The fall season is the perfect time to get off the road and hit the trails. Crisp air, cooler temps, changing leaves, and clear skies just beg for adventures on dirt, wood chips, or pine needles. We scoured the season’s latest trail-running shoe offerings—from weather-protecting hard chargers to road-to-trail hybrids—to bring you the leaders of the pack. With these shoes, you can forge your own trail. Say hello to 13 of the strongest off-road picks of the season.

1) NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 36 TRAIL

A perfect option if most of your trail runs include time on pavement (this crossover performs better than nearly all other trail shoes on the road), this kick delivers a soft and featherlike step on smooth, groomed trails. $130, nike.com

Nike Trail Running Shoes on Forest Background
Photo Credit: Nike

2) SCARPA SPIN ULTRA

An ideal daily grinder, the noticeably tough heel protection, and a grippy all-terrain outsole pair perfectly with the stiff-yet-still-soft midsole cushioning. For trail runners looking to do it all, this durable kick won’t miss a step. $149, scarpa.com

Scarpa trail running shoe in green on white background
Photo credit: Scarpa

3) ON RUNNING CLOUD VENTURE PEAK

For racing and fast, short workouts on mostly dry terrain, there’s a whole lot to love about these shoes. The completely breathable, stretchy upper is second to none, and the shock-absorbing heel clouds will keep you comfy on rapid descents. $150, on-running.com/en-us

On brand trail running cloudventure peak shoe in white
Photo Credit: On Running

4) SALOMON SENSE RIDE

If you’ve never been trail running, these shoes will make you fall in love. Lightweight and stylish, they feel good and look good, but the real praise should go to the cushion and traction—they will keep you comfy and confident for miles on end. $120, salomon.com

Salomon Sense Ride 2 Trail Running Shoe in Illusion Blue
Photo Credit: Salomon

5) SAUCONY WOMEN’S SWITCHBACK ISO

A fast, light trail shoe that delivers a smooth ride, comfortable fi t, and secure grip on the trail. With the Boa lacing system, your foot is locked in place beautifully—no pressure or rubbing, and with virtually no fear of a lace coming undone or loose over time. $140, saucony.com

Photo Credit: Saucony

6) ALTRA SUPERIOR 4

A redesigned “burrito” upper wraps around the top of the foot without any pressure points, while the anatomical fit gives feet plenty of room—even when they swell. Slip in the removable stone guards on days you’re tackling more technical trails. $110, altrarunning.com

Photo Credit: Altra

7) BROOKS CASCADIA

Even lighter and more flexible than its predecessor, which is great, but where this kick really shines is the outsole: Run over grass, mulch, loose gravel, and mud without slowing your pace thanks to the sticky TrailTack rubber. $130, brooksrunning.com

Photo credit: Brooks

9) HOKA ONE ONE EVO MAFATE 2

A great long-distance trail shoe, especially for big-mileage days, this update is even more comfortable than its predecessor. It has the most cushioning of any in the mix, yet still manages to feel lightweight and nimble across diverse terrain. $170, hokaoneone.com

Evo Mafate women's running shoe on white background
Photo Credit: EVO

9) ADIDAS TERREX AGRAVIC XT GTX

A shoe is only as good as its sole and the smartly placed lugs and the Continental rubber outsole grips well on unsteady ground, be it mud or half-melted slush. These sneaks excel during cool-weather runs that don’t last longer than 90 minutes. $120, adidasoutdoor.com

Adidas Terrex cold weather running shoe on white background
Photo Credit: Adidas

10) ARC’TERYX NORVAN VT

Heavier than others on the list, this low-profile update is built with versatility in mind. With a rubber toe reminiscent of an “approach” climbing shoe, you can transition from run to easy climb or scramble without losing your grip on even the most rugged terrain. $170, arcteryx.com

 

Arc'Teryx Trail Running shoe--women's Illusion Auracle side view on white background
Photo Credit: Arct’Teryx

11) MERRELL ANTORA

Merrell’s latest venture into running is the Antora, a shoe that’s compatible with road and moderately difficult trail surfaces. These lightly cushioned kicks were designed for a very specific demographic: female runners with narrow feet and high arches. $110, merrell.com

Merrell Trail Running shoe in turquoise and pink on white background
Photo Credit: Merrell

12) ASICS GT-2000 TRAIL

If you’re looking for a touch more stability when you head onto dirt and gravel paths, this is your pick. Guidance line technology gives added support to keep you in your natural line of motion, while a roomier toe box gives your big toe more space to splay. $130, asics.com

 

Asics women's trail running shoe in brown on white background, side view.
Photo Credit: Asics

13) 361-TAROKO

Another do-it-all performer, this kick can tackle any surface—delivering enough protection and cushion on the trail, and a fi rm-yet-smooth ride on roads. Bonus points for the padded tongue and secure midfoot fit. $110, 361usa.com

Women's 361 Taroko trail running shoe in blue and orange, side view
Photo Credit: 361