How to choose your Trail shoes?
Trail is a discipline for running and natures' lovers . But not only ! Trail provides sensations of surpassing oneself, of freedom, of discovering new horizons ... In order for these good sensations to be at the rendezvous, you have to choose the equipment adapted to your practice and your comfort.
Whether you practice fun trail or compete, short or long distances.
Whether you challenge yourself by putting yourself on ultra trails, such as the famous races: the UTMB (Ultra Trail Mont Blanc) or the Diagonale des Fous on the island of Reunion.
Or that you enjoy at your own pace in your beautiful mountains in your regions.
You should find shoes to your feet.
In this article, we will guide you to find out how to choose the right pair of trail shoes for you.
The criteria for choosing your pair of Trail shoes
When you choose your shoes, the protection, waterproofness, breathability, adhesion are all criteria to take into account in your choice, these are more or less important depending on:
- the frequency of your sessions,
- the distance
- the type of ground.
In addition to taking into account these elements, we must understand how is a trail shoe to choose the one that you need.
How is trail shoe made?
The choice of mesh, on the top of the shoe, is important and depends on the use you have of the shoe. A dense and tight mesh provides protection and a significant foot support, but breathability is reduced. When, on the contrary, the shoe has an airy mesh, it allows a faster evacuation of the water. It is therefore important to choose your mesh according to the soil where you practice. If you go on a stony ground, the mesh must be resistant, in front of a wet ground a tight mesh even waterproof will be of setting, on dry ground, the ideal is to have a mesh more ventilated to gain in breathability. It is also interesting to take extra protection against meteorological elements. Especially in winter, on wet and / muddy grounds, it is advisable to take trail shoes with waterproof protection. The reference in the field is often the Gore-Tex but many brands of trail shoes have today developed their own waterproof membranes that work just as well and are generally less expensive.
The sole of the shoe also has a role in your choice. It is composed of 3 soles:
- the insole that brings comfort and evacuation of sweat,
- the midsole that contributes to stability and cushioning,
- the outsole in direct contact with the ground, its role is the grip and the grip according to the types of ground.
For running in the city or in nature, it is strongly recommended to have an EVA midsole, a foam that provides stability, comfort and cushioning. The outsole has to be adapted to the type of ground on which you wish to practice:
- On a wet and / or greasy ground: It must hang, and have enough crampons. If the terrain is rather rocky, spaced crampons are preferred.
- On dry ground: The sole requires more flexibility.
Another important component of the trail shoe is the drop. It can strongly influence your stride. The drop is the difference in height between the front and the back of the shoe and therefore corresponds to the inclination of the foot in the trail shoe. It is measured in millimeters, usually it is found from 0 to 12 mm. You must pay particular attention to the drop, when choosing your trail shoe because it can cause injury if it is not suitable for your practice. In fact, the higher it is, the more it pushes you to put the heel first, which increases the impact and tends to traumatize your joints and your body. The universal drop is 8 mm. The more you run, the more you know about your stride and the more you can choose drop shoes for your use. With a lower drop, you run more on the front of the foot, limiting the impact but which stresses the calves.
Then lightness has also to be taken into account in the choice of your trail shoes. Again, this will depend on the type of terrain where you run. If you are running on rocky terrain, it is better to have stone guards to protect your feet, which tends to weigh down the boot. By cons on more flexible paths, the ideal is to have shoes lighter and less rigid than with stone barriers.
Finally, comfort is one of the most important criteria, feel good in his sneakers is the basis. To start when you try shoes, you must feet well in it immediately, if you perceive the slightest discomfort, forget it, it may increase during your outings trail. The best if you can, is to walk, then run to test them. As for the size of the footwear, it is better to choose a half, or even according to some brands, a size above your shoe size daily. The goal is to avoid the friction of feet that swell with effort and heat, while keeping the precision and the foot maintained.
With all these tips, we hope you find your happiness.
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