Trail running is a great way to explore new trails or if you are an urban runner looking to change your routine.
Consider the terrain that you will be running on before you buy a pair. You may find that a soft terrain or a trail is more suitable for your shoe. Look at the outsole before you go to the shop or online. Some outsoles will have deep, clunky lugs, while others will have softer, more durable lugs.
This guide will help you choose the right trail running shoes.
The midsole and cushion are located under the foot and can vary from one shoe to another. The profile view of a shoe will show you the thickness of the midsole. You have three options:
Minimal: Also known as barefoot, these have the least amount of cushioning and midsole. It has an insole, outsole, and no middle sole. Your feet are very close to the ground, so you will feel every step. If you have never worn a minimalist shoe before, it is important to get used to it. Do not wear it for long distances on the trail. Use them for a brief warm-up or cooling down and for short periods.
Regular: This traditional running shoe is made with a noticeable amount of cushioning, but it won't make you feel like you are floating on a cloud of foam. These are the shoes you most often see on your feet or in shops.
Maximal: This shoe has the maximum amount of cushion. It's thick and noticeable. Your feet will love it or hate them.
Protective plates: Even though you may have a cushion, it doesn't mean that stones and sticks can't damage your feet. Many trail running shoes have a protective plate between the outsole and midsole. They are usually placed in the forefoot to protect you from the sharp rocks on the trail.
Heel to Toe Drop: If a runner ever talks about "heel drop," or "drop," or "offset," they are referring to the difference in height between the heel and the forefoot. It is measured in millimeters and can range from 0mm up to 16mm. Remember that a zero-drop shoe does not always mean zero cushion. It all depends on the math.
The upper cover your feet. There are many color options, but the options for material are limited. You have two choices:
Mesh: It doesn't take an Olympic marathoner or a runner to notice that your feet can get very hot and sweaty while running. A mesh upper is a good choice for both novice and experienced trail runners. They are breathable and allow your feet to breathe while you're on the trail. They dry quickly so they won't dry out again if there's a sudden downpour.
Waterproof: These are the waterproof alternatives to mesh uppers. They are not recommended for trail running in the summer, but they have some advantages. You can expect snow, mud trails, and super wet days. However, you might want to consider going up half-size with waterproof trail runners. They are more secure, and your feet will sweat during trail running, regardless of whether it is cold or hot.
You're making a big mistake if you don't try the shoes out in the shop or at home before you set off on your first big run on the trail. Get a pair of socks first! Although it may seem small, socks are essential for comfort. You can skip the cotton socks and opt for synthetic socks or merino wool. They'll keep your feet dry and wick moisture away.
Now let's get back to putting on the shoe. You can put it on and walk around the house until it is clean. If you have stairs, take a few steps up and down or even run down the hall. You've likely found the right fit if you feel no pain and your body feels comfortable.
Return them if they are not comfortable. Each foot is unique, so take your time and choose the right fit.
Running on trails can be a thrilling experience. You might even spot a deer or big-horned sheep. It all depends on where you are located. You will have a lot more fun exploring dirt, rocks, and mud if you choose shoes that are comfortable for your feet.