Here is the list of top rated best road to trail running shoes of 2020.
Our experts have tested eight pairs of shoes to take you all the way to summer.
The higher the drop between heel and toe, the more neutral – and natural – the ride is likely to be.
Look now for internal bootie type construction which provides comfort and support.
Long lugs perform well in mud, but look for clever materials that hold on to wet rock, too.
Best Road to Trail Running Shoes
Saucony Peregrine 10 Review (For Men, Women)
For a shoe that is clearly all about grip and off-road protection, this is a surprisingly lightweight, flexible, cushioned beast. Given it works off a low 4mm drop, the response it provides is outstanding.
There’s a nice wide forefoot for a relaxed, comfortable fit, while the 5mm diamond formation lugs provide plenty of grip.
You’d certainly consider these for an off-road 10k race, but equally we found them completely at home coping with a bog-standard lunchtime spin or on occasion, a longer outing. As a bonus, these shoes also offer acceptable comfort on pavement and harder surfaces.
Always popular, for all the right reasons.
Coming in a classic silhouette, with a more-or-less industry standard 8mm of drop and nice knit upper, the Yushan provides a decent all-round trail runner for less severe conditions but promises much more.
The outsole feels at home on woodland trails and bridleways. After the first run (where the shoe felt like running in wooden clogs, so give them time!), they broke-in well with a responsive yet stable feel.
Despite this, the transition from heel-to toe never quite shook off the
initial chunkiness which may be explained by the inclusion of the rock plate, but more heel striking runners might best look elsewhere.
Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow Review (for men, women)
You’ll appropriately be flowing over most sorts of surfaces with these road-to-trail everyday shoes. The lug profile is inspired by mountain bike tyres and gives you the confidence of a champion rider on tough terrain.
However, good cushioning means they’re also great on the road until you get to the trails. The sock-like fit of these lightweight shoes takes comfort to the next level, from the ease of lacing and over every step of your run.
Even straight out of the box, they feel like your comfiest pair of slippers. A big cheer, too, for the conservative colour, which makes them fine as a general walkabout too. 7mm drop.
Inov-8 Trailroc G 280 Review
Now, almost a year after its launch, the understanding of what Graphene is, and its undoubted durability, is beginning to filter through the running market.
Launched with plenty of flag waving and claims, we’ve all kind of stepped back and waited. And wow, it’s been worth it. Graphene does indeed add plenty of life to your shoe, perhaps a third more.
But what’s really exciting is that it doesn’t take away from the cushioned feel or in this shoe’s case, its ability to cope with mud and rock.
Indeed, this shoe is so responsive, you could almost wear it for a road 10k such is the cushioning. It has an 8mm drop.
Merrell MTL Long Sky Review
Fit and comfort are the name of the game for these shoes. Of course you have permission to venture far off-road in them as the Vibram MegaGrip provides all the grip you’ll need this spring and summer (but note: not the winter!).
But thanks to the internal bootie and tear-resistant mesh upper you’ll find yourself enjoying plenty of road miles as well. Very much an everyday, mix it up type of shoe.
It also has speed and racing on the agenda. For Merrell it works off a skyscraper-like 8mm which helps with the cushioned feel, while the EVA foam midsole means this provides response as you move along at pace.
Mizuno Wave Hayate 6 Review
Speedy types might like to take a look at this sturdy offering. There’s an aggressively designed Michelin outsole providing good grip.
While there’s all you’d expect in terms of off-road protection including an ESS Rock Plate in forefoot area.
What does it all mean? A harder type shoe that is more about encouraging you to drive off than long slow plods around the forest.
We loved the grip – exceptional in all but the boggiest conditions where no shoe would really work anyway and we do like the Wave technology Mizuno use in its shoes. It is a bit on the hard side, but thanks to a 9mm drop easy to get on with.
New Balance Summit Unknown Review
Rarely, these shoes are an updated version of another popular model, but sporting a completely different name!
You may recognise elements of the Vazee Summit V2 in these and you’d be right.
These stand out from the crowd in that they are super lightweight with a low to the ground feel usually associated with a really low number drop shoe.
But these come in at 10mm, meaning you can get on with them straight out of the box. We really like the price and are impressed with the sticky, grippy feel the sole provides.
They are, however, a touch narrow – racing shoe-like. But then they are about reaching new heights.
ARC’TERYX Norvan LD 2 Review
As the letters LD suggest, this is a shoe all about long distance. We ventured into the mountains with these where they were suitably comfortable and at home on rocky, but relatively dry surfaces for a four-hour run, so you can’t argue with that.
They have 3.5mm square-shaped lugs, a Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole, and work off an easy 9mm drop.
Very conservative in appearance, they’re actually packed with technology, including Litebase.
Which has helped the shoe shed a bit of weight compared to the first version. It feels solid, supportive and actually uses a bit more foam than other trail shoes.