LOLZletter Edition 6 | Trail Shoes

Welcome back to the LOLZletter.

If you’re new, welcome!

I’ve gotten a few questions to write about trail shoes and the difference between trail and road shoes.

If you become more serious about trail running, you might need to invest in a pair of trail shoes. 

If you're running on flat, grassy, and non-technical trails like most in New Jersey/PA, then road shoes are fine. 

Trails like the back of Wissahickon, Appalachian trails, or out west will merit a trail shoe.  As the name suggests, trail shoes are best for rugged terrain.  The tread on a trail shoe is much deeper and will grip the ground much better.

Keep in mind, you can use a road shoe for trails but you can't use a trail shoe for the roads.  

So what is the difference? 

Tread: The soles of trail shoes are much more rugged. Trail shoes grip the ground better and keep you more stable on uneven terrain like dirt, mud, roots, or even a stream crossing. 
Foot protection: Often times, trail shoes have built-in gaiters to keep excess debris out of the shoe. Many trail shoes even have a Gore version to keep you dry.  

Here are a few great trail shoes out right now:

It's not an "end-all list," but they are shoes I've had personal experience with and think they are good shoes. Am I trail expert? Absolutely not. Do I know shoes? Yes. 

Altra Superior:

The brand Altra is a "zero drop brand."  The toe box is wide (but it is not the widest in the industry…In fact, people claiming Altra has the biggest toe box in the industry is a major pet peeve I have. It doesn’t, most shoes that come in a wide width are much wider).

An impressive feature with the Superior includes the removable stone guard and gaiter trap.  Both protect your feet from trail debris.

Brooks Cascadia: 

The Cascadia is my favorite hiking shoe. It's one of the most rigid and stiff shoes out there. For me, it's a bit heavy to run in but great for hiking (I also have the Goretex version, so my feet stay dry). It has a built-in mudguard, rock plate, and gaiter strap to keep you dry. It's the shoe I pull for the majority of my hikes.  Personally, I think the extra $10 for the waterproof Goretex is worth it. 

Hoka Torrent:

The Torrent is popular for many trail runners due to the cushion as well as the tread.  It's hard to find a shoe with that much cushion and tread and isn't bulky. 

The Hoka Torrent was created as a trail racer,  It's one of the "faster" trail shoes, and if you are looking for a racing shoe, it's a good option.

Hoka Speedgoat: 

The Speedgoat is a supportive shoe for anyone looking to get out there.  It's one of the best "beginner" trail shoes. 

Hoka partnered with Vibram for the outsole, so you'll be hard pressed to find another trail shoe with that much grip. If you're clumsy like me, this is probably a good shoe to start with. There are a variety of options for the Speedgoat from the standard trail shoe, to waterproof, and even a midlevel with ankle support. I have my eyes on the midlevel as my next trail shoe this Spring.

New Balance Hierro v3:

The New Balance Hierro is plush and is supposed to be "more versatile" trail shoe out there. It is usable on both roads and trail. Personally, I think you need either one or the other. 

While a shoe that can "do both" seems like a good idea, a road shoe can "do both."  It makes sense to have a shoe separate for the trails. That being said I appreciate the Hierro and it's a good trail shoe. It has a built-in gaiter to protect from dirt and debris.  It also uses a Vibram sole to provide traction for technical trail running. 

Saucony Peregrine: 

If you're a Saucony fan, the Peregrine is a durable, springy ride but in trail form. If you already a Saucony fan, the Peregrine uses the ISO fit so you'll right at home on the trails. The outsole has one of the most aggressive treads and can handle some of the toughest terrain. 

Saucony Switchback

The Switchback is a brand new Saucony shoe that uses the BOA System. The Boa System is a dial lacing system that helps to get the perfect fit. It's a much lower profile and more speed oriented shoe than the Saucony Peregrine.

Underarmour Horizon BPF:

This is the shoe I ran both of my 25k trail races last summer in (Copper Mountain, Colorado and Killington, VT). It’s been great and I appreciate how light and rigid it is. Plus it also has a Goretex layer to keep water out. That came in handy when Killington, VT was flooded in spots. I reviewed it here.

If you're local, RunningCo. of Haddonfield carries the Altra Lone Peak, Hoka Speedgoat, New Balance Hierro, Saucony Peregrine, Saucony Switchback.

If you have a favorite trail shoe I haven't listed, let me know! 


Things I Appreciate:

Truthfully, I’ve been so busy with life outside of running, that’s been enough entertainment for the week.

Mom shares why she is never deleting a photo of herself:

I’m not a mom but this article about Dorothy Beal (IE: Mile Posts), is relatable. I’ve stopped caring about the “perfect photo” for Instagram. I have better things to do than waste time for a perfect staged photo. Plus, my life (and no one’s) is perfect. I appreciate Dorothy’s honesty. Every single person has “bad” photos. Who cares? I appreciated how much struggling my photos from Shamrock Half Marathon were.

Janji just released their “Steadfast” collection.

For that are not familier, 5% percent of all Janji proceeds go directly toward funding clean water projects worldwide. This means by purchasing Janji; you're helping fight the global water crisis.  The new Janji Steadfast collection features patterns as well as neutral tones. I appreciate the simple colors and designs as well as purchasing things that help others.


Thank you to everyone who has shared. Sharing and helping the newsletter grow is what keeps it free. Whether it’s facebook, twitter, instagram, wherever, I appreciate it.

As always if you have a comment, concern, question, or LOLZletter idea, send me an email. Or if you're a brand wanting to sponsor the LOLZletter send me an email.

You can email me at FueledbyLOLZ@gmail.com. All feedback is helpful, good or bad. 

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