If you are looking for a great pair of cross country running shoes, look no further! We have gathered information on the top cross country running shoes of the year. Each brand offers something unique, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase.

In this article, we will discuss the features and benefits of each brand for both men and women. By the end, you will be able to make an informed decision about which shoe is best for you!

How We Choose The Best Cross Country Running Shoes For You

Cross country running can be a lot of fun, but it's also a challenging sport. If you're not properly prepared, you might not have the best experience and could even get injured.

Not everyone knows what to look for when they are purchasing cross country running shoes. There are so many different brands and types available on the market that it can be hard to make a decision. Many runners use trail running shoes for cross country running whilst the more competitive runners will use more lightweight spiked shoes.

We've done the research for you. Our team has compiled a list of the best cross country running shoes available, based on reviews and ratings from real customers. Whether you're looking for budget-friendly or high-end footwear, we have you covered.

Here at Smart Frog, we take pride in our reviews. We only recommend products that we believe in and use ourselves. We also believe in transparency, so we want you to know that Smart Frog Reviews may receive a commission at no cost to you from the links on this page if you decide to buy something (that's how we stay in business). With that said, we would never recommend a product we didn't believe in just to make a quick buck. We stand by our reviews 100%, and we hope you find them helpful. Thanks for supporting us and happy shopping!

Best Lightweight Spiked Woman's Shoe

ASICS Women's Cross Freak 2

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What We Like The Most About It

Are you looking for a lightweight cross-country running shoe that can provide you with the stability and traction you need on any terrain? Look no further than the ASICS Women's Cross Freak 2 Cross-Country Running Shoe.

This shoe is designed with a Trusstic system® plate and deep lugged rubber outsole that offer unparalleled stability and traction on any race course.  With its aggressive design, the ASICS Women's Cross Freak 2 Cross-Country Running Shoe is perfect for any advanced cross country runner who wants high-performance features and great looks. It comes with 9mm pyramid spikes and a Wrench.

What You Need To Know

These lightweight shoes provide responsive cushioning for harder surfaces, making this shoe ideal for any race situation. The upper package features a lightweight flexible mesh upper with thin TPU overlays that wrap the foot while keeping it on the platform, providing you with a secure and comfortable fit.

The compression-molded EVA midsole is durable and provides you with the support you need to perform your best. Whether you're training for a race or simply looking for a versatile racing shoe, this is a perfect choice.

Best Minimalist Barefoot Cross Country Running Shoe

WHITIN Men's Minimalist Trail Running Shoe

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What We Like The Most About It

If you're looking for minimalist trail shoes that promote proper form and alignment, look no further than the WHITIN Men's Minimalist Trail shoes. This shoe is designed to reduce initial impact and provide natural Achilles loading for enhanced propulsion.

The 1:1 ratio naturally aligns your feet, back, and body posture and the weight-balanced design ensures evenly distributed support from front to back. Whether you're an experienced runner or just starting out, the WHITIN Men's Minimalist Trail shoes are a great choice for anyone seeking a high-quality, comfortable, and durable trail running shoe.

What You Need To Know

Rubber sole shoes have many benefits that make them a great choice for those who are looking for a more natural feel. The wide toe box allows your toes to spread and relax, and the true rubber sole provides great protection while still getting the ground feedback. The removable sock liner (insole) is another great feature that allows you to have a more barefoot feeling.

These shoes are also produced using animal free products and processes, making them a great choice for those who are looking for a more sustainable option. Note, if between sizes, order the next size down.

Best Cross Country Running Shoe For Grip (Non Spiked)

Salomon Women's Speedcross 5

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What We Like The Most About It

Salomon has been making outdoor gear since 1947 and is a trusted footwear brand. The Salomon Women's Speedcross 5 is the next generation of SPEEDCROSS, with even more grip and a more dynamic upper for amazing performance and snug fit. This shoe is designed for athletes who demand the very best, and it delivers better stability and a refined look. If you're looking for a shoe that can help you take your game to the next level, the Speedcross 5 is a perfect choice.

What You Need To Know

The Salomon Speedcross 5 trail running shoe is designed for runners who want to conquer soft, technical trails. Featuring an aggressive grip and precise foothold, the Speedcross 5 provides the stability and protection you need to tackle any trail. The deep, sharp lugs provide improved traction and the dynamic upper provides a better fit and more stability. The Speedcross 5 is the perfect shoe for runners who aren't afraid of wet, dirty terrain.

Best Spiked Men's Cross Country Running Shoe

Saucony Men's Kilkenny XC9 Flat Shoes

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What We Like The Most About It

Looking for a versatile and reliable pair of shoes? Check out the Saucony Men's Kilkenny Xc9 Flat Shoes. Made with 100% synthetic materials and a rubber sole, these shoes are built for comfort and durability. The 3D printed overlays provide lightweight support, while the EVA cushioning ensures a comfortable ride.

What You Need To Know

The Saucony Men's Kilkenny Xc9 Flat Shoes are a top-quality pair of shoes that are perfect for any terrain. The carbon rubber outsole provides flexibility and traction, making these shoes a great companion. And the 360 degree breathable mesh upper keeps your feet cool and dry during even the most strenuous runs.

So if you're looking for a top-quality pair of spiked shoes, look no further than the Saucony Men's Kilkenny Xc9 Flat Cross Shoes.

Best Cross Country Running Shoes For Stability

Nike Women's Jogging Cross Country Running Shoes

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What We Like The Most About It

From a well known shoe brand, this women's version of the Nike cross country shoe is worth a look at. It is available in 18 different colors so you are sure to find the color to match your running gear!

The Nike Women's Shoe is designed to provide a lightweight, comfortable snug fit that can keep up with your active lifestyle. The Flyknit technology provides a durable, sturdy feel without sacrificing flexibility, and the higher foam stack heights give you a softer, more comfortable ride.

What You Need To Know

The wider shape of this popular shoe provides increased stability, while the Nike React foam midsole offers support for all phases of your stride. Whether you're hitting the pavement or the trail, this shoe is sure to provide a smooth, stable ride mile after mile. The React foam is also designed to be lightweight and responsive, so you can go fast without sacrificing comfort or support. So if you're looking for a shoe that can keep up with your active lifestyle, look no further.

Best Cross Country Shoes For Foot Protection

ALTRA Men's Lone Peak 5

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What We Like The Most About It

The Altra Men's AL0A4VQE Lone Peak 5 trail shoe is the perfect choice for those who want a reliable, dependable shoe that can handle any type of terrain. With a responsive AltraEGO midsole and a MaxTrac outsole, this shoe is ready to take on anything that comes your way.

An updated StoneGuard provides extra protection from rocks and other debris, making sure that you can keep going no matter what. Whether you're running on trails or just out for a leisurely walk, the Lone Peak 5 is the perfect choice for all your needs.

What You Need To Know

The MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern helps with gripping traction. With a balanced cushioning platform, it places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage low-impact landings.

The Altra EGO midsoles provide a responsive yet soft ride and the FootShape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally. Quick-dry air mesh and laser-cut holes on the upper allow quick drainage in wet conditions. These shoes also have a wide option in the sizing which is an added bonus for those runners with wide feet who need a little more room in the toe box. These shoes are perfect for those who want to get comfortable while running on wet or dry terrain.

Best For Middle & High School Cross Country Running

Brooks Draft XC Spikes

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What We Like The Most About It

Looking for a top-performing cross-country shoe that will help you represent your team with pride? Look no further than the Brooks Draft XC shoe. These shoes are designed for young runners who want to achieve high speeds on all types of terrain.

With a customizable heel piece, you can show off your team spirit and let your creativity flow. So lace up your Brooks Draft XC Spikes and get ready to leave the competition in the dust.

What You Need To Know

The Brooks Draft XC shoe provides optimal traction and cushioning support for adventures on all types of rugged terrain. With strategically placed spikes and BioMoGo DNA cushioning, you'll have responsive feel and improved footing no matter where your trails take you.

The Brooks XC shoe is also available in unisex sizes that match men's sizes per industry standards. However, it is always recommended to order the Brooks shoe 1/2 to one size larger than your dress shoe. For women's sizing, it is recommended to convert between men's and women's shoes by taking the women's size and subtracting 1.5 to find the men's size.

Best Speed Laces Shoe

New Balance XC Women's Shoes

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What We Like The Most About It

The New Balance Women’s XC Shoes are the perfect choice for any serious runner. With a rubber configuration and lugged, energetic outsole design, these shoes provide a high level of traction, while the upper design is inspired by the speed and competitive spirit of these athletes.

The 3D print on the upper provides support and security, while the durable construction ensures a long-lasting, secure fit. So whether you’re taking on trail running or training for your next big race day, the New Balance Women’s XC Shoes will help you cross the finish line in style.

What You Need To Know

As anyone who has ever gone for a run in the rain knows, the right pair of shoes can make all the difference. Not only do they need to be comfortable, but they also need to provide good traction and protect your feet from the elements.

That's why these 100% synthetic shoes are a great choice for any runner. The no-sew material application ensures a comfortable fit, while the removable spikes provide good traction on any surface.

Cross Country Running Shoes FAQs

Buying the best cross country shoe can be a difficult process especially if you are new to the sport. Here are some of the most common questions asked about cross country running shoes:

What is the difference between cross country shoes and regular running shoes?

Cross country running shoes are designed for running on softer surfaces, such as grass or dirt, while running shoes are generally designed for running on pavement.

Cross country shoes usually have more tread and are more rugged than running shoes, which gives them better traction on softer surfaces. They also usually have a higher heel-to-toe drop (the difference in height between the heel and toe of the shoe), which makes them more stable when running downhill. They may also have less cushioning/. Running shoes typically have less tread and a lower heel-to-toe drop, because they're meant to be used on harder surfaces where greater traction isn't necessary.

Should I get spikes for cross country running?

There is no one definitive answer to this question. Some runners find that spikes provide them with an extra edge and more speed on the cross country course. However, other runners find that spikes are too constrictive and can actually slow them down.

Ultimately to get the best shoe it is up to the individual runner to experiment with different shoe options and see what works best for them.

Are flats or spikes better for cross country running?

The jury is still out on this one. Some runners swear by flats because they allow for a more natural stride, while others prefer spikes because they provide more stability and excellent traction. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what feels most comfortable to you.

Can I use trail running shoes for cross country running?

It depends on the type of cross country running you plan on doing. If you're just doing general cross country running, then trail running shoes should be the best shoe for you. However, if you're participating in a cross country running race that involves more difficult terrain, then you may want to consider using dedicated shoes instead.

Trail running shoes are designed for off-road running and tend to have deeper treads for softer ground and more durable uppers than traditional running shoes. This makes them better suited for trails and other uneven surfaces, but they can also be used for road running if necessary. Shoes for cross country running, on the other hand, are typically lighter weight and have less aggressive treads than trail runners. This makes them better suited for racing on hard-packed dirt or grass surfaces.

Is it OK to run in cross training shoes?

Yes, it is OK to run in cross training shoes. Cross training shoes are made for a variety of activities, including running, so they will be fine for your runs. In fact, they may even be better than running shoes because they will provide more cushioning and support.

Just make sure that you don't wear them outside of the gym or on other activities, as they may not be as durable as running shoes.

How often should cross country runners get new shoes?

It depends on how often you run. If you are a casual runner who runs only a couple of times a week, then you can probably get by with shoes that are new but not brand new.

However, if you are a serious runner who runs every day or multiple times per day, then you should replace your running shoes every three months or so. This is because the more you run, the more wear and tear there is on your shoes, and they will start to lose their shock-absorbing properties and stability over time.

Can you run with spikes on concrete?

Yes, you can run with spikes on concrete. Concrete is a very hard surface, and spikes are designed to provide extra traction on hard surfaces.

However, you may find that running with spikes on concrete is more difficult than running on other surfaces, such as grass or asphalt. Additionally, wearing spikes can increase your risk of injuries such as blisters or sprained ankles.

What is the difference between trail running and XC running?

Trail running typically takes place on softer, more forgiving surfaces such as dirt, mud, or gravel. XC involves a lot of running on hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete.

Trail runners often take a more scenic route, which can include hills, mountains, and forests. XC runners typically follow a prescribed course that is usually flat and straightforward.

Lastly, trail running is often seen as less competitive and more social than XC running.

Do you wear socks with cross country running spikes?

It really depends on the type of cross country spikes. Some spikes have a small rubber disk at the end which can grip better without socks. If you are wearing traditional metal spikes, then you will need to wear socks because the spikes could damage your foot if they were to come into contact with your skin directly.

Additionally, when it's wet or muddy outside on race day wearing socks can help keep your feet a bit more protected and clean.

Is cross country running harder than road running?

There are a few things to consider when answering this question. First, cross country running is typically done on varied terrain, which can make it more difficult than running on a road. Second, road running is typically faster and shorter than cross country running, so it may be considered easier by some.

Finally, the intensity of cross country running can vary greatly depending on the racecourse, while road running is generally more consistent in terms of intensity. So overall, it's hard to say which is harder - it really depends on the individual runner's experience and preferences.

Smart Frog Best Advice

Thank you for reading our guide on the best cross country running shoes. We hope that you have found this information helpful and that you now have a better understanding of which shoe will be the most suitable for you.

All you need to do now is just tap the green button to check the price of the best cross country running shoes for you and get ready to smash your personal running goals!

Thanks for stopping by, we hope you enjoy your next run!