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Running on the trails can be rewarding and a great way to supplement road running when it gets boring. Ripping through the mountains, local trails, or just off-beaten urban trails is a great way to clear your head on top of physical benefits. It's also a lot of FUN!
To enjoy the trail, you need to come ready, and we are all about safety first and coming on the trail 100% prepared from an equipment point of view.
When it comes to running, we all think about shoes first, and here is our quick guide on choosing a pair that meets Your needs best.
The primary function of any shoe is to protect. Running on the trails can be rather tricky due to terrain, surface, and other elements that can lead to falling, trip or slip. Let's go through key features of trail running shoes that you must pay attention to.
Different brands have different built-in,,rock plates" with functions to protect runners' feet when you step on sharp rocks.
Reinforced toe box usually has multilayered materials to protect you from those rocks we all love to kick while on the trails.
Last but not least - a sturdy upper is essential for durability but also to protect from sharp vegetation, rocks and in some cases water.
As a result, trail running shoes are generally very durable despite the rough terrain that they can encounter.
The pattern on the bottom of a shoe aka tread
Traction is key to a successful adventure on the trails, but why do we see different lugs on the different shoes?
Cushioning and support
We all love a well-cushioned shoe. It's essential in the longer runs and is one of the key features of any trail shoe. We suggest choosing a less cushioned shoe for shorter and more technical runs and max cushioned shoes for less technical but longer runs.
Pronation is a very touchy subject between runners, but pronation support is non-existent in trail shoes. This is due to the fact that the foot is constantly adjusting to terrain while on the run.
So how to choose your trail running shoes?
Sometimes we get overwhelmed with information and follow ,,hype" ignoring our personal needs. Please ask yourself few questions before You buy your next pair:
What type of terrain am I going to be running on?
What are my running goals?
What distances will I be covering?
Muddy, unstable, soft terrain will call for aggressive lugs. Long/deep lugs will get you best grip to minimize risk of falling and maximize your effort.
Rocky terrain - precisely what we have in GCC. You'll definitely need a reinforced outsole to protect from those sharp rocks. More even, less aggressive lugs is a better option on rocky terrain with a stiff sole to give you that stability element that we need on our home turf.
Goals and training volume
If your goal is to run trail easily just a few times a month, we suggest getting a light, well-cushioned and versatile pair. Make sure it fits well!
You are probably better off getting a pair with more support and stability If You're a more advanced runner with a frequent training session on the trails. This is essential to protect your feet during high volume and intense sessions.
If Your goal is to race and improve PB, we recommend choosing a race-specific pair. The shorter and more technical races will call for a lightweight, terrain-specific, less cushioned, but more responsive/agile shoe. In contrast, long ultra will call for a more cushioned and comfortable pair that will carry You over the finish line.
The distances that you will cover are another factor that should help you in your choice. For short distances (less than 15km) you should look for lightweight and responsive shoes. For middle distances (25 – 50 km) classic, all-roundshoes are more suitable. For more than 50km and ultra-trails, shoes with built-in protection and cushioning will give you more comfort. The distances you run can influence your choice in terms of drop and cushioning.
Shop trail running here:
Keep on running