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Gear and Technology

Brooks best: Trail running shoes

Trail running shoes
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Trail running is an adventurous, adrenaline-pumping form of running that goes beyond runner-friendly roads and the well-worn paths of city parks and leafy suburbs. But the thrill of exploring nature comes with unique challenges, making it essential to choose trail shoes that are designed to tackle them head-on.

The best trail running shoes should offer excellent grip, durability, and comfort—all while enabling you to adapt to varying trail conditions, from unpredictable weather to varying terrains such as dips, rocks, and root-strewn paths.

That’s why we offer a diverse range of trail running shoes designed to cater to all types of trail conditions and runner needs, ensuring comfortable, safe, and exhilarating running experiences. But which shoe is right for you? Whether you're a seasoned trail runner or a novice just starting your journey, Brooks has engineered a trail running shoe with your needs in mind. 

Trail Running Shoe

Step into the Brooks collection and find your perfect match

When you explore the impressive variety of Brooks trail shoes for men and women, you’ll quickly see that each is designed with a unique combination of features to address specific aspects of trail running, such as speed, cushioning, and energy return. By understanding the design and technology of each model, you can find the pair that's best for your trail running needs. 

1. Catamount

Best for: Trail racing, those seeking lightweight cushioning and speed.

The Catamount is a speedster's dream. Its lightweight construction, bolstered by ultra-light cushioning, ensures it won't weigh you down on the trails. This design works in tandem with the shoe's springy DNA FLASH midsole technology and the SkyVault propulsion plate, which offers an impressive energy return that aids in propelling you forward with every stride. The TrailTack rubber outsole provides excellent traction for quick uphill and downhill runs—even on mud and ice—while the ballistic rock shield protects against potential trail hazards. The Catamount is designed for adaptability and protection, ensuring you're ready to tackle varying trail conditions at speed without compromise.

Catamount 2 Trail Running Shoe

2. Cascadia

Best for: Technical terrain, stability, long-distance running.

The Cascadia is engineered for technical terrain. Its robust construction offers all-terrain stability and durable protection, making it an excellent choice for trail runners who frequent rocky, uneven paths. With Brooks’ proprietary Pivot Post System, the Cascadia ensures your foot stays level, no matter how uneven the trail. The shoe is lighter and softer than its previous iterations, thanks to the updated cushioning that adjusts to your stride, weight, and speed.

Cascadia 16 Trail Running Shoe

3. Cascadia GTX

Best for: Wet weather conditions, muddy trails, technical terrain.

The Cascadia GTX is the weatherproof sibling of the Cascadia. It sports a GORE-TEX waterproof upper, making it an excellent choice for running in wet or muddy conditions. With the same features as the Cascadia, like the all-terrain stability and durable protection, the Cascadia GTX adds an extra layer of weather resistance, ensuring your feet stay dry and comfortable no matter the weather.

Cascadia 16 GTX Trail Running Shoe

4. Caldera

Best for: Diverse terrains, enhanced durability, energy return.

The result of years of research and our team’s commitment to enhancing runner experiences on the trails, the Caldera improves upon the qualities that made the previous version of Caldera a trail favorite. Its midsole offers enhanced cushioning and energy return, while the shoe's upper has been redesigned for increased durability and a better fit to ensure it can withstand even the toughest trail conditions. Its multi-directional lugs offer excellent grip, while the shoe still maintains a responsive and energetic feel.

Caldera 6 Trail Running Shoe

5. Divide

Best for: New trail runners, less technical trails, reliable grip.

The Divide offers the perfect balance of comfort, protection, and grip. Its engineered mesh upper provides breathability while ensuring debris stays out. The shoe's light construction makes it an excellent choice for those new to trail running or those who prefer less technical trails. Exceptional midsole cushioning and the sticky TrailTack rubber outsole combine to offer a reliable and comfortable ride on a variety of surfaces.

Divide 3 Trail Running Shoe

Your favorite trail just met its match

Navigating trails requires a perfect blend of adaptability, comfort, and resilience. No matter your trail running needs or the conditions you face, Brooks offers innovative technology and a variety of options to ensure there's a shoe perfectly designed for your requirements. Take the first step in elevating your trail running experience by choosing the Brooks shoe designed with your trail running needs in mind.

Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.