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Trail Season: New Releases This Spring
A Doctors of Running Team Editorial

Trails have a special place for our team. Whether we're on the run or hiking through state parks and the Appalachian mountains, we make a lot of room for taking time offroad. In this feature, our team will be covering a variety of trail running and hiking shoes that have hit the market this spring.

Trail Running Shoes Reviewed
Mizuno Wave Mujin 9
Saucony Ultraridge
Inov Rocfly G390
Karhu Ikoni Trail 1.0


Mizuno Wave Mujin 9

Price: $150 at Mizuno
Stack Height: 38mm heel/ 28mm forefoot
Drop: 8mm
Weight: 12 oz, 340 g (Men's 9)
Purpose: Trail Running

David Salas, Senior Contributor: The Mizuno Wave Mujin 9 is a tank in the best way. This shoe is a behemoth when it comes to weight but checks so many boxes in what makes a good trail shoe. The upper has a lot of reinforcement throughout and really keeps you on the platform. The mesh has a small amount of stretch to it but really does a good job of resisting medial and lateral movement. Fit is a tad wide throughout and has a little more volume. The lockdown however is still good. Underfoot traction from the lugs is really good and I have plenty of confidence in trail conditions regardless of technicality. The ride is certainly on the firmer end, though you feel grounded and stable. The platform is on the wider end as well and gives plenty of surface area. This shoe is definitely one that gives me a lot of confidence in hitting trails as long as weight is not an issue. 

Positives: Well constructed, feels durable, tank
Negatives: Definitely the weight. If you don't mind having a tank on your feet though this is a solid one.


Saucony Ultraridge GTX

Price: $190 at Saucony
Stack Height: 32.5 mm heel/ 26.5 mm forefoot
Drop: 6 mm
Weight: 12.6 ounces / 357 grams (Men's 9)
Purpose: Hiking Shoe

Matt Klein, Senior Contributor
: The Saucony Ultraridge GTX is a lightweight, high-top hiking version of the Xodux Ultra series. It features a similar midsole with a PWRRUN PB core and a PWRRUN external frame, making for a stable but bouncy ride. The PWRTRAC outsole is durable and provides fantastic grip on a variety of surfaces. The upper is where the major differences occur with a full high-top Gore-Tex upper. The upper cushioning is moderate and the lacing keeps your foot secure. I was expecting this shoe to be too warm, but it has worked fine in a variety of temperatures. I have hiked in sub-freezing temperatures through snow (Mt. Baldy), worn them in warmer rain (wearing them casually) and found them to be comfortable in both situations. The upper is protective but is on the lighter side for rugged mountain gear. Despite the 12.6 oz weight, the Ultraridge GTX still feels nimble for a hiking shoe. I have done several shorter trail runs in these (again at Mt Baldy) and while they would not be my first choice for a normal trail run, for aggressive terrain that requires a hike/run combo, these are great. It feels much lighter than its listed weight and the mild flexibility makes it transition smoothly on a variety of surfaces. It is not so aggressive that it cannot handle some road but will do best on aggressive terrain. Overall, this is a lighter hiker that can do a little running on aggressive, wet/cold terrain to even mild trails if you enjoy the sole of the Xodus Ultra.

Positives: Protective upper, performance hiking shoe that can handle some running, Gore-Tex upper
Negatives: No major rock plate


Inov-8 Roclite G 315 GTX V2

Price: $175 (currently on sale for $85!) at Inov-8
Stack Height: 16 mm heel/ 8 mm forefoot
Drop: 8 mm
Lugs: 6 mm
Weight: 10.67 oz, 315 g (Men's 9)
Purpose: Hybrid hiking, trail running (leans hiking)

Bach Pham, Content Manager:
The Roclite G 315 (which stands for its weight in grams) aims to be a running, hiking, all-arounder for outdoors on the trails. It is extremely low profile by today's standards, with the forefoot going down to 8 mm. For anyone who wants a super grounded shoe, this is probably the lowest stack height trail shoes in the market today. The upper on the shoe has Gore-Tex for waterproofing and does a good job of keeping your feet fairly dry. The also breathes decently well even with the Gore-Tex. The laces and heel do a good job of locking you in as well. Additionally, there's tons of protection for a minimal shoe, from a toe guard to a flexible rock plate. The biggest problem for me is that the fit is on the narrower, smaller side. You want a lot of space as your feet swells hiking over time, and this gets a little cramped. I would recommend a half size up if you have standard feet to alleviate this, and possibly a full size for wide feet.

Though marketed a running and hiking shoe, the Roclite G 315 is best suited for hiking. The rearfoot is very pancake with no bevel, making fast transitions during running fairly clunky. The heel and midfoot feels fairly stiff as well; combined with the heel design it just gets a little awkward for anything more than a mile. If you need to do a quick jog through some terrain, it's fine, but anything longer and it feels a little underwhelming.

As a hiking shoe though, this is excellent. The Roclite moves very nimbly and the lugs are excellent at going through tricky terrain. There's just a bit of flexibility in the forefoot which makes climbing obstacles a little easier as well. The shoe also feels very stable thanks to its controlled midfoot and lower profile with its moderately deep lugs which gives you full control of the trails. For those who want less stack height and more nimble and protective, this is going to be an option you want to consider.

Positives: Nimble feeling shoe, lugs provide good traction. Upper is comfortable and goretex. Highly, highly durable
Negatives: Snug, narrow fit. Heel transitions are a bit poor for running. Best suited for hiking

Karhu Ikoni Trail 1.0

Price: $155 at Karhu
Stack Height: 28 mm heel/ 23 mm forefoot
Drop: 5 mm
Lugs: 6 mm
Weight: 12.3 oz (men's size 9), 9.8 oz (women's size 8)
Purpose: Hybrid trail running, hiking

Matthew Klein, Senior Contributor:
Karhu running shoes have a unique ride that was finally released to the trail last year (late 2022). Featuring their classic fulcrum technology, the Karhu trail uses a unique version to facilitate climbing and descending. The ride is firm with an oddly fast transition for such a heavy shoe. The weight kept it from being a shoe a consistently wanted to use for running, but was a great option when I wanted a comfortable, lower-profile shoe for hiking. The two-part midsole (Aerofoam) is stiff throughout, which accentuates the fulcrum. The outsole is extremely durable with multi-directional lugs that grip a variety of mild to moderate terrain decently. The lugs do not grip well on road and I have found myself slipping a little on stiff smooth surfaces, so I would keep this shoe to trail only.

The upper is a rugged version of Karhu's normal fit. Based on foot scans of the feet of many runners, it fits slightly wider in the forefoot and normally in the midfoot and heel. The volume is slightly lower, especially at the forefoot. The fit is comfortable and disappears on the foot as most Karhu uppers do. The reinforcements on the upper, asymmetrical lacing and duel layer mesh locks your feet down really well. This adds to the fact that it is a great lower-profile shoe for hiking when you do not need a high-top trail shoe and want the classic Karhu ride on softer surfaces.

Slightly wider fit, comfortable upper, great ride for hiking
Negatives: Heavy, clunky ride, poor traction on road (trail only)

All Trail Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running for 2023

Brooks Catamount 2 - A redesign adds a SkyVault plate to the trail shoe
Brooks Divide 3 - A surprisingly solid trail runner at $100
Hoka Challenger ATR 7 [Stable Neutral] - This road-to-trail comes in at its lightest yet with a firmer rolling ride
Hoka Tecton X 2 - Subtle changes keep this trail racer a fun and fast ride
Salomon Glide Max TR - A new max cushion trail entry from trail specialists, Salomon
Salomon Glide Ride 2  - A solid moderately stacked trainer for the trails
Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 - A fast, aggressive trail shoe that has one setback that holds the shoe back
Salomon Sense Ride 5 - A lower cushion, well-riding trail shoe that can do a bit of everything
Saucony Blaze TR - Surprisingly light trail running for $100
Saucony Peregrine 13 (and ST) - The lightest, yet also most cushioned model in the trail line
Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 [Stable Neutral] - A great trail runner becomes even better. Lighter, better fitting, and fun


*Using the link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
Saysky Running Gear: We were really taken aback by this Scandinavian company's ultra-thin, durable performance clothing
Skratch Recovery, Coffee Flavor: Mental and physical boost post run. Coffee flavor is excellent and goes great straight into a fresh brewed cup
goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!
Fractel Hats: Our team's wider fitting running hat of choice!


Nike Vaporfly Next% 3 - A better fit and new geometry make the Vaporfly 3 the best yet
Spring Sustainable Apparel Review - We look at some new stylings from adidas and Saucony
Hoka Tecton X 2 - Subtle changes keep this trail racer a fun and fast ride
Nike Invincible 3 - Updated to improve stability, this max cushion trainer evolves for v3
ASICS Hyper Speed 2 - A lightweight racing shoe for an incredible price
Brooks Catamount 2 - A redesign adds a SkyVault plate to the trail shoe

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!


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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Salomon for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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Nike Vaporfly Next% 3

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