/ Bewildered by shoe choices
I'm a newbie as far as trail running goes and rather bewildered by the range of shoes on offer (along with all the marketing guff).
I have pairs of Inov-8s (Mudclaws) and LaSportivas (Helios) but neither seem that great on wet rock or offer much in the way of protection from pointy bits.
As a yardstick, I ran around the Snowdon horseshoe in the wet on Saturday in my Helios' and found Crib Goch rather insecure in the wet and dinged the soles of my feet a couple of times - not sure if there is something that is appreciably better our there for this kind of thing...
+ most of my runs are in the 10-25km range and I'm unlikely to do anything prefixed with 'ultra'
Ones I have liked for wet rock and mud are addidas terrex, inov8 roclite and Altra MT king.
If its grip on wet rock - VJ Sport iRocks - nothing comes close to them.
Back in the day there was just Walsh's.
> Back in the day there was just Walsh's.
Still class, so I'm told.
Sadly, wet Rock is slippery.
I like Salomon's or Inov8's. I'm not sure this is of any use to anyone. I'm just bellowing my personal biases into the void.
Inov-8 s now have graphene soles which have great reviews for stickiness on wet rock
Overall, things to think about are heel drop, toe box size, width, cushioning vs responsiveness and grip; all in the context of the type and length of running that you do. If you run over mixed terrain or for long distances, there will be compromises to consider. E.g. on marathon + distances I sacrifice responsiveness and grippiness in favour of cushioning
By far the best thing to do is to visit a knowledgable shop that offer advise and look at how you run in different shoes. Many shops also offer trial runs with certain brands
don't the terrex weigh a ton?
Most are fine, see what fits.
Walsh's, saucony peregrines (I love them but don't last well), inov8 (very variable build quality over the years).
Just try loads on and see.
No, there are loads of different ones in the terrex range. I have some super lightweight ones
La Sportiva Mutants are unbeatable on rock. great grip but are pretty rubbish on scree once the studs have worn down a bit.
I use VJ sport xtreme there fantastic
I use the Adidas Kanadias and they're bomb proof. Done nearly 300 miles in my current pair and (apart from being very muddy) are as good as the day I got them. No idea how they stack up weightwise to anything similar from the other manufacturers but I don't think I've ever seen a forum/social media post about them falling to bits after a handful of runs..
A friend here uses VJs and loves them, I might try them.
I might try them, I still have salmings which last well but I'm not a huge fan of them.
I had a couple of pairs of Salomon Speedcross before I decided to change because of their lack of grip on wet rock/cobbles. Someone recommended Hoka Speedgoat and I’ve now been through about 6 pairs. For me, they offer great grip on wet rock and protection for soles of my feet..
> La Sportiva Mutants are unbeatable on rock. great grip but are pretty rubbish on scree once the studs have worn down a bit.
To quote OP, ‘am bewildered’ by the choice of Sportiva trail shoes. How do you narrow down which model to go for? Wondering if I might try a pair, but not sure what to go for!
(apologies for thread hijack...)
IMHO, there isn’t really anything that’s going to make you have bomber grip to wet rock. That said, I’ve found there are some shoes that cope better than others & tend to favour Walsh on wet, rocky descents - I find the fairly rigid sole & uniform tread works as well can be expected in poor conditions. If it’s pretty muddy, I tend to prefer a shoe with a bit more spacing between the lugs & a more flexible sole (Inov8 XTalon range is a popular example of this), as they tend not to clog up as much.
Without meaning to lecture, different rock types offer different levels of grip in the wet - good luck finding anything that will get great purchase on wet limestone! It’s worth considering altering your gait in poor conditions - i.e. taking smaller strides & planning your foot placement & stance a few strides ahead - & consider how you use your body & centre of gravity to assist stability, balance & as a brake.
I favour x-talons if it's rocky and wet - the new (non-graphene) musclaws also are good but are fragile so only used for racing. Heard good things about the VJ i-rock but no experience of them.
I'd disagree with samuel_w regarding the ridged sole though. A more flexable sole means the shoe can deform around the rock and therefore have more contact and more grip (as a soft climbing shoe would i suppose). This theory was put to me by the current English and British fell running champ, so who am I to disagree.
I think you make a good point regarding sole flexibility, Steve. And I’m not about to say that Carl Bell is wrong - it clearly works for him! That said, Finlay Wild has won 10 Ben Nevis races in a row in Walsh PB Racers (the Ben is very loose & rocky, often slippy, for the second half up/fist half down). Different strokes for different folks etc. (An aside: I’ve seen a bit of a mini revival in Walsh wearing at races in the last couple of years.)
I’d say that a shoe that is close to the ground (so lacking the large midsole of Altra, Hoka etc) gives more stability, which both XTalons & PBs qualify as
I once read something about not only having a shoe with good grip for fell running, but also having a belief in that grip (along with good technique) - though I’m not suggesting that positive thinking is going to make anyone stick to wet limestone in a shoe with little tread!
I had had a pair of VJ IRocks briefly but bought a bit too small. Good grip but wasn’t convinced by the fit at the heel which seemed a bit broad (though my mis-sizing means that my comment is hardly that informative!)
Yep, quite agree on having low profile shoes. The down side is this probably caused my metatarsal injury that ruled me out for 2-3 months (but kick-started my climbing).
Also agree with the head game aspect - I hate running in the Langdales when wet as I had two shocking races where I spent more time on my ass or spinning around uncontrollably -and I was in my talons (admittedly an old pair).
Part of me thinks Walsh's are coming back out of a retro fashion thing (they're a good shoe - don't get me wrong!)- it'll be ron hill tracksters next...
Generally speaking fell shoes are better on wet rock than trail shoes, which can often be worse than worse than road shoes. I think it is the rubber compounds. I think studs, such as on Walsh or X-Talons are far superior to the Salomon soles found on Speedcross or Fellraiser etc. That said, I’ve fallen hard slipping on wet rock in X-Talons, so everything has its limits.
Perhaps there’s hope for a revival of tracksters, airtex vests & short split shorts yet...
The above aside, I’m not sure there is much that affords great grip along that traverse on the Langdale race. I’ve known a few folk take the higher line but always assumed it’d take a fair bit longer, without the hindsight of a recce.
As you allude to from your own experience Steve, low profile shoes can give your feet a bit of a battering. I tend to mix up my training between road of all gradients, track, flat grass & undulating/hilly off-road, with fell shoes saved for the latter. I’m not saying that this is the route to staying injury free but I do think that it’s beneficial to vary terrain & shoes
Agree with Nick B - if you want good grip on wet rock, your more likely to get it from a few shoe that a trail shoe. I’ve always thought fell shoes to be a lot more versatile than trail shoes, in that they do the job in good & bad conditions and give you more options hat sticking to dry hard-packed paths.
VJ irock, XTRM or LS Mutant (vibram rubber)-best on ridges of Scotland and Alps. graphene rubber doesn't stick, not even close to irocks or vibram rubber. Besides graphene are advertised as the toughest rubber NOT stickiest rubber! Vibram megagrip is used also by dynafit if your feet fits them.
If you can still find them on the Internet, Salomon Fellraisers.
Randomly picking stuff online is going to be a painful process with so much choice
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