If the terrain is soft, muddy, or covered in pebbles and roots, it is advised to wear trail running shoes, or mud running shoes, since they offer better traction and may even prevent a fall. If the bottoms of your “road only” shoes are reasonably smooth and offer little grip, trail running shoes can provide the performance and safety that they cannot. Road running shoes for men are less than ideal for trail runs, even though they may be effective on milder terrain due to significant differences between these shoe types.
If you are unsure whether you require a pair of trail runners when you already own a pair of comfortable road running shoes, following pointers are definitely going to help you in making your final decision:
1. Tough Outsole:
The most significant distinction between trail running shoes and road shoes is the outsole, which is the portion of the shoe that comes into contact with the ground. The ideal trail running footwear must have tough outsoles that can grip any surface. You won’t need an outsole with large “lugs” or the additional weight of those protrusions that touch the ground first if the nearby off-road trails are rather smooth; however, if you run on rugged trails, you’ll need an outsole to match. Consider the substance as well; a high rubber percentage will offer a thick, long-lasting layer between your feet and the trail.
2. Firmer Midsole:
Unlike the running or walking shoes for men, the amount of midsole cushioning in trail running shoes is significantly less. This is due to the fact that a stiffer midsole improves stability. This is particularly true in conditions like dirt or mud, where landing has a significantly smaller impact. A rock plate in the midsole of some trail running shoes also provides protection when running on rocky or jagged terrain. A thin sheet of a hard material, such plastic or even carbon fibre, serves as the basic form of the rock plate.
3. More Durable:
The durability of a trail running shoes is affected by a number of variables, including the shoe’s quality, the terrain it is used on, the wearer’s weight, their running style, and their particular running technique. Trail shoes often have more durable bottoms than running shoes, but only if you use them on trails because the extra rubber will rapidly wear off on concrete. Trail shoes should last much longer for you if lifespan for you is determined by how long the sole lasts.
4. More Stable:
Stronger midsoles and outsoles on trail running shoes provide more stability. In trail running shoes, you’ll feel more secure when running on unsteady terrain. You actually don’t need as much cushioning as you would if you were running on a road because you spend most of your time on softer terrain. Running with too much cushioning might result in issues like supination or even discomfort. High cushioning in running shoes increases leg stiffness and amplifies impact loading, according to a 2018 study. The research focused on using highly cushioned shoes on roads, but the same fundamental ideas can be used to run on softer ground while wearing road running shoes.
5. Protection from Mud & Water:
Your feet will remain dry, cosy, and blister-free if you wear a nice pair of trail running shoes. This is especially helpful when running on trails because you’re more likely to encounter dirt or puddles there. Look for shoes made of Gore-Tex or another waterproof or water-resistant material to keep the moisture off your feet. A waterproof shoe can be useful in protecting your socks from becoming wet if you are running through shallow snow or on dew-covered grass.
6. Secure Shoelaces:
Make sure the shoe you choose has laces that aren’t too long, too short, or too slick because they tend to come undone more easily on trails due to the twisting, turning, and occasional contact with plants. Even some trail running shoes offer pockets where your laces may be tucked in securely and out of the way.
While a broader forefoot allows your toes to spread out and grip the path, especially when going up and down hills, a snug fit around the midfoot is necessary to hold your shoes in place across uneven terrain. The gap between the tip of your toes and the front of the trail shoe should be at least a thumb’s width. You should watch out for your toes rubbing and banging against the front of the trail shoes since they are likely to migrate forward when you are running up hills and on trails.
Trail running has several benefits, whether you’re looking to be in shape, gain muscle, or maintain mental wellness. There are many brands which manufacture the best trail runners like Nike, Skechers and Asics shoes for men. Go outside, take it easy, and be safe!