Best New Trail Shoes For Fall-Winter 2018

Are you looking for your next pair of trail running shoes? Well, if you’re looking past the first half of 2018 or you’re reading this in the second half of 2018 or later, what follows are some of the best new trail running shoes set to debut in the second half of 2018. I saw many of these new models at The Running Event in Austin, Texas in November 2017 or the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in January 2018 with a few additional models included based on information I’ve obtained remotely from brands. This roundup is not intended to be exhaustive and, indeed, will be skewed toward brands that I was able to meet with in person. With that said, check out some of the new trail shoes you’ll see in late 2018!

FYI, the spring/summer release schedule is generally much busier for trail shoes and most such models are already on the market. With that in mind, you might want to check out our Best New Trail Shoes of Spring-Summer 2018 if you’re in the market for new trail shoes right now.

If you’re interested in a particular brand or model, you can jump ahead to the following models. (Full-paragraph previews are bolded in the list.)

Hoka One One Evo Mafate ($170 – July 1, 2018)

The Hoka One One Evo Mafate retains the guts of the to-be-discontinued Speed Mafate 2 while enhancing the upper. Underfoot, there’s still an aggressive 5mm Vibram MegaGrip outsole. Above that, there’s a massively updated… and streamlined upper that helps the shoe drop 2 full ounces in going 11.6 to 9.6 ounces. Wow.

Hoka One One Evo Mafate

Hoka One One Evo Mafate. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Also from Hoka One One:

  • Hoka One One Evo Jawz ($130 – Currently available) — These appear to be Hoka’s first specialized trail racing shoe. Imagine 6mm MegaGrip lugs on a 7.2-ounce (204-gram) shoe. Yeah. With a stack height of 18/21mm, it’s also much closer to the ground than the 29/33mm Evo Mafate.
  • Hoka One One Torrent ($120 – July 1, 2018) — Another lower-profile trail runner from Hoka with stack heights of 18/23mm for men and 16/21mm for women. The 9.0-ounce (254g) Torrent features a Profly midsole that’s softer in the heel and firmer in the forefoot.
Hoka One One Torrent

Hoka One One Torrent. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Altra Lone Peak 4.0 ($120, $150 eVent – August 2018)

In many ways, the 10.2-ounce Altra Lone Peak 4.0 feels like a move back toward the shoe’s roots while being an upgrade at the same time. To start, the outsole reminds me more of an earlier version while at the same time debuting Altra’s new sticky rubber compound MaxTrac. The forefoot should now drain better while also being airier with some thin TPU overlays replacing some stitched overlays. If I’m not mistaken, the women’s Lone Peak 4.0 returns to the original women’s last. The Lone Peak 4.0 will also feature an integrated tongue and a new, highly articulated StoneGuard.

Altra Lone Peak 4.0

Altra Lone Peak 4.0. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Also from Altra:

  • Altra Olympus 3.0 ($150 – May 2018) — The Olympus 3 will have a much wider heel (about 1 centimeter) for added stability, while the stack height is reduced from 36 to 33mm with a bouncier midsole. There’s added drainage in the toe area while the the toebox is generally more airy. At 10.7 ounces for a men’s 9, it’ll be about an ounce lighter than the 2.5.
  • Altra Torin 3.5 ($125 in mesh, $135 in knit – May 1, 2018) — The mesh version of the Torin 3.5 will be airier, with a more relaxed fit and a softer heel counter. The knit version is primarily a new offering, but also has a more traditional heel counter than the mesh version.
Altra Olympus 3.0

Altra Olympus 3.0. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Altra Torin 3.5

Altra Torin 3.5 Knit. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Salomon Ultra Pro ($150 – August 1, 2018)

The Salomon Ultra Pro builds on the success of last year’s Sense Ultra, but on the Pro last and at a slightly lighter 10.3 ounces. The shoe has an 8mm drop and Premium Wet Traction Contagrip without the Sense Ultra’s Profeel Film given the inherent protection of the generous 16/24mm stack height.

Salomon Ultra Pro

Salomon Ultra Pro. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Also from Salomon:

  • Salomon S/Lab Sense 7 ($180 – August 1, 2018) — This racing shoe gets a bit racier as it lowers to a 14/18mm stack height. It’ll weigh in at 7.0 ounces for the hard ground and 7.4 ounces for the soft ground versions.
  • Salomon Sense Ride GTX ($160 – August 1, 2018) — Salomon’s first shoe with GORE-TEX’s new Invisible Fit system that laminates the waterproof membrane directly to the upper material.
Salomon S/Lab Sense 7

Salomon S/Lab Sense 7. Photo courtesy of Salomon.

Salomon Sense Ride GTX

Salomon Sense Ride GTX. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Inov-8 Terraultra 260 ($130 – July 1, 2018)

The Inov-8 Terraultra 260 is the brand’s first model in the Terraultra line that’s intended to balance comfort and responsiveness on long trail outings. The shoe has a gusseted tongue, 4mm lugs, gaiter attachments, and no heel-to-toe drop. It will weigh in at 260g (or 9.2 ounces).

Inov-8 Terraultra 260

Inov-8 Terraultra 260. Photo courtesy of Inov-8.

Also from Inov-8:

  • Inov-8 Mudclaw 275 ($130 – July 1, 2018) — The all-new Mudclaw 275 will offer massive 8mm lugs in a 275g (9.7 ounce) shoe.
  • Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260 ($145 – July 1, 2018) — A, X-Talon with Sticky Grip rubber and a wider toebox in a 260g (9.2 ounce) shoe with both 8mm lugs and 8mm of drop.
Inov-8 Mudclaw 275

Inov-8 Mudclaw 275. Photo courtesy of Inov-8

Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260

Inov-8 X-Talon Ultra 260. Photo courtesy of Inov-8

Brooks PureGrit 7 ($120 – July 1, 2018)

The 9.6-ounce Brooks PureGrit 7 includes totally new underfoot tooling, while retaining a 4mm drop. The new outsole features sticky rubber with unique directional lugs under the big toe and an altogether more targeted tread pattern. The PureGrit retains its forefoot rockplate.

Brooks PureGrit 7

Brooks PureGrit 7. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Also new from Brooks:

  • Brooks Cascadia 13 ($130, $160 GTX – June 1, 2018) — The updates in the 11.9-ounce Cascadia 13 version include an aggressive printed-rubber mudguard on the upper, the addition of a lace garage and a rear velcro patch for gaiters, perforations in the tongue for better breathability, and an area of stickier rubber around the edge of the outsole.
Brooks Cascadia 13

Brooks Cascadia 13. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

New Balance Summit K.O.M. ($120, $135 GTX – July 1, 2018)

The New Balance Summit K.O.M. puts some of the technical aspects of the discontinued NB Leadville in a new package. The upper features an enhanced midfoot saddle and toe protection. Underfoot, Vibram MegaGrip adds to the shoe’s traction. The Summit K.O.M. will weigh in at 11.2 ounces for a U.S. men’s 9.

New Balance Summit K.O.M.

New Balance Summit K.O.M. Photo courtesy of New Balance.

Skechers Go Run Maxtrail 5 Ultra ($120 – July 1, 2018)

The Skechers Go Run Maxtrail 5 Ultra is a shoe I can imagine seeing on the Hardrock course with its cushioning, water drainage, and, now, integrated low gaiter. This version also adds harder claw-like lugs in the forefoot to an already grippy 6mm lug outsole. The shoe retains its 10.6-ounce weight and 4mm drop.

La Sportiva Lycan GTX ($140 – August 1, 2018)

The La Sportiva Lycan GTX features GORE-TEX’s GoreFlex waterproof membrane, while also having a different toe and tongue mesh than the standard Lycan. Underfoot, the shoe will have the deeper lugs of the La Sportiva Mutant. The Lycan GTX will weigh in at 12.5 ounces (355g) for a U.S. men’s 9.

La Sportiva Lycan GTX

La Sportiva Lycan GTX. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV OutDry XTRM WTR ($170 – August 1, 2018)

The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV OutDry XTRM WTR *breath* is the Mountain Masochist IV with an integrated OutDry Extreme softshell gaiter. A men’s 9 weighs 11.1 ounces.

Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV OutDry XTRM WTR

Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV OutDry XTRM WTR. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Also new from Columbia Montrail:

  • Columbia Montrail Bajada III Winter ($110 – August 1, 2018) — A fleece-lined version of the Bajada III. A U.S. men’s 9 weighs in at 10.4 ounces.
Columbia Montrail Bajada III Winter

Columbia Montrail Bajada III Winter. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT ($140, $170 GTX – July 1, 2018)

The adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT has some racing aspects with its Boost midsole, lower profile, and Adios last. On the other hand, it weighs in at 12.5 ounces (354g). There is film-based rock protection.

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Topo Ultrafly 2 ($120 – May 2018)

The Topo Ultrafly 2 adds a stronger, more tear-resistant mesh to the upper while reducing the number of overlays in a 10.0-shoe. While technically a road shoe, an iRunFar tester found the original Topo Ultrafly to be a trail worthy ride.

Topo Ultrafly 2

Topo Ultrafly 2. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex ($110 – August 2018)

The Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex is a lighter, less cushioned, rather nimble 9-ounce, 8mm-drop addition to Merrell’s Flex line. There aren’t any bells and whistles here, but that might be the point.

Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex

Merrell Agility Synthesis Flex. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Saucony Xodus ISO 3 ($150 – July 1, 2018)

The 12.9-ounce, 4mm-drop Saucony Xodus ISO 3 is the company’s first trail shoe with full-length Everun midsole for enhanced comfort. The dual-compound outsole features harder, thinner lugs in the forefoot for a more claw-like grip.

Saucony Xodus ISO 3

Saucony Xodus ISO 3. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Under Armour Horizon BPF ($130 – July 1, 2018)

The Under Armour Horizon BPF (bullet proof feather) features a full polyurethane cage over the entire shoe and a new pattern for Michelin outsole with 3-3.5mm lugs. The shoe will weigh in at 9.4 ounces and have a 7mm drop.

Under Armour Horizon BPF

Under Armour Horizon BPF. Photo: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Brands without Significant Spring/Summer 2018 Updates

Arc’teryx, Nike, SCARPAThe North Face, and Vasque have confirmed they don’t have have significant updates for fall 2018.

Call for Comments

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand that produces shoes, please share that relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

  • Which new trail shoes debuting later this year are you most excited about?
  • Have any technical questions? Ask away!
  • Know of other trail shoes due out in the second half of this year? Tell us about them in a comment.

There are 24 comments

    1. Bryon Powell

      More or less. Here’s the gist that I got from Hoka:

      Effectively, yes: it retains the inspiration and DNA of the Speed Instinct including the ProFLY midsole, which was designed as a lightweight (yet well-cushioned) trail trainer and racer; but it has some improvements including more aggressive traction and a more breathable upper. This was designed with extensive input from some of our elite athletes.

  1. Kirk E

    In regards to the Cascadia 13, it will be one of the few trail shoes offered in a 2E width. Womens models are standard width only.

  2. Steve

    Really looking forward to trying the Salomon Ultra Pro. Have been enjoying the Sense Ride all year so far. Hoping the Ultra Pro is a bit wider in the forefoot, and that the “Energy Save” cushioning does what they claim. Interesting that the stack is actually less than the Ride, but it’s being billed as an “ultra” shoe.

  3. Trevor Nederlof

    I was heart broken when I heard the rumors of the NB Leadville being discontinued as us wide foot trail runners really dont have many options (none that work well for me except squeezing into regular width shoes that happen to be somewhat wide). I am SO happy to hear about New Balance Summit K.O.M. and cant wait to try it. Thank you x1000 NB for offering wide sizes in a trail shoe, there is simply a lack of options here.

  4. Mathieu

    Thank’s for these informations Bryon. Do the HOKA EVO MAFATE keeps the same stability than the actual MAFATE SPEED ? The kind of ATR support on the Mafate speed is usefull on controlling overpronation that happens at the end of long races…What about this new MAFATE ?

  5. Alex

    I haven’t really followed shoe trends in the last couple of years. My impression is that all these shoes have big cushions and are following on what Hoka pioneered. A few years back, the rage was on with the minimalist/almost barefoot shoe trend. Is this death for good? Can someone comment on whether this huge cushions is just a fashion trend or there is really a proven benefit on these maxishoes? My knees would appreciate some insight…

    1. JayKay

      I would say that the maximal shoes are here to stay. Almost every running shoe company has released maximal trail and road models. Their success and sales show just how many people use and enjoy them. These are not just training shoes either, maximal shoes have even made their way into fashion (adidas Ultra Boost) and racing “flats” (Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%). If you look at the evolution of running shoes since the 1960’s, companies have been continually looking to improve cushioning. They have done this by creating new/different cushioning (air, gel, springs, foams), throwing in more of it, and for a little while, they tried to improve cushioning by taking it away. It would be quite shocking to see shoe stack height decrease from here.

      1. Alex

        Thanks foy your answer KayJay. I’ve never owned maximal cushion shoes but seeing that they have proven to be so popular, I’ll give them a go. Perhaps I might be able to run without knee braces some day.

    2. robb

      I got a knee stress fracture when I started running a few years back. I was much heavier then. After discovering Hokas I’ve been injury free and haven’t looked back. Hopefully that helps. All the best Alex

    1. Jeremy

      Robert – aside from Altra, the only other shoe I’ve had success with is Inov-8, and not all their shoes. The classify their models on a scale from 1-5 in terms of shoe and forefoot width. The X-Talon ultra looks to be on the wider end. I’m very pleased with my Trail-Talons.

    2. Ben

      Robert —

      Take a look at Topo. They have several trail shoes of varying stack height / cushion level and all have a nice roomy forefoot and either zero or very low drop. My favorite are the MT2 and Runventure on the trail and the FlyLite or ST2 on the road.

      I switched from Altra a few years ago and very pleased with the fit and build quality of Topo. While they have the wide forefoot, they tend to be a bit more fitted through the heel and mid-foot and don’t feel quite a sloppy as many Altras have for me. As always, YMMV.

      As an extra bonus, they tend to run about 15% cheaper.

  6. caper

    Aye Carumba these are some big floppy heavy shoes. I can honestly say there is nothing here I’d take, even for free, and that says allot. The high stack height and heavy shoes are just killer for any true technical running. I was never a pure minimalist but a stack 14/18mm or 16/20mm stack height is plenty cushioning, these to me seem like ankle turners. Good part is I’ll just use up my stash of shoes and save some money this year.

  7. Jenn

    Altra, why why why won’t you put a harder sole under the outside toes of the Torin? I love the Torin, but the foam wore out before the rest of the shoe, even though I don’t strike on the outside of my foot! At least the Escalante can satisfy me for now.

  8. Allen

    I’ve been a big fan of the Altra Olympus for years, and have used all versions from 1.0 to the new 3.0. I have about 140 miles on the new 3.0 and overall I like them, probably just as much as the 2.5. However, the spec weight from Altra is just plain wrong. I just weighed the last 3 versions on a postal scale and here are the true weights (all for the right shoe):

    Olympus 2.0 size 11.5 – 12.73 oz
    Olympus 2.5 size 12 – 13.23 oz
    Olympus 3.0 size 12 – 13.40 oz

    So the new Olympus is actually HEAVIER in the same size as the previous version, in spite of the reduced stack height. Still good shoes for ultra distance (my favorites actually) but they definitely are not getting any lighter. Also the 2.5 ran about a half size small, while the 3.0 seems closer to true to size.

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