Hokas ! I’m sold. Between a pair of Bondi B’s and Stinson B Evos I’ve never felt so good after long runs. Expensive? Sure. Kinda goofy looking? Sure. Quicker recoveries and comfort deep into long runs = worth it.
Brooks Cascadia 7’s and Inov-8 Roclite 285’s. I love them both. Cascadia’s can survive multiple trips to hell and back and still look and feel brand new. The Inov-8’s are awesome for technical, steep, wet terrain, or whatever else you want to through in front of them. They are also the best breathing shoe I have ever owned.
Merrel Trail Golves —switching to my first minimalist pair, I still feel adjustment pain in my calfs, but they feel great on trails. The grip is strong, I feel stable and agile and light.
After a run I throw them on the washing machine, that’s just awesome.
Currently mixing it up with Salomon S-Lab 3 XT Wings, Salomon Speedcross 2 and Brooks Cascadia 7’s. Weather, trail conditions and trail selection determines what I wear. Love the lacing system of the Salomon shoes, as it really locks down the foot and the lugs of the Speedcross give you such confidence with its traction when pinning it downhill around muddy switchbacks. I love the Cascadia 7’s also. Slightly lower profile around the heel than the Salomon’s, but I find they roll better than the stiffer S-Lab’s when needing to run on pavement to meet the trailhead. Cascadia’s are beasts on any terrain you run them on. Great lug pattern for ups and downs.
Altra Instinct on the road and Altra LonePeaks on trail. Love em both. Wide toe box is amazing. The Instincts have a nice little cushion too em but they’re still light, fast and smooth. The lonepeaks maintain being light and maneuverable even with a rock plate and they grip like Hell. Can’t say enough about em.
I’m running in the Altra Instincts and Lone Peaks as well. Just last weekend I completed my first 50 miler in the Lone Peaks, and had absolutely no problems with my feet. They are such comfy shoes, between the wide toe box and a very light and airy feel. Likewise, I can’t say enough good things about them.
I love the NB MT 110. 4mm drop, excellent traction and flexibility, sufficient protection on the very rocky trails I run, yet not so much that you become lazy and sloppy. The last is perfect–shaped like the human foot, but w/o toe separations, which are unnecessary as the toebox has sufficient volume for toe splay. I love the snug fit through the heel and arch as this makes it much easier slide your foot into tight nooks on rocky trails. A sole with more width would contribute to ankle rolls. So much greatness in this shoe, and it cost only me only about $63.
For longer trail runs I go with Montrail Rogue Racer. It has the extra cushioning and is quite light, but the heel cup is too lose and the toe is too narrow. Also, the drop is too much. That said, it is super-durable for longer efforts.
Roads: I alternate between the NB Minimus Road 00 and the Altra Instinct.
Seamus, where are you getting MT110 for that price? I’ve not seen any price drops on them at all. I could justify a second pair for that price. I run without socks and the shoes smell absolutely terrible. Running my first 50 in them this September. I was looking for something with a similar feel that had some more cushioning for the later miles, but everything I step into feels like a ski-boot to me at this point. Cascadia, Solomon, even the Peregrine.
I’m in Altra Instinct and Samson for the roads. I’m really interested in the Altra Superior but it’s not coming until October.
This is really helpful. I use the NB Minimus 00 on the road and really like them. I am new to trail running (3 months in – and loving it) and I am wearing the NB Minimus 0 Trail. I really like the feel but I do wish I had a bit more protection for longer (>15K is “longer” for me) and/or rocky-er trails, so I am considering the MT110’s. My question is: now that I am used to the 0 drop, am i giving something up by moving to the 4mm drop of the 110’s? Thanks
Inov8 rocklite 295. pretty light and really durable, the out sole will not give out the upper finally busted a small hole after about a year. the Sauconys are also really good I have a pair of pro grid 2.0, but i like the Inov8 better, the tread is awesome and i can run the muddiest, sloppy trail with no problem. The trails around here steep and can get technical so a good tread is a must.
Speedcross 3s, second pair of the year so far, the weather here in the UK this Summer has meant they’ve had a tough time. Also run once a week in my Trail Gloves but these are not great in the wet, oh for dry dusty trails. On the road I am wearing mostly Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12s, which are good and cushy.
Minimalist zero-drop shoes. For summer time, Luna sandals. All other shoes become a steam cooker for my feet. Merrell Trail Glove is my other favorite for cooler temperatures. In the Fall, Vivobarefoot Neo trail because being water repellent, they block cold wind. For winter sub-freezing temperatures, Merell’s Embark that are made with Goretex are very effective to block freezing winds in sub-zero temperatures.
Definitely Merrell Trail Gloves! The fit is outstanding. Has enough ground feel for correct proprioception but not slim enough to kill my feet on these ROCKY New England trails (seriously it’s like running on sharp rocks 90% of the time!)
Made the switch to Hoka Mafate a few months ago and can’t believe the difference after a long run. I think hideous is a good description for how they look but function over fashion right ? (plus nobody sees you in the trail anyway)
I use to wear Montrail Badrocks which worked pretty well (cushioning was nice) and I have tried a couple of different styles of Salomon trail shoes with no luck (I find the toe box too tight)
Vivobarefoot Neo! I love the wide toe box. Ran over 800 miles in Merrell trails last year but they were just too small in the toe box. I’m glad to see the Altra Lonepeaks reviewed here b/c I’ve been considering them for more rocky runs where I can keep my speed up. I’m considering the Bedrock Earthquake sandals for more freedom on the smoother trails.
I alternate runs between VivoBarefoot NEO Trails and a pair of Merrill MT110.
I get less proprioceptive feedback from the MT110’s than the NEO’s but I must say
I REALLY like the MT110’s. They’re fantastic shoes. Remove the 4mm heel to toe, and I’d call then perfect
for rough trails.
OOPS…I mean New Balance, not Merrill ….
I rotate Kinvara 3s, HOKA Stinson combo XT, NB 101, and Peregrine 2. Like them all for different reasons.
Currently Salomon XT S-LAB 5’s. I’ve grown to like the “racing red” colour 🙂
They seem to breathe well though I haven’t gotten them wet yet.
Traction is good, will see how the softer rubber holds up though.
Not such a fan of the Speedlaces, will probably use Locklaces in their place.
LOVE the hard toe-cap, saves my little piggies last weekend when I banged them on a proper boulder while climbing a “koppie”.
Has some feel in the frontfoot but not overly dull or soft.
Sucks on any mandmade surface.
Toe-box space is great, but I had to size up to get it right which is not ideal. Needs tight lacing now to stop roll and heel lift.
Midfoot a bit narrow for me, but I have very flat and wide feet.
I’m switching mine around with most of my trail running in the Brooks Cascadia 7, but also a good amount in NB trail minimus. I’m picking up a pair of the NB MT110s this weekend and would like to also try the Salomon Sense. The Cascadia just feels good on my feet so has been my main go to shoe. Not perfect, but certainly more than adequate. I like the trail minimus because it’s so light, drains and dries quickly and is just comfortable. That said if there are significant rocks I end my trail minimus runs with what feels like bruises on my feet.
I’m in a pair of NB AT 573s. I picked them up at the NB outlet. I got them because they were comfy, and had an aggressive sole. Of course in new to trail running, having started in the spring, and these are my first pair. But so far I still like them, and they haven’t let me down. When it comes time for a new pair, I’ll go back to the NB outlet and see what they’ve got.
I switch between Salomon s-lab xt wings 4 and New Balance MT10’s when I really want to feel the ground beneath my feet! Salomons are a great all rounder whereas the New Balance are really only good for spring/summer running conditions.
I’ve really enjoyed running in my Brooks Glycerines. The 9s were great, but the new 10s aren’t the best. When running on trails, they have this caterpillar traction, and the way it is designed has little holes where rocks get stuck in them. Sounds dumb, but when running long distance, especially on trails, it is not fun getting rocks stuck in. I do enjoy the 9s better than the 10s. I have recently purchased the Brooks Ghost. So far, I’m digging those.
Read a lot of comments on the Hoka styles. Those who use Hoka, what would you recommend for a mid-strike neutral gait runner?
I am wearing Salomon XR Crossmax. Great breathing, good grip and good traction.
I’m currently, purposely, training with both Altra and Hoka. I use Altra for shorter runs (all 3 versions) and Hoka for the long runs. A balance has been found!!!
I am currently wearing the Merrell Glove for work. If a chance for a lunch run happens I’m ready. Miles aren’t so strictly recorded on the Altra Eve or the Glove as the other shoes, as their isn’t any mid-sole to break down.
I can’t offer anything on mileage one is able to run on Hoka or Altra Lone Peak & Aspire, as after a summer without running the only shoe approaching the critical 300 mile mark is the Lone Peak.
I used to use the Adidas Kanadia tr4 but ditched them for the Merrell Trailgloves. They feel so much more natural and I feel like I’m gliding along the trails. Love them
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