Trail Running with Sports Basement

Trail running is one hill of a sport! And choosing the right trail running shoe is no small feat (get it...feat…feet?), but our buyers have picked out the latest and greatest in trail running so all you have to worry about now is choosing one that’s perfect for you. That's why we've put together this guide to help you find the right pair. Of course, our in-store staffers are always ready to help and will guide you through everything you need from gait analysis to shoe fitting to trail picking. We want to see you get to the top of that mountain trail so you can take on a bigger one next time. And don’t forget to snap a picture and show us on Instagram! Now lace yourself for some important advice...and more puns.

The Trail You Blaze

When chasing trail, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the type of trail you’ll be running on. Is it off the beaten track or paved out and smoothed? Is it muddy and wet or rocky and dry? Knowing the trail conditions you're on will help you decide which shoe specs like weight, stability, and traction are most important to you.

Our awesome stafflete, Sam Lew, is runnin' wild! She uses different shoes when running green, lush trails than when she tackles dry, gravelly ones.

Heel to Toe Drop

The heel-toe drop (HTD) of a shoe tells you the height difference between your heel and toes while wearing that shoe. So, if a shoe has an HTD of 10mm, your heel will be elevated 10mm higher than your toes while you’re wearing the shoe. A higher HTD can give you some impact protection, especially on really rocky, rough trails. It can also encourage your foot to land on your midsole rather than on your heel. A low or 0mm HTD can make your stride feel more natural and give your foot more flexibility while running. Give a few pairs a test run at Sports Basement to find an HTD you’re comfortable with.

You'll know which heel-toe-drops are best for you right out the gaitThe Asics GT 20005 (left) has a 10 mm drop while the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 model (right) has zero HTD. 

Get a Grip

Traction is one of the most important parts of your trail running shoe. A shoe with very aggressive traction will be very built out and spiky looking. They're perfect for when the going gets really tough if you’re offroading. While they’re great for keeping you on track, they can also be a bit heavier. If your trails don’t require heavy duty traction, consider a pair with less aggressive traction. While not as built out, they still have lugs and texture that help keep you steady but are lighter and better for tamer trails.

 The right traction makes for better action! The Saucony Peregrine 7 (left) has built out lugs and spikes that are great for offroading. New Balance's Fresh Foam Gobi Trail shoes (right) have less aggressive traction that makes it a great road to trail shoe. 


Don't trail behind! We want to help you find your sole-mate so run (can you tell we love running puns?) down to your local Sports Basement store and try a few out. Our expert staff will help you find exactly what you’re looking for so you can tackle your next trail in...stride (last one, promise). 

1 comment

  • David says...

    No wonder my feet were killing me after ? hill sprints on assFault (since we’re doing bad puns ?)in my Saucony Peregrine7’s. It was worse on my right foot because it’s half a size bigger and I thought that was the reason. These shoes are like claws on my feet. It really feels like I’m shredding the ground. I must confess, I have another sole mate though. My first love was a Nike Free and those are perfect for concrete, but mine had a slight HTD. Those are almost dangerous to ? in because they CATapult me forward and there is tremendous momentum. Great article Erendira!

    On August 02, 2017

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