Shoes for Ultra

Stick to what you like or change for an Ultra

13 messages
28/09/2012 at 09:41

Pondering this thought I would I put it out there.

Those of you who have or are doing ultras.....did your choice of footwear change,make brand, type of shoe change?.

I am using saucony kinvara 2's and they have been suitable for marathons but just wondering if you changed and why, or indeed if I should.

I appreciate the mileage increase and high turn over of shoe etc.

Any thoughts guys & girls


28/09/2012 at 09:55
28/09/2012 at 10:24
Ive been having this dilemma too as I wear fairly minimal shoes! I've done 50k in them and was fine but will they still be fine for 100 miles! Decisions, decisions!!!
28/09/2012 at 19:21

I wore my usual road shoes - Asics Cumulus - for my first two ultras. Got on fine with one and struggled a bit with the other as the terrain was a bit wet and muddy and I'd have been much better in trail shoes. But if you're running ultras that are similar terrain to your marathons, probably better to stick with what you know and like.

I was reading a great blog recently, British guy called James Adams, amazing ultra runner, ran across America from LA to New York and did it in fairly minimal Newtons. Not just the one pair though, obviously. LOL!

28/09/2012 at 19:42

See my road shoes are Newtons but they wouldn't be my first choice for an ultra just because they aren't great for walking in! For any races where you intend on running it all they are great, the action reaction technology really does work!!!  they are pretty pants on soft ground too as the lugs cant work properly!

Edited: 28/09/2012 at 19:43
28/09/2012 at 20:08
As WiB says but also consider fresh socks if 50 mile +
28/09/2012 at 20:57
Ah Newtons... They burnt a hole! they didn't do what I hoped even
The neutral version was a recommendation by Profeet!.

Depends on terrain etc like you say... But I am assuming
My first ultra will be fairly flat and the desire to get the first
Under my belt !! .

So much to think about and on a Friday night !! Lol

But thank you all for your time and input

29/09/2012 at 12:22

im doing a two day Ultra next year. I intend to use two pairs but should I have two identical pairs or should I have two slighltly different styles?

29/09/2012 at 17:47
Just changing to minimal shoes. Going to do a trail ultra of 45 miles in April, don't know whether to ditch minimals now or what.......
29/09/2012 at 20:55

Clare - why are you aiming to do a fairly flat ultra as your first? In my personal experience they're harder as you have to concentrate a lot more on feeding, drinking and forced walk breaks - if you find one with some nice hills in it you get built in walk breaks up the hills, which is when you can also think about eating and drinking, and you get nicer views to inspire you to keep going... Just a thought...

Karen - if you're now changing to minimals then you've got 6-7 months to be used to them, and that's 6-7 months of running in bad weather, bad terrain etc, so by April you should be completely at ease with them.

Graeme - try it and see.... Seriously, the whole point of ultras is that there is no right, and no wrong answers. As the quote goes "we are all an experiment of one" - what suits you probably won't suit me, and vice versa. Also, and interestingly/frustratingly depending on your point of view - what works this time MAY not work next time.... I've no doubt you'll be doing B2B training runs to get used to the idea of 2 long runs in a row - so try one B2B with the same trainers, and then try another with different pairs, see how you react, see how you feel... To be honest, it will depend on the day. If you get through day one unscathed then you'll probably want to stick to the same pair for day two. If you've got blisters etc then changing may well relieve the pressure?

30/09/2012 at 05:14
I just run in my road shoes. They are comfortable and they don't give me blisters.
30/09/2012 at 17:04

Karen: I ran NDW50 in minimalist shoes - Neo Trail - and was fine.  Like ultrarocker says, you've got 6-7 months more to get used to your shoes, so you should be fine for the distance by then [I find it helpful to massage my calves night and morning after a run].

Clare: If your shoes are comfortable for you, why change just because you'll be running in them for a bit (or even a lot) longer? The one thing I would start thinking about is whether and to what extent your feet swell on longer runs (everyone is different): if you find your shoes are getting tight by the end of a marathon in warmer weather then you might want a pair of the same shoes in a half or full size larger for summer ultras.

30/09/2012 at 17:19

Definitely go with what is comfortable, ultras a definitely an experiment for many things. Many run ultras in road shoes even if they are trail races, if it's not going to be intensely muddy etc then that may be fine, much does depend on the terrain as well as what fits etc. When I did my first trail ultra I already had a pair of tried and tested trail shoes I loved but I still didn't know how they'd perform on the more hard-packed elements of the race (and some stretches of road) ... they were fine actually but I had to try it see.

Agree with Rocker that flatter ultras are harder in the way you have to discipline, with more undulating courses you have ready made walk breaks without you having ot think about it!

I only run on the road maybe once every couple of weeks so my main shoe I wear is a Ladies Roclite 268 which feel like a pair of slippers to me. I didn't break them in much and then wore them for the SDW 100 back in June. Prior to that I had two pairs of mudroc 290s which I LOVED and kept me blister free.  Shoes are a VERY personal choice and what suits one person will be totally wrong for another - no matter what the blurb on the shoe description says.

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