footwear advice

Having been running mainly on road for many years I've ventures off road the last few years for a bit of variety. So far I've managed well on a fairly reasonably process pair of Adidas trail shoes howeve3r, one entered a 100 mile jaunty along the Thames path next march so need something of higher quality and no doubt goretex based

With a number of different brands out there where so I put my cash? Inov8? Asics? Saloman?
I'm experienced in buying road shoes and have lives in Asics for the last 15 years but trail shoes I'm not so familiar with!


  • I've been using a pair of Asics Gel Trabuco, although not for the sort of distance your talking about. But I've done a couple of hundred miles in them and they are still very good. Maybe worth a look
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    Are they gore based? I need something waterproof if possible due to where I'm running, and given that I'm really happy I'm asics road shows they might be a good choice. However I've got lots of inov8 kit which is of excellent quality and value
  • MR F i use Vibrams Bikilas and they really are multi surface. theyre brill. just a thought.
  • The vibrams are ok if your a minimalist midfoot striker, if your not you will no doubt get an injury. Although I like my Bilkas they are one of the last shoes I would choose to run on the tames towpath with or run 100 miles, they are simply so unforgiving imho.
    If your a midfoot striker and like minimalist shoes I would advise having a look at the merrell trail glove.
    For a more traditional running shoe I would advise having a look at the products from Salomon, some of which include gortex. Salmon stuff is pretty decent imho
  • Steer clear of the goretex.  It will just make your feet wetter than ever.  A better bet would be to keep a spare pair of shoes and socks in your drop bag.

    You would probably be best served by the shoes that you have put in the most training mileage with.  If you do most of your training on roads then just use road shoes.  If you have opportunities on your doorstep for doing long training runs in trail shoes, then the case for them becomes stronger. 

  • I'd avoid goretex too. Water gets into the top and it won't get out due to the membrane.
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    Thanks, Ben I've got loads of trails near me for training, and don't live far from the GUC either so lots of good places to train. Intresting thought about gore, I thought it had developed into a much better product now? Last time I did the Thames path ultra a few years ago we had water up to our thighs at one point!
  • It'd be fine for stopping splashes getting through - but any water that gets on your legs runs down into the shoe, and then its trapped forever.

    I did a ridiculously wet adventure race last year and the last section was following a stream uphill. My shoes got soaked - but were fine with it. Saucony Jazz Trail or something.
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    +1 with the gore comment. fine for a showery day but useless if there's lots of water around.

    get used to having wet feet and use good socks - merino ones are often suggested for being better/warmer when wet but I've got by fine with normal ones. my Trabucos coped fine with a very wet Beacons Ultra in 2009 - so wet they were under water a lot of the time.
  • Mr F

    You are right that gore tex has improved a lot since the early days, and I am actually a big proponent of it for mountaineering apparel.  I have never been sold on it for a running shoe however. 

    On a mountain hike I wear gore tex trousers, and gore tex gaiters to prevent the water getting in over the tops of my gore tex walking boots.  Remove any one of these components and the whole system collapses.  Once water gets in via the top of the footwear, it stays in.  Even if water doesn't get into the footwear, the sweat will build up faster than your body heat can push it out. 

    I don't know the deal with the Thames 100, but I know that the NDW 100 (also a centurion event) gives you access to your drop bag at 25, 50 and 75 miles.  This means that you can have multiple spare shoes and socks to hand.  If you are bent upon having some protection from the water, then a pair of sealskin socks can be carried in your camel-back.  They can be put on if required, and will be more resistant to ingress of water from the top than waterproof shoes. 

  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    That's what I did at the ridgeway, at the 40 mile point I changed my shoes and socks. Seemed to work well!
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    Sealskinz socks are good - I use them winter mountain biking for warmth and water protection - BUT they are thicker than most normal socks so they could make your running shoes feel a lot tighter. and tight shoes over distance isn't good in my experience
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    It's all so technical eh! Maybe IL be done with a pair of plain socks and some hi-tech silver shadow!
  • Look at the hill running shoes. They all leak like a sieve for a reason. The TP is smooth and flat. Go for road shoes unless it snows! Why do you need grip if its flat? It says trail shoes on the website but I'd disagree. Anyway, the race is easily supported so have several options.
  • I did Thames Trot this year in Feb which is the second half of the course. I ran in Adidas Supernova Riots which are a cushioned off road shoe which are still comfortable for at least 20 niles on the road

    I would have said that at least a third of the people were wearing roadshoes and seemed to get on OK , but it had been dry for a week before hand so although there was mud, it was quite think and not wet

    Also I live in Teddington, and at least the first 20 miles from Richmond are hard and flat unless it has been very very wet

  • I'm wondering about this too. I ran a secton of this (henley to bourne end) around march this year, and the bits either side of marlow were really tacky at best, and downright slippery at worst from raining a couple of days before. When it's been dry for a while it's fine, but i think erring on the side of trail shoes might be a good idea.
  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    I'm gonna do trails jelly just bloody comfy ones!
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