Trail running shoes broken down

Trail running shoes broken down

Posted by Simon Tjernström

Photos by Red Bull Content Pool

2020-05-25 14:28

Even though the name might sound fancy - trail running is as basic as it gets. It pretty much means running everywhere.

trail running 7.jpgTrail running has quickly emerged as one of the more popular activities to stay in shape and feel good. The reasons trail running is a superior way to keep active is:
  • Better workout
  • Softer on your joints
  • Strengthening smaller important muscle groups

What is new come the last couple of years are some gear. We thought we would provide you with a brief guide to help improve your trail running and make it more enjoyable at the same time.

trail running 2.jpgThe shoes are the most important gear for a trail runner

Trail Running Shoes

The single most important part of your trail running equipment is you trail running shoes. If you are thinking about running in your old Converses like Rocky Balboa - think again, if you want to keep running for more than a week or two. The running shoes have evolved lots over the last couple of years with you, the runner, in mind. The shoes of today put less strain on your body and are way more comfortable than your 10-year-old shoes.

Trail Running Men

trail running 3.jpgGrip, cushion and protection. Some things to look for in a shoe

This is where most innovation has come. Even though running in different terrain isn’t a new activity, the science of making better equipment certainly is new.

The world of trail running shoes can look like a jungle at first sight. It is not though. But there are a couple of things that will make it easier for you to choose the best product for you. These are specified on all serious producers’ equipment.

  1. Drop
  2. Cushion
  3. Underfoot Plates / Protection

trail running 8.jpgHitting the ground with your toe or your heel. The drop of the shoes is the height difference from the heel to the toe

1. Drop

Heel-to-toe drop, off set or just drop is different names for the same thing. The height difference from heel to toe. This angle determines if you want to hit the ground with your toes, neutral or with your heels. There are three normal divisions.

0-4 mm (toe first)
4-8 mm (neutral)
8-12mm (heel first)

trail running 11.jpgRocks, roots or dirt? The cushion should be according to the surface (and your preferences)

2. Cushion

The amount of cushioning (working as a dampener) is individual. Less cushion equals more feel and more shock. More cushion equals less feel and less shock.

Often describes in a 1 - 100 scale.

trail running 10.jpgPlates protect your from sharp rocks but makes the shoe stiffer

3. Underfoot Plates / Protection

Protection can mean both on top of your foot and under your sole. We are going to focus on the underfoot plates that are in most trail running shoes refferd to as protection. The plates are there to prevent sharp rocks from prematurely raining on your running parade. Since the surface differes so much in trail running this is an essential feature to look for. But it gives the shoe different feels in stiffness. Do you know that you are only going to run easy trails without many rocks and roots. You might want to have a softer plate.

Protection is often in a scale 1 - 100.

trail running 12.jpgRemember. The shoes that makes you go out and run are the best shoes.

Trail Running Women

There are other features. Like weight, breathability, material, anatomical fit and stability. But as mentioned previously, this is a basic guide. We hope this helps