What running shoes do you use for ultra's?

its time for a change.....

1 to 20 of 25 messages
Dark Vader    pirate
22/07/2012 at 09:44

I use Salomon XA Pro 3D ultra for off-road and trails and have been really pleased with them but they aren't much good for me on roads and paths...

For the last eight years I've used Brooks.  Initially running in Brooks Radius and more recently Brooks Vapor.  I have simply bought new versions of these shoes whenever required and I have three pairs on use rotation at any one time.  I've been very pleased with them.

I just feel, for whatever reason, that its time to look again at what's available and try something else...    if you have any preferences for a good quality road shoe suitable for ultra distances then please let me know....


22/07/2012 at 10:17

DV, ive used kids nike lunars for off and on road and they suit me fine..im thinking of going to freerun and maybe merrel for onroad..try nike perhaps?

22/07/2012 at 10:25

Trail running and light fell conditions - New Balance MT110's, a little firm but cope with hard packed paths and tarmac, loose gravel, rooty and rocky and light mud on the flat to medium decline/incline. Feel a little firm when you put them on but strike a grea balance between feel and protection with a full rock plate.

Fell Runing - Inov8 X-Talon 190's, light, comfy great feel however miss a rock plate when its gets rocky can leve me a iittle footsore if the run is long say over 20 miles.

Road and trail (no mud) - Saucony Kinvara 2's currently waiting for a delivery next week of 3's. 4mm heel toe drop, neutral but with a good bit of sole that for me offers a ride where I do not need to think too much about form.

Shorter training runs and dreadmill - New Balance Minimus Zero Drop, if my form were better would wear nothing else light and comfy.

Dark Vader    pirate
22/07/2012 at 10:41
Good info. Thanks. The run I'm planning is a multi stage ultra running back to back 50-60 miles per day for 8 days. Mostly roads and paths but some off-road. I need a shoe to cope with this..
22/07/2012 at 11:20

DV - With that info, whilst I haven't tried them and the big squodge of sole jars somewhat with my more minimal instincts I would say the Hoka One One would have to be in the to be considered list. They are certainly a shoe of choice for some very impressive Ultra runners at present. On the minimal theme I think Hoka are either 4mm or zero drop in spite of the sole.  

22/07/2012 at 17:45
I'm in the same position DV looking to change after completing sdw100. My feet really hurt on the hard chalk paths. I've heard alot of good things about hoka one ones the winner of sdw wore them and people who had them on today at the downland ultra swear by them.
22/07/2012 at 18:52

It might be the case that you have got it right with what you are running in now. 

I think that Brooks are the best road shoes for mixed terrain, and I swear by my Adrenalins.  The Vapour likely works just as well.  I ran a lot of the Thames Trott (2011) with somebody wearing Asics trail shoes, and my Adrenalins actually coped with the mud better. 

My favourite trail shoe at the moment is the Brooks Cascadia.  When selecting a trail shoe for ultra distance, there are a number of things I look for:

It should have enough cushioning to protect the foot from hard objects such as rocks and tree roots.  A large part of the problem with the longer events is keeping your feet in good order. 

While the tread pattern must grip, it should also have a design that will shed mud quite readily i.e. enough distance between the lugs that sticky mud can be kicked off. 

22/07/2012 at 22:03

Sooo difficult and definitely very individual. I thought my feet would be trashed at the end of the SDW but actually the Inov8 roclite 268s felt slipperlike until the end ... I am a big fan of the Inov8 range but need to find something better for roads ... having moved to a more minimalist approach on the trail, my cushioned asics feel very wrong now.  Agree there are some very successful ultra runners out there in the Hoka range but I just can't quite bring myself (aside from the small matter of the price tag) to consider them.  Am also rather drawn to the merrel barefoot range ... but have never tried them for fit.

22/07/2012 at 22:10
I'll second the NB110 and they are only ??40 in sports direct at the moment. A bargain compared to the others. Not had a blister with mine yet either.
Dark Vader    pirate
23/07/2012 at 14:51

I've never heard of Hoka...  have just googled them..    could be worth a look at them closer...    thanks for the tip.   Will look up the other suggestions too..  thanks.


23/07/2012 at 16:03

I like the look of the new Saucony Kinvara TR, as I like the road version, and use it for something a with a touch more cushioning than my usual shoes - NB R00, and minimus MT10.

Dark Vader    pirate
25/07/2012 at 19:38

I have looked at the Hoka's...  wow... they look amazing...  am going to try the Hoka One One and the Hoka Bondi Speed.   Both should be ideal...   will let you know what I think..


kittenkat    pirate
25/07/2012 at 19:42

DV, that's an impossible question to answer.

But you know that

I'm lucky in that as a light neutral runner I get on pretty much with any neutral shoe. What do you specifically need from a shoe, what's your gait etc...

I don't think ultra running is any different to normal distances, so why a shoe 'specifically' for ultra? Every shoe will do so many miles irrespective of the time frame you do them in.

25/07/2012 at 19:45

KK speaks sense! If they are comfy they are the best shoes

Dark Vader    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:19
kittenkat wrote (see)

I don't think ultra running is any different to normal distances, so why a shoe 'specifically' for ultra? Every shoe will do so many miles irrespective of the time frame you do them in.

I'm looking at new shoes because I want to finally make one big effort at solving the blister problem that is caused by my orthotics...    I'm going to try to run without the orthotics...  they work at injury prevention but they are not solving the problem that caused the injury initially...  and with the ultra distances, I need to spend a huge amount of time on foot preparation just to avoid the blisters that they cause..  they are fine up to about 50 miles, but over that and its hit or miss as to whether I start blistering.;..

So..  I'm going to try something new...   I want to find a top quality ultra shoe and learn to run without the orthotics again...  I want to protect my feet as much as possible from the shoe, and see what happens....

I'm going to seek advice about the cause of the original injury five years ago and see what physio I can do to sort out the source of the problem and not rely on the orthotics...

Hope that makes sense...   might be a bit of trial and error and one step at a time...



kittenkat    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:28

DV, you're talking in ellipses. What IS it with that, it seems to be catching. I don't ever remember writing like that in school (a small aside)

I don't think there are 'ultra' shoes, there are shoes. I'm no expert but it sounds on the face of it that shoe choice isn't going to solve your problem, they don't actually vary that much, they just market aggressively.

Basically in my mind, if physiologically your bio-mechanics and other physical factors are jigsawing together to cause something, putting however much you weigh on any type of shoe ain't going to solve the problem. The shoes are the icing on the cake, not the ingredients.

kittenkat    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:31

That could have just been my most sensible post on this forum EVER!

Dark Vader    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:52

ok..  let me explain it a different way...

The orthotics are used to fix a 'problem'.   However, they don't actually fix the SOURCE of the problem...  they simply avoid injury...    however, as the distances have now got silly, they are causing their own problems...

So...  I want to go back to the start...  try to fix the source of the problem and buy some decent shoes at the same time...

Badwater finished last week...  and the Hoka was a popular choice of shoe...  so.. it can't be bad..!  

I only wear the orthotics when I run...  I don't use them at any other time and I don't have any injuries....

Changing the shoes is part of the strategy, not the only strategy.  I anticipate some physio to fix my feet... if that is even possible..


Edited: 25/07/2012 at 20:56
kittenkat    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:55

FFS DV, see my post above *rolls eyes*

Dark Vader    pirate
25/07/2012 at 20:57

you read mine...!  


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