Buying walking shoes or trail running shoes is often the most formidable part of the whole expedition. Walking, let alone running, in poorly fitting shoes can lead to blisters, misery and a lifelong aversion to the outdoors.

Luckily, walking and trail running shoes just keep getting better. Recent research suggests that restricting the foot too much can cause injury, and the very best pairs on the market at the moment are responsive and lightweight, while still providing support.

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When choosing what trail running shoes to buy, consider what sort of terrain you will be running on. Are you looking for a shoe grippy enough for grassy banks, sturdy enough for rocky paths, or an all-rounder? Comfort, stability, traction and protection should all be taken into account.

The most important thing is how the trail running shoes feel on your feet. Try on as many pairs as you can stand, and remember that any misgivings you have in the shop will come back to haunt you on the trails. To get you started, here is Mpora’s guide to the best trail running and walking shoes on the market.


This bestseller comes from a company that knows its walking shoes well. Perfect for a range of outdoor activities from trail running to hiking, this is a high performance option tried and tested in the most demanding environments. They're miraculously light and comfortable, too.

£63 at Berghaus.

Salomon are usually the first port of call for trail running shoes, and with good reason. These are designed for maximum agility and stability, and are the lightest option in the Wings range.

£85 at Salomon.

The North Face have produced a pair of walking shoes with a running shoe feel. Sturdy but breathable, they are designed to go fast over long distances. Suitable for anything from trail running to walking holidays.

£110 at North Face.

These versatile walking shoes are all about the grip, ideal for trail running over rougher terrain. Sturdy but still light, they'll serve you equally well in sun and rain.

£120 at Salomon.

These trail running shoes certainly have the best name on the market. Their sticky sole and cushioning make them good for walking or running over any terrain. The lacing harness also provides a reassuringly snug fit.

£90 at La Sportiva.

Great for walking, trail running or trekking, these trail running shoes are both waterproof and breathable for maximum comfort. And if you did happen to twist your ankle, you'd be spotted a mile off.

£60 at Haglof.

These ultra-lightweight trail running shoes are designed to provide impact protection without weighing down your feet. Super flexible and comfortable, these are perfect for minimalist running. You'll fly up the trails, and they'll make all your other shoes feel unbearably heavy.

£65 at Merrell.

Whether walking or trail running, these North Face walking shoes strike a good balance between lightweight and protective. The heel cradle offers positioning and support, while the breathable material ensures your feet will stay cool during even high intensity running or hiking.

£100 at North Face.

These unisex trail running shoes are designed to fit everyone. The shoe flexes with your foot, making it light, grippy and comfortable. The laces tuck away to stop you tripping up, which has brought many trail running and walking holidays to a premature end.

£56.95 at Inov-8.

No matter what you're doing, these women's walking shoes promise to keep your feet cool. Breathable, comfortable and light enough for running around, Berghaus are hard to beat when it comes to walking shoes.

£34.99 at Berghaus.

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