General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Trail running shoe advice Rss Feed  
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2013-09-10 1:31 PM

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Master
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Subject: Trail running shoe advice

I've discovered a new passion for trail running.  It feels so much easier on my body and several minor injury areas in my legs and hips.  I'm not doing anything super technical, but my Brooks Adrenaline's don't seem to provide enough motion control/stability especially in rocky or rooty areas.

I'd love to hear some recommendations for trail shoes.

I have an extremely narrow foot.  The AA Adrenaline's are barely narrow enough for me.  So if you're a narrow shoe wearer like me, even better.



Edited by noelle1230 2013-09-10 1:42 PM


2013-09-10 1:48 PM
in reply to: 0

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Expert
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Ontario Canada
Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Not A narrow foot here sorry But I have like 6 different Pairs of trail shoes I have Brooks, asics, 2 NB, and 2 soloman's, My favorite for mid difficulty trails short to mid distance are the Asics, but when it gets really down and dirty rocky and rooty or long distance then I will grab the Solomans every time.

I use the NB Trail shoe 910 GTx as my winter street shoe they are Gore tex lined have an antifreeze component added to the cushioning that keeps them flexible at sub freezing temps and a very very aggressive tread, a great winter shoe. for street or trail.

Just go to a Store if you have one near you that specilizes in trail shoes or that has a good selection if you can and try on a crap load of different brands as there is quite a bit of difference in fit and feel between different brands much more so then with road shoes.

Edited by RRH_88 2013-09-10 1:53 PM
2013-09-10 1:51 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Brooks Cascadia is a well-regarded trail shoe. See if those would work for your feet.

2013-09-10 1:55 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Master
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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
love trail running !

but it's been hard to find the ultimate shoe...and being running shoes are such a personal preference, I can only tell you what worked for me.

So far my favorite brand has been Montrail....I've liked the Badrock and Masochist II a lot.
Masochist II is the best IMO, but the toe box is a bit cramped, it might be better if I went a 1/2 size up.

I also liked the La Sportiva C-Lite a lot as well. This shoe has a built-in cover, which is nice for muddy situations.

Another one was Brooks Cascadia. I found the v6 model to be heavy, the previous models were better.

I just ordered the Hoka Stinson....will be trying those out.

2013-09-10 1:56 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
I use the men's version of the Asics Gel Scout  I don't know how narrow they go in the women's shoe, but they fit my narrow foot well and I have really enjoyed them.
2013-09-10 2:14 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Master
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Sedona, AZ
Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
I use my normal road shoes on the trails (Brooks Adrenaline). The stability you're looking for is more a function of your anatomy than the shoe. As you run on the trails more, your ankles and hips will get stronger to support the varied surfaces of the trails. Most trail shoes I've seen are more concerned with tread pattern than ankle support. If they aren't high-tops, you're not getting anything more than any other shoe.


2013-09-10 2:26 PM
in reply to: MonkeyClaw

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Master
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Livonia, MI
Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I use my normal road shoes on the trails (Brooks Adrenaline). The stability you're looking for is more a function of your anatomy than the shoe. As you run on the trails more, your ankles and hips will get stronger to support the varied surfaces of the trails. Most trail shoes I've seen are more concerned with tread pattern than ankle support. If they aren't high-tops, you're not getting anything more than any other shoe.

I wondered about that and whether or not a special trail shoe is even really necessary.  I'd love to hear both sides of that debate.

One thing I've noticed is that all the steep downhill stuff with some technical movements seems to be wearing on the top of the big toe area of the shoe.  I figured perhaps a trail shoe is just thicker in certain areas to support the additional movement.

2013-09-10 2:37 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice

It feels so much easier on my body and several minor injury areas in my legs and hips.  

What minor injuries in your legs?  I thought about trying some trails last weekend but thought it might be worse on my lower body.  But your feedback makes me want to give it a shot.

2013-09-10 2:49 PM
in reply to: MLPFS

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Livonia, MI
Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by MLPFS

It feels so much easier on my body and several minor injury areas in my legs and hips.  

What minor injuries in your legs?  I thought about trying some trails last weekend but thought it might be worse on my lower body.  But your feedback makes me want to give it a shot.

My issues are scar tissue/tightness in my hamstring for about 3 years, daily soreness in my hip flexor for the past three months and bursitis in both knees for about 1 1/2 years.  I had heard that trails are easier on the connective tissues because unlike the repetitive movement over and over with road running, the extra movements you make adjusting for the trail are not as taxing.  I have that to be very true for me.  My whole lower body just feels less tight and "beat up" when I'm done on a trail than on the road, even if the trail run is twice the mileage.

2013-09-10 2:51 PM
in reply to: noelle1230


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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by noelle1230

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw  I figured perhaps a trail shoe is just thicker in certain areas to support the additional movement.




I think that I could actually argue that I want a smaller shoe that is going to fit closer to my feet.
If you look at cross country shoes they are not big and thick. I actually think that bigger shoes are less nibble and get caught on rocks and roots.
http://www.brooksrunning.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-BrooksRunnin...

FWIW I run in Merrel trail gloves, Merrell road gloves, NB MT00 and VFF.
2013-09-10 3:14 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
That's interesting, thanks!


2013-09-10 3:43 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by noelle1230

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I use my normal road shoes on the trails (Brooks Adrenaline). The stability you're looking for is more a function of your anatomy than the shoe. As you run on the trails more, your ankles and hips will get stronger to support the varied surfaces of the trails. Most trail shoes I've seen are more concerned with tread pattern than ankle support. If they aren't high-tops, you're not getting anything more than any other shoe.

I wondered about that and whether or not a special trail shoe is even really necessary.  I'd love to hear both sides of that debate.

One thing I've noticed is that all the steep downhill stuff with some technical movements seems to be wearing on the top of the big toe area of the shoe.  I figured perhaps a trail shoe is just thicker in certain areas to support the additional movement.




I've done some ultras/trail runs. My most recent pair of "trail shoes" were New Balance 476's which (IMO) are mostly heavy, grey, versions of their road shoes. My previous pair was similar. Granted, most of my runs are not very technical, so it's mostly a matter of where you choose to have your feet land (so avoid half-landing on a rock). I have another pair of "trail shoes" (Asics, I think) and just bought a pair of Merrell trail shoes to try. The Merrell's are more trail specific, but also closer to minimalist shoes than my other trail shoes.

I did blacken both big toenails when my shoes got loose during a run and I ran downhill, letting my feet slide into the toe boxes.

As you come into winter, keep one or two of your old pairs of shoes and screw short hex-head machine screws into the soles (about 5-6 under the ball/forefront, and 3-4 under the heel) for running on frozen/icy ground.
2013-09-10 4:14 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Right now I'm mostly trail running in a pair of Montrail Rogue Flys (flies?). They are light and provide plenty of traction. Around here, our trails are littered with "features" that are easy to roll your ankle on. So, I also like the ground feel that the Montrail RFs provide. I seem to be able to react quicker with them and prevent injury.

I also have a pair of Brooks Cascadias (v6). I'll strap them on for longer runs when I want a little extra cushion. They are a great shoe as well - just, as mentioned above, they are on the heavy side.
2013-09-10 4:32 PM
in reply to: metafizx

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice

Originally posted by metafizx love trail running ! but it's been hard to find the ultimate shoe...and being running shoes are such a personal preference, I can only tell you what worked for me. So far my favorite brand has been Montrail....I've liked the Badrock and Masochist II a lot. Masochist II is the best IMO, but the toe box is a bit cramped, it might be better if I went a 1/2 size up...  

x2. I find that terrain is important. I have a regular nicely groomed trail that I just wear my usual Asics 2170's on. I was looking at Columbia's and Montrail, and Montrail won out. The gnarlier ground means the Montrail Masochist II's. Great grip, and a rock plate that seems pretty tough. But the toe box is a bit tight, although that doesn't sound like an issue for you. I find that they are warm as well, nice in winter, but I won't even pull them out until November. 

2013-09-10 5:39 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Northern IL
Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by noelle1230

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I use my normal road shoes on the trails (Brooks Adrenaline). The stability you're looking for is more a function of your anatomy than the shoe. As you run on the trails more, your ankles and hips will get stronger to support the varied surfaces of the trails. Most trail shoes I've seen are more concerned with tread pattern than ankle support. If they aren't high-tops, you're not getting anything more than any other shoe.

I wondered about that and whether or not a special trail shoe is even really necessary.  I'd love to hear both sides of that debate.

One thing I've noticed is that all the steep downhill stuff with some technical movements seems to be wearing on the top of the big toe area of the shoe.  I figured perhaps a trail shoe is just thicker in certain areas to support the additional movement.

How much of a trail are you really talking about here? Well groomed trails will be fine with whatever you used on pavement. If you have to watch your footing a lot, then maybe, but not for a nice crushed limestone path.

2013-09-10 8:17 PM
in reply to: noelle1230


6

Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
I also have narrow feet. I run in Merrill Trail Glove. It's minimalist so not a lot of padding, but for me that = more stability. I'm not sure why. I think maybe being able to feel the surface of the trail through the shoe helps me stay balanced better? I was twisting my ankle all the time when I ran in padded road shoes, and that stopped when I switched to the Merrels.

But some people tell me I'm crazy for running tight, steep, rocky trails in minimalist shoes. And they may be right - I don't really know.

They are great for narrow feet, though. Fit like a glove.


2013-09-10 8:55 PM
in reply to: spiderplant

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice

Just my 2 cents....

I've been running on trails for years and have had lots of twisted ankles. I heard that same thing, that my ankles and feet will adjust but mine just twisted until I finally ended up with a torn ankle tendon. I was running in my regular road shoes with my prescription orthotics.

That healed up and a different approach was recommended to me. I figured I did not have a lot to lose since this was obviously not working. I ditched the orthotics and searched for a low drop trail shoe. I ended up with Saucony Peregrine and I have not twisted my ankle since. It's been a couple of years now I guess. I have also recently tried to jump on the Hoka bandwagon but they have not worked out for me very well.

2013-09-10 9:11 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Acworth, GA
Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by noelle1230

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I use my normal road shoes on the trails (Brooks Adrenaline). The stability you're looking for is more a function of your anatomy than the shoe. As you run on the trails more, your ankles and hips will get stronger to support the varied surfaces of the trails. Most trail shoes I've seen are more concerned with tread pattern than ankle support. If they aren't high-tops, you're not getting anything more than any other shoe.

I wondered about that and whether or not a special trail shoe is even really necessary.  I'd love to hear both sides of that debate.

.



I wear Adrenalines for the road for the stability control (pronator) but that is irrelevant on a trail as pointed out above. The way it was described to me by the running store folks was that the stability shoe is to correct for the constant and consistent landing of your foot in the same place over and over again. On the trail, the surface is varied, it isn't flat, isn't consistent so there is no need for a motion control shoe. Seemed to make sense.

Do you need a trail shoe? depends. When traction is needed, like during the rain / mud / slick rocks / sharp small rocks, etc, I wear the Cascadia's because they have an agreesive pattern plus a more rugged sole to keep my feet underneath me. When in dry conditions, I'll wear the Cascadias or the Adrenalines, whatever I feel like wearing that day. The Adrenalines are fine but in the Georgia clay, have zero traction if it is wet out..

So depends on what surface you are going to run on, it is nice to have the "mudders" around here.
2013-09-10 10:54 PM
in reply to: noelle1230

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
I ran trails with my road shoes for a while (Brooks Defyance), then decided to try out a pair of trail shoes (Brooks Cascadia). I didn't notice that much of a difference. Then decided to try something that was a little less shoe (New Balance 110) and like them a lot. But for anything over a HM on trails, I'm in the Cascadias.

I usually tend to think that less gear is better, but for some reason ended up with a lot of running shoes. I personally think that running on most trails with regular road shoes is fine. Super rocky/rooty sections might be a little more comfortable in a shoe with a stiffer sole, like the Cascadia.

I didn't say anything anyone else didn't already say...but wanted to get an opinion out there.
2013-09-11 5:15 AM
in reply to: The Chupacabra

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
I run almost exclusively on paths. They're mostly of hard packed ground thats very dry, possibly a bit sandy. They're a little rutty, and can slant slightly one way or another, but are definitely not of the hard core trail many have mentioned of roots, big rocks, and mud. I am a recent convert to Hokas. I've had a few foot and ankle and tendon problems so for me these have been like a gift from heaven. I think they were originally designed and marketed as a trail shoe as well. I'd highly recommend them especially if you have any aches and pains issues. Only draw back is they come cheap...
2013-09-11 6:15 AM
in reply to: spiderplant

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by spiderplant

I also have narrow feet. I run in Merrill Trail Glove. It's minimalist so not a lot of padding, but for me that = more stability. I'm not sure why. I think maybe being able to feel the surface of the trail through the shoe helps me stay balanced better? I was twisting my ankle all the time when I ran in padded road shoes, and that stopped when I switched to the Merrels.

But some people tell me I'm crazy for running tight, steep, rocky trails in minimalist shoes. And they may be right - I don't really know.

They are great for narrow feet, though. Fit like a glove.


I also run trails in minimalist shoes. Vibram five fingers, I find you can really feel the terrain and rolling an ankle is greatly minimized however I have also broken toes to two separate occasions by hitting roots. For races I have used Solomon trail shoes which work well and offer some protection.


2013-09-11 9:42 AM
in reply to: DaveL

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
I run on Brooks PureFlows normally but they were getting torn up on my trail runs and the traction was crap on rock outcrops. I just picked up some Brooks PureGrits this week and can't wait to try them out.

The Pure line is their low drop line that has moderate cushion.
2013-09-11 11:02 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Subject: RE: Trail running shoe advice
Originally posted by brigby1
Originally posted by noelle1230

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I use my normal road shoes on the trails (Brooks Adrenaline). The stability you're looking for is more a function of your anatomy than the shoe. As you run on the trails more, your ankles and hips will get stronger to support the varied surfaces of the trails. Most trail shoes I've seen are more concerned with tread pattern than ankle support. If they aren't high-tops, you're not getting anything more than any other shoe.

I wondered about that and whether or not a special trail shoe is even really necessary.  I'd love to hear both sides of that debate.

One thing I've noticed is that all the steep downhill stuff with some technical movements seems to be wearing on the top of the big toe area of the shoe.  I figured perhaps a trail shoe is just thicker in certain areas to support the additional movement.

How much of a trail are you really talking about here? Well groomed trails will be fine with whatever you used on pavement. If you have to watch your footing a lot, then maybe, but not for a nice crushed limestone path.

I guess "trail" running is kind of a non-specific term.  The places I hit around my area are more like designated hiking trails.  They're very woodsy, the path is quite narrow in some spots.  I find myself having to be very careful to not get caught up tree roots almost the entire way.  Some areas could be very slightly muddy, some are loose dirt/sand.  One of my favorite trails goes from beach sandy, to grass, to rocky and rooty all within a few short miles.  There are several short rolling hills but a few are quite steep.

None are anywhere near mountaineer grade technical.  I just worry a little about rolling an ankle or getting tripped up by all the trail features as I'm picking up speed down a hill.  Like I mentioned, sometimes my big toe feels like it's going to rip right out of the front and I've never experienced that with Adrenaline's on the road.  I still wonder if a designated trail shoe will help with any of this, or if I should just build up my skills in regular old running shoes.

I also avoid minimalist shoes.  I have way, way too many small breakdowns in my kinetic chain.  I don't use orthotics but I do need the help of a structured shoe.

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