Trail Shoes…Need or Want?

muddy shoes

I don’t know about you, but for me buying new running shoes is an exciting thing. I can remember as a kid loving to go to the store and search for just the right look and finding the shoe that I really wanted and then trying to convince my parents to spend the money on them. I always seemed to pick out the ones that where the most expensive. Somehow that hasn’t changed much over the years when it comes to me and shoes.

My feet are apparently susceptible to a few different lingering problems if I don’t wear proper shoes. Going to the store and picking out a cool looking pair of shoes just isn’t really an option for me anymore. Unfortunately going to the store and looking for the shoe that is on sale isn’t necessarily an option either. My feet have specific needs and those usually come with some added expense. I haven’t picked out a pair of shoes based on style or colors in probably 3 years. Choices are based purely on what shoe has the fit and support that I need and has the best price. My current shoes are Asics Gel Nimbus.  The store I was at had several cool looking Gel Nimbus options available at around $140.00, but they had one ugly (in my opinion) pair of the previous years version for around $70.00. So for the last 6 months of training and two half marathons I have worn some ugly Asics Gel Nimbus.

I say all of that to point out the fact the for many runners shoe buying is an important decision that can depend on the family budget. I am wanting to start doing more trail running so I want a good pair of trail running shoes. I have been doing some research and will over the next couple months hopefully find a deal on a pair and get me some. You can run trails without trail shoes. You can run on the road in trail shoes. What you need to keep in mind though is that there is a difference in the shoes and if you are going to be doing a significant amount of both types of running you may really want to consider buying a shoe for each.

This article explains some of the difference of a trail shoe and why you may want to consider making the purchase.

2 thoughts on “Trail Shoes…Need or Want?”

  1. I got a pair of the Hoka Stinson Trail shoes about a year ago and love them for trail running. They are not the lightest shoe out there by far but they give me the support and my knees the cushioning they need for the trails. I like the tread grips also. They probably only have a couple hundred more miles left in them and I plan on replacing them with the new Stinson ATRs. The speed laces in them were worthless (lost 3 toenails at the Yamacraw 50K in April) so I cut them out and replaced them with regular laces that I can cinch up tight (no problems at the Cloudsplitter or Rough Trail 50Ks with the regular laces and the proper tying technique:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz3W_bDHXWU

  2. Shoe retail puts food on my table, and the thought of runners buying trail shoes as a second pair of new running shoes is exciting. That being said, you hit the nail on the head when you stated that trail shoes can be used on pavement and vice versa. Unless a runner has a very specific set of needs, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two other than tread aggression. Most trail shoes are fairly tame in terms of tread, but there is a push from outdoor brands like Vasque and Salomon that are making deep lugged running shoes with waterproof uppers a lot more mainstream. As they gain popularity and start dipping into market share as Hoka One has, it will be interesting to see how the big hitters like Asics and Brooks will react. The key for the running consumer will be to make sure they are buying the right shoe for their stride, and not being duped into a trendy shoe that doesn’t fit their needs. There’s no shame in buying an older model or a failed color in a model of a shoe like you did with the nimbus. Getting a deep discount on the product your body needs is thrifty and savvy.

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