Trail running is more of a natural way to run, softer surfaces, consisting of the ground, soil, mud and grass. All of which allows for less pounding on your joints and on your body. Trail running however has more obstacles and will allow for a slower more concentrated run. You’re constantly faced with either a root or a rock that is in the way, or even a branch up ahead that you have to look out for. As a Trail runner it is also very important to have good balance and a very strong core to support your legs as they jump and move in sudden different directions. The uneven surface and varied terrain challenge the muscles of the lower body more than a flat, firm run. The natural obstacles can give you a more effective overall workout and help improve your sense of balance and reaction time.
Running on trails changes up your gait. This will get road runners on their fore feet, running forward on their toes, shortening their stride as they make their way through technical sections. Most road runners spend their entire career perfecting their stride and gait as to minimize the uneven movement that side to side trail running encourages. Trail running can help road runner with activation and condition of muscle groups in their legs and core that provide additional stabilization reducing the pressure put on muscles mainly used for forward moving movement. By not conditioning the other muscle groups road runners run the risk of over working their main muscle groups and this can lead to injuries and poor running performance in the long run.
New Balance is very proud of its Fresh Foam midsoles, and with good reason. It provides plush cushioning while still feeling fairly responsive. Subsequently, the Heirro v5 is a joy to run in: supremely comfortable but not mushy, it feels like the kind of shoe in which you could spend a lovely, blister-free day on the trails.
The Altra Lone Peak 4.0 is the latest model of Altra’s flagship trail shoe. As with all Altra shoes, the LP4 features a foot-shaped toe box which allows your toes to splay with each stride, which helps improve your stability while running.
The LP4 is also built on a zero-drop platform, which is also standard in all Altra models.
The reinforced toe cap is sturdy and kept my toes from bearing the full force of a collision with a gnarly root a few times out on the trail. The built-in stone guard also does a good job of protecting the sole of your foot from any debris on the trail.
New for this edition is the addition of the GuideRails support system which helps to protect your knees by preventing excess movement. The Adrenaline GTS 20 will keep you running for as long as you want and you can run safe in the knowledge that you’re getting the best protection and cushioning possible.
The On Cloud Venture is a well cushioned, responsive and fast trail shoe. For those tackling long trail runs, this shoe allows you to run all day comfortably.
The CloudTec sole with its 11 cloud (ringlets/pods) provides great cushioning with diamond shaped legs between the clouds providing firm traction on all sorts of terrain.
The double-layered upper fits comfortably, is breathable and water resistant with the tongue secured on one side ensuing it stays in place. The reflective features are very good for running at night.
The Speedgoat 4 is very soft in the heel and forefoot of both the men’s and women’s models. For long stretches on the rugged trail, this feature is forgiving on the legs and feet, but not necessarily advantageous when you have the need for speed.
The marshmallow plushness, maximalist profile feels like a sofa cushions on your feet. The rebound is there but might be too bouncy for a quick 10k. As with any piece of gear, however, there’s a time and place for it; short to medium distances may not be the Speedgoat’s calling, but it’s the GOAT when it comes to ultras.
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