Quick Q about xc shoes

XC shoes look rather like minimalist/barefoot shoes. Would they (and xc running in general) require the same sort of 'transitioning' period if I decided to give it a go? I run mostly road and flat trail in cushioned shoes so not sure if I can expect to just chuck on a pair of xc shoes and jump straight into the mud but the guys at my club keep pestering me to try it out and it does look like fun...

Any advice gratefully received  image


  • XC is rather different to flat trails and road, so You will probably have a few new aches and pains afterwards. It is great fun, though, and well worth it! So long as you don't go eyeballs out on your first attempt, you should not do yourself any damage. Like anything, some practice beforehand is a good idea. Give it a go.

  • I'm a bit of a heel striker and I do tend to get sore claves after a hard XC run, but it's only five miles every few weeks so it's not like you're doing lots of regular mileage in them.  Spikes are the best choice if it's particularly muddy.  Depending on the course, there's always the option of using (lightweight) off-road shoes.

  • It does depend which league you are running in, though. Our races are mostly 7+ miles (although the next one is only 6 and a bit). None of our courses are suitable for spikes - fell shoes are the order of the day. I'm sure that your club mates can give you the low-down.

  • Well, I've marshalled at a couple of the local events and it always seems to be more mud than your average summer festival and a sea of spikes. I'm not sure of the exact distance but time-wise the womens' run appears to be somewhere around the 5K mark so nothing too nasty for a newbie.

    I think I'll pick up a cheap pair of spikes and have a couple of practice runs round the local course and see how that goes. Thanks for the info everyone. image

  • Exposing my rather comprehensive ignorance here, but what is a KIMM?

    And I suspect I may end up on my ar*e anyway, spikes or not!
  • I've been loving my off-road running for some time now, and I ventured into the world of XC last weekend for the first time. I resisted the urge to buy "news shoes"(I'm an all the gear, no idea type of person) and run in old trainers, up to my calves in mud- the lot! I loved it!!! Doing some off road again this weekend and have entered the Trail Marathon in Coed y Brenin.

    I usually wear Asics Kayano, with orthotics for extra support and think I've made a mistake by buying some bargain(?) Inov8 Mudrocs. Will they provide enough support for me I ask any experts out there?
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