Road running shoes will generally work for trails that are relatively flat and dirt packed.  A good trail running shoe will allow you to run more comfortably, faster and with more control when running on rocky, uneven trails.  Trail running shoes typically are more rigid and have a little more support than road running shoes.

Things to look for in a trail running shoe:

  • Ensure you are in the right type of trail running shoe.  Salt Lake Running Company can help to determine what type of shoe is best for you by performing our Biomechanical Analysis.  *insert link*
  • A good upper shoe design will help protect the feet around the toes and side of the foot and not allow dirt and grit to get inside the shoe.  Usually this means a trail running shoe will be a bit heavier and not allow it to breathe as well as a road shoe.
  • Good grip pattern on the outsole to handle the variance in terrain (mud, rocks, ups and downs)
  • A stiff inner shank in the sole will help provide rigidity, support and protect the bottom of your feet from sharp rocks and other objects
  • Leave a little room for movement inside the shoe.  You should have about a thumbs width from the end of the shoe to your big toe.  This allows your foot to swell without the shoes getting tight.  It’s also nice for running downhill; your toes won’t be forced to the front of the shoe and cause a loss of toe nails.
  • The shoe should be comfortable.  Some trail shoes may require some break in period compared to road shoes.  But if there is anything that bothers you when you first try it on, it will probably get worse before it gets better.  It should feel almost like a slipper.
  • Also use support inserts.  These will support your arch and absorb shock on the trails.  They also help to prevent injuries and reduce fatigue.