Trail runner suggestions

A place to chat about gear and the philosphy of ultralight. Ultralight bushwalking or backpacking focuses on carrying the lightest and simplest kit. There is still a good focus on safety and skill.
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Ultralight Bushwalking/backpacking is about more than just gear lists. Ultralight walkers carefully consider gear based on the environment they are entering, the weather forecast, their own skill, other people in the group. Gear and systems are tested and tweaked.
If you are new to this area then welcome - Please remember that although the same ultralight philosophy can be used in all environments that the specific gear and skill required will vary greatly. It is very dangerous to assume that you can just copy someone else's gear list, but you are encouraged to ask questions, learn and start reducing the pack weight and enjoying the freedom that comes.

Common words
Base pack backpacking the mass of the backpack and the gear inside - not including consumables such as food, water and fuel
light backpacking base weight less than 9.1kg
ultralight backpacking base weight less than 4.5kg
super-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 2.3kg
extreme-ultralight backpacking base weight less than 1.4kg

Trail runner suggestions

Postby Same » Mon 18 May, 2020 11:17 pm

Hi all

At the moment I'm rocking some Merrell moab 2 boots, and as I move to ultralight I'm really keen on picking up a pair of trail runners.

It feels like every man and their dog is rocking some Altras at this point, but I have found this a little iffy to source in Australia. Also at the moment they have just gone to a newer model for the lone peak (4.5) and the timp (2.0). So I am nervous to pay a lot to order some in if they won't suit my foot.

I wear about a 10.5 US and have wide(ish) feet so I was excited by the prospect of the wider shoe.

Does anyone have any reviews of the newer models, or another shoe I should try out. I would love to be able to try one out in a store (live in outer eastern suburbs Melbourne) or order from someone with an easy returns policy.

Cheers
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Tino B » Mon 18 May, 2020 11:48 pm

Most of the Altras are zero drop, which can cause tendon issues for some. I have Hoka Speedgoats - newest model. They are super plush and have decent grip but only suited to good trails e.g. Wilson’s Prom etc.

If you’re doing anything a little technical or off track, they aren’t precise or stable enough and I’d question their durability. If you like light, comfy feather pillows on your feet they’re worth a shot.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Tino B » Mon 18 May, 2020 11:48 pm

Most of the Altras are zero drop, which can cause tendon issues for some. I have Hoka Speedgoats - newest model. They are super plush and have decent grip but only suited to good trails e.g. Wilson’s Prom etc.

If you’re doing anything a little technical or off track, they aren’t precise or stable enough and I’d question their durability. If you like light, comfy feather pillows on your feet they’re worth a shot.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby wallwombat » Tue 19 May, 2020 12:01 pm

I have a pair of Altra Lonepeak, which seem to be their most popular shoes. They are OK. Zero drop wasn't a problem for me. As noted above, they aren't very precise or stable. I pretty much trashed my pair on a 3 day Kanangra walk so I'd only recommend them for trail walking.

I now wear a Oboz shoes, which aren't zero drop and are probably more like light hiking shoes than trail runners. I really like them.

La Sportiva and Saloman seem to make trail runners that are a bit more precise and technical and suited to more off trail stuff.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Tue 19 May, 2020 12:06 pm

Depends on what type of walking your're doing? On good track you can get away with something reasonably light and without too much protection. For rough and off-track you'll want something with better protection, maybe a solid toe guard and underfoot protection (rock plate) etc, which adds a little weight (still not as heavy as boots). I use La Sportiva Ultra Raptors for the latter, but they might be overkill for walking on good tracks. I'd personally stay away from zero drop, but that's just me.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby dashandsaph » Tue 19 May, 2020 1:59 pm

I like the Salamon Speedcross 4 - very light and good grip but a little too much ground feel. Also seem to be wearing fairly quickly. I think they're better suited to rocky scrambles and mud than dry hard formed tracks. Might be pretty cheap if you can find a pair as the Speedcross 5 is available, which looks pretty similar.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Ms_Mudd » Tue 19 May, 2020 3:21 pm

If you live near any big retailers, I really recommend you try and get into a store to try some different sorts, in a COVID safe way of course.Stack height, heel height , width will all come into play for finding the perfect shoe.

I walk in trail runners 99.5% of the time, my Scarpas have been sitting unloved in my wardrobe for the past couple of years since switching.
I think if you find the style that works best for you, you really won't look back after making the switch.

I personally love zero drop and own Altra Lone Peaks for walking, Timps for trail running and have 2x sets of road running Altras too (Escalante and the One) and can run a half marathon with no foot pain - I have plantar fascitis- but put me in something with a bit of height to the heel and I am 'lame' within 30 minutes with foot pain and a tense calf muscle. Other people find the absolute opposite and hate zero drop, so it really is such an individual thing.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby wayno » Tue 19 May, 2020 3:58 pm

on brand will suit certain shaped feet better than others, another brand will suit different shaped feet better...
you need to try on as many brands as you can get...
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Turfa » Tue 19 May, 2020 7:29 pm

wayno wrote:on brand will suit certain shaped feet better than others, another brand will suit different shaped feet better...
you need to try on as many brands as you can get...


This !.... But for what its worth, I love my Altra Timps for very long days on track. The fit of the Timps is way too sloppy for rough going & scrambling though, so I go back to my Merrell Moabs
Trial & error really is the answer.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Zapruda » Tue 19 May, 2020 8:29 pm

Dunlop KT26. Currently on special for $30 at BigW.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Lamont » Tue 19 May, 2020 8:51 pm

Zapruda wrote:Dunlop KT26. Currently on special for $30 at BigW.

Gripinators!
I have a pair from last year.
Bought any in the last few months? Are the newer ones a bit wider?
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Zapruda » Tue 19 May, 2020 9:03 pm

Very grippy. I can’t tell the difference in width between my old pair from last year and my new pair from a few weeks ago. They take a while to dry but for the most part they are decent. I just can’t afford $200 every 3 months for proper trail runners.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Lamont » Tue 19 May, 2020 9:13 pm

Ta. Just finishing off some INOV8s and Altras. Both holier than the Vatican.
Will nip up the road and try some new ones for width.
Good luck Same with your hunt. Try lots and don't be afraid to go a size up.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby north-north-west » Wed 20 May, 2020 8:18 am

The old KT26s were great, but the last time I tried on a pair my feet hated them. Shape (whether of feet or of shoes) has changed too much. Might be time to try again.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 20 May, 2020 12:44 pm

Lamont wrote: Try lots and don't be afraid to go a size up.

This is very good advice, room to spread the ol toes and not hit the front of the shoe when going down hill.

I didn't know that KT26's still existed!
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Baka Dasai » Wed 20 May, 2020 3:24 pm

I bought a pair of Altra Lone Peaks a couple of weeks ago online from here:
https://www.wildfiresports.com.au/altra ... mens-shoes

They came with instructions on how to send them back if they weren't the right size. The store would exchange them for a different size as long as you hadn't worn them outside and they were in perfect condition.

They fit me perfectly, so all was good. I have been a zero-drop convert for years, and have exclusively worn "barefoot" shoes in that time. These Altras are my first cushioned shoes in a looong time - luxury!

I had been wearing these for all bushwalking:
https://www.vivobarefoot.com/au/mens/ou ... g-mens-ow5
Think of them as like the Altras but without any cushioning.

Vivobarefoot also make these, which look interesting:
https://www.vivobarefoot.com/au/mens/ou ... trail-mens
Again, they'll have next to no cushioning.

And also these:
https://www.vivobarefoot.com/au/mens/ou ... er-fg-mens
Leather, and waterproof, but starting to get a bit far from "lightweight trail runner".
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Wed 20 May, 2020 4:28 pm

I bought Altra Lone peak 4.5 after both pairs of Berghaus Vapourclaws died- lost grip on sole. Altras are like walking on a cloud, not as durable and you need to know your sizing, and as other posters mention you either love or hate zero drop and hard to find stockists. I miss my berghaus, they took a real beating, breathed well, took mud, snow and scub bashing well and bought my second pair for $50 online.
Merrell Moabs were okay but ditched them after 8 days on AAWT last year, goretex and warm feet = sweat and blisters wore Xero sandals for three days until could organise a replacement. Nothing like bushwalking in sandals in warm November weather to keep the senses alert...
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Lamont » Wed 20 May, 2020 4:52 pm

Ms_Mudd wrote:I didn't know that KT26's still existed!

You've got to get out more. :lol:
I had two pairs of .......black leather (vinyl)volleys until they fell apart last year.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Ms_Mudd » Wed 20 May, 2020 8:09 pm

Lamont wrote:
Ms_Mudd wrote:I had two pairs of .......black leather (vinyl)volleys until they fell apart last year.

Dress shoes! You could attend a black tie event in those bad boys.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Same » Thu 21 May, 2020 2:23 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone, I definitely want to try on as many as I can before committing. That's why I was nervous to order online, I wanted to be able to get a feel for the shoe walking without losing the chance to return them. I'm gonna make the trip to some stores like https://www.runningwarehouse.com.au/ that seem to have a big range
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby mikeRsyd » Thu 21 May, 2020 10:35 pm

If you have wide feet altra and topos are good. Topos are a snugger fit mid foot with a low drop and wideish toe box and a similar fit. Altra are mixed, timps are wider than Lone peaks Olympus is in the middle. Try a bigger size in these foot shape shoes. Wildfire sports, running warehouse, wildearth have specials. If your feet are narrow there are many good brands to choose from. Unfortunately most don't fit me. ( I've had 5 altras and 3 topos) mostly walking trails and daily wear.

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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Bam » Fri 22 May, 2020 4:53 pm

I’m also a fan of the Topo’s, have been very impressed with my Ultraventures so far which I’ve had for a while now, they’ve held up surprisingly well given how light they are, they’ve also helped ease my knee pain!

Recently purchased a pair of their Trailventures which are more akin to a boot style of footwear to try them out, they are still very lightweight & cushioned plus this model also has a rock plate, might also be worthwhile considering if you’re not completely sure about migrating over to runners.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby mikeRsyd » Fri 22 May, 2020 5:05 pm

Hi bam are the trailventures the same fit as the ultraventure? It looks like a good cold weather shoe

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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Bam » Fri 22 May, 2020 6:32 pm

Hi mikeRsyd,

As I was unable to try a pair on before purchase I followed the lead of a couple of online reviews that I read pre-purchase suggesting that they run 1/2 size big, for me this worked out okay, them again we are only talking about 5mm difference in length plus I tend to buy my trail shoes big anyway!

I’ve only had them for a couple of weeks but have managed to test them out over a few short bush walks with a lightly loaded pack on.

I definitely prefer the firmer cushioning, stiffer shank & rock plate that these offer along with the tougher material & toe bumper.

Only downside for me so far is I’m experiencing a little bit of heel slip with them, the heel cup is definitely more generous than on the Ultras, hopefully I’ll find a way to minimise the slip by utilising some different lacing techniques.

In saying that, my wife also bought a pair & hasn’t experienced any heel slip issues with hers so perhaps I’ve got wide-feet & narrower heels..!

Over all, I definitely give them the thumbs up!
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Kott » Sat 23 May, 2020 8:26 pm

Hi mikeRsyd,

I've got widish feet too and I've worn Nike Terra Kigers 1-4 and the 4 was almost perfect. They got recently upgraded again but I'd stay away from 5-6. They go true to size and you might get some great bargains online. I'd go half a size bigger.
My latest one is Nike Wildhorse 5 as it too got redesigned recently to appeal more to the crazy trail running world. I got it direct from nike for 100 bucks instead of 200 or whatever they go now.
Trailrunners didnt used to rate Nike so well but both these were top 3 shoes. So if you can find them you cannot go wrong.

Saying this, I tried Altras and the heel cups were weirdly high and rubbed on my heel. Topos on the otherhand seem to simple yet interesting and once I wear out my nikes and I cannot find the old models I will look into Topos.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Mark F » Mon 25 May, 2020 8:53 pm

I have always been rather confused about the various names such as trail shoes, approach shoes, trail runners etc. What are the defining characteristics of each?

I find Salomons excellent but that is what fits my feet. After finally discovering them several years ago I have been though the old Synapse model (2 pairs before they were dropped), X Ultra 2s and for winter conditions X Chase gtx mids but these choices have been very much about what was available at sensible prices (< $150) rather than any specific set of features other than looking at the sole and uppers to decide about grip and breathability vs grit entry. I do agree wholeheartedly with the comments about sizing up and choosing what fits.
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Re: Trail runner suggestions

Postby Joynz » Mon 25 May, 2020 9:02 pm

Hi Same

I love my Altras - I got the Olympus super cushioned model and use them with arch support insoles to help avoid plantar fasciitis - as the inner soles they come with are flat.

I got them from Wildfire and used the ‘Try 2 Anything‘ option. Order the shoes, and a pair of cheap liner socks. As long as you keep one item you can send the other item(s) back for no extra cost. I recently got the Altra trail gaiters too.

They often have them super reduced - I just got a pair of Altra Olympus 3s for $125.

However, dont walk with a multi day pack in them without a practice first.

I did the 60km Kepler Track in them 3 months ago and they were very comfy but the muscles under my instep on both sides were ‘pulled’ after a couple of days and my ankles felt it too (didn’t stop me walking though).
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