Choose the Best Trail Running Shoe for Your Style

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Running on a boring treadmill or through heavily congested streets is not for you.  Instead, you long for wooded trails, with roots that must be navigated and streams that need to be forded. You know the challenge of running on these uneven surfaces and you say, “Bring it on!” But did you know that your everyday athletic or running shoes may not be up to the challenge?

The best trail running shoes are designed specifically for the conditions you will encounter in the great outdoors. Rough terrain needs sturdy outsoles that hold up to the pounding, protect, and stabilize your feet when landing on rocks or uneven ground. Wide tread and cleats give good traction when you are scrabbling up a stony hill, or slogging through the mud. Toe guards help protect this vulnerable area from injury when you trip over a rock, or stub them against a root stump that you didn’t notice. If you run in boggy fields or through creeks or streams, you will want a trail shoe with good waterproofing.

If your ventures into the countryside are limited to fairly smooth paths, you may be able to use a hybrid shoe that works well in the city and still gives you a little extra stability, protection and traction off the road. Some runners are investigating the barefoot style of running and choose minimalist trail running shoes. However, these are best left to experienced runners, and you may want to get an expert opinion before tackling this variation of the sport.

When you are looking for the best trail running shoes for your style of running, it is a good idea to have your feet evaluated by a podiatrist before you start looking. Dr. Robert Parker of Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston can determine whether there is anything in your arch type or stride that needs correcting or special support. He can recommend the style of shoe that best fits your type of running and foot structure. Call him today at (281) 497-2850, or click on the appointment request button online. “Happy trails to you!”

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