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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Trail Running Shoes

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    As I do more trail running, I notice that my regular running shoes are probably not enough for me - especially for trails that aren't just packed dirt. Do trail running shoes really make a difference for a beginner? I've a shoe in mind, the Brooks Cascadia, just wondering how important they really are at my level. This might be like asking if the right saddle matters on the bike, but it seemed a good question I've a neutral foot strike and my LRS strongly recommends these for me - they've not steered me wrong yet. They are the ones who showed me that I've been wearing FAR too small a running shoe in the past...
    Last edited by Catrin; 07-19-2013 at 05:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Yes, they do make a difference. I am probably in the same running status as you, so I think it's a good comparison. I bought them years ago, when I was in Boulder doing college visits with my son. I bought them for light hiking, but I also have run my local trails in them several times. Better ankle support and the bottoms are going to help you with the terrain, like rocks, etc. I have found myself splayed out on the trail more than once, even with these shoes, so anything helps. I would compare it to smooth vs. knobby tires on a bike. It's possible mine are light hikers and not real trail running shoes, but for what I do, they are fine. I find myself wearing them even for more technical hiking, as my feet are happier (I just read an article about this. Apparently, it's a trend for hikers to wear trail runners). I would buy them, as you can also use them for walking on trails and hiking.
    Last edited by Crankin; 07-19-2013 at 07:12 AM.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    Yes! I use trail running shoes more than any others since my preference is off road running. I use Pearl Izumi's since I like their trail and road shoes -- the fit is perfect for me and minimal/neutral. I don't need extra weight and padding on my feet!
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Thanks Crankin and TrekDiana - that is what I was thinking and the confirmation is quite helpful. My assumption was that they would provide better support on the trail especially on more rough surfaces. I TRIED to trail run on a slightly rougher terrain in my regular running shoes and wound up hiking - even hiking in them left me with sore feet and that isn't normal for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Trail Running Shoes

    I suck at running but I love my Brooks Cascadias. :-)
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889

    Re: Trail Running Shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    I suck at running but I love my Brooks Cascadias. :-)
    I don't pretend to be very good either- just trying to prevent falls and to get back in the woods, I miss that...

    Do you find the Cascadia running large? Not that I won't try them on again before pulling the trigger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    1,940
    I agree, they do help especially if the trails are rocky. I run in Brooks Trail runners. LOVE them. They run true to size for me. I have the Adrenaline. LOVE them. Will get another pair when these go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    Yes, you really do need to try them on - too bad you can't rent shoes for the weekend - there's an idea!

    The Brooks Cascadia has great traction (like other trail shoes they make), but way too much padding for me -- if I could be a barefoot runner I would. I don't like not feeling the ground with my foot. I am one of those people who never wear shoes unless they have to.
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    247
    "Yes, you really do need to try them on - too bad you can't rent shoes for the weekend - there's an idea!"

    My local running store guy just switched me into Brooks Ghosts and said that I had 30 days to run the crap outta them and to bring them back if they weren't working. So although I'm not recommending that you abuse the policy, you may be able to exchange them after a week or two. So far I'm still as slow as ever, but I kinda don't think I can blame the shoes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Trail Running Shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I don't pretend to be very good either- just trying to prevent falls and to get back in the woods, I miss that...

    Do you find the Cascadia running large? Not that I won't try them on again before pulling the trigger.
    Now you're going to make me go look at my other Brooks (I have 3 pairs.)
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Trail Running Shoes

    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I don't pretend to be very good either- just trying to prevent falls and to get back in the woods, I miss that...

    Do you find the Cascadia running large? Not that I won't try them on again before pulling the trigger.
    I have last year's model and apparently they ran small because my Glycerin and Pures are a 9 and my Cascadias are a 9.5. I only wear the Pures in the gym.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    I would say it's not more support you want on the trails, it's more traction - deeper lugs and more separation between them. Not that I do any trail running, but I've tried hiking in street running shoes (on the advice of some Colorado people who wear street running shoes for everything ) and it wasn't pretty.

    Actually, I'm thinking about taking to the trails to experiment with minimal shoes (i.e. zero support). No way could I ever run minimal on gravel roads! I hate driving to run when it's so beautiful if I just walk out my front door, but some trail running would probably be good for me. Just this afternoon I was blueberry picking in my Lems and had to go back to the car for bug spray, maybe 6/10 mile round trip, and just to save time and for the heck of it I jogged there and back in the grass, and it felt really good. Of course my Achilles are a little bit sore now but that's why you start the minimal thing a very little bit at a time, and I think you're supposed to start with a tenth of a mile, not a half ...
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 07-19-2013 at 03:19 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Oakleaf, I couldn't figure out how to put it. I did buy the shoes after work today, and MAN do they feel good! I didn't realize how broken down my regular running shoes are, and they are just 10 months old. I wear Crossfit shoes for most of my group training, I generally only wear my running shoes there when I suspect we will do some running - my Nano 2's are fantastic for things like box jumps, lifting, monster ropes, pretty much everything...except running.

    TK, I got the 8's, which is the newest version of the Cascadias, and my usual 10 fits like a dream. The guy at the LRS commented that I've a "very neutral" stride, I THINK I know what that means but will look it up - I think it means I simply have a normal stride and don't pronate or suponate...supponate? However that is spelled! The Cascadias were the only neutral trail shoe they had - so it is good I already had my eye on them Thankfully my fitness center membership provides a discount...

    These are my first pair of Brooks, we will see how it goes. I will probably have to replace the road running shoes this fall after my move but we will see. Nothing says that trail shoes can't run on the inside track as well Hopefully I can break them in tomorrow.
    Last edited by Catrin; 07-19-2013 at 05:26 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    OMG - my feet LOVE the Brooks! These are the best things my feet have felt in many years...hoping to get them dirty tonight after dinner. I tried them at the gym today and of course they were fine on the track. Unsure if Brooks are THAT good, or if my Waverunners were THAT broken down. Or both. Probably good that running shoes aren't so good for the group training I do or I would wear them out in a month

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Trail Running Shoes

    Probably both :-) Glad they are working for you.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

 

 

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