Trail Shoes of the Year 2023 – Team Meta Endurance’s Picks

It's not only about the pavement pounding here at Meta Endurance. We have some fun on the trails too. Here are our trail shoes of the year 2023

Trail shoes of the year 2023

Whether we are really pushing ourselves in an ultramarathon or just enjoying some nature bathing and a break from the concrete, trails are a very important part of running to everyone at Meta Endurance. Time in Chamonix at UTMB saw the release of many new trail super shoes. While during the rest of the year, less glamorous daily trail busters have found their way onto our feet.


Which ones did we love to be at one with the great outdoors?


In our second article, we look at: 

  1. Daily Trail Shoes
  2. Trail Race Shoes

Favourite Daily Trail Shoes

A simple category for the trail shoes of the year 2023 list. Which ones do we find calling when we head off road and into the great beyond? Not always the most technical shoes but something which offers stability and comfort over uneven and uncertain terrain and all the weather can throw our way.


Alex – Hoka Tecton x2

Andy – Nike Ultrafly

Ivan – ASICS Trabuco Max 2

Silke – ASICS Trabuco v11

Theo – Evadict MT Cushion 2

Our Favourite Trail Shoes 2023


This is without a doubt the Hoka Tecton X 2 for me. I really like how this shoe disappears on your feet.

It offers everything I dream of on the trails: stability, responsiveness, toe protection, and a good amount of foam for smooth landings in long rolling descents. My only regret is that I didn’t race in it this year and that’s why it’s in this section and not the next one.


Currently the Nike Ultrafly. I loved using it for trails during the summer. The pop and bounce made the miles fly by and the Vibram grip ensured that all but the most extreme mud were ploughed through with sure-footed ease. The breathable upper was easy to achieve lockdown with. I know it isn’t really a daily trail shoe, but once I had it on foot, I really didn’t want to take it off.

A late contender, which I am enjoying greatly at the moment is the Speedland GS:TAM. A slightly firmer Pebax midsole and Michelin grip combine to make a shoe which really eats up the ground on longer trail efforts.


Residing in the flat terrain of Copenhagen, I seldom find occasion to use trail shoes, reserving them primarily for trips to my family’s vacation cottage in Småland, Sweden. Consequently, my opportunities to test various trail shoes are limited to a handful each year.

However, my experience with the Asics Trabuco Max 2 left a good impression. On the less challenging trails in my immediate vicinity, it has proven to be an exceptionally comfortable and reliable companion. The shoe delivers ample grip for the gravel paths I traverse, and surprisingly, it performs admirably on shorter stretches of tarmac as well. This versatility makes it an excellent door-to-trail option. Noteworthy is its deep cushioning, and despite its voluminous build, the incorporated rocker contributes to a smooth ride at easy paces.


In retrospect, it has been the Asics Trabuco 11. I did a lot of long trail runs as preparation for my Innsbruck race with them. And even though I did not race in them (I took the Asics Fuji Lite), they performed so well in the mountains and they were my fallback pair if the weather conditions would have called for deeper lugs.


For a short speedy outdoor run in good weather conditions, I love the Salomon S/Lab Pulsar SG. Otherwise, the Evadict MT Cushion 2 for every kind of other kind of trail run.

Ultrafly Midsole trail shoes of the year 2023
Evadict MTC 2 (12 of 16) Large trail shoes of the year 2023

HOKA Tecton X2

Nike Ultrafly

ASICS Trabuco Max 2

ASICS Trabuco 11

Evadict MT Cushion

5% OFF with code META when you shop at TOP4RUNNING

Favourite Trail Race Shoes

Trails aren’t only about gentle, soft hours exploring nature. Sometimes, they are about exploring both your physical and mental limits in the mountains and beyond. We have run more than one trail ultramarathon this year at Meta Endurance. 


Which shoes took us through those long, lonely miles in the mountains and made our trail shoes of the year 2023 list?


Alex – New Balance Super Comp Trail

Andy – Nike Dragonfly XC

Ivan – The North Face Summit Vectiv

Silke – ASICS Fuji Lite v2

Theo – Salomon S/Lab Genesis

Favourite Trail Race Shoes


I raced only twice this year on the trails. The two events were 55km long, but I only completed one and threw a towel on the other around 33km in. The two shoes I picked were the Saucony Endorphin Edge and the New Balance SuperComp Trail. Without a doubt I would go for the latter as my trail race shoe of the year. The outsole traction and grip were excellent and the midsole compound provided enough cushion without feeling sloppy.


I am going to cheat slightly here, I have not run any trail races this year but I have run a cross country season. My choice here is going to be the Nike DragonFly XC. While slightly less rigid than its track cousin, the comfort and flexibility of the plate have made for some faster times for me this year in some pretty hideous conditions. The ZoomX midsole has also left my legs feeling much fresher after races compared to last year in less cushioned spikes.


Fortunate enough to put the The North Face Summit Vectiv Pro to the test over a span of a few weeks, I found myself thoroughly impressed. It marked my first encounter with a trail shoe that incorporated some of the ‘Supershoe’ essence I’ve come to appreciate on paved surfaces. Despite a slightly roomier fit than my preference, the underfoot experience it offered was exceptional. The midsole struck a perfect balance, providing ample protection with a plush and energetic feel that never compromised stability, unlike some of its road-centric Supershoe counterparts. While the lugs are not overly deep, making it more suitable for less technical trails, the standout feature lies in its remarkably noticeable rocker geometry. This element worked wonders for my midfoot stride, seamlessly complementing the shoe’s overall blend of protection and responsiveness, courtesy of the foam and integrated carbon plate.


In dry, not too technical conditions and for shorter distances I tend to grab the ASICS Fuji Lite V2. It is a very nimble shoe, lower to the ground and with just the right amount of grip with a 3.5mm lug depth. ASICS Flytefoam midsole offers enough protection on light, fast and short trails. I also have V3, but to me the fit is not as good as in V2.


Simple, the S/Lab Genesis because they combine the lightness, grip, comfort and the dynamism I look for in a trail shoe.

SC Trail Carousel 4 trail shoes of the year 2023
Dragonfly XC trail shoes of the year 2023

New Balance SC Trail

Nike Dragonfly XC

TNF Summit Vectiv Pro

ASICS Fuji Lite

Salomon S/Lab Genesis

5% OFF with code META when you shop at TOP4RUNNING

Alex Filitti Meta Circle


29 years old

183cm (6′) – 68kg (148lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner

Moderate pronator




30 years old

169cm (5’5″) – 57kg (125lbs)

Heel/Midfoot striker – Cadence runner

Moderate pronator



49 years old

167cm (5’4″) – 55kg (121lbs)

Midfoot strike 





45 years old

173cm (5’8″) – 66kg (145lbs)

Forefoot striker – (Very) high cadence runner





47 years old

180cm (5’9″) – 63kg (138lbs)

Midfoot striker – Cadence runner

Mild pronator


Josh corporate picture


20 years old

178cm (5′ 10″) – 65kg (143lbs)

Mid/Forefoot striker – Stride runner



30 years old

178cm (5’8″) – 63kg (139lbs)

Midfoot striker – Stride runner

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