Get the right shoes

So you’re look­ing for your first pair of trail shoes. Charley Rad­cliffe, a vet­eran of the Ul­tra Trail Du Mont Blanc and the Lon­don Brighton 100km run, has your check­list

Men's Fitness - - Features -

Know your ter­rain

“If you’re run­ning on a very rocky or tech­ni­cal trail then a more pre­cise fit is needed to avoid move­ment around the front of the shoe,” says Rad­cliffe. “You need to know that when you pick a rock to step on, your foot won’t slide around. If you’re on well main­tained trails, a more re­laxed fit is OK and will be more com­fort­able.”

Think about dis­tance

“If you’re run­ning a long way your feet will swell and then if there is a lot of de­scent, you’ll find your toes bash­ing the end of the shoe,” says Rad­cliffe. “For that sort of route I will choose a shoe that’s half to one size big­ger - much like when choos­ing a shoe for a road marathon. You can feel clumsy on trails with a big­ger shoe but it means you get to keep all your toe­nails…”

Choose an up­per

“This, again, is go­ing to de­pend on the trails you are choos­ing with the two main op­tions be­ing a water­proof, ie Gore-Tex, up­per or not. For win­ter and wet run­ning, Gore-Tex is pretty cru­cial but it comes at a cost – no mat­ter what the man­u­fac­turer says, it is not breath­able and so you will get warmer, sweatier feet. This is bal­anced by them stay­ing drier though - as ever, com­pro­mise is key. Th­ese days, though, there are a num­ber of shoes de­signed for wet and muddy races that are not water­proof but drain very well. If you are run­ning shorter dis­tances, this might be ideal.”

Think about grip

“Grip is ev­ery­thing and that’s con­trolled by the cush­ion­ing and the rub­ber used on the sole I’m a big fan of Vi­bram’s mega-grip, though a num­ber of other com­pa­nies have great ma­te­ri­als. There are dif­fer­ent rub­bers, again, depend­ing on the type of ground you’re go­ing to be run­ning on – dirt track, rocky tech­ni­cal trails, mud runs – which make them stick­ier, say, or more rigid.”

Get some sole

“Some shoes have a lot of cush­ion­ing – like most of HOKA’s of­fer­ings – and some are much more min­i­mal, like Inov-8 and Vi­bram. Per­sonal pref­er­ence and foot con­di­tion­ing will help make this choice. A big de­bate th­ese days is also how much drop there is. I use about an 8mm drop, but this is en­tirely per­sonal and there are good ar­gu­ments for run­ning on a min­i­mal­ist, zero drop shoe. Just be­ware switch­ing too quickly – it’s tough on your calves.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.