Picking Shoes for Trail Running. Part 1
So you’ve decided that you want to switch out your daily treadmill routine to something more diverse, or perhaps a long and cold winter just finished and you are looking to take your workouts outside? Whatever the reason is behind you becoming interested in trail running, it is a great hobby to have! It is one of the few guaranteed ways to get fresh air as most nature trails are located further away from the city and who doesn’t like to combine workouts with beautiful nature? Good shoes are a ticket to successful trail running as your feet will face difficult, uneven terrain, and taking care of your feet is a must for any runner in order to be able to enjoy the workouts. Here are some tips on what to consider when buying a pair of shoes for trail running.
More than any other piece of equipment, shoes are a highly individual choice. Those that work for most can prove to be very uncomfortable for others. Consider your general preferences when it comes to choosing shoes, but even more importantly, think about any physical peculiarities you might have. A good option is to consult a doctor specializing in these kinds of things. They will check you balance, how your foot lands when you run and suggest the most suitable options for you.
Moreover, consider your running goals. Are you a hardcore runner with a couple of successfully completed marathons? If so, durability is a big factor for you as you want shoes that not only feel good but will last more than a couple of months. But perhaps you are a casual runner who likes to take their workouts outside once in a while? In that case, you are free to consider your personal preferences more as your shoes will not wear out all that easily. Feel free to chat with the salespeople at the store – if you name them your needs, they will most probably be able to help you and provide detailed descriptions of shoes they have to help you find the ones you are looking for! Try on a few pairs and do not immediately settle for the first one. Take some time to walk around and find some bumpy surface to stand on – you want to know how the shoes feel not only on flat floor surface.
You want to make sure that the stack height of your running shoe fits your needs (for those unfamiliar with the terminology, the stack height is the amount of materials underneath your feet). Many think that thick shoes help prevent injuries and provide more support and comfort. That being said, they can be a little heavier in weight. Minimal stack height shoes prove to offer a more natural feel as you can actually feel the ground pretty well. This can be extremely uncomfortable if the trails of your choice are rocky. If you do decide to go for the thinner ones, make sure to pace out your workouts; start with slow, short runs to avoid hurting feet or other types of injuries. There is not one easy answer regarding stack height – it all depends on your preferences, but you have to be aware of the difference before you choose.