Trail running gives you peace, quiet and a chance to explore new places and take on new challenges. From woodland and gravel paths to moorland and mountains, there’s something for everyone.
But with such a huge variety of terrains, how do you know what footwear to wear?
We decided to ask Mizuno for some advice. They’re experts in this field as they host the Mizuno Endure 24, a 24 hour race over 5 miles of forest trails.
Do I need a pair of trail specific running shoes?
When starting to run off road it is highly recommended to consider an alternative pair of shoes to your everyday road running footwear.
It’s important when running on trails that you select footwear that will provide enough grip, support and protection for the chosen environment.
There are many varying and challenging terrains encountered when running off road, a trail shoe will provide unique technology to help maintain performance when taking on these challenging conditions.
Types of running;
- Trail Running
- Mountain Running
- Fell Running
- Cross Country
- Adventure Racing
Types of surfaces;
- Dry / Damp / Wet / Icy
- Mud / Clay
- Leaves / Roots / Branches
- Rock / Stone
- Soft Ground / Sand / Dust
What footwear is best for where?
There are many things to consider when making your choice of trail shoe. You really need to consider the environment and surface you will be taking on!
Mountains / Rocky Terrain
This environment is for the serious trail runner that requires a protective shoe for all conditions. Mizuno's Wave Mujin 2 is perfect for this type of runner. This shoes offers a luxurious, cushioned and well protected ride.
- It features superb forefoot protection for tough and challenging terrains.
- The upper is water repellent for wet conditions.
- There are large and smooth X Studs on the outsole for grip on mountainous and rocky terrains.
Parklands / Mud and Gravel
This type of trail runner requires a cushioned, dynamic shoe with great multi-directional grip. We’d recommend Mizuno's Wave Kazan 2. It’s light, plus it has superb cushioning and sole adaptability.
- The sole is specifically designed to keep you stable on uneven and softer ground.
- Smooth X Studs provide especially good grip on boggy and softer terrain.
- A super cushioned midsole keeps you really comfortable.
Racing / Aggressive Mud
This is where you’ll find the serious trail runner that requires unrivalled grip and a lighter shoe. Mizuno's Wave Hayate 2 is designed for this terrain. It’s got a lightweight and lower profile that gives a little more feel for the terrain.
- Much like the Kazan 2, the sole is designed for uneven and softer ground.
- The X Studs are smaller and more aggressive so that they offer extra grip for faster fell and cross country running.
- It’s got a lower profile so that it’s faster and gives you a more natural feel.
What sets Mizuno apart from everyone else?
Mizuno have recently produced a new trail footwear range which offers a new unique technology called ‘XtaRide’. This key technology will be present in all the trail footwear and is designed to provide the most natural feeling and dynamic trail experience for runners.
Constructed to provide an unrivalled multi directional grip. A smooth finish between the lugs prevents mud from clogging.
Mid Flex Groove
Gives superb adaptability of the sole of uneven surfaces. This allows the foot to move naturally with the shoe, harmonising the body with the terrain.
Protects and cushions the foot whilst promoting a smooth heel to toe transition.
All of these shoes are reinforced for off road running with aggressive toe guards and support straps, to offer an aggressive and durable trail range.