It’s that time of year — the weather is changing and the air is crisp. It’s also time for runners to go off-road and lace up trail running shoes.
What is the difference between road/track running and trail running shoes?
- Trail running usually takes place on softer surfaces (grass, dirt)
- Road running is typically more abrasive on shoes and the runner
- Trails are often rugged, uneven paths as opposed to the smooth, even surfaces of the road
What does this all mean when considering what shoes to purchase for your outdoor adventures? Many people think wearing your road and track running shoes will also be conducive for the trail. Well that may not be so true; here are three benefits to purchasing a trail shoe vs. a regular running shoe while traveling the rugged path:
Stability: Trails usually consist of rocks, debris and uneven surfaces. Trail shoes provide the proper stability to control your run on these types of terrain. While there are road shoes available with a stability feature, trail shoes provide a lower-to-the-ground feel that prevents your ankle from rolling.
Traction: Most of the traction found on trail shoes is achieved by creating a large contact area with the ground. This helps you from slipping on damp and wet areas, especially with rocks. A lot of trail shoes will also have deep, aggressive lugs to prevent the runner from slipping when stopping or turning.
Protection: The rocky terrain requires a shoe with stability — however, this also means the runner will need more protection for their feet. Most trail shoes feature a thin rock plate that provides push though protection from all the debris one may encounter during their run.
Now that you know the differences between road running and trail running, you’re probably ready to grab your headphones and get going. Before you do, here are some great trail shoes that will give you a good and safe run:
ASICS Scram: A trail-specific shoe built for neutral to moderate overpronators. This shoe also has a rear foot gel cushioning system to absorb shock from rocky terrains. With a weight of just 13-oz., this shoe can really make your off road experience a pleasurable one. Available for men and women.
Adidas Thrasher: This trail-friendly shoe is built on a low-profile midsole and features Adidas’ impact-absorbent Adiprene technology. It also has a Traxion outsole for easy movement and traction in all directions. Available for men.
Nike Alvord 10: Nike is one of the most well-known companies in the world, and this trail shoe lives up to that standard. With synthetic leather overlays for extra support, Nike’s Air heel unit for long-lasting cushioning, and a solid rubber outsole for reliable traction and grip, how could you go wrong exploring the outdoors with this functional trail shoe? Did I mention it only weighs 9-oz?! Available for men and women.
Whether you are an experienced runner wanting to push yourself further, a novice walker wanting to get some fresh air and a nice workout, or an outdoor lover who wants to hike, bike and ride all day long — hitting the trail this Spring will be the highlight of the season.
“Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.” — Dale Evans Rogers
Until Next Time,