Trail shoes

Hi, I do a lot of off road running, but whenever it's been raining, it's a mud bath. I wonder if trail running shoes would be a good solution. You might say 'of course', but I have a couple of concerns...

- I overpronate and need a LOT of cushioning (I get back ache without it). Can you get trail shoes which offer a high level of cushioning? My impression is that they are much less cushioned.

- A lot of my running to the trail is on roads (getting to the off road bits and in between them), so would the studs wear out really fast or just skid around?

Would appreciate your thoughts. Many thanks, Nick.


  • I recently got some ASICS gel trail lahar,they feel very much like my road trainers (cumulus 12s). They feel ok on road, a bit slippy on tiles though when they're wet!
  • Generally speaking no, you don't get off-road shoes with lot's of cushioning. In my experience the greater the cushioning the further your foot is from the ground. This combined with the generally stiffer nature of the sole means that when you run on uneven ground, rather than your foot flexing and conforming to the surface, your whole foot gets rotated putting extra load on your ankle and feeling a bit unstable.
    Also bear in mind that if you want a shoe for muddy terrain, the mud will probably give you far more cushioning than the foam in the shoe.

    However if you do want loads of cushioning, you could look at
    Not tried em though.

    You shouldn't have any problems with stud wear and grip on roads.
  • Generally speaking there are 2 types of off-road shoes - beefed up versions of road shoes with more agressive sole & toughened up bits of uppers, and the more minimalist fell-type shoe.

    Generally over-pronation is less of a problem off road, as your feet go all over the place anyway with the uneven surface, and certainly the 2nd type of shoe has your foot closer to the ground to improve stability.

    If you are mostly running on trails, tracks, canal paths, paths etc. the former variety will probably suit (though do watch out though as Ian has said the greater thickness of cushioning can lead to a lack of stability). If its a bit more extreme underfoot then you are probably best looking at the second category. Off road soles will probably wear slightly faster on the road, but then again will probably not wear as quickly once off-road.

    Why not look around and bag a cheap pair to try out & see how you get on? Try to find routes which minimise the tarmac getting there, but some will be fine - very few of us are lucky enough to be able to head straight out onto the trails.
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