Irish Mountain
Running Association


Andy McGeadyJan 6 2022, 6:05pmHi folks. Quick shoe question. Complete newbie to IMRA and want to get out for some winter/spring and summer league outings. Happy enough to use a pair of old Nike trail shoes for these.

I also do some open mountain running in Connemara and anything I have just don't have the grip to survive boggy stuff. In summer it's often ok for the most part but in the winter months a "run" too often ends up in a walk/scramble/trot so I can actually remain somewhat safe, especially on the descents.

Hoping to pick something up in the online sales...
- Mudclaws (would they be ok on rocky paths?)?
- Xtalons?
- Walshes?

If I was up there tomorrow it's so wet I'd probably bring an old pair of moulded football boots :-)

Looking forward to Howth.
Paul O'GradyJan 6 2022, 6:19pmHi Andy. Those shoes are all very interesting, but I find them very specific/technical. Mudclaws are too knobbly to run on fire road, or tarmac, which we have a lot of in Ireland, and IMRA uses for the Winter/Summer routes. Walshes have very little cushioning. I wore a pair once and never again - I nearly lost my fillings. Again, they are probably not designed for fire roads and tracks and are more designed for open mountain (and for lads who are less than 10 stone). I would recommend an Adidas or Asics trial running shoe. Something that is a good all rounder, as opposed to those 3 very technical/specific types of running shoes. The best pair of trail runners I ever had were a pair of Nike trail runners that I got in America and ran into the ground. So if you have a pair of them, I would suggest using them as they are good all rounders and can handle fire road/tracks. You are going to really enjoy the winter and summer races. They are super events.
Warren SwordsJan 6 2022, 6:33pmI love the x talons. Great for open mtn, bog and rock. I use them in most imra races besides summer dry trail. The grip is unreal in winter. Best shoe I've ever had, even wore them on Carrauntoohil in bone dry conditions.

That said, there is feck all cushioning and can be tough on the feet.

But for summer races, road shoes Feck all cushioning though

I'd caution against the Nike trail range. Used to be a fan but they've gone awful over last couple of models. They're slippy on anything remotely wet.
Brian KitsonJan 6 2022, 8:04pmhi, It’s going to be difficult to find one shoe that works for you on the different types of trail running you describe.

I have a couple of pairs of old/inexpensive trail shoes (like your Nikes, I suspect) for logging training/fun miles on non-technical / good conditions.
I invested in a pair of Salomon slab speed 2 that provide great stability and grip on the rough stuff.
Then for racing I use xtalon 212s. I’ve gone through many pairs of them and have in the past used them in everything from Leinster league to longer ultras like the KWU and utmb. It used to be possible to pick these up on sportshoes for significantly less than €100 but non sure these days.

It’s about having the right tool for the job rather than looking for the “right shoe” I’d say.
Andrew CoghlanJan 9 2022, 9:01amI’m a big fan of the x-talon ultra 260 for winter open mountains, but as above, I rarely use them for summer running or if there’s lots of trails or fire roads. Great in bog but no cushion. Fantastic grip though. For trails or summer running, I’ve become a big fan of Brookes Cascadia 16’s.
Andy McGeadyJan 9 2022, 1:55pmThanks folks. Some good advice there.
Cathal PriorJan 19 2022, 10:46pmGlad I found this post with the recommendations.

I‘m on the lookout for a stability trail runner, with good grip, some cushioning, and suitable for both muddy inclines/descents and fireroads. Not narrow fit.

I started trail running in Asics GT-2000 trail plasma guard to quickly find they are good on hard and dry ground but not much better grip than a road runner. I then bought a pair of X-Talon 230, great grip, very light, but hard on the body on the fireroads and a bit too flat for a mild/moderate over pronator for longer usage.

My current road shoe is the Brooks Adrenaline which I find a good fit, good stability and cushioning. Having looked into the shoes mentioned and what would suit me best, I am most interested in giving the Brooks Cascadia a go.

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone using them what the arch support is like to run in? or any other shoes out there with arch support. I see Asics GEL-Trabuco recommended on some websites, with good reviews.
Patrick KissaneJan 19 2022, 11:24pmNot sure if they're stability shoes but the Torrent 2 is a great shoe for the shorter races. Enough grip and cushion plus more than likely on sale these times. I have over 450k on mine and I'll be using them again at corrin Hill on Sunday. Feel good on road sections also. My 2 cents.
Dara O'BrienJan 20 2022, 1:45pmIt's hard to find stability specific trail shoes. They're generally seen as not needed due to the fact that your foot placement is so varied due to the terrain. Might be best to speak to a knowledgeable store and see what they recommend?

As an aside, I'm taking on the 7 sisters 55k in May and am looking for any shoe recommendations as I'm not familiar with the terrain there. I have a pair of Adidas Terrex Speed Ultras which I really like as they are light and give lots of feel but the lugs are very shallow so I don't think they'll be up to the mark.

I was going to pull the trigger on some inov8 roclite g275s but then I came across the dynafit ultra 100s. I tend to prefer low stack height (I have a pair of hoka challenger ATR which are OK but I didn't like any of their other shoes) also have a pair of salomon speedcross but they have no cushioning at all and I find them uncomfortable after 2hrs.

In short, I'm looking for something light, not too stacked but that can handle the Donegal mixed terrain?

(not looking for much right!!!!!)

Any suggestions greatly appreciated
Paul ScottJan 20 2022, 1:56pmRe the 7 sisters, I ran it in inov8 mudclaws. It has everything in terms of surfaces- a little tarmac, grass, scree, peat, solid rock. The last thing you want is to be slipping when tired so I would go for grip. And if the rock is wet there is very little that can cope….
Dara O'BrienJan 20 2022, 2:27pmThanks Paul, I may look at the roclites again or maybe the x talon ultras. I guess I won't know until I try them!
Karl BourneJan 20 2022, 11:59pmI’m also glad this topic came up. I’ve almost worn out my Salomon Sense Ride 4’s on my first year of trail running. Great all rounders, but thinking of something more heavy duty for open mountain/’more technical races.

Anyone have any recommendations on that front? I was looking at either the Roclites or a pair of Altra Lone Peaks. Open to suggestions
Cathal MurnaneJan 21 2022, 7:37amMorning folks. I swear by the salomon! 2020 XA pros did me very well. Road & trail. Had to invest a little more for this year and got the speed cross 5s gtx. Love them. Comfort & dryness.
David JonesJan 21 2022, 8:04amI've been using Altra the last 4 years. Alternating between Olympus and more recently Lone Peak. They are the most comfortable shoes I've worn. Footshaped toe box is not a gimmick. No more squashed toes. The zero drop does take a bit of building up to if coming from anything above a 4-5mm drop. Olympus are a little on the heavy side but great for long all day efforts. Lone peak are lighter and great on more technical stuff, they have a built in rock plate. Lone Peak also comes in a wide version, which is more volume in the forefoot rather than a big increase in width, (half a size down if going for wide version) Both shoes have gaiter attachments for a secure fit of a gaiter. If you hold the sole of an altra up to another brand, the shape of the shoe just looks like it makes sense for your feet. A brand definitely worth a try.
Dara O'BrienJan 21 2022, 10:44amThanks for the replies - some really useful info here. I had to rule out the Altras as, much and all as I loved the lone peaks, the zero drop wasn't for me and, as i'll never be more than a back-mid pack runner I could never justify the effort it would take to transition to them.

I have just ordered a pair of inov-8 x-talon 260 ultras which i opted for over the Dynafit ultra 100 on the basis of the extra lug depth.

I'm looking forward to trying them out and will report back after i've clocked up a few miles in them - fingers crossed!
Andrew CoghlanJan 21 2022, 6:02pm@Cathal Prior- go with the Cascadia 16’s. There a great shoe. I like a bit of arch support and ran Kerry Night in them last year with no issues. The Trabuco are only an ok shoe. It’s funny ASICS have never really cracked the trail market imho.
@Dara O’Brien- I ran seven sisters in the x-talon ultras 260’s and found them great for most of the race but, as was said, there’s so much variation I’m not sure one shoe would be ideal for everything.
Cathal PriorJan 22 2022, 12:52pmHi Andrew, I was about 90% decided on them but now my mind is made up, def going to buy. Thanks!
Dara O'BrienJan 24 2022, 5:18pmThanks Andrew - probably a stretch to find something that's perfect for all of that terrain but 90% sounds a good compromise!

For anyone interested, the code: troopscout20 is good for 20% off inov-8 products on their site.
Fergus BradyJan 29 2022, 5:58pmNot sure if this is the place to be sticking this up, but I have a Brand new pair of mens Hoka Speedgoat 4 GTX UK 9.5, unwanted Christmas present (there’s a storey to this)..

If anyone is interested drop me a mail.