Selecting women's Trail running shoes,women's Performance trail shoes,women's Trail running shoes recomendations
Home>> Gear:: Women's Trail Running Shoes for Adventure Racing and Endurance Competitions
Trail Running Shoe Recommendations: The following information is provided to assist adventure racers and trail runners in selecting the appropriate shoe for optimal performance in both trail running training and racing. Trail running shoes have a lower profile and wider base for greater stability. General trail running shoe characteristics to think about:
  • Low profile
  • High traction soles this includes specialized "sticky" rubber for rock running and scrambling. For example: the top section of "Old Rag."
  • Stable, wider base
  • Toe box protection (this trend is declining, opting for lighter shoes similar to traditional road running shoes, but should be considered if you expect exceptionally rugged terrain, e.g. Hard Rock 100, adventure racing, etc...

  • Increased mid-sole cushioning for running over rocky terrain

  • Many have Gore Tex construction for extreme weather conditions (this can lead to over heating during the summer).  This is a great feature for sustained snow running (especially wet snow).
  • Quick drying--this may be at odds with the feature above
  • Summer trail or adventure racing--look for mesh with highly breathable and the ability to drain water for course that feature river crossings and/or swamps
  • Shoe weight--If you are primarily competing in shorter races consider a light weight shoe similar to the La Sportiva Slingshot. Many of the 2008 trail shoe models are lighter than their predecessor.
  • If you are racing in ultras consider more cushioning, support and stability for the long haul.  This also depends on how how light on your feet you be at mile 75--some runners will still want the lighter shoe with more feel for the trail.

Running shoe manufacturers recognize the market potential of trail running shoes and there are now countless styles from both traditional running shoe product companies and climbing shoe manufacturers as well as traditional hiking boot product companies which leads to confusion for the first time running trail shoe buyer.  Trail running shoes run the gamut from light hikers to racing flats with very sticky outer sole and little lateral support.

After considering the trail running shoe characteristics listed above, match the trail running shoe to the most likely set of conditions.  If your primary trail running use consists of "rails-to-trails" terrain with reasonably smooth and even surface then you might consider a lighter weight trail running model or even a traditional road racing shoe.  Having just completed the Deadwood Trail Marathon, most runners did not have traditional trail running shoes, but opted for road running footwear.  Given the current vast number of shoes on the market, I recommend at least two different shoes: A light model for the summer and a more weather resistant model for the winter months.  Consider Gore Tex shoes if you are using the trail running shoes for snowshoe racing also.  Even in the coldest conditions the warmth of your feet melt some of the accumulated snow and over several hours will lead to wet feet.  Also, seriously consider using low cut gaiter in snow with or without the snowshoes.

Winter trail running tip :  Use short hex shaped head machine screws to provide traction on ice and packed snow. Screw the hex screws into the sole of the running shoe (the hex head provides the traction not the point) being careful not to damage air bladders.  More on this technique from Matt Carpenter's Sky Runner's site.  I used 1/4 inch screws last year and had absolutely excellent traction on ice and packed snow.  This technique does not provide a great deal of traction in deep powder because there is nothing for the head of the screw to bite into.

Bottom Line: Select a trail running shoe to fit the type of terrain (water crossings?), race distance, and weather conditions.  I have used a couple different Salomon shoes for adventure racing including the XA series.  I have used the La Sportiva Slingshot for shorter trail races and interval training sessions and the Axis Eagle V for the Leadville 100 Trail Race.  I have included two on-line stores I have successfully used in the past.


Ecco USA, Inc Attack Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Tired of smoldering hot feet during your summer runs? Try out the well-ventilated Ecco Womens Attack Trail Running Shoe.

GoLite Carbon Fyre Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Rough, steep, loose trails call for the extremely aggressive GoLite Womens Carbon Fyre Trail Running Shoe.

GoLite Spike Tail 2 Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Loose, steep, scree-covered trails dont stand a chance against the comfort and protection of the GoLite Womens Spike Tail 2 Trail Running Shoe.

GoLite Sun Dragon 2 Shoe - Women's

Improved fit, support, and ventilation are some of the updates to the successful Womens Sun Dragon 2 Shoe from GoLite.

GoLite Trail Fly Trail Running Shoes - Women's

GoLite made the Trail Fly Womens Trail Running Shoes for runners who consider ten-miles in the woods to be a morning jog.

GoLite Versa Force Shoe - Women's

On the trail itself or on the way there, the GoLite Womens Versa Force Shoe provides exceptional cushioning, support, and traction.

Icebug MR BUGrip Shoes - Women's

The Icebug Womens MR BUGrip Trail Running Shoe grips the ground in a whole new way. Dont rely on rubber alone to keep you upright on slick surfacesthese trail shoes soles feature dynamic carbide ... more info.

Inov 8 F-Lite 230 Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Inov 8 created the Womens F-Lite 230 Trail Running Shoe to give you versatile footwear that youll be stoked to both train with and use on your race day.

Inov 8 FlyRoc 310 Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Trail runners and adventure racers alike have found a dependable, supportive companion in the Inov 8 Womens FlyRoc 310 Trail Running Shoes.

Inov 8 FlyRoc 345 GTX Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Slip into the waterproof breathable protection of the Inov 8 Womens FlyRoc 345 GTX Trail Running Shoes when wet, muddy trails threaten to end your day in the hills.

Inov 8 Mudclaw 270 Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Inov 8 outfitted the Womens Mudclaw 270 Trail Running Shoe with one of the most-aggressive outsoles available to give you confidence on steep, loose, rugged terrain.

Inov 8 Roclite 282 Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Train for the 50- or 100-mile Grand Teton Race while wearing the Inov 8 Womens Roclite 282 Trail Running Shoe. Inov 8 built this rugged shoe for off-trail ultra distance runs.

Inov 8 Roclite 312 GTX Trail Running Shoe - Women's

The Inov 8 Womens Roclite 312 GTX Trail Running Shoe includes Fascia-band support to aid your stride and reduce foot fatigue over long distances.

KEEN Shellrock Trail Run Shoe - Women's

The seamless softshell uppers on the Keen Womens Shellrock Trail Running Shoes battle spring conditions without suffocating your feet, while the lightweight design takes a load off your legs.

KEEN Shellrock WP Day Hiking Shoe - Women's

The KEEN Womens Shellrock WP Trail Running Shoes use softshell uppers and waterproof breathable eVENT inserts to protect against all moisture without making your feet feel clammy.

KEEN Wasatch Crest Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Support your feet sufficiently on your next trail run with the Keen Womens Wasatch Crest Trail Running Shoes. They have an S3 heel support structure that supports your foot on impact, which lowers ... more info.

KEEN Wasatch Crest WP Trail Run Shoes - Women's

eVent fabric on the Keen Womens Wasatch Crest WP Trail Run Shoes provides waterproof breathable protection for your endurance trail runs.

La Sportiva Crosslite Racing Shoe - Women's

Though the La Sportiva Womens Crosslite Racing Shoe weighs next to nothing, that doesnt mean it cant have a well-cushioned, mud-shedding outsole.

La Sportiva Fireblade Trail Running Shoes - Women's

A triple-density midsole makes the La Sportiva Fireblade Womens Trail Running Shoes a comfortable choice for long distances whether you run on pavement or dirt.

La Sportiva Imogene Trail Running Shoe - Women's

As the most cushioned trail running shoe in La Sportivas line, the Womens Imogene provides first-class comfort on the longest runs of the season.

La Sportiva Rajas Running Shoe - Women's

The La Sportiva Rajas womens trail running shoe rules the kingdom off the beaten path. When trails turn rugged, smart runners turn to the Rajas.

La Sportiva Ultranord GTX-XCR Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Sloppy, snowy trails dont have anything on the traction and water-resistance of the La Sportiva Ultranord Womens GTX-XCR Trail Running Shoes.

Lafuma Lady Elektron Trail Running Shoe

Wear the Lafuma Womens Lady Elektron Trail Running Shoes, and enjoy the dialed fit you get from Lafumas Twin Lace system.

Lowa Celeste Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Lowa took the softshell fabric that makes your spring jacket so comfy and practical and incorporated it into the Lowa Womens Celeste Trail Running Shoes.

Merrell Cruise Control Trail Running Shoe - Women's

You can actually see the medial cushioning tubes on the Merrell Womens Cruise Control Trail Running Shoes, so you know Merrell isnt just spraying about their TrailSpring support for over-pronators.

Merrell Overdrive ll Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Airmesh on the Merrell Womens Overdrive II Trail Running Shoes bless your feet with cool air, while the low-profile uppers and trail-balanced lasts provide support for fast runs over challenging ... more info.

Merrell Overdrive Trail Running Shoes - Women's

The trail can change as fast as you run. The Merrell Womens Overdrive Trail Running Shoes prepare your feet for whatever lies ahead. This adventure racer inhibits overpronation and cushions ... more info.

Merrell Siren Sport Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Four-way-stretch mesh uppers decrease foot sweat in the Merrell Womens Siren Sport Trail Running Shoes, while rubber bumpers at the toes and heels and leather straps across the tops increase ... more info.

Montrail Continental Divide Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Move mountains under your Gryptonite soles with the Montrail Womens Continental Divide Trail Running Shoes. Montrail made the wide-fitting shoes for athletes who aggressively trail run.

Montrail Hardrock Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Inspired by the Hardrock 100 ultra race, the Montrail Hardrock Trail Running Shoe excels on the rough, rocky terrain of its namesake.

Montrail Hardrock Trail Running Shoe - Womens

The Montrail Hardrock, inspired by the Hardrock 100 ultra race, is built for the rough, rocky terrain of its namesake.

Montrail Highlander Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Lace up the Montrail Womens Highlander for a close-fitting trail runner that will keep your feet super comfy all day long.

Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR Trail Running Shoe - Women's

The Montrail Hurricane XCR is a waterproof-breathable bootie made with GoreTex XCR barrier and high-performance trail running features. Chosen training shoe of ultramarathon legend David Horton, it ... more info.

Montrail Nitrus Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Montrail built the stable, rugged, comfortable Womens Nitrus Trail Running Shoes for those who log a lot of miles.

Montrail Streak Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Shock absorption in trail shoes is important. So is underfoot protection, traction on wet and dry surfaces, and lightweight, breathable uppers. The Montrail Womens Streak Trail Running Shoes have ... more info.

Montrail Vitesse Trail Running Shoe - Women's

The Montrail Vitesse Trail Running Shoe is a hardcore shoe whose unique design has earned it a rabid following amongst runners who dont care much for pavement.

Montrail Wildwood TR - Women's

Built for all-terrain runners and designed for women, the Montrail Womens Wildwood TR Trail Running Shoe combines the durability, protection, and stability of a trail shoe with the cushion, support, ... more info.

Oboz Ignition Trail Running Shoe - Women's

The Oboz Womens Ignition Trail Running Shoes provide a snug fit and protect your feet from trail debris as you run.

Pearl Izumi Peak XC Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Running for miles over rocky terrain can be hard on the bottoms of your feet. Thank goodness for the Pearl Izumi Womens Peak XC Trail Running Shoes.

Pearl Izumi Syncro Pace Running Shoes - Women's

You dont have to break in the Pearl Izumi Mens Syncro Pace Running Shoes, theyre comfortable right out of the box.

Pearl Izumi Syncro Seek 2 Trail Running Shoes - Women's

If youre a fan of both trail and road running, youll be a fan of the Pearl Izumi Womens Syncro Seek 2 Trail Running Shoes.

Pearl Izumi SyncroFloat 2 Trail Running Shoes - Women's

The Pearl Izumi Womens Syncro Float 2 Running Shoes are ideal for runners who run about three miles a day.

Pearl Izumi SyncroSeek 2 GTX Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Lace up the Pearl Izumi Womens syncroSeek 2 GTX Trail Running Shoes and head out to log some miles on the road less traveledthen continue on to the trail less traveled.

Salomon Speed Comp Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Start your morning off rightslip into the Salomon Womens Speed Comp Trail Running Shoes, yank the Quicklaces tight, and hit the trail.

Salomon Trail Pro 2 Trail Running Shoes - Women's

Mile after mile, the Salomon Trail Pro 2 Trail Running shoes advanced cushioning system and womens-specific last keep your stride smooth, cushioned, and under control.

Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX Trail Running Shoe - Women's

The Salomon Womens XA Pro 3D Ultra Trail Running Shoe excels at multisport adventure races and extended trail runs where comfort and durability are key. The Gore-Tex XCR seam-sealed inner booties let ... more info.

Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Salomon made the lightweight, shock-absorbing Womens XA Pro 3D Ultra Trail Run Shoe for everything from your morning run in the foothills to your trail running excursion along the Appalachian Trail.

Salomon XT Whisper Trail Running Shoe - Women's

When ladies in the know gear up for a road race or light trail run, they pull on the feathery-light Salomon Womens XT Whisper Trail Running Shoe.

Salomon XT Wings GTX Trail Running Shoe - Women's

Fly through rough, muddy trails when you pull on the Salomon Womens XT Wings GTX Trail Running Shoe. Thanks to a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane, moisture will stop short of reaching your ... more info.

Salomon XT Wings Trail Running Shoe - Women's

The Salomon Womens XT Wings Shoe boasts the rugged strength and durability for any trail run, but the comfort alone will have you looking for every chance to wear them.

Salomon XT Wings WP Shoe - Women's

As the newest incarnation from Salomons well-loved trail running line, the waterproof and ridiculously comfortable Womens XT Wings WP Shoe tackles the trails wet or dry and keeps the comfort going ... more info.

Other gear for adventure racing and backcountry travel: