Trail running offers the ultimate combination of exercise and exploration. You can take your running to the next level by tackling trails in the mountains or forests in your area. You can also accelerate from hiking and give yourself a greater challenge.
To get the most of your trail running experience—and protect yourself from injuries—finding the right trail running shoes for you is crucial. Knowing how to buy trail running shoes is just as important as knowing where to go once you have them.
What Are Trail Running Shoes?
Trail runners are more than just hiking shoes or running shoes. They carry a number of features that make running on trails more comfortable, and are designed for injury prevention. They are also built to stand up to the wear and tear of trails better than regular running shoes.
There’s a wide variety available when selecting the right shoes for you, but trail running shoes share a few key characteristics. The shoes you select should have:
- Greater traction for running on variable surfaces
- Tougher construction that withstands rocks, roots, and other trail hazards
- Increased support to reduce impact on your feet
Why Trail Running Shoes?
The above features show why you shouldn’t hit the trail in regular running shoes. When you trail run—whether it’s a well-groomed hiking trail or something more rugged—you need shoes that grip surfaces such as loose dirt on rock. Running shoes built for pavement won’t do the trick.
Trail running shoes tend to take a beating. The constant scraping of roots, branches, and rocks quickly tear apart traditional running shoes. Trail runners are built of sturdier material and manufactured with greater support to help prevent foot and ankle injuries.
How to Buy Trail Running Shoes That Work for You
Opting for trail running shoes over traditional shoes is the key first step. However, there are other considerations that will help you get the right shoes for you.
Type of Terrain
The first point to consider is the type of trail running you plan to do. If you plan to run on smoother surfaces like dirt roads, you can opt for more lightweight models.
However, you will need to find sturdier models if you plan to run on hiking trails, primitive trails, or off-trail. These surfaces tend to have more rocks and roots that require tougher, more supportive shoes.
You also need to consider your heel-to-toe drop. Like other shoes, trail runners come in a variety of options, from barefoot to maximum support. The best route to take for your first pair of trail runners is to select shoes with the same heel-to-toe ratio as other shoes you already wear.
The Right Fit
Finally, you need shoes that fit you properly. This is something that will be unique to your feet. Take precise measurements of your feet and use a sizing guide to get the right size for your feet. Trail running tends to involve a lot of hills, so you need the right amount of toe room along with foot support for uneven terrain.
Shop Trail Running Shoes Today
To find the perfect pair that meets your needs, shop our hand-curated selection of trail running shoes at Gear.com today.