If you’re out shopping for the best shoes to enhance your outdoor performance and to protect your feet and legs from impact, walking into a shop might make you feel overwhelmed by the variety of choices, even if you have them narrowed to a specific need. If you’re running on trails, you’ll need to focus on something that is built to handle the changing terrain and protect you over time.
The two primary factors that you want to consider in a trail running shoe is the buffer that they provide between you and the trail and the pattern of the sole and the accompanying treads that will help your feet to adjust their grip as required.
Consider the area where you intend to run and be able to discuss that with the associates at the shop so that they can best direct you through their inventory to find the best match. If your trails are groomed and trodden, you’ll likely find that the same shoes you use on the road may be just as appropriate here. If you’re switching between the road and trails, you may easily get away with using the same shoe. Some companies make a bit of a hybrid shoe that will apply in this case. If the trail is not right outside your door and you need to take to the roads to arrive, this is the kind of shoe that you will need.
If the terrain you’re planning to run on is a little rougher with rocky patches and varying surfaces, you’ll want to focus on the best degree of traction with a wider base that will help you to maintain stability on every step. Make sure that the sole provides a sufficient cushion to absorb the impact and to guard against sharp bumps in the trails such as twigs or rocks. This can prevent you from sustaining a painful injury from a protruding stone and also ensure that you don’t slip in slick spots thus taking a fall that could result in a number of damages.
Make sure that the shoe you choose is equally as comfortable as it is protective.
Don’t but a shoe because of the features it boasts and then find that the fit to your foot is not as good as your road shoe. Find a balance between the two aspects so that you ultimately get the most out of your run. For a trail shoe, you’ll also want to consider impermeable materials to protect against soaking your feet. This, however, will reflect in the weight of the shoe. They are often a bit clunkier and less flexible than some of the choices in the current market. The lightweight road shoes are not going to cut it on a rough trail so think safety.
You’ll want to employ the same elements in your selection that you use in purchasing your other shoes. The size and shape of your foot, the support required, any metatarsal issues, etc. If you’ve had your gait analyzed by a podiatrist, take that information with you as most associates at the trusted retailers will be able to apply that data to your best choice.
You’ll also want to think about how far you’ll be running on the trail and you’ll want to calculate the potential swelling that will occur. It might be best to get something slightly bigger if you plan to run distances in the triple digit mile count.