The BIG decisions in life:
- What trainers do I wear?
- What socks do I wear?
I have spent a lot of time reading forums, blogs, Facebook groups and those strange things called books, trying to figure out what to wear. I’ve also had a good number of chats with real humans- they have been pretty helpful too. What I have below is a summary of what I have discovered so far:
- Gaiters are a must.
- I’m going for the silk ones from SandBaggers. There is also good option from Racekit that finishes much lower on the calf, but I only discovered these after ordering the Sandbagger gaiters. Anyway – ordered and received my sandbaggers – very happy.
- Two layers of socks work well for minimising blisters. The option to remove a layer will also help accommodate any extra swelling that occurs
- On anything longer than a 20 miler, I get a pinch point between my second and third toe unless using toe socks. It’s not a hotspot/blister; my toes seem to “overlap” after 20 miles a squash the skin on the edge of my second toe. Nice! No such issue with toe socks. For the MdS I’ll be using the thin Injinji base layer socks with a normal “thick” running sock on top for extra blister protection. Likeys have well priced Injinjis,
- Laces- in sticking to the normal lace up option. Some people mention those elastic ones to get an even pressure across the foot. I have tried them but find that a muddy trail can sometimes pull my trainers off. Might happen in sand? Not sure! Not risking it!
- Trainers- how long have you got? So far, I have figured the following
- Asics- love the road shoes. My knees and ankles don’t enjoy 20+miles in their trail shoes.
- Brooks- cascadia 8 are on the short list
- Scott – T2 Kinabalu are on the short list
- Inov8 – need to try them out and figure which of their models is best. Probably the Roclite or Trailroc. Hear stories of them being narrow – I have wide(ish) feet
- Salomon – Too narrow in the toe box for me
- Mizuno – 1 bad experience in road shoes and won’t go back
- Adidas – too tight
So, by my reckoning, it’s down to Scott T2, Brooks Cascadia or Inov8. Or as a back-up plan my Ascis GT-1000 road shoes. I haven’t really narrowed it down that much! Last weekend, with only 5 months to go, I realised I need to start making a few decisions – I jumped in at the deep end ordered a pair of Brooks and have been testing them out this week.
Initial thoughts: I usually run in a Size 11, so have gone with the same in the Brooks. In all honesty I could get away with a 10.5 in the Brooks. But importantly, my feet don’t slip around and they feel like slippers, so no issue there. In fact, many people recommend going up 0.5-1.5 sizes to allow some room for the inevitable swelling in the desert heat.
In summary they’re comfy, pretty well protected around the toe box, have a sturdy sole/foot plate for the rocky sections and they’re almost as well cushioned as my Asics road shoes.If I get on well with these over the next month or two, these exact shoes will be coming to the desert!
Anyway, lets see how the next 2 months of winter trail running go! Probably not the most accurate conditions to test them in…. but it should give me a good view on fit/hot spots after some high mileage.
Not a particularly exciting post… but hopefully useful to at least one person.