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Best Nike Trail Running Shoes


Did you decide you want to try trail running? Or are you already a trail runner and searching for the best trail running shoes available?

Either way, you need something that will give you protection, traction, and stability on the uneven terrain you will encounter. This guide will teach you how to choose the correct trail running shoe and provides a list of the best shoes available, updated for 2022.

I’m a huge trail running fan and these are my preferred shoes for working out and doing outside runs in. Trail running has become quite popular these days and as such, there’s a huge variety of different trail running shoes to choose from.

There are shoes that stand out from the pack as the best.

Why You Need Nike Trail Running shoes

All shoes are not created equal. What may work on the road or track may not be effective as keeping your feet in place while on the trail. Furthermore, these shoes normally have a thicker sole so as to protect you from roots and rocks. There are three main components to trail shoes, protection, traction, and stability. We will look at these individually and see how they affect your decision in choosing trail running shoes.

Protection means keeping your feet safe from trail debris, such as the rocks stated above. They have more protection underfoot, as well as toe bumpers in case you accidentally run trip over something. Manufacturers who create these trail shoes have become innovative when protecting your feet. They have created patterns that look like trails or the bones in your feet.

The manufacturers have tested these to ensure you receive the most protection when wearing your shoe. Furthermore, some shoes come with an attachment point for gaiters or a screen guard near the tongue. If you are planning a long run in some questionable terrain, these additions will give you extra comfort.

The traction on trail running shoes is slightly different than road shoes. The outsole on trail shoes will have more of a flat pattern. In addition, the rubber on the outsole will be softened slightly so it can feel somewhat sticky. This helps it grip rocks as you run along the trail. If you are going to run on trails that are mostly dusty or full of mud, then your outsoles need to be a little more aggressive. This is so you do not fall or get out of control if you have to stop suddenly.

Stability is a necessity when running on trails because of the uneven terrain and unpredictable surfaces. Most of the time, trail running shoes are thinner and have lower-to-the-ground midsoles that tend to be denser. Along with this, they have supportive uppers and heel counters to ensure you have the responsiveness you need and lower the chance of turning an ankle while on your run.

How to Choose the Right Shoe

There are a few things to know and think about when deciding what type of trail running shoe to purchase. The first, and probably most important question is how will you use these shoes? Are they going to be for occasional runs, racing, or faster-paced runs?

If you are an occasional trail runner and have a favorite pair of road running shoes, try the trail version of those shoes if they are available. For trail racing or faster runs, you will want lightweight trail running shoes.

The next question you should think about is if you will need waterproof or breathable liners in your shoes. The answer is yes if you live in wet climates or plan on crossing a few streams or rivers on your trail. If you live in a dry climate, you will not need waterproof liners. These will give you more breathability and keep your feet more comfortable during the long, hot day.

When deciding on the right type of shoe, it is important to know what your foot type is. Do you have a high, normal, or flat arch? Different trail running shoes are designed for diverse foot types, so keep this in mind when reading the descriptions of each shoe. Once you try the shoe on, make sure you have room enough to wiggle your toes and the shoe is snug on your feet. This will help to prevent bruised toenails and blisters.

There are two tests you can do when trying on trail running shoes to see if they are right for you. First, climb upstairs by taking them two at a time. Take notice of your heel as it should not move more than 1/8 of an inch while you are going up the stairs. If they do, try adding an insole or changing socks. If your heel still moves, try a different pair of shoes as these are not a good fit. The second test is to go downhill in the shoes you are looking at. If your shoes hit the front of the shoe and feel uncomfortable, they are too tight.

Tips for Using Your New Trail Running Shoes

Are you thinking about using your trail running shoes for backpacking? Good news, you can as long as you take into consideration a few things. Make sure your ankles and knees are strong enough to support your backpack as well, otherwise you may need shoes that offer more stability.

If the terrain is too rough, the shoes may not be the best idea. Another thing to think about is how long you want your trail running shoes to last. Taking them backpacking will put extra wear and tear on them, so if you plan on backpacking on a regular basis, it is a better idea to purchase hiking boots so both pairs of shoes last longer.

Plantar Fasciitis and Trail Running

Plantar Fasciitis can happen with trail running, so you want to be prepared for it. Some trail running shoes go for a more minimalist design, however; if you have suffered from Plantar Fasciitis in the past, you will want to stay away from these types of shoes. The best ones for trail running with Plantar Fasciitis are shoes that offer stability and motion control.

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that happens when your plantar fascia becomes inflamed or has micro-tears. It is usually caused by overstretching or overuse of the plantar fascia, which is the ligament that connects the heel to the balls of your feet. The pain is first noticed in the heel of the foot because that is where the smallest connection point of the plantar fascia is located. If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis from time to time, choosing the right trail running shoes is most important to keep the pain away.


Purchasing the right type of trail running shoes will protect your feet while making you run comfortably. There are all types of shoes on the list, such as minimalist, neutral, and stability shoes. Find the right type of shoe for your feet and make sure the fit feels comfortable.

In addition, think about the type of terrain you will be running on as this will make a difference in your shoe choice as well.

Dr Christine Nolan is the CEO and founder of She also has extensive clinical experience and is therefore uniquely qualified to detect and manage diseases of the lower extremities including those related to peripheral arterial disease and diabetes.


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