Cross country running is fun but demanding. While there are many tools, accessories and sporting equipment options, none of them are as important as the best cross country running shoes. Only the best shoes are able to offer proper traction across changing surfaces and even protect the knees while doing so with proper cushioning. It is why so many runners are constantly looking for the latest technologies to make their life easier.
Most major manufacturers offer cross country running shoes. They are made with or without spikes and they use modern materials such as EVA foam or breathable mesh materials. Similar to other running shoes, they are made for the ultimate performance for a number of miles. The more experience you have, the more you can demand in terms of durability. Combining these characteristics, you can choose one of the following solutions for your next cross-country adventure.
Salomon Women’s Speedcross 4
Women who like cross-country running are often recommended to use Saucony shoes. The SPeedcross 4 offers one of the best solutions for this purpose. With a combination of lightweight durable materials, the shoes are recommended for the ultimate grip and running performance.
Available in a range of colors for both men and women, the shoes come with neutral support. With a modern upper, they are made with durable synthetic materials. They are recommended for breathability but the materials are also quick to dry, which is highly recommended when dealing with all types of obstacles and weather conditions while out running.
Saucony is one of the manufacturers looking at the smaller details. It can be seen with the lacing pockets design which is recommended to keep laces tucked away. With the problem solved, you can truly concentrate on your own running time.
As many cross-country designs, the shoes are not simply running shoes as they come with a durable profile. Saucony added an extra layer of protection for the forefoot which recommends the shoes against abrasive obstacles.
With a comfort based on molded and injected EVA, the shoes are great for cushioning. With reduced pressure transmitted to your joints, you will be able to run comfortably for long distances.
ASICS Men’s Hyper XC Cross-Country Running Shoe
Made with a 5-spike configuration, the shoes are recommended for the most slippery cross-country conditions. Made for proper comfort, they are recommended when traction needs can be changing. For examples, if you cover multiple miles, the chances of encountering slippery surfaces increase. At the same time, running uphill can be easier with the added spikes. Of course, this means that you will not be able to use the shoes in other situations such as running on a track.
But even without the versatility, the ASICS shoes come with a supportive arch construction. This small but important characteristic proves useful for runners with flat feet. With more support in the midfoot, your feet will also feel better, avoiding pain in the area which is sometimes under stress, especially when running over hard obstacles such as rocks.
The upper of the shoes is made for practicality. It is not spectacular but it does a good job with ventilation and durability. The forefoot overlays are added to protect the upper against debris or mud and it also the first line of defense in case you hit your forefoot or in case you trip. The heel is also reinforced with a cup which means that your feet will have better stability when running uphill. With a padded collar, the shoes are comfortable for any situation and running on uneven terrains becomes a bit easier.
New Balance Women’s W840V3
With a strong New Balance identity, the 840 is now one of the women’s favorite running solutions. With a selection of colors such as silver, droplet or thunder, they come as one of the most appealing designs from New Balance. The upper is made with plenty of overlays, as you would normally expect from the manufacturer. Some overlays are stitched while others are glued for a more complex lockdown of the foot. With a reinforced forefoot, the shoes are made for durability.
Since there are no spikes in the outsole, the shoes are versatile and they can also be used on other running surfaces. At the same time, they are not made for the most demanding off-road conditions but rather for the light trails. All fabrics are synthetic and with mesh materials, they are also quick to dry, which is great when you decide to run on rain.
There are a few New Balance technologies in the shoes which are used for comfort. One of them is the Abzorb technology which is used with the EVA cushioning to absorb shocks while running. With a 12mm differential, the shoes can be quite remarkable in this area.
Aleader Men’s Mesh Cross-Traning Running Shoes
Cross-country shoes don’t need to be expensive. Aleader is one of the manufacturers offering affordable solutions which are often seen as a great first choice by runners. In many cases, the shoes represent a solution which is great for training purposes.
The cross-country trainers are made with the 5 claws side design which is recommended for these outdoor running situations. With durable rubber in the forefoot, they are also great for traction. But the outsole is not the strongest point of the shoes. Made with mesh materials, the shoes are lightweight. In fact, the upper is one of the most breathable solutions in the class as it comes with minimum overlays. This also means that they are more flexible when it comes to lateral movements.
Made with a cushioned insole, they are decently comfortable as well. It is why they can be used for most short to mid-range runs as they offer a supportive platform for demanding off-road conditions. Available in 6 colors, the shoes work great for both men and women.
New Balance Men’s 1400v6
With a versatile build, the shoes show their true qualities past the 5k mark. Used for various types of running, they can be a good trainer for cross-country training. Made with a narrow profile, they are recommended for runners who love a precise fit.
The upper of the shoes combine textile and mesh materials for a soft profile. With thicker padding only on the ankle collar, the shoes are actually made for a lightweight performance. Made with the RevLite midsole, they are also quite comfortable. For many runners, the thin outsole offers plenty of traction, especially in crucial forefoot and heel areas.
Saucony Women’s Kilkenny XC5 Spike-W
If you need a long-lasting design, the XC5 can be one of the leading options from Saucony. Made with 4 spikes, the shoes offer impressive grip on a number of soft surfaces you would typically encounter on cross-country running. Even the rest of the outsole is made with XT-600 carbon rubber outsole which means that there is plenty of life in this design.
The mesh materials of the upper are made with just a few overlays to minimize the weight of the shoes. But this doesn’t mean they are loose as you would expect. In fact, the small overlays of the forefoot and the reinforced heel actually make the shoes a stable design. Made with classic lacing and thin upper materials, the shoes are a great solution when it comes to the ultimate lightweight spike runner for women.
Nike Men’s Zoom Rival XC Spike
The shoes come with plenty of Nike-specific technologies for the ultimate performance. Their mains strength lies in the dynamic arch band which secures the midfoot and also allows it to move with pronation. Using the manufacturer’s Flywire technology, the shoes are recommended for proper fit and support which is crucial while running on off-road terrains.
When it comes to other materials and technologies, the manufacturer focuses on a lightweight upper with its mesh materials. With breathability on the entire surface of the shoe, Nike managed to offer one of the best solutions when it comes to the ultimate fit and comfort. Moist control is a top priority as a result.
Another important characteristic comes with the spikes used on the outsole. They offer plenty of grip on changing terrains which makes it a perfect choice for many types of runners.
Saucony Men’s Fastwitch 8 Cross Country Running Shoe
With a full mesh upper design and a thick rubber outsole, the running shoes are a lightweight solution to be used for mild conditions of cross-country running. Made with SSL EV materials, the shoes are comfortable and supportive. Even more, they manage to offer one of the leading options when it comes to covering long distances.
Going past the 5k mark is easier while wearing the shoes as they are made to enhance the natural biomechanics of the feet. The engineered mesh also plays its role, especially with extra breathability. Available in different colors, the shoes are recommended for both men and women who like to take their running off the beaten path.
ASICS Women’s Cross Freak 2 Cross-Country running Shoe
Made with impressive 9mm spikes, the shoes are recommended when it comes to improved traction across multiple surfaces. They manage to offer one of the leading options when it comes to upper overlays, making the design recommended when you have to deal with all types of debris and muddy running areas.
Similar to other shoes from the manufacturer, they also come with the Trusstic System which reduced the weight of the sole but keeps the same supportive characteristics neede on these uneven terrains.
Saucony Men’s Vendetta 2 Track and Field Shoe
Made with 6 spikes and a unique monochrome upper, the shoes represent one of the leading options for those who want improved looks without sacrificing running performance. With 6 spikes, you can expect improved performance when running uphill and downhill. But at the same time, the spikes can be tiring when running long distances. It is why the shoes are mainly recommended with distances of up to 5 miles. With textile synthetic materials, the upper of the shoes naturally follows the shape of the foot offering a more fluid running experience.
There are different types of cross-country shoes to consider. Some of them are made for the ultimate performance on long distance and are truly lightweight while others come with spikes and focus on proper traction in difficult conditions instead.
But cross-country shoes are more than just a discussion on spikes. They are actually a solution for those seeking to run in a way in which they can feel confident that they can maintain a good pace even on uneven terrains. In many situations, the shoes are also responsible for diminishing injury risks. Such examples can be found in multiple cushioned designs which considerably reduce the shocks your legs have to suffer through on cross-country runs. So the best shoes are the ones which protect your feet the most, even if it feels hard to achieve on off-road terrains.