When you are training on mountains trails or forest tracks, there’s a shoe for you

Here Paul Freary takes a look at five of the latest trail running shoes that can take any terrain in their stride.

On – Cloudvista – £130.00

On-running.com

There are lots of new developments coming from On this year and if this trail shoe, the Cloudvista is an indication of them they are good to be an exciting brand to watch.

A lightweight trail running shoe is how the shoe is described and we’d say it’s even okay for a few miles on the road, perhaps on the way to the trails.

The main point of difference about the shoe is the cushioning. Although it still uses the Helion foam in the familiar CloudTec formation it now feels much softer! It’s a straight out of the box instantly comfortable kind of soft too, welcoming and forgiving of the ground.

ON Cloudvista

ON Cloudvista

This new-found feel translates well on the trails, adapting to the contours well and making for a great off-road experience.

The Missiongrip outsole pattern has relatively small studs but they are effective enough on the trails where most people will probably take this shoe, parkland, forest tracks and gravel paths. The upper is a relatively simply affair, light and breathable and supportive around the midfoot thanks to lace-loops integrated into the design.

To experience the shape of things to come from On, give this a try right away!

Nike – Air Zoom Terra Kiger 8 – £124.95

Sportsshoes.com

Designed as a lightweight no-frills trail shoe, the latest version of this off-roader from Nike sees minor updates mainly to the upper to enhance the fit.

It’s a new, more ‘open’ mesh design that allows for enhanced breathability whilst see be tough enough to provide protection on the trails. There’s plenty of reinforced overlays around the foot too which further add to the protection and durability.

nike terra keiger

Nike Terra Kiger

The midsole and outsole are unchanged from the previous version and utilise the full-length React foam with a Zoom Air unit in the forefoot to add a little responsiveness to toe-off. A stone guard adds protection when on very rocky terrain and the outsole gives good traction pretty much anywhere you take it apart from deeper muddy tracks.

In all, it’s a good all-rounder that works well on a variety of surfaces and in most conditions.

HOKA – Speedgoat 5 – £130.00

Hoka.com

This popular off-roader returns with improvements to the upper and outsole and with a slightly lighter overall weight.

The upper is now a little roomier and accommodates broader feet with more ease. The Jacquard mesh construction uses recycled materials in its make up for a more environmentally considered design.

Although the midsole cushioning is a little softer and uses a ‘reworked’ material there’s no official word and any new compound in there, but that’s fine as it simple feels a little better.

HOKA Speedgoat 5

HOKA Speedgoat 5

The outsole is a Vibram unit and has a newly designed stud layout. It works well and performs on a variety of surfaces. It’s by no mean a ‘mud-plugger’ of a shoe, but for general trail use it’s a comfortable and very versatile option.

INOV-8 – X-Talon Ultra 260 V2 – £125.00

Inov-8.com

The brand says this is the perfect shoe for longer runs on soft, muddy ground and to be honest we can’t argue with them. The shoe really does excel in those type of conditions and provides exceptional grip and great comfort.

The 8mm deep studs use a ‘stickygrip’ rubber compound that copes with gravel, forest tracks and rocky conditions as well as it does the mud, be it in the wet, dry or even frosty weather.

inov8 ultra260v2

Inov-8 ultra260v2

Cushioning comes from the brands POWERFLOW MAX material (16mm stack in the heel with 8mm drop) and although it isn’t of the maximal category, it’s not required on the terrain where this shoe is at home and proves more than enough to provide a comfortable ride.

The upper has a slightly slimmer fit than the previous version of the shoe and the fabric used is super-strong so should prove durable in the long term.

Right now, in this category this is probably the best shoe around for deep aggressive grip and long run comfort.

SAUCONY – Peregrine 12 – £130.00

Saucony.com

 The ever-popular Peregrine model from Saucony has always been a dependable, go anywhere trail shoe. This, the latest version has slimmed down a lighter to become the lightest ever whilst retaining the best features.

The upper now uses almost entirely recycled materials to enhance its sustainability credentials while also managing to retain a fit that hugs the foot and remains supple and durable at the same time.

Cushioning comes from the PWRRUN midsole as found on the brands road shoes, so it’s reassuringly capable on the trails.

Saucony Peregrine

Saucony Peregrine

The 5mm deep lugs retain a very similar pattern to those of the previous and as they work so well when both descending and ascending there was really no need to change them.

Overall it’s an improvement to a great trail running shoe making it lighter and as a result a little easier to go faster in on any terrain.

» Read more performance product reviews in the latest issue of the magazine, out now