Shoe recommendations for Off Road Ultra


I know, I know, this has all been done before and there are many threads that sort of answer the question but hopefully someone can offer specific advice and also, others on the subject seem to be out of date.

I am doing an off road ultra (55 miles) in December even though I did an 86 miler last year and am only just getting over 30 miles per week after a knee injury sustained in that (my fault, should have listened to my body and stopped). The terrain is quoted to be 95% off road and according to last year's participants it was pretty boggy.

I am a big lad (6ft 14St) but have done ultras and quite a few marathons so I am not concerned about completion but I want to go in as well prepared as possible. I currently do anything muddy in Adidas Kanadias (?) but I am not sure I would like to do 55 miles in them, most I have ever done in them is 24 miles and it hurt (although half was on the road so I only have myself to blame).

I want some decent off road shoes, at the moment I have adidas supernovas, Asics Nimbus, Sketchers something and some Decathlon shoes for on the roads. I did a parkrun the other day in some Nike Pegasus as well. These are the sort of shoes I normally wear, neutral, cushioned.

I have looked at what is out there and originally I was thinking about Innov8 X-Talon 212, but have since found out they are very low drop and not great for long distances. Maybe the X-Claw?

Any ideas...?



  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    The xclaw has an 8mm drop, compared to 10mm on your Pegs but the Adidas also has 8mm.  The x-talon is only 6mm.  Innov8s have virtually no cushioning*.  If the terrain is muddy/soft trail, then a lack of cushioning shouldn't be too much of a problem - but be aware that hard packed trail can be pretty er, hard, so if there's a prolonged dry spell before the race and it's not boggy, you may have to have a rethink.  I suspect your discomfort last time round was due to the lack of cushioning on the road sections. 

    Innov8s are certainly grippy in the soft stuff, so worth a go.  If it's dry, then possibly the (much) more cushioned Hokas might be worth a look. 

    Whatever you choose to run in, it is important to break them in and get your legs used to the drop and the balance of the shoe, because over that kind of distance, you need to have the right muscles firing, otherwise you will end up injured again.

    *well, these ones anyway......
  • Thanks for the reply.

    My decision is now on hold as I found a good deal on some adidas terrex.

    Not sure they are quite what I want but they are a REALLY good deal. I will wait and see for now...

    A good option is find the trail version of your favourite road shoe.  That way you can be confident that the comfort and fit will suit you.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Ooh, I saw an advert for the Terrex.  Let me know how you get on with them.  Not that I NEED any more running shoes, but it's always good to know for the future. *cough*
  • PeersPeers ✭✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I have just bought a pair of X-Talon 212's, so will let you know how I go with those.  Cushioning is minimal as mentioned, but that was an appeal for me as I don't like too much cushioning.

    Planning on heading into the hills tomorrow morning to give them a good test.  15-20 miles for a first run in new shoes is probably not the best idea, but hopefully they will be fine.
  • PeersPeers ✭✭✭
    The X-Talon's were excellent.  So much grip, which gave me loads more confidence on the downhills.  They are fairly tricky to get on and off with them being a precision fit (particularly with wet feet at the end), but when they are on they feel like a pair of slippers.  Definitely recommend.
  • Sadly no Terrex for me.

    I kind of knew in my heart that it was a mix up on the website but I crossed my fingers. Wiggle broke the bad news after a couple of weeks looking after my money.

    So I am back on the hunt.

    I think I have ruled out the 212s now as I think trying to go for minimal cushioning when I have no intention of doing that on the road would be a bad move.

    I plan to tackle the Yorkshire 3 peaks in the summer so I might give that a go in the kanadias and see where that leaves me.

    Of course, I will keep an eye out for bargains so any more recommendations would be welcome...

    Cheers :)
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