[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

running shoes/trailrunning/thru-run



I joined this list a couple days ago to monitor the responses to a 
message a friend forwarded to this list seeking support for a runner
attempting a record thru run.  Unfortunately, I joined a few days late
and missed the discussion, which he seemed to indicate was quite
negative.  This did not surprise me, but I would like to ask a couple
questions at the end of this post.

First, about running shoes:  I am a trail runner with limited hiking
experience who has always hiked in running shoes.  I have done only
weekend hikes in the past ten years, with my only extended trip of
six days coming when I was 13.  I have completed up to 100 miles 
running on trails in one day, and have run on some of the 
rougher AT sections in the Whites.  Here are my observations:
 - with training (hiking or running on trails), your ankles become much 
    stronger.  For me, ankle support is not a worry.
 - once trained, most runners find trails to be much easier on the body
    than roads despite the added twisting motions on ankles and knees,
    and the steep downhills
 - running shoes and people's feet vary a lot.  Only some combinations are
    good for trails.  
 - some lightweight running shoes fall apart very quickly on trails
 - running shoes are generally not designed to support heavy loads.  When 
    I was 13, I didn't notice.  But now wearing a loaded pack (?40 lb.)
    for just a weekend, I feel that I am not getting full support from 
    even a good pair of shoes.  I WOULD NOT anticipate using running shoes
    for an extended hike with a heavy pack.
 - for day trips with only a fanny pack or light backpack (running), I have 
     had no problems with running shoes
 - only the biomechanically gifted would likely have success with big loads
    and long distance.
 - in general foot support, not ankle support, seems to be the issue.
 - due to poor insulation, running shoes are not good for camping in the
    snow (I have done this).  However, for running (or even continuous 
    hiking), I have found them fine for 4-5 hours in the snow.  Of course
    NO COTTON SOCKS!  I am thinking about seeing how Gore-Tex socks
    improve cold/wet weather running shoe performance.
 - I have felt no adverse effects from the "forward tilt" of my shoes while
    hiking.

Questions for you all:  What do you feel in general about trail runners?
  Is a well-behaved and polite runner fully accepted on the trail?  Or 
  does that rushing pace or light load somehow set them apart?  Are 
  day-hikers/runners and overnighters equal in your eyes?  

And one more time, how about the thru-run attempt at 52 days?  What 
  issues about trail usage does this bring up?
  
  I may have some answers and alternate points of view.  At the same
time, I recognize that a traditional thru-hiker might look with 
distain at some guy blasting thru who isn't even going to sleep on 
the trail.
  I hope this generates some interesting discussion.


Howie Breinan
breinan@ortho.bwh.harvard.edu


Follow-Ups: