Best Road & Trail Running Shoes For Winter

Having the best shoe during your winter run can make or break your miles. If you are an endurance runner, who logs in most of your miles on the pavement, an optimum supportive and stable running shoe works best. If you choose to venture into the woods and hit the trail, you will need to consider the elements, such as mud, water, possibly snow, and slippery rocks. Read more for the best road and trail running shoes for winter running.

Both types of these shoe categories distinguish themselves greatly when it comes to marketing for the winter conditions. Often at times, a road shoe can double as a trail shoe, given the proper support, and if it works for your running stride and foot strike. Trail shoes, on the other hand, are a bit beefier and clunky when it comes to taking them to the road. However, most of the current brands have been catering to this fact and they are using lighter materials that still manage to repel water, mud, and other elements involved in winter running.

Best Road and Trail Running Shoes For Winter

Here is a list of a few different road running shoe options for winter running:

1. Brooks Glycerin 10
The deepest impact of this running shoe is the soft ride and neutral stability geared towards recovery runs on pavement.

Brooks Glycerin 10 running shoes

Brooks Glycerin 10

Its design is easy on the eyes and it definitely has the quality cushioning in the midsole. It is not, however, designed for tempo sessions given its squishiness and rigidity. It’s also a bit hefty for speed workouts, but for regular pavement runs in all conditions, this might be the best choice. It looks sleek and nicely absorbs the road impact.

2. Saucony Power Grid Cortana 2
This 2013 shoe has a balance between softness and firmness, and cushioning and responsiveness. The design is very appealing, and it’s a smooth transition shoe for those geared towards minimalist stability. This lightweight shoe is praised for its breathability and being a neutral shoe.

Saucony Power Grid Cortana 2 running shoes

Saucony Power Grid Cortana 2

There are several other newer road shoe styles and choices for 2013, but these stood out, as other runners praised them for being cutting edge and dependable for the winter road work. It all depends on the running style and intention of each person, however getting advice from your running store specialist is certainly the best way to go.

If you’re a trail runner, here are a few options for winter running:

1. Mizuno Wave Ascend 7
With a road shoe-like feel, this trail choice is considered to be very forgiving. Every facet for a moderate to slower pace, from comfort to protection, to cushioning, this trail running shoe fares well on road and dirt.

Mizuno Wave Ascend 7 running shoes

Mizuno Wave Ascend 7

Given its weight, high profile, and rigidity, this is not a shoe to wear for racing, but rather for trails and paths. The instability of this shoe over rocks is best suited for mixed uses, and can also double as a road shoe.

2. Adidas AdZero XT4
Considered an aggressive soled shoe with plenty of underfoot protection, the AdZero is excellent for running in the trails.

Adidas AdZero XT4 running shoes

Adidas AdZero XT4

It has a firm ride, plenty of security and rigidity, which makes it inflexible to transition to the roads. This shoe works best on the trail, as it easily digs into the softer surfaces of the dirt.

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3. Salomon XR Mission CS
With a fancy name like this, it’s no wonder it runs smoothly on just about any running surface. The padding and upper water-protection layer alone makes this shoe ideal for winter running conditions.

Salomon XR Mission CS running shoes

Salomon XR Mission CS

The ride is very neutral, as it caters to a more natural stride. The colorful upper fabric is easy on the eyes and the entire comfort of this trail shoe surpasses others in overall satisfaction.

Trail shoes need to have enough stability and rigidity to allow the runner to change stride length and surfaces during a winter run. The conditions on dirt can move quickly from rough terrain to solid, to wet and slippery at any moment. Runners need to keep this in mind when choosing the best trail running shoe. Again, a qualified running store shoe specialist is geared toward helping with this decision.

There are a multitude of 2013 winter running shoes on the market today. Doing the research on what type of surface you prefer, as well as the weather conditions will dictate your running shoe choice. This is your best insurance on providing a comfortable and long-lasting run. As the running shoe industry continually upgrades and tweaks every last bit of materials with shoes, it is important to stay abreast of your body changing as well.

The hips may become tight and overused. The hamstrings may shorten and cause an alteration in your gait. The quadriceps can also be part of the overall running body change, despite this muscle group not being the primary user in running. The hips, buttocks, and hamstrings are the primary muscle users in both endurance and speed work on the track. It can be deceiving to think the quadriceps muscles are the main factor, as they are the largest of the leg, but propelling yourself forward is caused mostly by the muscles behind the body.

When these get out of balance, your running economy suffers, which trickles down to the entire shoe selection process. Being up to speed on the best winter running shoes will surely keep you running all season long, especially as your body changes with the temperature conditions.

With the above road and trail running shoe options, runners should pay special attention to not only how they look, but also how they feel. Most trail shoes are brighter to be able to see during alternate climate conditions, such as rain, snow while road shoes need to absorb the possible slippery surfaces, and have quality traction to ensure that you can remain healthy and active on your long runs. If you are performing track workouts, choose the lighter alternative to any road or trail shoe, as your miles on the track will get maximum effort from cushioning, as well as support.

Are you a road or trail runner? What running shoes do you have? Let us know in the comments below.