Trail running is a fast-growing, exhilarating and spiritual sport- and to succeed you need to choose exactly the right footwear. The appeal of conquering the grandeur of scenic terrain on the run is growing each year, with some six million trail runners now estimated to be competing each year in the United States alone.

It’s easy to see why. With many trails running over mountains to the sea, or alongside lakes and through dense forests, this is running with a real connection to the planet. It’s the next challenge for the runner who’s tired of taking on road marathons and triathlons.

Trail running means new challenges and physical shocks for your body. Running along rough hiking trails, often strewn with stones, can be really hard on your feet. We know that trail running demands a tricky combination of ultra-lightweight construction along with maximum protection to deliver the best possible performance, so in no particular order here are three of the best from us:

Salomon Speedcross 3

From French specialists Salomon, a company which originated in the Alps, comes their latest offering dedicated to trail running. We’re big fans of this shoe, which combines a great look with the latest technology. The Speedcross 3 is ultra light weight combined with breathable yet waterproof construction for adverse conditions. It has a removable insole made of patented Ortholite for maximum comfort. This is trail-runner meets Bladerunner in one shoe.

£104 from www.engelbert-strauss.co.uk

Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 2

You can rely on Nike to come up with a world-beater in trail running shoes. The Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 2 has the look of a fairly conventional Nike trainer. Underneath there’s some very clever technology. A specially-designed grip pattern on the outsole copes with the most demanding of surfaces, while a mesh upper offers essential ventilation for your feet while running. The insole features maximum support both under-foot and for ankles. A trusty shoe from the world leaders.

£100 from www.nike.com

Asics Gel-Fujisensor 3

Japanese sports professionals Asics are the choice of many trail runners looking for a no-nonsense high-performance shoe. Founded back in 1949, these guys know their sports shoe, and their latest trail runner is no exception. Lightweight, breathable and super-comfortable, the Asics Gel-Fujisensor 3 features uppers with adaptive materials and an outsole designed specifically with trails in mind, featuring Asics own high abrasion rubber that grips both uphill and downhill. Plenty of flash, and dash.

£127 from www.asics.co.uk