Here at iRunFar, for the most part, we’ve been publishing two articles outlining each season’s new trail running shoes (and a few road shoes, for good measure) for over a decade.
What follows is a collection of iRunFar’s semi-annual roundups for trail shoes released in 2020. [Note: We’ll be expanding this article through the years.] These originally appeared as stand alone articles, but we’ve combined them into a giant trail running shoe archive.
[Editor’s Note: Please know that there are some technical issues with this article, such as broken links, at the moment. We’ll be revising this article in the coming days to help it reach its full potential. Thanks for your patience.]
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Best New Trail Shoes for Spring-Summer 2020
(originally published January 28, 2020)
Whether you’re a shoe geek or just someone looking for a new pair of shoes as we kick off 2020, here are nearly 40 new trail shoes that will become available as we start this year.
Unless otherwise noted, all weights are given for U.S. men’s size 9, the most common sample size for running shoe brands, and equivalent to a U.K. men’s 8 and a Euro 42.
For more on new trail shoes, check our articles on new trail shoes for spring-summer 2019, fall-winter 2019, and fall-winter 2020. To find even more options for trail running shoes, check out our Best Trail Running Shoes article and our full collection of trail running shoe reviews.
[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. (Featured previews are bolded in the list.)
- adidas Terrex Two
- adidas Terrex Two Ultra Parley
- Altra Lone Peak 4.5
- Altra Timp 2
- Arc’teryx Norvan LD 2
- Brooks Caldera 4
- Brooks Divide
- Columbia Montrail F.K.T.
- Dynafit Feline SL
- Dynafit Sky Pro
- Dynafit Ultra 100
- Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
- Icebug Capra RB9X
- Icebug OutRun RB9X
- Inov-8 TrailTalon 235 v2
- Inov-8 TrailTalon 290 v2
- Inov-8 X-Talon G 235
- La Sportiva Helios III
- La Sportiva Jackal
- La Sportiva Lycan II
- La Sportiva VK Boa
- Merrell MTL Long Sky
- Merrell MTL Skyfire
- New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro Boa
- Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6
- Nike Pegasus Trail 2
- Nike Wildhorse 6
- Saucony Guide 13 TR
- Saucony Peregrine 10
- Saucony Xodus 10
- Salewa Dropline
- Salming Elements 3
- Salming Trail6
- Salomon Cross /Pro
- Salomon Sense 4 /Pro
- Salomon Sense Ride 3
- Salomon XA Pro 3D v8
- Tecnica Origin LT and XT
- The North Face Ultra Endurance XF
- The North Face Ultra Swift
- The North Face Ultra Traction
- Topo Magnifly 3
- Topo Runventure 3
- Topo Zephyr
- Xero Mesa Trail
Merrell MTL Long Sky ($130 – February 2020)
The Merrell MTL Long Sky comes out of collaboration with Merrell athlete Anna Frost. It’s an aggressively lugged (5mm, Vibram MegaGrip) shoe that weighs in at 9.9 ounces (280g) with an 8mm drop. It’s got a breathable mesh upper, plenty of cushioning underfoot such that it doesn’t need a rockplate, and a medial post. Read our full review of Merrell MTL Long Sky.
- Merrell MTL Skyfire ($100 – February 2020) – An 8.5oz (242g), 6mm-drop shoe with less cushioning and stack height than the Long Sky. It does have a rockplate and uses Merrell’s Quantum Grip outsole.
With the La Sportiva Jackal, the company takes aim toward ultrarunners with cushioning and the company’s widest-ever fit. A combination of EVA midsole with polyurethane inserts together aim to provide that cushioning while Frixion AT 2.0 rubber and 3mm lugs provide outsole grip. The Jackal is a 7mm-drop shoe that weighs 10.5 ounces (300g). Read our full review of the La Sportiva Jackal.
- La Sportiva VK Boa ($130 – March 1, 2020) – The Boa version of the VK offers a better fit while shaving a few grams (6.3oz/180g).
- La Sportiva Helios III ($125 – March 1, 2020) –The MorphoDynamic line continues! The third version of the Helios comes in at 7.7oz (220g) and a 4mm drop with a lighter, more breathable upper.
- La Sportiva Lycan II ($140 – March 1, 2020) – The Lycan II goes from minimal lugging to 6mm lugs, which adds nearly 2oz to the shoe. It now weighs 11.1oz (315g).
The first full revision of the Timp sees the Altra Timp 2 trim up to 9.9 ounces (281g) from 10.5 ounces in the Timp 1.5. Much of that weight loss was achieved by removing rubber from between the lugs while completely overhauling the underfoot package with a new outsole pattern and switching to Altra’s Quantic midsole material. The upper and lacing system have been tweaked for better fit. Read our full review of the Altra Timp 2.
- Altra Lone Peak 4.5 ($120 – Available Now) – The Lone Peak 4.5 weighs in at 10.5oz (298g) with the pair of independent midfoot eyelets removed and the toe overlays pared slightly. Underfoot tweaks include a longer-lasting midsole (they added polyurethane) and slightly stickier MaxTrac rubber.
The Brooks Divide is an entirely new 10.3-ounce (292g), 8mm-drop road-to-trail offering. Intended as an introductory shoe for new trail runners, it includes a rockplate and the company’s TrailTack sticky rubber outsole underneath an engineered knit upper with TPU overlays to give the upper a road-shoe-like feel. Read our full review of the Brooks Divide.
- Brooks Caldera 4 ($140 – February 1, 2020) – The 10.0oz (283g), 4mm-drop revision adds 3mm of cushion for a plusher ride, a new engineered mesh upper, and a revised, more decoupled midsole over a redesigned outsole pattern. Read our full review of the Brooks Caldera 4.
The Tecnica Origin LT and XT relaunch the brand into trail running with individually tailored and fitted products. Technically, the Origin line has seen some limited availability over the past year, but April will see it launch more widely. Just how widely is yet to be seen, as the fitting process involves a step-in molded insole and an air-sleeve-compressed molded upper. The two versions of the Origin–the LT and XT–target different body weights in recognition that a shoe that works for a 100-pound runner won’t work as well for a 200-pound runner and vice versa. To that end, the Origin XT is slightly more substantial model in the line with 3mm more midsole and another 5 grams of weight with some additional overlays.
Both models feature a women’s-specific and men’s-specific last. The LT is made for women under 120 pounds (55kg) and men under 165 (75kg), while the XT is made for women over 120 and men over 165 pounds. The Origin LT will weigh in at 10.8 ounces (305g) and the XT at 10.9 ounces (310g) while both feature a 9mm drop and run atop a Vibram MegaGrip outsole.
The Icebug OutRun RB9X is built with stability and support for longer distance efforts and sustainability in mind. The shoe features a generously sized toebax and a significant mudguard around the entire shoe. The RB9X compound lugs are designed for gravel roads and easier trails. On the sustainability front, the upper and its lining are made from 100% recycled materials, at a “greener factory” with solar panels, and 100% overcompensation for carbon emissions (i.e., 200% in total). The 7mm-drop shoe weighs in at 10.8 ounces (305g).
- Icebug Capra RB9X ($150 – April 1, 2020) – A 10.0 oz (285g), 7mm drop trail shoe with a forefoot rockplate and Icebug’s RB9X outsole that was developed with Swedish athlete Tove Alexandersson.
The North Face relaunches its Ultra run line with The North Face Ultra Traction and friends. The Ultra Traction is billed as a protective shoe built for technical trails with its most visible feature being an extensive TPU mud guard around the entire shoe. The 8mm-drop shoe has 3.5 to 4mm lugs made from TNF’s EXTS material. With a 6mm drop, the standard Ultra Traction model weighs 11.3 ounces (320g) with the Futurelight (TNF’s proprietary waterproofing system) version coming in at 12.0 ounces (339g).
- The North Face Ultra Endurance XF ($140 – January 25, 2020) – An 11.3oz (320g), 6mm-drop shoe built for even more technical trails than the Ultra Traction with a cushier midsole, more TPU overlays on the upper, and lower-profile 3mm lugs. This shoe will also be available in a Futurelight version outside of the U.S.
- The North Face Ultra Swift ($120 – January 25, 2020) – The lightest of the relaunched Ultra line at 10.6oz (301g) again with a 6mm drop.
The Salomon Cross /Pro brings the sock-like upper from Salomon’s custom-shoe ME:sh program to the Speedcross line. Sensifit Wings will help keep your foot planted on the Speedcross platform. The Cross /Pro will weigh 10.2 ounces (289g) and have an 8mm drop. Read our full review of the Salomon Cross /Pro.
- Salomon Sense 4 /Pro ($140 – February 2020) – A 9.0-ounce, 4mm-drop trail shoe with Salomon’s OptiVibe vibration reduction insert and a hydrophobic upper. Read our full review of the Salomon Sense 4 /Pro.
- Salomon Sense Ride 3 ($120 – February 2020) – Swaps in Optivibe cushioning in place of its Vibe predecessor. It now weighs 9.9oz (280g). Read our full review of the Salomon Sense Ride 3.
- Salomon XA Pro 3D v8 ($130 – February 2020) – The eighth iteration of a classic moves to a new version of its 3D Chassis and moves to welded overlays that make for a lighter and softer upper. It’s lost 20g to weigh 12.0oz (340g) and retained its 11mm drop.
The Saucony Peregrine 10 reverses course after one iteration by removing Saucony’s Iso Fit construction. This 10.7-ounce (303g) version lowers the lugs from 6mm to 5mm, keeps the rockplate and 4mm drop, and switches to a full-length PWRRUN midsole underfoot. The Peregrine 10 ST is tailored to soft terrain with wider-spaced, 6.5mm lugs, which brings the shoe’s weight up to 11.3 ounces (320g). The Peregrine 10 GTX uses GORE-TEX Invisible Fit construction on the standard version’s platform and weighs 11.2 ounces (318g).
- Saucony Xodus 10 ($150 – February 1, 2020) – Saucony greatly lightened the Xodus to 11.7oz (332g) while adding PWRRUN+ cushioning, a rockplate, drainage holes, and outsole targets for adding screws for traction.
- Saucony Guide 13 TR ($120 – Available Now) – An 11.3oz (320g), 8mm-drop, trail-lugged version of the Guide.
The Arc’teryx Norval LD 2 improves on its predecessor by dropping 50 grams (now, 9.2oz/260g) and having a more durable upper. Most of the weight savings come from the switch to the Litebase platform for the shoe’s Vibram MegaGrip outsole, which shaves 35 grams by itself, while the midsole on this 9mm drop shoe has also been lightened. Finally, the revised tongue should trap less heat and improve comfort.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 features updates all around the shoe. Perhaps the biggest change is underfoot where the outsole retains Vibram MegaGrip, but with deeper, terraced lugs that should add a smidge more traction in the heel and toe. Hoka’s also slightly lightened up the midsole. The upper is updated with a new tongue that’s thinner, comes up slightly higher, and features a gusset on its lower half. A slightly wider forefoot provides a more accommodating fit. For an even more accommodating fit, the Speedgoat 4 will be the first Speedgoat to come in a wide option. The standard Speedgoat 4 weighs in at 10.8 ounces (306g) while the GTX version is 12.2 ounces (348g). Read our full review of the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4.
The New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro Boa modifies the Hierro v5 by adding a pair of Boa dials to the lateral (outward) side of the upper and an external wrap over the medial side and top of the foot. The 8mm-drop shoe weighs 12 ounces even (340g), which I’m guessing is for NB’s men’s sample size of 9.5.
The Columbia Montrail F.K.T. is billed as a more responsive trail shoe with a new sticky outsole compound. The 10.75-ounce (305g), 8mm-drop shoe makes me think of an updated Montrail Bajada, which Columbia is phasing out.
The Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 might very well be one of the grippiest shoes in which a mere mortal can run. Just consider 8mm lugs made from Inov-8’s G-Grip graphene-enhanced outsoles. That’s in a lightweight (235g/8.2oz), 6mm-drop shoe that includes a rockplate and strategic protection in the upper. It rates as Inov-8’s “precision fit,” so it might not be an every day trainer for most.
- Inov-8 TrailTalon 235 v2 ($130 – Available Now) – Updates include the addition of an external heel cage for support and a welded toe bumper for protection. It retains its 4mm drop, 4mm lugs, and 235g (8.2oz) weight.
- Inov-8 TrailTalon 290 v2 ($150 – Available Now) – A new lightweight, more breathable upper with updated Adapterfit to better accommodate foot swelling in longer events.
While we’re lacking details on how the Nike Pegasus Trail 2 differs from its predecessor, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 Trail, the new model will weigh 11.76 ounces (333g) for a U.S. men’s 10. Read our full review of the Nike Pegasus Trail 2.
Also new from Nike:
- Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6 ($130 – mid-March 2020) – The one change we know of is the addition of a sock-like integrated gaiter. Comes in at 10.26oz (291g).
- Nike Wildhorse 6 ($120 – mid-March 2020) – Again, we are light on details, but the ankle collar has been updated. Weighs 11.39oz (323g).
The Topo Runventure 3 introduces a variety of small changes to this trail shoe. On the upper, the mesh weave has been tightened, while the gaiter attachment has been removed, and medial and lateral drain holes have been added. Underfoot, Topo has changed over to Vibram XS Trek for the outsole material. The shoe increases a few fractions of an ounce to 9.5 ounces (269g) and retains its no-drop offset.
- Topo Zephyr ($130 – Available Now) – At 9oz (255g) and 5mm of drop, this is Topo’s new flagship road shoe with a Zipfoam core (to retain resilience through the life of shoe) and a plantar-flexion plate.
- Topo Magnifly 3 ($120 – Available Now) – The Magnifly moves to an engineered mesh upper to remove overlays and a molded foam ankle collar for comfort. It comes in at 10.0oz (285g) and no drop.
The Xero Mesa Trail is a 7.6 ounce, 0mm-drop trail shoe built in a minimalist vein. Atop the low-to-moderate lugging is a scant 3mm of midsole foam. Above that is what looks to be a fairly robust upper for its genre.
Built for comfort, the adidas Terrex Two Ultra Parley features a full-length adidas Boost midsole with the upper derived from recycled ocean-recovered plastic. An 8mm-drop shoe that weighs 11.3 ounces (320g).
- adidas Terrex Two ($100/$120 GTX/$120 Boa – February 1, 2020) – This update saw the Terrex toebox widened and the midsole changed to the lighter Lightstrike EVA with all versions of this model having a 6mm drop. The standard model weighs 10.6oz (300g).
The new Dynafit Feline SL is a complete update from the previous model with changes focusing on the POMOCA outsole material and an improved fit with more forefoot space. The shoe weighs in at 10.2 ounces (290g) with an 8mm drop.
- Dynafit Sky Pro ($250 – March 1, 2020) – A variant of the Feline Up (with its Vibram Litebase Megagrip) with an added waterproof Dynashell gaiter closed by an off-center zipper. It weighs 9.9oz (280g) and has a 4mm drop.
- Dynafit Ultra 100 ($140 – March 1, 2020) – This 10.9oz (310g), 6mm-drop shoe is the most cushioned shoe Dynafit’s ever made. Read our full review of the Dynafit Ultra 100.
The Salewa Dropline definitely falls more into the light-hiker category, but some folks who like a really protective ride or go fastpacking over burly terrain might be looking for that sort of shoe. The 6mm-drop Dropline come in at 12.9 ounces (366g) in the standard model and 13.1 ounces (371g) for the GORE-TEX version. It’s got a highly cushioned midsole, a robust upper, and stable rear overlay structure.
The Salming Trail6 is a 10.1-ounce (285g), 5mm-drop trail shoe with 4mm Vibram MegaGrip lugs. The upper has been redesigned to be lighter weight and more breathable than its predecessor, while adding an internal bootie for more secure fit.
- Salming Elements 3 ($120 – February 27, 2020) – An off-trail shoe that shed 30 grams off the prior version by changing to a lighter, grippier outsole material. Now, a 9.8-ounce (253g), 4mm-drop shoe.
Notes on Spring/Summer 2020 Updates from Other Brands
For someone looking for a shoe at the border between trail shoe and light hiker, keep your eyes open for the forthcoming SCARPA Rush.
We’re waiting for additional details on the Xero Mesa Trail before adding it to this article.
SCOTT will be releasing two new models late this spring, but has not released details on them.
On, Raidlight, Skechers, Under Armour, and VJ Sport have confirmed they have no new trail shoes for Spring/Summer 2020.
Call for Comments
- Which new trail shoes for spring 2020 have you most excited?
- Have any technical questions? Ask away!
- Know of other trail shoes just out or due out early this year? Tell us about them in a comment.
[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!]