Shoes for XC or varied surfaces

Hi, I am now running some XC and off road routes and races. I have been using New Ballance all terrain shoes which I bought a year ago. I particularly chose them because I think they are ok on road as well and at the time I was just running to the park or the woods on the road then around the park or woods on trails. Recently I have been running more XC and driving specifically to the spot so no real need for road use but, most races and routes I have done like Bewl 15 etc have some road sections, and even those that don't have a mixture of underfoot conditions from deepish wet mud to dry hard mud to grass. I lack confidence in the grip on my NB's in wet mud and fast downhill grass sections and worst of all fast downhill sections into wet mud. I have looked at a few mud claw type shoes, innov8 and Soloman do some but there seems to be such a variety of tread depth in off road shoes I really don't know what to go for. Can anyone comment on how the really aggressive shoes perform in the conditions detailed above or give me some pointers as to what the pros and cons of different off road shoes. Any help much appreciated. Jim


  • "bump"

    Any opinions?
  • My personal method is to look at the tread on the sole of a shoe, imagine it on a moutain bike tyre, then imagine how it will perform. Obviously this isn't very useful if you don't have a mountain bike or have never changed it's tyres image
    So with that in mind I've found innov8 xtalon 190s work great in most cirumstances for me. Not great on sharp stony ground though. But great on wet grass / mud. Will wear out on tarmac, but then so do mtb tyres, and that's not thought a great problem. You won't get a huge milage from them though, my last pair were on  their last legs after about 450 miles.

  • I'm not a mountin biker but I see how your thinking.

  • Well done for making the effort to drive to your local trails Jim, this means you can forget about all those terrible road/trail hybrids and treat yourself to some serious off-road footware.. image

    Used to run in Salomon Speedcross but wouldn`t buy another pair now because they still sit quite high off the ground so can be unstable over rough/technical terrain...

    Here are a few shoes you should consider.....

    Inov-8 X-Talon 212..

    VJ Irock and Sticky2

    Salomon Fellcross..

    Could comment on my experiences with Speedcross and Talon 212 but it would take an age to type it all out, pm me if you like..


  • Walsh are pretty good for this sort of thing, designed for technical fell running so for grippy downhill and rocky uphill. They would probably be my choice for a long ofroad race (for upto 12km I would wear spikes if it was all or very predominantly offroad).

    Also, remember that in many of these races with road sections there is an option to run on a grass verge beside the road, rather than on the road itself. 

  • Plent to look at there.

    It seems to concesus is to go for something fairly aggressive then.

    Off to the running shops I go!
  • I tried some innov8 and some Solomon on today but neither were comfortable unfortunately.

    Who stocks Walsh?
  • J1M wrote (see)
    I tried some innov8 and some Solomon on today but neither were comfortable unfortunately.


    Thats a shame Jim, out of curiosity which Salomon/Inov8 shoes did you try on..?  and why were they uncomfortable.. ??

  • Give head office a call and ask if is somewhere near you

  • Just in case anyone stumbles across this by raising the same question, I ended up with a pair of Adidas kanadi 4's.

    Used for the first time in anger this weekend at Joydens Wood 10k.

    Mud, sand, shingle and plenty of tree roots and hills. They performed very well.

    Oh and in answer to the question above, I'm not sure which models of innov8 and salmon I tried, the ones they stock in snow and rock. I have a very wide forefoot which was the problem, so it was me not the shoes.

    The Adidas are still a little narrower than ideal but this is basically something I have to live with, they seem to have a bit more "give" than the others so suited my wide foot a little better.
  • another option for anyone looking for something slightly wider than the salomon speedcross/fellcross shoes is the La sportiva crosslight, I love mine, did 17 miles in them straight out of the box with no hotspots!

  • What about the La sportive anakonda..


  • Are la Sportiva known for a wide fit?

    Spikes wise, I have never even though about spikes but I'm looking at some races this winter 10k that suggest them.

    How different are they to run in? Do you also train in spikes?

    Anything to look for in particular and any brands known for a wide fit?
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