Columbia Montrail Trinity AG road to trail running shoes review: a grip for all terrains

A unique lacing system, great rebound and good grip make Columbia Montrail Trinity AGs at home on both roads and trails

Columbia Montrail Trinity AG road to trail running shoe
(Image: © Columbia)

Advnture Verdict

A super bouncy, grippy shoe at home on roads and trails, but some runners may experience rubbing issues.


  • +

    Asymmetric lacing

  • +

    Very bouncy

  • +

    Good grip

  • +

    Wide-ish toe area

  • +

    17 per cent recycled material in OrthoLite Eco insole


  • -

    High price

  • -

    Tongue lists to the outer side

  • -

    Inside tongue-gusset seam can rub

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Columbia Montrail Trinity AG: first impressions

The Columbia Montrail Trinity AG road to trail running shoe has a unique asymmetric lacing system, which is fantastic if you’ve tried regular straight-up-the-front lacing and it isn’t working for you. This is called the NavicFit system as it fits over the mid-foot navicular bone, which keeps your heel in place. Cool, but this is a problem we didn’t know needed fixing as we’ve never felt our heel was out of place in other running shoes… 

The gaiter velcro at the heel and corresponding loop on the front lace make this shoe great for gritty and sandy trails, and the stretchy laces are ideal for swelling feet. If the Trinity AGs fit you nicely, they’re amazing.


• RRP: $150 (US) / £135 (UK)
• Weight (pair UK 6.5): 531g / 18.7oz
• Colors: Men’s: Red / Blue Women’s: Teal
• Drop: 8mm
• Compatibility: Slippery, wet runs when maximum bounce is required

Columbia Montrail Trinity AG: on the trails

Columbia Montrail Trinity AG

The drop is 8mm but it feels a whole lot more when you’re actually wearing the Columbia Montrail Trinity AGs (Image credit: Claire Maxted)

Over shorter distances, when running for less than an hour, the Columbia Montrail Trinity AGs feel like slippers with springs in – comfortable straight from the box with incredible rebound. The ride is super bouncy with the Techlite+ cushioning and AdatTrax grip is excellent in the rain.

However while the padded tongue and debris gusset works in the same way as the other shoes, we found that the high, bulky seam attaching them together created a hotspot for blisters if you wear them for over an hour or so, especially in the arch area. I’m wondering if it is just me, or if other people have had this problem too. The best trail running socks with a double-layer design should go some way to mitigating this problem if you find the same thing happens to you.

Columbia Montrail Trinity AG

Excellent grip and lots of bounce (Image credit: Claire Maxted)

Strangely, despite the Columbia Montrail Trinity AGs having the same 8mm drop as most of the other shoes on test, you get a real feeling of the heel stack being higher than the toe, which sort of propels you forward. This also seems also to encourage landing on your forefoot despite the bouncy heel. (See also: the anatomy of a trail running shoe.)

The grip is good on grassy to muddy terrain and everything in between. The only other gripe is the stretchy laces, as we just want our laces to lock the foot snugly in place without that much give – I ended up over-tightening them so my foot didn’t slip about inside. Other runners may like this feature, and laces are easy to change if you don’t.

Claire Maxted

The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films about trail- and ultra-running advice, inspiration, races and gear reviews. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, Claire's first book, The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook (5k to 50k), is out now. Her second, The Ultimate Ultra Running Handbook (50k to 100 miles), is out Autumn 2024. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.