5 Best Ultramarathon Trail Running Shoes That Go A Long Way

Are you looking for the best ultramarathon trail running shoes on the market? Running an ultramarathon requires quite a bit of preparation and this includes the shoes you intend on wearing.

They can make or break your run. You will be spending a lot of time in your shoes as you train and when you run the race.

Photo NameWhat We like 
SALOMON Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe This is a very comfortable shoe.
They are fairly lightweight.
There are several colours to choose from.

Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Trail Running Shoe There are 4 colours to choose from.
It is a very comfortable shoe.
It provides you with a lot of padding.

Salomon X-Mission 3 Trail Running Shoes These shoes are available for both men and women.
They provide you with good traction on all sorts of terrain.
There are various bright colours to choose from.

ASICS GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe This is an Amazon Bestseller.
It is a shoe that provides you with ample grip.
It is very comfortable.

ALTRA AFM1855F Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe There is a lot of room in the toe box.
The shoes are well-made.
They are quite lightweight.

Experts advise that you train in the shoes you run in. You could buy two pairs initially, this way you know you have time to get accustomed to the shoes you will be using on the track. You need to know the brand and style that you are most comfortable in. This will save you a lot of time when shopping. 

Singling out the type of running you want to be doing, will also help in getting the shoes you need. Regular running shoes are usually lightweight and have less grip on the road.

They are not ideal for ultramarathons. On the other hand, trail running shoes have more grip and can withstand the uneven rugged terrain of the trail you may be running on.

Even though it is not advisable, only professional ultramarathon runners can get away with using any running shoe. We take a look at the best shoes for ultramarathon trail running and also delve into what we like and what we do not like about the different models.

In a Hurry

Do you need a quick guide to buying the best shoes to run an ultramarathon? Here are a few things you ought to keep in mind. Think about the nature of the ultra. The terrain may include soft sand, compacted gravel or rocky ground.

You will also need to think about how comfortable it is underfoot, is it a single or a multi-stage event and if you are racing or if you just want to make it through the race in one piece.

Also, look at how the shoes fasten and if they will do you justice when you are in full flight. The other thing you need to consider is the shoe size. Know your feet. If you have wide feet then you will need to look for shoes with a wider toe box than normal.

]If you have narrow feet then you also want to make sure the shoes you choose fit snug and do not let your foot move about and create friction points which can give rise to blisters.

Our Top Pick

ALTRA AFM1855F Men's Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe

We have done our research and found our favourite pick to be the ALTRA AFM1855F Men’s Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe. These shoes allow your toes to relax and spread out naturally for more comfort and stability in uphill climbs and downhill descents.

The places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage proper, low-impact form throughout your trail run. the energy-return compound sits directly under the foot to reduce ground impact and add a spring to each step. The hook-and-loop tab allows strapless gaiter attachment that prevents debris from building up beneath the shoe.

Our Reviews of the Best Ultramarathon Trail Running Shoes

SALOMON Women’s Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe 

SALOMON Women's Speedcross 4

The Speedcross is made out of a mixture of text out at synthetic material. Depending on where in the world you the material are or the shoe itself is like the imported. The soles are made out of a synthetic rubber material.

It has shut that measure low top from the arch. This isn’t the first issue of this kind that Salomon has made. In fact, this is the fourth version of the shoe that ever made.

It features the same lug patterns that have been synonymous with the rest of the shoes that make up this line. One of the things that you would notice immediately is just how pronounced the lugs.

This is a key indicator that the shoes will provide you with a lot of traction and grip as you go out running. This is part of what makes it suitable for taking on the trails.

To ensure that this shoe gives you the best experience on the trail the manufacturers combined the sensor fit technology with a quick lacing system. This helps ensure that the shoe is not only comfortable around your feet but also snug.

Everything that’s gone into the design and manufacturing of the shoe is geared to deliver good protection for technical running along the trails.

There is a mid-feather upper construction. The town also has some padding. There is a sockliner on the inside to ensure that your feet do not slide as you run. It also goes a long way to help with dealing with odour.

As with other products from this manufacturer, this one comes with a two-year warranty. The last surprise we are covered is concerned is the inclusion of an ortholite.

Pros

  • This is a very comfortable shoe.
  • They are fairly lightweight.
  • There are several colours to choose from.
  • There is an ortholite.
  • The lacing system is a godsend.
  • The lugs provide you with good grip.
  • Can deal with muddy trails.

Cons

  • Some users found the overall design to be bulky.
  • They are quite stiff on the inside.

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Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Men’s Trail Running Shoe 

Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Men's Trail Running Shoe

The Lone Peak 3.5 set itself apart from the rest of the field by coming with a new design to tackle the issue of drainage. Any ultramarathon runner will know that the weather is not always your friend. When you do get caught in the rain the last thing you need our shoes that do not offer you the support that you need.

This is where drainage is of the utmost importance. The other part of the shoes made out of a durable mesh. And wraps around your feet allowing you the freedom of movement. This is not unusual on the market, the manufacturer has got and made key improvements to a wildly successful shoe.

What you may not notice immediately is that these shoes are zero drop. This is to say that there is no elevation between the forefoot and the hindfoot. There is a lot of padding both on the inside of the shoe as well as the other foot.

This is the design that mimics the shape of the foot. It allows the foot to maintain its natural shape and not have to conform to the shape of the shoe.

The gaiter trap is a hook and loop tab that allows you to secure your trail running gaiters to these shoes with ease. This results in much less debris making its way into the shoes. We all know how that ends. 

This is a shoe that marries grip and traction with durability to give you the ultimate experience out on the train. No matter what terrain you are tackling, this is a great companion to do it with.

Pros

  • There are 4 colours to choose from.
  • It is a very comfortable shoe.
  • It provides you with a lot of padding.
  • It is designed to endure shock and impact.
  • The lacing system minimises debris entering the shoes.
  • They are very durable shoes.
  • Use is not limited to the trails

Cons

  • The colours are fairly boring.
  • They commonly run short.

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Salomon Women’s X-Mission 3 Trail Running Shoes 

Salomon Women's X-Mission 3 Trail Running Shoes

Perhaps you’re after shoes that have more exciting vibrant colours. If you are, you will feel at home with these ones. Not to worry, it is not all about the looks they deliver a good level of performance as well.

These shoes are made out of text out and synthetic material. The rubber soles provide you with all of the grip that you could possibly desire.

As with all the contra grip shoes, these are made to take on all sorts of terrain. The lugs are not as pronounced as you would’ve found with other shoes. This is not a sign of inadequacy. These shoes do a great job out on the trail.

Beyond the colour, one of the other things that you would have noticed pretty quickly is the quick lacing system. While this may not sound like much, must run as we appreciate how important it is to have laces that are reliable.

These are shoes that give you a good amount of versatility. They’re not limited to just being used out on the trails. You can use them for running on the road and for hiking. They do particularly well for hiking when the weather is welcome.

This is courtesy of their good breathability which is something that you benefit from when using them for trail running. The contra grip rubber used on the soles is perfect for matching up to loose pebbles on the ground as well as too rocky terrain.

Pros

  • These shoes are available for both men and women.
  • They provide you with good traction on all sorts of terrain.
  • There are various bright colours to choose from.
  • The quick lacing system is secure.
  • The shocks can absorb shock.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • There is a lot of room in the toe box.

Cons

  • They tend to run small
  • Stability could be better.
  • Additional cushioning would be appreciated.

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ASICS Men’s GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe 

ASICS Men's GEL Venture 5 Running Shoe

There is a reason why these shoes were as successful as they were on Amazon. They were and still remain a best seller in the trail running category. There’s not much to look at, to the untrained eye it is just an ordinary shoe.

However, the more seasoned eyes and try and runners will recognise the difference once they put their foot into this wonderful shoe.

It is made out of synthetic material which sits on a rubber sole. The rubber sole is known to absorb shock as you run through the trails and also give you a lot of traction and grip which is essential when running the trials. The shaft measures low top from your arches there is gel cushioning on the hindfoot. 

The sockliner on this shoe is removable. This allows you plenty of room to insert your own orthotics if needed. That also of these shoes is designed specifically for trail running.

They have reversed traction lugs which are key for trail running. The areas of the shoe that are prone to high-wear have been equipped with AHAR rubber to ensure that they go in the distance.

The lacing system is quite ordinary this is the same leasing system that we would find almost running shoes. However, it is quite adequate for delivering what you needed to deliver. Finally, the underlays are mesh and brush/patterned.

Pros

  • This is an Amazon Bestseller.
  • It is a shoe that provides you with ample grip.
  • It is very comfortable.
  • The sockliner is removable to make room for orthotics.
  • The rubber soles provide great traction.
  • There are various colours and designs to choose from.
  • The rearfoot is gel-cushioned.

Cons

  • Some runners would have rather had quick lacing.
  • Do not perform as well on flat ground.

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ALTRA AFM1855F Men’s Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe 

ALTRA AFM1855F Men's Lone Peak 4 Trail Running Shoe

Our final pick is a shoe that marries is quite a simple design with beautiful use of colour to achieve some great ascetics. The manufacturers have gone on for two-colour palette.

This is a shoe that you could wear out on the trail as well as in the other informal settings. The upper part of the shoe is made out of synthetic material. As you would expect in this you have a rubber sole. 

They provide you with ample grip. In this case, the lads are more pronounced. This is even more visual due to the use of colour. The sole has a different colour to the rest of the upper part of the shoe which makes the lugs stand out. This is a shoe that is ready to take on both accounts and descents as you get through the trail.

It provides you with enough cushioning and padding to take on any shock that you may absorb. One of the key features for achieving this is the energy return compound which is placed right under your feet to reduce the impact.

There are a hook and loop tab that allows you to strapless the attach your gaiter and ensure that debris does not make its way into the shoe. It also minimises the buildup of debris underneath the shoe. This is a shoe that brings together grip traction and durability.

Every trial runs on those that once you get a good shoe you want to hold onto it for as long as you can. The last thing that you would need is for it to begin to fall apart. Rest easy, you have a good one on your hands. 

Pros

  • There is a lot of room in the toe box.
  • The shoes are well-made.
  • They are quite lightweight.
  • They are very comfortable.
  • They are zero drop shoes.
  • The cushioning goes a long way.
  • You can choose from several colours.

Cons

  • Sizing can be quite difficult to get right.
  • The lacing system could be better.

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Buyer’s Guide

When going shopping for shoes needed on a trail for an ultramarathon, there are several things that you take into consideration that allow you to get the best possible deals.

Remember to be honest with yourself about your skill level and accept all the help that you can get for your running shoe purchase. User reviews will help you understand the mindset behind particular purchases.

How long does it take to run an ultramarathon?

An ultramarathon is any race that is longer than the traditional marathon which is 42.195 kilometres. There are generally two types of ultramarathons. One is defined by distance whilst others are defined by a period.

Time-based events can range from anything between 6 hours and 10 days. There is no fixed amount of time. If the marathon is based on time, then the specified number of hours is determined by the race.

Timed events are normally run on a short track or a road course. Time spent is prescribed and differs from one race to another.

What is the hardest ultramarathon?

The difficulty level is subjective and varies from person to person. It is also heavily influenced by the various factors you will find on the trail. And for some, it is more about going through it at a steady pace, whilst others prefer rushing through it and simply powering through it all. This means that the distance or time stipulated for the race are what may cause some people to break. 

One of the most challenging races in the world is the Jungle Ultra race. What makes this race so unique and particularly challenging is not the distance or the time, but rather the terrain.

The race is 142.6miles and is through the Peruvian rain and cloud forests. The temperature adds on to an already seemingly impossible hike, as they reach 90 degrees and humidity levels can get up to 100 percent. 

You will be going down 9 000 feet and that is a lot of elevation change. Coupled with this, you get to cross 70 river crossings. As you run through this colourful trail, you will also need to be carrying your supplies such as water, food and other survival tools.

It is not all doom and gloom though. You get to experience the gorgeous scenery and interact with the locals. An experience that no other trails will give you. So it sort of balances out. 

Do I need trail shoes for trail running?

If you are looking to take your running off the pavement and onto the dirt trail you may be wondering if you need to be looking for a new pair of shoes. If you made a good decision when buying your current shoes, then they should carry you through even dirt trails. A good trail shoe will do you justice both on and off the rugged trail. 

How tight should trail running shoes be?

The way the shoe fits you is very important in how comfortable it will be. You need to have a snug fit at the heel and the midfoot. Even though they may fit snug, you will need to have some wiggle room in the front for your toes. Your toes will need to spread out to give you more stability.

In an off-road shoe, particularly one used on soft ground you will only need half as much room as your feet don’t get quite as much pounding on the softer surface and as a result, they expand less. You should never be able to feel the end of a shoe even after a long run on a hot day. 

If you are running an off-road ultra on soft ground you might find that you need that extra space again but, how much a runner’s feet swell varies from runner to runner.

 Can trail running shoes be used for road running?

Trail shoes are designed to have great traction on rugged terrain to keep you from slipping. You can use the same pair of shoes for running on the trail and you will do just fine.

Conclusion

Running an ultramarathon can be difficult but fulfilling as well. The type of shoes that you wear when you are cruising through such a marathon, can make your run that much more pleasant.

Wearing the wrong shoes can make you regret ever setting foot out of your home. We hope that our reviews help you find the right shoes for you. Happy shopping!

If you want running shoes that are minimalist be sure to check this post out.

Hi there. This is Clare. Dave and I manage this site. We are outdoor enthusiasts. Most of the content is about products that we love using or have researched.

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