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Trail Running Shoes

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Jeff F
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Post  Mark B Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:24 pm

After my experience last weekend, I've realized that Free 3.0s might not be the best thing to wear on steep, rocky trails.

So, you bushwhacking trail runners out there: What shoes do you wear, and why?

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Post  Tim M Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:34 pm

Brooks Cascadia 6. Why? Because if they are good enough for Scott Jurek... For me the shoe has enough flex and cushion, but not enough to get in the way of feeling the trail. Also, the toe box has enough room so my toes do not get jammed on the downhills. The traction is really good too.

I'll go something more minimal with the Brooks PureGrit shoe comes out. I thought about the NB Minimus Trail but decided against them. Tony Krupicka helped design the Minimus Trail, but he has been injured since the shoe was released. Maybe it is just a coincidence, but you never know.
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Post  Dave-O Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:42 pm

I actually wear the Brooks Cascadia as well. Its the only non-Nike shoe I have. (okay and a pair of Mizunos I won at a race).

I needed a pair to hike Half Dome last year. I read the reviews, tried on different brands, and I was most impressed with the Cascadias. They are certainly not a minimalist pair of shoes, but if you're running on technical trails or hiking, they're great.
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Post  Ben Z Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:55 pm

Agreed with the Cascadias. I have used the 3s, 4s and now the 6s. The 6s are great if you don't mind the extra weight or higher heel-to-toe drop (It's 12mm I believe).

The main plus of a shoe like this is the rock plate. That little piece of plastic will save your feet from heel / forefoot bruises for the most part.

I've also heard great things about the Montrail Mountain Masochist if you want a little extra support. The Salomon X-Lab shoes are pretty crazy too if you don't mind the weight (and price!).

Note: I tried the NB Minimus Trail but felt it was not enough underfoot protection for rocky trails due to the lack of a rock plate. It's a pretty cool shoe otherwise for softer / less rocky trails though.
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Post  Tim M Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:07 pm

The Montrail Rogue Racer is also a great option. 8.8 oz, 9mm drop.

It really depends on what type of trail you plan on running. I have a friend that ran up Pikes Peak in a pair of Brooks T5 Racers and a lot of the top finishers wear racing flats. While Pikes is not easy, the trail is not very technical.

If there are lots of rocks and roots, having a heavier pair of trail shoes will give you the extra protection you will want.
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Post  Mark B Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:11 pm

After getting my feet beat to a pulp on Sunday, I can appreciate the benefit of a little more shoe underfoot. At the same time, whenever I tried testing a Nike trail shoe, I'd feel like I was about to turn an ankle, they were so high off the ground.

Has anybody heard anything about the New Balance MT101? It has a lower profile but is not truly minimalist.
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Post  Chris M Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:23 pm

I own two pairs of INOV shoes and love them. To be honest, I bought them because I thought they looked cool and the other ones I was looking at were just way too heavy for me as I've gotten very used to lighterweight shoes. According the marketing stuff INOV does, they are big into the barefoot/flexible foot motion thing so since you like the Frees, they might be a good match. I've found them to be comfortable and light enough that I still feel like I'm running in trainers rather than boots. I own the f-lite 230s and the x-talon 212s and which one I wear depends on how gooey the trail is that day (much better traction with the 212s).

Trail Running Shoes Products-Detail

Trail Running Shoes Products-Detail
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Post  T Miller Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:50 pm

It really depends on the type of trail you are running. I have a pair of the NB Minimus and I love them but they do not provide much protection against rocks and roots. One of my longtime favorites is the Pearl Izumi Peak but my current pair really needs to be retired. I can't wait until I can replace them with the Pearl Izumi Peak 2's. I also think that the NB 101's would be a good option although I've only tried them on.
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Post  wendy_miller Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:00 pm

Unless you are on a trail that is 100% rocks...Minimus. I would run on a trail in NOTHING else. Ever. They are like the Free version of trail shoes. Why is it taking me so long to convince you?!
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Post  Tim M Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:44 pm

wendy_miller wrote:Unless you are on a trail that is 100% rocks...Minimus. I would run on a trail in NOTHING else. Ever. They are like the Free version of trail shoes. Why is it taking me so long to convince you?!

This would be more convincing if you had listed the NM Minimus Trail shoe in the other shoe thread. lol!

The Minimus Trail is a great choice for many trails. Out here in the Rockies, you will see a mix of road shoes, minimal trail shoes, and heavier traditional trail shoes. It really does depend on the amount of rocks and how much protection you want from feeling the rocks when you land on them or kick them.
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Post  Mark B Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:48 pm

wendy_miller wrote:Unless you are on a trail that is 100% rocks...Minimus. I would run on a trail in NOTHING else. Ever. They are like the Free version of trail shoes. Why is it taking me so long to convince you?!

Why? Well, it probably has something to do with running 15.5 miles on terrain like...

this

Trail Running Shoes Rockyh10

and this

Trail Running Shoes Rockyh11

and this

Trail Running Shoes Rockyh12

and this

Trail Running Shoes Rockyh13

followed by... this

Trail Running Shoes Rockyh14

Throw in at least 3,700 feet of steep downhills in shoes that don't allow much heel strike, and you've got a sure-fired recipe to turn feet into Jell-O. My Free 3.0s were okay for a while, but the terrain wore me down. My feet pretty much NEVER hurt, but I had no choice but to walk the last 5 miles. Now, I've played with the Minimus Trail. It looks like a great shoe for a lot of non-technical trails... but on terrain like this, those waver-thin soles afford even less foot protection than my Frees.

Now, there were a couple of guys wearing VFFs out there... but I'm betting their feet and ankles were a lot more toughened up than mine.

Also...

Tim: Wendy may have left it off her list initially, but I've seen photographic evidence of her wearing the Minimus at Dances With Dirt:

Trail Running Shoes Note_t10




Last edited by Mark B on Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:12 am; edited 6 times in total
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Post  Tim M Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:57 pm

Looks like Cascadia terrain to me.
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Post  Tim M Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:56 am

Mark B wrote:
Tim: Wendy may have left it off her list initially, but I've seen photographic evidence of her wearing the Minimus at Dances With Dirt:

Trail Running Shoes Note_t10



Yes. Correct. I knew Wendy wore the Minimus at DwD as some pictures from the race were on facebook. I just thought it was funny that she didn't list them on the other thread and commented on them in this one. I have to remember that not everyone gets my humor.
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Post  wendy_miller Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:33 am

Tim is right...I forgot to list those in the other thread! That's because I'm hardly ever trail running lately...but they definitely should be on my list.
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Post  Ben Z Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:14 am

There's a reason that person is wearing Cascadias in picture #2.
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Post  Jeff F Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:18 pm

Another somewhat minimalist option is the La Sportiva Crosslite. INOV also has some minimalist options.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:00 pm

Mine are Brooks, so I'm guessing they might be Cascadias (or their predecessor), but they are in NY as I wear them on the trails there, but not here as our trails are wider and not real rocky where I run (Kennesaw Mtn). I would have suggested the NB Minimus to you as well, but not sure what they might be like on a rocky trail.
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Post  Chris M Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:19 pm

Me rocking the Inov8 f-lite 230s in a trail race. I just wanted to figure out how to post a picture...

Edit - hey, that was easy!

Trail Running Shoes Trail211
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Post  Jim Lentz Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:00 pm

Mark, they aren't minimal, but I love the Adidas Adizero trail shoes and have used them for running in somre pretty deep snow and rocky trails. I got my only 1st place AG award wearing them in a snowy 5K.
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Post  fostever Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:17 pm

AdizeroXT trail shoe. They looked cool and had some rugged features on the tread with some sort of mud release design.
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Post  fostever Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:19 pm

Jim Lentz wrote:Mark, they aren't minimal, but I love the Adidas Adizero trail shoes and have used them for running in somre pretty deep snow and rocky trails. I got my only 1st place AG award wearing them in a snowy 5K.
Also got an AG win in my first two trail races in them! cheers
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Post  Jim Lentz Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:29 pm

fostever wrote:
Jim Lentz wrote:Mark, they aren't minimal, but I love the Adidas Adizero trail shoes and have used them for running in somre pretty deep snow and rocky trails. I got my only 1st place AG award wearing them in a snowy 5K.
Also got an AG win in my first two trail races in them! cheers
Coincidence?
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Post  T Miller Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:14 am

Tim M wrote:
Mark B wrote:
Tim: Wendy may have left it off her list initially, but I've seen photographic evidence of her wearing the Minimus at Dances With Dirt:

Trail Running Shoes Note_t10



Yes. Correct. I knew Wendy wore the Minimus at DwD as some pictures from the race were on facebook. I just thought it was funny that she didn't list them on the other thread and commented on them in this one. I have to remember that not everyone gets my humor.

Wendy is all about the Free's and I don't think she wanted to spoil that image in the other thread. I don't think the Minimus spoil it at all but perhaps it would be better if the were named Minimus Free.
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Post  Mark B Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:02 am

T Miller wrote:
Tim M wrote:
Mark B wrote:
Tim: Wendy may have left it off her list initially, but I've seen photographic evidence of her wearing the Minimus at Dances With Dirt:

Trail Running Shoes Note_t10



Yes. Correct. I knew Wendy wore the Minimus at DwD as some pictures from the race were on facebook. I just thought it was funny that she didn't list them on the other thread and commented on them in this one. I have to remember that not everyone gets my humor.

Wendy is all about the Free's and I don't think she wanted to spoil that image in the other thread. I don't think the Minimus spoil it at all but perhaps it would be better if the were named Minimus Free.

I know how she feels, Tim. I've been in Frees for so long, the thought of anything more structured seems ... uncivilized!

Heck, I've even started looking at Barefoot Ted's Luna Sandals! Approval


Last edited by Mark B on Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Tim M Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:44 am

Mark B wrote:

Heck, I've even started looking at Barefoot Ted's Luna Sandals! Trail Running Shoes 424776184

You could always go this route: http://www.invisibleshoe.com/
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