The List is Out! The Best Trail Running Shoes of 2020

Shop the Best Trail Running Shoes of 2020

The Best Trail Running Shoes of 2020

Where will this summer take you? Trail running season is here and we are stoked to get out on our favorite trails in Truckee and Lake Tahoe. Unlike other gear intensive sports like backcountry skiing or mountain biking, all you need to enjoy trail running is a pair of running shoes! To help you find the right pair, we curated a selection of the best trail running shoes for 2020 both in this post and in-store at Tahoe Mountain Sports. Keep reading to learn more about our favorites, then head to Tahoe Mountain Sports for an expert fitting.

Jump to the following trail running shoes:

On Running Cloudventure

Hoka One One Torrent 2

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5

Salomon Sense Ride 3

Salomon Speedcross 5

Altra Lone Peak 4.5

Saucony Peregrine 10

On Running Cloudventure

$149.99

Drop – 6 mm

Weight – 295 g

Cushion – Moderate

On Running’s Cloudventure is a TMS favorite thanks to its out of the box comfort, breathability, and cloud-like cushion. The Missiongrip™ outsole combines sticky rubber with a new traction pattern to prevent slipping on smooth surfaces. Its two-layer mesh provides soft comfort against your foot plus ventilation, protection, and support. On Running’s signature cushioning absorbs impact forces so you can run longer, recover faster, and enjoy every mile.

Best Use – trail running, road running, all-terrain.

Shop the entire On Running collection – trail running shoes and running apparel – at the Tahoe Mountain Sports online pop-up store.

Hoka One One Torrent 2

$120

Drop – 5 mm

Weight – 9.3 oz

Cushion – Responsive

The Torrent 2 has quickly become one of our favorite trail running shoes from Hoka One One. The cushioning is on the minimal side (for a Hoka) which lends a responsive, nimble feel to the shoe. That combined with the PROFLY™ midsole makes this an agile trail runner more geared towards technical performance. Lightweight, breathable, responsive – the Torrent 2 is a great trail running shoe to have underfoot for long runs and uneven terrain.

Best Use – trail running

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

$145

Drop – 4 mm

Weight – 10.8 oz

Cushion – Maximum

Hoka’s are known for cushioning and the Speedgoat 4 is no exception. This trail running shoe combines the thick cushion you know and love with a rugged outsole to bring you a trail runner that can handle technical terrain. It’s named for Karl Meltzer, a Hoka athlete nicknamed the “Speedgoat” who currently holds the record for most 100 milers trail race wins, so you know it’s built to take on the mountains.

The oversized EVA foam midsole provides lush cushioning while remaining lightweight. The Speedgoat’s Vibram outsole has an aggressive lug pattern and a sticky Megagrip compound, enabling the Speedgoat to take on a wide variety of conditions and surfaces. The 5 mm lugs provide good traction on softer surfaces like mud and snow and the oversized base will keep you stable on the trail. New updates this year include a wider, roomy toe box and breathable mesh.

Best Use – trail running, aggressive terrain.

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5

$130

Drop – 5 mm

Weight – 9.4 oz

Cushion – Moderate

Can’t decide between road running and trail running? You don’t have to. The Challenger ATR 5 is the all-terrain shoe for runners who do a mix of both. It has moderate cushioning and is designed with on trail breathability and comfort in mind.

What makes this shoe a versatile contender? It starts with Hoka’s signature lightweight cushioning. The Challenger’s CMEVA foam midsole absorbs impact, the textured TPU toe protects from trail debris and adds durabillity where you need it, and the rockered shape is designed to propel you forward for miles. The outsoles use 4 mm broad lugs for traction and stability on trail that can seamlessly transition to road.

Best Use – road running, trail running, all-terrain.

Salomon Sense Ride 3

$119.95

Drop – 8 mm

Weight – 9.9 oz

Cushion – Moderate

The Salomon Sense Ride 3 ranks high on our list of best trail running shoes thanks to exceptional performance and durability over a variety of terrain. It brings together the best of Salomon’s road running and trail running technology to create an all-terrain, versatile running shoe that can do it all.

Here’s what we love about the Sense Ride. It’s soft breathable upper provides all-day comfort and keeps sticks, rocks, and other trail debris out. The grippy Contagrip® outsole helps you stay on the trail even in slick conditions. Plus the Optivibe™ midsole combines a variety of foams to cushion your run, propel you forward, and dampen the impact of each footfall.

Best Use – trail running, road running, all-terrain.

Salomon Speedcross 5

$130

Drop – 10 mm

Weight – 11.28 oz

Cushion – Moderate

Here’s a shoe that adventure runners will love. The Salomon Speedcross 5 is built for rugged trails and all the variable conditions you might encounter year-round.

What makes the Speedcross a good choice for technical, aggressive runs? It starts with deep chevron lugs that dig into mud, snow, and soft surfaces for exceptional multi-directional grip and control. Then throw in Salomon’s durable EnergyCell™+ midsole for energy return and rebound and a welded, stitch-free upper for all-day comfort and maximum durability. Top it all off with Salomon’s SensiFit™ technology which creates a snug, secure fit.

Best Use – trail running, aggressive terrain

*Note: the Salomon Speedcross 5 is also available in wide sizing.

Altra Lone Peak 4.5

$120

Drop – 0 mm

Weight – 10.5 oz

Cushion – Moderate

Altra’s Lone Peak is a steep departure from traditional running shoe design and construction. Runners love the wide toe box, comfortable cushioning, and zero drop. What is zero drop? In a zero drop shoe, your toe and heel are equal distances from the ground. This encourages a more natural way of walking and running and lower impact form. If you are switching from a traditional drop to a low or zero drop shoe, always break them in slowly.

Designed with your foot in mind, this trail running shoe has a wide, roomy toe box for your feet to comfortably splay. The Lone Peak is stacked with mountain ready features like a built-in gaiter attachment – GAITERTRAP™ – which keeps all kinds of trail debris from entering your shoe, a durable MAXTRAC™ outsole, canted lugs for forefoot traction and control, and a dual layer EVA midsole for comfort and protection.

Best use – trail running, hiking

Saucony Peregrine 10

$120

Drop – 4 mm

Weight – 10.7 oz

Cushion – Moderate

The Saucony Peregrine 10 is a lightweight trail running shoe that balances comfort, durability, and protection in one neat package. It features a trail-specific design and fit to help lock your foot securely in place. You can stride comfortably over a variety of terrain with this shoe on your foot.

The PWRTRAC outsole gives the shoe large, spaced out lugs underfoot and sticky, high traction rubber. A PWRRUN midsole offers comfortable cushioning that works with a hidden rock plate to protects the foot from rocks, debris, etc. Overall, we love the Peregrine 10 as an all-terrain responsive and comfortable trail running shoe.

Best use – trail running, all-terrain

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Tahoe Mountain Sports will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Affiliate commissions help fund the content for this blog.

Ready to run? Try one of these Top 10 Easy Runs in Truckee.



Siobhan works at Tahoe Mountain Sports and currently manages TMS blog content. She loves everything about living in the mountains, from snowy winter days on skis to the hot, dusty trails of the Sierra's in the summer. Favorite activities include skiing, trail running and backpacking.


Leave a Reply