Here’s some of the best (and most affordable) men’s gear for trail running.
Shoes: The most important piece of equipment you can invest in is a high-quality pair of shoes that give you the proper support and comfort while you run. The New Balance MR725 is a lightweight running shoe that offers little to no arch support, which is necessary for under-pronators. The sole of made of a durable rubber, which makes the shoe perfect for the uneven and unpaved road surfaces that you frequently come across in while running trails. The New Balance MR725 can be purchased for as low as $52.95 on Sierra Trading Post. While the shoes themselves aren’t particularly attractive or trendy, you have to remember, the performance of the shoe is paramount. There’s nothing attractive about sore feet and shin splints.
If you are an over-pronator, the Asics Men’s Gel-Kayano 14 might be a perfect fit for you. I use a pair myself, and find them to make for comfortable running on a wide variety of surfaces, from streets and asphalt to more challenging off-road terrain. The Gel-Kayano is slightly heavier than the MR725, but the weight difference is negligible. You can find the Gel-Kayano on Amazon for $84.99.
If you have a neutral foot, the Brooks Men’s Ghost Running Shoe is a good option. It is a mesh and synthetic running shoe, which makes stepping in a puddle slightly less problematic. The shoe is also lightweight, and offers a polyurethane removable insole, meaning you can clean or replace it alone if necessary, instead of sacrificing the entire shoe. The Brooks Ghost Running Shoe can be purchased on Sierra Trading Post for $69.95.
Socks: When it comes to trail running, socks are almost as important as shoes. A good sock can both offer additional support for your foot, as well as protect both your foot and shoe when you hit inclement weather or water while running. I use Rohner Road Running socks, which I find to be comfortable and very breathable. The socks are very light weight, and have no problem being washed in my washing machine. Their short height also makes them very comfortable to run in during hot weather. They can be found for under $10 on Sierra Trading Post.
Jacket: For inclement weather, you’re going to want to bring along a jacket to keep you from getting soaked. A good choice is the Merrell Rally Pullover, which weighs less than a pound. The soft-shell jacket is also machine-washable. The Pullover is also very inexpensive at just $34.95 at Sierra Trading Post.