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Trail Running Shoes
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Popular brands in this section... Trail Running Shoes - Footnotes
What should you look for when buying Trail Running Shoes?
Test the support that the heel counter provides by pinching the base of the uppoer at the heel of the trail running shoe between thumb and finger. Good heel support is essential to ensure the foot strikes the ground correctly.
No shoe is worth having if it doesn't fit properly. The inside of a trail running r
shoe should be around 13-15mm longer than your foot. you can estimate if the shoes is the right size by putting your foot inside the shoes with the laces loosened off and then roughly measuring this gap by placing a finger down the inside of the shoe at the heel.
You can see how breathable and therefore how waterproof the upper is by holding it to your mouth and blowing through into it. If you feel the air pass through, you won't get sweaty feet but water will get in easily. Mesh around the lower sides of the upper tends to allow water to be pumped out of the shoe as you run. Trail-running shoes with waterproof linings are also available.
Look for support under the arch and on the inside of the heel to help stabilise the foot. The level of support required will depend on if you overpronate (foot rolls inwards), supinate (foot rolls outwards) or have a natural foot. Most people overpronate, so arch support is generally worth looking for. Good support is also required for running over uneven terrain.
For trail-running, the shoes should flex easily at the tow and be quite stiff laterally. Judge the midsole flex by grabbing the shoe by the toe and heel, and bending the tow towards the heel and then twisting the toe while holding the heel firmly.
You can gauge how good the underfoot cushioning is by simply standing in the trail running shoes, raising your heels and then thumping them down hard. Thick cushioning is ideal for running on hard roads, but it adds weight and you have less of a 'feel' for the running suface.
Compare the thickness of a pound coin with the depth of the grooves on the sole. If the grooves are shallower than the coin, the lugs won't provide much grip - particularly in mud and on grass - and they'll also wear down quickly on harder surfaces. Also look for a heel breast (the cutaway section between the forefoot and heel) as this also adds a degree of braking power when descending.
Grab the shoe at the tow and press your thumb down into the tow box from the top, end and sides. Your toes and the upper of the trail running shoe can take a hammering when running downhill over rough terrain, so look for some protective stiffening around the front of the shoe.