Trail shoes??

After running yesterday and getting very wet feet in my Nike trainers I think my feet are due some waterproof running shoes. Does this mean I need trail shoes or is there another type more suitable for running urban areas? I find running shoes a bit of a jargon minefield. My current shoes were from my local running shop as I like to support them and i got my gait analysed although this just consisted of me walking up and down the shop a few times while the owner observed my walking (not sure how reliable this is)? Anyone else been in my shoes (excuse the bad pun).


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  • I run off road and was finding some areas off limits due to the risk of slipping in mud so I took myself off to Sweatshop to buy trail shoes and have a gait analysis at the same time. There I was told that for trail shoes a gait analysis isn't particularly relevant.

    The trail description AFAIK refers to the tread and if you are running on roads you don't need the lugs in the soles you get with a trail shoe. It's not really a proper run for me if my feet haven't got wet, and no running shoe can proof against ankle or calf deep water. The foam upper type of trainer must be pretty miserable though. I really liked my Brooks Green Silence (perhaps not padded enough for road running) which are designed to get water out again fast rather than being waterproof as such. I tried one pair of waterproof trail shoes which made my feet uncomfortably hot and I am more comfortable in lighter weight shoes regardless of how 'proof' they are.

  • You can buy trail running shoes that are lined with gortex. However that still isnt that effective at keeping your feet dry as when you run through puddles any deeper than an inch or so your shoes just start to fill with water over the top. The gortex then prevents it from draining out! I think most trail runners go for shoes that drain well as opposed to keeping water out!

    Have you considered waterproof socks? These are breathable but keep your feet dry. Sealskinz do a range of running gear but they are quite expensive. But then I guess 25 quid is cheaper than a new pair of trail shoes

  • Waterproof socks - I hadn't heard of those before. Off to have a look!

    Thanks secretrunner (maybe not so secret anymore?) - glad you asked this, as I was wondering what the difference between road shoes and trail shoes was too.

  • Re waterproof trail shoes, I second what Mark says. I have waterproof trail walking shoes (Goretex-lined) and although they keep my feet dry sometimes, if/when they do get water inside (over the top!) they take much longer to dry out. Also, I find my feet get too hot in them - and that is only walking, never mind running!

    I can also recommend Sealskinz socks, I used them for years when mountain biking and cycling when feet easily get wet and cold, They are expensive, but worth the money.

  • I bought regular trail running shoes from Sports Direct and used them for the first time today at my local Parkrun. I can tell the difference, considerably more grip. You really wont keep your feet dry if you run off road however, all part of the fun!

  • Thanks for all your comments they are really helpful. I think I now "need" some waterproof socks and some trail shoes. Not done any research yet but Brooks seem to be mentioned regularly in this forum.

  • I ordered some Brooks Cascadia 7 Trail Running shoes earlier on in the week as a treat for when my foot gets better. From doing a fair bit of research into trail running shoes they come highly recommended. They're fifty quid from at the moment. Actually I quite like the looks of the womens ones!

    Trail shoes do give more grip as their name suggestions but generally don't have as much cushioning as regular running shoes. Salomon do a line of 'door to trail' shoes. I currently have a pair of salomon crossmax which are meant to be a cross between road and trail shoes and I find them great as my local runs consist of running along footpaths to get to wooded parks on approximately 50% footpath, 50% woodland trail route.

  • Ooh great will google them both now, thanks mark. :)

  • A lot of manufacturers to do goretex version of their normal road shoes, for example I have the Asics GT2160 goretex ones, basically a waterproof roadshoe and a pair of Brooks 5 goretex, same thing again and there are loads of others by all of the main manufacturers. I wouldn't recommend pure trail shoes if you are doing mainly road running. The tread will wear down very quickly as it's not made for concrete surfaces, they do slow you down and tend to be heavier and less cushioned, which you will notice on the road. Basically you don't need a trail shoe on a road (or even a hardpacked footpath).

    As for waterproofness, do love my goretex shoes for rain and fairly shallow puddles as they do keep my feet dry, but with anything extreme enough for water to come in over the top, they do take longer to dry as mentioned above.

  • I agree with the above comments about waterproof shoes - I recently ran an off-road race that involved running through ponds and a swamp. My friend was wearing waterproof shoes. She said the water stayed in her shoes throughout the race, whereas it squelched quite quickly out of my non-waterproof shoes. I asked at my local running shop about waterproof running socks and was advised that it probably wasn't worth bothering as they tend to be uncomfortable.

    I'm not sure that watching you walk up and down is an adequate gait analysis - at my local running shop they film you running on the treadmill. When I found shoes that were comfortable they filmed me again on the treadmill so I could see the difference it made.

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