain. This shoe is made to adapt quickly so runners stay comfortable and stable. Predecessor: Cascadia 15
  • SUPPORT IN ALL TERRAIN: Release grooves in the midsole allow for enhanced adaptability on rough terrain, while the Ballistic Rock Shield now includes vertical grooves to provide side-to-side adaptability. Updated construction allows the shoe to adapt, flex, and protect the foot in all terrains.
  • CUSHION AND COMFORT: New DNA LOFT v2 Technology provides 10% softer and 20% lighter cushioning than previous models. New 2mm of foam in the midsole gives added comfort.
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE IN ALL ENVIRONMENTS: TrailTack rubber outsole provides wet-dry traction, drainage ports allow water to escape quickly, and gusset keeps out sand and small debris, allowing for high performance on all trails and conditions.

ALTRA Men’s Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe

ALTRA Men's AL0A546Z Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Red - 10.5 M US

If you’re looking for a lightweight trail running shoe that offers comfort, stability, and durability, the ALTRA Men’s Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe is a great option.

Pros

  • The MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern provide excellent traction on all types of terrain, so you can stay focused on the trail ahead.
  • The Balanced Cushioning platform encourages low-impact landings and proper form throughout your run, helping you go further without discomfort.
  • The Signature Altra FootShape toe boxes allow your toes to spread and relax, reducing the risk of blisters and other foot injuries.

Cons

  • Some users have reported that the cushioning is minimal, so these shoes may not be the best choice for long runs on rocky terrain.
  • A few users have found that the shoes run small, so you may need to order a half size larger than your usual size.
  • The grip on the sole may wear down quickly, especially if you frequently run on wet or slippery surfaces.

We recently tried out the ALTRA Men’s Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe on some challenging trails, and we were impressed by the shoe’s performance.

The MaxTrac outsole and TrailClaw lug pattern provided excellent traction on both rocky and muddy terrain, and the Balanced Cushioning platform helped us maintain a comfortable stride throughout our run.

One of the standout features of these shoes is the Signature Altra FootShape toe boxes, which allowed our toes to spread and relax, reducing the risk of blisters and other foot injuries. The wrap-around fit also kept our feet stable and secure, so we didn’t have to worry about slipping or sliding on uneven terrain.

However, we did notice that the cushioning is minimal, which may not be ideal for runners who prefer more support or comfort. Additionally, the grip on the sole may wear down quickly, especially if you frequently run on wet or slippery surfaces.

Overall, if you’re looking for a lightweight trail running shoe that offers excellent traction, a comfortable fit, and a natural feel, the ALTRA Men’s Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe is definitely worth considering.

Sale
ALTRA Men's AL0A546Z Superior 5 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Red - 10.5 M US
  • Stay Focused: With our MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern for grippy traction, you can focus on the trail infront of you
  • Go Further: Balanced Cushioning platform places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings
  • Stay Comfortable: Signature Altra FootShape toe boxes allow your toes to spread and encourages proper, low-impact form throughout your run
  • Lock In: The wrap-around fit keeps your foot stable so all you have to do is lace up
  • Removeable StoneGuard

Buying Guide

When choosing the best lightweight trail running shoes, there are several features to consider to ensure you get the right product for your needs. Here are some factors to take into account:

Foot Type

The first thing to consider is your foot type. Knowing your foot type will help you choose the right shoe that will provide you with the necessary support and comfort. There are three types of feet: flat, neutral, and high arches.

Trail Type

The type of trail you will be running on is another factor to consider. Different trails require different types of shoes. For example, if you will be running on rocky terrain, you will need a shoe with a sturdy sole to protect your feet.

Best Lightweight Trail Running Shoes guide

Fit

The fit of the shoe is essential to ensure comfort and prevent injuries. When trying on shoes, make sure there is enough room in the toe box, and your heel is securely in place. You should also consider the width of the shoe, as some brands offer different widths.

Material

The material of the shoe is another factor to consider. Look for shoes made of breathable materials that will keep your feet cool and dry. You should also consider the durability of the shoe, as you will want a shoe that can withstand the wear and tear of trail running.

Also read – Are Running Shoes Good for Hiking?

Weight

As the name suggests, lightweight trail running shoes are designed to be lightweight, which is essential for trail running. The weight of the shoe should be considered as it can affect your performance and comfort.

Traction

Traction is crucial when running on trails. Look for shoes with a sole that provides good traction on different types of terrain, such as mud, rocks, and loose gravel.

In summary, when choosing the best lightweight trail running shoes, consider your foot type, the type of trail you will be running on, the fit, material, weight, and traction of the shoe. By taking these factors into account, you can find the perfect shoe to meet your needs.

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