When you love running it doesn’t really matter much where you do it, on the road or trail, as long as you’re running. But what are the differences between road and trail running? Is one better for your health than the other? What are the differences in equipment, especially shoes?
To begin, we should really try to define the two activities. We fully understand there’s a whole lot of grey area between trail and road running but for the sake of argument, we’ll call road running any kind of running that’s done on a paved surface while trail running takes place on uneven terrain (including a jog along a mellow path in the middle of a city).
Having said that, we also want to emphasize that these days, advances in equipment have come so far that runners can pretty much run anywhere with anything. Clearly, some running shoes are designed specifically for particular uses but the point we’re trying to make is that it’s more a question of comfort and what kind of experience you’ll have. So, if you find yourself in the middle of a city with the time to do a quick loop around downtown but all you have with you is a pair of trail shoes then dude, lace those puppies up and go!
Without a doubt, running shoes are where some of the biggest differences between road and trail are most apparent. Trail shoes have evolved from road shoes as a way to better adapt to the trail environment. For instance, while road shoes feature relatively flat outsoles for increased speed and traction on smooth surfaces, trail running shoes feature lugged outsoles to increase grip on loose, uneven, and slippery terrain.
In addition, road shoes usually have a wider, more comfortable toe box, while trail shoes generally fit closer to the foot to maximize precision and control when trying to move quickly over technical, uneven terrain. However, it’s also true that shoe brands have heard the demands of trail runners with wide feet and are supplying more models in a wide-width option. Again, it’s all about what works best for you so if you prefer a snug toe box in your road shoes or more wiggle room in your trail shoes, then that’s def what you should do.
Cushioning is an area that’s more difficult to pin down because of the recent developments in both trail and road technologies. Many trail runners prefer shoes with low stack height for their increased agility, enhanced feel for the terrain, and superior stability. However, there has been so much progress made in technology recently that your shoe’s cushioning now performs more like a suspension system that supports different loads without instability.
Trail shoes also generally feature more protection including toe protection, stiffer soles, and ripstop or reinforced uppers in many models. And while water drainage is important in trail shoes due to the likelihood of stream crossings and splashing through puddles, Gore-Tex and other waterproof technologies are often found in trail shoes as a means of protecting against the rain, snow, and cold. Waterproof technology is less frequently found in road shoes and its usefulness is, of course, heavily dependent on your location.
Our passion for outdoor sports, new technologies and craftsmanship has driven us – and still does – to create progressive gear to enable you to freely enjoy and challenge yourself in the great outdoors.– A PROPOS DE SALOMON