One of the best things about trail running is that, really, you don’t need much more than desire. A decent pair of shoes, comfortable shorts, and a shirt that wicks moisture and doesn’t chafe your nipples. Oh, and a trail to run on.

Another great thing about trail running is the vast landscape of gear that you can fall into, should you chose to do so.

The right shirt can last a decade. Same with the right pair of shorts. Invest in the right equipment: a good headlamp, a well made hydration pack, and a solid hat and these will be with you for a very long time. Even a pair of Injini toe socks can last for years.

But what about shoes? Shoes are a different animal and often we runners have a closet full. We have trail shoes (long and short distance), road shoes, treadmill shoes, mud shoes, rain shoes, and shoes that excel on exposed rock or slippery roots. Maybe you prefer a shoe made with Gore-Tex that will keep the moisture out. Or maybe a fast draining shoe for those days you ford multiple streams. If you want something incredibly specific in your running shoe, well, it’s probably out there.

Nostalgia often comes into play as well. We runners tend to have a history with our shoes and we remember the highlights (and low lights) along the way.

I can still remember my first pair of running shoes. Having been a soccer player in my youth, I was a fan of Adidas. When it was time to buy shoes for my first race (a 5 miler), I strapped on a pair of Adidas. They were black with a big fat white foam mid-sole. They probably had a heel-to-toe drop in the 12 to 14mm range, but who even knew what heel drop was back then?

Over the years my attitude toward shoes has changed considerably. From “those look cool” to “I need a trail shoe with an aggressive lug, preferably zero drop, but with some cushion for going long, a wide toe box for proper toe splay, and a lacing system that is easy to adjust on the fly.”

But let’s not kid ourselves, once the specifics are met, they still need to look cool.

At this point, I couldn’t even guess how many pair of shoes I’ve run in, and through, over the years. I’m not even sure how many I have in my closet right now, though I’m currently rotating through three “active” pair of trail runners. And I can tell you this: I never take my trail running shoes for granted.

When I was a newbie runner, a friend who did triathlons told me I should never spend less that $100 on a pair of running shoes. You can still get a good pair of shoes for around that price, it was good advice then and it’s good advice now.

Don’t skimp on those shoes.

Run on, Sisters and Brothers!



#shoes #runwild #trailrunning


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