Running with XC spikes in snow on hilly terrain?

Before I started running, I had a solid background in mountaineering gained over many years, including Scottish winter climbing with long approaches and with experience of severe storm force winds, and a corresponding ability to navigate in any conditions, and to stay out and operate for long (12 hour +) days.

I have only last year started to explore trail running however, and completed the Beachy Head Marathon in October.  So I'm still very much a novice trail runner, in bold contrast.  I am keen to narrow the gap this winter.

I'm curious - what do trail/fell runners do in snow conditions?  Stay below the snow-line or go out in XC spikes or trail shoes when the snow has consolidated?  

Obviously I'm not considering doing a ridge run on rime- or snow covered rock without appropriate winter footwear and equipment, but I was wondering if fell runners do go out on less brutal terrain - convex, undulating hills, for example?

I am keen to experiment, but would value others' advice enormously. Thank you.


  • Running in the snow is great but I woudn't wear spikes, Inov or any trail shoes with extreme "knobbly bits" is probably better.

    Running in snow kills your achilles so make sure you stretch off afterwards.

  • The BusThe Bus ✭✭✭
    Take a look at the fell runners association forum

    There, s loads of good advice about running crampons, shoes with metal dobs etc. Definitely no need to stay below thesnowline with your background!
  • Thanks Piers for the Achilles alert - relevant esp. with my prior run-ins with that. 

    The Bus - great heads up - can't wait to take a closer look at that!  Will report back - should be going out next week...



  • The Bus - now have kaloohas to go over my trail shoes...  Can't wait to try them out. Thanks again for the encouraging advice and link!

  • I know of quite a few fellrunners who rate those kahtoola thingys so you should be fine with them. I've always found that pukka fell shoes are just fine in snow, though, and less faff. I've done loads of running in the Lakes in winter and don't change where I run at all, save that if there's snow on the tops then I make a point of getting above the snowline for as long as possible! - My pretty basic Inov8 Mudrocs are just the job. I used Adidas Kanadias in a v. snowy winter race and they were surprisingly good too.

  • Thanks Trimm Trab, very good to hear this experience and it's given me the confidence to go out there and have a go above the snowline.  Can't wait!

  • Hi all, if anyone's interested, here's my blog post on one day of running above the snowline this week...



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