Looking for a pair of trainers with support, traction and protection to see you through winter? We tested six of the best to help you choose, so all you have to focus on is enjoying the run…
1 Hoka Speedgoat £110 hokaoneone.com
It may appear unathletic, but boy does this shoe love rocky off-road terrain. Hoka fans will already know about the elevated, pillow-soft ride the shoe provides, but even they will be amazed at the comfort and support supplied without that previous bulky feel.
A Vibram outsole and impressive 4mm lugs mean this will cope with plenty, but equally the competitively light weight means they’re not adverse to picking up the pace.
2 Mammut MTR 201 Pro Low £120 Mammut.ch
This is a shoe that takes rugged ground in its stride. There’s a sticky sole with good lugs that grip well across a range of terrain. The upper is secure and robust with a strong toe bumper, and the laces adjust to give a secure fit. In terms of cushioning, it performs well on hard ground and there is also a good level of support, including through the midfoot.
These are not light or speedy but certainly ideal for long hauls on demanding ground.
3 La Sportiva Helios SR £100 Lasportiva.com
These have a lightweight and springy feel and the upper has great fit and flexibility to go well with that midsole flexibility, particularly at the forefoot. The cushioning is set for a speedy ride while the lugs and level of stickiness on offer from the rubber outsole give a confident feel on a mix of underfoot conditions, including soft ground.
Pushing the pace is easy enough in these shoes although for longer runs or tougher terrain you may feel you need a shoe that is more rugged. But for speed these are hard to fault.
4 Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX £120 Salomon.com
Okay, this is not a lightweight, responsive shoe but if you are out for long periods on tough ground this is the shoe you want. The speed lacing adjusts to a good fit and there is enough cushioning and protection for hard and rugged ground.
The support and stability is good in terms of both the midsole and the upper construction. The grip works well on most surfaces although you may want a bit deeper tread if you are spending you’re your time on sloppy ground. The weather-proofing and gusseted tongue keep the elements out too.
5 Merrell All Out Charge £95 merrell.com
This has the feel of a hybrid shoe that is at home on trails and the road alike. The tread works well for decent grip on most off-road surfaces. The upper fits and flexes well staying secure without being restrictive. The cushioning and midsole have a good balance so there is a touch of softness that feels forgiving while the shoe is firm enough and structured to also give stability.
On really rugged terrain you might choose a shoe that is more robust but these will work well on lighter trails.
No point in having the gear if you’re not training properly. Check out the tips from Zanna