Minimal trail shoe suitable for mud and wet grass - midfoot striker suggestions

I am looking for suggestions for trail shoes suitable for doing very muddy / wet grass / woodland trail park runs / cross country involving some hills so the lugs on the sole would need to be reasonably aggressive. I would not be using them on the road.

I currently run in Mizuno Wave Cursoris on the road and would want a minimal style trail shoe preferably under 6mm heel to toe drop and which suits mid-foot striking. I have standard fitting heels but my foot is fairly wide across the toes. I also often need size 8.5 in road running shoes which are not always available in women's ranges.

Any suggestions of suitable shoes are welcome so I can visit all  the local running shops with a list to try on.




  • You might want to look at Inov8 - only problem is they have very few stockist, so trying them on can be a problem

  • Thanks Rafiki. I quite like the look of the mudrocs. I shall start looking for shops that stock them.


  • Sorry typo: mudclaws


  • Mudclaws are great Kittih but I urge you to consider the X-Talon 212s... image


  • marrowsmarrows ✭✭✭

    mizuno wave harrier

  • Salomon fellraisers image they have some knarly lugs on the underside and toes.

    Them or the Innov8 range I've heard is quite good. 

  • Thanks for the suggestions image

    Roland: The x - Talons also look good, what are the pros and cons of them over the mudclaws ?

    Marrows: I wouldn't mind getting Mizuno trail shoes, the toe box is supposed to be wide, unfortunately the heel to toe drop on the wave harriers seems to be quoted as 12mm which doesn't work well for me with mid foot striking.

    Jason: Salomon fellraisers look like an option to add to the list.

    Looks like the local sweatshop might have some innov8's in so I will try on whatever versions they have.



  • Xtalons either 212 or 190.
    I've also got mudclaws 265, but find the fabric on the top is a bit too stiff which makes it crease and dig into my forefoot, but I imagine that a fairly individual thing. The thicker upper also feels less likely to stretch round my wide feet. I also prefer the tread on the xtalons, as although the mudclaws really grip mud, they feel more reluctant to release their grip on it than xtalons.
    212s are probably a better value buy than 190s in that they'll last longer. Neither of them are wide shoes (and I've got wide feet), but they do stretch.

  • Thanks Ian. Sounds like the x-talons might be a better bet for me. Good to know they stretch.

  • X-Talons feel alot more responsive than the mudclaws Kittih.. amazing shoe!! 

  • another vote for salomon fellraisers, I find them much comfier than inov8's

  • JT141JT141 ✭✭✭
    For something minimal the Vivobarefoot Breatho Trails are excellent. Light, zero drop, very aggressive lugs ideal for mud, and a wide toe box. They fit to size.
  • Thanks everyone.

    The list now includes: Innov8 X Talons, Mudclaws, Salomon Fellraisers and Vivobarefoot Breatho Trails.

    Now to find a shop that stocks them... image

  • Adidas Kanadia XC (not the Kanadia trail shoe) very light and cheap too

  • I think sketchers run have now got a trail - not sure how grippy - will certainly be minimal and available from amazon.

  • Don't Mizuno do a trail version of the Cursoris. Ferus?

  • 2-Wheels:I looked at the Adidas Kanadia XC and they look good but from what I have read they are being discontinued and the online retailers that still have them don't have them in my size that I could find.

    Gymaddict - thanks for the suggestion, I will look into it.

    Shoes - Yes they do the Mizuno Ferus but the lugs aren't that aggressive and from the reviews I have read they aren't so good on mud and slippery grass unless anyone has experience to the contrary ?

  • X Talon 190. super grippy and light.

  • Inov-8 X-talons they are good, but for minimal grippy there's the Baregrip 200

    The Kanadia xc are available at sportsdirect and a new model is due out in Feb. Not quite as grippy as the Inov-8s but less than half the price.

  • Kanadia xc`s clog up very quickly due to the tight spacing between the lugs!!

    Vivobarefoot Breathos can`t match Talons, Mudclaws, fellcross on steep hills or decents..

    Also look at VJ Irocks


  • Thanks for the feedback Big Luffy, Marshallini and Roland. I probably won't be getting the shoes till mid Feb so will look out for the new kanadias but will bear in mind comments about mud shedding. Looks like the x-talons are getting the most votes but will try them all on if I can over the next few weeks. Thanks again for all your help everyone.
  • Thanks for the sportsdirect link Marshallini. They only go to a ladies size 8 which may not be big enough for me unless they tend to size on the large size in women's.
  • Also check out Salomon Speedcross 3. Comfort-like slippers with tyre grippers underneath! Great traction on muddy trails, but treacherous on wet stone steps as I discovered image

  • Thanks Feral,  Speedcross 3 now added to list. Not too many stone steps here in my part of soggy East Anglia fortunately. Hope you have recovered from your unfortunate meeting with the stone steps image

  • Speedcross3 far too big and bulky to qualify as minimal, heel/toe differential quite high (9mm) and they sit high off the ground...  Fellraisers a far better choice (6mm differential) and the Fellcross2 (4mm differential) even better again!!  

    Another option would be the La Sportive Anakonda...


  • VivoBarefoot Neo Trail are a bit heavier than the Breatho BUT wider in the forefoot (Breathos are too narrow for me for long runs). I've used them for trail runs up to 50 miles as well as for parkruns and cross-country races on grass/mud and thay have been fine. They ARE minimal however - 0 mm differential and no cushioning (for Lakeland 50 I switched to Inov8 Trailroc 235 for a bit more underfoot protection).

  • Ok. Speedcross 3 crossed off the list - thanks Roland. I don't want drop differential to be more than 6mm. The nearer to 0mm the better for me.

    Thanks for the feedback Debra. I shall try both the breatho and trail. At the moment my trail runs are more likely to be soft grass / lots of mud so lack if cushioning / rock protection is less of a problem.
  • Brooks Pure Grit?

    I've seen a few good write ups.  A fairly minimalist trail shoe.  I've managed to bag a trial pair in the Brooks Pure project try it on promotion.  I pick them up tomorrow, and get a weeks worth of running out of them.

    Also have a look at Saucony Kinvara trail.  I run in the Kinvara road shoe, and it is a very light, responsive shoe .  The trail version is supposed to be good.

    For a door to trail type of shoe, Brooks Cascadia. They grip well enough it the mud, but hasn't got the lateral stability of an out and out trail shoe. Comfy enough on the road, but not exactly minimalist.  I did a road/trail mix Marathon in October last year in mine.  The weather was crap, but they did the job.


  • The Pure Grits are a lovely shoe, but not great in mud or wet stuff.

    I'm using inov8 trailroc 245s on a mixture of road, flooded paths and muddy fields at the moment, and they have not let me down. I really like the feedback you get from them, without being so severe that you can't use them to train in every day.

  • inov8 baregrip are like lovely comfy slippers!

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