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Road Shoe Rotation Advice for Trail Runner

Hi All,

Virtually all of my racing is on trails (SE UK, so generally rolling hills, fields, forests, and mud as opposed to technical/mountains) and is marathon distance and up. I tend to train and race in Hoka (Evo) Speedgoats, but also have Inov-8 X-Talons for when it's very muddy and Hoka Torrents/Zinal if I want to go fast.

For quality training sessions, especially in winter, when the trails around me are very muddy indeed, I tend to stick to the roads. This is where I'm looking for some advice on shoe rotation. I have some Hoka Rincons that I plan to retire soon and replace with Mach 4s for slower sessions and recently bought some Carbon X2s in the sales for £110 for tempo/interval sessions.

The Carbon X2s, however, are a bit of a regret purchase as although they are comfortable and deceptively fast, they lack the obvious pop and dynamism that will make speed sessions more fun (which is what I'm hoping for). I'm therefore looking for another shoe for interval and other high-tempo sessions. Rotation will be:

Recovery/Easy - Hoka Mach 4
Steady - Hoka CarbonX2
Speed - ?

In time, I'd prefer a 2 shoe rotation (recovery-steady - Mach 4s and steady-VO2 MAX), but I intend to run the X2s for now for steady stuff until it's time to retire them.

What do people recommend that will be great for steady-VO2 Max (fun and dynamic, with pop, etc.) that will fit into my current rotation and also work with the Mach 4s once the X2s go?

I'm thinking the Endorphin Speed. Any other good options?

The top-end of the budget is about £160; I know this rules out a chunk of the carbon plated shoes (unless available for a good price on sale) that will give me that pop I keep harping on about, but can't justify spending £180+ on training shoes.

I'm around 80kg at present but normally around 76kg (some new Dad weight to shed...), feet are average width, but relatively high (this only seems to be a problem with very inflexible uppers).



  • Options
    Considering your training needs and budget, the Saucony Endorphin Speed seems like a solid choice for your speed sessions. Its responsive cushioning and energetic ride make it ideal for VO2 Max workouts. Additionally, its versatility allows it to complement your existing rotation while providing the pop and dynamism you seek. Keep an eye out for sales to maximize value within your budget constraints. Happy running!
  • Options
    I 100% second the answer above re. Saucony Endorphin Speed. Way to go for VO2 Max workouts.
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