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Trail running shoe selection

越野跑鞋選擇 - Cam2

Frankie Tse |

Many friends in the store asked the store manager, "What trail running shoes should I wear for this race?", "Can you recommend a pair of suitable trail running shoes for me?" From my point of view, trail running shoe selection doesn't seem that difficult. First understand the structure of your feet, then filter for road conditions, distance and other factors such as appearance, design and price

Looking at the big and small competitions around, the problem of inappropriate selection of trail running shoes is common, and there are not a few of them that cause foot problems. Maybe you're just having a little discomfort during trail running, or you're having a major foot problem, and it's most likely related to your running shoe choice. As the number of trail runners in Hong Kong continues to increase, a large number of newbies join the sport. You may be road runners or hikers. The choice of trail running shoes is very different from the choice of road running shoes and hiking shoes.

The store manager will not recommend any brand of shoes this time. There is no one pair of shoes suitable for everyone. The particularity of personal physiological structure will influence your choice. Let you have a clearer understanding of trail running shoes, master some basic skills of selection, and then you have a chance to find the right shoes for you, that's enough

The foot shape of the shoe, because everyone is born with a different foot shape, so different brands have different shoe shapes. Simply speaking, the shoes must not be pinched, and about 1 cm of space should be reserved. Because the soles of the feet will start to swell after hiking for more than three or four hours. If there is no space, the swelling will be very hard, and it is easy to hit the black nails or fall off the toenails. Remind everyone, remember to bring a pair of hiking socks/running socks for daily wear to try on shoes, there is less chance of buying the wrong size

Hong Kong runners are most concerned about whether the soles will slip, especially on wet talc surfaces. In fact, this aspect is the easiest. You only need to choose Megagrip or press down the sticky outsole material with your hands. It will not be too sloppy on the wet talc surface. In the general Hong Kong trail running competition route, the big bottom pit pattern is not too important. Choose, the pit pattern on the sole does not need to be too deep, about 2-3mm, because the off-road road in Hong Kong is mainly a stone road or paved stone surface.

In terms of design, I would recommend that they are all breathable materials, and the toe caps need to have a certain degree of protection to reduce the chance of bruising the toes. In addition, the shoes need to have some horizontal protection, which can reduce the chance of burning firewood. Generally speaking, I would recommend buying a low-barrel style for hiking friends.

In fact, I don’t recommend ordinary sneakers for hiking, because the shoe body is less protective, and the pit pattern on the sole is not suitable for sand and gravel, which increases the risk of left slipping.

Then I will briefly introduce the cushioning and drop of trail running shoes, I hope to help you choose trail running shoes

Low Cushioning (Barefoot & Minimal)

The main feature of this type of shoes is that there is no midsole or the midsole is extremely thin, in order to provide a natural running feeling and the main purpose, the shoes are less protective and have higher requirements on the ankle joint, knee joint and calf muscles.

normal cushioning

For most trail runners, running shoes with normal cushioning are the mainstream choice. It is the most robust option and is quite suitable for most people who are new to trail running. Whether it is a traditional road running shoe manufacturer or some niche manufacturers, there are a lot of shoes of this type. These types of shoes are usually well-balanced, providing some cushioning and a good sense of the road.

High cushioning

Shoes with high cushioning have to mention the trend of thick soles that have been popular over the years. These types of shoes usually have a thick midsole that provides adequate cushioning and a great feel. Its weakness is that the road surface feels relatively poor, and you may sprain your feet when you are not used to wearing them at first. Before Hoka's revolutionary thick-soled cushioning and lightweight materials, these trail running shoes were usually slightly heavier. Of course, the weight control of similar shoes of various companies is not bad.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a shoe’s cushioning:

Choose barefoot or minimalist shoes carefully. Regarding this type of shoes, the store manager agrees with this statement: just buying barefoot running shoes will not make you a barefoot runner, barefoot running skills are the key

Cushioning is a good thing, still need to try more. The cushioning of shoes can provide protection for runners, but everyone's needs for cushioning are still different. It is also possible that you have different preferences for the cushioning of running shoes at different times when you are involved in trail running and participating in different competitions. Conditional lovers, you can try more to choose the one that suits your own conditions. Of course, high-cushion shoes are popular in Hong Kong recently, and the store manager himself wears normal shock-absorbing trail running shoes.

Height drop is an issue that most people ignore. Height drop refers to the difference between the height of the forefoot and the heel of a pair of trail running shoes. Generally speaking, the height difference between the front and rear is closely related to the thickness of the cushioning material. The height difference of a pair of trail running shoes will be in the range of 8-10 mm. According to the height difference, it can be divided into three categories. The first is zero drop, which emphasizes the height of the front and rear feet. The representative ones are the five-finger shoes and the ALTRA brand . This concept emphasizes the most primitive way of running. The second is low drop. Low drop probably refers to running shoes with a height of 0-4mm between the front and rear feet. Most minimalist running shoes belong to this category. In addition, those with a front-to-back drop greater than 4mm can be classified into the category of high drop, which is usually wider.

Here are a few things you need to understand when choosing a shoe drop:

The drop height of a pair of trail running shoes has nothing to do with the thickness of the midsole. You can choose either zero-drop running shoes with thick midsole and high cushioning, or barefoot zero-drop running shoes like five-finger shoes (just an example here)

The choice of drop depends on biomechanical configuration and running form. When buying trail running shoes, it is best to choose shoes with the same drop or similar to the trail running shoes you already have (if you do not have trail running shoes, please refer to other running shoes), which will allow you to better adapt to the new shoes. When changing shoes with different drops, the process needs to be slower

Choose running shoes with low drop or zero drop carefully. The stability of a low drop running shoe is great, but it's not for everyone. The low drop is relatively more suitable for those runners who exert force in the middle forefoot. In addition, these types of running shoes have higher requirements on your calf and joint strength.

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