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.