10 Best Snow Running Shoes Reviewed
Finding the best snow running shoes can be a difficult feat, especially if you’re shopping online—and the plethora of options available makes it even harder to pinpoint the right ones for you.
The best snow running shoes are durable, keep you warm, and protect you from the outdoor elements. They effectively grip the ground and provide optimal traction—so you aren’t slipping and sliding all over the place.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Great traction and grip
Provides a smooth ride
- Brooks Ghost 11 GTX
- Salomon Speedcross 4 CS
- Saucony Peregrine 8 ICE +
- Merrell All Out Terra Ice
- Icebug DTS 4 BUGrip
- Altra Lone Peak 4 RSM
- Adidas Terrex Agravic GTX
- Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX
- Inov-8 Roclite 315 GTX
- La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Snow Running Shoes
1. Brooks Ghost 11 GTX
Great traction and grip
Provides a smooth ride
Brooks is known for their great products and high-quality shoes and their Ghost 11 GTX model does not disappoint. These are incredibly durable and great for running in snowy terrain--so you won't have to worry about not having the grip and traction you need on these types of surfaces.Read more
These shoes will keep you warm while also providing you with the breathability you need--yes, you still need breathable shoes during those cold, snowy runs. As far as stability these are neutral running shoes--so don't expect too much if you need more--like a correction for overpronation. They are completely waterproof so don't even worry about snow or water seeping in and soaking your feet. They provide excellent arch support and there BioMoGo DNA cushion is responsive and their dynamic ride ensures you get a smooth ride, no matter the terrain you run in.
These are really durable shoes that provide you with the protection you need so you don't get debris in your shoes.
These are really expensive--but they look great and are built to last.
2. Salomon Speedcross 4 CS
These are insanely tough in all conditions.
Warm but breathable
Toe box is a little narrow.
Not for normal conditions
The Salomon Speedcross 4 CS shoes are incredibly durable and built to last. These are designed to take on the toughest terrain and you can trust them to hit your favorite trails. These are designed for technical terrain and provide unsurmountable grip and traction--so you can count on them when the snow hits. They also provide great arch support and will give you the stability and comfort you need, even on the coldest day.Read more
Despite their durability and overall toughness, you will find these shoes are well-cushioned and are incredibly breathable--which will need even with the snow. They are water resistant. so you don't have to worry about the snow melting and weighing you down, although it's important to note that they are not waterproof--so don't go jumping it puddles and expect them not to get wet.
While these shoes provide arch support and some stability, these are neutral running shoes--so don't expect them to help with serious stability issues, like overpronation.
These running shoes are made of high-quality materials that makes them incredibly durable and built to last. Their outsole provides incredible traction and grip and their upper utilizes a ClimaShield Membrane that will prevent outside elements from entering your shoes.
These are expensive, but they are definitely worth the investment if you like to hit technical trails or run in snowy 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 shoes utilze a Vibram artic grip sole and have 6mm outsole lugs--so they are built for comfort in snowy, cold weather running. The erverun cushioning and ice tech help you push yourself to the limit--you'll even forget your running on snow you'll feel so stable and secure.
These are made of high-quality material and are really durable. They are designed for tough terrain filled with snow and ice--so they are one of the best options on our list.
Really expensive, but specifically designed for snow runs.
4. Merrell All Out Terra Ice
Great shock absorption
These are a durable and comfortable pair of shoes--they are weather resistant and an excellent option for those of you looking to continue your running in the cold and snowy conditions.Read more
These shoes are water-resistant, breathable, and come with reflective features. They will keep your feet warm and dry as well as ensure you have a comfortable and secure fit. They have a removable TrailProtect pad insole that increases shock absorption and reduces the presence of odor and bacteria.
These are really durable and provide excellent traction. They are made of high-quality materials that are built to last.
Definitely expensive, but will last you a long time.
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 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 these shoes are worth the cost given that you can count on them for all of your winter and snow running.
6. Altra Lone Peak 4 RSM
Perfect for winter and snowy runs
Wider toe box
Great energy return
Hook and loop tab for your gaiters
High and low style options
The Altra Lone Peak 4 RSM come in both low and high fit options and, while feature the low cut option here, both are great option for snow running--it just depends on your preferences. They are price, buty if you want a pair of waterproof shoes that are built to last then we encourage you to take a further look.Read more
Regardless of whether your running in hilly terrain or flat terrain, if there is snow you need a comfortable and stable shoe that you can count on. Their wider toe box allows your toes to splay and prevents chafing and they come with loops for your gaiters to prevent outside elements from getting into your shoes and causing pain.
These are really durable and waterproof. Their lugs are built to last and provide great traction and grip.
Expensive, but worth it if you want a waterproof shoe--instead of water resistant.
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 a 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 Goretex will keep you super dry but does hamper the breathability.
Very good durability and excellent quality – nothing more to add here!
It's pretty average for this category when it comes to price; 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 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 has 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 secure and comfortable fit.
These shoes are made of synthetic, mesh, and X-Protect fabric to ensure it is both durable and protective. They are durable, lightweight, and ensure they protect you from the outdoor elements.
These are averagely priced and one of the more affordable options on our list.
10. La Sportiva Ultra Raptor GTX
Good stability and nice ankle protection
Good for neutral runners
Handle slippy conditions well
A little pricey
The fit is a little small
Not as well-tested as others on this list
The Goretex waterproofing is massive here, so you'll be nice and dry without sacrificing breathability, while the traction is fantastic. The Vibram soles keep you gripping in all conditions and can handle the snow. The ankle support is great here which is very handy in slippy conditions. This shoe is best for neutral runners.Read more
Great shock absorption and very nice balance, and the waterproofing really is something special. They're great at handling slippy conditions and the design of the whole shoe offers good balance and protection. Brilliant traction both downhill and up in all conditions. The shock absorption and cushion here are just the right amounts - not too hard, not too soft.
They're durable and top quality, though the sizes can occasionally run a little small.
Although these shoes are marginally pricey, they're absolutely worth the outlay.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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 comfort and use you’re going to get out of it which ultimately means you’re spending less money. For runners spending a little bit more initially can really pay off if you can use those shoes for longer. 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 shoes 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. But for those times when you’ve already bought your shoes, there are some things you can do on your own to gauge their durability. When you’re finished running be aware of how your feet smell. Unpleasant or unusual smells may be a sign of low-quality materials.
Keep an eye on seams and edges for messy or loose stitching and uneven surfaces. If you’re getting persistent blisters even with moisture wicking socks and in ideal running conditions, it may mean that your shoes simply don’t fit and have stretched and warped.
Finally, even though the durability of a shoe has a lot to do with its quality and construction, the life of your shoes can depend on how you care for them. Check out the FAQ for some tips on how to take proper care of your running shoes, especially in winter conditions.
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.
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 winter and trail running shoes, providing traction in mud and slush. Traction is the most necessary quality for stability, so look for shoes with these elements. When you put your confidence in shoes with the right stability, who’s to say you can’t still enjoy running in the winter?
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 around how the product looks.
While we don't encourage you 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
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.
Online shopping has become a convenient necessity, but consider shopping in person if you have the opportunity. You’ll be trading just a little more time and effort for the reassurance of trying on your shoes in person and being able to physically gauge the quality of materials. Reading the features and researching the product will help you narrow down your options, but sometimes you need to just try the shoe on and walk around in it to make sure you are making the right choices.
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 on 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 things 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
See our other article for more details.
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.
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.