first time fell race

in january i'm going to do a 5mile fell race for the first time, and i was wondering should i buy special shoes, or will off road trainers be ok? i have some adidad trail lite ones which i've had for several winters, they only get used when it's really slippy or muddy, would these be ok or should i get some ones with studs or something?


  • You should be ok with your off road shoes but it will very much depend on the terrain and conditions on the day.
  • It really does depend on how rough the terrain is. Trail shoes will be OK but if you think you might be doing a few of these races it might be worth investing in proper fell shoes. The traditionalists tend to go for Walsh or Felldancer (Walsh are very narrow fitting) but both shoes look really naff (they are good though) If you want a more modern look Adidas do some good fell shoes but I'm not sure of the name
  • i thought there was a rule that said you can't compete without wearing walsh's and a beard ,thats why i only run on the road , a pipe though is optional
  • Dave, that's right I remember now. You also have to wear 20-year-old shorts and have a tatty Helly Hansen long-sleeved top underneath your vest
  • New Balance have some funky new fell shoes and Nike Tupus are supposed to be good - have a skim through RW ads.

    er do women not run fells then or do they have to stick on beards like in Monty Python!
  • This might be politically incorrect but some of the women I've seen doing fell runs seems to manage to grow some very nice beards
  • hmmm

    ed-not sure on my response !
  • To "the editor", I did several fell runs in the summer. I can assure you that the ladies I saw running were very feminine; definitely no beards and some so attractive that I tripped up a few times losing running concentration.
  • thanks, i think i'll contact the organisers to ask about the terrain, if it's not too harsh i'll probably run in the offroad trainers i already have and see if i like the experience...
  • And you will report in to tell us whether the female runners had beards??? Perhaps for camoflage?
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    The great advantage of fell shoes over off-road traininers is that they have a high level of lateral support (or something - anyway, whatever they have it's almost impossible to turn your ankle in them) so if the terrain is really bad you'll feel a lot more secure and stable. I recently did a fell race in offroad shoes and not my Walsh's ... spent the next month nursing torn ankle ligaments! Maybe I'm just clumsy ...

    But, as you said, it is your first race so maybe see if you enjoy the experience first before spending 50 quid+ on fell shoes

    PS I took part in a 10 mile fell race in foul conditions a few years ago and the winning veteran lady not only had no beard but kept her hair and make up intact throughought the race. How?
  • My wife did a Fell Race during our honeymoon and she has not got a beard, or hairy armpits. Wore her trusty Walsh's though !
  • Maybe the ones I saw with beards were just very feminine-looking blokes
  • enuff !

    ladies with beards are ok
    very feminine (looking) blokes are ok

    lets be nice people again!
  • as off road is my preferred medium id say always fell shoes. i use new balance rx terrain as u get the usual nb width options. where is the race? then we will know the terrain. if its a true fell race u can pretty much guarantee (esp in january) that parts of it will be better run with studded shoes. if its wet i usually stick on a pair of porelle w'proof sox. i recently converted a die-hard road runner to the good side!! she says she wished she started sooner. her first fell event? ... kimm 2002 long score! and she wants to do more!!
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