Ready to hit the trials this year? There's no bad time to head out for a run in Australia thanks to our warmer than usual climate most of the year. Whether you're heading for the woods to conquer a twisty track, a mountain climb, or something tamer, it's one of the best activities accessible to all.
Of course if you're going to get out there you're going to need strong and sturdy shoes that will protect your feet and add support to your heels. Below you'll see the best mens trail running shoes that we believe are serious contenders for your next purchase.
All of these brands and models are available to buy in Australia through a variety of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, but most importantly they are all highly rated with thousands of reviews!
Why Trial Running?
Don't take it personally but for me running on the road or down the footpath is boring, and isn't much more appealing than running on a treadmill. The thought of seeing the same scenery for hours on end is enough to drive me nuts. That's why I love exploring uncharted territory, through the forest, up the mountains and over a wide variety of different terrains.
Trail running is a spiritual and invigorating experience, testing every muscle in your legs and arms as you twist and turn, ascend and descend, covering off-road terrain you may have never seen before.
It's this, that inspires expert trial runners to get out there daily, and weekend warriors to buy a pair of mens trail running shoes and do the same on their days off.
Best Mens Trail Running Shoes In Australia
1. Salomon Alphacross
The Salmon Alphacross is designed specifically for trail running enthusiasts. It is made out of different ribstop fabrics including nylon, which prevents tears and rips when running across environments such as gravel.
These shoes are maximised for comfort, with an EVA foam called EnergyCell which evenly reduces shock effects that come from making contact with the ground.
The insole is referred to as OrthoLite, and offers extra padding to absorb shock and cushion the foot.
The outer sole consists of Contragrip TD, which provides the perfect balance of traction and sturdiness. This allows for running on both damp or dry trails.
The Saloman Alphacross are available in a lace-up design. There are 3 different colourways to choose from. There is Sargasso Sea, black and white and lead.
2. TSLA Men's Barefoot
These trail running shoes from TSLA are ideal for those who like to run barefoot. These shoes protect the soles from rough surfaces, whilst still encouraging balance.
The upper of each shoe is made out of a tough material which prevents the foot from getting dirty.
The outer sole is made out of rubber which increases traction. There is a diamond groove on the outsole for performance in any environment, wet or dry.
These shoes come with a dura nylon band for a customisable fit. There is a PU shank to protect the heel. One of the best features of these shoes is that they can be folded in half for storage.
There are a variety of colours such as black, blue, orange, navy, grey and more.
3. ALTRA Men's AL0A4PE5 Lone Peak 4.5
These shoes from ALTRA are designed for men who are interested in trail running and hiking.
The insole consists of an EVA foam which absorbs shock and provides comfort for the foot. One of the best features is ALTRA’s FOOTSHAPE Toe Box which offers more room, perfect for those with wider feet.
The outer sole is etched with a Trailclaw design for enhanced grip. There is also Maxtrac for resisting damage against tough terrain such as gravel.
These shoes also incorporate Balanced Cushioning which enables better running posture for low-impact sessions.
The Lone Peak 4.5 include a Gaitertrap for releasing small rocks beneath the shoe.
There are various colour options available. There is carbon, gray/orange, olive/willow, lime/red and the classic black.
4. Merrell Men's Trail Glove 5 Sneaker
The Trail Glove 5 is specifically catered for those who enjoy barefoot running. These shoes are 100% vegan and free from animal products.
These lace-closure shoes incorporate a mesh lining and TPU which provides flexibility, whilst improving air flow. M-Fresh ensures that odour and foul smells do not build up. The design stems from Merrell Barefoot 2 for a mixture of comfort and balance.
There is a unique nylon arch shank for removing shock on the calves and feet, minimising the risk of strains.
The rubber sole is Vibram, a signature feature from Merrell. Combined with the TrailProtect Pad, these two components offer both comfort and traction in several different environments.
There are several different colours to choose from, including black, metallic, gold, green and more.
5. New Balance Men's 410v6 Cushioning Trail Running Shoes
The New Balance Men’s 410v6 is great for those who enjoy trail running and hiking. With a mixture of both leather and artificial fabrics, these shoes provide both sturdiness and comfort against rough terrains.
The upper is constructed out of leather and strong plastics, which ensures adequate ventilation.
There is an ACTEVA midsole for maximised comfort, in addition to an XLT for extra support. This ensures that the feet are free from damage from sharp debris such as gravel.
The outsole is a deep rubber layer with extensive indentations. This increases the amount of traction, and allows movement on both wet and dry surfaces.
The 410v6 is available in several finishes. There is black, black/Castlerock, team royal/alpha orange and more.
6. adidas TERREX Two Parley Trail Running Shoes
These trail running shoes from adidas’ TERREX line-up is designed to handle all outdoor terrain, making it perfect for hikers.
The upper is a waterproof material which prevents the feet from getting wet, even when jogging through puddles.
There is a lace closure which allows the runner to decide the snugness of the shoes. The foam is dense and rigid, whilst still maintaining flexibility for the foot to arch properly. Thanks to EVA cushioning, the foot is protected from high shocks.
The outsole consists of thick extensions which allow for traction and firm attachment. This is ideal for walking on mudding surfaces.
Like majority of TERREX shoes, there are lots of colours to choose from. This includes black, orange, crystal white, grey and more.
What to Look for in a Trail Running Shoe?
Whatever your style of running (or high speed walking), we think that everyone can be an exceptionally good trail runner with the help of a decent pair of trail running shoes.
The first (and most important) thing to consider before purchasing trail running shoes is the size of your feet and it goes well beyond your normal size (like sneakers). You'll also want to consider whether you need wide or narrow, high or low, neutral or stable, stiff or pliable design.
To determine this you'll need to consider the trials you'll be tackling. Are they run-of-the-mill tracks, or are they off-the-beaten track, up and down hills. Will you need loose or firm footing? Will you be crossing lakes or rivers, and if so will you need a waterproof or water-resistant pair of shoes.
Rigid shoes that offer deep lugs (5mm+) are often the shoe of choice on poor trails as they'll offer the best stability, but you'll have to forego the comfort as well as the possibility of running on asphalt.
Hybrid shoes (2-4mm) are much softer and are perfect for on-road running, which means the trails they are suited for should be soft, well looked after reserves or national parks.
For beginners you'd probably be better choosing a hybrid style of trail running shoe, with advanced buyers (or your second purchase) being a rigid model as you start to explore other trails.