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.)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Arc’teryx, Nike, SCARPA, The North Face, and Vasque have confirmed they don’t have have significant updates for fall 2018.
[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!]
A video interview (with transcript) with Sébastien Spehler and Thibaut Garrivier after their first and third-place finishes, respectively, at the…