Sunday, December 07, 2008

trail shoes

I got asked recently for my opinion on good trail shoes. The following nine shoes are my tried and true stalwarts.

Left to right starting with the first row here they are:

(first row, left to right)

New Balance 790s - absolute my one goto shoe. Most Bay area trail races are actually lots of fireroad without too many rocks or bushwhacking. Its a minimalist shoe but more than enough tread for most needs. I actually have multiple pairs of them, one with the heels cut off for even lower profile. The big disadvantage of 790s is they wear out almost instantly.

New Balance 840s - this is a new shoe that I bought recently. It has become my favorite on my "home trail loop" which has lots of bushwhacking, treacherous downhills and challenging uphills with loose scree.

New Balance 800s - good for longer course with rocks and pounding hard pack. I often use them early in very long races (50 miles and longer)

(second row, left to right)
New Balance 811s (can you tell I like New Balance yet?) - I have done a bunch of "snow running" and deep mud running in these and enjoyed it. Otherwise way too heavy a shoe for me.

North Face Hydro Trak - great for running in rain, water and rivers. They are basically mesh and don't absorb water. I have a couple runs locally that involve long river runs. These are perfect for them.

Nike Free Trail 3.0 - great for training in a minimalist shoe. Don't race in them and don't run too often in them. But for occasional training and building foot strength they are great.

(last row, left to right)
La Sportiva Maxum Ridge - a beefy stiff shoe. Great for running with orthotics when you need a stiff sole. Great for running or hiking in snow (better even than the 811s)

Nike ACG Ascents - similar to the NB 811s in many ways: good for mud and light snow Probably prefer the 811s over these nowadays mostly since NB fits me so well.

Salomon - I just love the snug lacing system, light overall weight and yet still aggressive tread pattern. Now that the 840s are out I'm not using the Salomons much.

Overall my favorite is still the New Balance 790. But I like the NB 840s as well. And overall I could do over 90% of my running with the pair of these shoes.


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Blogger djconnel said...

I just got some New Balance 790's and love them! I broke them in at the EnviroSports Woodside Half. Thanks for the review!

12:51 AM  

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