Recoil Magazine | Tips for Buying Trail Running Shoes


Last year, my buddy — a features editor at Recoil Magazine — asked me for a trail shoe buyers guide.

These are the best stories to write, because I literally get paid to go running. And the fact that Jared got to test four or five pairs of shoes was an extra bonus.

The shoe roundups are great because they make me look past my typical favorites (I’ll unapologetically love you forever, Altra) and put my feet in shoes I might not ordinarily try.

Also good? The more variety you have in your shoes, the better off you’ll be in the long run — and on the long run. It’s great to mix up your footwear, which will vary your footstrike, form and position, helping to prevent overuse injuries.

And, when it comes to 200s, having a couple shoe options means you can swap your footwear midrace, which will feel amazing. Trust us.

Most times these wear tests confirm what I already know about a brand (Solomon, why always so narrow? Why?) but sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised by what we try.

Jared was a good sport and tried two brands he wouldn’t ever have considered on his own: North Face and Pearl Izumi.

And — spoiler alert — he loved them.

He wore both shoes during August’s Bigfoot 200.

What we’re loving right now are some options from Topo Athletic, a fairly new member of the trail shoe club. Between us we’ve got three pairs of Topos in the mix. We’ll have reviews on them in the new few weeks.

But for now, read the whole roundup over on Recoil. I talk fit, form, function and then outline a dozen or so options for dirt lovers. These are last year’s models, so most will have updates out now.


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