Award Winners: Best Trail Shoes of 2015
Saying something is the best is, in some ways, a matter of opinion. We each have our favorite shoes for different reasons. This is why magazines usually have a team of testers try each shoe; it helps ensure a more "democratic" best. We've compiled the award winners from a variety of running, outdoor and trail publications, to show you some of the best trail shoes of 2015.

Runner's World

The 2015 Runner's World Editor's Choice Award was rewarded to the Altra Superior 2.0 thanks to the great cushioning, flexibility, light weight and incredible traction. It also has a thin rock plate that can be inserted under the sockliner for added protection. Runner's World said, "This shoe earned rave reviews with its unique fit—narrow heel; wide, squared-off toe—that molds to your foot. Great shock absorption, a high natural arch, and a wide base of support all combine to create a comfortable, stable, surprisingly light shoe."

Competitor magazine

Competitor named the Hoka One One Challenger ATR their 2015 Trail Shoe of the Year. They loved that it is light, nimble, well-cushioned, and stable. The Hoka rocker profile and the slightly firmer midsole foam added to the rave reviews. Competitor testers agreed, "It's all of the things you want in an off-road running shoe with enough trail-specific features to keep your feet protected."

Outside magazine

Outside's 2015 list of "Gear of the Year" includes a variety of great trail running shoes, including the Salomon S Lab Fellcross 3. As they say, "You won’t find a faster or better-fitting muck-ready shoe." They love the big seven-millimeter lugs, the great toe protection, low-drop heel, and the fact that it feels like a second skin. It's an efficient and aggressive shoe. Next, they chose the New Balance 110v2 trail shoe, citing the great price and awesome energy return as two main reasons for this pick. They also loved the new "better for mud shucking" outsole; the increased overlays which now provide a more locked-down fit and, finally, the low, responsive feel. Also included on Outside's list was the Hoka One One Mafate Speed shoe. Outside named it the plushest trail shoe on the market. They "loved the bottomless, spongy, monster-truck-tire feel on recovery runs and cruises," stating this is not a shoe for aggressive, technical terrain, yet it is perfect for flat paths and rolling trails.

Outdoor Gear Lab

Outdoor Gear lab split their trail shoe reviews by gender. Even so, the Saucony Peregrine 5 won their Editor's Choice Award for both men and women. They loved the versatility, the fact that it feels fast on road and trail. It's breathable yet has superior foot protection. Basically, the Peregrine 5 lets you perform well on any terrain. Their Best Buy Award for Women was given to the comfortable, stable ASICS Gel-Kahana 7. A great deal for the price they praised its durability, water wicking capability, and fantastic traction. Their Best Buy Award for Men was awarded to the Mizuno Wave Kazan thanks to the extra wide toe box and stable landing platform: "The Wave Kazan is light, has great traction, incredible stability, is super comfortable, and just feels like one fine-tuned, high-performance piece of equipment."