Do I really need different shoes...

...for occasional off road running?

6 messages
04/08/2008 at 11:42

I have a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire currently, since moving house have started to do 1 run a week which takes in a few miles 'off road'. This is mainly fields, mud/dirt tracks and a canal tow path but still a fair amount of pavement/tarmac.

Will a pair of off road/trail shoes be of significant benefit, if so, how?


04/08/2008 at 12:15
probably not over summer...

trail shoes have more aggressive sole for extra grip - and often slightly less cushioning - suited for mud/gravel/grass summer on the sort of surfaces you describe then they will still be hard pack so a road shoe will be as good if not more comfortable than a trail shoe

if you plan to run those surfaces over winter, then yes, a trail shoe would benefit due to the extra grip
04/08/2008 at 12:36
Thanks mate. Is it 'just' the grip factor or will I notice any other difference?
04/08/2008 at 12:51

I am gonna say no, you don't NEED to, however.........

I did my first off road race this weekend, and I brought a pair of trail shoes for it, and TBH, I think it was the right choice.

Ok, so the ground wasn't that slippy, but I was gratefull for the extra grip on the grass / sand sections, and the extra support the shoes and soles gave me.

04/08/2008 at 13:07
or will I notice any other difference

lack of cushioning when on hard pack in them - my trail shoes can become uncomfortable underfoot over long off road runs.

stay clear of what are called fell shoes (Walsh,Inov8 etc) if you need cushioning as they have minimal as they are intended for very soft off road surfaces like grass, mud, scree etc......superb grip but little support
05/08/2008 at 16:05

I do tons of off road stuff in my road shoes.  It's fine because you can go carefully if it is slippery.

However racing off road is another matter - it's crucial to feel confident that you won't slip then and off road shoes are advisable.

Off road shoes aren't great if you have a mixed run with some on the road; as peeps have said they don't have much cushioning and can feel very hard underfoot.

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