Our top rated women’s road and trail running shoes are perfect for racking up the miles in 2021
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Running is more popular than ever – and if you’re among the record number of women hitting the roads and trails this year, you’ll need a great pair of sneakers to keep up with your pace.
What should you look for in a running shoe?
Most running shoes are primarily intended for road or trail runners.
While you can easily take your off-road road running shoes for a casual trail run, and vice versa, if you are a pavement enthusiast or enjoy 100% running on country trails, it is a good idea. definitely better to choose a pair of shoes designed for the environment you like to train in.
Road runners generally favor lightness, bouncy soles and good breathability. Trail runner? Look for good grip, with deeper studs (the indentations in the sole of the sneaker) than a road shoe.
Some trail shoes are also waterproofed with technology like Gore-Tex – they won’t keep your feet 100% dry if you venture into deep puddles or heavy rain, but they will keep your feet dry and warm. Longer.
Get the support you need – are you under-pronounced, over-pronounced, or are you a neutral striker?
In any running shoe you buy, look for cushioned insoles, tough yet bouncy outsoles, and of course good comfort with no tightening or pressure when the shoe is laced up.
More advanced runners may also consider pronating their feet, which refers to how your foot can roll in or out with each stride as you run.
Most running shoes are neutral, but you can also buy “under pronation” running shoes (tilted feet as you run) and “over pronation” running shoes (tilted feet) with support in the areas. keys to help you avoid injury.
Expect to pay around £ 100 for a decent pair of running shoes, although we’ve also included some good options for tighter budgets in our roundup of the ten best running shoes for women.
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? road; Weight: 210g; Size Range: 3-9; Choice of colors: 3
The Cloudflyer is designed to keep up with you even as you’re preparing for a marathon, and offers the most comfortable cushioning of any road shoe we’ve tested.
The wider fit doesn’t constrict the toes and the light weight gives the Cloudflyer a springy feel even on longer tasks.
We’ve also found the reliable grip, even in adverse conditions, ideal if you primarily need a road shoe but sometimes like to hike the trails.
A waterproof version of the Cloudflyer is also available for £ 155
Asics Gel Nimbus 23
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? road; Weight: 261 g; Size range: 4-8.5; Choice of colors: 2
You’d expect Asics to make their popular Gel Nimbus trainer perfect after 22 more iterations, and there’s certainly a lot to like here – a layer of mesh provides good breathability, gel padding in the sole absorbs shock from users. hard road surfaces and the Gel Nimbus is tough yet flexible underfoot mile after mile.
We love that this space age colourway is reflective in low light, which comes in handy for night running.
The Gel Nimbus 23 is a neutral shoe but Asics also specializes in shoes for runners with underpronation or overpronation.
Merrell Agility Charge Flex
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? Track; Weight: 255 g; Size range: 4-8; Color options: 1
Our top pick for anyone new to running is the value-priced Agility Charge Flex which, as the name suggests, feels brilliantly flexible underfoot as you move through varied terrain but still feels brilliantly flexible underfoot. still offers good protection thanks to a thick rubber toe and grippy sole.
If you find most running shoes constricting, you’ll love the Charge Flex’s generously wide fit, which leaves plenty of room for your toes.
Like many Merrell running shoes, the Charge Flex is completely vegan.
Hoka Clifton 7
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? road; Weight: 201g; Size range: 3.5-9.5; Choice of colors: 9
Hoka believes the Clifton 7 is the “perfect combination of softness and lightness” and we have to agree – comfort is at the forefront of this lightweight road trainer.
If you run shorter distances day in and day out, it’s a great companion, and the Clifton 7 offers enough grip to tackle easier trail routes as well as road surfaces.
You can also easily wear this smart and versatile trainer to the gym or the city, and with no less than nine colourways available, you’re likely to find a version you love.
Nike Wildhorse 6
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? Track; Weight: 255 g; Size range: 2.5-9.5; Choice of colors: 4
While you should never judge a running shoe by its appearance, we can only love the eye-catching colorways and styling of the Wildhorse 6.
When testing this trail-ready shoe, we especially liked the sock-style ankle, which hugs your foot and keeps debris and rain out.
This rather massive outsole has almost football boot-like indentations that grip very well even on wet and muddy ground.
We have found that the Wildhorse sits slightly on the small and narrow side, so you can try a half size up from your usual shoe size.
Merrell Long Sky
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? Track; Weight: 230g; Size range: 2.5-8.5; Choice of colors: 2
Are you serious about thinking outside the box? Merrell’s aggressive Long Sky was designed for ultrarunners and is ideal for keeping a good pace even over miles of difficult terrain.
The toughest hiking shoes feature Vibram soles and that technology works just as well in this trail running trainer, providing a sticky grip even on slippery surfaces.
These comfortable sneakers are very breathable but still offer good protection thanks to a high abrasion mesh, and don’t feel too clunky at 230g per shoe. The Long Sky is also vegan.
Under Armor Hovr Machina
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? road; Weight: 247g; Size range: 3-8.5; Choice of colors: 8
Improve your abilities and stay on top of all your running stats as you train with Under Armor’s Hovr Machina.
A chip embedded in the sole tracks your performance and feeds your data to Under Armor’s MapMyRun app in real time, so you can get advice and coaching right in your headphones midway through.
The Hovr Machina is best suited for neutral runners with narrower feet, and you may need to try a half size up.
It might be a road-racing ready shoe, but it’s also great for the gym and smart enough to wear every day.
Kiprun Ultralight Decathlon
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? road; Weight: 170g; Size range: 3-8; Choice of colors: 2
If you’re new to road running or enjoy running as part of a varied exercise routine, it makes sense to look for an affordable running shoe.
Decathlon’s line of trainers offer great quality considering their affordable prices, and for the tarmac we rate the Kiprun Ultralight, which weighs an incredibly paltry 170g per shoe and feels barely to wear but still delivers decent grip on artificial surfaces.
These shoes are also very breathable thanks to many integrated meshes – ideal for road running in hot weather.
Giesswein X wool cross
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? Track; Weight: 225g; Size Range: 3-9; Choice of colors: 8
Wool sneakers? They are one thing, and Giesswein’s brilliant Wool Cross X could convert you forever.
Merino wool is great for regulating body temperature and wicking away odors, making it the perfect material for running shoes – Giesswein even believes that you can wear the Wool Cross X without socks without sweating.
These trail running sneakers offer decent grip even in wet conditions and we liked the large, bouncy sole, which makes the Wool Cross X comfortable and flexible even over long distances.
A great trail shoe for every season.
Mizuno Daichi 5
Key Specifications – Trail or Road? Track; Weight: 280g; Size range: 4-10.5; Color options: 1
Hit the trail in any weather in the rugged Daichi 5.
It might be the heaviest trail running shoe in our selection, but for that extra weight you get full Gore-Tex waterproof protection, which keeps feet warm and drier longer on the trail. trail, and Michelin soles with a deep tread, for good grip even in wet weather.
We were impressed with the comfort of the Daichi 5, but we think they would be too warm for racing in hot summer weather – save them for your fall and winter racing adventures.