What are the best cheap trail running shoes? Trail running shoes are optimized for running on difficult terrain. Because these types of shoes are often used in harsh conditions, trail running shoes need to be durable and high-quality. This often results in pretty expensive shoes, this can be an issue for those of us who care about their budget. Therefore, I decided to create a list with the best cheap trail running shoes available today.
The best cheap trail running shoes
Let me share a list with some of the best trail running shoes for running shoes on a tight -or very tight- budget.
However, before I start with my suggestions, I want to give you some important information.
Colors, size, location, timing, etc. can dramatically increase/decrease the pricing of trail running shoes.
Also, promotions can be a huge game changer. So you shouldn’t only consider the exact options on the list, but search around for good promotions. This way you will get the best value for money.
ASICS Gel-Venture 6
One of my favourite options for trail running are the ASICS Gel-Venture 6. It’s a protective and comfortable shoe that offers plenty of ankle support at a very reasonable price.
People have not only been using these shoes for running, but also for hiking and even cycling. Considering that you are looking for a budget shoe, it might be handy that you don’t have to buy separate shoes for all these activities.
They are slightly heavier than the alternatives and the traction is not as good. However, these shoes still score very good overall – and for a very affordable price tag.
As usual, a heavier boot will offer more protection and support, but there is the obvious downside of having a heavier shoe. If you are a competitive athlete, this might not be the right option for you. However, for most trail runners, these shoes will do exactly what you want them to do.
I can recommend these shoes to any trail runner who cares about their budget. However, I would especially recommend these to people who are looking for shoes for multiple activities. Whether you like trail running, hiking, cycling, scrambling… these shoes are a solid option. If you would have to buy a different pair for every activity, this would become a very expensive affair.
Note that the Gel-Venture is a series, there are already newer versions on the market. Those newer versions are pretty similar and also very solid. Before buying, I would recommend to check out other versions of the Gel-venture series, maybe you can spot a good promotion.
These shoes are available for both men and women on amazon:
Adidas Runfalcon 2.0
Even though they are not officially labeled as trail running shoes they do make great trail running shoes.
The combination of being really cheap and having a good grip is what earns these shoes a place on the list of best cheap trail running shoes.
The downside of these shoes is that they are less protective and less durable than many other trail running shoes.
Whether or not these shoes will be suitable for you depends on your personal running style and the type of trails you will be running.
Saucony Men’s Excursion
Saucony is a lesser known brand that has been creating very solid and budget friendly trail running shoes. The biggest benefit of the Excursion shoes is the combination of being very breathable while still being very protective.
Most runners are very happy with the fit of this shoe and they also claimed that these shoes are pretty comfortable.
The downsides on the other hand are that these shoes are not super lightweight and they might feel a little bit stiff.
Overall, these shoes are pretty amazing, especially when you can buy them for such a low price. If you truly care about breathability, these shoes might be worth considering!
Adidas Terrex Trail
The Adidas Terrex series are a range of different shoes from Adidas, specifically made for outdoor usage.
Within these range, there are many different options for trailrunning.
Also, when other models within the Terrex series can be bought when they are on sale, these other options are usually better.
Even though these are all actually different shoes, the Terrex series do have a certain quality that makes me believe in most of the models that are designed for trail running.
So, taking a look whether or not there are some good deals to be made is recommendable:
New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi
If you are looking for a budget-friendly lightweight trail runner, you might be interested in the New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi.
There are no “real issues” with these shoes. Sure, there are always people who complain about potential hot spots or about a damaged shoe. In comparison with the heavier alternatives on this list, the Arishi isn’t the most durable shoe out there, but it’s still pretty durable.
Also, it’s not going to be the most comfortable option on the list.
That said, the overall reactions are very positive.
I would highly recommend these shoes to runners who are looking for a cheap lightweight trail running shoes.
Saucony Peregrine 8
Another awesome trail running shoe from Saucony, the Peregrine 8. Saucony made a very good impression when it comes to cheap trail running shoes.
The upper part of the shoe is very breathable while the lower part provides plenty of support. The combination of the upper part and the lower part is considered pretty comfortable.
The Peregrine 8 is a lightweight shoe for a hiking shoe, but it’s not as light as the lighter trail running shoes.
Once you start running, the sole seems to collect a lot of clay deposit, which results in heavier shoes once you start running. Also, they don’t dry as fast as some runners would like, once again, this will increase the weight of the shoe.
Depending on the sex/size/color these shoes aren’t always equally cheap. These are good shoes, no doubt, but I wouldn’t buy them for $80+. If you can buy them on discount, you will get very good value for money.
Other versions of the Saucony Peregrine are normally also very solid shoes. You might want to compare prices between versions before buying. Sauconay Peregrine 10 and 11 are pretty popular at the time of writing.
What’s important in a trail running shoe
Before I continue, I would like to say that I wrote an entirely different article titled Best trail running shoes for hiking [Ultimate guide]. If you are looking for an in-depth guide to trail running shoes for hiking, I would recommend you take a look! Even if you will use your shoes only for running, this article has some good information for you as well!
Let’s continue with the important factors of a trail running shoe.
If you are on a tight budget, you should always try to find older version of very successful shoes. Quite often, the price of the older version will go down when a new model is released. At this point, you should also be able to find plenty of reviews (also long term reviews).
Best cheap trail running shoes – Conclusion
Generally, trail running shoes aren’t always that cheap. This shouldn’t really be a surprise since they are made for running in very harsh condition, the quality has to be top-notch. They need to be durable, lightweight, breathable, comfortable, have a good grip, and preferably they should also offer protection and support. Obviously, all this comes with a price tag.
If you want to do your own research, always make sure to triple check your sources. After doing hours and hours of research myself, I know that a lot of information out there is very misleading. If you are going to use certain shoes for extreme trail running, only look at reviews from other runners that have been using them for the same kind of activities. You shouldn’t value the reviews of road runners too much. Oh, and amazon ratings? Not the best reference either.
No shoe is absolutely perfect for everybody, even in the higher price ranges this is practically impossible. I gave you some very solid affordable options, but only you can decide what fits your needs best.
These where my picks for best cheap trail running shoes, if you have any other recommendations, feel free to let me know!