10 Best Fell Running Shoes Reviewed & Fully Compared
Trail running can already prove to be one of the toughest things a runner can put themselves up to. So what do you do if you want to push even farther? What if your standard trails just aren’t enough? Fell running is about finding the roughest, hardest, most unpredictable terrain and making it carry you stride after stride and you refuse to submit to it.
Unlike trail running, that already comes with its own fair number of hurdles, fell running ups the ante by taking away the one thing you can rely on in the wild: the trail. Every time you venture out, you go with nothing to guide your next move except your intuition. Every run is different. Your wits are all that’s out there to make certain your footing is sure, but that doesn’t mean a reliable pair of shoe can’t give you a hand.
We know if you made it this far then you are probably still interested in discovering the thrill of fell running for yourself. While it is certainly exciting, we don’t recommend it for runners unacquainted with trail running. It is best to test yourself on some trails before branching out. But if you think you could be up for it, then take a look at the selection of fell running shoes below. We know you will find a pair that will help you overcome whatever the great outdoors has to throw at you!
- Inov-8 X-Talon 212
- Salomon Fellraiser
- Mizuno Wave Hayate 2
- Inov-8 Mudclaw 300
- Salomon S-Lab Speed
- Reebok Trailgrip 4.0
- PUMA Falls
- Saucony Xodus 4.0
- Walsh PB Elite Trainer
- Salomon Speedtrak
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Fell Running Shoes
1. Inov-8 X-Talon 212
A sleek designed shoe with extraordinary traction, no matter how advanced the terrain it is
The best pick for ‘obstacle course racing’
The soft rubber lugs’ grip the foot really well
Well designed heel area
The fit is little narrow which may pause a threat for people with wider feet
A non-negligible portion of cleats was damaged for some users.
Inov--8 X-Talon 212. Inov-8 people are really smart. They know what crazily adventurous people need exactly to scale a hill or compete for an adventurous riding and this ‘Talon 212 Trail Running Shoe’ is their brainchild.Read more
In the midsole area, there is injected EVA while the forefoot is of a Meta-flex groove. One more genius addition in this range is, ‘Off-trail aggressive studs’ which keeps the traction in extremely moist, muddy or slippery terrain.
In terms of durability, this shoe is in the ultimate league, no matter what the conditions, the shoe works
Upper is mega durable, lightweight and engineered to be durable with good protective qualities. A shoe tongue which easily serves the purpose and pulls those laces tight to feel the tight shoe fit which gives the midfoot ample security.
Upper and midsole
These shoes have an exceptionally good water drainage system for those times when a runner strides through very wet surfaces, any water entering can quickly drain so your feet do not feel waterlogged. The upper is very durable and boasts a strong mesh construction on the front upper. It also provides good cushioning for long mileage and being a low profile shoe providing a responsive feel for the foot. Low and very responsive, offering the right depth of cushioning.
Cost and Value
The price is not set with the intention of being super affordable, but if your passion for quality makes you place itself on the top priority list, go ahead and try them for yourself.
2. Salomon Fellraiser
One thing for sure, you’re going to love the combo of EVA-shaped footbed with EVA heel cup
Equally excellent traction for every terrain
Lacing contributes to an effective stability system
Toe-cap is very protective
The soles got separated after a few days of uses for very few of the users
France: the proud father of Salomon since 1947. In the mammoth sized selection of sportswear and sports equipment the Fellraiser Trail Running Shoe is the newest addition and to the avail of an overwhelming amount users’ responses and feedback.Read more
A strong factor for efficient Fell running, this thoughtful French shoe design incorporates running technological innovation allowing the chevron lugs structured at 8mm's deep to smoothly work in conjunction the balanced low heel. The lugs are housed by a Contagrip outsole which provides a strong base allowing the lugs to do their work and bite down firmly into Fell style surfaces regardless of surface weather conditions such as rain, snow or dry. Running uphill or down the reliable shoe grip is consistent.
The shoe is extremely well built and very cautiously knitted to provide you with an assured adventurous racing. The ‘OrthoLite sock liner’ is added to restrain your feet from for any external shock and for providing unmatched cushioning.
Cost and Value
Well done to French innovative design. A good price for a very high performing, durable, attractive looking Fell shoe. Purchasing these represents a good investment. When compared to a Speedcross Outsole, the Chevron will most certainly last longer. Comprising a hard compound made from a specialist combination of rubbers this Contagrip creation provides more than enough grip factor and is surfaced with a chevron pattern of lugs, the traction factor for soft surfaces is extremely impressive.
3. Mizuno Wave Hayate 2
Excellent cushioning that doesn’t let the feet feel any stress even in hill picks
They are praised for being extremely lightweight, ventilated and with fantastic traction
Lightweight to improve performance
Excellent grip to increase stability
Few users find it too much flat.
Mizuno has always been a constant pick out of the footwear section because of its consistent world-class quality. The Mizuno Wave Hayate 2 has created a buzz among the passionate runners by its exceptional multi-terrain features. Let’s find out more about what they have added!Read more
Let’s start with the high-quality synthetic fabric along with its vegan imported rubber sole which restrains the shoe from wearing away even after vigorous running through uneven surfaces. Next three features I’m going to discuss are the breathable and comfortable lace up vamp, lightweight synthetic upper sole, and Heel-cradling Concave Wave design. These features keep your feet breathable, dry, ventilated and comfortable too for which the audacious mountains or the moist morass, nothing at all will be able to put down your zest. Shoe material achieves a natural stretch and is enabled through the inclusion of Dyna-Motion Fit which also serves towards preventing heel buckling.
The shoes protective qualities are great breathability, nice cushion, high flexibility when needed and a strongly constructed shoe which can take on the various challenges thrown up by Fell running. If you want to feel protected, the tech engineered into this shoe is extensive and will serve your needs.
Cost and Value
This shoe is brought to market for buyers with any budget. There is a colossal number of its models for different price ranges. Go and find yours today if you wish to. You won't find it an issue to do so.
4. Inov-8 Mudclaw 300
The traction is something that you are surely going to fall in love with
It’s too lightweight to feel like you are carrying some extra burden
Breathable mesh to keep your feet dry and ventilated
Perfect grip to maximize stability
The availability concerns the users
When vibrant colors are only to stand for your flamboyant soul, when an athlete's running is not only limited to some rocks and hills but to impassion their throbbing disposition, then this chic fell shoe from Inov-8 is a must for your wardrobe.Read more
The Precision Fit, for which this model is adored so much, is mandatory for any fell running shoe. Next, to speak about the overall material- there are two base materials: the synthetic textile and the imported rubber sole. In the upper sole, the presence of breathable mesh keeps the foot well ventilated and dry at all times; the importance of a hygienic dryness while running through extremely hot or humid terrain is in no need for explanation.
This shoe model retains its famous lugs at 8mm, sporting a drop of 6mm creating a double-crown. Excellent traction in muddy and/or wet grass slopes. You are surely going to love is the mud claw lugs in the outsole portion. Let the mud and morass stay on the road, not on your shoe.
Cost and Value
The lowest price of this range is very affordable where the higher ranging models are perfect for professional runners only. Moreover, the shoes are lightweight in comparison to its exceptional off-road running qualities.
5. Salomon S-Lab Speed
Extremely comfortable and stable shoe with proper5 cushioning
The grip is superb
Breathable mesh to keep your feet dry
Would be great if it were slightly wider
A lion does not need to roar to prove its fierceness but rather it's the reminiscence of its viciousness in our mind that sustains its significance. Salomon doesn’t need to do the same too as we know, what to expect from them.Read more
Quality and Durability
Great for uptempo running and various Fell track surfaces due to a low shoe base and lightweight construction. The quality and durability of a shoe is based on the material used. The Lace pocket and Endofit are two features that have taken good ratings among the users. The lace pocket is a feature to definitely fall in love with.
Excellent grip for soft surface especially mud and soaking wet grass, outstanding ability to shed mud, these shoe caste a small print and because of this they prevent large volumes of mud from sticking to the sole. Awesome surface grip combined with high-performance flexibility for the forefoot. Stunningly good strong outsized lugs and a low shoe profile enable fantastic surface traction.
Cost and Value
The shoe definitely does not fit into the same category as cost effective but when considering it's overall quality you have a solid reason to spend your bucks.
6. Reebok Trailgrip 4.0
Made of a tough material and are quite durable
Light in weight
The mid part of the shoe is narrower than expected
No the best pick for pronators.
Reebok is one of the brands that does not need to campaign itself to make an impression on the consumers. Since 1890, Reebok has been surpassing itself with every new launch product and making us feel even more amazed as the years progress.Read more
One thing that can be said confidently- a shoe made with a premium quality synthetic sole and a durable rubber sole is a thousand miles away from falling apart from the constant drag and pull of any hilly terrain.
This Low-cut running shoe is blessed with synthetic closed-weave mesh in the upper sole which ensures matchless comfort and cushioning. Plus, the ‘DMX ride foam’ in the midsole speaks for the atypical stability and grip. Last but not the least; the ‘Active traction lug pattern’ in many ways is the cherry on top.
Cost and Value
A fell running shoe from a worldwide recognized brand like Reebok could never be cheaper than this. Go and invest: you may not regret doing so.
7. PUMA Falls
TPU stabilizing shank’ and ‘Easy-on heel pull’
Perfect Lugged outsole
The fit is slightly in narrower side
These are extremely lightweight with a breathable upper sole mesh of a dual-density construction. Other dominant specifications as a fell shoe which is present in this one: sturdy D-ring lacing and supportive overlays.Read more
Breathability is good via a closed mesh system and works well to prevent the entry of irritating dust.
Lacing style is traditional and works to give foot hugging support in conjunction with a nicely padded heel collar and amply padded shoe tongue.
‘EcoOrthoLite sock liner’ is a truly unmatched feature added which restrain the feet from any shock from the uneven surface, rough desert terrain, fine sand or moist muddy terrain.
Cost and Value
This shoe is primarily launched with two prices, both quite in a similar price range. Both are very much affordable. The shoe is making inroads into the Fell running shoe market and it is worthwhile taking a good look at this shoe and trying it out.
8. Saucony Xodus 4.0
The fit and the comfort is very good
Effective toe protection
Light in weight
The ‘max cushion’, isn’t vividly present in this model
When a company that was established 118 years ago is placed at the top of sportswear and sports equipment even to this day, then it may just have something within it that the other enterprises may not be blessed with. Let’s see if by reviewing the features of the Saucony Xodus 4.0 we can catch on to what this defining quality may be.Read more
The Gaiter compatibility is an important thing to consider in regard to this shoe’s durability. The Xodus 4.0 Running Shoe has been provided with a number of other unique features like its ComfortLite moulded foam sock liner, External Bedrock Outsole rock protection plate, PowerGrid heel insert and Vibram XS-Trek outsole. Yes, the features are indeed noticeably more in number as you may see with a lot of other contemporaries.
Great exceptional grip from the lug system for trail mud surfaces and can additionally provide good traction grip via multiple directional lugs, even on a road surface.
Cost and Value
The price is not at all surprisingly low, but it isn't in any way overpriced either. We know a runner who appreciates quality really doesn’t think twice to spend for a shoe that very much deserves to be on your feet.
9. Walsh PB Elite Trainer
The ‘pyramid grip’ has surpassed the users’ expectation
The Cuniform Wrap prevents any kind of discomfort and straining
Light in weight
Quite an affordable brand
The appearance may seem cheap
What is a fell running shoe? In a few words, these cautiously designed shoes are meant for the passionate and professional runners to provide excellent traction in any adverse terrain, be it sturdy hill picks or slippery muddy surfaces. Let’s see how successful the ‘Walsh’ PB Elite Trainer Fell Running Shoes is in fulfilling this criterion.Read more
Quality and Durability
The lacing system and the Cuniform Wrap are two features that are synchronized and maintain the pull between the facing and sides of the feet. Next, the ‘original PB last’ feature makes the shoe extremely lightweight while the quick-drying materials dry up the shoe with extreme promptness.
Stylish shaped and very functional pyramid lugs offer amazingly effective grip on steep slopes, wet soggy grass, and general muddy slippery surfaces.
Cost and Value
The shoe is moderately priced with the harmony of a contemporary running shoe market. It is made of lightweight synthetic upper materials which present quick drying properties if the feet take a soaking.
10. Salomon Speedtrak
Excellent traction with a lugged sole
Storage compartment in the tongue
Toe box may be too narrow
Salomon brings the high quality that runners have come to expect in their Speedtrak, a fell running shoe that is as stable as it is reliable. These shoes will help you get up, grip, and go on to conquer any trail you set your sights on.Read more
The Salomon Speedtrak is a shoe designed for running with comfort and certainty. These shoes contain injection molded padding for superior comfort. The shoe fits snugly to maintain comfortable and stable wear, with perhaps a slightly smaller than optimal toe box. Where the Speedtrak really excels is instability. From toe to heel this shoe is meant to keep your feet in top form and correctly aligned. Speedtrak also is built with its treads low to the ground to maintain a stable heel drop without sacrificing anything essential to a good fell running shoe.
Any good fell running shoe should have noteworthy grip, since it is a staple need of anyone pursuing this particularly challenging style of trail running. Once again this is a category where Salomon Speedtrak delivers-- hands down. Its tough tread is studded with thick lugs which grip all sorts of surfaces, both wet and dry so that each step you take is just as sure as the last.
Cost and Value
On the lower tier of cost for shoes in this category and will meet all of a fell runners needs, the Salomon Speedtrak is a good buy for certain.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
For this comparative criteria, we particularly looked at the cushion effect in conjunction with state of the art incorporated shoe technology. How do the shoes perform on long Fell trail runs? we wanted to know which shoes provide impact protection and how the level of protection compared to our top shoe selection.
We compared the different type of foot support being offered for foot arches and heels and the size of the toe boxes, different lacing and shoe strap system for locking down the foot for stability.
We looked at and compared the levels of breathability being offered by different shoe brands. How well do the shoes perform for keeping out water and how well do the shoes drain water and dry out, do the shoes protect the foot and shoe from damage by sharp objects.
We looked at and compared the different shoe technology and materials incorporated into the shoe to provide durability while staying with quality. Cheap construction materials can have a nice visual effect but the truth is that cheap reflects a lack of durability. Forsaking quality in an attempt to keep down the market price of the shoe will, of course, result in a shoe with a short-term durability.
If the need for quality and durability are put aside when a brand constructs a shoe the runner will find that he/she can encounter many types of unwanted problems while taking a ride on a Fell trail, we compared the shoes to see how well the need for reliability in terms of durability had been factored into the construction of the shoe.
A shoes overall firmness contributes most to its protection, you don’t want it to bend in ways that your foot shouldn’t be. It is also important to consider if the shoe contains a rigid rock plate, which can save you from some more severe injuries. To a lesser extent, we also want to look at the shoe’s shocks and their ability to absorb not only the weight of your stride but the impact of any slips, trips, or falls. Just because you land on your feet doesn’t mean it won’t take it out of you.
Weight is a factor that rarely plays in a shoe’s favor. Rather we consider what does the shoe have to offer in exchange for its weight. Is its weight properly justified by the utility of the shoe? Did the designers do a proper job making sure that every extra ounce was necessary? These are the questions we need to ask.
Other Factors to Consider
We looked at and compared the cost factors, what exactly does the runner get in terms of value for money measured against the overall performance and lifespan of the shoe.
Primarily what we look for when considering upper, mid, and outsole are construction and materials. We look at how these things are going to contribute to grip, flexibility, and firmness. A fell shoe needs enough give to make sure your foot can grip unstable surfaces but needs to be firm enough to not fold and prevent possible injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
The short answer to this question is no. There is no perfect shoe, or more accurately there is no perfect fell shoe for one person. Perfection for this type of thing is subjective. It all depends on where you take the shoes out; where you like to run. Somewhere with especially uneven terrain may require something more flexible. Run in a humid or damp area? You’ll need a shoe that is more moisture resistant. We are confident you will find fell shoes that are perfect for you and your running needs specifically, but no shoe, fell or not, will universally fit all needs.
Generally, while running fell in the summer your biggest concern is going to be traction. Either you run in a low moisture area in which case you will have to deal with a lot of dust and surfaces that are hard cracked and hard to gain grip in. Or you have a high moisture area, and now your concern is mud and muck, traction still being the primary issue. You’ll want to consider shoes with a tough rigid sole and reliable hardy studs that can grip, pull, and yank you through anything you might come across.
Running during any one particular season is not harder or easier than any others, they simply present different challenges. The biggest issue runners who face the cold weather is long-standing snow and ice. While reliable grip and durability are always helpful in a fell running shoe, what you’ll want most while fell running in winter is moisture resistance. Accumulating water in your shoe won’t only weigh you down but it will likely affect your temperature and force you to cut an otherwise productive run short.
Arch support isn’t generally too limiting as it is a fairly common problem amongst runners. You should be able to find fell running shoes with appropriate arch support to allow you to run unconcerned. If you are having a particularly difficult time finding proper support consider supplementing the arch support of your shoe with therapeutic socks or supportive gel inserts.
All regions and types of terrain present their own set of challenges. Hills and woodlands with loose earth and rocks that make a difficult footing for sure, but its the weather that has the potential to be the most difficult factor of fell running. Weather can make the terrain you encounter slick and muddy, making it difficult to gain traction. If you are planning on running on a new trail then it probably is a smart idea to check for available information on the area.
There are many possible risks when you are running in nature. Sudden inclement weather, dangerous animals, and unstable terrain just to name a few of things a fell runner should be prepared for. Making sure to wear appropriate clothing is a must for any athlete navigating areas of unpredictable weather. If you are looking for peace of mind when your concern is wild animals then there are foggers and deterrent sprays to keep you safe. When preparing for the loose and slippery terrain you will want to make sure to either run with people or a partner. Other options include making sure to let people know where you will be and when or using equipment that allows people to track your location.
Blisters are a challenge most runners will have to face but can prove especially problematic for fell runners. Have to deal with hot spots or blisters while in the middle of the wilderness is not only difficult but can prove to be especially concerning if you end up stranded or stuck. Proper socks and moisture control as well as certain tapes, wraps, and bandages can be helpful preventative or treatment measures. Any injury or impairment should be something to seriously consider in terms of risk before you head out fell running since any help you might need will likely be miles away.