For trail runners and shoe enthusiasts, the anticipation for TRE (The Running Event) is akin to a festive celebration. It’s the moment when the veil is lifted, and a new treasure trove of the most anticipated trail shoes set to hit the market in 2024 is finally revealed. It’s like the ultimate gift-giving day, the peak moment of revelation that sparks excitement and enthusiasm throughout the running community. While some may eagerly await holidays like the 4th of July or their birthday, for us, it’s TRE that holds a special place in our hearts. The prospect of discovering the innovative designs, upgraded features, and groundbreaking technologies that the leading brands have been brewing behind closed doors ignites a different kind of thrill. (Are you salivating yet?) The trail shoes of 2023 set a high bar, but the buzz and whispers surrounding the offerings of 2024 promise an even more exhilarating year for trail running shoes. Like a kid on Christmas morning, here are the 2024 trail shoes that have me the most excited!
Brooks Trail Shoes continue to ride a wave of success, and the momentum only builds as we enter 2024 with the introduction of their latest trail shoe, the Catamount AGIL. This shoe seems poised to be a sub-ultra crusher. Sporting a distinctive higher booty-like upper, a lower stack profile, and robust 4.5mm lugs, it appears to be tailor-made to conquer the most rugged and challenging terrains out there. The design hints at a shoe ready to handle the gnarliest of trails with unparalleled agility AND stability!
Nike’s decision to integrate a Vibram outsole into their latest trail shoe comes as a delightful and significant surprise to the trail running community. The Zegama 1 already carved out a place as an excellent companion for long days on the trails – but the Zegama 2 seems to have upped the ante in enhancing the runner’s journey. The inclusion of Vibram Megagrip promises enhanced traction and durability, which has been a noticeable issue for most Nike trail shoes of the past. The updates to the outsole, while also maintaining the large amounts of ZoomX have me excited for the Zegama 2.
The anticipation surrounding Avery Collins’ mysterious shoe has finally been revealed – the Speedland SVT. The SVT has been teased at starting lines and hinted at across Instagram, keeping avid shoe lovers like me on the edge of our seats, pondering its identity. The SVT appears to build upon the acclaimed features of its predecessors, the TAM and PGH, and elevates the realm of innovation in trail footwear. Boasting a distinctive booty-like upper, the Speedland SVT retains its signature 2 BOA dial system, ensuring a snug and personalized fit for runners. However, the most noteworthy updates come in the form of a lower stack height, paired with larger lugs and an HTPU outer midsole.
Jim Walmsley’s triumph at UTMB had many, including myself, talking about his shoes. Originally, there was a moment when Hoka hinted that Jim’s shoe might never hit the market. However, after much anticipation, the wait is finally over, and the Hoka Tecton X 3 is slated for release in August! The upcoming model boasts an updated, gaiter-like extended knit collar, a feature that adds to its unique profile. Moreover, the incorporation of Dual-layer PEBA elevates the shoe’s performance potential. While this excitement is undeniably thrilling, it does come at a price tag of $275. Yet, considering it’s Jim’s go-to shoe, there’s an undeniable allure to experiencing what worked so spectacularly for him.
Kilian’s venture into the shoe industry garnered immediate attention among trail runners, and after the success of the Tomir and Kjerag, excitement soared for NNormal’s next release. The surprise announcement of the Kboix, however, unveiled a groundbreaking concept: instead of one shoe, NNormal intended to deliver a triple threat. This innovative shoe promises to transform the industry by offering the flexibility to interchange between three distinct midsoles – bounce, reactive, and soft. While specifics remain somewhat veiled, the mere prospect of a single shoe housing such versatile midsole options has undeniably captured my curiosity and anticipation.
The Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed Ultra has been on my radar for some time now, and the anticipation has been palpable. Witnessing the prototype on Ruth Croft and the final rendition on Tom Evans only heightened the excitement around what has become one of the most highly awaited shoes in recent memory. Adidas teasing its release over the past couple of years has kept enthusiasts eagerly waiting, making its public debut a moment of sheer joy. The Agravic Speed Ultra is specifically designed for speed (shaped for the Western States 100-mile), and it’s evident that this shoe is geared and ready to make a significant impact. Its upcoming release undoubtedly places it at the forefront of my must-review list.
While these are the shoes that have captured my attention and ignited my highest expectations, I know there are more to come. While 2023 introduced some impressive contenders, the unveiling at TRE suggests that 2024 might just elevate the standard even further. Cheers to a year ahead that promises to push boundaries and inspire greater strides in the world of trail footwear.