/ Recommend me a Trail Running Shoe

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Giles Davis - on 11 Mar 2014
Hi,

I recently started trail running and (as they were cheap / on offer) I bought a pair of Salomon XR Shift from one of the large outdoor stores. When I got home and read the reviews people stated that they were ok for runs of 10-12km but gave blisters on longer runs (particularly 20km or over).

I did a 10km run in them . . . .fine, then a 15km run . . . . fine and then a 20km run . . . . blisters.

For those of you who know them they have a very narrow fit which in my naivety thought would be good for a nice tight supportive shoe on the uneven terrain.

Can you recommend me a comfy trail running shoe suitable for starting out etc.?

Cheers
Giles
Alyson - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Inov8 Roclite 295
thedatastream on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:
Nowt like getting a proper fitting from a shop with a decent selection.

I've got wide feet and the above mentioned Roclite 295s fit very well indeed. Have done 30+ miles in them several times with no issues whatsoever.

edit: But then again it could be other things like lacing, socks, etc. Try and eliminate these from your enquiries.
Post edited at 21:03
The Norris - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

I went for Adidas Kanadias for my first shoe on recommendation from a colleague and i've not had any issues with them so far - only done a few half marathon distance fell runs and some shorter trail runs in them, but they've stood up to the test so far and i havent had any blisters yet.
Alyson - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Sorry, that seemed a bit brusque didn't it? They are fab! I have the female version (the 268) and now I wouldn't run in anything else. In fact it's hard to bring myself to wear anything else.
Giles Davis - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to thedatastream:

Could be lacing or socks, I forgot to mention I bought them a half size smaller than I normally would buy a trainer but as they fit pretty well in the shop I thought they'd be ok.

Thanks for the replies, I think I'll go to a shop and get a proper fitting as I did this for my road shoes (Asics) and they've been brilliant.

Guess I've only got myself to blame for trying to be cheap :-/
Giles Davis - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Alyson:
No problem Alyson I didn't take it as brusque, just succinct :-)
Post edited at 21:13
Wonrek - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Alyson:

Not everyone gets on with Inov8, they either suit or they really don't. Marmite of the trail shoe world. They gave me awful IT band issues.

The real alternative to also look at are the Salomon speedcross3. Great shoe if stability is what you're after and their thicker sole makes them a little more forgiving on road sections I found.

But as was said, for your first pair get them properly fitted. My SC3s are 1 1/2 sizes bigger than my normal shoe size. I also run long ultras in them and still have ten pink toenails.

Quite an achievement that ;-)
The New NickB - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Running shoes are very personal things, try lots on, you don't want them too tight. What hits me and suits my running style may not work for you, same applies for anyone else giving advice. I like Adidas, currently rotating 10 different pairs of Adidas road shoes across 6 models and also have the Kanadia and Adizero XT trail shoes, I like both, but sizing can be all over the place so you need to try them on. I like Innov8 fell shoes, currently got X-Talon 190s and 212s, but not so keen on their trail shoes. What sort of trail are you running on, a rugged soled pair of road shoes are often up to the job and can be kinder on the legs.
Giles Davis - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Wonrek:

Salomon Speedcross 3 were the ones I was looking at on the web shops and probably would have bought without the above fitting advice.
Giles Davis - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

Your rotating 10 different pairs!!! Jeez, I thought I was keen with 3 pairs of Katana Lace-ups ;-)
The New NickB - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Wonrek:

I had a pair of Speedcross 2s, fit was fine, but I found that they just wore down too quickly and on any sort of technical ground, whilst they might provide stability for the foot in the shoe, the lift on the heel made you as a runner very unstable. A friend had a very nasty fall during the 3 Peaks Race as a consequence.
The New NickB - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

I run a lot, but I admit it is overkill.
steelbru - on 11 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:
If you like Asics, then they do a good range of trail shoes. All the running shoe companies do these days, trail running is a growth area, so no lack of models, but you may need to visit a few shops to try on all the ones you want.
Wonrek - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

I'm not sure your friend had a nasty fall as a consequence of the shoe? Seems a little unfair? Maybe the ground or tired legs had more a part than shoes?!

The trail world seems divided between Salomon and Inov8 runners, the problem I'm finding is that inov8 runners seem to continually run down my choice of footwear stating how much better inov8s are?
The New NickB - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Wonrek:

> I'm not sure your friend had a nasty fall as a consequence of the shoe? Seems a little unfair? Maybe the ground or tired legs had more a part than shoes?!

Definitely the shoe, having run in them I can see why. They are much more prone to ankle stability issues than most shoes. Straight forward trail no problem, but ton technical twisty ground, especially descending they are a liability. The heel lift makes them much more vulnerable to lateral forces.
Days on Rock - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Wonrek:


> The trail world seems divided between Salomon and Inov8 runners, the problem I'm finding is that inov8 runners seem to continually run down my choice of footwear stating how much better inov8s are?

Nah, all the real runners know that Walshes are the bestů..;-)
Marek - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Depends what you mean by 'trails' - they're not all the same. Most are flattish and grip isn't a problem, so an ordinary pair of road shoes - perhaps with a more robust midsole to limit 'rock-strike' on the feet - are perfecty OK. If the terrain gets significantly uneven but still hard, then a low heal and some minor studding becomes more useful. If it's steep grass/mud then you will probably benefit from proper fell-running shoes, but then it's probably not 'trail' running.

I have Walshes, Inov-8 TrailRocs, Salomon SpeedCross and some Saucony road/trail somethings. Most runs are in the last of those (all largely off-road). SpeedCrosses come out if I know the terrain is flat and smooth (thin forefoot midsole, bit unstable) and my feet/legs are aching (very comfortable heel cushion). Inov-8 for long runs (light, grippy, good protection, stable but wear down quickly). Walshes if I'm expecting steep grass/mud and little hardpack (super grippy & stable, but no cushioning).
Short answer is... it depends on your trails and your feet (Shape? Prone to blisters? Graveyard of toenails?).

The only way you'll find out what suits you is to try some and see how you get on. Give it ten years or so and you'll have a pretty good idea which shoes - which of course are no longer available - were best for you.
SteveRi - on 12 Mar 2014
Shoes are quite personal but the 'low to ground thing' is a good rule of thumb. Even if you like cushioning, you don't need as much offroad. Sprained ankles are bad (I'm a veteran of them) and high shoes make you more susceptible. Currently rotating Roclite 295, X-Talon 212, NB101 (all great for different stuff) and Walsh Ultra (which are big sloppy boats). I too have a shoe problem.

In reply to Giles Davis:

If you want an aggressive sole for softer surfaces Adidas Swoop are worth considering - amazingly light but harsh if you have to bash much pavement to get to your muddy paths! I had some of the earliest Inov8s, something like the Flyrocs. I mainly bought them for light hiking but ending up train running in them a lot and found I can road run in them fine too - opened my eyes to not needing super supportive padded shoes - and I think I'm 'heavy on my feet' when I jog. plod plod plod etc.!
Giles Davis - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Marek:

I guess mostly I've been running on forestry tracks / trails with a bit of single track muddy stuff through the forests if it takes my fancy.

I'll be going to one of the Cardiff Running Shops next week so I'll have a fit test and try some of the suggested ones hopefully.
Kyle Warlow - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Giles, I've been running with the Inov8 X-Talon since December and they're great. Most comfortable off-road shoe I've ever had. They are quite aggressive, so are great when it's really muddy, but I found them good on trails too. Not too great for anything harder than trails though, or you'll wear down the studs. Happy running bud.
Steff - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

I would echo Marek's and The New NickB's advice.
Other than that, if you are new to trail running, blisters after 20km might not be that unusual. Load and friction are very different and your feet might have to toughen up a bit. Don't throw your current shoes away just yet.

Also look into socks and lubricants (or powder stuff). Anything that reduces friction. I used to have blister problems off road and over time they just disappeared. To be on the safe side, particularly on hot days or very wet days, I put on a bit of vaseline and good socks before really long runs.
mbh - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

It may be coincidence, but when I tried running (leg two of the BGR, a lot of which is hard ground) in an old pair of Flyrocs, I got very painful shins quite quickly, having been used only to cushioned road shoes for running, whatever I ran on. Previously, I had used the Flyrocs for hiking in dry terrain, including nine days on the GR20, and found them great for that.

I have just run the Grizzly, which is almost all off road, in Mizuno Wave Ascends, which I had bought the day before(!) It was slippy, and they were fine. When it is dry I normally use my road shoes on terrain like the coast paths and woodland trails.
birdie num num - on 12 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Roclite GTX. The most comfortable shoe I've ever run a fell in.
In fact, first time out, brand new, I did Excalibur Marathon and they were great.


ow arm - on 13 Mar 2014
Im threadjacking here but its kind of relevant

Aside from the inov-8s what other shoes are there that are minimal trail?
by minimal I mean thin sole and low drop from heel to toe, there are a lot of shoes out there that are marketed as minimal or barefoot but still have a 20mm heel!

Things like the vivobarefoot are quite expensive, which seem odd as you get less shoe for more money?
Marek - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to ow arm:
> Im threadjacking here but its kind of relevant
>
> Aside from the inov-8s what other shoes are there that are minimal trail?
> by minimal I mean thin sole and low drop from heel to toe, there are a lot of shoes out there that are marketed as minimal or barefoot but still have a 20mm heel!
>
> Things like the vivobarefoot are quite expensive, which seem odd as you get less shoe for more money?

In my collection I have Merrell TrailGloves and Walsh PBs which match that criteria (as well as Inov-8s). the Merrells are superbly comfortable to wear, but I never run far in them. And then only on soft surfaces (dunes, grass..).
ow arm - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Marek:

well the walsh pb (which I also have) is a fell shoe not trail so doesnt count, Ill have a look at the trail gloves thanks. Ive currently got a pair of Freet which are a new brand and are pretty good but lacking proper lugs so not that good on soft ground.
Marek - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to ow arm:
> (In reply to Marek)
>
> well the walsh pb (which I also have) is a fell shoe not trail so doesnt count, ...

Depends on how worn the studs are ;-)

As I suggested earlier in the thread, I think people get too blinkered by the labels shoe manufacturer put on their products. For most non-extreme conditions ordinary, boggo, unspecialised, general purpose running shoe are perfectly adequate and personnal fit is far more important than a manufacturer's label. Perhaps I'm showing my age, but it doesn't seem so long ago when people were running round woods, moor and hills and the term 'trail' (never mind 'trail shoe') hadn't even been heard (at least on these shores).
The New NickB - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Marek:

A guy I know, who is in his 70s recently told me about the shoes he used to run the 3 Peaks Race in, basically a pump with some spikes. Didn't hold him back though, he won it in 1969 in 2:44.
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Marek:

A quick look at Wiggles website shows me 75 different Inov8 running shoes.

I run on pavement, grass, mud and stone. What are the other 71 pairs for? ;-)
Durkules - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to ow arm:

The Trail Glove is a fantastic shoe IMO. Perfect for light trails and fine on road, however the sole isn't really aggressive enough for anything too muddy.
I know some Vivobarefoot shoes (Neo Trail) have a bit more tread, but have very flexible and sensitive soles - this could be either a positive or negative depending on the surfaces you're going to be running on. Sportshoes.com had many Vivobarefoot models going cheap a while ago, I don't know if that is still the case.
IainRUK - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

I
> A guy I know, who is in his 70s recently told me about the shoes he used to run the 3 Peaks Race in, basically a pump with some spikes. Didn't hold him back though, he won it in 1969 in 2:44.

I was guessing Jeff but just looked and it was Colin?

It was much quicker then though, as much as 20 minutes.. 15-20 anyway.

But yeah agree with the general point.. I get pissed off with all these new fangled shoes, compression gear, sunglasses.. times havent changed.. it's just so gear orientated at the moment in the trail and ultra world.

IainRUK - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to TobyA:

I loved the swoop.. deadly on wet rock but nice trail shoe..

I think they are discontinued.
Giles Davis - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Kyle Warlow:

Cheers Kyle, will try on a pair in Cardiff on Monday
Marek - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to durkules:

> The Trail Glove is a fantastic shoe IMO. Perfect for light trails and fine on road...

I agree. It's probably more my inability to adjust my running style. OK on flat and uphill, but when I get to a downhill I find it hard to avoid heel strike and that's just not on with the Merrells.
Marek - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to The New NickB:

> A guy I know, who is in his 70s recently told me about the shoes he used to run the 3 Peaks Race in, basically a pump with some spikes. Didn't hold him back though, he won it in 1969 in 2:44.

I was thinking of Bob Graham's original round as an example.
In reply to IainRUK:

> I think they are discontinued.

A quick google seems to suggest this is the case - I got mine cheap a couple of years back so I guess they were killing them off then! Shame, they seem pretty good to me, although I'm such an irregular runner I don't have that much comparative experience of different types.

mbh - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

I had a terrible time at the Grizzly last weekend, and spent more or less the whole course being overtaken. The further back in the field I was, the more prevalent the high tech gear became, it seemed to me, with people having all sorts of stuff strapped to their chest, dangling from their waists or wrapped around their legs. It does seem odd.
Oceanic - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:
For me..

Hoka Mafates for road and easy trails.

For cross country I was using La Sportiva Crosslites, but I've just bought some More Mile Cheviot 2s, and (as far as I can tell at home) I prefer them to the La Sportivas.

I'm not sure asking on the internet tells you much though, you just have to try them on.
Post edited at 12:29
The New NickB - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

It was Colin Robinson, although I do see Jeff Norman at the odd race. He happily admits that the course was a bit quicker back then. Wasn't Colin's favoured type of running though, he was an absolute master at XC and held British records on the track. Lovely guy, looks after my locker key at training and car keys at races.
TMM - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

> Your rotating 10 different pairs!!! Jeez, I thought I was keen with 3 pairs of Katana Lace-ups ;-)

If you find that Asics work for then have a look at the Lahar. I use Asics for road and trail now having previously tried all the major brands discussed on this thread. They work for me at the moment but no doubt some other part of body will fail meaning I try something else.
IainRUK - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to mbh:

> I had a terrible time at the Grizzly last weekend, and spent more or less the whole course being overtaken. The further back in the field I was, the more prevalent the high tech gear became, it seemed to me, with people having all sorts of stuff strapped to their chest, dangling from their waists or wrapped around their legs. It does seem odd.

As you go back through the field you see two attitudes becoming dominant...

it's all mental - ie.. dont train prepare to be mentally tough..

Its all about the gear.. i.e. dont train sort your gear..

Giles Davis - on 17 Mar 2014
In reply to Giles Davis:

Well, if any of you are interested . . . . .

I bought Brooks Cascadia 9.

They were the most comfortable fit in the shop (although a little "bright" for my taste).

I tried Inov8 and Saucony but thought the fit a bit narrow.

Cheers
Giles

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