Best Grip Trail Shoe

  • Grip 95% 95%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 85% 85%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 75% 75%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Best Application: Running On Soft Ground, Slippery Running Conditions, Highly Technical Terrain

Upper: SensiFit™, Welded Upper, Anti-debris Mesh, Lace Pocket, Quicklace™

Midsole: EnergyCell™+, Molded OrthoLite®

Outsole: Contagrip® TA

Weight: M – 320g, W – 280g

What we like: Reliable Grip and Traction, Comfortable, Offers A Stable Ride, Has Performance-focused Features, Has Wide-width Option

What we don’t like: Narrower Than Other Trail Shoes, Not Very Versatile, Doesn’t Drain Well

Price$130

The Salomon Speedcross 5 takes the cake when it comes to grip. Thanks to its widely-spaced lugs that are shaped like chevrons, you’ll feel more sure-footed on the trail. If you’re going to tackle wet or soft terrain, this is one of the top shoes to consider because it was specially designed for miles on the trail.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!

Compare to Similar Products

See Our The Best Trail Shoes of 2020

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 95% 95%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 85% 85%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 75% 75%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Reliable Grip and Traction

Comfortable

Offers A Stable Ride

Has Performance-focused Features

Has Wide-width Option

Cons

Narrower Than Other Trail Shoes

Not Very Versatile

Doesn't Drain Well

Best Application: Running On Soft Ground, Slippery Running Conditions, Highly Technical Terrain

Upper: SensiFit™, Welded Upper, Anti-debris Mesh, Lace Pocket, Quicklace™

Midsole: EnergyCell™+, Molded OrthoLite®

Outsole: Contagrip® TA

Weight: M - 320g, W - 280g

The Best Trail Shoes: Asics GEL-Venture 7 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Amazon.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 95% 95%

Pros

Sufficient Traction

Comfortable

Budget-friendly

Beginner-friendly

Delivers A Stable Ride

Well-cushioned

Has Wide-width Option

Versatile

Cons

Upper Not As Breathable

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Best Application:  Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Mesh Upper

Midsole: GEL® Technology, EVA Midsole, ORTHOLITE™ Sockliner

Outsole: AHAR®

Weight: M - 303g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Salomon Supercross - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Foot Protection 85% 85%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 65% 65%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 85% 85%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Speedcross-like Traction

Comfortable

Affordable

Wider Forefoot

Cons

Ride Is Not Very Stable

Best Application: Occasional Trail Running and Hiking

Upper: Ripstop Fabric, Protective Toecap, SensiFit™, Welded Upper, OrthoLite® Diecut

Midsole: EnergyCell

Outsole: Contagrip TD, Chevron Lugs

Weight: M - 310g, W - 260g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Lone Peak 4.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 90% 90%
  • Comfort 75% 75%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 75% 75%

Pros

Comfortable

Delivers A Stable Ride

Above-average Protection

Responsive

Cons

Not Suited For Highly Technical Terrain

Clunky Shoe Shape

Best Application: Casual Hiking or Running

Upper: Quick-Dry Air Mesh, GaiterTrap, FootShape Toe Box

Midsole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound™, StoneGuard™

Outsole: MaxTrac™ Rubber, TrailClaw™

Weight: M - 298g, W - 247g

The Best Trail Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 75% 75%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 90% 90%

Pros

Lightweight

Versatile - Can Be Worn on Trail and Roads

Comfortable

Breathable Upper

Designed for Speed

Cons

Thin Toe Bumper

Not Suited for Technical Trail

Doesn't Lock the Foot Down

Best Application: Road/Trail Running

Upper: Perforated Mesh, Synthetic Upper

Midsole: Zoom Air Units

Outsole: Trail Lugs

Weight: M - 291g, W - 232g

The Best Trail Shoes: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Foot Protection 90% 90%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 95% 95%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Generous Cushioning

Improved Grip

Breathable

With Wide-Width Options

Enhanced Durability

Efficient Stride

Cons

Slightly Narrow

Heavier Compared To Other Trail Shoes

Best Application: Long-distance Trail Running/Hiking (50 miles and above), Ultra Distances

Upper: Open Engineered Mesh Construction

Midsole: Reinforced TPU midfoot overlays, Oversize EVA Midsole, CMEVA Foam

Outsole: Vibram® Megagrip

Weight: M - 306g, W - 261g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Caldera 4 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 75% 75%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 80% 80%
  • Value for Your Money 70% 70%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Breathable

Enhanced Durability

Door-to-trail Ready

Cons

A Bit Expensive

Can Only Handle Moderately Technical Terrain

Best Application: Daily Training/Hiking, Long-Distance Hiking/Running

Upper: Mesh Upper, Synthetic Overlays, Lace Catch

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA

Outsole: TrailTack Sticky Traction

Weight: M - 283g, W - 252g

The Best Trail Shoes: Altra Timp 1.5 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Moosejaw.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 80% 80%
  • Durability 85% 85%
  • Stability 80% 80%
  • Comfort 85% 85%
  • Versatility 70% 70%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Plush Cushioning

Better Traction and Grip

Durable Outsole

Roomy Forefoot

Better Ground Feel

Cons

The Ride Can Be A Bit Unstable

Can Handle Moderately Technical Trail

Takes Awhile For Sweat to Dry After A Run

Best Application: Daily Runs or Hikes on Moderate Terrain

Upper: Footshape, Gaiter Trap

Midsole: Balanced Cushion

Outsole: Trail Claw, DuraTread

Weight: M - 312g, W - 266g

The Best Trail Shoes: Brooks Cascadia 14 - Gear Hacker

Buy now at Backcountry.com

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Foot Protection 75% 75%
  • Durability 80% 80%
  • Stability 70% 70%
  • Comfort 90% 90%
  • Versatility 90% 90%
  • Value for Your Money 80% 80%

Pros

Comfortable

A Good Crossover Option

More Protective

Cons

Not Very Stable

Grip is Good for Moderate Terrain

Best Application: Daily Trail Running/Hiking

Upper: Internal Saddle System, Cordura Mud Guard

Midsole: BioMoGo DNA, Built-in Rock plate

Outsole: TrailTack Rubber

Weight: M - 303g, W - 269g

Salomon’s Speedcross have come a long way ever since they first hit retailers in 2006. Over the years, each version of the shoe has had significant improvements that focus on grip, comfort, and performance. With the Speedcross 5, however, it seems that Salomon has finally reached their goal of creating a shoe with the best traction on wet and muddy terrain.

Everything that runners love about the Speedcross series was preserved in the Salomon Speedcross 5the geometry and cushioning as well as additional improvements on the upper, midsole, and outsole make this trail shoe more flexible, stable, and a lot more grippy. In fact, it is our top pick for the trail running shoe with the best grip.

Grip & Foot Protection

The outsole of the Salomon Speedcross 5 is made of the patented Contagrip TA, which is a rubber compound that provides the outsole’s “stickiness.” The compound also has antifreeze properties, making it ideal for running on snow. 

Compared to its previous version, the chevron lugs have been made bigger and are spaced farther apart to guarantee your footing even under wet conditions. The chevron lugs are also multi-directional, so the trail shoe can be easily, reliably, and comfortably used for going uphill or downhill, whether on a run or hike.

In terms of underfoot protection, there is enough material under the heel and forefoot to provide a decent amount of shielding while still maintaining a moderate feel of the ground. It doesn’t have a rock plate like other Salomon trail shoes, but it does have a molded Ortholite insole, which is not like your regular shoe inserts. This insert is eco-friendly, breathable, and lightweight, and it helps with moisture management to make the environment inside the shoe drier and healthier. It’s meant to be a cushioning layer, but it also serves as an extra layer of minimal protection as it adds to the material underneath the foot.

The protection the upper provides is slightly above average. Although it is not as protective as the S/Lab Ultra 2, the toe guard, which is made of thick rubber, does a great job of lessening the impact when your foot accidentally bumps into objects on the trail.

Durability

Most trail runners and hikers are looking for a shoe that can do it all. While the grip of the Salomon Speedcross 5 can hold up on different surfaces, unfortunately, the durability won’t. Specifically, the tread was designed to have deep enough lugs to sink into soft ground. When it’s used on hard or rocky ground, the tread will wear down prematurely, unlike on the Brooks Caldera 4.

Stability

To improve the stability of this version, the landing platform on the forefoot was made wider. When you look at the Salomon Speedcross 4, this change isn’t very significant, but it does make a difference since a wider forefoot platform allows the toes to splay naturally, ensuring a more secure landing with each footfall.

Inside the shoe, your foot is going to feel comfortably cradled because of the dissociated Sensifit arms coming from the base of the upper and connecting to the lacing system. You can easily spot these “arms,” as they cage the middle of the foot and have a loop on top for the laces to go through. As soon as the laces are tightened, the fit feels customized. A secure fit ensures that your foot won’t shift from side to side when you’re running, thereby improving your balance, footing, and safety.

Comfort & Fit

Although the forefoot of the Speedcross 5 has enough room for your toes to splay, it’s still on the narrow side for trail shoes. How a trail shoe fits is subjective, but it’s great to know that there’s a wide option available for the Speedcross 5 for those who may find other widths too narrow or who have already been using wide width shoes for hiking or trail running.

 

As for the overall comfort, the Speedcross 5 can be worn right out of the box without breaking them in. The padding on the inside feels soft, plus the Ortholite insole directly underneath your foot really provides enough cushioning for a comfortable hike or run.

The only downside to its comfort is that it doesn’t breath and drain as you may expect. The upper is made of breathable mesh, but it has been so adequately reinforced with synthetic overlays that it’s a bit difficult for air to circulate. Also, when water gets into the shoe, draining becomes ineffective because of the overlays. 

Versatility & Value for Your Money

The Speedcross 5 isn’t a very versatile shoe. As mentioned, it was designed to offer maximum grip on soft ground. Combined with the level of comfort it provides, it can be an ideal companion for long training days, races/marathons where you have to go through mud, and long hikes. It could be a good substitute for your golf shoes or even soccer shoes since the lugs function the same way as cleats. If it’s always snowing in your part of the world and you would like a trail shoe that will prevent you from slipping every time you go for a run, then this would be a great choice too. 

You can expect good performance from the Salomon Speedcross 5, because this show gives a lot of value for your money. However, if you’re looking for an all-around trail shoe, you may want to check out the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail, which is our top pick for the best crossover shoe.

Additional Features

Other features that many appreciate with the Salomon Speedcross 5 are the Quicklace system and the small pocket to tuck in the excess slack from the laces. With the Quicklace system, you always get an even lacing in just a few pulls. You can then safely hide the laces inside the catch pocket, so you don’t accidentally trip over them while you’re running. 

The Bottom Line

The improvements made on the Salomon Speedcross 5 make it a top trail shoe that provides extended comfort, better flexibility, and a reliable grip on a variety of surfaces despite the outsole being solely designed for soft ground. Outfitted with lugs that are multi-directional and deep, as well as a sticky rubber compound on the sole, it is our top pick for the trail shoe that offers the best grip.

It’s definitely not versatile because the lugs wear down earlier than expected when used for running or hiking on hard ground. If you’re planning to do some road running or if you are going to hike on rocky trails, you’ll have to switch pairs unless you want the outsole to break down fast. 

With an MSRP of $130, it’s within the mid-price range in the trail shoe bracket. You can get your money’s worth if you use it on wet and technical terrain, but it is not a great choice if you want a trail shoe that can easily be worn for different types of terrain.

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We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!