7 Tips for Choosing Trail Runners

7 Tips for Choosing Trail Runners

We love running the trails.  Here are tips for being safe and comfortable with the right shoes for your needs.
  1. Don’t just buy runners. Buy Bear Spray too. 

In Yukon we live with bears.  Bring a friend and chat as you jog.  Bring your dog to help make noise. Please carry bear spray and be noisy as you go.  We have belts so that your spray won’t bump around as you run and so that, in the event you need it, it is easy to grab.  For a bear refresher, give our Bear Blog a read. 

  1. Try on Several Pairs

You’ll be spending many miles in your runners, be sure they fit your feet!  Your running buddy might swear by Salomon’s while you are an Inov-8’er from the soles up.  Only by trying them on will you know. Make sure your heels don’t slip and your toes don’t touch the ends of the shoes.  If you wear orthotics or any type of insole be sure to try shoes on with them. 

  1. Tread

Trail runners have grippy soles to navigate slick, uneven, rocky, and muddy terrain. Here in Yukon our trails are mostly covered with stones and hard dirt and a short lug pattern will be great. If the trails near you have lots of muddy or soft surfaces, then look to a deeper lug pattern to gain purchase. The flatter the lugs the better they grip on rock, the “pointier” they are the better for dirt and mud.  

  1. Cushioning

You likely want more cushioning if you want to run both hard packed trails and roads or if you run long distances. Also, heavier-set runners or those who have joint pain find that cushioning reduces impact. You might want less cushioning if you mainly run on smooth, soft trails, if you run mainly short distances or if you simply prefer that “ground feel”.  

  1. Rock Plate

Some styles we carry like the Men’s & Women’s  Saucony Peregrine 11’s have a rock plate to help protect your foot from rock bruises, especially on the up and down hill. They add weight so if you mainly run smooth trails, it’s better not to be bogged down with the extra grams! Remember that if your shoe is well-cushioned this will also provide rock protection. 

  1. Waterproof or not waterproof?

In Yukon we recommend that, for summer use, you don’t buy waterproof.  Our climate, although changing, is dry overall. Waterproof shoes, although breathable, never breathe as well as non-waterproof shoes. However, in early Spring, late Fall and even winter, a waterproof membrane will protect your foot (along with a good wool sock) and keep it warmer.  

  1. Buy wicking socks

If your feet have ever sweated through cheap cotton—and developed painful blisters and chafing as a result—you know what a huge difference socks can make. We recommend a merino blend.  Merino wool is not itchy like regular wool.  It is temperature regulating so your feet stay comfortable in a wide range of temperatures. Plus wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water, which helps feet remain dry in most conditions. Wicking merino socks will help prevent chafing and help provide cushioning for your feet. Make sure your investment in good runners is not diluted by bad socks! Check out our selection for menwomen and children. 

 

And most of all: get out there!  Set realistic expectations and increase your speed and distance slowly. Even if you just walk with a bit of jogging, getting outdoors and getting moving will do you a world of good.   

 

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