Road to Trail


I began serious running in January 2012. Since then I have completed 2 half marathons, the second one in under 2 hrs.

I am doing a run in August which will is largely trail running. Wondering which shoe to purchase?

Was fitted for a Brooks Ghost 4, size 5.5 at a very reputable outfitter......but don't want to spend a fortune for just one race. Serious recommendations only please, based on my current road shoe recommendation.

Thanks in advance.


  • Hi Amanda

    Difficult one to answer as it depends on the type of trail & conditions. If its hard packed & dry, you could wear your road shoes as its just a 'one off' race. Other wise, look for a shoe with a more agressive tread pattern, most maufacturers produce a good trail type shoe. Cant really recommend, as you are the one thats got to be comfortable wearing them. Go to a good running shop & try a few out

    Be aware though, that trail running is much, much better than road running and it could turn into more than a 'one off" image

  • Hi Amanda...... do some research, there might be some photos online from past events and these would give you some idea of what to expect...

  • Try a short trail run somewhere, and keep your eyes on the other runners, ask a few questions, getting an answer here won't do you any real good, but actually seeing runners and seeing what they wear and how you cope may be a better guide.

    I've tried many over the years, and all have been good in their own way (from entry level Adidas to decent quality Saloman) it still depends more on your running style than the terrain you'll run on

  • Go try some on in a store, see what works for you - depends on what your current shoes are like, I guess.

  • August, unless very wet you'd really want road shoes - Trail shoes are great in mud and the depth of winter or early spring, but they take a lot out of your legs if used on hard compact mud / gravel / grass due to the cleats / ribbing in the sole.

    Adidas Kanadias are a good budget option for 1 race, beware the sizing is usually 1 size smaller than expected (i.e. order an 11 for a size 10)

  • As SFTL says, best budget option is probably the Kanadia. My wife swears by them but doesn't seem to find the sizing too small - she has a size 5 and is usually 4.5 to 5.

    Otherwise Mizuno Ascends are a  reasonable compromise for summer trails - more grip than a road shoe with a reasonable amount of cushioning.

  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    I have wide feet and can't wear the kanadias or many shoes for that matter. You really need to go try a few pairs on.

    As has been said, depends on the type of trail you are running on. I run a trail race in Aug and would not want to run it in road shoes as the ground can still be damp, wet, muddy, the slopes steep and trippy and the streams still wet.

    Maybe if you ask on the events page for anyone who has done the race before.
    I'm running a trail race next week end and I will probably wear my new shoos - inov8 268, I've done 3 runs in them over the same terrain as the race, as it's where I do my long hilly runs, though my runs are far more challenging.
    Also, I think that it would do you good to train on similar terrain, maybe in your road shoes, or whatever you choose to buy.

    Once you've run off road you'll wonder why you ever ran on the road. image

    Look for something in the sales / last years model. You should be able to pick up a decent pair of trail shoes for £50 or less. I've been wearing New Balance 101's, I think I paid sub £40 for the last pair.

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