Trail Running tennis shoes
What Type of Trail Runner Are You?
Start by asking yourself these questions:
Q: How will I most often use these trail-running shoes?
Q: Where will I use them?
Q: Should I consider minimalist trail-running shoes?
A: Minimalist trail-running shoes allow you to run with a more natural "barefoot" motion. Advocates believe this is a healthier way to run, if it's approached gradually. The downside of such shoes is that you give up some stability, protection and durability to achieve the weight savings.
Q: Should I get a shoe with a waterproof/breathable liner?
A: Waterproof/breathable liners—such as Gore-Tex® or eVent™—make sense in wet conditions. For warmer or drier climates, consider shoes without liners. Why? Non-lined shoes offer better breathability and quicker drying times.
Tip: For shoes with waterproof/breathable liners, you usually need to get a half-size larger than normal due to their extra padding.
Fit: The Most Important Factor
Fit trumps all other considerations. A proper fit will keep you from getting black-and-blue toenails or heel blisters. Other criteria, such as technology, reviews or style, comes second.
Q: How do I find a trail-running shoe that will fit me?
A: Shoes are built around forms known as "lasts." Each manufacturer uses a last that it believes best represents the shape of the typical human foot. Shoes of the same size routinely vary in depth, width and volume, indicating shoemakers have differing views on what is a typical foot shape.
- Are they wide, narrow or flat?
- Is your instep high or low?
- Is your foot straight or curved?
The latter is more subtle but is often characterized by shoes causing pain in the heel and by the little toe.
Q: How can I tell what type of feet I have?
A: Here is a quick test: Look at your footprints after swimming or showering and compare them to the diagrams below.
Some trail-running shoes cater to certain foot types, due to the last used in their design and their type of sole construction. Share your fit information with your REI footwear specialist for help.
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