What are Trail Running Shoes?

What comes to your mind when someone asks you about shoes? Do you see it as a fashion item? A daily necessity item may be! Exercise equipment? Or as tactical gear for survival? Or some other opinion?trail running

It is no surprise to see people having different opinions on shoes, which were originally invented as a type of footwear for protecting our feet from harm. But with time, our perception of it changes and now we have different opinions on this footwear. Science took a lead on these perceptions and designed different categories of shoes for different purposes.

Now we have fashion shoes, casual shoes, formal shoes, boots, loafers, sneakers, and whatnot. Today we will talk about one of these shoe categories and that is Trail running shoes. Some people mix trail running shoes with road shoes since they are both built specifically for running outdoors. We will explain the difference and explain what makes trail running shoes so special.

What are Trail Running Shoes?

Trail running shoes are a more advanced version of your regular running shoes. The focus of a trail running shoe is focused on the grip of the sole. Regular running shoes are designed for generating traction for running on roads. Athletes use them, people use them for exercise, jogging, and running on constructed roads.

They do well for roads in the urban areas but the story is different for off roads and rural areas where it is hard to find a constructed road. Why running shoe fails to perform well off-road is because it is unable to get enough grip. The roads usually have flat grounds that help the running shoes to get the grip they need but off-road, you won’t find a flat surface. So that is why designers have come up with trail running shoes.

Trail running shoes are designed in a special way to get a grip on any surface. Off-road, plain road, flat or uneven surface, anywhere is perfect for a trail shoe. They give you enhanced grip and they are made with sturdy materials to protect your feet from any kind of harm that may occur in your adventure.

Trail running shoes make a perfect candidate for hiking, hilly adventures, climbing, off-road running, and more. Moreover, it can do double duty by replacing your running shoes completely.

What is the difference between a running shoe and a trail running shoe?

There are several differences between a running shoe and a trail running shoe. It is mainly because they are designed to be used in different environments and road conditions although their design might look strangely similar, the main differences can be spotted on their outsoles, midsoles, and uppers.

  • Outsoles

Traditional running shoes have durable outsoles that have a smoother and flatter design. This allows it to get a better grip on flat surfaces like a road or pavements. But a trail running shoe has different outsoles.

They tend to be smaller and fluffier to fit on any uneven surface. As it been fluffier, the wearer won’t feel the uneven surface. It will feel just like running on a plain road.

  • Midsoles

Traditional running shoes have cushioned midsoles. A trail running shoe, on the other hand, has a sturdier and stiffer midsole to keep the feet of the wearer comfortable even when running on uneven surfaces. In addition, they contain rock or steel plates for protecting the wearer from sharp objects that might be on the uneven jungle roads.

  • Uppers

Trail running shoes also come with sturdier uppers. The advantage of it is that your toes won’t get hurt when you accidentally kick a rock on the road. But the regular running shoes don’t have such durable uppers.

So these are the basic differences between a running shoe and trail running shoes. For some people, it may appear as a not so significant difference. But believe it or not, these small upgrades are enough to enhance your experience of wearing a shoe.

Types of Trail Running Shoes

There are basically three different types of trail running shoes. Each is made for a different level of extremeness. But that does not mean you should go for the most extreme one just because you have the money. No, rather you should pick the one that best suits your requirement as the life expectancy of these shoes varies on their design. With that said, let’s look at the three types of trail running shoes.

  • Light Trail Running Shoes

The Light Trail Running Shoes are moderately similar to regular running shoes. It has minimalistic padding and sturdiness to give you a uniform walking experience. You will get minimalist protection from rocks and the moderately thick outsole will help you get a better grip on uneven surfaces. Its minimalist design also allows you to generate enough grips on flat roads and walk for as long as you want.

  • Rugged Trail Running Shoes

Rugged trail running shoes focus on protection. Its heavy-duty protection makes it a perfect candidate for running on terrains, climb hills, and more. It has hidden plate protection for protection against sharp objects in the wild.

Some rugged trail running shoes have front outsoles for protecting your toes. This combined with the sturdy outings makes it a very powerful candidate for off-road adventures.

  • Off Trail Running Shoes

Off trails are the most extreme versions of all trail running shoes. Their main focus is on the outsoles. In addition, they are equipped with plate protection in the midsoles and come with sturdy and durable uppers. If you are looking for protection and functionality in the most extreme off-road adventures, then you should definitely pick one of off train running shoes.

So these were the different types of trail running shoes available. They are made for different environments. So choose according to your requirements.


In short, trail running shoes are off-road versions of the traditional running shoes. They are basically brothers. One for off-road, and one for roads. The trail shoes will give you a better grip on an uneven surface. So if you are planning to go out for an off-road adventure, pick a trail running shoe.

Read: Can Wrestling Shoes Be Worn as Normal Shoes?

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