7 Best Women’s Trail Running Shoes | 2024

7 Best Women’s Trail Running Shoes

Trail running is a thrilling and invigorating outdoor activity that allows individuals to connect with nature while challenging their physical limits. One of the most crucial aspects of trail running is selecting the right footwear. Women’s trail running shoes are designed to provide stability, support, and traction on uneven terrain.

Over the past few years, there has been a surge in the popularity of trail and ultra-running, with an increasing number of female athletes like Elsey Davis and Camille Herron taking the lead in these pursuits.

Whether you are venturing into off-road running for the first time or eagerly anticipating your upcoming multi-day event, the appropriate women’s trail running shoes can significantly impact your capability to navigate diverse terrains.

This not only enhances your performance on uneven surfaces but also adds to the overall enjoyment of your run. To ease your decision-making, we have compiled a list of the 7 best women’s trail running shoes;

Be sure to make it to #1 for our take on why SCARPA Women’s Spin Ultra is the best pick.

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Rating (out of 5 stars)

SCARPA Women’s Spin Ultra


7.9 ounces



Salomon Glide Max TR

Synthetic material

1 pound 41 ounces



Brooks Cascadia 16

Cordura Mud Guard

9.5 ounces



ON Cloudvista

Recycled Polyester

8.3 ounces



Saucony Peregrine 13

Synthetic material

8.1 ounces



Altra Lone Peak 7

Synthetic material

9.2 ounces



La Sportiva Jackal II BOA

Recycled mesh/TPU

8.6 ounces



7. La Sportiva Jackal II BOA

Material: Recycled mesh/TPU

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 8.6 ounces

Price: $185

The La Sportiva Jackal II BOA is a top-tier mountain running shoe designed for ultra-long distances. Its cutting-edge features include the scientifically tested PerformFit™ Wrap, seamlessly integrated with the BOA® Fit System, ensuring a rapid and precise fit.

Two BOA® dials strategically placed on the protective upper, along with a dual 3-layer microfiber closure flap, guarantee an optimal zonal adjustment, promoting maximum heel hold. This fine-tuned fit enhances stability and diminishes landing impact, particularly beneficial in navigating the most challenging segments of an ultra-marathon.

The Midsole of the Jackal II boasts a combination of EVA and Infinitoo™ PU layers, delivering unparalleled foot support and stability. Engineered with a dual-density rock guard and a robust toe cap, this shoe provides an additional layer of defense, safeguarding your feet from potential hazards on the trail.

If you are in the market for the ultimate trail running experience and price is not a limiting factor, the La Sportiva Jackal II is our top recommendation, setting the standard for high-performance trail running shoes.


  • They are sturdy
  • They have great traction
  • They have great cushioning


  • Some reviewers revealed sizing issues

6. Altra Lone Peak 7

Material: Synthetic material

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 9.2 ounces

Price: $105+

The Altra Lone Peak 7 is a highly acclaimed update to a well-established shoe model with a longstanding presence. Over the years, its various iterations have consistently garnered praise, earning coveted spots on prestigious shoe lists. Slipping into a fresh pair of Lone Peaks mirrors the comfort of donning a set of cozy slippers.

The enhanced MaxTrac outsole delivers superior stickiness and grip underfoot, ensuring stability across diverse landscapes. Complementing this, the Altra EGO midsole strikes a perfect balance between responsiveness and comfort, providing an optimal running experience. Embrace the freedom of natural movement with the Original FootShape Fit, allowing your feet to traverse nature unhindered.

Designed with long-distance runners in mind, the Lone Peak boasts a patented Toe Shaped toe box. This innovative design minimizes the risk of blisters or injuries by affording ample room for your toes to spread out, avoiding the discomfort of being cramped in a tight space. Reviewers consistently applaud the spacious toe box, echoing our appreciation for this standout feature.

Another noteworthy aspect is the 0mm drop between the heel and toe, promoting a natural midfoot strike. This design encourages a more sound running form, enhancing overall comfort and performance. In essence, the Altra Lone Peak 7 is a reliable choice for trail runners seeking a harmonious blend of comfort, performance, and protection during their outdoor pursuits.


  • Has roomy toe box
  • They are very comfortable
  • They are versatile shoes


  • Might not suit those with narrow feet

5. Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail

Material: Synthetic material

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 8.1 ounces

Price: $105+

The Saucony Peregrine 13 is an excellent choice for those transitioning from roads to trails. Specifically designed for runners who navigate a mix of paved paths and forest trails, this versatile shoe strikes a balance between cushioning for smoother road runs and the necessary grip for traversing uneven terrains.

Having made its debut in 2011, the Peregrine line has consistently earned recognition, with six iterations securing accolades from Runner’s World. While the toe box may be a tad narrower, the shoe compensates by providing a sense of support and stability through its uppers.

The well-designed lugs underneath contribute to exceptional traction, excelling on muddy surfaces, though users may find them less effective on fine, loose gravel, especially during descents.

In comparison to its predecessor, the Peregrine 12s, the Peregrine 13s boast an additional 1.5mm of midsole cushioning without sacrificing overall weight. The spacing between the lugs on the outsole has been increased, offering improved mud-shedding capabilities. This update enhances the shoe’s performance across diverse terrains, ensuring a reliable and comfortable trail running experience.


  • They have great cushioning
  • They shed mud easily
  • They offer great support


  • Might not suit those with wide feet

4. ON Cloudvista

Material: Recycled Polyester

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 8.3 ounces

Price: $165

he roots of ON Cloudvista can be traced back to the picturesque Swiss Alps. Renowned for their lightweight design, these shoes offer excellent cushioning and exceptional grip, making them an ideal choice for those who love to conquer long distances on challenging trails.

Drawing inspiration from the Cloudultra, the Cloudvista incorporates the innovative Helion™ superfoam along with CloudTec®. This unique combination not only ensures superior cushioning but also provides essential support and flexibility, allowing you to maintain endurance over extended runs. Taking cues from the Cloudultra, the Cloudvista is equipped with a customized Speedboard®, meticulously designed to enhance the rolling sensation during your run, maximizing overall comfort.

Boasting a remarkably light construction, the Cloudvista stands out as one of the most lightweight trail shoes available. Its upper is crafted from more than 70% recycled polyester, featuring a perforated microfiber tongue and a TPU wing for enhanced protection. The Missiongrip™ outsole, featuring square studs in the heel and forefoot, along with polygonal studs in the shank and toe, ensures optimal traction on varied terrains. In essence, the On Cloudvista empowers you to tackle trails with confidence, combining eco-friendly design elements with cutting-edge technology for an unparalleled running experience.


  • They are very lightweight
  • They have great cushioning


  • Not ideal for long runs

3. Brooks Women’s Cascadia 16

Material: Cordura Mud Guard

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 9.5 ounces

Price: $130

The Brooks Cascadia 16 is a reliable trail running shoe suitable for a variety of terrains, seamlessly transitioning to road use when necessary. Tailored for extended technical trail runs, its acclaim stems from features like the protective rock plate and robust support.

Crafted with a Cordura Mud Guard upper, the shoe strikes a balance between high breathability and defense against external dirt. The incorporation of Monoloop mesh material, coupled with the 3D Fit Print upper, not only enhances breathability but also accelerates the drying process. The lace protector also ensures that the laces stay securely in place.

The midsole of the Brooks Cascadia 16 boasts DNA LOFT v2, contributing to a lighter and more cushioned feel compared to its predecessor. The addition of 2 mm foam further elevates comfort levels. With an increased number of release grooves, the midsole enhances adaptability on rugged terrains. The Ballistic Rock Shield, now featuring vertical grooves, facilitates lateral movement.

Incorporating the Pivot Post System into the outsole, these shoes provide heightened stability on uneven surfaces. The TrailTrack rubber in the outsole delivers optimal grip on both dry and wet terrain. For efficient water drainage, the shoes feature strategically placed ports, preventing water accumulation. The Gusset serves as a barrier against sand and small debris, ensuring a comfortable and uninterrupted trail running experience.


  • They are incredibly versatile
  • They are comfortable
  • Have flexible cushioning


  • Reviews say they could use more grip

2. Salomon Glide Max TR

Material: Synthetic material

Waterproofing: No

Item weight: 1 pound 41 ounces

Price: $160

Embark on your trail runs with the Salomon Glide Max TR, offering a plush and cushioned experience. This neutral trail running shoe delivers abundant plush foam, ensuring a comfortable and highly protective journey on mild to moderate trails.

Featuring Salomon’s ENERGYFOAM in the midsole, it strikes a balance between softness and responsiveness, providing a smooth and fast-paced ride. The reverse camber rocker aids in propelling the runner forward, facilitating a quick turnover with each stride despite the substantial cushioning.

The outsole of the shoe is crafted with CONTAGRIP rubber, delivering exceptional traction on both smooth and rocky trails. The engineered mesh upper envelops the foot, offering a secure yet breathable fit.

Whether you seek to maintain happy feet throughout all-day adventures or desire a soft and seamless experience during your daily trail runs, the Salomon Glide Max TR is poised to become your go-to choice for any adventure.


  • Has great cushioning
  • Highly responsive
  • They are sturdy


  • Less traction than some shoes on our list

1. SCARPA Women’s Spin Ultra Trail Shoes

Material: Mesh/TPU

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 7.9 ounces

Price: $146+

Crafted by Scarpa, a renowned climbing company, the Spin Ultra trail shoes cater to the needs of runners venturing into steep, rocky terrains, or those who enjoy a bit of scrambling in their outdoor pursuits. Building upon the success of the award-winning Spin Ultra family, the Spin Ultra GTX stands out as the ideal choice for trail enthusiasts facing unfavorable weather conditions.

With its GORE-TEX® Invisible Fit lining, this footwear effectively shields against inclement weather, allowing you to log trail miles even when the elements aren’t favorable. The Vibram® Megagrip outsole delivers reliable traction on slippery trails, instilling confidence in every step. Adding to its allure, the remarkable TPU toe guard serves as the proverbial icing on the cake, especially handy when navigating challenging terrains during long-distance trail running adventures.

Whether you’re hitting the trail for a run or a hike, the Spin Ultra GTX emerges as the top-tier option for those determined to pursue their foul-weather trail endeavors with unmatched performance and comfort.


  • Very sturdy
  • Have great traction
  • Incredibly comfortable


  • Some reviews said the shoes were a bit heavy

How to pick women’s trail running shoes

Trail running shoes are specifically designed for traversing uneven terrains, absorbing the impact of running on rugged surfaces. These shoes are equipped to handle rocks, mud, snow, and roots, providing the necessary support and protection.

In contrast, road shoes are crafted to absorb the impact of running on smoother surfaces like asphalt or concrete. When searching for the ideal pair of trail runners, take into account the following key factors.


The weight of your trail running shoes can impact your overall running experience. Lighter shoes are generally preferred for faster, more agile runs, while some runners may prioritize a bit more weight for added durability and protection. Consider your personal preferences and the demands of your chosen trails.


Trail running can be tough on shoes, especially if you frequently tackle challenging terrains. Look for durable materials and reinforced areas in high-wear areas, such as the toe and heel. A shoe with a sturdy construction will withstand the rigors of trail running and provide long-lasting performance.


Trail running involves navigating a variety of surfaces, including loose gravel, mud, and steep ascents/descents. Opt for shoes with an outsole that offers excellent traction. Look for deep, multidirectional lugs that can grip a range of surfaces effectively. Vibram soles are popular for their durability and superior traction on diverse terrains.

Cushioning and support

The level of cushioning and support in trail running shoes varies. Some runners prefer minimal cushioning for a more connected feel with the trail, while others prioritize ample cushioning for added comfort on longer runs. Consider your personal preferences and the demands of the terrain. Also, look for shoes with adequate arch support and a secure fit to prevent injuries and discomfort during runs.

Selecting the right women’s trail running shoes is a personalized process that involves considering your running style, preferred terrain, and individual needs. By carefully evaluating factors such as terrain type, cushioning, fit, water resistance, traction, durability, and weight, you can find the perfect pair that will enhance your trail running experience and keep you comfortable and supported on every adventure.

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