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Trail running: What's the difference between trail shoes and normal trainers?

(15 Posts)
SonicBoomBoom Sat 02-Dec-17 13:01:44

I'm thinking of signing up for a hill run. It will be my first one (omigod what am I doing).

I do a bit of running so have some decent trainers for ParkRun and streets type runs, but apparently I really, really should get a pair of trail shoes for this.

Anyone who has both and does both types of runs that can tell me the difference? I've Googled a few pairs and can't see what's massively different from normal trainers, from the pictures. I'd rather not buy them in case I die hate this first hill run and never do another and they're a waste of money. But if they do make a big difference then I will get some.

lljkk Sat 02-Dec-17 13:06:56

reading online, thicker tread, more tread, heavier sole. Oh, and more protective toe guard. To deal with mud and rocks, I guess. Also trail shoes have to be "neutral". You only bother with gait analysis if you run mostly on roads.

emummy Sat 02-Dec-17 13:08:41

The main difference is grip. The soles will be different; for instance the innov8 range do shoes that are good for rocky paths, different ones for deep mud, different ones for easy trails. The soles are made of grippier material so you are less likely to slip. That's the main reason for having them. They also tend to be less cushioned and mostly neutral. There are plenty to choose from. The best thing will to be to get info about what sort of surfaces you will be running on and get something to cope with that. My first pair of trail shoes were a Karrimor pair from sSports Direct for £30 and they were OK. I know stick to Innov8, they are vastly better but more expensive too! are a good source of shoes at reduced prices.

LilyRose16 Sat 02-Dec-17 13:09:40

The soles are very different and you really need trail shoes if you're going off road!

Fruitflylady Sat 02-Dec-17 13:10:54

I do a lot of trail running and just use my normal trainers! Depends how muddy your hill run will be and whether you'll need that much extra grip, but personally I wouldn't bother splashing out on new shoes at this stage. My muddiest runs I've just used my oldest trainers for anyway so I don't worry about them getting trashed!

LilyRose16 Sat 02-Dec-17 13:11:47

You don't need to spend a lot on trail shoes, most of my running club wear More Miles which you can pick up for 20-30 quid

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 02-Dec-17 13:13:02

Grip mostly and the things PPs said. I bloody love my trail shoes. If I run off road in my road trainers I feel much less stable.

catiinbo0ts Sat 02-Dec-17 13:14:57

Mine are waterproof!

SonicBoomBoom Sat 02-Dec-17 13:20:35

There will probably be a lot of snow, especially near the top, and so probably a lot of mud too on the way.

So grippy trail shoes is probably a must, then!

emummy Sat 02-Dec-17 14:12:29

If it's going to be snowy and muddy then yes you do! I have some trails here I can run in road shoes but only because they are flat paths. The race organisers will probably expect you to have good shoes too. Happy shopping!

Standingonlego Sat 02-Dec-17 22:36:10

You definitely need trail shoes going on your last comment. I have Brooke's cascadia - love them. You need good grip to avoid slips and linked injuries. Some longer socks are good too to keep your ankles warm and grit out.

KatharinaRosalie Sat 02-Dec-17 22:40:56

I have this pair. The difference is like driving with summer tyres winter tyres on an icy road

TheDonald Sat 02-Dec-17 22:44:25

Trail shoes aren't as thick soled which means you're much less likely to turn your ankle on rocks etc. Road shoes put you a bit too high off the ground.

They are also more waterproof so they keep your feet warmer whereas most road shoes are breathable.

And obviously more grip etc as above. I have brooks cascadia too.

I'd get them if I were you. You'll love it!

randomsabreuse Sat 02-Dec-17 22:53:46

Grip. It's all about the sole. I have 3 pairs of trainers - road (basically flat underneath but little nubs as we often do the odd bit of footpath on a club run), mild trail with fairly small teeth and trail/mud run shoes with big teeth which give massively better grip.

I have the Karrimors mentioned above because they are wide enough for my toes, the Salomon Speedcross aren't.

If you're just doing trail runs waterproof is good but if you're likely to get into mud runs or runs with stream/pond crossings non waterproof lets the water out again much better!

SonicBoomBoom Sun 03-Dec-17 15:19:14

Thanks everyone. I will definitely get a pair of grippy trail shoes.

And waterproof socks.

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