Trail running is not the same as road running. It is very different and usually covers single footpath trails. The trails encompass varied surfaces like gravel, hard packed earth, soft humus covered ground, swamps, hills and forests. Because of such varied ground, you will need a specific running shoe designed for off-road, something that will take all the above and more in its stride.
Trail running is catching on more and more and has become increasingly popular throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia so getting a trail running shoe should not present too much of a problem.
- Usually trail shoes are different from road shoes in that they will have hard knobby soles to provide better grip over varied surfaces. They will be much harder, and will also have less padding than road shoes because the surfaces that they are meant to run on are usually not as hard. This means that they will have a much slimmer sole bringing the foot down closer to the ground, giving more stability. The midsole will also usually be made of a special compound that will protect the foot from injuries of sharp objects.
- Trail shoes will also be much stronger in construction than regular running shoes to take the severe beating that they are usually subjected to. Not only that, they should also be able to keep your feet dry from the elements and sweat free, apart from having a specially designed sole that allows you to grip with your toes too. These features aren’t available on regular running shoes.
- A good trail shoe will be shock proof even though it has a slimmer design to protect your feet when you run over hard surfaces like rocks or gravel. It should also be equally adept at gripping in mud and slippery surfaces, like wet ground or slush.
- Go with trail running shoes that are made of polyester or nylon uppers. These materials will allow your feet to breathe keeping it dry. If you can afford to get the ones that come with specialized material uppers then even better. These materials are not only good at keeping your feet sweat free, but they are also water proof and very easy to clean.
- Make sure that your shoes fit you snugly. Your shoe should feel one with your feet and the only thing that should have free movement is your toes. This will ensure that you do not slip or get blisters on your feet. Also go with a shoe that will expand a little for those times when you may want to wear thicker socks.
- Unlike hiking shoes, trail shoes weigh only around 2 lbs or less a pair. Make sure to choose a light pair. This will help you not to get tired as quickly.
- Go for a good quality brand. Not only will these shoes be designed well, they will also give you extra durability and stability for your feet. One good way to do this is to get your shoe from a specialized equipment shop. The sales person will usually have sufficient knowledge to help you with what you want.
- Lastly every new pair of running shoes needs a good pair of running socks. Not only should they be able to allow your feet to breathe and absorb sweat, they should also be durable. Go with a good pair, and get one that will complement your trail shoes.