If you’re looking for the best trail running shoes for men today, you’re in for a treat! Because we will discuss what makes a trail running shoes great and to help you choose the right one for you. These trail running shoes should be smooth, great for steep mountain hillsides.We will compare the foot protection, traction, stability and comfort, weight and looks of these trail running shoes.
For most people, when running on trail terrain a good ole pair of shoes does the job. While these running shoes does work, having a regular road shoes, or even a dedicated pair of trail running shoes is really what I suggest since these shoes are specifically designed for this purpose, to run on uneven terrain, added traction, midsole protection, and durability.
These shoes are durable and can handle abuse from any kind of terrain, they are also high performance shoes.
Different Types of Trail Running Shoes
The list below shows the basics of trail runners, see where you belong from these types.
Barefoot or Minimalist
If you love running on barefoot also called as minimalist, these shoes leave the shape and function on your foot. This is like a piece of rubber on your sole to help you with protection and traction. Some folks says this is bad for the foot, while other says it’s good. If you’re curious to know, check out this video from Vancouver Podiatrist.
These shoes are typically have a heel-to drop from 0mm to 6mm and they are designed to be light, fast and support natural gait, while others offer a better protection and support that most runners need for trail running.
Standard or what they call traditional trail running shoes are what you’ll have when you think of a running shoe, will added features of course like midsole rockplace, aggressive traction and water resistant upper layer add on. These shoes are typically have a heel-to drop from 6mm to 14mm.
If we have a minimalist, we also have maximalist 😉 these have a large amount of cushioning like the Hoka One One that introduces this trend. Other shoe manufactures follow the trend and we now have these popularity against ultra-runners.
Now that we know which and what types we belong, it is important to know that all trail running shoes are design for one purpose: to run on trails or uneven terrain. If you’re deciding the heel-toe drop in running shoes, this will depend on your preference in terms of comfort, plus your body mechanics.
One of the most important thing to know when getting a trail running shoe is how it protects your foot, it it didn’t do any protection, why wear it anyway? One of the largest component of protection is found underfoot, it is also called the sole or rockplate. Rockplate is a hard metal or plastic, sometimes composite material place or rod that is designed to protect the bottom of the foot from sharp things like rocks or wood. Usually runs under from your heel to past your arch, as the sole still needs the flexibility to bend the forefoot.
Another component is the upper part of the shoe, this will determine the protection it gives from sticks, rocks or other materials that could land on your top feet. Manufacturers likely to skip the upper part to save weight and offer greater breathability, water drainage, while some still offer a strong upper for protection. Just remember which is the best for your runs, lightweight with little upper protection or a little heavy with sturdy upper?
From the time you wear a shoe, you are already modifying your natural form to stand, move or landing a stride. When you are looking for stability, always check out how to maintain your normal running from, some shoes will bend and morph on different terrain, forcing your feet to adjust during landing or push-off. Other shoes will make us require to change our stride to make sure we always have a stable form.
This is where I tend to very picky when looking for new shoes 🙂 Your shoes should be as comfortable as possible, though some prefer differently because what feels comfy to me, is not the same for you. Some shoe products comes from a wide array of narrow in the heel, while some are really narrow. This is an individual preference, since we have different feet.
When testing for sensitivity, try to feel the terrain from the shoe you’re using. I do like to have a shoe with a little sensitive so I can feel the terrain, but this is your choice. Some people I know like to be connected to the ground, some wanted to have a better protection from it. Check out the Hoka One One review.
Little History of Trail Running Shoes
The very first athletic shoes that are known to trainers in the UK were called “plimsolls”, they use thick rubber soles with and a sewed upper canvas. The direct descendant of these shoes today would be the Converse All-Star. Apparently, the colored stripes on the shoes reminded the people of the plimsoll line. They are originally for beach shoes, as plimsolls gain a lot of popularity until in the early 1900’s they become mandatory equipment in school gym and also worn by Olympics athletes.
In 1940’s the creation of running shoes from different shoe companies, Keds were the most popular athletic shoes during that time in the US, Addidas from Germany and New Balance in the US added their expansion. It was until the “running boom” in the 70’s by American Frank Shorter winning a gold at the 1972 Olympic Marathon with New Zealand running coach Arthur Lydiard “inventing” and popularizing jogging and the creation by Nike of the largest cushioned heels in running shoes line.
Even though Gordy Ainsleigh first ran the Western States 100 miles run in 1974, creating the most historic and iconic trail race in America, likewise the Leadville Trail 100, which is now the country’s largest ultra race, first happened in 1983, it also took the second running boom in the 90’s to bring use the new trail running shoes line. The “marathon boom” also the time of growing environmentalism, that inspired to get more touch with real nature, people were hitting the trails since then. Running shoe companies used this to know more about athletic movement to create a new genre of shoes. As lightweight as possible and alternative to hiking boots, the market grew rapidly it inspired different industry to join. It was then that these shoe companies started to create different kinds of running shoes exclusively for trail running.
Trail running grew throughout the next decade, Christoper McDougall’s New York Times bestselling book Born to Run in 2009, it all exploded. The book brought ultra-running and barefoot running int the sports mainstream. Vibram FiveFingers became the must have “barefoot running shoe”, though it offer nothing in a way of cushioning other than a piece of rubber to cover the sole. The idea was to offer a shoe that has more natural running mechanics that had been lost with creation of motion control.
We covered all (almost) of the essentials of a best trail running shoes, hopefully this will help you when choosing best trail running shoes for men and use this to pick the best and suitable for you. Make sure you thoroughly check the trail running shoe, and you can suggest if you have more tips that we didn’t mentioned.