Trail Runners For Winter Hiking: My Top 6 Choices

Why trail runners for winter hiking? They keep your feet warm and comfortable even in long hikes. Learn more about them in our guide. To know our top choices, refer the table below:

Men's
Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Running,...
Women's
ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 7 Shoes, 10,...
Best Value
TSLA Men's Trail Running Shoes, Lightweight...
Material
100% Synthetic
Leather and Mesh
Mesh and split leather
Sole
Rubber
Rubber
Rubber
Weight
0.66 lbs
1.9 lbs
0.2 lbs
Prime
-
-
Men's
Salomon Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Running,...
Brand
Material
100% Synthetic
Sole
Rubber
Weight
0.66 lbs
Prime
-
Women's
ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 7 Shoes, 10,...
Brand
Material
Leather and Mesh
Sole
Rubber
Weight
1.9 lbs
Prime
Best Value
TSLA Men's Trail Running Shoes, Lightweight...
Brand
Material
Mesh and split leather
Sole
Rubber
Weight
0.2 lbs
Prime
-

I love going on hikes. With winter coming, I have been worried about going out without proper gear and, most importantly, shoes since we can always layer in clothes. 

I have been searching for a trail runner that I can wear when I go hiking. I don’t want to waste money on multiple shoes serving different purposes. 

I tried and tested over twenty shoes and shortlisted the best in each category. If you are also looking for the best trail runners for winter hiking, then I hope my list will help you out. 

I have shortlisted six of the best trail runners for winter hiking, three for men and three for women. In this writeup, I will explain:

  • Why I am suggesting trail runners for winter hiking as against normal running shoes
  • A detailed guide to choosing the best trail runners for winter hiking for you.
  • Top six trail runners for winter hiking depending upon price, performance, and overall value.
  • Answers to some important questions

Trail Runners Vs. Road Running Shoes

If you are new to hiking and running, you might be wondering how trail runners are different from normal road running shoes and why I am recommending them for hikes.

There are three parameters on which a trail runner differs from road running shoes.

Upper: 

The upper material in trail running shoes protects your feet from harsh weather and things you may encounter during your hiking or running. The trail runner’s upper have synthetic material and mesh to offer better protection while ensuring breathability.

In a running shoe, it is unlikely that you will need protection from debris or rocks while running on roads. The upper material of the running shoes is mesh, which keeps the shoe lightweight and breathable.

Midsoles: 

The midsoles are the layer between the upper material and the outsole of a shoe. A trail running shoe has a firmer midsole to offer support while running or climbing through uneven surfaces. Some trail runners will have a rock plate between the outsole and midsole to provide protection against sharp objects like rocks.

In a road running shoe, there is no need for protection from the impact on the road. For this, a road running shoe has softer cushioning in the midsoles, which reduces the effect of your feet hitting the ground on every step.

Trail Runners For Winter Hiking

Outsoles: 

This is one of the parameters on which a trail runner differs the most from a road running shoe. A trail runner has a more aggressive tread pattern with bigger and deeper lugs. The tread offers better traction and grip while running or hiking over rocky and uneven trails. The soft rubber material grips the track better.

The outsole on the road running shoe is firm and doesn’t have deep treads to offer a stable running experience on a smooth surface. The rubber outsole is firm and avoids easy wear from constant use on hard pavement.

To learn more about Trail Runners, watch this video:

https://youtu.be/bJOTN_D6tMk

How To Choose Trail Runners For Winter Hiking

Traction 

Trail running shoes are made to be worn in rough hilly terrains, and you would not want to slip while climbing or rocky terrains. Having better traction in a trail runner for winter hiking is essential to have better footing, even on snowy surfaces. 

Look for deep lugs with geometric patterns for better grip, and the geometric patterns also resist snow or mud sticking in the soles.

Stability 

The trail runners have a broad and firm base that is meant to offer more stability. Always look for features like midsoles and rock plates, as they provide protection from sharp rocks and provide better stability while stepping on uneven ground.

The heel-to-toe drop is another factor that affects the stability of a trail runner. It is the difference in height from the heel to the toe. The most common drop is 10mm, which is perfect for rearfoot runners and hikers. Zero-drop shoes offer a barefoot running experience while safeguarding your feet from rocks and other debris.

Can You Hike In Snow Boots

Comfort 

You are going to be wearing your trail runners for a long time when you go hiking. The shoes must be comfortable. The materials used in the trail runners and the build quality are responsible for the comfort. 

Choose a trail runner with mesh and synthetic upper material. The mesh offers breathability while allowing airflow making the shoes comfortable to wear for a long duration. The synthetic material keeps your feet warm and dry during cold winter days.

The closure of the trail runner also is responsible for the comfort. Choose a lace detailing which fits tightly and holds your feet even after hiking for miles. The tight fit will keep snow out.

Durability

The upper material of the trail runner should be resistant to easy wear and tear and provide protection from dirt and cold in winters. Having synthetic and mesh upper material offers more durability to the trail runners.

The outer soles of the trail runner are made of soft rubber to offer better grip on wet and smooth surfaces like snowy trails. You need to keep in mind that using trail runners on hard surfaces may cause the soles to wear down faster.

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Best Trail Runners For Winter Hiking

#1 Salomon Trail Running Shoes For Men

TITLE_Salomon Trail Running Shoes For Men

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Features

  • Traction: Score 9/10
  • Stability: Score 9.5/10
  • Comfort: Score 9.5/10
  • Durability: Score 8.5/10
  • Overall Score: 8.3/10

Technical Specifications 

  • Material: 100% Synthetic
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 0.661 pound
  • Colors Available: Seven
  • Compatible: Men
  • Brand: Salomon

Bottom Line

The Salomon Speedcross trail running shoes have 100% synthetic upper material, rubber outsole, and aggressive tread patterns, making them ideal for hiking during winters.

Pros: 

  • The material of this shoe is synthetic.
  • It is comfortable with a precise foothold.
  • It offers better cushioning with an EVA midsole.
  • Easy to wear and remove with strong lace.
  • The rubber soles on these shoes offer a better grip.

Cons: 

  • It is not suitable for hard ground.
  • The shoes run narrow and are not suitable for you if you have wide feet.

Details

Traction: These trail runners have an aggressive tread with arrow-shaped lugs. The arrow shape offers better grip and doesn’t let mud or snow stick to the soles. These shoes hold well in snow and debris and are thus ideal for winter hiking.

Stability: This shoe has a 10 mm heel-to-toe drop, making it feel slightly unstable while descending. The shoes are not lightweight, but the extra weight from the EVA midsole offers better cushioning and stability.

Comfort: The shoes have a mesh synthetic upper, which offers breathability making these shoes comfortable to wear for a longer period. With quick lace with one-pull tightening, the shoes fit nicely on your feet and hold them in place. The shoes have a narrow design which will not be comfortable for wide feet people. 

Durable: With synthetic upper material, these trail runners are highly durable. The rubber soles at the bottom wear evenly over a long duration of time. Do not use the shoes on a hard surface as it will make them wear down faster.

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#2 New Balance Trail Running Shoes For Men

TITLE_New Balance Trail Running Shoes For Men

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Features

  • Traction: Score 9/10
  • Stability: Score 8.5/10
  • Comfort: Score 8/10
  • Durability: Score 7.5/10
  • Overall Score: 7.2/10

Technical Specifications 

  • Material: Leather and Mesh
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Colors Available: Eight
  • Compatible: Men
  • Brand: New Balance

Bottom Line

The New balance trail runners are perfect for winter hiking with a breathable upper material that keeps your feet dry even when hiking in snow and all-terrain outsoles offer better grip and traction.

Pros: 

  • The rubber soles offer better grip in snow.
  • A comfort collar reduces irritation at the ankles.
  • The outsoles are compatible with all terrains.
  • It has a breathable upper material of leather and mesh.
  • NB inserts are soft and comfortable on the feet.

Cons: 

  • The shoe runs small in size, and you need to size up while buying.
  • These shoes are not suitable for people having wide feet.

Details

Traction: This trail runner has deep lugs in the sole, which offer better grip on a snowy surface, making it ideal for hiking in winters. The aggressive tread pattern provides better traction and doesn’t let the snow stick to the bottom of the shoes.

Stability: The NB ultra-soft insert in this trail runner offers better stability while hiking on rocky or uneven terrains. This trail runner has a bulky and firm base which makes it more stable even in snow.

Comfort: With leather and mesh upper material, this trail runner allows proper airflow for breathability. The shoes have a sturdy build and provide cushioning to your feet while hiking on rough terrains. A comfort collar offers you protection from irritation at the ankles.

Durable: The upper leather material is durable and doesn’t quickly wear down. The outsole is made of soft rubber, which wears down evenly and over a longer period. The soft rubber is built only for walking on smooth surfaces like snow, mud, or hilly terrains. It is not suitable for running on rigid pavements.

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#3 TSLA Trail Running Shoes For Men

TITLE_TSLA Trail Running Shoes For Men

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Features

  • Traction: Score 9/10
  • Stability: Score 9.5/10
  • Comfort: Score 9/10
  • Durability: Score 8/10
  • Overall Score: 8.5/10

Technical Specifications 

  • Material: Mesh and split leather
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 0.2 pound
  • Colors Available: Twenty-one
  • Compatible: Men
  • Brand: TSLA

Bottom Line

This TSLA trail runner is a lightweight shoe for men that offers better grip with grip pattern tread and a zero-drop sole providing a barefoot walking experience perfect for winter hiking.

Pros: 

  • With zero drop soles, these shoes let you have a barefoot walking position.
  • Slight cushioning at the bottom offers support to your feet.
  • It comes with a dura nylon band which offers a tight fit and enhanced support.
  • Rhombus pattern tread provides better grip in snow and mud.
  • The mesh fabric is breathable and long-lasting.
  • The upper material is dirt-proof and keeps the trail runner clean.
  • The trail runner is lightweight.

Cons: 

  • The shoes don’t have much cushioning at the bottom and are not suitable for trails with debris.

Details

Traction: With rhombus grid outsoles, this trail runner offers better traction even on snowy surfaces, making it perfect for winter hiking. The rubber outsoles grip the ground and are resistant to slipping.

Stability: This trail runner has a zero-drop sole which offers better stability even while hiking on steep hills by mimicking your natural foot position. With PU shank, this shoe provides support to your heels and provides better stability.

Comfort: With mesh and split leather upper material, this train runner is breathable and can be worn for a long duration during winter hiking. The insides of the shoes are slightly cushioned, which makes them ideal for long hikes. With the dura nylon band, the boots fit your leg tightly and offer better support and comfort.

Durable: The upper material is dirt proof and highly durable. The split leather and mesh material will last you several seasons. Synthetic rubber outsoles with grid patterns wear evenly and are long-lasting.

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#4 ASICS Trail Running Shoes For Women

TITLE_ASICS Trail Running Shoes For Women

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Features

  • Traction: Score 8/10
  • Stability: Score 9.5/10
  • Comfort: Score 8.5/10
  • Durability: Score 7.5/10
  • Overall Score: 8.3/10

Technical Specifications 

  • Material: Synthetic leather and mesh
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Colors Available: Twenty
  • Compatible: Women
  • Brand: ASICS

Bottom Line

This ASICS trail runner for women has a durable synthetic upper material. The EVA midsole offers better protection against any impact and keeps your feet comfortable even when hiking for a long duration.

Pros: 

  • It has synthetic and meshes upper material, which is durable.
  • The rubber outsoles with aggressive tread offer better grip.
  • It has a lace-up closure, which makes the shoe fit snugly.
  • The fabric linings inside the trail runner keep your feet dry and warm.
  • The heel counter inside keeps your feet in their natural shape.

Cons: 

  • The shoe size runs narrow and is not suitable for wide feet.

Details

Traction: This trail runner has ASICS high abrasion rubber (AHAR) outsole placed at appropriate intervals in the outsole, which grip the ground better and offer enhanced traction. The rubber material of the outsoles has a better grip and doesn’t let snow or mud stick to the shoe.

Stability: The internal heel counter keeps your feet in their natural shape, making the shoe more stable to hike in the snow. There is gel cushioning in the rearfoot of this trail runner, which offers better stability and shock absorption. The heel-to-toe drop is 10 mm, which helps with foot and calf injuries. 

Comfort: With an ortholite sock liner, this trail runner offers additional cushioning, making it highly comfortable. The shoe mold according to the shape of your feet and is comfortable to wear even on longer hikes.

Durable: With high-quality synthetic leather and mesh upper material, this shoe is resistant to easy wear and tear. The upper material is breathable while keeping your feet dry and warm while hiking during winter. The rubber outsoles wear evenly and last 

long

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#5 Salomon Trail Running Shoes For Women

TITLE_Salomon Trail Running Shoes For Women

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Features

  • Traction: Score 8/10
  • Stability: Score 7.5/10
  • Comfort: Score 8/10
  • Durability: Score 7.5/10
  • Overall Score: 8.1/10

Technical Specifications 

  • Material: Synthetic
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 0.612 pounds
  • Colors Available: Two
  • Compatible: Women
  • Brand: Salomon

Bottom Line

This trail runner for women from Salomon is an ideal shoe for winter hiking with arrow-shaped lugs for better traction in snow, and the upper, synthetic material keeps your feet warm and dry.

Pros: 

  • It has a 100% synthetic upper material.
  • The rubber soles on this trail runner offer better grip in snow.
  • Sensifit with quick lace offers a tight fit.
  • It has ortholite for better foot support.
  • EVA midsole offers better cushioning.
  • The trail runners are airy and breathable and keep your feet dry.

Cons: 

  • The shoes are narrower and may not be ideal if you have wide feet.
  • The laces come undone after running a few miles.

Details

Traction: These trail runners for women come with arrow-shaped lugs that provide aggressive treads. The lugs are deep, which provides a firm grip of the ground even in snow. The arrow shape lugs resist the sticking of mud and snow to the soles making it easier to hike during winters.

Stability: This trail runner has a heel-to-toe drop of 10 mm, which offers a rearfoot strike appropriate for hiking. Beware, the heel drop may make turning on a steep trail slightly unstable while coming downhill. The sock liner and the EVA midsole enhance the hiking experience by providing better stability and cushioning.

Comfort: The upper material on this trail runner is mesh synthetic which offers easy airflow and breathability. It lets you wear the shoes for a longer period comfortably. Sensifit with quick lace makes the shoe hold and fit your legs properly and comfortable to walk into. 

Durable: These trail runners have 100% synthetic upper material, which increases their durability. The rubber soles wear out evenly over long-term use and will last you for years. However, the shoes are not suitable for rigid pavements, and that will result in less durability.

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#6 Saucony Trail Running Shoes For Women

TITLE_Saucony Trail Running Shoes For Women

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Features

  • Traction: Score 8/10
  • Stability: Score 7.5/10
  • Comfort: Score 8/10
  • Durability: Score 7.5/10
  • Overall Score: 8/10

Technical Specifications 

  • Material: Synthetic and mesh
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Weight: 0.581 pounds
  • Colors Available: Four
  • Compatible: Women
  • Brand: Saucony

Bottom Line

This trail runner from Saucony for women is ideal for women, has synthetic and mesh fabric that protects from cold weather, and the rubber soles offer better grip in snow.

Pros: 

  • The material is synthetic and mesh, which is breathable and durable.
  • The outer sole is rubber which offers better grip and traction.
  • It has PWRRUN cushioning, which offers better stability and support.
  • It has a rock plate between midsole and outsole which offers protection from sharp rocks while hiking through rough terrains.
  • The soles have aggressive rugs which dig and grip the ground better.
  • The Formfit design offers a snug fit.

Cons: 

  • The size runs small because of the gore-tex lining.

Details

Traction: The outer soles on these trail runners come with PWRTRAC tacky rubber, which offers excellent grip even in snow. The lugs on the outsoles are aggressive and dig into the snow to provide better grip and traction. It is ideal for a winter hike.

Stability: With PWRRUN cushioning, this trail runner offers a more stable and protective feel while hiking through steep hills. The rock plate between the outsole and the midsole in this trail runner protects from rocks or other sharp objects.

Comfort: With mesh and synthetic upper material, the trail runner is breathable and comfortable to wear even for a longer duration. The Formfit design of the lace is ideal for winter as it makes the trail runner fit tightly to your feet and keeps it warm and dry for a longer time.

Durable: This trail runner has a good build and is going to last you for several winters. The synthetic material is highly durable and won’t wear quickly. The PWRTRAC rubber outsoles wear off evenly over a more extended period.

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Frequently Asked Question 

Are trail runners good for winter?

Yes, trail runners are suitable for winters. They come with aggressive tread for better traction and thus offer better grip in snow.

Can you hike in trail runners? 

Trail runners have rubber outsoles with tread patterns for better grip and traction on rough terrains. These shoes are pretty comfortable too, which makes them ideal for a long hike. So yes, you can hike comfortably in trail runners.

Trail Runners For Winter Hiking

Are trail runners good for backpacking? 

Trail runners are one of the top choices of footwear among backpackers. These shoes are lightweight and have a breathable material which makes them ideal for long time use. The materials of these shoes dry quickly after getting wet and thus are good for backpacking.

Can you walk in trail runners?

Walking in trail runners is not recommended as they have a different build and are not suitable for leisure strolls. Walking in running shoes for a longer duration may result in leg and knee pain. However, it works fine for some people with trail running shoes with a sturdier build than other running shoes

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My Top 3 Choices

Having proper gear for winter hiking is important because normal sneakers just don’t work that well. In my view:

The Salomon trail runner is my absolute favorite when it comes to choosing a trail runner for my husband. It offers a better grip in the snow with the arrow-shaped lugs, and the upper, synthetic material keeps your feet dry and warm.

The ASICS trail running shoes top the list in the women trail runners with their AHAR outsoles which grip the ground and avoid slipping. The additional features like heel counter and gel cushioning system make the shoes more stable for rough terrains.

For a low budget, the TSLA men's trail running shoes offer the best features.