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Gear and Technology

The best trail running gear to conquer any conditions

Best trail running gear
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Get trail running gear that tackles the elements head-on, so you can move with confidence. Here’s what to look for when shopping for trail running shoes, apparel, and accessories.

Slippery surfaces. Sharp rocks and roots. Unpredictable terrain. Trail running comes with plenty of challenges, which means you need dependable gear that can handle whatever nature throws at you. Let’s look at the features that make great trail gear and get you outfitted from head to toe, so you’re prepared for any conditions.

Brooks Trail Running Shoes

Shoes

A sturdy pair of trail running shoes is foundational to a safe ride. Look for a shoe with an aggressive outsole that provides excellent traction on various terrains. Opt for a lightweight design that offers flexibility and responsiveness, allowing for quick movements and agile navigation. You’ll also want a shoe with ample cushioning and support to absorb impact and provide stability on uneven surfaces. Finally, ensure a comfy fit with a secure lacing system and breathable materials to keep your feet cool and dry during long runs.

Here are our top picks for trail running shoes that go the distance:

Cascadia

For all-terrain stability and durable protection on tough trails, the Cascadia is a go-to. Grooves in the midsole compress and adapt for a smooth ride, while soft, lightweight DNA LOFT v2 cushioning absorbs impact without weighing you down. The TrailTack rubber outsole provides wet/dry traction, and the Ballistic Rock Shield protects against pebbles and debris, so you’re covered from all angles. Live in a wet climate? Try the Cascadia GTX, which includes all of the features of the 16, plus a GORE-TEX® membrane in the upper for waterproof trail runs.

Caldera

Designed for long-distance trail running, the Caldera offers plenty of cushioning without sacrificing weight, durability, or responsiveness. The redesigned midsole and outsole feature raised side walls and a widened platform to hold your foot securely for a stable ride, while the lightweight, quick-drying air mesh upper ensures breathability during long days on the trail. The Caldera also features a TrailTrack rubber outsole for excellent traction on wet or dry surfaces, and a TPU toe cap to protect toes from rocky terrain, so you can cover new ground with ease.

Ready to find your perfect pair? Read more about our top trail running shoes or take our Shoe Finder quiz for a personalized recommendation.

Brooks Trail running Apparel

Apparel

Hit your stride with trail running apparel that’s comfy, durable, and ready for any weather. Look for stretchy, lightweight tops and bottoms that offer freedom of movement, plus moisture-wicking materials to help you stay dry and cool throughout your run. Going deep into the woods? Opt for full-length pants with durable materials to help protect you against stray branches and pesky bugs. For fluctuating temperatures or seasonal transitions, a packable, waterproof jacket can help keep you protected from wind and rain. Also look for apparel with secure pockets for storing essentials like keys and energy gels.
Meanwhile, the entire High Point trail apparel collection is certified carbon neutral, so you can go hard with a lighter environmental impact!

Gear up for any conditions with these top contenders:

Tops

  • For blazing summer days, throw on the Distance short sleeve for men and women. It features super soft DriLayer® fabric that wicks sweat away to help keep you comfortable and dry, with UPF 50+ sun protection for added coolness.
  • Unpredictable weather? Get just-right comfort with the High Point Long Sleeve for men and women. It’s made of sweat-wicking fabric engineered for thermoregulation, keeping you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. The higher neckline will avoid any irritation when wearing a vest. Plus, the fitted silhouette is perfect for layering in the winter. Also available in short sleeve!

Bottoms

  • Keep your cool in the women’s High Point 3" 2-in-1 short 2.0 or the men’s High Point 5" 2-in-1 short 2.0, both of which feature a drawstring waistband for a secure, adjustable fit, sweat-wicking materials for comfort, and plenty of pockets to store your essentials. The pockets are smartly built into the waistband so that it reduces bouncing. 
  • Stay comfortable on rainy or stormy days with the High Point waterproof pants for men and women. Breathable fabric and ankle zips help prevent overheating, while the packable design lets you change when the weather does, for max convenience. The fabric offers 14k/14k rated protection, meaning the fabric needs to be under 14,000 millimeters (that's 14 meters!) of water before it starts leaking.

Outerwear

  • For cooler weather and late-night workouts, the Run Visible Thermal Hoodie for men and women will keep you shiver-free, while sweat-wicking DriLayer® Threshold fabric adds breathability so you won’t overheat. Plus, 3M™ Scotchlite™ Carbon Black Retroreflective technology keeps you visible after dark. 
  • Face the elements fearlessly with the High Point waterproof jacket for men and women. This weatherproof running jacket shields you from wind and rain while also packing down easily into itself for easy carrying if the weather improves. The hood is designed with a supported visor that allows space and functionality for a headlamp as well.
Brooks Trail running Accessories

Accessories

Gear up for your off-road adventures with the accessories you need to stay comfy on the trail. First up, a sturdy pair of sweat-wicking, quick-drying running socks with strategic cushioning can help reduce friction, minimize blisters, and keep your feet happy. Next, a breathable, lightweight running hat with an adjustable fit can make all the difference in bright, sunny weather and cold, wet weather. Depending on the time of day and how far you’re going, other accessories and supplies you may want to bring with you include: sunglasses, head lamp, GPS device, water, food, first aid kit. Get more tips on what to pack for trail running so you can stay safe and prepared.

Let’s get moving

If you’re new to venturing off the beaten path, check out our trail running tips for beginners. Ready to level up your gear? Start shopping our trail running collection online or visit your local store to find your new favorites.

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Disclaimer: 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.

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