Trail Running Essentials to Keep You Safe and Comfortable

If you are a runner and you love camping, hiking, or simply spending time in nature, you may be thinking about combining these two passions and taking up trail running. Trail running is simply that – running in nature. Unlike running on the road, when you are trail running you will go through woods, on heels and mountains, which means that the terrain will change constantly – you may run on rocks, mud, grass, snow, etc. Because of this, for trail running, you will need to get a different type of equipment.

Trail Running
Source: gearinstitute.com

Trail Running Shoes

Every trail runner needs to have good shoes suitable for the activity for the best results. Trail shoes are specifically designed to withstand the different terrains you may encounter. And above all, they have to be comfortable, provide you with good traction, and be resistant. Your trail running shoes need to be able to protect you from rocks and other things on the ground, such as tree roots, puddles, mud, etc.  They should also allow you to move freely whether you are running on a flat surface or you are going uphill or downhill. Plus, they should provide you with adequate stability.

If you are ready to start trail running you need to buy trail running shoes that will fit you perfectly but will also be able to respond to all of the requirements of the activity and perform well under any conditions. However, choosing the right pair may not be so straightforward, considering there are many options on the market. 

Your trail running shoes should allow for some space around the forefoot, but they should be snug at the midfoot and the heel. However, while the fit is important, there are many other things you need to consider. Trail shoes defer not only in quality and price but also in a lot of traits that will determine whether or not they will be comfortable while you are out there in nature. Some of the things you need to take into account when choosing this type of shoe include flexibility, heel-toe drop, materials, weight, wide or narrow, neutral or stable, and so on.

trail_runners_
Source: runnerslab.com

When you are buying shoes for trail running there are some general guidelines you can follow. For one, you should always go for shoes that don’t weigh too much. While price often tells a lot about the quality of the materials and the production, it’s much more important to find trail runners shoes that will meet your preferences and needs. You also need to check if the tongue of the shoes is suitable for trail running.

However, some things will defer from runner to runner. For one, you must consider the terrain where you will be running. Essentially, if you are running on rocks or hard soil, you need a shoe with an outsole that features smaller lugs, whereas if you are running on mud or soft soil, bigger lugs are better. The drop also depends on your running form. Essentially lower drop is better for runners who land on the front of the foot, or the middle, whereas a higher drop is better suited for runners who land on their heel. They are also better for you if you have an issue with your Achilles tendon, or you are used to wearing higher heels.

Running Headlamp

Flashlights are incredibly useful, and when it comes to spending time in nature, they are an essential part of the protective gear. They come in a wide range of options, with different light output, throw, flood, battery type, and so on. As the name suggests, headlamps are flashlights that you can secure on your head, so that you can throw light in front of you without using your hands. This is very useful for many types of professions, but it’s also very useful for outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, or running.

Running Headlamp
Source: irunfar.com

Runners who like running at night use headlamps, because it can be very helpful to have some light in front of you in the dark. However, when it comes to trail running, more than a convenience, they are a necessity because in nature you may not always know what’s ahead of you, and even if you think you do, things may change due to weather conditions, or other circumstances. And this is why you should buy a running headlamp and include it in your trail running equipment. 

Like all types of flashlights, headlamps come in many forms, which can make them a little bit hard to choose. Aside from how much light you think you may need, and how far ahead you want to be able to see, there are many other things that you need to consider. Different head torches come with different levels of impact resistance, as well as different levels of water resistance. Even the best products that can stay securely put on your head while you are trail running, can fall, so impact resistance is very important. 

Moreover, you should always choose LED torches, because they are superior in many ways. The next very important thing to take into account is comfort. Running headlamps should be lightweight, but also, they should offer good weight distribution to be comfortable. They should provide good cushioning, and the straps should be adjustable so that they can stay securely on your head while you go up and down the heels. 

Trail Running Clothes

Your comfort during running is also influenced by the clothes you are wearing. Running clothes shouldn’t be restrictive, to allow you a wide range of motion.

Trail Running Clothes
Source: top4running.com

This is not only important for comfort but also safety. Moreover, the materials your clothes and your socks are made of should be breathable and moisture-wicking, like synthetics or merino wool.

You should also make sure that you are wearing clothes that are appropriate for the temperature. For instance, when you are going for longer runs and when you may end up running at night, as well as when you are running in colder months, you should dress in layers.