Off Road or road running shoes? Help! πŸ€”

Been to a sports shop today (found one in just half an hour away In the end). Gait analysis says I'm neutral- quite good fun watching yourself run in slow motion.....πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈbut quandary over whether to go for cross country shoes or road runners (I was hoping for a roadrunner icon at this point but can't find one ☹️).

On telling the very helpful shop assistant that my current route consists of a paved path, a very broken, uneven & overgrown/muddy path (sometimes including the nettles & fallen tree), a fairly long stretch of country road, another paved path, a farm track, a stone/sand/mud bridleway & a footpath across two fields she was unsure what to recommend. She said if I was going to continue with the current route all the time then go cross country shoe, but if I would be switching to more paved roads or paths for the coming months (or a treadmill) to go for road runner, which would be fine for my current route too, but wouldn't be good if the ground was very muddy or in long grass. I asked if the cross country would cover all eventualities; and she said yes, but wouldn't recommend them for running on mainly metalled sufaces. Hmmm I know,that my current route will be a quagmire before long (I've squelched down that bridleway many a time in my wellies), which will force me onto more stable surfaces in the coming months. Any thoughts or should I get both πŸ€” (but not till I've saved up a bit more money!! πŸ·πŸ’°). I didn't realise buying trainers was such a mine field!! πŸ’₯ Until now I have always just bought the ones on special offer that I liked the look of πŸ‘€ so much has changed in the last two months!! My trusty trainers have already served nearly two years at the gym and the first 8'weeks of c25k including being soaked β˜”οΈ several times, and are starting to feel a bit past it (a bit like me!!)

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14 Replies
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You can run off road in road shoes, but it is not very advisable to run on road with trail shoes. Road shoes will give you enough grip unless the surface is steep or very rough, in which case you need the extra grip of trail shoes. That extra grip and probably less padding is a disadvantage on the road.....it will slow you down and give a greater impact. They will also wear very rapidly

All my regular routes involve a mix of on/off road. I have two pairs of trail shoes at present and one pair of road shoes, all of which I rotate, so never wear the same shoes for consecutive runs. My weekly long run ( 10-12k at present) is between 60 and 80% on the road, dependent on route, so the road shoes are the obvious choice. My other two 5k runs are 90% off road, so the trail shoes are used.

You need to look to the future and imagine what sort of running you will be doing and the likely surface. I would not dream of using road shoes at my local Killerton parkrun, because it involves some quite steep woodland tracks with stony surfaces, but on my own routes I have never had any problems with road shoes on the offroad sections. Having 3 pairs sounds like a luxury, but they were all bought in sales. I have had two pairs of Karrimor Tempo trail shoes and while not the best quality or durability, they are dirt cheap. However, I would get the best quality road shoes you can afford, since they will soak up the impact of the harder surface and last longer.

Trail shoes are nearly all neutral, since the impact of footstrike is never going to be the same two consecutive footfalls.

I hope this clarifies what is always a difficult decision.

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Amazing - thank you so much 😊 I think I will go for road shoes first - then when I've checked out my closest park run in a couple of weeks I'll decide if trail shoes are required. Anything that softens impact will be good for my knees. πŸ’

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I have both... pavement pounders and off road !

IannodaTruffe has given some great advice there... I have to admit though... I did a sneaky little beach run.. very short... without any shoes on :) x

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Perfect -thank you. beach run sounds fab! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’

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No need to spend a fortune unless you want the latest thing on the shelf, plenty of bargains at places like sports direct

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Thank you - I just stood looking at rows of trainers in all shapes & colours without a clue what I was looking for. Pleased to say that the independent shop seemed very competitive price wise with the added benefit of expert advice. πŸ‘πŸ’

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Got a pair of adidas for Β£31, thought that was pretty good

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Ps- looking forward to seeing you on the podium & sharing a bottle with JCR &BL next week ! πŸ€—πŸŽ“πŸ·

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oh yes, we'll all raise a glass together

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She definitely gave you very good advice.

I would amend IannodaTruffe's advice to include needing trail shoes for running through mud as the lugs provide grip.

I'm currently wearing Salomon Fellraisers (now discontinued and replaced with something I can't remember the name of right this second (possibly SpeedTrak??) they are great in the mud and rough stuff, but feel like they're trying to kill me on anything but the shortest stretch of paving!

Also, with your quagmire in mind, gaiters are available for some trail shoes.

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Thank you - road shoes it is!! Maybe trail shoes next for the winter months......πŸ‘πŸ’

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I run a lot in the woods on very muddy, uneven and challenging trails. However I have to do a bit of road to get there.... I have bought trail shoes in the past which give grip, they don't give the same support as my brooks do. As I'm not going at Killian Journets speed I decided to stick to my usual brooks which are just fine as I take it very easy on the challenging bits anyway. Sorry for waffle but I hope that helps?

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That all sounds like very good advice. I got exactly the same advice as you recently. I had what I though were decent trainers but was getting sore feet. Found out I needed the ones with about extra support in.

At the moment my runs are 99% on grass and country bridleways. But give it a couple more weeks or so I'm gonna have to find a new route on roads to keep out of the mud ( my dogs gonna hate it!) . You can't even get through some parts in wellies its that bad.

Had to decide to get road ones or trail ones. Went for the road ones as he told me they would give much more support than trail ones as they wouldn't be very good on the road. But road ones as long as your careful and it's not too steep/muddy would be fine for what I needed. Might treat myself to some trail ones in the spring if I keep at it though the winter.

Happy shopping!!!

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Thank you - shoes will post grad present now, as didn't want to change for week 9. Motivation to keep running - hopefully in new bouncy shoes. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’

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