10 Best Fell Running Shoes Reviewed & Fully Compared
Unlike trail running, which 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. Your wits are all that’s out there to make certain your footing is sure, but that doesn’t mean a reliable pair of shoes can’t give you a hand. If you think you could be up for it, take a look at our selection of fell running shoes below and find a pair that will help you overcome whatever the great outdoors has to throw at you!
Take a look at our top 10 picks below!
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Gaiter attachment points
Wide toe box
10 Best Fell Running Shoes
1. 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 of users’ responses and feedback.Read more
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.
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.
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 with 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
2. Under Armour Dash 2
Gaiter attachment points
Wide toe box
Durability issues for some users
A well-known brand, Under Armour is a name many people trust for quality and excellence and the same holds true with their shoes. The Under Armour Dash 2 is a great choice for anyone looking for an awesome pair of running shoes!Read more
The Under Armour Dash 2 is one of the highest rated shoes on our list when it comes to comfort, which is a large part of what earned it the number two spot on our list. Every part of these shoes is designed to be comfortable and to make you feel good when you wear them for your runs!
These are also a great pair of shoes to consider when durability is important to you. They are designed to hold up to the wear and tear of intense workouts and runs and are great for gym or trail running alike. There is no point in buying shoes that won’t hold up and serve you well and with the Under Armour Dash 2 you are sure to get your money’s worth!
Runners need to protect their feet while they are out for a run, especially if they are running in rough or uneven terrain. These shoes are a perfect choice when you want a pair of running shoes that will provide you with all of the support and stability you want and need for your runs and workout sessions.
The Under Armour Dash 2 are a surprisingly light pair of shoes for all of the support, cushioning, and sole protection they provide. They aren’t super light weight but they are far from the heaviest shoes on this list so they are a good option for any runners looking for lighter shoes that do not sacrifice comfort or support in the process.
The final feature of these shoes from Under Armour that is worth considering is their outsole design. They are designed with good tread and traction so you can be sure to keep your footing even on the roughest and slipperiest of trails. They are also design with great shock absorption to protect your feet and legs from impact injury as you run!
3. ASICS GEL-Venture 5
Great cushioning and insoles
Very comfortable design overall
Excellent for runners needing extra support
Runs small according to some users
Another great shoe from a popular brand, the ASICS GEL-Venture 5 is a well-known and highly coveted shoe that has met the needs of runners for years and it is still one of the best rated running shoes out there today!Read more
The ASICS GEL-Venture 5 is known for its comfortable fit, great design, high-quality material, and durable craftsmanship. When you put on these running shoes your feet are surrounded by comfort and support, exactly what you need before you head out for a run!
Like many other ASICS products, these shoes are made to last and are a smart investment for any runner. Beginners will love their durable design and stylish features while pros will appreciate the great return on their investment and the enhanced experience they get.
Any runner who spends a lot of time on rugged trails or running the hard paths of the concrete jungle will need good protection when they run. The ASICS GEL-Venture 5 running shoes will protect your feet from heel to toe every time you put them on!
These are a medium weight shoe which is fine for many runners today. The added support, cushioning, and shock absorption you get from the heavier design is well worth it for many runners. These shoes are far from heavy so they are still a good choice for avid runners.
The ASICS GEL-Venture 5 is designed for avid runners who are always on the go and who enjoy long runs on a number of surfaces and terrains. The soles have great traction and grip to help you keep your footing and maintain balance and stability at all times!
4. Altra Men's Lone Peak 3.5
A sleek designed shoe
Good for obstacle course racing
Well designed heel area
The fit is little narrow
Some complaints about the tongue design
When you are looking for a great running shoe that will support your feet, keep you comfortable, and that can hold up to all kinds of terrain then you will want to consider the Altra Men's Lone Peak 3.5 running shoe!Read more
These running shoes are made to be comfortable and supportive, two things you always want in a good pair of running shoes. The inner materials cushion your feet and the outer materials protect against the elements.
The Altra Men's Lone Peak 3.5 running shoes are great for beginners and professional runners alike because they are made to be durable and will take whatever you have to give. They are a smart investment any runner will be glad to make for their running gear!
The durable design with a breathable mesh mid-layer provide ample protection for your feet while still allowing for good air flow. This will help protect your feet from blisters due to seating and will also guard against the dreaded sneaker odor.
The Altra Men's Lone Peak 3.5 are a little heavier than some of the other shoes on this list and while they are not necessarily a light weight shoe they are still much lighter than the traditional cheap sneakers from the discount store!
A good outsole is designed to be durable and will have tread designed to improve traction and stability in all kinds of terrain. These shoes have this and much more, including improved shock absorption and support for your feet.
5. 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.
These shoes offer great stability and support and they weigh a little more because of it--but they certainly aren't too heavy.
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.
6. Saucony Peregrine
Works great as a hiking shoe
Outsole is heavier than previous model
These shoes get excellent marks for their high level of traction, which is one of the best on the market. They really do work well for the purposes of this buying guide, and users loved them as an all-around great off-road running shoe.Read more
Users didn't have a lot to say one way or the other about how comfortable this shoe is, but they were really blown away by the traction and couldn't talk about much else, although we did find some positive reviews about this factor and zero negative ones.
Most users found these to last well into the 250+ mile range a good running shoe should last, although there were a few comments about durability issues with the outsole, specifically the tread knobs coming off.
These have a heavy-duty outsole to protect against sharp rocks and other debris you may encounter on or off the trail, and a lot of people use these as hiking shoes and love them.
A pair weighs 10 oz. in women's and 11.3 oz in men's.
The sole of this shoe was just redesigned for this model, which has increased the weight but also the comfort of the shoe on the trail as well as it's durability. Saucony puts its PWRTRAC traction system to good use here, and its grip was the number one factor that users of this shoe
7. 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 good 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
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.
These are about average weight for a pair of fell running shoes.
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.
8. 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.
These fell running shoes are really durable and built to last--after all, this brand is known for their high-quality and durable shoes.
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.
The shoes are lightweight in comparison to their exceptional off-road running qualities.
The outsoles on these shoes and their lugs will provide you with the grip, traction, and stability that you need.
9. Adidas Terrex Skychaser
Outsole may not be as durable as previous model
This option has great traction and a Gore-Tex upper so it's both breathable and waterproof, making it perfect for fell running. Reviewers raved about the comfort of this shoe, and it comes from a company that's famous for their quality athletic apparel.Read more
When it comes to comfort these are one of the best on our list. The speed lacing system works well and doesn't pinch like some similar systems do, and the lining is soft and comfortable.
Durability is good for these, although some question how well the outsole will hold up as it seems softer than in the previous version.
These have a heavy-duty outsole to protect against rocky landings. Some people felt it was too stiff, but that's exactly what you want in this type of shoe.
These weigh 325 g or 11.5 ounces in the men's version and 289 g or 10.2 ounces in the women's version which does make them one of the heavier options we chose.
The bottoms of these shoes feature rubber from Continental, the famous tire manufacturer. They created this rubber especially for Adidas and customers have raved about how grippy it is.
10. 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 Xodus 4.0 Running Shoe has been provided with a number of other unique features like its ComfortLite moulded foam sock liner,
The Gaiter compatibility is an important thing to consider in regard to this shoe’s durability.
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.
Pretty lightweight but still durable!
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.
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 we consider in a lot of the running shoes that we review on our site—and this should be no surprise since that last thing a runner wants or needs is a pair of running shoes that will weigh you down and prevent you from running. That being said, weight is something that varies from shoe to shoe and often depends on your foot type. If you overpronate, have stability issues, or require additional support for your foot you will end with a shoe that is heavier than others—but that doesn’t mean they have to be heavy or that they can’t still be lightweight.
When compiling our list we wanted to ensure that we provided fell running shoes for all foot types and specific needs, so you will notice some are heavier than others. However, most of the shoes on our list are relatively lightweight, even when accounting for additional support and stability features they may offer.
Even they heaviest shoes on our list are still lightweight and flexible enough for fell running. But, we still based our rating on the weight of the shoe and gave higher ratings to those that weighed less than others—but don’t let that be your final decision tiebreaker. At the end of the day, you need to get a pair of shoes that offers the features that will cover your needs—so make sure to prioritize that!
When it comes to fell running shoes, the outsole is of utmost importance. If the outsole of these shoes are not durable and constructed properly they won’t last long—after all, you need them to be able to handle really technical terrain, and you definitely need to be able to rely on them for the long haul if you are serious about fell running.
The outsole of a good pair of fell running shoes will feature a design specifically made for technical terrain. They should provide adequate grip and traction to prevent you from slipping or falling and thus getting injured. Since the outsole will be receiving the highest amount of stress, they need to be durable enough to handle harsh running surface as well as provide you with the right amount of balance, stability, and support—to keep your ankles from rolling and your feet from slipping.
Not all fell running shoes feature the same outsoles and some are better than others. Many of them use Gore-Tex or Vibram material and others go as far as providing waterproofing features. Either way, we rated the outsole of the each of the shoes based on how great they truly are but at the end of the day, you need to consider your specific needs and ensure that you are getting a pair of shoes that has the outsole and features that will fit your needs.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When trail running or fell running, you really shouldn't just jump right into it if you don't have any experience. These are incredibly dangerous activities that run the risk of causing severe injuries if you aren't careful. The best course of action is to practice on less technical trails and paths with the aid of a more experienced partner.
Although your fell running shoes are likely to become very dirty, it's important to make the effort to keep them clean. It's not a big deal if your shoes have a bit of mud or dirt on them, but it can become a big deal if these materials are caked onto the sides and underside of your shoes since it can lead to decreased effectiveness. Make sure to keep your shoes in top running condition!
Other Factors to Consider
One of the most important factors to consider when we are looking to buy anything, running shoes include, is the overall value of the shoe. Value refers to many things—cost being one of the main things. So, it is no surprise that when we took a look at the overall value of the shoes we were considering for this review, we took a look at what each of them cost—after all, we know many of our readers may have a tight budget they want to adhere to.
To establish the overall value each of the shoes delivers, we took a look at the comfort, durability, protection, weight, and quality of the outsole provided by each shoe. Once we did this we compared what we found to the overall cost, or investment, of the shoe and established a value rating. We also took a look at actual reviews from real-world users to see what they had to say and took that into consideration as well.
We encourage you to do the same, just apply it to your own preferences and needs. Different shoes will work for different people and while one model may hold its value for me, that doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. When you take a look at value make sure to dig deep and figure out your personal needs and preference—and set a budget if you need to. Compare it all and see which one will bring the most value to your life.
Fell running has certain requirements and you can’t use just any shoe to do it--if you could we wouldn’t have an entire page dedicated to the best fell running shoes. This is why we consider effectiveness to be another really important factor to take into consideration when looking for a pair of fell running shoes—and it is why we included in the search of our top ten selections.
In order to be effective, a fell running shoe needs to allow for a full range of motion, which means it needs to be pretty flexible. It also needs to provide a good bit of grip and traction since you don’t want to slip or fall on any of the unstable surfaces you will be running on. An effective fell running shoe will be flexible but also firm enough to protect you from injury.
The most effective running shoes will also provide you with the right amount of balance, support and stability so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary injury. They are constructed of sturdy and durable materials that can take a beating—so you can rely on them to handle anything that comes flying their way.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: I run long distance fell competitively during the summer, what should I look for in a fell shoe sole?
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.
q: What should I look for in a shoe for fell training and racing during the winter months?
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.
q: I have arch problems, will I be ok for fell running?
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.
q: Which terrains are most challenging for fell runners?
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.
q: What are the possible hidden dangers fell running presents?
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.
q: Is there anything I can do about developing blisters while fell running?
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.