A woman and a man run through a field of wheat in the sunshine with golden, autumn coloured trees and the mountains behind them

Top 10 Trail Shoes For Autumn Runs

Autumn is a fantastic time of year to lace up, grab your layers, and hit the trails and tracks. The crisp, clear days, the golden colours of the leaves as they drift from the trees, the calls of rutting deer and birdsong, and the beauty of heading home for a cozy cup of tea can help fill any runner with that post-sweaty summer motivation to get outside and get the arms and legs pumping.


As the seasons shift and you begin to plan your next trail running route, it's worth thinking about important changes you may need to make in your clothing and gear. Ensuring you have the appropriate layers and footwear for the new autumnal changes in weather and terrain can be essential to your enjoyment and performance while out on the trails. Most of us will agree that what we choose to put on our feet can be essential in keeping us safe, comfortable, and motivated to get out there and chase that PB. Grip, stability, comfort, weather resistance  – there's an array of factors you should always consider when buying a new pair of trail running shoes. Our feet are the part of our bodies that make contact with the ground, so feeling confident and supported while out on technical, varied terrain is essential.


Here at Runners Need, we know that only through buying the appropriate trail running shoes for your body, running style, and activity type will you feel the drive and motivation to grab your gear, pop in those headphones, and head out on the tracks and trails this fall. That’s why we’ve put together our list of this season’s top trail running shoes from some of the boldest technical and performance running brands on the market, helping make that early morning or late evening run routine feel a little less like a chore. Whether it’s an everyday running routine, a one-off obstacle course event, or you fancy taking part in some fell and mountain running, read ahead to discover everything you need to put your best foot forward this season.

INOV-8 - X-Talon 255

INOV-8 X-Talon 255 - Men's expert review - 1

INOV-8 X-Talon 255 - Men's Expert Review

When the trail turns to slick, wet rock – it can sometimes feel like you need claws to keep yourself upright. Or talons. The INOV-8 X-Talon 255 is the newest iteration in the series. Now more durable than ever, this incredibly lightweight 255g shoe comes outfitted with everything needed to be a high-performing racer for fell, mountain, trail, cross country, swim run and obstacle races. Designed to be flexible and agile while helping you tackle the trickiest of terrain, no matter the weather overhead, The INOV-8 X-Talon 255 is made from a non-water absorbing ballistic nylon for enhanced durability and protection, making it ideal for all manner of outdoor pursuits.


Inside, you will find the TPU Adapter Cradle - helping limit movement to keep your foot secure for improved reactions and agility; ideal for varied terrains like rock, shale and scree. Constructed with a wide, comfortable fit and a two-part gusseted tongue that helps mould to the top of your foot, the X-Talon 255 distributes pressure evenly through the foot, preventing errant dirt and debris from entering and making your tread uncomfortable.


Underfoot, the Rope-Tex rubber outsole prevents burning when navigating ropes and obstacles – perfect for events like Tough Mudder and rigorous multi-terrain races and challenges. Underneath, 8mm STICKYGRIP rubber studs help power through soft terrains like mud and sand, providing quick drainage and holding firm traction on slippery surfaces and obstacles. There’s even a rubber toe bumper front and centre to protect toes from abrasion and accidental stubbing. With all this and more, ask yourself: Why settle for a trail runner who can handle just one terrain when you could have it all?

ALTRA - Lone Peak 7

ALTRA Lone Peak 7 - Women's expert review - 1

ALTRA Lone Peak 7 - Women's Expert Review

ALTRA Lone Peak 7 - Men's expert review - 1

ALTRA Lone Peak 7 - Men's Expert Review

Altra’s legendary, best-selling trail shoe has evolved. Back offering more than ever, the Altra Lone Peak 7 was made for the hills, the mountains, and those trails less travelled. Everything you love about the Lone Peak 6 still stands firm, alongside a new sleeker-looking construction that brings with it extra stability through the heel and additional comfort over long distances. Perfect for those gnarly off-road trail seekers who tend to get lost in the moment.


Equipped with an incredibly lightweight, seamless, stitch-free upper for a completely streamlined, agile fit, this confident trail runner can fly fast over multiple terrain types while still being highly breathable, leaving feet feeling cool and comfortable. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the Lone Peak 7 can’t also be relied on for its durability. The hardy, air-mesh upper comes outfitted with some mean abrasion-resistant protection and the ability to expel water quickly and dry fast - leaving you with complete comfort underfoot. In addition, you can easily attach gaiters, making this perfect for those mucky, muddy trail days when you would rather keep your legs looking and feeling that little bit cleaner.


Underfoot, the MaxTrac™ outsole offers the wearer a stickiness and grip that can take on some seriously rugged trail adventures. Inside, you’ll find the Dual-Nature Altra EGO™ midsole, giving you responsiveness, comfort, and energy return that will keep you pushing from the start line all the way to the last few steps of the finish line. In addition, there’s moderate Balanced Cushioning™ to position your heel and forefoot at equal ground distance for better alignment, form, and low-impact landings, and an Original FootShape™ toe box fit to allow your toes to relax and spread naturally for comfort and stability on those mean uphill climbs and downhill descents.

HOKA - Speedgoat 5

HOKA Speedgoat 5 - Men's Expert Review

The trail-best shoe, now made even better. Grippy, cushioned, and made for off-road adventures, the Speedgoat 5 is HOKA’s iconic workhorse made to battle technical terrains. A true all-rounder, the Speedgoat 5 stands up as a running shoe that will be just as good on the concrete running to the trail as it will be battling the scree on the way down. Said to "Fly like a bird, grip like a beast", in its 5th iteration this trail runner makes its comeback with less weight and more traction than ever before – at just 291g for men and 234g for women. A brand new shoe from the ultra-strong Vibram® Megagrip outsole to the fully recycled laces, the Speedgoat 5 comes loaded with features that make any mountain feel like a 5k round the park – including 5mm traction lugs designed for enhanced grip and a 25% firmer holding traction over loose soil and gravels.


The Speedgoat 5’s upper has shed the 3D printer overlays of its predecessor to instead focus on a partly-recycled, fully vegan double-layer jacquard-engineered polyester mesh. This build helps inspire confidence on any terrain, with reliable durability and breathability to help regulate your foot temperature and provide more room to move and splay. Retaining the same much-loved stack height and rocker profile as before, this trail-running superstar also features a symmetrical cushion bed without any additional unwanted technologies, giving you the support you want without any unnecessary added weight.


Employing a lighter compression-moulded EVA midsole compound and sock liner for a familiar plush, confidence-inspiring feeling underfoot and responsive toe-off, the Speedgoat 5 was made for those who want to go faster. Additional features include a lay-flat gusseted tongue and bolstered heel collar to lock in the foot and shed unwanted debris, a late-stage Metarocker™ to provide a smooth ride and added movement on uneven terrain, an extended heel cup for easy on/off, and a protective top cap – helping give you a bit of additional protection against errant rocks, tree roots, and trail debris. With all this and more, it's the perfect time to take charge of the trails this Autumn.

INOV-8 - TrailFly G 270 V2

INOV-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 - Women's expert review - 1

INOV-8 TrailFly G 270 V2 - Women's Expert Review

When the autumn colours shift, we know you want nothing more than to hit those idyllic golden leaf-lined trails while staying stable underfoot. Enter the INOV-8 TrailyFly G 270. Perfect for mountain and fell running, this newly updated version of INOV-8’s multi-award-winning 'Trail Running Shoe of the Year' is a fast-feeling, zero-drop, neutral trainer designed to keep your feet grounded over gravel tracks and forest paths when travelling at speed.


Completely redesigned with an improved fit, even greater comfort, and longer-lasting durability, the TrailyFly G 270 V2 is built with all the features you need to get lost on leaf-lined trails. The textile upper is made from an ultra-lightweight, comfortable mesh that proves 25% more durable than its predecessor, with added breathability and stretch in the forefoot. The improved ankle cut and extra padding at the heel help leave you feeling comfortable and supported, with a vastly improved fit and feel. This is further enhanced by the cushioned slimline tongue, taking pressure off the top of the foot with a more secure midfoot hold and a plusher feel under the laces, helping those miles stack up, up, and up!


Underfoot, we have the snappy POWERFLOW MAX foam cushioning midsole and super-springy BOOMERANG footbed. This serves up the much-loved, fast-feel bounce and energy return the V1 was known for, alongside a faster-feeling, zero-drop positioning for enhanced alignment, landing, and running form. A graphene grip outsole with 4mm G-GRIP rubber lugs gives long-lasting, reliable grip over varied trail terrain, no matter the weather overhead. True to size and with a generous-sized toe box: If you're someone who seeks durability and stickiness in a trail runner, then the INOV-8 TrailyFly G 270 V2 is the all-rounder that will take you from the concrete to the trails with ease.

SAUCONY - Peregrine 13

SAUCONY Peregrine 13 - Men's Expert Review

For those looking for a challenge this fall, the Saucony Peregrine 13 is more than ready to ditch the speed limit and soar alongside you. Hitting the trails high and low, this effortlessly nimble trail runner comes packed with exceptional speed and stamina, holding nothing back from the track to deliver the ultimate off-road running experience.


Named after the fastest animal on earth and with an eco-conscious nod, the Saucony Peregrine 13 is an ultra-lightweight, fully vegan, part-recycled trail runner built to help you go faster and further than ever. Neutral, breathable, and coming in just 235/275g, the Peregrine 13 gives you a weightless feel to deliver even more speed than previous iterations, leaving you with an incredible running feeling exclusively tailored to the fast and furious. Inside, we have a lightweight, cushioned PWRRUN foam midsole designed to give you a comfortable everyday feel - no matter the pace you drive at. The front bungee also helps give you a supportive, comfortable lace lock, perfect for helping keep your mind off trailing, annoying laces and focussing on the trail ahead.


Delivering comfort from step in, the PWRTRAC blown rubber outsole with 5mm lugs gives you maximum traction and grip underfoot, even on the most technical terrain: be it rocky scree on the downhills, the road to the trail, or that slick layer of mud and leaf litter under the autumn trees. All of this makes the Peregrine 13 a dependable, aggressive trail runner capable of taking on most trail terrain types. It even comes equipped with a trusty rock plate to help give you peace of mind when navigating debris in the hills alongside a gaiter tab and hook on the front and rear should you want extra protection from those autumn mudslides. With a dependable grip and a pace that'll leave anyone eating your dust, get ready to ignore the distractions and focus on the speed. As Saucony say, with the Peregrine by your side, It's always time to soar.

ON - Cloudventure Peak 3

ON Cloudventure Peak 3 - Men's expert review - 1

ON Cloudventure Peak 3 - Men's Expert Review

For those looking for a sleek, low-to-the-ground trail running shoe for covering long distances at a quick pace, look no further than On’s lightest trail running shoe: The Cloudventure Peak 3. Make those autumn colours melt into a golden blur with the fastest trail-running shoe in the ON collection. Engineered for speed, the Cloudventure 3 is a winning combination created by On with top athletes and is designed to be a competition-level shoe capable of leaving your competitors in the dust. Specially designed for maximum agility, this low-drop shoe has a redesigned fit that sits closer to the ground for increased feedback and powerful take-offs. A more precise, supportive fit with an elasticated tongue strap and sock-like construction helps ensure precision and comfort when out on technical ground, combining for one of the most enjoyable rides you’ll find outdoors.


The ultralight yet durable single-layer stretch mesh upper keeps weight down to a minimum, with a perforated inner for maximum breathability and quick-drying action. Perfect for when the trail heats up. A Helion Superfoam midsole gives light cushioning alongside On Clouds in the heel for a bit of extra bounce and a responsive, soft landing. In addition, the 30% carbon and injected TPU two-finger, rigid Speedboard gives runners the perfect balance between agility and stability, ideal when navigating uneven ground.


Lastly, going underfoot to help give traction at any angle is the improved Missiongrip™ rubber outsole. Offering the wearer a premium grip with a redesigned lug pattern that allows you to brake fast, this outsole offers unbeatable traction you can trust for added confidence on the uphills and the downslopes. Ideal for those looking for a fast off-road training and running shoe that will shine across demanding terrain, look no further than the ON Cloudventure Peak 3.

INOV-8 - X-Talon 212 V2

INOV-8 X-Talon 212 V2 - Women's expert review - 1

INOV-8 X-Talon 212 V2 - Women's Expert Review

INOV-8 X-Talon 212 V2 - Men's expert review - 1

INOV-8 X-Talon 212 V2 - Men's Expert Review

For runners looking for a shoe capable of taking on the muddiest of trails through slick, wet leaf litter and well-churned forest paths, you need a shoe with a confident grip that refuses to compromise. Enter the INOV-8 X-Talon 212 V2. Ideal for runners looking for a trail racing and training shoe, the stripped-down X-Talon 212 V2 gives the wearer reliable, sticky traction underfoot with durable protection and agility made for trails, fells, mountains, and obstacle courses. With outstanding grip over soft, wet terrain and hard rocky mountain paths – the X-Talon 212 V2 is a classic, lightweight running shoe and the continued evolution of a decade-old legend.


Up top you’ll find the super-tough tight-knit textile mesh upper. This mesh is breathable and durable, with perforated holes that allow the removal of built-up heat and excess water to keep feet cool and comfortable while covering the miles. On top of this is a Durable Water-repellent coating providing expert-level water repellence alongside a felt suede rand for extra abrasion resistance and protection from the trail. Finally, we have METAFLEX technology to help bend the foot for easy toe-off, a rubberized overlay lacing system, and a precision fit that locks across the top of the foot for a reliable, supportive feel.


Down under, you’ll find the StrickyGrip rubber outsole. Sticky, tacky, and durable, it ensures superb off-trail traction with 8mm deep lugs that deliver uncompromising grip and confidence when traversing muddy terrain and uphill boulder scrambles. The outsole even comes ridged, with dimples and space between the lugs to allow mud to drop off mid-stride for a steady, confident grip. And for those that would rather keep the mud splatter down to a minimum the X-Talon 212 V2 even comes with side gaiter tabs making it perfect for those in Scotland wanting to try having a little less bog on their feet.

HOKA - Challenger ATR 7

HOKA Challenger ATR 7 - Men's expert review - 1

HOKA Challenger ATR 7 - Men's Expert Review

Built at what HOKA call: "the intersection of road and trail", the Challenger ATR 7 is a specialised road-to-trail shoe specially crafted to take on any adventure the outdoors can throw at it. A true off-roader that can take you from the car park to the deepest parts of the forest without breaking a sweat, the Challenger ATR 7 is the brave and bold all-rounder capable of delivering one of the best all-terrain rides around.


Fully vegan and eco-conscious with an entirely recycled upper, the Challenger ATR 7 comes equipped with a lighter, more detailed,  engineered mesh that allows your feet to breathe and shed excess heat when needed. Remaining cool and comfortable as you pump the miles. The thicker, plush tongue creates a comfortable under-the-lace feel over the foot, with breathable holes to retain that fresh feel. Inside, you have inherent cushioning, a compression moulded EVA midsole, and an increased stack height. Softer at the heel, the Challenger ATR 7 allows a bouncy, springy toe-off with a supportive heel that will fill you with confidence the whole way down. If that's not enough, there is even a handy heel tab at the rear for easy on/off at the trail start and end.


On the base, you'll encounter the Durabrasion rubber outsole. Inspired by gravel tires with tiny, tightly packed 4mm lugs in the centre and larger aggressive lugs at the perimeter, these help dig into the mud and gravel making it perfect for the hills, the forest, the mountains, and the tarmac. Able to deliver a smooth ride on the road without sacrificing the sticky traction needed for uneven terrain, boggy mud, and slippy leaf litter, this shoe is street-approved and trail run tested. Trust us with the HOKA Challenger ART 7. The shoe that never chooses to compromise.

NEW BALANCE - Fresh Foam X Hierro V7

NEW BALANCE Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 - Women's Expert Review

New Balance Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 - Men's expert review - 1

NEW BALANCE Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 - Men's Expert Review

Designed to tackle every trail, from the mud-soaked forest floors to the end-of-summer family hiking trip down the coast, New Balance’s Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 is designed for adventure lovers who always put comfort first. Perfect for those wanting a more eco-conscious shoe, the Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 meets New Balance’s Green Leaf Standard, with 50% of materials sourced ethically. Whether it’s fighting for the planet, battling uneven ground and debris, or tackling those muddy puddles on the trail floor, the Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 is designed to overcome any challenge you’re willing to throw at it.


Up top, we have a lightweight, close-knit synthetic mesh offering exceptional breathability, durability, and abrasion resistance. This upper combined with a no-sew overlay and toe protector helps give the Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 additional protection and comfort where you need it most, ideal for technical terrain. The large, plush tongue and flat laces eliminate pressure points over the top of the foot, while perforated holes allow you to expel warm air for exceptional breathability and comfort. Rounding off we have a cushioned collar, heel, and ankle for comfortable step-in feel, a large heel pull tab for easy on/off, and extra space for a gaiter tab when required.


Underfoot we have a re-designed Vibram MegaGrip outsole with exceptional grip, making this one of the best trail running shoes for more technical hiking and trail paths. Mud and rock beware, as the multi-directional lugs come greatly spaced to avoid clogging with mud and debris, delivering phenomenal traction on the toes when ascending and on the heel when working your way back down. And where there’s traction and reliability, there's also incredible comfort, with a spongey insole and Fresh Foam X midsole for enhanced impact resistance, and energy return. For those looking for a trail shoe that will be at home on the technical terrain as it will be heading out for weekends with friends, New Balance’s Fresh Foam X Hierro V7 more than delivers.


INOV-8 - Mudclaw 300

INOV-8 Mudclaw 300 - Men's expert review - 1

INOV-8 Mudclaw 300 - Men's Expert Review

Finishing up the list we have the iconic INOV-8 Mudclaw 300 made - you guessed it - for the mud. Coming in at an incredibly lightweight 300g these trail running shoes were designed to help you run with unbridled confidence over even the muckiest of terrain. A specialised construction helps deliver exceptional grip and traction even when slick and wet, with an aggressive outsole and unique stud design that releases mud as quickly as it grips it. A shoe designed for running in the fells, mountains, and extremely muddy obstacle courses like Tough Mudder, this is an ideal choice for which the rainy autumn trail days pose no threat.


The super-strong mesh upper is incredibly durable and protective, giving exceptional abrasion resistance and a level of security you can rely on to keep your feet working harder and harder on the trail. Highly breathable, the upper also helps keep feet cool and dry by quickly and effectively shedding excess water to keep you comfortable and on the move. A secure fit ensures nimble confidence over extreme terrain types while a hardy front rubber toe cap gives a little extra protection where you need it most - ideal for obstacles and technical terrain. Going inside, you’ll find an injected EVA midsole alongside a 6mm heel drop for extra comfort over those longer distances without compromising on speed. The inner METAFLEX technology also allows the foot to bend, giving you an easier transition by being slightly thinner through the ball of the foot for incredible toe-off.


Last up we have the main selling point of the Mudclaw 300 – the exceptionally grippy, mud-shedding outsole. This highly aggressive Dual C Sticky Rubber gives an uncompromising, confident grip on soft terrain like wet mud and leaf litter, with a unique set of 8mm multi-directional studs that then help release the built-up muck and debris for even better traction underfoot. The ideal partner for muddy runs in the fells and mountains where reliable traction on tough inclines and descents becomes essential. Don't just run on mud. Claw through it.

Here at Runners Need, we believe it's never too late to start running. We're dedicated to helping everyone find the run for them, so why not check out our full collection of road and trail running shoes and discover your perfect fit?

Get out there and get running with Runners Need.

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