One of the epiphanies my wife and I learned last year is the importance of getting a good pair of trail shoes. Why? Road shoes just don’t cut it if you are running highly technical terrain or running down hills due to the traction inherently built in the shoe. That said, my apprehension of running downhill has been greatly improved. I am now able to focus on conserving my quads instead of how I am going to keep from falling on my face.
What is amazing to me is how technical these shoes have become, especially since the Born to Run craze began. If you keep in mind that running trails mechanically different than running on pavement, you will find that it comes more down to the style of shoe you like, the type of trails you will be running, and comfort.
|The low tread profile of the Adrenaline 12. Photo Courtesy of runningwarehouse.com.|
|A stability shoe heal is higher to help neutralize over pronation. Photo courtesy of runningwarehouse.com.|
|The tread of the Brooks Adrenaline ASR 8's. Photo courtesy of runningwarehouse.com|
|Brooks Adrenaline ASR 8. Photo courtesy of runningwarehouse.com|
Right now I have two pairs of trail shoes, and I recommend them both. I first got a pair of BrooksAdrenaline ASR 7. These are great shoes and really helped me to understand the importance of having a shoe with good traction. These are the trail running version of the popular Adrenaline GTS 11. I got this shoe; however, with the understanding that I over pronate and that I have been running in the GTS’s. Basically you go with what you know. The shoe is comfortable, and is just like my GTS; however, they are a bit heavier and ridged. While I have run on pavement with this shoe I would not recommend it.
|The awesome tread of the Brooks Cascade 7, I love these shoes. Photo courtesy of runningwarehouse.com.|
|Brooks Cascade 7. Notice very little heal elevation. Photo courtesy of runningwarehouse.com|
However, right before the Diablo 50K Challenge, I took advantage of a discount that Forward Motion was putting on at the packet pickup and got a pair of the Brooks Cascade 7’s. I love these shoes. They are very comfortable, and while they are a neutral shoe, I have not had a problem on the trails. This shoe feels lighter than the Adrenaline and definitely made for running downhill and technical terrain. It is not overly engineered either. I highly recommend this shoe.
So consider getting a pair of trail shoes for your next trail run if you haven’t already. You will find that the run is more enjoyable as you are speeding by other runners downhill.