Irish Mountain
Running Association

Trail running shoe woes… advice please!

Aideen BurkeOct 4 2021, 9:39amAfter months of running trails and mountains in road shoes, I bought a pair of trail shoes in the summer and settled on a pair of Hoka Speed Goats. However, I keep tripping in them - usually once or twice on each run - and after a particularly nasty fall over the weekend I think it’s time to retire them. I find the cushioning makes it hard to feel the ground underneath me. Has anyone else had this problem? Are there any other trail shoes that you can recommend? I run on varied terrain and if possible, would like to use the one pair of shoes for all terrain (other than road). Any advice or suggestions would be very much welcome. Thank you!
Conor MurphyOct 4 2021, 9:48amIt's very hard to give generic which shoe advice, if there was one shoe, there wouldn't be a hundred different ones on the market! But do think there is something to be said for a couple of different pairs, because the shoe that suits a boggy mountain in winter will not suit a dry trail in summer.
Ciarán RyanOct 4 2021, 10:28amI found the Hoka Torrents were a good all rounder and don't have the same cushioning as the Speedgoats, so a better ground feel. Only problem for me was the pair I had the lugs started peeling off early doors so they were exchanged for some Speedgoats, which didn't suit me at all fit-wise (speaking of, if anyone is looking for a pair of Speedgoats with less than 25km on them for cheap, give me a shout...)

The Torrents were fine on most terrain I found, but I think Conor is right. You might need some more aggressive lugs for those winter open mountain trots.
Patrick KissaneOct 4 2021, 10:52amYou'll get the hoka torrent 2 on sale in most places these days. Great shoe for cleaner, smoother trails and if you run on the road to get to trails but not much good in the boggier stuff. I've 400k on mine and they're still like new. Inov8 are probably best for the wetter terrain.
Deirdre O GormanOct 4 2021, 11:23amI find the Saucony Peregrines great for all terrains: they're pretty wide fitting but the toe box does seem to split eventually (that might be my particularly wide feet though!). Comfortable, light with enough, but not too much cushioning and find the grip great!
Peter BellOct 4 2021, 12:40pmMy favourite shoe is defo the inov8 rocklite for running in d hills, its great for everything. Use your Hokas for hard flat long slow trail runs ( fire road) if u do them. Its good to have a few different pairs for different terrain. They will last longer. Inov8 xtalons are great race shoe for grip.
Eoin KellyOct 4 2021, 1:01pmThere's probably nearly as many answers to this query as there are people who run trails.

I'm an altra fan - zero drop and wide toe box suits my beet really well.

Even within that one brand there are loads of different models aimed at different use/terrain.

I may have a problem though as i have almost all of them

King MT - light enough and super grippy, but little cushioning and feel sh!t on the road

Timp - my new favourites for long runs - cushioned and grippy enough for all but wet rocks but not annoying on the road too.

Lone peaks - newer version is a great all rounder, grippy, ok on road but not as cushioned as the timp. Have an older pair too which are more like the timp in terms of cushioning and comfort both on and off road. Older ones not as grippy as the newer ones.

Superior - these are light, and i reckon they will be fast, but are still in the box. They come with an extra 'rock guard' you can put under the insole which suggests they might also be soft!

All weather boots - waterproof and featherlight for ankle high boots. Replaced my regular hiking boots as i no longer got on with the raised heel once i got fully used to zero drop footwear.

Lone peak probably the best allrounder, Timp for long days in the hills and king / superior for shorter or faster stuff.
Alice ClancyOct 4 2021, 1:10pmHey Aideen, I feel your pain with the Hokas! I was delighted with my first pair too last year, then proceeded to break my ankle in them when I took them out on the hills....!! I think it's a better idea as others are suggesting to have a variety of shoes if you can - I use my Hokas now only on the road and fire road, and they are great for's like running on two big sofas!. For the trails/rocks/bog I found a good all rounder in the Salomon Speedcross 4 in the wide fit....(they can be quite narrow). They have a great grip and a bit of cushioning but not so much that you can't feel the terrain beneath you. But this is a personal choice based on how I run (slow)- and I imagine that it might change as I (hopefully) progress!. When I was choosing Salomons initially, I found the Great Outdoors very helpful - being able to try on a few different types and getting your size measured accurately for hill running helped a lot.
Graham K. BusheOct 4 2021, 2:17pmHi Aideen, Ah yes, the subject of trail & mountain running shoes is a regular on the forum. Like many things, there is a lot of brand loyalty and people will swear by the ones they use. When I first started using trail runners I noticed I was stumbling and tripping a fair bit. I put this down to the “Extra grippiness” of my new footwear as they seemed to snag on everything. (and my seeming inability to lift my feet sometimes).
I have fallen in Saucony, Solomons, New Balance, Innovate, Dynafit… to name but a few. But I haven’t fallen out with any of them. I’ve fallen on technical descents, grassy banks, forest paths, fire roads, speedramps on tarmac…
My current pair of New Balance Trail runners proudly declare they are “All Terrain” in bold print on the heel, but they’re certainly not all-weather and are lethal at the first bit of wet ground!
There are so many brands, each with various models to choose from that it is impossible to try them all, (though my wife thinks I am) I have learned that I too prefer different runners for the terrain I’m running on.
I mostly use Dynafit and have the following.
Ultra 100 for long runs on trail and road. I find the cushioning very comfortable for hours running.
Alpine Trail (2 pairs to alternate) I use these most, training and racing, on trails and some open mountain.
Feline (the grippy ones!) Wet ground, fast descents, twisty trails. The grip gives me the extra confidence while running, especially if the pressure is on.
My next pair will be the Ultra 50… ;)
Your runner is all that’s between you and the running surface. There’s so much choice each one with its own merits. and what may suit one person may not suit another. As Alice has said, it is a good idea to try them on, get a feel for the brand you like so you can enjoy running the hills and trails.
In the past, have held Trial Evenings for Dynafit, where you get to try a pair on the trails around Laragh.
Good luck, and happy hunting.
Aideen BurkeOct 4 2021, 2:30pmThanks so much for all the helpful replies and suggestions. I guess I did know that there was no such thing as a “one size fits all” trail running shoe but had hoped that the Speedgoats would tick as many boxes as possible; I am still fairly new to trail running and it seemed a bit soon to be buying more than one pair of shoes. In hindsight I should have enquired more into the suitability of Speedgoats for running on hills because it’s pretty clear now that they simply aren’t built for that. It can't be a coincidence that I'm suddenly falling much more often than usual since starting to run in the Speedgoats (at least I hope not!). It also seems that owning an array of different shoes to suit different terrains may be unavoidable! Some really great suggestions here so I will definitely check out some of the shoes mentioned; thanks again and who knows, in time I may have a collection to rival that of @Eoin’s and @Grahams!
Warren SwordsOct 4 2021, 2:39pmI have the Speedgoats. They're great for fire road and nice easy trail. But they are very unstable on anything remotely rocky or technical. Very comfy but I do tend to trip more often in them than other shoes.

I think the cushioning/stack height is too tall for technical terrain which causes the tripping/ankle rolling. Hard to judge the terrain in them so I only use them for easy runs.

Stack height is 32mm compared to say some of the Inov8s which are only 10mm.

I've yet to find a shoe that is suitable for all Irish conditions. I race in inov8s but would never use them in training as they have no cushioning at all. I generally have a couple of pairs on the go for different
Graham K. BusheOct 4 2021, 2:45pmWhat happened you Warren?
"I generally have a couple of pairs on the go for different..."

Don't leave us hanging.
Did you trip again?
Gordon PlaceOct 4 2021, 2:55pmThe suspense!

Plus one for the Hoka Torrents, very comfortable all rounder for long slower runs in most terrains, even a wet day in the Mournes. And for Inov8 for the fast/technical/mucky stuff (xtalons, not sure it's worth paying the extra for the graphene grip versions, jury still out on whether it is any better, maybe marginally on wet rock)
ian MorrinOct 4 2021, 3:08pmCiaran what size are the speedgoats?
Brendan LawlorOct 4 2021, 3:11pmI love the way that a trail shoe thread brings out all the Imelda Marcos's hiding amongst us !
Conor O'FarrellOct 4 2021, 3:11pmAs someone with a very wide foot, I find the Saucony Peregrines an excellent fit. Most shoes I wear are like clown shoes and I am constantly tripping in them due to the extra unnecessary space in the toe. The Peregrines don't have this problem. They are a great all rounder, but I doubt the would be useful in the more extreme conditions.

My biggest frustration with them is the insole, it comes loose very easily and can move around and cause blisters. The last couple of pairs I've had, I have used Tec-7 to secure the (2 levels of) insoles in place.
Conor NolanOct 4 2021, 3:45pmMy experience is similar to others. Iov8 Roclites (275?) are great for racing, but unforgiving on hard surfaces. I have a pair of Speedgoats for easier trails and longer races - but not suitable for technical going. I think I would add in a pair of X-talons or similar next and rotate amongst them.
Not sure why you may be tripping in the Speedgoats, 'though they are a big shoe compared to others. I would say that you need stable strong ankles for them though. If you go over, you're going way over!
John Murphy74Oct 4 2021, 3:49pmSaloman senseride are a decent shoe and an allrounder, including road sections. Good grip and just the right cushion. They are 8mm drop which doesn't suit all.
Ciarán RyanOct 4 2021, 4:07pm@Ian Morrin

The Speedgoats I'm offloading are a 48 (UK 12.5).
Ciarán RyanOct 4 2021, 4:09pm@Conor O Farrell. I think the Speedcross from similar insole issues as the Peregrines. Once they get wet once, those insoles will start bunching on downhills. Has happened on two pairs with me. A bit of glue (not ideal) keeps them in place
Sarah BradyOct 4 2021, 6:04pmI use Salomon Speedcross for absolutely everything and wouldn’t switch, they are class. Great grip but still enough cushion and support. I find the Hokas too clunky and not surprised they are tripping you up!
Gerard DownOct 13 2021, 10:44amI have been using Salomon Speedcross for about 4/5 years and find them a very good fit and provide a lot of support for my feet - I dont have wide feet and have to use structured runners for road running. Sometimes for long periods on hard rock,, particularly on hard downhill sections, I feel they could do with a bit more cushioning. When new they have excellent grip so are great for slippery surfaces.. They are probably heavier than some other trail shoes but the support they give compensates for that I think. I wish the side panels lasted as long as the soles but I guess side panelling getting torn is a trait of trail running..
John Murphy74Oct 13 2021, 10:49amGerard,

Had the same issue and switched to Saloman Sense Ride 4 and they have nice cushion in them. Used them for KWU Lite and Ecotrail45 without any issues.
Graham K. BusheOct 13 2021, 5:38pmI feel I should probably clarify something in relation to my earlier post Brendan ;)
My ‘Weakness’ in terms of running shoes is not the continuous purchase of new pairs, but rather the reluctance to part with old ones :o
So, my apologies to the purists out there, but here goes. 2 pairs of Dynafit Alpine Pro; black =1990km, green=1166km. Dynafit Ultra 100 = 985km, Dynafit Feline Up= 992km, New Balance Trail= 820km, New Balance Road= 570km, Dynafit Feline (2020)= 654km. So there you have it, they are all well used (and well worn) I also have Innovate Trailtalon, but they have fallen apart with a mere 183km! They didn't like the Sugarloaf!
Alan AylingOct 15 2021, 4:23pmJaysus... this happens on the mtb forums when someone asks a well-meaning question about tyres :-)

I have no useful advice to offer whatsoever. But 32 mm drop... is that not like trying to go hillrunning in stilettos?