I'm an adventure journalist, and these are the running shoes I recommend if you're heading off-road

Saucony endorphin edge
A favourtie trail running shoe for Fiona is the Saucony Endorphin Edge

I have many running shoes and they are mostly trail running shoes but I do have a few favourite running shoes. My choice of running shoe will depend on where I am running.

My favourite running shoes for trails

If I am planning to run on fairly easy going trails, especially in local woodland, and where there is not likely to be much mud or steep hills, then it’s my Saucony Endorphin Edge shoes I pick out of the rack.

I had not been a regular wear of Saucony until I tried the Endorphin Edge but now I am a regular wearer. A key component of this footwear is a carbon-fibre plate that is said to aid speed. I am not sure that they have made me any faster but I do appreciate the weight – they are a lightweight 220g per shoe – and they just seem to suit my running style.

There is a heel-to-toe drop of 6mm, which again matches my running gait. I am used to a drop of 6mm to 8mm and I don't like to change this too much when running on trails. If I change the drop I end up with running injuries, such as Achilles and calf issues.

The lug depth is 4mm, which is sufficient for a variety of surfaces, from tarmac to hills and mountains.

I also love the color: bright pink! Many people comment on how good these running shoes look.

They have a steep list price, but you can often find them much more cheaply if you shop around. I confess I did buy a spare pair of these trail running shoes when I spotted them at a discounted price. This means I can rotate two pairs of the same shoes so I am never left with a pair to wet or sweaty for a trail run.

It's also worth pointing out that the sole is quite deep on these shoes, which is great for hard-packed trails and some tarmac, but not ideal for rougher and pathless terrain. That's why I have other favourite trail running shoes for the hills and mountains. 

inov-8 roclite

Hill running faves, the inov-8 ROCLITE 275 shoe (Image credit: FionaOutdoors)

My favourite running shoes for hills and mountains

When I need a grippier pair of trail running shoes, I turn to my favourite inov-8 ROCLITE 275 shoe (with graphene). It’s reported to be a favourite shoe for top runners Damian Hall and Jasmin Paris, too. 

The shoes are lightweight but also robust and durable. The heel-to-toe drop his 8mm while the lug depth is 6mm. The uppers also boast features to protect the toes and feet from abrasion from vegetation and rocks.

I find the G-Grip soles to give good traction on rocks, mud and steep slopes and they are my favourite shoes for running as well as hiking in the summer.

invo-8 roclite

A favourite shoe for the wet is inov-8's ROCLITE G 315 GTX V2 (Image credit: FionaOutdoors)

When I need bit of waterproofing, I turn to the sister shoe, the inov-8 ROCLITE G 315 GTX V2. While no shoe will keep out the wet from the ankle, unless you wear a trail shoe gaiter, they do offer a fair amount of water resistance in general wet and boggy ground.

These Roclites are just as comfortable as my 275s and while they weigh a bit more, it’s hardly noticeable. I find them to be as grippy as each other.

The Roclite G 315s have more upper shoe protection and this is welcomed by me because I run and hike in the Scottish mountains where the terrine is often rough and rugged. 

I like that the soles are not as deep as the Saucony Endorpin Edge, which means I am less likely to roll my ankle on uneven ground.

I’ve worn both shoes for many days of running and hiking and they are still serving me well. 

Fiona Russell
Outdoor writer

Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favorite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing (both downhill and backcountry). Aside from her own adventures, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy getting outside and exploring, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.