pointless and random trail-running-vs-backpacking-shoe question
- This topic is empty.
Sep 19, 2015 at 9:45 am #1332713
I finally found shoes i really, really like to hike in! Altra Lone Peak 2.0 (of course, now they are discontinued but hopefully the 2.5 won't be too terribly different). I finally am running again, slowly ramping up my pace and my distance. This makes me very happy!!! I'm still pretty slow, but I'm not really worried about that – speed with come, and once I build my endurance and strength a bit more I'll bring some speed work into my training. There may not be many backpacking opportunities here in Austin, but we love trail running! So I'm very excited to spend most of my running time on trails. I'm 45 years old – my goal is to run a 100 mile trail run for my 50th b-day. I WANT to be able to fastpack and do something like the JMT in 6-7 days, that type of thing. That's the background…here is my question: When I run on the trails here, I really do NOT like running in the Lone Peaks – they feel weird. I've reverted to my New Balance Leadvilles which I also liked for hiking, but only short distances (makes sense, since my training runs are NOT >100 miles!). Do those of you who do a lot of trail running actually run in the shoes you hike in, or do you use different ones? The zero drop is just really uncomfortable to run in on the trails here (very rocky, very hard packed dry soil, etc) – yet to HIKE in they feel fantastic even on these same trails. Somehow I feel like I should be training (trail running) in the same type of shoes I hike in (i.e. zero drop), but a) who cares, and b) well, who cares?Sep 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm #2227724Michael GillenwaterBPL Member
@mwgillenwaterLocale: Seattle area
I definitely find it preferable to hike and trail run in different shoes. Just thinking about the biomechanics of the two different activities, this approach makes sense (although trail running typically involves a lot of speed hiking on uphills). You will likely want a shoe that grabs your foot better for running so it does not slosh around. But, as you already figured out, a wide toe box is wise for both. But hiking for days in a shoe so snug is probably not so comfortable. I'm a little on the minimalist end, hiking in vivo trail freaks and running in inov8 trailroc 150s. It takes some time, though, to strengthen your feet, calves, and Achilles to this. Starting with zero drop is a good beginning.Sep 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm #2227737Allen CBPL Member
"Do those of you who do a lot of trail running actually run in the shoes you hike in, or do you use different ones? The zero drop is just really uncomfortable to run in on the trails here (very rocky, very hard packed dry soil, etc) – yet to HIKE in they feel fantastic even on these same trails." Jennifer, I wonder if the problem you have with running in the Lone Peak has more to do with the fairly low cushion/stack height and lack of rock protection than the zero drop. The Leadville has a lot more cushion and therefore more impact/rock protection so it is not surprising that it is working better for running on the type of trails you describe. I have been doing a lot of both hiking and running (much of it on hard and rocky trails) over the last few years, and I've tried a number of different shoes for both purposes. In general, my long runs involve significant chunks of hiking, and my long hikes involve some running. So I need shoes that can handle both. I've tried the Lone Peak, Cascadia 9, Olympus, and Ultra Raptors. All are good shoes but I have settled on the Olympus as the best for both long runs (>20 miles) and long hikes (>30 miles per day). The extra cushioning of the Olympus really makes a difference on long days especially when the ground is hard and/or rocky, and on my feet they fit much better than the Lone Peaks, which are too loose on me to hug my foot well. The Cascadia have great rock protection and fit well but they are quite a bit narrower and not as cushioned so not as great for LONG days. Still, I'm on my 3rd pair and use them for shorter runs and hikes all the time. The ultra Raptors have good support and rock protection, and amazing traction, but they are too stiff for long runs and they give me blisters on the heel on long hikes, so I'm now restricting them to shorter days and scrambling missions etc. I just got a pair of Leadvilles but haven't taken them out yet – I am hoping they will replace the discontinued Cascadia 9's in my quiver and be useful for both running and hiking. I know a lot of long distance hikers love the Lone Peak, but I tried them for long runs and they didn't work for me. The Olympus is awesome except for the poor traction, which is really not a big deal unless it is wet, and will be fixed with a new vibram sole with better tread in the next version. I did 50-100 mile sections of the JMT this year in Ultra Raptors, Cascadias, and Olympus. All of them worked, but in the end the Olympus were the best choice for me and they were what I used on my most recent FKT attempt. I used Cascadia 9's on my previous attempt, they worked well but the extra cushion and space in the Olympus made a big difference by the 3rd day. I know that Andrew Bentz also used the Altra Olympus on his JMT FKT, and said they worked great, although he prefers the Lone Peak for his long thru hikes. I hope that is helpful…finding the right shoes takes a lot of trail and error. (AKA trial and error). The good thing is when you are out trying out different shoes, you are on the trails hiking and running!Sep 19, 2015 at 5:37 pm #2227750Art …BPL Member
I've run in Cascadias about 4 years now. Cascadias were designed as a 100 mile running shoe. I'm a slow plodding 100 mile runner and they work close to perfectly for me. I have used them for fastpacking also but prefer them near the end of their life when doing this. 300-400 miles is the sweet spot when I'm fastpacking. they are softer and the drop has diminished a bit. the 1210 Leadvilles are New Balance's copycat of the Cascadias, but in some ways they are better. they are lighter, and I think the cushion is slightly better. only reason I don't use them is the heal is too wide for me. shoes are very personal and there tons of models out there. unless you are an elite runner, zero drop is probably not preferred for long distance running. zero drop is designed to put you on your midfoot to forefoot. as time and miles pass, this grows increasingly difficult when running. some drop is probably preferred for long distance running. p.s. I think you can do a 100 miler within 2 years if you truly want to. you can run a 100 miler in 30 hours at a 3.33 mph avge pace. I don't know of any 100's that have a final cut off below 30 hours. even assuming early stage stiff intermediate cut offs you really never have to do faster than 4 mph (15 minute miles). if 100 miles is your main goal, I'd suggest focusing more on ramping up your mileage, and worry less about increasing your pace.Sep 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm #2227755Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Hi Jen Well, for a start, I will not wear anything less than 4E in width. I have learnt my lessons there. We (Sue and I) run in Leadvilles, very happily. I can walk in them too, although I usually walk in something else – but that is only because I am saving the Leadvilles for running. I guess that as long as the shoes are wide enough, and low cut, I'm fine. CheersSep 20, 2015 at 8:34 am #2227819
OK – i don't feel bad now about not liking trail running in my hiking shoes, even on the same terrain. I'm a strong mid-foot striker during running, and I've been trying to pay attention on the trails to see if that's any different – I do seem to have a bit more difficulty with consistent foot strike on these rocky hard-packed trails. With hiking (especially since i'm not terribly fast – ok, make that painfully slow) I'm more deliberate about my foot placement so that might be why the zero drops feel good with that, but not so good when I'm not paying as much attention to foot placement. I forgot who said it but I also agree that perhaps the additional cushion of the Leadvilles is helping – that it's not the zero drop per se but rather the sharp rocks/lack of cushion that's bothering me. Anyway – as I said, this is totally pointless because, well, who cares if I wear different shoes? – but I wondered if it would interfere with training for a longer race since a 100-miler is most definitely a combination of hiking and running…… Art – thanks for the encouragement! Yes, distance is most definitely my focus, not speed. But you have to appreciate just how slow I became after my hip surgery in 2011….so pace does play a bit of a role. I just want to train all-around anyway!Sep 20, 2015 at 9:30 am #2227828Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
I have a review of the Lone Peak 2.5 on the Altra website. It's by awsorensen toward the bottom. There is more cushioning in the 2.5 which is good. You can read about the rest.Sep 20, 2015 at 10:07 am #2227831Hiking MaltoBPL Member
as Allen stated, my trail running and fast packing don't look all that much different. Just a different ratio of walking to running. I use the same shoes for both, Cascadias, Wildcats etc.Sep 21, 2015 at 8:20 pm #2228061Bruce LaBelleBPL Member
@blabelleLocale: Auburn, CA or on an adventure
Jen, 100 at 50 is a great goal! What I've done over the years for ultras, fastpacking, and hiking are to match the shoes to the conditions and my fitness level. For most people there's no one model that works for everything. What works on the sharp rocks and rollers in Zilker Park is not what I use for WS100 or for fastpacking over high-mountain passes. A shoe will certainly feel different if you are a mid/forefoot runner but roll off your heel when walking. If I was to give three words of advice for what to focus on when training for a 100, it would be "train for efficiency" – how to cover the most ground with the least time and effort. You mentioned you're a slow walker. As you strength improves, improving your walking speed makes a great excuse for hiking adventures. You mention speedwork. I always like it when ultrarunners try to improve their cruise pace (efficiency!). An alternative to track work is "cruise intervals" where in the middle of a moderate length trail or road run do something like 20 minutes or so of 30 second gentle pickups then backing off to the original pace for 30 seconds. It's neuromuscular training as much as anything. Good luck! BruceSep 22, 2015 at 4:22 pm #2228210
Bruce that's great advice! As I mentioned, ever since my hip surgery in 2011 I literally walk and run like I'm in slow motion…it's kind of funny, actually. I know it's because I never rehabbed into agility/plyometric stuff, so the idea of some 30 sec pick ups are a great idea. And I like the idea of working on efficiency and not thinking of it as "speedwork," which has a much different connotation. Thanks again!!Sep 22, 2015 at 8:17 pm #2228254Mike MBPL Member
I ordered a pair of Olympus's that were last years model, for $50 I figured it was worth a shot. They do have a very roomy toe box (as do all Altras), the additional cushioning is nice when racking up the miles and they are pretty light for as much stack height as they have. What I'm not overly thrilled with is the outsole, it could definitely be more aggressive for mountain running. My newest shoe in my stable (I own a lot of shoes!) is the LaSportiva Mutant. I was looking for something more aggressive and with more stick, someone here mentioned looking at the Mutant. I previously owned two different pairs of LaSportivas- the Helios and the Ultra Raptors, both nice shoes, but neither had the room in the toe box I needed- the Mutants have more room. Not as roomy as the Olumpus's, but still pretty roomy. The cushioning is decent and the outsole is excellent. I agree that shoes are a very personal thing. It might take you a few pairs to find the right ones. I also concur with a couple years of solid training, a 100 mile race is an achievable goal and wish you the best with that :)
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Our Community Posts are Moderated
Backpacking Light community posts are moderated and here to foster helpful and positive discussions about lightweight backpacking. Please be mindful of our values and boundaries and review our Community Guidelines prior to posting.