When it comes to buying trail running shoes, there are many factors to consider. We take a look at your trail running shoes frequently asked questions and answer them for you.

What are trail running shoes?

Trail running shoes are specifically designed footwear for running on off-road terrains such as trails, mountains, and forests. They have features that provide protection, stability, and traction, making them suitable for running on uneven and challenging surfaces.

How are they different from regular running shoes?

This is a very popular questions, asked by many. How do trail shoes differ from road running shoes? Trail running shoes typically have more aggressive tread patterns for better traction on uneven surfaces. They also offer more durability, stability, and protection against rocks and debris compared to regular running shoes.

What features should I look for in trail running shoes?

Look for features like durable outsoles with aggressive lugs for traction, protective toe caps, cushioning for shock absorption on rough terrain, water resistance or quick-drying materials, and a snug fit to prevent debris from entering the shoe.

How do I choose the right fit for trail shoes?

To choose the right fit for trail running shoes, consider factors such as sizing, toe box width, arch support, and heel-to-toe drop. It’s important to try on different sizes and models to find the best fit that provides comfort, support, and allows for natural foot movement during your trail runs. If you have wide feet, you need to ensure that you have wider fitting shoes, you also need to get the right size which may mean going up a size.

Should I size up in trail running shoes?

It’s generally recommended to go up half a size or a full size in trail running shoes compared to your regular shoe size. This extra room accommodates swelling and provides space for thicker socks, especially on longer runs.

What is the importance of cushioning and support in trail running shoes?

Cushioning and support in trail running shoes are crucial for absorbing shock, providing stability, and protecting your feet from rough and uneven terrain. Different types of cushioning technologies, such as EVA foam and midsole density, provide varying levels of comfort and impact absorption.

How can I ensure good traction in trail running shoes?

Good traction in trail running shoes is achieved through features in the outsole, such as lug patterns, rubber compounds, and multidirectional grip. These elements provide traction on different surfaces such as mud, rocks, and slippery trails, allowing you to maintain stability and prevent slips and falls.

Are trail running shoes waterproof and breathable?

Many trail running shoes incorporate waterproofing and breathability technologies to protect your feet from moisture while allowing heat and sweat to escape. These features keep your feet dry and comfortable during wet and muddy trail conditions without compromising breathability.

How can I ensure durability and protection?

Trail running shoes are designed to withstand the ruggedness of off-road terrains. Look for features like reinforced uppers, protective toe caps, and durable outsole materials to ensure the longevity and protection of your shoes while running on trails.

What are some tips for running on different trail terrains?

To optimize your performance and safety on different trail terrains, adapt your running technique and gear. For rocky trails, choose shoes with rock plates and use a shorter stride. In muddy conditions, choose shoes with deeper lugs and stabilize your footing. For hilly terrains, focus on uphill and downhill running techniques to maintain efficiency and reduce the risk of injury.

How do I maintain and care for my running shoes?

Proper maintenance and care can extend the lifespan of your trail running shoes. Clean them after each run using a soft brush or cloth, air dry them away from direct heat, and store them in a well-ventilated area. Replace your shoes when the cushioning and tread wear out to ensure optimal performance and prevent injuries.

How often should I replace my trail running shoes?

The lifespan of trail running shoes depends on factors like mileage, terrain, and the runner’s weight and gait. On average, they may last between 300 to 500 miles (480 to 800 kilometers), but some signs to watch for include worn-out tread, loss of cushioning, or visible damage to the shoe.

Can I use trail shoes for other activities?

While trail running shoes are primarily designed for running on trails, many people also use them for hiking, backpacking, or other outdoor activities that involve rough terrain. However, they may not be ideal for activities that require specific features like ankle support for mountaineering or agility for indoor sports.

Can I use orthotics with trail running shoes?

Many trail running shoes have removable insoles, allowing you to replace them with custom orthotics if needed for extra support or comfort. Make sure the orthotics fit well within the shoe without causing any discomfort or affecting the fit.

Are there different types of trail running shoes for various terrains?

Yes, there are trail running shoes designed for specific terrains like rocky trails, muddy trails, or technical mountain terrain. Some shoes prioritize grip and traction, while others focus on cushioning and stability. Choose a shoe that matches the type of terrain you’ll be running on most frequently.

You can discover a selection of our favourites here. If you have any questions about trail running shoes, be sure to pop them in the comments below.