Running Jargon - Trail Shoes.

mikesankey's picture


As the night draw in and the forest gets that bit more muddy, you may find 2 things, firstly the underfoot grip isn’t there, and that lots of people are talking about ‘Trail Shoes’

So what are trail shoes?

Trail shoes are off-road running trainers, generally with slightly less cushioning than usual trainers - This is due to the ground being softer, and the structure of the shoe needing to be more rigid. They can also do short stretches of tarmac, but not as comfortably as a standard road trainer.

In the base of the trail shoe there are studs/cleats. The aims of these are to give better grip and traction over soft and damp terrain. The soles are also thicker to prevent injury from rocks and protruding roots.

You can get fully waterproof trail shoes, but I would advise only going for these if you really need the protection, as not only can water not get it, but perspiration can’t get out, and ventilation is limited to the foot.

You may see offered in running shops ‘Cross Country Spikes’. These are lightweight off-road shoes, with metal spikes in the base. They will give superb grip, but many cross-country races have tarmac or compacted gravel sections that you’ll find yourself skating over in spikes. I would advise avoiding these unless you’d really want to try them.

A decent entry level pair of Trail shoes will cost you around £40, and give good grip when the weather and the ground gets damp.