Best New Trail Shoes for Spring-Summer 2019

Twice a year, sometime after the respective trade-show season is over, I share info on many (most?) of the new trail-shoe models debuting the following season. Now is one of those such times, so let’s just dive right into more than forty models of trail shoes you’ll see in late 2018 or early 2019!

For more on new trail shoes, check our articles on new trail shoes for fall-winter 2019, spring-summer 2020, and fall-winter 2020.

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

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

Arc’teryx Norvan SL ($150 – February 2019)

Haven’t tried an Arc’teryx trail shoe yet? Well, the Arc’teryx Norvan SL might just be your reason to do so. Why? Try a 6.5-ounce (185g) trail shoe with Vibram MegaGrip, a minimal upper, and forefoot rockplate. This 6mm-drop shoe is aimed at shorter, faster trail running rather than ultra-distance efforts.

The Arc’teryx Norvan SL.

Altra Superior 4 ($110 – January 1, 2019)

The Altra Superior 4 gets updates all around. First of all, the shoe drops in weight to 7.9 ounces (274g) for a U.S. men’s 9. Part of that weight savings comes from a new StoneGuard design that goes from a full underfoot sheet to a cutout design that resembles the foot’s skeletal structure. The Superior 4.0 will also feature Altra’s new Quantic midsole material and gets updated to the brand’s MaxTrac sticky rubber compound. The shoe also adds a rounded heel design and a burrito-tongue construction. The Superior 4.0 will also now be built on the same last as the Solstice. For more, read our full review of the Altra Superior 4.

The Altra Superior 4.

Also new from Altra:

  • Altra Timp 1.5 ($130 – January 1,  2019) – The Timp 1.5 gets the same new MaxTrac outsole and Quantic midsole material updates as the Superior. Up top, the shoe’s durability should be increased with TPU reinforcements over blowout points and a new mesh. The fit will be a bit tighter in the heel and you’ll see Altra’s 4-Point Gaiter trap system added to the shoe. The Timp also trims up, coming in around half an ounce (17g) lighter at 10.5 ounces (298g) for a U.S. men’s 9.
  • Altra Kayenta ($110 – January 1, 2019)  – The Kayenta’s a road shoe, but at 5.9 ounces (167g) in a U.S. men’s 9, it caught my eye. It’s built on the same racing last as the King MT trail shoe.

The Altra Timp 1.5.

The Altra Kayenta.

DYNAFIT Feline UP Pro ($170 – April 2019)

The DYNAFIT Feline UP Pro will be one of the first trail shoes to use Vibram’s new Litebase system, which significantly reduces outsole weight. In this case, that Litebase features Vibram MegaGrip in an aggressively lugged shoe that weighs in at 8.1 ounces (230g). The Feline Up Pro has a speed-lace system and a minimal fit.

The Dynafit Feline UP Pro.

Also new from DYNAFIT:

  • DYNAFIT Feline UP ($140 – April 2019) –A non-Litebase version of the Feline UP that uses Vibram MegaGrip and weighs in at 8.8 ounces (250g).

The DYNAFIT Feline UP.

La Sportiva Kaptiva ($140 – January 15, 2019)

The La Sportiva Kaptiva adds a new racing option to La Sportiva’s quiver of trail shoes. The Kaptiva’s built around a new snug racing last and weighs in at 9.1 ounces (260g) for a U.S. men’s 9. The 6mm-drop shoe includes moderate lugs (3.5-4.5mm) and a rockplate in the forefoot and heel.

The La Sportiva Kaptiva.

Also new from La Sportiva:

The La Sportiva Bushido II.

Columbia Montrail Alpine FTG ($130 – February 2019)

Marketing materials for the sub-9-ounce Columbia Montrail Alpine FTG highlight “its low-profile aggressive ground feel” (FTG = Feel the Ground) and its performance “on the most rugged mountain terrain at or above treeline.” Tech specs include a 6mm drop, 4mm lugs, and an overlasted midfoot reminiscent of the Salomon Speedcross. For more, read our full review of the Columbia Montrail Alpine FTG.

The Columbia Montrail Alpine FTG.

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed ($100 – February 1, 2019)

With the adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed, the company offers its lightest Terrex model to date with a correspondingly lighter price. The 8mm-drop shoe weighs in at 8.6 ounces (245g) with a breathable, sock-like construction and 3mm lugs.

Also new from adidas Outdoor:

  • adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed GTX ($180 – February 1, 2019) – A 9.7-ounce (275g), 6mm-drop GORE-TEX trail shoe.
  • adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT GTX ($170 – February 1, 2019) – Max features. Max protection. Max weight (13.6 ounces/385g).
  • adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed LD ($120 – February 1, 2019) – A reasonably lightweight (9.2 ounces/260g) all-around trail shoe. [Note: This model was initially named the adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed Plus.]

The adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed GTX.

The adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT GTX.

The adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic Speed LD.

Inov-8 Roclite 275 ($135 – January 2019)

The inov-8 Roclite 275 is one of four models that bring graphene G-Grip outsoles to the Roclite trail shoes (along with the 290, 300, and 315 GTX) early next year. The 275g (9.7-ounce) version includes a breathable upper, 8mm drop, gaiter-attachment points, and aggressive 6mm lugs.

The Inov-8 Roclite 275.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 ($140 – March 2019)

The updates to the Hoka One One Speedgoat 3 are entirely in the upper, with the underfoot tooling staying unchanged. You’ll immediately notice the switch to an engineered upper mesh along the lines used in the Evo Mafate and Evo Jawz. The shoe also adds a narrow footwrap around the midfoot and reduces the toe bumper around the big toe to create a more accommodating toebox. The redesign bumps the weight up from 9.8 to 10.3 ounces (292g) in a U.S. men’s 9. In reality, the Speedgoat 3 will arrive first as the Speedgoat 3 WP (read as “waterproof”) in January 2019 at $150. For more, read our full review of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 3.

The Hoka One One Speedgoat 3.

Also new from Hoka One One:

  • Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 ($130 – January 1,  2019) – The Challenger ATR 5 features a redesigned outsole with the lugs closer in the heel for a smoother ride and spread further apart in the forefoot for more traction. Hoka’s also modified the midfoot for better lockdown. Like the Speedgoat 3, this shoe adds half an ounce over the previous version to weigh in at 9.4 ounces (226g) in a U.S. men’s 9. Note: The Challenger 5 will be available in a wide version, a first for a Hoka trail shoe.
  • Hoka One One Stinson ATR 5 ($160 – January 1, 2019) – The Stinson ATR 5 adds arch-lock wings for more midfoot lockdown and a tweaked toebox that’s more accommodating. It adds 0.3 ounces to weigh in at 12.1 ounces (343g) in a U.S. men’s 9.

The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5.

The Hoka One One Stinson ATR 5.

Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 ($130 – April 1, 2019)

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 receives a big underfoot update. The lugs are increased from 3-4 mm to 5 mm, as well as with less pointy lugs for plenty of grip with a smoother feel. There’s also the addition of a sticky rubber pod in the midfoot for added traction on roots and rocks. Also underfoot, there’s also a change to Nike’s recently introduced React midsole material and a more segmented rockplate. Nike experimented with various midsole heights with the midsole material change, but stuck to its current thickness. The upper is similar to the Kiger 4 (review), but with a bit more room in the toebox. For more, read our full review of the Nike Kiger 5.

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5.

Also new from Nike:

  • Nike Air Zoom Terra Wildhorse 5 ($110 – April 1, 2019) – The Wildhorse gets updates to the upper, including removing the fit band, which reduces the shoe’s weight by 3/4 of an ounce.

The Nike Air Zoom Terra Wildhorse 5.

Raidlight Responsiv Dynamic ($130 – March 1, 2019)

For Spring 2019, Raidlight revamps their trail line, including introducing the aggressive Raidlight Responsiv Dynamic. This shoe features 6mm lugs and a quick-drying upper with a lace garage. This 9.7-ounce (275g) shoe has a 6mm drop.

The Raidlight Responsiv Dynamic.

Also new from Raidlight:

  • Raidlight Responsiv Ultra ($140 – March 1, 2019) – A more cushioned option with a more relaxed fit for the longest runs.
  • Raidlight Revolutiv ($165 – March 1, 2019) – Meant for tough conditions with its Tendon Wrapping System and 6mm lugs.
  • Raidlight Responsiv XP ($150 – March 1, 2019) – The only 4mm-drop, slimmer-fitting shoe in the group for a fast, precise feel on the trails.

The Raidlight Responsiv Ultra.

The Raidlight Revolutiv.

The Raidlight Responsiv XP.

Saucony Peregrine ISO ($120 – January 1, 2019)

The Saucony Peregrine ISO continues with the same aggressive underfoot tooling as the current Peregrine 8 (review). The updates to the Peregrine include the addition of ISOfit for improved midfoot lockdown. The 4mm-drop Peregrine ISO will weigh in at 10.5 ounces (298g) for a U.S. men’s 9.

The Saucony Peregrine ISO.

Also new from Saucony:

  • Saucony Switchback ISO ($140 – February 1, 2019) – Inspired by Saucony’s Freedom ISO road shoe, the Switchback ISO is a 9.6-ounce (272g), 4mm-drop, neutral trail shoe with BOA lacing.

The Saucony Switchback ISO.

SCARPA Spin Ultra ($150 – February 2019)

The SCARPA Spin Ultra adds a bit of cushioning to the Spin line with an 18.5/24.5mm stack height (6mm drop). The Spin Ultra is another trail shoe that combines Vibram’s Litebase with MegaGrip, reducing the sole’s base from 1.5 to 0.5mm with commensurate weight savings (U.S. men’s 9 – 9.3 ounces). For more, read our full review of the SCARPA Spin Ultra.

The SCARPA Spin Ultra.

Also new from SCARPA:

  • SCARPA Proton XT ($150 – February 2019) – Admittedly a run/hike shoe. This could be a bomber replacement for those still longing for a return of the Montrail Hardrock. It’s got Vibram MegaGrip and the heft of 11.9 ounces for a U.S. men’s 9.

The SCARPA Proton XT.

Topo Ultraventure ($130 – October 2018 at REI, November 2018 everywhere)

The Topo Ultraventure is the company’s plushest trail shoe, with a 30mm stack height as well as the highest heel-to-toe drop (5mm) in the line. The shoe features the same outsole design as the Hydroventure 2, but with a Vibram outsole that’s not MegaGrip (the Hydroventure 2 is). With its generous stack height, the shoe foregoes a rockplate. The shoe also gets attachment ports for Topo’s gaiters, as do both of the Topo updates noted below. The Ultraventure weighs in at 11.2 ounces (317g) in a U.S. men’s 9. For more, read our full review of the Topo Ultraventure.

The Topo Ultraventure.

Also new from Topo:

  • Topo Hydroventure 2 (January 2019 – $140) – The Hydroventure 2 gets deeper, wider-spaced lugs as well as a Vibram MegaGrip outsole.
  • Topo Terraventure 2 (mid-November 2018 – $120) – The Terraventure 2 sees also sees an updated outsole with wider-spaced lugs, but without MegaGrip. The upper sees a more abrasion-resistant mesh and drainage slits in the forefoot TPU film overlays, with the shoe’s TPU overlays generally reduced for better breathability.

The Topo Hydroventure 2.

The Topo Terraventure 2.

Salomon Speedcross 5 ($130 – February 1, 2019)

Don’t mess with a classic; that’s what can be said for the Salomon Speedcross 5. While now far from Salomon’s sexiest shoe, it’s perhaps the brand’s most iconic trail runner and a model that’s not updated every year. This version of the Speedcross gets its chevron outsole design tweaked, a new upper mesh, and refinements to its Sensifit for a more secure, but less pinched fit. It’ll weight in at a heavier 11.6 ounces (329g) for a U.S. men’s 9 and have a 10mm drop. For more, read our full review of the Salomon Speedcross 5.

The Salomon Speedcross 5.

Also new from Salomon:

  • Salomon Sense Ride 2 ($120 – February 1, 2019) – The Sense Ride 2 gets its upper tweaked with a more breathable mesh and a more comfortable implementation of Sensifit.

The Salomon Sense Ride 2.

New Balance Summit Unknown V1 – Update ($110 – April 1, 2019)

Technically, this is an inline update of the existing New Balance Summit Unknown, but it’s an important one. New Balance answered just about every Summit Unknown user’s call and added a lace slot in the tongue to help keep the tongue in place. Yes!

The New Balance Summit Unknown V2.

Also new from New Balance:

  • New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V4 ($135 – January 1, 2019) – A revised upper offers improved breathability, better durability, and improved lockdown.

The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro V4.

Merrell MTL Cirrus ($180 – February 2019)

With Merrell MTL Cirrus, the company aims to make a high-quality trail runner. The 11.4-ounce (323g) shoe is highly breathable, has 4.5mm Vibram MegaGrip lugs, and a 3/4-length TPU rockplate.

The Merrell MTL Cirrus.

Also new from Merrell:

  • Merrell Antora ($110 – February 2019) – The Antora is a women’s-only model with a women’s-specific last that’s meant as a high-mileage shoe for moderate terrain. It’s 8 ounces (227g) for a U.S. women’s size 7 with an 8mm drop.
  • Merrell Momentous ($120 – February 2019) – An 11-ounce (312g) shoe for moderate terrain featuring a Vibram MegaGrip outsole, 2D-knit upper with TPU film overlays, burrito tongue, and a really sturdy heel counter.
  • Merrell Trail Glove 5 & Trail Glove 5 3D ($100 & $140, respectively – February 2019) – The Trail Glove 5 is updated to Merrell’s Barefoot 2 construction, which is more tuned to a weigh-bearing foot in motion than a static foot. The TG5 (7 oz/198g) has a tradition mesh upper, while the TG5 3D (8 oz/227g) has a seamless, sock-like knit upper.

The Merrell Antora.

The Merrell Momentous.

The Merrell Trail Glove 5.

The Merrell Trail Glove 5 3D.

Brooks Caldera 3 ($140 – December 1, 2018)

The 9.3-ounce (264g) Brooks Caldera 3 sees both an updated upper and a new outsole rubber, TrailTack, that’s better on wet rock. The heel and toe areas see reinforced protection while the midfoot mudguard layer includes perforations for better drainage. There’s also a new lace keeper mid-tongue and a new front gaiter-attachment point.

The Brooks Caldera 3.

The North Face Flight Trinity ($140 – February 2019)

With a number of new releases from The North Face for spring 2019, the pinnacle shoe is The North Face Flight Trinity, a 9.5-ounce (279g), 8mm-drop offering featuring a knit interior booty with a ripstop outer layer. The Flight Trinity includes TNF’s new EXTS outsole system–featuring tri-star lugs, an S-Curve lug pattern, and targeted rubber compound usage throughout the outsole–also found in the three Ambition Collection models noted below.

The North Face Flight Trinity.

Also new from The North Face:

  • The North Face Ampezzo ($130 – February 2019) – A highly cushion 11.0-ounce (309g), 6mm-drop update to the Endurus TR.
  • The North Face Corvara ($120 – February 2019) – The same underfoot tooling as the Flight Trinity, but in a more affordable package.
  • The North Face Rovereto ($90 – February 2019) – An 11-ounce (318g) entry-level trail shoe with single-density midsole and TPU heel cradle.

The North Face Ampezzo.

The North Face Corvara.

The North Face Rovereto.

Vasque Velocity AT ($120 – February 2019)

I know little about the Vasque Velocity AT, but from a glance it appears to slot in somewhere like a Brooks Cascadia, which is to say a solid, all-around trail shoe. It looks to have a highly breathable upper, a reasonable weight (10.2 ounces/290g), and an 8mm drop.

The Vasque Velocity AT.

Note on Spring/Summer 2019 Updates from Other Brands

Skechers and Under Armour have confirmed they don’t have have significant updates for spring 2019.

SCOTT plans to launch a new trail model in the spring.

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 trails shoes for late 2018 and early 2019 have you most excited?
  • Have any technical questions? Ask away!
  • Know of other trail shoes due out early next year? Tell us about them in a comment.
Bryon Powell: is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Having spent nearly 20 years as an ultrarunner and three decades as a trail runner, he's also written Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and co-wrote Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running. He calls Silverton, Colorado and Moab, Utah home.

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