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Planning your next mountain marathon?

Then your running shoes will be an asset if you choose them properly.

You running shoes must have great traction, stability, cushioning and comfort.

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Also, they should be great on any kind of wet surfaces.

Keeping all these criteria in mid, we have come up with these 6 best running shoes for mountain marathon.

Of the lot, Salomon Speedcross 4 Running Shoes is the best. However, rest of them are also not far behind.

Feel free to check them out.

best fitness tracker for runners

Our Top Picks For Today

For Women:

Salomon Speedcross 4 Running Shoes

“Supportive and great with impact absorption”

For Men:

Salomon Sense Ride Running Shoes

“Very comfortable and durable”

Best Running Shoes for Mountain Marathon in 2020

Editor Rating:
SALOMON Men's Speedcross 4 Trail Running Shoe

Salomon Speedcross 4 is one of the best mountain marathon shoes out there.

It provides you with proper cushioning and traction on muddy trails. 

The cushioning comes from the EVA foam which is an industry standard for mid-soles.

EVA foams are very durable, light weight and is excellent with cushioning and shock absorption.

The out-sole has contragrip which provides you with proper traction on the trails.

The aggressive out-sole penetrates in the soft ground and keeps you stable no matter the distance.

It comes with a precise foot hold which is close to foot and provides you with a comfortable feel.

It also has the famed quick lace system. This makes it easy for you to put on and put off this shoe. 

  •   As per customers they are exceptionally light and comfortable.
  •   Great for rocky and technical trails.
  •   Very durable.
  •   Decent drainage.
  •   Great for wide-foot athletes.
  •   Some felt the soles to be squishy.
  •   Not good for harder surfaces.
Editor Rating:
Salomon Sense Ride Trail Running Shoes Mens

These running shoes are great for wet and technical trails.

They have Premium Wet Grip Traction Contragrip out-sole which will provide you with exceptional traction.

The Profeel film chasis links the rear part of the shoe to the front part, thus providing extra stability through the middle of the shoe.

This also improves the overall stability of the shoe and the roll during toe-off.

To minimize the vibration Salomon has combined two materials to make the mid-sole.

One is EnergyCell+ which is a high rebound compound and the other is Opal and lightweight cushioning compound.

Comes with a OrthoLite sockliner and EVA heel cup for better support and stability.

Also, it has 3D stretch air mesh upper for maximum breathability.

This one also comes with quick lace system for speedy lacing.

  •   Good cushioning and ankle support.
  •   Responsive and lightweight.
  •   Very stable, even on muddy and technical trails.
  •   Dirt resistant upper.
  •   Need breaking in.
  •   Less durability.
Editor Rating:
Altra AFM1859F Men's Olympus 3 Trail Running Shoe

Altra Olympus 3.0 is an more improved version and will provide you with more stability, support and traction on the muddy trails.

The upper has a breathable mesh which makes the in-shoe environment very healthy. It also now comes with a 4-point GaiterTrap.

This helps you to keep dirt and debris out of your shoes.

The out-sole is made from Vibram Megagrip. This is a high performance sticky rubber compound.

This compound provides exceptional grip on dry and wet surfaces.

This material is also very durable and it adapts itself according to the ground below.

You get a bouncy cushioning from A-Bound mid-sole compound.

This is made from recycled materials and protects your feet from the harshness of the unforgiving trails.

Also, the mid-sole has Grid-like grooves that allows your foot to flex during movement.

This also makes the shoe lighter for better performance.

  •   Great for even heavier runners.
  •   Very comfortable and cushy.
  •   Good arch support.
  •   Very good grip on wet surfaces also.
  •   Cushioning seems be less than previous versions.
  •   Durability is less than Olympus 2.5
Editor Rating:
ALTRA Women's Superior 4 Trail Running Shoe

This trail running shoe gives you exceptional traction on any kind of terrains by using MaxTrac and TrailClaw out-sole.

TrailClaw are canted lugs strategically positioned beneath the metatarsals.

This provides you with great traction at toe-off.

It also comes with GaiterTrap to keep dirt and debris out of your shoes.

Also, it is a ZeroDrop running shoe. In other words, your heels and the balls of your foot are at the same level from ground.

This provides you with exceptional stability and makes your running feel more natural.

The toe-box has FootShape which helps your toes to spread out and relax. This helps when you climb uphill or go downhill as your toes naturally spread out for better grip.

Overall, you will have a very stable running experience no matter the distance.

  •   Very comfortable and cushy.
  •   Great for people with toe-pain or knee pain.
  •   No break-in time needed.
  •   Great traction on wet surfaces.
  •   Sizing seems a bit off. Order half size larger than usual.
  •   There are not a lot of choices for colors.
Editor Rating:
Hoka Challenger ATR 3 Women's Trail Running Shoes

These are trail running shoes from Hoka One One and as we have come to expect from the company, they come with a lot of cushioning.

This is very much needed if you are running a mountain marathon.

Trails can be unforgiving and if you don’t have a proper cushioning, you may end up injured.

The mid-sole is made from EVA foam which is lightweight and very durable.

This makes these running shoes very cushy and responsive. Also, it comes with meta rocker which helps your feet with accurate roll through your gait cycle.

The out-sole is made from durable rubber and provides you with good traction. 

Also, the aggressive lugs of the sole penetrates the soft ground and keeps you stable while you are busy chasing your goals.

It is made from lightweight no-sew Speedframe Construction. This eliminates any chances of chafing and irritation.

This means, you will remain blister free and will enjoy your run for a longer duration.

Also, the 3D Puff Print Frame is a lightweight and provides you with secured fit.

  •   Good fit and stable.
  •   Good cushioning and shock absorption.
  •   Very comfortable in-shoe experience.
  •   Very durable sole and provides you with great traction.
  •   Tighter toe-box.
  •   Not snug at the ankles due to larger heel area.
Editor Rating:
La Sportiva Men’s Mutant Backcountry Trail Running Shoe

This is a very lightweight running shoe with a lot of cushioning. 

These running shoes are ideal for mountain running and are great for moderate to technical trails.

It comes with integrated Fushiongate lacing harness with high frequency reinforcements. Also, it has Spyraltongue technology.

Combining these two, this running shoe provides you with a friction-less fit and makes it ideal for longer races like mountain marathons.

They are also highly breathable as the upper comes with AirMesh fabric.

This 4-way stretchable fabric adapts to your feet with every stride.

The out-sole has a very good grip due to FriXion XF. It also comes with Impact Break System and V-Groove for excellent traction.

This is a very stable running shoe which will always help you to perform at an optimal level.

  •   Very comfortable and soft cushioning
  •   Lightweight and responsive.
  •   Great side and arch support
  •   Great for long distance running.
  •   Excellent traction
  •   Narrower toe-box
  •   Sizing seems a bit off.


Q) How do I choose trail running shoes?

A: Choosing a trail running shoe is not much different than choosing a normal shoe.

However, you should make sure that they have aggressive lugs.

Also, if you are running on the snowy trails, then use a GTX variety.

Here are some shoes that may help you out:

Best Zero Drop Winter Running Shoes

Q) Is trail running better than road running?

A: The answer is a mixed bag of Yes and No.

Roads are typically made from asphalt or concrete. 

Both of these materials are 10 times harder than muddy trails.

So, they are more tiresome on your joints. However, with trails it is a completely different picture.

Trails are softer and are more shock absorbent.

This makes it easier on your joints. However, on trails you will have to have more focus as you will be continuously facing some roots or rock or a branch.

Roads that way are more cleaner. You can just run on them and only come across an occasional passer–by or a car.

You will run faster. However, running is more slow and deliberate on the trails.

This makes the trail runners more muscular. Most of the road runners have more leaner structure.

I can go on and on with these differences…

But you get the point. None is better than the other and both have its own pros and cons.

Q) What is the difference between road running shoes and trail running shoes?

A: Here are the difference between road running shoes and trail running shoes: 

Trail Running ShoesRoad Running Shoes
  Aggressive lugs on the out-soles  No proper lugs in the out-sole.
  Out-sole gets broken down easily on asphalt.  No proper stability on the muddy terrains.
  Good grip on wet and muddy surfaces.  Slippery on muddy trails.
   Heavier than road running shoes.  Lightweight.
   Lesser responsive.  Very responsive.
  Soles are wider and closer to the ground to provide ample support in the uneven terrains.  Soles are typically narrower
  Protective toe-bumper  The out-sole doesn’t extend to the toe-area.
  May have thick inserts between mid-sole and out-sole to protect against debris.  No such inserts present
  Tougher out-sole  More flexible out-soles

Q) What is the difference between trail running shoes and hiking shoes?

A: Here are the difference between trail running shoes and hiking shoes:

Trail Running ShoesHiking Shoes
  Preferred material is synthetic or textile.  Preferred upper material is leather.
  Almost half the weight of any normal shoe.  Heavier than any normal running shoe.
  Durability is lesser. Need to be changed every 300-500 miles of running.  Very durable. One can last up to years.
    May or may not be water resistant, but have drainage facility.  Water resistant.
  Normal running shoe height for the ankle.  Most of time it is over the ankle.
  Lesser ankle support than hiking shoes.  More ankle support.
  No shrinkage happens.  Leather shoes may shrink as they get dried up.
  Dries faster than hiking shoes.  Drying takes longer.
  Most of the shoes, doesn’t need any breaking in time.  Lot of breaking in time needed.
  Less blister prone.  More chances of getting blisters.
  Multi-directional lugs for stability.  Deep grooves on the out-soles for grip and stability.
  Out-sole may stretch from front of the toe for toe-protection.  Out-sole is more like a platform and doesn’t stretch to the toe-area.
  Good breathability.  Lesser breathability.

Q) Can trail running shoes be used for walking?

A: If you are walking for fitness, then running shoes are better than walking shoes.

However, if you want to use trail running shoes for walking, it is advisable that you use trails for walking.


Trail running shoes are meant for muddy soft terrains. In those terrains you need a very stable, penetrating grip.

For this reason, trail running shoes have aggressive lugs. These lugs are soft protruded materials on the out-sole.

If you use them on asphalt, they may give you an unstable feeling as they won’t be able to grip the grounds as they are supposed to.

Also, asphalt and concrete are way harder than trails. So, these lugs will get eroded away way faster.

In other words, your running shoe will be less durable.

But why is running shoes better for walking?

With running shoes, the companies always use latest materials and technology.

This is due the aggressive demand of the market.

However, walking shoes have a more universal purpose like walking, or are used as casual office wear.

Due to this, these shoes doesn’t require latest technology or materials. So, most of the times they are not at all suitable for fitness walking.

We would always advise to go for running shoe even for walking.

Here are some of the things that you should take into consideration while selecting your walking/running shoes:

Flexibility: You need something which is flexible at the forefoot. Running shoes which have segmented forefoot as in Brooks Ghost 11 are best.

However, it should not be extremely flexible also. You should not be able to bend it in a half. In such cases, these shoes will not be suitable for longer walks.

Low Heel to toe Drop: These running shoes will make your walks as close to natural walking as possible. You should look or something with less than 8 mm heel to toe drop. Most of the low drop running shoes or better yet, zero-drop shoes like Altra Escalante are best.

Fit: You should get a running shoe which is best for your gait cycle. You should visit a store to get your gait analysis done. Also, buy a shoe at the end of your day. That time your feet will be biggest. This way you will always have a comfortable fit.


Mountain Marathons can be challenging. You need to bring in your best game.

At that time, your best buddy is your running shoe.

It will help you to be stable. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you are constantly worrying about your shoe.

So, give your worries a rest and here are the best running shoes for mountain marathon based on our research.

We think Salomon Speedcross 4 Running Shoes will serve you best. However, you should checkout the others as well.

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