Trail Running Shoes Buyers Guide:
Most people considering a good pair of trail shoes are typically looking to solve a problem they have experienced on the trail already. Perhaps the issue is a lack of traction on off road surfaces, or you’re simply tired of wet feet and shoes after running through Colorado’s high country, or you could be looking for a lightweight shoe ideal for racing a trail race that still offers excellent traction and support.
When people ask us which trail shoe is best for them, we usually respond with several questions to understand what exactly your needs are to best determine what is ideal for your trail running:
Trail Running Considerations:
• Type of Trails the shoes will be used on– Obviously if you are primarily running on a groomed trail with packed dirt, your needs are different from someone ascending and descending Green Mountain everyday.
• Outsole Type– If you are running more technical, rocky trails you certainly should consider one with an aggressively lugged outsole for maximum traction. Conversely if you are running more groomed trails, you may not need as much traction.
• Forefoot Protection Plates– Many trail shoes now offer added protection with the enhancement of a protection plate- typically a 1-3mm thick plate running from heel to toe giving added protection and stopping rocks and other debris from jarring into the bottom of your feet. This is particularly beneficial if running rocky trails with plenty of ascents and descents.
• Waterproof vs. Non Waterproof– Running through creek beds, mud and snow? Consider a trail shoe with a waterproof upper. It used to be that GoreTex was great for keeping water out but keeping your feet hot due to lack of breathability but recent technology enhancements have drastically improved the breathability of most waterproof shoes. Not everyone needs a waterproof shoe however.
• Medial Stability and Injury Consideration– Trail running shoes are just like road running shoes and are built with differing levels of medial stability. Runners seeking more or less stability will need to choose accordingly.
• Minimal, Lightweight Racer/Trainer Options– If you plan on racing on offroad surfaces, you will want a shoe that is low in weight, combined with technical features ensuring success on race day. Perhaps you are looking for a trail shoe that is minimal, with a low heel to toe drop, combined with excellent traction.
Trail Runing Shoes