You know those green hills you've been gazing at longingly while your car is stuck in traffic on the freeway? It's time to get a closer look.
Living in Southern California has a lot of well-documented perks. The beach, the mountains, and the weather all get a lot of love. Our favorite SoCal perk? The trails. From Wildwood to Malibu Creek, from Sycamore Canyon to Cheeseboro Canyon, we're blessed with miles and miles of beautiful, well-maintained trails in every direction.
Some folks seem to think trail running is only for "serious" runners, but they couldn't be more wrong. Trail running is great for runners of all abilities. If you're starting out, a run/hike through Upper Las Virgenes Canyon would be a great workout. If you're more intermediate, there's no better way to improve than the varied terrain of Malibu Creek State Park. If you've got plenty of miles under your hydration belt, hit your local trailhead and enjoy a long run without having to stop every 500 feet for a traffic light.
Now, if you're looking to put in some mileage in the dirt this weekend, consider your footwear. While a road shoe will work just fine for many of the trails in the area, there are some specific advantages of a trail shoe that may make it the best fit for you:
- Most obviously, a trail shoe will have a much more aggressive outsole that will provide improved traction on rocky, muddy, and wet sections of trail.
- On the upper, a trail shoe features a more rugged construction that is less susceptible to tears and abrasions--a handy feature for when you come across a rogue stick or sharp rock.
- Most trail shoes will also be a little beefier and stiffer through the midsole than their road running counterparts. This is to help prevent bruising that may occur while running on uneven or rocky terrain.
- Finally, trail shoes will also come in darker colors, which means they look good, especially when they're covered in dirt.
Ready to get out there? Check out these brand new trail shoes, fresh into our stores!
Saucony Peregrine 6
For years, trail runners have loved the Peregrine for its aggressive tread, flexible ride, and ground hugging control. This latest iteration of the popular trail runner ups the ante with a new EVERUN insert in the heel for greater shock absorption and a PWRTRAC outsole for even more traction than previous models. Like previous versions, the Peregrine 6 has a rock plate, so runners will still get excellent foot protection despite the lightweight, flexible feel of the shoe.
Brooks Cascadia 11
"Tried-and-true" defines this update to one of our best selling trail shoes. Brooks bills this shoe as "an SUV for your feet" on account of the four-point pivot system that acts like a car's suspension system on rough terrain, but calling the Cascadia an "SUV" may be underselling the amount of giddyup this shoe has. The Cascadia 11 remains nearly identical to its predecessor, with the one major change being a tweak to the forefoot to improve durability.
Brooks PureGrit 4
For those of you who like to connect with the trail more, look no further than the PureGrit 4 from Brooks. The most flexible of all our trail shoes, this minimalist transition shoe is ideal for those who want as little between their foot and the trail as possible, while still maintaining traction, protection, and a great fit.
Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2
Pick two of the following: lightweight, maximum cushioning, stability. That's the way it used to be. Maybe you could find a trail shoe that was lightweight and stable, but it'd be hard as a rock. Or maybe you could find a trail shoe that had tons of cushion and was extremely stable, but it'd weigh a ton. Well, thanks to the Challenger ATR 2, that's no longer the case. The Challenger 2 offers a more supportive fit on the upper compared to the 2015 version, but everything underneath the foot remains unchanged, so you'll still be gliding across the trails.
Adidas Response Trail Boost
When we were first shown this shoe earlier in 2015, our first reaction was "Wow, that looks like someone strapped a mountain bike tire to a shoe" Indeed, these Adidas trail runners (along with the new Asics GEL-FujiRunnegade 2) have some of the biggest lugs on the outsole that we can remember seeing on a shoe. On the upper, the Response Trail has a secure fit through the midfoot (thanks to some hefty overlays), yet it opens up quite a bit through the toe box, making it a solid option for folks with some width through the forefoot. In the midsole, you'll get a dose of Adidas' groundbreaking Boost material in the heel and the forefoot. While there is a bit less Boost in the Response compared to other shoes in the Adidas line, the mix of Boost and standard EVA foam through the midsole helps keep the shoe from getting too mushy on rough terrain.
Mizuno Wave Hayate 2
If you're looking for a flexible trail shoe with a sock-like fit on the upper, but is still tough enough to stand up to whatever you throw at it, check out the Wave Hayate 2. This shoe is built similarly to other popular Mizuno models in that it has a soft, form-fitting upper, a midsole that thins out through the forefoot allowing the runner to feel the ground a bit more, and a flexible ride, giving the shoe a more natural feel. However, the Hayate 2 is far from dainty. Aggressive X-shaped lugs on the outsole offer secure traction across all surfaces, a concave Wave plate protects the foot from bumps in the trail, and the upper, while soft and form fitting, is rugged and durable.
Asics GEL-FujiRunnegade 2
Mud is no obstacle for the new GEL-FujiRunnegade 2 from Asics. With a super aggressive outsole and an upper coated with PlasmaGuard (a technology that repels water), the FujiRunnegade is a trail shoe that excels in all conditions--especially when the going gets wet. The upper also features a gusseted construction that does a great job of keeping debris from getting into the shoe and derailing your run. Through the midsole, there's a small amount of Asics' Gel for shock absorption, but not enough to keep you from connecting with the trail.
Other trail models available now:
Brooks Adrenaline ASR 12
Altra Superior 2.0
Hoka One One Stinson ATR 3
Looking for a challenge in your new shoes? Be sure to sign up for the Singletrack Stampede on March 5th, 2016!