10 Best Winter and Snow Running Shoes Reviewed – 2021
On our list, we have provided sneakers from trusted brands that will help you keep control when running on bumpy trails, and transition easily to slick sidewalks.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
DNA Loft midsole
Gore-Tex inner membrane
Keeps feet warm and dry
10 Best Snow Running Shoes
1. Brooks Ghost 13 GTX
DNA Loft midsole
Gore-Tex inner membrane
Keeps feet warm and dry
Heavier than most
All in all, the Brooks lineup makes excellent stability shoes that will really help you out on snow-covered and frozen trails or sidewalks. The Ghost 13 GTX, however, takes their tried and tested Ghost design to a new level with the 13 GTX that is perfect for those icy days. It packs features to keep your footing while holding in heat and wicking away moisture without sacrificing flexibility.Read more
One of the things that makes this design unique is the inclusion of a stretchy Gore-Tex inner membrane. This membrane works by trapping heat inside of the shoe to keep your toes nice and toasty on cool days, and it completely wicks away moisture so rain and snow stay on the trailhead where it belongs. When your feet are dry, they are warm.
We also like that this design boasts Brooks’ patented DNA Loft midsole that offers a good deal of cushioning as well as stability. This midsole provides excellent energy feedback in all stages of your gait. Coupled with modest lugs for tractions, this design transitions effortlessly from trailheads to sidewalks.
For those in the market for something that offers a good deal of stability without sacrificing flexibility, this design from Brooks is worth a look. The grippy rubber lugs and the Gore-Tex inner membrane makes it ideal for winter running, and the DNA Loft midsole gives you just the right amount of cushioning and stability.
2. Salomon Wildcross GTX
Great for trails
Multi-directional tacky lugs
DreamTex wings for added control
Not ideal for sidewalks
If you want to stick solely to the trails this winter, this design from Salomon is a great option. It boasts super deep lugs that really grip snow-covered and uneven surfaces, but it isn’t ideal for sidewalk and treadmill running. This design is also packed with features designed to keep your feet warm and comfortable in cold and soggy conditions.Read more
The most notable feature of the Wildcross GTX is the super deep tacky rubber lugs. If you love running on uneven, snow-covered, or muddy trailheads, you will want to strap these trainers to your feet. These lugs are off-set for multi-directional grip, which really helps to keep your gait nice and even on bumpy and frozen trails.
We also like that it boasts an internal membrane that is composed of Gore-Tex. This membrane is flexible and moves when you move, and protects your feet from water and moisture to keep them 100 percent dry from beginning to end. Gore-Tex is also an excellent insulator, which works to trap heat inside to keep your feet toasty on those super cold days.
If you are willing to spend a little bit extra on a fantastic trail runner, the Wildcross GTX from Salomon is an excellent choice. While it doesn’t transition very well from trails to sidewalks, it boasts super supportive features that help to keep your footing on slick and uneven terrain.
3. Saucony Peregrine 8 ICE +
Designed for running in ice and snpw
Not waterproof, so water can seep in if it's too much
Saucony is a well-known and highly distinguished brand in the running community and these shoes are definitely one of the best snow running shoes to choose from. They were specifically designed for running in snow and icy conditions so they will not only help you run in this terrain but also use let you use these conditions to push yourself further and improve your performance.Read more
These are one of the best running shoes for snow because they utilize a Vibram arctic grip sole and have 6mm outsole lugs--so they are built for comfort in snowy, cold weather running.
The cushioning and ice tech in these ice running shoes help you push yourself to the limit--you'll even forget your running on snow you'll feel so stable and secure.
Really expensive, but specifically designed for snow runs and are really good insulated running shoes.
4. La Sportiva Jackal GTX
Tacky rubber outsole
Rock guard for added stability
Holds in heat
Too hot for some
All of the trainers in the La Sportiva lineup are made for some pretty extreme conditions, and the Jackal GTX is no exception. What makes this shoe ideal for winter runs is that it is packed with features that really grip the trails to ensure proper footing on slick surfaces. Plus, it has an upper that is designed for cold weather to help really hold in the heat on cold days.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is found in the outsole. It boasts modest lugs that are made from a tacky rubber that helps to grip slick and icy surfaces. What makes the Jackal GTX ideal for icy and frozen trails is the inclusion of the rock guard that creates an even running surface for excellent control and stability.
Runner also loves that the heavy and reinforced upper helps the runner maintain control while also holding in heat. Some previous users found that this design is a little too hot to wear in warm weather, making it the perfect option for cold winter days.
If you want to still hit up the trails when it is cold and snowy, the Jackal GTX is a great option. The heavy reinforced upper helps to hold in heat while the tacky rubber lugs help you to keep your footing on slick trailheads.
5. Icebug DTS 4 BUGrip
Provides great stability
Quick Dry mesh
Great for wide feet
You may need to size down if you have narrow feet
Icebug is known for their super durable shoes that are built to last and great for hitting the rough terrain--so no it's no surprise that they have a pair that made our list of the best snow running shoes.Read more
These running shoes are well-cushioned and will keep you comfortable while also providing stability.
Their quick-dry mesh prevents the shoes from getting soggy when they hit the snow and they are designed for wide feet--so if you struggle with narrow shoes, then these may be a great option for you. They provide excellent traction and grip so you don't have to worry about slipping all over the place when out on your runs.
These shoes are water-resistant and made of high-quality materials that are built to last. While they are expensive, you will find this option is worth the cost and that you can count on them for all of your winter and snow running.
6. Arc'teryx Norvan VT 2 GTX
Tacky rubber lugs
Easily transition from trails to sidewalks
Heavier than expected
Arc'teryx knows a thing or two about what athletes need for cold weather, which is why the Norvan VT 2 GTX makes an appearance on our list. What we love most about this simple design is that it boasts a low profile and is packed with features to keep your feet nice and warm without sacrificing flexibility and your full range of motion.Read more
While the Norvan VT 2 GTX performs like a traditional pair of trainers to help you reach your running goals, a few key features in the design makes it ideal for winter runners. It boasts a Gore-Tex membrane that contours to the shape of your foot and moves when you move. This lining is 100 percent water and wind-resistant, which means it holds in heat while keeping your feet nice and dry.
This design also boasts 4 mm lugs that are composed of a tacky rubber that is perfect for gripping slick surfaces. The lugs are deep enough to tackle most trailheads, but shallow enough to transition easily to sidewalks or even treadmills as needed. It also has a blended EVA/Polyolefin midsole that provides excellent energy feedback and stability for uneven trailheads to ensure a balanced footing no matter where the trail takes out.
If you are in the market for something that will keep your need warm and protected and is able to transition from trails to sidewalks, this design from La Sportiva is a great choice. While it boasts a low profile and modest frame, it is packed with supportive features to keep your feet warm, protected, and steady on snow-covered trails this winter.
7. Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX
Great sturdiness and protection
Lovely and springy
A little pricey
Not particularly breathable
These are rugged, durable and waterproof, and the rubber on the sole is Continental, which gives good traction and long life. The soles are nice and springy to make sure you don’t get bogged down in the snow, and the upper and midsole are really sturdy and protective.Read more
The energy return in the sole is great here, so you can resist and fight the snow, and the abrasion-resistant weldings offer great lining and protection against the elements and whatever else you might come across.
The traction really is brilliant and they’re super comfortable in spite of their sturdiness. The Gore-Tex will keep you super dry but does hamper the breathability. Very good durability and excellent quality – nothing more to add here!
The price pretty average for this category; you can take it or leave it.
8. Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX
Fantastic balance and stability
Great comfort and cushion with simultaneous support
Really good fit and snug feel
Come in lots of color options
The sizes run a little narrow
The durability isn't the best
These are built for speed in spite of their hardiness and have fantastic traction on both ascents and descents along with an 11mm heel-to-toe-drop. The design cradles the feet for a snug fit, which is invaluable in bad weather. The aggressive tread here can handle the snow really well - there's a reason that these are a massively popular trail choice.Read more
The lacing system really keeps you comfy and snug, along with the design of the fit. The midsole is molded and low to the ground, which offers really good comfort in addition to massive stability, while the cushion is great with a great deal of softness. The heel is broader than many other shoes, which gives better balance in harsh conditions, and the sole of the shoe gives a good grip on snow with Contagrip technology.
They might require a very small breaking in period and it can take a little while to get used to the unique lacing system, but these are otherwise a fantastic shoe. They're a little narrow for some and they're not as durable as some other Salomon shoes, but the quality is so good that this is almost forgivable.
The price point here is pretty average for this list.
9. Inov-8 Roclite 315 GTX
Allows for your natural stride
Not as many color options
Narrow toe box
If you want to stay injury free, the Inov-8 Roclite 315 GTX will make sure you have the stability you need to run in the snow.Read more
These shoes are made of synthetic and mesh and have an 8mm drop. The midsole is cushioned for additional comfort and is designed to allow for your natural stride. The Gore-Tex membrane makes the shoe water-resistant and the shoe provides a secure and comfortable fit.
This option comes with X-Protect fabric to ensure it is both durable and protective. They are durable, light, and protect you from the outdoor elements.
These are averagely priced and one of the more affordable options on our list.
10. ALTRA Lone Peak 4
Super traction design
Offers good stability and balance assistance
Handle slippy conditions well
Comfortable design features
Can be a bit pricey
Some sizing issues reported
The Altra AFW1755F Lone Peak snow running shoes have everything you need to enjoy winter runs while staying safe and comfortable. Your feet will be protected, stable, comfortable, and warm even on the longest of winter time runs. Like all running shoes, these are made to be durable and will handle whatever you throw at them. They are made of tough synthetic materials that will protect your feet from the rough terrain and the cold of snow running.Read more
With such a great design, the Altra AFW1755F Lone Peak has your comfort first and foremost at all times. From the moment you put them on till the time you take them off, the comfortable insoles, soft fabrics, and supportive outer layer are working to keep you comfortable so you can focus on your run and avoid foot pain and fatigue!
One of the biggest issues runners face when they hit the trails in the winter is stability problems. Slippery snow and ice can make it hard to keep your balance and stay stable. The Altra AFW1755F Lone Peak snow running shoes are made with enhanced traction and tread so you stay stable and on your feet even in slippery and wet conditions.
There are several colors available to choose from and there are several styling features that make these shoes a great choice for those who want to have the best shoes available while still looking stylish.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Running shoes are made to be durable and this is even more so when you are looking for the best snow running shoes.
When we talk about durability, we’re talking about the ability of a particular product to last over a long period of time. The more durable a shoe is the more comfortable and uses you’re going to get out of it which ultimately means you’re spending less money.
When it comes to winter running shoes, this is especially important because you’ll probably be running through snow, mud, ice, and all sorts of muck. Not only is this potentially dangerous, but if your shoes can’t stand up to the harsh conditions of snow running, then you’ll be spending less time running and more time shopping for new shoes.
In some cases, it may be hard to know the durability of a pair of running shoes for snow and ice until after you use them for a while, but checking buying guides and reviews can help give you an idea of what to expect. You can also look for higher quality materials and shoes that use things like water-repellent coating and sturdy cushioning.
No pair of shoes is worth much to a runner if they are not comfortable to wear.
It doesn’t matter how good the materials and stability of your shoes are if they are uncomfortable and absolutely no one wants to have to think about how bad their shoes feel the whole time they are running. There are specific features that can help up the comfortability of your snow running shoes, and these are the qualities we look for when reviewing each pair.
A molded or cushioned midsole can provide more support, while abrasion-resistant shoes will reduce rub. Grip lacing systems can make lacing your shoes easier and potentially more fitting, although more typical laces may allow you to adjust the tightness more easily.
Breathability helps to improve airflow in snow running shoes, which may be much warmer and thicker than regular shoes. Some shoes have protection plates built in to guard against rocks and other potential dangers, although this may affect how heavy or light they are.
Clearly, there’s a lot to consider and sometimes it’s about compromise, but with plenty of variation, you can be sure that there is a shoe out there for you that can meet all your comfort needs.
When you are running in snow and ice the need for good stability is even greater.
Winter can present particularly dangerous hurdles for all runners with wet, slick, and even icy ground putting you at risk. A high-quality pair of snow running shoes will have a variety of important safeguards against more unstable conditions.
A growing trend is mudguards that will protect your shoes from getting overly muddy and wet. Some snow running shoes may also have wide heels to help with balance. Metal studs and thick soles are common features in best winter trail running shoes, providing traction in mud and slush. Traction is the most necessary quality for stability, so look for shoes with these elements.
The final factor to consider when you are looking for a good pair of snow running shoes, is what style and design elements you can find in your pair of shoes.
When it comes to any type of footwear suited for any kind of environment, style is going to play a role in the purchasing decision. Whether this role is major or minor will be ultimately up to you; however, there's no getting around the fact that you will make your purchasing decision based at least in part on how the product looks.
While we don't encourage you to prioritize style, we understand it's an important factor to consider--it's important to most of us! Here we took a look at the design of the shoe and how many color and design options are available. We considered whether it was minimalistic in design or bulky as well as took the opinions of other users into consideration.
Before making your final decision based on style, make sure to consider whether the shoes will meet all your needs and whether or not it is an effective snow running shoe for you, after all, you want something that will fit your needs--and then make you look great.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
You may have noticed that many of the trainers on our list have GTX in the product title. GTX is simply an abbreviation for Gore-Tex, a must-have material in all winter gear. What makes Gore-Tex ideal for cold weather is that it works to wick away water and wind to keep your feet warm, yet it is still breathable enough to prevent your feet from excessively sweating.
Anyone who's accustomed to living near the equator or southern hemisphere will likely associate heat and hot days with the sun and have a Pavlovian inclination to use sunscreen on hot days. The important thing for these people to realize is that the sun can still be a concern to your health on cold days as well. Any kind of climate or temperature condition where the sun is visible will necessitate sun protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses, or a brimmed hat.
When using these trail running shoes in the snow, remember that it will melt back into water over time. For that reason, you're likely to have wet feet at the end of a typical running session, which should be dried and warmed as soon as possible to avoid suffering from negative health issues.
Other Factors to Consider
Snow running shoes tend to be a bit higher in price compared to shoes that don’t have to withstand more harsh weather conditions, so make sure you’re comparing your cost to shoes of a similar purpose and standard. After all, the more durable the shoe, the pricier it will probably be since it requires higher quality material and a more innovative design.
At the end of the day, value does include your budget and the overall price of the product, however, that is not the sole basis. Value revolves around what the product brings to you, whether or not it fits your needs, and how much use you get out of it.
Waterproofing is hugely important with snow running shoes, so we’ve given it its own category outside of comfort. Most waterproof shoes will use materials like Gore-Tex tech to prevent moisture from getting in, but all shoes will have varying degrees of protection. Shoes that are more heavily waterproofed can sometimes lose flexibility, while some may only be sealed on particular sections of the shoe and may not provide complete coverage. Waterproofing is a necessity in extreme cold and wet conditions, and without it, you risk sacrificing durability, stability, safety, and comfort.
When you are doing any kind of outdoor running, it is important to make sure you have good traction in your shoes. Rough terrain means you need to be able to keep your balance and be stable with good traction. When it comes to snow running, the need for good traction is even higher which is why many of the shoes on our list have enhanced tread designs and improve traction support. Everyone knows what it is like to try and walk in snowy and icy conditions without good traction and slips and falls on ice is a major reason for injuries. The best running shoes for ice and snow have the best traction and will keep you safe while you are out on your runs each and every time!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Q. How can I care for my shoes in the winter?
Taking proper care of your running shoes can help extend their life and boost their durability, especially in the winter months when weather and ground conditions can be harsh. If you get your shoes wet while running make sure you air them out and store them in a place that is dry.
Pulling out the insoles and filling them with newspaper can help them dry faster but don’t try to use direct heat to speed up the drying time as it can easily damage the shoes, especially over time. In areas where salting the snow is common make sure to regularly wash your shoes as the salt can wear and damage the material over time as well.
Consider getting more than one pair of reliable running shoes if you live in an area where snow is persistent and the weather is more severe. Rotating between shoes will help extend their use and give them more time to dry.
q: Q. What other supplies and products will make running during the winter easier and safer?
When you’re facing low temperatures and less than ideal weather conditions you want to be sure that you’re layering your clothing appropriately and wearing clothes that will keep you warm. When you’re on a run it’s a little harder to add a layer than to be able to take off a layer you’re already wearing, so bring all the outerwear and headgear you might need instead of getting caught in the cold without. Also, like when running any other time of year, you should consider clothing and gear that is reflective so that you are easily visible in any environment.
q: Q. What can I do to best prepare for winter running?
Before you run take the time to warm up (literally) by stretching, running up and down your stairs, or doing a little yoga. The cold won’t feel so bitter if you’re warmed up and ready to go. If the wind is especially bad start by running into it. That way the second half of your run is a little more bearable when the wind is at your back instead of chilling the sweat on your face.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your route a little so that you can use man-made shelter to shield you from the wind. And don’t expect to be breaking any records while running in the winter, take it slow and steady so you’re not risking your safety in less than ideal conditions. At the end of your run change out of your wet gear into dry clothing as soon as possible and get warm again with a hot drink like tea.
q: What's the difference between waterproof and water resistant--and which one should I go with?
Many people often confuse the terms waterproof and water-resistant, and it's important to distinguish between the two when selecting running gear. Water-resistant running shoes can withstand water exposure but too much water exposure will cause it to seep through.
On the other hand, waterproof shoes are just that--waterproof. This means they will withstand any amount of water and keep you protected from it seeping in.
Before making your decision, you will need to decide what terrain you will be running in and if you want something for the "just in case scenario." Overall, waterproof shoes provide more protection but they tend to be more expensive than the water-resistant options.