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The Best Budget Trail Running Shoes Available Today

The Best Budget Trail Running Shoes: Trail Running Shoes Under £100

If you like the idea of leaving the tarmac, and venturing into the countryside, but are short on cash, I want to share with you the best budget trail shoes currently available.

(i.e. trail running shoes that cost less than £100 – at time of writing)

Trail Running For Beginners

Running off-road provides different challenges to the flat(ish!) man-made surfaces of the town, but it also brings all sorts of extra benefits.

From strengthening your ankles on uneven ground, and the extra effort involved in running on uneven ground…

…to the beautiful scenery and clearer air, there are definitely many advantages to going cross country.

Having said this, it is also important that your running shoes can cope with what nature has in store for you.

This probably means that the shoes you are using for your road-based running aren’t going to cut the mustard as soon as things get a little muddier.

So below you will find a bunch of trailing running shoes that are not going to break the bank but cover all of the trail running bases.

How I Selected The List

Although I have not owned all of the shoes mentioned, I have done the research and spoken to other runners to come up with a shortlist I’m happy with.

We all look for different things when choosing the best running shoe for our particular needs, and as much as I don’t believe there is a bad choice here, I have tried to give you as much information as possible.

My hope is that this will allow you to make a considered decision when looking for a pair of trail shoes that will best meet your needs.

It is also worth pointing out that although many of the trail running shoes are Unisex, I have provided separate lists for both the best male budget trail running shoes and the best women’s budget trail running shoes.

What to Look For When Looking for The Best Shoes For You

When looking for your ideal trail running shoe there are a few things you might want to take into consideration:

1. As much as the ‘usual suspects’ of the road running world like ASICS, Saucony, and Adidas have trail variations of their popular ranges, there are also lesser-known trail running specialists.

Inov-8, Hoka and Salomon are good examples of this type of trail running shoe specialist.

They might not have the profile of the big boys, but they often produce very good shoes, so have an open mind when it comes to selecting the best trail shoe for you.

2. Make sure you think about where you are going to be running most when it comes to your off-road efforts.

For example:

Are you going to be spending almost as much time on the road as the trail?

Will you be tackling particularly rough and rocky tracks?

Will you be mainly on the slippy wet grass?

Of course, most trail shoes will cope with all these terrains, but being able to match the features of the shoe with what you want the shoe to do will always pay dividends.

Before you continue, I wanted to let you know I will potentially make a small commission from any purchases you make via the links on this page, it helps pay for the upkeep of the site amongst other things.


Best Men’s Budget Trail Running Shoes


Hoka One Herren Challenger ATR 5

The HOKA One Herren Challenger ATR 5 came out as a nicely versatile shoe that takes all terrains in its stride (pun intended 🙂 ).

The big plus point for this all-terrain trail shoe was its comfort. Just about everyone I was able to quiz about this shoe pointed to how comfortable they were to wear and run in.

In addition, as well as the comfort of the shoe, the chunky 4mm lugs make sure you get plenty of traction as you are crossing the slippiest of surfaces.

It should be mentioned as well that people will definitely see you coming with some of the colours available with this shoe!

In Summary

  • Textile, Synthetic, Synthetic, Laces, Running shoes
  • Outer Material: Synthetic
  • Inner Material: Textile
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Closure: Lace-Up
  • Shoe Width: Medium

A good around trail running shoe for those who like their creature comforts, even when tackling the trickiest of trails.

Pros

Breathable upper to keep your feet cool

High comfort factor

Cons

Soles susceptible to wearing down quickly if you use them for road running.

Ideal if:

Comfort is of paramount importance when you are out trail running.


ALTRA Superior 4 Trail Running Shoes – SS20

The Altra Superior 4.0 Trail Running Shoe 4 is a great shoe if you are looking to improve your times around your local trail routes.

It seems that Altra has taken their already featherweight shoes and shaved a bit more off for that extra pace.

Another thing you will notice (and it will depend on your build whether this is a good or bad thing), is that the toe box is extra roomy.

The idea here is that your toes can relax and spread out naturally when you are out for your run. This is supposed to help with maximizing the way your toes contribute going up and down undulating trails.

I’ve heard different things about this extra room for your toes, but it does seem that those who like the feature REALLY like the feature.

If you look at the tread, you will notice it resembles a pair of bladed football boots, and that’s a good thing.

The multidirectional grip makes it good for high stability on tricky or uneven terrain.

It is worth noting that due to the lightness of the shoe, there isn’t a huge amount of cushioning, therefore if you like a highly supported foot, these might not be for you.

In Summary

  • Ideal Uses: Trail Running, Trail Racing
  • Cushioning: Low
  • Outer Material: fabric
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Closure: Lace-Up
  • Material Composition: Textile
  • Shoe Width: Medium
  • Stack Height: 21Mm
  • Weight: 7.9 Oz. / 274 G
  • Designed To Improve: Natural Foot Positioning, Toe Splay, Comfort, Stability

A great pair of comfortable lightweight trail running shoes if shaving seconds of your PBs are important to you.

Pros

Lightweight

Extra toe room

Multidirectional grip

Cons

Lack of cushioning

Ideal if:

Your focus is on getting quicker times when out on your trail run


Adidas Men’s Questar Trail Training Shoe

If you will be doing a good bit of your trail running route on the tarmac, the Adidas Men’s Questar Trail Running Shoes are the trail running shoes for you. They come with a high level of cushioning making them ideal if you are only a part-time trailer.

Also if you are like me and you need trail running shoes that are good for Achilles problems, these are well worth a look. The heel construction is designed so that it allows the Achilles tendon the move freely.

As much as it won’t impact your running, it should also be said, that these are probably the best-looking trail running shoe here. Of course, beauty is in the beholder and all that, but they don’t scream trail runner if you decide to wear them down the pub.

In Summary

A good all-rounder that will look as good down the pub as they will do on the trails.

  • Weight: 310 g (size UK 8.5)
  • Mesh upper for breathability; Seamless overlay on forefoot
  • Sole: Rubber
  • Closure: Lace-Up
  • Shoe Width: Medium
  • Cloudfoam midsole for step-in comfort and superior cushioning
  • Supportive heel construction designed to enable the free motion of the Achilles tendon
  • Traxion outsole for maximum grip in all directions

Pros

Design that means you won’t be out of place wearing them down the pub

Won’t  restrict Achilles movement

Cons

The design and cushioning makes the shoe feel a little high and unstable for some people

Ideal if:

You are looking for an all-rounder shoe that you can walk to the shops in as well as run cross country.


Best Women’s Budget Trail Running Shoes

SALOMON Women’s Xa Pro 3D GTX W Trail Waterproof Running Shoes

The first thing to be said about the Salomon Women’s Pro 3D GTX W Trail Running Shoe, is surely they have come up with a snappier name 😊

Name aside though, this is a serious contender if you are looking for the best trail running shoe around for women.

The fact it’s upper is made from Gore-Tex, means your feet are going to remain dry during your run which as you probably know is a key if you are going to have a successful and enjoyable trail run.

In terms of weight, they seem to fit into ‘Goldilocks’ territory, i.e. not to light and not too heavy.  So even for the longer runs you should find there is a good compromise between comfort and weight.

As with most Salomon shoes, it comes with the handy Qucklace system, allowing quick and easy fine adjustment of how tight you have your shoe.  It may sound a bit gimmicky but seems to go down well with most runners.

And finally, it also ticks the boxes when it comes to the other import element of a good trail running shoe, i.e. the tread.  The big chunky sole should have you tackling most surfaces your trail running has to throw at you.

It is fair to say that the shoe is not going to win any beauty contests, but what it lacks in on the looks front, it certainly makes up for in performance.

In Summary

A tough, functional well-built shoe that focuses on getting the runner round their runs in the maximum of comfort

  • Women’s trail running shoe for long distance off-road runs in the mountains or forest
  • Perfect fit, Easy to slip on and off foot thanks to Quicklace lacing system, Water-resistant upper material for dry feet, No pebbles in shoes due to mesh insert and tight closure underneath ankle
  • Outer Material: Synthetic / Textile
  • Inner Material: Textile
  • Sole: EVA
  • Closure: Speed-Laces
  • Heel Type: Flat

Pros

Comfortable

Good grip

Durable

Waterproof Gore-Tex membrane

Cons

Some people report, like other Salomon shoes, they do come up small

Ideal For:

The runner who want their shoes to last and are serious about their trail running but also want to be able to do their runs in relative comfort.


Merrell Women’s All Out Charge Trail Running Shoes

The Merrell Women’s All Out Charge Trail Running Shoes are one of the cheaper trail running shoes in this list, but still comes up with the goods.

They have plenty of support and padding to keep your runs as comfortable as possible and although they are not fully waterproof shoes, they are still pretty water resistant…

…meaning that as long as you are not paddling you should be ok.

They also come with an impressive chunky and grippy sole making sure you are going to be kept on your feet when things get slippy.  It also means they are going to absorb and smooth out most rocks and roots on your runs.

From a cosmetic point of view they also are one of the more attractive shoes here, still keeping the ‘trail running look’ but with eye pleasing details.

In Summary

A good value shoe that still does what they are supposed to do, and do it in a stylish way.

  • Mesh upper. Reflective details for increased visibility in low light. Removable footbed treated with M Select FRESH shoe odour control.
  • HyperWrap 360 Degrees Fit System locks the foot in place to enhance natural stability and agility.
  • Outer Material: Synthetic
  • Inner Material: Manmade
  • Sole: Synthetic
  • Closure: Lace-Up
  • Material Composition: Mixed

Pros

High comfort factor

Good looking

Price

Cons

Not totally waterproof

Ideal For:

The price-conscious runner, who still want a quality pair of trail running shoes


Inov-8 Women’s Roclite 290

can’t say Inov-8 Women’s Roclite 290 are going to get any heads turning, but when it comes to the basics, you are not going to go far wrong with these trail running shoes.

They are light and they are comfortable, which after all is the priority for most runners…

…and they are not going to break the bank.

In terms of grip, you just won’t get better than this.  The tread is chunky and will make light work of mud and rocks, keeping you on your feet and moving forward.

If you want/need a wide trail running shoe, these are idea, coming with a design that adapts to the foot swelling that occurs with all but the shortest runs.

In Summary

Good priced trail running shoes that provide a high level of comfort, especially if you have a wider foot.

  • Mesh and synthetic Upper – Offers enhanced flexibility and comfort on the trail whilst retaining formidable durability.
  • Mesh Lining – For added comfort and breathability.
  • Outer Material: Synthetic
  • Closure: Lace-Up
  • Material Composition: Synthetic
  • Adapterweb Met-Cradle – Adapts to the natural movement and swelling of the foot during motion.

Pros

Comfort

Wider fit

Price

Cons

Some people find them too wide

Ideal For:

Runners with a wider foot who want comfort but prefer to not pay through the nose for their running shoes


SALOMON Women’s Alphacross W Trail Running Shoes

As you can tell from the number of pairs included here, Salomon produce some of the best trail running shoes around.  However they do tend to come with a higher price tag.

With the SALOMON Alphacross W Trail Running shoe, we have the second of the SALOMON shoes here, giving you an indication of the quality of this trail running shoe manufacturer.

Most people who have worn them will testify just how comfortable and light they are, which makes running in them a pleasure.

In addition, they come with what is known as a ‘Contagrip’ outsole which the Salomon people have designed in conjunction with experts AND runners.  This means that the whatever surface you plan to run on, hard or soft, dry or wet, the grip you get is going to make sure you get good traction.

If there is a downside, it would be the fact that they are not waterproof, so expect to return home with damp feet if it is wet underfoot.

Summary

A good quality, comfortable, stable shoe that will feel at home on most surfaces.

  • Aggressive Grip: Contagrip outsole features a versatile lug pattern that is ready for any surface, wet or dry
  • Comfort: instant comfort from the first time you put it on. The mesh upper and proven Salomon fit deliver
  • Outer Material: Textile
  • Inner Material: Manmade
  • Sole: Gum Rubber
  • Closure: Speed-Laces
  • Shoe Width: Medium
  • Cushioning: energy cell midsole absorbs shock while you run

Pros

High stability due to the design and build of the sole.

Good combination of comfort and support

Cons

Not waterproof

Ideal For:

Someone who is looking for good quality shoes at a reasonable price and either doesn’t mind damp feet or will only be using the shoes in dry conditions.


So there you go, at the time of writing, the best budget trail running shoes available for both men and women. I hope it has been helpful.

If you have a personal favourite, why not drop me a line and let me know what they are and why you like them so much.

2 Replies to “The Best Budget Trail Running Shoes Available Today”

  1. I run on trails a lot, sandy, rocky trails in the desert. I talk myself in and out of buying trail shoes all the time lol but I’m going to look into some of these.

    (I hope you’ll come back to Coach Debbie Runs and link up with run Runners’ Round-Up. We’d love to have you!

  2. There’s not much desert or rocks for that matter in my neck of the woods, just rolling English countryside 🙂 I’ll definitely check out the Runners Round-UP.

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