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Tips for choosing trail running shoes

Tips for choosing trail running shoes

Terrain, weather, grip, comfort – so many things to consider. Let us help you choose your next trail running shoes.


STEP 1: Focus on the outsole – the bottom of the shoe.
Trail shoes are designed first and foremost to offer you more grip than a road shoe, so they all have deeper lugs on the bottom of the shoe so you don’t spend the whole race slipping and sliding. Lugs that are deeper and farther apart will generally perform better in wetter, muddier conditions, but are often not as comfortable on harder, rockier terrain. Less aggressive outsoles will often fair better in those harder, rockier areas, especially if you’re running longer distances.

Think about what type of terrain you’ll be running on. Are the trails muddy, rocky or well groomed? And will you just be running on trails, or do you need a shoe for road running as well?

STEP 2: Find the shoe that best fits your foot.
Feet come in all shapes and sizes so you’ve got to find the shoe that fits your foot best. Most brands have some models that fit narrow, some fit wider. And if you’re questioning what size you are, we suggest always going with the bigger size. It’s better to have a bit of room in the toe box than have your toes slamming into the ends on every downhill.

STEP 3: It all comes down to comfort.
Once you’ve found a model or two that fits your foot and has the outsole to match the terrain you’re running on, go with the one that feels most comfortable on your foot.

Inov-8 Range
Inov-8 offers one of the largest ranges of trail shoes in New Zealand. The range is divided into four different outsole patterns.

  • X-Talon: These are our most aggressive outsoles, each one with deep 8mm lugs. Performs best in the wettest and muddiest conditions.
  • Roclite: Our most popular range of trail shoes. Roclite shoes have 6mm lugs underfoot and most have rubber outsoles infused with GRAPHENE which provides excellent durability. This range offers good grip in the mud while providing good comfort and durability over rocks, well groomed trails, and even the shorter road sections. A great option if you’re looking for one trail shoe to do it all.
  • Trail Talon: With 4mm lugs on the outsole, the Trail Talon range is designed for running on well groomed trails and the occasional road section.
  • Terra Ultra: The newest addition to the Inov-8 range, the Terra Ultra outsole is as comfortable on the road as it is on the trail.  Outsole lugs of 4mm provide good grip on all but the muddiest trails while they hold up well on rocks and tarseal. It’s the perfect hybrid shoe if you need the grip of a trail shoe but also find yourself running on pavement for large portions of your run.