Cross Country League

With 4 races between October and February, I'm considering having a go at the sussex cross country league.

The only trainers I have at the moment are my Asics 1170's which are purely for road running. So I'll need to get some trainers specifically for this.

my local running shop have advised me to go for spikes which can double up as track spikes in the summer, or the other option I see is fell shoes which I'd imagine I could also use as trail shoes and door-to-trail as well.

Has anyone else here got XC experience and invaluable advice? image

I don't want to waste money on a shoe that really won't be used that many times a year. 



  • Hi Dave,

    If you're going down the trail shoe line go for something light and aggressive like Inov8 x-talons, however to be fair you'll get a pair of spikes much cheaper... you should be able to buy a pair of 2011 style spikes for £30-40, fell shoes could cost you £100...

    For XC I stick with XC spikes... much lighter and more grip (for me anyway).

    I have trail shoes aswell but use them only for some trail races or for mud runs (like Turbo X, Hellrunner etc) but I dont use them for too much as some trail races I just use road shoes.

    Hope this helps.


  • I definitely have X/C experience and I would recommend spikes. If you come across a right b***ard of a course, OK, they'll be just as bad as fell shoes, but a good pair of X/C spikes with long pins will grip more than anything else and be a lot lighter.
    Also, they're much cheaper than road trainers and quite a bit less than fell shoes, especially if you shop around a bit.

  • Which cross country league? The Brooks or the East Sussex?

    Either way you may want spikes and a good off road shoe like inov8's.

    I have run in both leagues - so lets take a look at Brooks. Mens 8k races

    • Goodwood a mixture of hard path, gravel and field. The paths and gravel will be hard in spikes, you may be at a disadvantage. It's usually firm going on the grass which is long and lumpy.
    • Plumpton - spikes are a must - usually very muddy and wet. Lumpy long grass. I think the tiny (100m) section of track has been bypassed now - well it was last year)
    • Bexhill - all off road, sikes ideal. Usually firm going. Easy grass.
    • Lancing - all off road mixture of muddy stoney trail and grass. Can't remember how the uphill trail is for spikes but you'll run up it twice. Other than that it's a mixture of short and long grass, short section of steep muddy downhill. Short section of muddy uphill which can be slippery when wet.

    Think that spikes win.

    If it's the East Sussex league then few people wear spikes. Firle I know is all off road as is Snape Wood (a must run race as it's beautiful). Pett and Warren Hill have sections of road track.  The website does say that all of this years races are suitable for spikes but you need to be a bit hardy for that imho. I get by fine without.

  • Some good advice here thank you. Its looking like Spikes are going to be the winner here.

    T.Mouse: its the Brooks XC league, some people I spoke to have said that road trainers will probably be OK for Goodwood but the other 3 races are certainly going to be too muddy. 

    Right then, off to find myself a good pair of XC spikes - thanks everyone.

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