Do I need special shoes for off road?

This is my question:
(First, an exciting moment as this is the first time I've started a thread!)
I want to do some running on footpaths/fields for a change from the usual car fumes.
I am very happy with my Nike Pegasus trainers on tarmac/pavements, but want to know if I'll be OK doing a few miles off road in them.


  • V kind, JJ, but that isn't answering my v serious ?
  • You'll probably be fine in road shoes providing that the going doesn't get too steep or uneven.

    If its wet and steep you'll find that road shoes don't grip and you'll probably slip and fall. If its uneven you might find that road shoes are too high and you risk turning your ankle.

    The best sort of shoes for off-road are either 'studs' (also known as fell shoes) or 'spikes'. Spikes are like track shoes but with long screw in metal spikes. These give good grip but can't be used at all on tarmac because of the metal spikes.

    Studs are low trainers with a rubber sole full of pyramid shaped studs. You can wear these on tarmac but you'll want to limit this because they don't have any cushioning and the studs wear quickly.

    There's also something called 'trail' shoes which are basically road shoes with a macho makeover. These aren't particularly useful on rough conditions but are probably good for flattish dry paths like disused railway lines.
  • Nikes are better than a lot of road shoes for a bit of trail but the stormy pegs might be worth a look or maybe saucony's the Vampire loves hers off road.
  • Thanks, guys. I sometimes feel a little cushioned from reality in my trainers and worry I will be more likely to turn ankles etc.. But probably more worried about dodgy knee.
  • No. You will mess them up and they don't have the right soles for safety and comfort.
    In RW there are many ads that have TRAIL shoes at sale prices. I bought a pair at hal price - £30. Trail shoes are suitable for on and off road. I also use mine for the occasional x/c race. They really do make a difference.
  • OK fair enough - will have to be v nice at home to be allowed to spend MORE on running! Thanx JJ - see other thanx elsewhere!
  • I just new you wanted me to post 'something'.
  • I am so impressed that I've got so many responses, without even mentioning 'thongs' etc!! (ooops)
  • Snap your fingers and DavidB will appear.
  • Not sure I'm his sort of gal really - can't cope with a thong for even a half marathon! (Perhaps should get back to shoe subject?!)
  • noooooooooooooooo!
  • OK then, if you insist!! Slightly off original thread subject, but in keeping with most current gear threads, anyone recommend thongs for running?? Or indeed other underwear - my only scar from last weekend's half marathon is a line from the bottom of my sports bra!
    (No sign of DB yet, JJ)
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Hi Wends
    Thongs for running - NOOOO! the pain! Or the pleasure, if you are xxxxxxxx (name of fourumite deleted). Commando is better. And no VPL.

    Only time I´ve ever used the services of St john´s Ambulance at a race is when my sports bra gouged a hole in me during a half marathon. Think it happens when they are too loose and move around a bit.

    OK, back to shoes...if you are looking for off-road trainers, the Asics Gel Guts are really good (and only #50!).
  • My g/f has some Nike trail running shoes and I've got sme Adidas ones.

    They are both much better off road than our road running shoes. They also provide much better cushioning that Walsh style studs or Cross country spikes. They aren't just a macho mak=ove, but are closer to the ground than normal runners, they also have good enough stud based soles to really grip, They do have less cushioning than road running shoes,

    we can vouch for their grip and quality having run for an hour through mud and muck in the rain in Chshire - up hill and down dale with nary a slip.... They also are slightly more mud proof than standard road running shoes.
  • What hills are there in Cheshire ? Try them in neighbouring Derbyshire and you'll find you need a 'proper' shoe like Walshes.

    Why do you want cushioning when you're trotting through bog ?
  • Thanks for helpful advice, both shoes and not!
    Even fewer hills (in fact probably none according to TB) in Essex/Herts!
  • Wends

    I have recently started do my long Sunday run on a disused railway line. This gets pretty muddy and my road shoes (Saucony Omni 2s) were not gripping very well. I got myself a pair of Saucony Grid Xterra (£50 mail order from Northern Runner, £20 off list price and came the next day!) and they are great. I can run through the mud now and the grip is the same as the non-muddy bits. They are also a little more low profile and the heel is extended out the back to give better grip going down heel. The cushioning isn't bad as well.

    I think they're great and can throughly recommend them.

  • Well said, Tom

    Bog on!
  • Wends, this is simply not on. You can't start a thread about shoes and then start talking about thongs; what sort of chance does that give me? Anyway if you girls want to talk about underwear without the lads lurking you need to embed it in a thread called "monthly misery" or something, keep up the blobby talk for a few pages and then you're safe to talk about whatever you want.
  • DB, did I say no lads?
    Anything on which you can offer expert advice is v welcome! Seems you are probably more of an expert on the thong subject than me...
  • dear Wends

    I've recently got a pair of New Balance Trail shoes and stuck a pair of Spenco insoles in them and it is a good combination, reasonable traction and rel cushioned if you do have to do some of the run on harder surfaces./

    I do have a pair of Walshes but since buying these I rarely wear them despite running in the Peak Districit a fair bit.

    Anyway I'll let you get back to baiting the boys with thong talk.

  • Roger
    Thank you for the advice - need to find the time to go to running shop to get this sorted. Now the evenings are lighter and I have an occasional running partner, I will feel a lot safer going off road.

    The general message seems to be get some trail shoes - but as you point out the insoles would be useful because of the hard run to get to the offroad part in the first place! Although I am not very big, I have the feeling that I hit the ground fairly hard, so would worry about not having not much cushioning, with knee damage etc..

    Anyway thanks
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