We’ve all been there. A hike or run we’ve been planning for months is finally here, but in the first hour or two a blister appears. Before you know it, your trip is ruined as your feet scream out in agony. That is why a critical part of every adventure is getting properly fitting footwear, because if your feet aren’t happy, you aren’t happy. Read below for tips on getting trail running shoes that fit great.
1 - Know your feet! - Everyone’s feet are different. Some people have wide feet, some people have narrow feet, some people have narrow arches. All different types of feet need a different shoe shape. Some brands and models will work really well for your feet, some won’t. So instead of getting the shoes you saw on that epic trail running video, go to a shop and try on as many as you can to see what fits your feet best.
2 - So many brands, so little time - Different brands tend to fit a little differently. For example, Altra is renowned for their “foot shape” shoes. These are great for people looking for a wider fit or more space. A brand like La Sportiva has narrower shoes, which are great for technical terrain and more control. Try to experiment with a few brands to see what agrees with your feet.
3 - Work backwards - Think about what you will be using this shoe for, and then think about what qualities you need to achieve your goals. Running the Timberline Trail? You probably need some cushion and good tread for the technical terrain you can encounter above treeline. Don’t grab the same shoes you use for running in mud during the winter.
4 - Don’t be afraid to experiment - This may sound a little weird, but wearing shoes that don’t fit you that well are a great training tool. They will help you identify what you do want, and what you don’t like in the shoe. Do short runs and try to hone in on what is working for you. This way, when you find a shoe you really do like, all of your runs in the shoes you don’t love will be that much more fun.
Finding shoes that fit you can be tricky, but they are probably the most important part of gear you can find. Come on into the shop and try some on to see if we can help you have fun outside!