The best off-road running footwear for the coming months

Late autumn and winter traditionally brings a wide range of new trail running shoe options.

Here we take a look at some of the latest trail running shoes for 2021 as well as some apparel to keep you warm, dry and visible during the darker and colder months.

Saucony – Peregrine 11 – £115.00

Always popular with trail runners, the Peregrine returns with a new upper whilst retaining the great cushioning and outsole that has made it a go to option for off-road running.

The upper uses a new durable mesh construction with an outer layer that provides additional protection and durability without detracting from the fit and flexibility of the shoe.

The PWRRUN midsole is the same as that found on many of the brands road running models so you can be assured of a great ride. The 4mm drop feel natural and works well on uneven terrain, whilst a rock plate protects from sharp stones and rocks penetrating the cushioning.

The aggressive, tacky rubber lugs once again provide excellent traction on a variety of surfaces and are well placed to avoid collecting mud as well as being adaptable enough to deal with the occasional stretch of road.

Brooks – Cascadia 16 – £120.00

Another hugely popular trail shoe, the Cascadia sees a major overhaul this season.

In fact it’s really only the name that remains, but don’t worry, this update is amazing. Every tester we’ve spoke to has quickly praised the shoe, complimenting every part of it!

The cushioning is now the brands DNA Loft material, similar to that found on road shoes such as the best seller, the Ghost. This makes the shoe feel incredibly cushioned for a trail model. Combined with a rock shield and a newly configured outsole the grip can handle most surfaces with ease and the shoes handles beautifully wherever you take it.

The upper has a slightly broader fit than many trail options so those with ultra-distance events in mind should find the shoe accommodating even as the feet swell a little.

It’s a great update to an already popular model and could be considered one of the best all-round trail shoes around.

361° – Camino WP – €159.99

A versatile trail shoe built to cater for those looking for a one-stop shoe for running, walking or hiking, the Camino features a waterproof upper to help it tackle the worst of the winter weather and conditions.

Built on the same platform as the brands purely trail running shoe, the Yushan 2, the Camino features a slightly higher cut ankle collar and to provide protection and keep the weather at bay for longer!

Cushioning comes from the QU!CK SPRING+ midsole and offers a smooth and responsive ride. The outsole offers plenty of traction and the design is familiar, with a lug pattern that works well on a variety of terrain. It’s perhaps better suited to firmer trails than mud but nonetheless it is versatile and a great all-round option.

The shoe is a good choice as a versatile option that can handle most terrains and conditions this winter.

Merrell – Agility Peak 4 – £120

The fourth version of the Agility Peak sees updates to the midsole cushioning, upper fit and overall quality of the shoe that makes a serious contender in this space.

The thicker midsole cushioning comes from a lighter material, so weight is down, with the Floatpro foam feeling soft and welcoming instantly. It’s not quite maximal territory in terms of stack height, but it’s certainly substantial and feels great.

Step-in comfort of the shoe feels a big upgrade too, with soft materials and neat padding offering a sock-like fit. The lacing system helps wrap the upper around the foot for a secure hold and added stability.

The multi-directional stud pattern of the Vibram rubber sole does a good job both ascending and descending and with the build quality feeling top-notch the shoe should be able to handle the worst conditions with ease and comfort.

adidas – Terrex Agravic Ultra – £140.00

Made for the mountains, this shoe excels on firmer paths and trails where it’s responsive nature shines. A Lightstrike and Boost midsole combination takes the best of the brands learning from both race day and training shoes and combines them with a full-length TPU plate to create a shoe able to both rack up the miles and pick up the pace.

It’s a good combination of cushioning technologies and feels stable too thanks to the plate, which also contributes to the responsive feel and push off.

The outsole uses Continental rubber and is inspired from the patterns found on off-road bike, so traction is great weather descending or climbing rugged terrain.

The upper is made up of 50% recycled materials and uses an open mesh knit which thankful lets any water out as easily as it gets in. Rubberised welded sections provide protection in key areas of friction and  add to the overall durability of the shoe.

It’s a well put together shoe and feels strong and durable yet at the same time comfortable for long days on the trails.

On – Cloudventure – £135.00

The third generation of this trail shoe is aimed at those tackling more technical trails where aggressive traction is required. That said, whilst the outsole does feature deep stud-like ‘clouds’ it’s best suited to rocky, firmer terrain rather than very soft ground and mud. The Cloudtec midsole uses the brands Helion foam and offers plenty of cushioning and a stable, controlled ride.

The upper is as usual a great fit, wrapping around the foot with sock-like precision and now uses around 80% recycled materials in its construction. Whilst the upper isn’t waterproof (there is a waterproof version available) it is pretty good at keeping your feet dry, proving to be highly ‘splash-proof’ at least.

For fans of the brand it’s a great off-road option feeling instantly familiar and able to tackle the rough stuff!

Columbia – Escape Pursuit – £90.00

Designed for the trails and the changeable conditions that they can present, this shoe offers stable, durable cushioning and comfort with versatile all-terrain traction and a great fitting upper at a great value price point.

The soft yet durable mesh upper provides a good fit which is enhanced by the brands ‘Navic Fit System’, midfoot bands incorporated into the laces that keep the midfoot held securely in place. This works very well and with a neatly padded heel collar and a heel tab that turns away from the Achilles, it’s a very nice place in which to place your feet. Rubberised prints on the toe and the side walls of the shoe help keep some of the weather out as well as making the shoe more protective and durable.

The midsole cushioning is good for mixed terrain use; soft enough to be comfortable but stable enough to provide support. Whilst the 4mm outsole lugs aren’t ultra-deep, they do work well on both the wet and dry on various surfaces, again adding to the versatile nature of the shoe.

At this price, the Escape Pursuit has to be one of the best value trail shoes available this winter!

Merrell – MOAB Flight – £110.00

The ‘FloatPro Foam’ midsole used in this shoe makes it perfect for firmer trails and tracks. It’s soft, step-in feel is welcoming and even after a couple of hours in the shoe it feels as comfortable and capable as it did in the first mile.

The Vibram outsole has 3mm deep lugs, ok on most trails except for muddier routes, but being Vibram it copes very well in the wet and dry. The cushioning is relatively deep for a trail shoe at 29mm in the heel (10mm drop) and that’s what helps give it that very cushioned feel.

The upper has a strong, durable feel to it, but it’s soft and supportive around the foot, with stitched reinforcements to help keep its shape and durability.

Lots of the components of the shoe use recycled materials and the shoe is also Vegan friendly, adding to its environmental conscious appeal.

For long days on the firmer trails this is a very capable shoe that’s certainly worth seeking out.

Higher State – Soil Shaker 2 – £79.99

Perfect for fell running and those cross-country courses where you encounter lots of mud as well as gravel paths, the Soil Shaker 2 is a great solution. This great value shoe has a deep, rugged outsole that offers excellent grip and thanks to the flexible nature of the midsole and outsole it doesn’t clog up as you run.

The ripstop upper offers a durable and comfortable fit and the rubberised bonded overlays around the heel and toe give the shoe  little protection. The gusseted tongue helps keep the worse of the conditions outside the shoe whilst it’s generous padding means you can pull the shoe on securely with comfort.

The basic EVA midsole works well enough and is acceptable at this price point, especially given that the shoe is designed for soft, muddy ground and comfort from cushioning isn’t a priority.

The 7mm outsole lugs excel in the wet and mud and are the standout feature of the shoe, making it a great value option for the winter.

ProViz – Classic Waterproof Running Jacket – £84.99 (below image, left)

The Proviz brand focusses on increasing the visibility of athletes and this jacket certainly does that!

The fluorescent, four-way stretch fabric features lots of reflective details to provide 360 degrees of reflectivity making you highly visible to other road users. It’s waterproof, windproof and reasonable breathable, making it an essential bit of kit for those the regularly train in darker environments.

Brooks – Carbonite Long Sleeve – £75.00 (above image, right)

Part of the brands Run Visible collection, this shirt features 3M Scotchlite Carbon Black panels. These are highly reflective and use a flexible print. Placed in key areas where the body moves most when running, they help keep you highly visible to other road users from up to 200m away.

The light, breathable fabric has a semi-fitted design proving super comfortable when running to make it a go-to shirt on cooler days.

Saysky – Universe Pace Jacket – £120.00

This unisex running jacket is designed primarily to withstand the wind yet does a pretty good job of keeping the rain at bay too. The fabric is lightweight and has a soft mesh lining to ensure a comfortable fit and retain some breathability.

It features a reflective print all over the jacket, making it as functional as it is stylish.

Soft cuffs in the sleeve ends are a useful feature on colder days as is the built-in hood. It’s a highly functional jacket that looks a little different, making it a stylish choice for the winter.

Saysky jacket

Saysky Jacket

Saysky – Camo Blaze Long sleeve – £60.00

The SAYSKY Camo Blaze Long sleeve is a long sleeve unisex running t-shirt in a green pixel camo print. The Saysky performance fabric has a brushed finish on the inside making it as super-comfortable as it is warm on chilly morning runs. The fabric has a nice stretch feel to it too, allowing for a good range of movement as you train. Light, breathable and soft to the touch it’s a go to garment this winter.

Saysky Longsleeve

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