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Jun 13, 2012

Road shoes versus Trail shoes

5 miles on the schedule....done.  Today was enjoyable.  Much cooler and no humidity.  This week has been crazy for weather.  First hot and humid, then cool and calm.  Sunday is looking pretty hot.  The organizers of the Ann Arbor marathon is already starting to warn us about heat, safety, and their right to cancel to keep people safe.  Ummmm.......maybe June 17 was not a very good date for a marathon, you think?  Let's hope for no cancellation.  91 degrees on Sunday but it should be starting in the low's 60's - no worse than when I did Flying Pig.


Yesterday I received a new pair of trail shoes from Vasque to test out.  They are the Vasque Mindbender.  Thanks to Darby Communications and Vasque for giving me this opportunity.  A great looking pair of shoes that I cannot wait to test and review for all of you.  I hope to have a complete review out to you in the next 45-60 days.  In the meantime, check out Vasque!  Here's a sneak peak of what I will be reviewing:
Vasque Mindbender
As most of you know, I'm getting into trail running.  Not only is it great fun running with nature -- it's challenging(hilly), great exercise and you can really lose yourself out on the trails.  It's completely different than your typical road running and the more I do it, the more I think I was made for this(right after I catch my breath) Haha!

The topic of today's post title is a conversation about road shoes versus trail shoes.  I'm not here to debate that one type is better than the other.  Nor am I here to discuss brands at this time.  What I would like to know is why there is such a huge difference in the two types of shoes when you first start wearing them.  Don't get me wrong, I've now owned dozens of running shoes, both trail and road, and I do enjoy the shoes I run in for both conditions.  My issue is that it always seems to me that it takes me AT LEAST 50 miles for my road shoes to really feel like they are comfortable.

I would say that this is a huge difference when comparing trail running shoes.  I have five pairs of trail running shoes and all of them are comfortable right out of the box.  Well, sort off, one pair are barefoot trail shoes which are comfortable but I only use for short distance(under 3 miles).  This isn't to say that all trail shoes are the same - their not.  What I am saying is that they have a comfort level that is much higher right away compared to my road shoes.  I can run longer in them initially without any issues.

To me -- it's disappointing.  Maybe it's just me but I have yet to find a pair of road shoes right out of the box that come close to the comfort of trail shoes.  Heck, I'm even tempted to just move to trail shoes all together and stop buying road shoes but I know that's not the solution.

So what's your thoughts?  Do you run trails and also run roads?  Do you have shoes specific to each?  Do you agree or disagree with me?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. I'd have to say it depends on the shoes - my Brooks PureFlows were comfy out of the box, while the Cascadia 5s were and still are stiff 2 years later. I'm running in the Vasque Velocity 2.0s and I am really surprised at how comfortable they are. Looking forward to your review.

  2. I just got into trail running as well and I love it. It is so much fun just running around in an area where it is only you and nature. It is much more difficult, but when I need a challenge I head straight for the trails. I haven't bought any trail shoes yet because I have heard they are heavy. Do you know of any light trail shoes?

    1. Ben - yes, I agree with Unexpected runner below. There are many to choose from. Go to your local running store and you will see all kinds. I have never worried too much about weight for any shoes. I'm not an elite and being on the trails is all about the experience for me. Even my half marathon in August on the trail, I'm doing it just for the experience.

  3. Jeff, as you know I've been doing a ton of trail running lately and run in the Brooks Pure Grits....which indeed were comfy for 4 hours on the train first time out! I run on the road in Brooks Pure Flows and they were good out off the box too. The Pure Flows were the 'it' shoe for me so it follows that the Grits would be my 'it' trail shoe since they are built a lot alike. Thi is great for me since I don't have to adapt to a markedly different feel when switching back and forth between road and trail.

    If a shoe is not comfy within a couple runs I send it back. I gave my Kinvaras about 40 miles before deciding I hated them. I don't think it should take that long to feel good in a shoe. You can do a lot of damage to your feet in 40 or 50 miles.

    Ben, there are a ton of light trail shoes. Best thing is to go try a bunch on. Some even are super minimalist, vibram sole, kind of shoes I that's what you like. Like I said, I run in Pure Grits and they are probably slightly heavier than the Pure Flows but I don't notice it!