Once you’ve discovered trail running for yourself, you won’t let go of it that quickly. With the right trail running shoes, running off-road is even more fun. By the way, offers one the right shoe the required comfort and safety for trail running.
MERRELL Moab Flight Damen Trailrunningschuh (Marine)
106,90 € *
MERRELL Agility Peak 4 Herren Trailrunningschuh (Tahoe)
131,90 € *
MERRELL MTL Long Sky Men’s Trail Running Shoes (Exuberance)
88,90 € *
When looking for the right trail running shoes, the same factors play a fundamental role as they do with models for the road. It is important that the size fits, that means that there should be at least one centimeter or “thumb’s width” space in the shoe. So you get enough freedom in the shoe.
This is a decisive factor, especially on downhills, because running downhill means you slide a little more forward in trail running shoes. If there is enough space, there is no additional pressure on the toes.
Properties of trail running shoes
But in what details do trail running shoes actually differ from running shoes for the road? That can be summed up very well in three things:
- A trail running shoe should get you safely through the terrain, so the A lot more grip on the outsole. Depending on the area of application, there are variants for a more solid or deeper subsurface.
- For sufficient protection on the trails, trail running shoes have appropriate elements on the upper. That counts among them Toe protection, reinforcements around the foot or a skirt plate.
- The increased stability in the entire trail running shoe makes it a lot safer to run in the terrain. This is not due to individual elements, rather trail shoes offer through their entire structure more stability when running on uneven terrain.
The right area of application is important when choosing trail running shoes
Another aspect is the selection based on the area of application and the distance. Here you should carefully consider where the route should lead. Appropriately optimized shoes are required in different terrains.
For example, there are suitable models for solid or deep subsoil. What special features should the trail running shoes have?
- Alpine: rocky and rough – The trail shoe must have a high level of stability here. The models achieve this with a more rigid midsole, a stable heel cap and extra protection in the toe area.
- Muddy: soft and deep – With this surface, the profile is particularly important. Aggressive studs give you a secure hold even on very soft ground.
Three Merrell trail running shoes in comparison
The above points make it clear what requirements the right trail running shoe should meet. As an example, I then described three models from trail running specialist Merrell in more detail to help you make the right choice.
Merrell Moab Flight – From your front door up to 25 miles
The Merrell Moab Flight is an ideal entry-level variant for trail running. He owns adequate protection and good cushioning and is therefore an optimal choice for all conditions. The Vibram outsole reliably grips any surface and allows you to comfortably master even small passages over asphalt.
Merrell Agility Peak 4 – fast runs and competitions
The Merrell Agility Peak 4 is a fast trail running shoe. Compared to the Moab Flight, it is a lot more flexible in the midsole, which ensures a more direct running feeling. Despite everything you have to do not accept compromises in terms of protection and comfort. The use of a rockplate provides additional protection for stones that push through. This makes it ideal for speed runs or competitions on the trails.
Merrell MTL Long Sky – trail running up to all distances
The top model from this trio by Merrell is clearly the MTL Long Sky. Developed together with the top athletes, it is an interesting choice for very long runs and competitions. A highlight is the split Merrell outsole, which means that the runner always receives the best possible feedback from the ground. The tear-resistant upper material in the upper gives you enough security even on demanding surfaces.
Conclusion – what do I have to consider when buying?
Finding the right trail running shoes is not that difficult. Based on the features and requirements described, the large selection of running shoes can be narrowed down very well. However, one aspect remains the most important when choosing: that you feel comfortable in the running shoe from the first step.
Credits: Jan Lau
Photos: Carsten Beier
* The actual price may differ from the one stated here. It depends on current offers and the model.