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Advice needed - Footwear for Parkrun

I've just been told about these wonderful sounding Parkrun things, and will definitely be doing my local run (Plym Valley, Devon) very soon.

The run, like the majority of the Parkruns, are multi-terrain, taking in grass, gravel, tarmac and a bit of mud.

Should I get some 'trail' type trainers?

I'm happy to wear my road running trainers, but have looked after them really well (they're like slippers and have treated me well), and I've a feeling they will get very dirty and would need to go through the washing machine, which I can't imagine would be too good for them.

Any advice would be very gratefully received.

Thanks :o)

7 Replies

I wouldn't get trail shoes just for park run. My local Parkrun is very muddy and quite slippery but i found road shoes were fine. In fact I've run in much worse conditions on my local running routes - minor roads, farm tracks, and short forest track - and had never slipped in road shoes.

My shoes have been soaked with ditch water or caked in mud I've washed them several times, but NEVER in the washing machine. Why would you? The information slip that came with them says not to as it can damage the gel, or other material, padding. It only takes 5 minutes to wash them by hand. I scrub them outside in a bucket of cold water - no detergent - then leave to dry stuffed with newspaper. This has not damaged them in any way. (I been doing the same treatment to hillwalking boots and trail walkin shoes for years, so can tell you that handwashing them does not do any damage as they last for years.)


Excuse typos, missing words and other grammatical errors; I wrote the above on my my phone which has a mind of it's own


Thanks for this. I think maybe buying a new set of shoes maybe slightly excessive, particularly as I may not even enjoy multi terrain stuff and give it up after one race/run.

As long as I take care of them, like you've described, then all will be well. Just didn't wanna risk ruining my lovely Nike-slippers, so I'll steer clear of the washing machine

Thanks again :o)


I forgot to add, dry them carefully. Again the info page says: Do not put your shoes on or against direct heat source as it will harm the materials. The best way is to stuff them with newspaper and leave them near an open window or near, but not on, a radiator.

Have fun at Parkrun.


Actually, Plym Valley might be quite muddy, and might be worth using trail shoes for at its wettest.

But I still think you'd do best to follow swanscot's advice until you've run it a few times to see what it's like and decide whether you want to make it a regular thing. Especially as when it's not wet your regular shoes may do better, and be kinder to your feet.


Agree with Swan. I stick mine under the shower tap and scrub them with a brush. All the caked mud falls off -- very therapeutic! No soap mind you, just water!


I run on forest tracks/trail most of the year and last summer was very, very wet and muddy (gave up after about 2 months and took to the pavements) I do the same as Swanscot and leave mine the in garage propped up where the air circulates, stuffed with newspaper, if they are very wet I change the paper after 12 hours. Then take them inside and put in the airing cupboard, not on direct heat though. My older pair have plodded through snow with snow spikes on and are still in reasonable condition and thats after over 2 years of running.

A tip I got from a running friend was never wait until your running shoes are done always get a new pair and work away alternating with both pairs that way your not going to have problems when the old faithfulls bite the dust. I watched out for the sales and got my second pair of ASICS for half price, real bargain. Love both pairs and they are now like gloves on my feet.


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