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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for trail runner shoe recommendations.

    I am looking for a nice pair of trail runner shoes. I'm tired of my boots. Size 13 usually. Ready go.

  2. #2
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    Pretty open ended question. Are you wanting them for backpacking or actual trail running? Do you need/like support or do you like the "barefoot" feel?
    I've had great luck with Merrell and they have a pretty full line depending on your needs.


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  3. #3
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    Backpacking. Yes I like the barefoot feel. I was actually leaning towards the Merrells .

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  4. #4
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    The trail glove is a very nice shoe. For my road shoes I've been wearing New Balance Minimus, but I'm just starting trail running and I'm pretty set on the Trail Glove as my next pair.
    I have a couple of more standard Merrell, and I must say these things take a beating and still look new except for the worn soles.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drum Man View Post
    Backpacking. Yes I like the barefoot feel. I was actually leaning towards the Merrells .

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    If you REALLY like barefoot style, I have used Five Fingers KSO for trails, but not for backpacking. I tend to be a heavy hauler, so I need a little more support than my running shoes offer.


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  6. #6
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    You don't need Five Fingers to get the "barefoot" feel, really, though my wife has backpacked in hers. Any zero drop or minimal drop shoe (2mm or 4mm drop from heel to toe) that is very flexible when you twist it will feel that way. Inov8 makes a bunch of shoes like this, and you can find many other brands in a place like REI or a running store that has off road running shoes.

    That said, after wearing really light and flexible Inov8's on the Long Trail, I came home and got La Sportiva Wildcats, which are still fairly low drop but have a lot more torsional rigidity and a good rock plate. Still way lighter than boots or hiking shoes, but a little more protection and support.

    EDIT: If you're coming from boots, I'd recommend not going straight to minimalist super flexible trail runners. Try something light, low cut, mesh, etc., but with more support.
    Ken B
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I like the wildcats. Need to investigate further.

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  8. #8

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    I have wildcats and like them allot, but for heavier loads, I use Salomon xa pro 3ds. The Solomons are more like a light hiking shoe.

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  9. #9

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    I liked Merrell all out peaks for my thru.
    They are not as durable as I would have like but I really liked them performance wise.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    You don't need Five Fingers to get the "barefoot" feel, really, though my wife has backpacked in hers. Any zero drop or minimal drop shoe (2mm or 4mm drop from heel to toe) that is very flexible when you twist it will feel that way. Inov8 makes a bunch of shoes like this, and you can find many other brands in a place like REI or a running store that has off road running shoes.

    That said, after wearing really light and flexible Inov8's on the Long Trail, I came home and got La Sportiva Wildcats, which are still fairly low drop but have a lot more torsional rigidity and a good rock plate. Still way lighter than boots or hiking shoes, but a little more protection and support.

    EDIT: If you're coming from boots, I'd recommend not going straight to minimalist super flexible trail runners. Try something light, low cut, mesh, etc., but with more support.
    I've wondered about the Inov8's, but hasn't heard of anyone who had used them.

    The Wildcats sound like a great option.

  11. #11
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    Brooks Cascadia 10, 11, or the new 12s

  12. #12
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    I started with cascadias went to wildcats and now love the Saucony peregrine.

    Every foot is different of course

  13. #13
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    I got some Altra Lone Peak 3.0's for Christmas. Have been wearing them all winter and liking them a lot. Haven't had a chance to hike in them yet, but they are a very popular zero drop trail runner.

  14. #14
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    I hiked the Wonderland Trail in Altra Superior 2s. They worked well for me. I bought them because they fit very well. Choose yours for the same reason.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  15. #15
    In the shadows AfterParty's Avatar
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    I'm wearing some adidas outdoors swift-r and I am very happy with them.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    Brooks Cascadia 10, 11, or the new 12s
    If you're going to look at those, might as well give the Brooks Caldera a look too. Wider up front, ~4mm drop, same rock shield. I've been playing with a pair for a bit now and like them so far.

    u.w.

  17. #17
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX Aggie View Post
    I've wondered about the Inov8's, but hasn't heard of anyone who had used them.

    The Wildcats sound like a great option.
    I am in my second pair of La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. Even after trying on several sizes at REI and going up to a European 43, I lost a toenail on a 3 mile downhill section of trail in Colorado. I returned the size 43 to REI for a pair of 43.5. The box is labeled 10 1/2. I wear 8 1/2 dress shoes and 9-9 1/2 trail shoes from Merrell & New Balance. Go figure. Try on La Sportive shoes in person. Buy bigger than you think you need.
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  18. #18

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    First you must define what attributes you want in a shoe.
    That do help narrow things down

    Although if you been wearing boots, you probably be happy with anything

    Things to consider:

    Tread depth and compound
    Breatheability of mesh or waterproofness
    Protective rand
    Midsole thickness
    Heel-toe drop
    Rock plate
    Lacing
    Flatness of sole
    Curve of sole
    Use of orthotic or aftermarket insole with shoe
    Snugness of heel
    Height of upper
    Height of toebox
    Roominess of toes
    Width of shoe to stabilize midfoot
    Overall fit/feel/pressure points
    Weight

    My advice...try on many..and spend 30 min or more with each. You will begin to tune into your feet. Do this at home, that means mail ordering. Multiple sizes of each. Try lacing different ways to correct issues, etc. You just cant do this in a store, and stores have crap selections and limited sizes too. All of them.

    It can take 6 mo or more to find shoes, seriously. Too many make their most important item an afterthought. If you want to walk 30 mpd, without blisters or probems, not 10, invest time in your footwear.

    You dont realize how poorly designed most running shoes are until you really tune. into your feet. They affect your knees, ankles, hips, even back as well. This is important when walking all day every day.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-07-2017 at 06:01.

  19. #19
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    You all are awesome! Thank you for getting some ideas going for me. I will be visiting a bunch of stores soon.

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  20. #20
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    I will also be mail ordering some too

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