Boots to run in,,,!!!

Random comment from a friends and the need for a challenge in my running has got me thinking about doing the Para 10 - or something similar.  So if I am going to do it I need some boots to run in.  I am sure people out there have loads of advise so please can you help me...

 What boots would you recommend?

Where can I go to try some on? (In Midlands if that helps) Or do I just internet surf and hope?

 Many thanks for your help in advance.


  • I asked the same question three months ago as I am backpacking in Asia at the moment and wanted to buy some boots that I could trek in and also run in.

    After much deliberation, I settled on a pair of lightweight boots from Millets at they have lots of grip, some ankle support and were made from breathable material.

    Millets Hedgehog Boots

    I have only used them a few times for running in and they are definitely heavier than the trainers I am used to but I imagine they would be better then running in full blown military style boots. Are you allowed to wear the lightweight kind of shoe I am talking about or do you have to wear proper boots?

    Running Blog
  • Inov8 do boots, but they might be a bit light weight for what you want.
    Their trail running shoes are excellent and there's a guy in erdington who sells them.
    Check them out, if they are any good I'll give you his number.
  • Theres a company called Go outdoors that have a wide selection of boots, I got a good pair of fairly lightweight boots from them last year as a few of us are going to try the coast to coast walk soon. they have stores all round the country so may have one near you.


  • I would have thought that you would be looking for the mid versions of what are called 'Approach shoes' as they are lightweight compared to regular walking boots and more flexible. The only problem is that some of them have shallow treads designed for trails rather than mud so bear this in mind when trying them. 

    Whatever you do, don't buy boots on somebody else's recommendation unless they FIT!

    A bit like running shoes you should go to an outdoor store and try on various pairs. Go to a store that has a good selection and tell the assistant what you plan to do with ie. run, otherwise they try and sell you a heavy pair that will cripple you.

    I'm not sure what stores are in the Midlands but chains like Ellis Brigham, Snow and Rock and Cotswolds are generally decent. I would personally avoid Field & Trek based on my lat visit but that may have been a bad experience.

    There will be a lot of good independents as well but I'm not from that area.  Try (Trail magazine's website) Outdoorsmagic or TGO magazine's websites as well to get some idea.

    It is also best to avoid a Saturday or Thursday evening if possible as they may be too busy to give you their full attention or have some Saturday staff who are maybe less knowledgeable .

  • There is a MASSIVE Gooutdoors near me so I will check it out next weekend.

     Thanks for your help.  Anyone else got any other suggestions?

  • I forgot to mention, areas to check out when trying boots on are

    1/ Achilles tendon. Boots, being higher, can put pressure or rub when you walk or run, parictularly when going uphill so make sure they are comfortable. There is no need to always lace them up to the top.

    2/ There should be at least the finger width of space at the back when the toes are touching otherwise you will suffer on the descent.

    3/ The can be flexible when you bend them from front to back but should be laterally stiff. That is it should be difficult to twist them or bend them left to right.

    Finally Goretex will keep the water out but if you are likely to be in mud or water above boot height they will also keep the water in and you may be better off without though it can be difficult sometimes to track down non goretex versions. Go for the best fitting if in doubt.

  • BeetleBeetle ✭✭✭

    Agree with everything Moiri says.

    You might like to try these

    Very lightweight. Water resistant. Very good grip.

    I recently completed the 3 Peaks in them.  Filthy conditions but feet remained dry and comfortable.

    I have always   liked Inov 8 but as Moiri says - try before you buy.  Not perfect (shop conditions are not the same as mountain conditions) but much better than nothing.

  • They're the ones, I have some 315's and I love em!
  • The link given by KinverRoss shows the Hedgehog shoes. I have a pair of the boot version of the Hedgehog, they are nice boots but I find the tongue a little high and stiff. They tend to rub the front of my ankle and wouldn't be suitable (for me) for running in.

    Walsh do a boot version of their fell running shoe called the Walsh PB Elite boot. I have a very early version which I had produced to order in about 1986, very light and fantastic grip.

    I would go along with Beetle and recommend you try the Inov8 Roclite 390 GTX. I have a pair which I use for Paragliding. This invloves a bit of running around on grassy hill sides, they have proved to be comfortable for all day wear and have plenty of grip. I tend to find all Goretex shoes/boots to be a bit on the warm side so, if being waterproof isn't a priority, I'd go with the Walsh PBs.   

  • fishfirefishfire ✭✭✭
    Im in the military, and use Magnum Elite Spider boots for running in.

    Lightweight, comfy and not too horrendously priced image
  • Do you know fishfire, I had never heard of Magnum Elite Spider boots and so I "Googled" them.........

     For all of my life I have been involved with the military, my father flew Spitfires during WWII,  I grew up in a military environment and have worked along side the military all my working life. I thought that, after 58 years, I was inured to military have just proved me wrong!

    I should have been warned by the first few words of your post  "Im (sic) in the military"......

  • The military do have a different definition of ''lightweight' and 'comfortable'.

    However I did used to wear heavy boots for hillwalking when I was younger and when you develop the strength in your legs, break them in and get used to wearing heavy footwear they can be really comfortable, almost like an old pair of slippers. I would magine this would apply to service personnel who are wearing them every day 

    I don't think this applies to the OP though.

  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    buzzard - bit harsh IMO.

    Paras' 10 FAQs:
    Are there any specific regulations regarding boots worn for the P Company challenge element of the Paras 10?
    Put simply boots must have full ankle support; sturdy hiking boots are fine.

    So strictly speaking fishfire's suggestion fits the spec better than some other suggestions (obviously everyone's just trying to be helpful).

    As for picking up a missed apostrophe on a forum message, well that's just being pedantic.  image

  • Yes I probably was being a bit harsh...put it down to being on a night shiftimage.....sorry fishfire! But no way would I ever be seen wearing those boots, people would think that I was a traveller.

    Pedantic? Me? I have every intention of starting a "Pedant's Revolt" and am thus changing my name to Which Tylerimage

  • If you're going to do the Para 10 why not wear regulation army boots and carry a bergen for an authentic experience. I wore standard issue army boots when I was doing my training and never had any probs!

  •  So you're not too old to worry about what others think then image

  • *deep breath*

    I'm not entirely sure what angle The Deep Buzzard is coming from - so I'll just ignore it. image

    As another Military type - I'd recommend you try Lowa and/or Altberg's - Military boots, not silly civvie walking boots!  Boots are as personal as a pair of running shoes are, and I wouldn't recommend a specific model simply because the shape of your foot may not suit them.

    With regards to the Military having different opinions regarding lightweight and comfortable.  I can assure everyone that broken ankles are just as painful if you're military or civillian!  If that's what you want, then go and buy a pair of something which are nothing more than a pair of ponced up, glorified trainers.  If you're just mincing along a trail carrying 30lbs then thats fine; but don't confuse them with the support a real boot will give you when moving across rough terrain carrying over 100lbs (which I'll add you DONT run with!)

    Other advice I'll give:

    Get used to wearing boots WITHOUT weight; especially important if you rarely wear boots day-to-day.  Go back to walking when training, up the pace with long strides and then introduce short running sections to shake out your lower legs.  It WILL be uncomfortable to start off with, but it's very different to running in trainers.  Build up weight slowly, and adjust the amount of running you do accordingly - if you go hell for leather you will injure yourself.  Do not train thinking "well, the para's run 7 minute miles in boots - no problem" - because you will injure yourself.  I can't emphasise enough the importance of spending time building up distance and pace.

  • I take it you're not part of the lightweight footwear movement then.

    Seriously, I understand your point but in the military you are wearingheavy  boots everyday and do have to carry 100lb loads. That does not apply to the OP.

    And there is a lot of evidence to suggest that having ankle support is counter productive because it weakens your ankles and doesn't allow your feet to behave naturally.  For examples you can see porters in places like Nepal who carry loads that are heavier than a soldier would typically carry, often above the snowline, and they wear flip flops.

    That is because they have allowed their ankles and feet to strengthen naturally without constricting them in boots.

    One of many articles  

  • Lightweight footwear - I wear Lunarglides to run in if that counts?  They're fairly lightweight image

    I won't argue that many other cultures have developed or maintained better techniques than we have in the western world - but we are not Nepalese sherpas or African runners.  They have developed that technique from birth.  I think to attempt the same approach as a developed adult in the "soft" western world is likely to cause more issues than to just accept it and use tech to improve what we have.  All in my opinion of course.

    If you're talking about running in boots, you're talking about running in real boots to my mind - something like the Para 10, the Nijmegen and Baatan marches are things that should be done in "real" boots, due to a combination of safety, tradition and respect for what the events stand for.  It might be worth saying that in the Army Combat Fitness Test, you only really run a few hundred metres in every mile - the rest is "tabbing" - fast, long, paces.  The Advanced Combat Fitness Test is more of a run - but you use a technique very different to tabbing or normal running to lessen the impact on your joints; I would describe my movement as "skimming".

     I will admit there is likely to be a little bit of military eliteism there as well - in a similar way runners with good times and high personal standards may look down on "fun runners", RFL'ers and similar; the likelyhood is that someone turning up at the Para 10 with a pair of approach shoes on. rightly or wrongly, look like they're just playing at it and.. well.. it doesn't really count because they were practically wearing trainers image

    Also personal opinion is that Magnums aren't much cop for anything other than "Office boots" with regards to my experience and my feet - but other people swear by them so...

    I fully understand that the OP is likely to rarely wear proper boots, which is why I tried to emphasise the importance of taking time to build up distance and weight slowly.  Someone might be able to comfortably run a sub-3 hour maratheon, but trying to run 2 miles in boots the first time might just cripple them!

  • Fair enough and I do understand your point and you're right when you say it should be in keeping with the tradition of the event.

    "in a similar way runners with good times and high personal standards may look down on "fun runners", RFL'ers and similar "  --- I wouldn't know. I'm usually looking up at real runners image

  • Thank for the range of responces.. 

     I popped to Go Outdoors and got a pair of Magnum Boots - definately not running shoes and have been slowly walking round in them just to get used to my feet being in them - not sure If I should fully lace them!

     OK I have 60 weeks ish an so now need to develop a training plan that gets my body ready for the run as I would dearly love to make the 1hr 50 min cut off time.   Any suggestions?

  • New Rocks? image

  • fishfirefishfire ✭✭✭
    The old buzzard:

    I find your comment, and implication I am stupid, slightly offensive. Please.......tell me the last time you did a combat fitness test, and what boots you where wearing?

    Working along side, and actually being in the military are two completely different things.

    As has also been mention here, I also have a set of Lowa's, which whilst offering good ankle stability, I personally find them a heavy boot.

    I have used various versions of the magnum boot in both exercise and operational conditions......again please inform me of the last time you tested boots in such conditions?

    In comparison to the issued Assault boot, the Spider Elite IS both lighter and more comfortable to run in, and again, as has also been mentioned, it is also down to personal choice and compromise i.e the lighter the boot, the less ankle support.

    I came on here to offer my opinion on a lightweight boot, that I have ACTUALLY tested....not get slated by an uneducated civvie.
  • Found these mens trail shoes at trespass. Comfortable and afffordable. I use them for hill walking but are great for running too. Lightweight and great value for money.

  • I always used to wear Lowa's when playing soldiers. Pretty expensive for just a race image

  • Spent a fair chunk of my life wearing green; Lowa's quality sturdy, hot and heavy, Magnum's were made by Hi-Tec so these didn't get a look in, blacked out KSB's used to be good.  Best that came across for running type stuff were Trazeta's which were light and quite nice to run in and, by far the sneakiest, were a pair of Addidas assault boots that I got back in ~1999.

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