View Full Version : Which Trail Runners Get Your Vote?

02-22-2007, 18:03
I've decided to try some Trail Runners instead of lightweight boots for dayhikes and light pack multiple days on the AT in north GA. I'm a 135 pound guy with high arches.

Anyone care to give me your opinions on which models might work best?

Thanks much.

02-22-2007, 18:14
Dunham Waffle Stompers Nimble model; multi-sizes especially for wide feet. Dunham also has other lines built on different lasts. See your local New Balance dealer for info (Dunham is made by NB).

"Feets don't fail me now!!":cool:

02-22-2007, 18:18
Check out the New Balance 809's. Comfortable upper (non Gortex) and a rugged outsole. A little while ago they were on sale at the Sierra Trading Post website. Great shoe, reasonable price.


02-22-2007, 19:09
I like the Salomon XA Comp. I have low-volume, flat feet, and have a hard time finding shoes that fit well.

You might need to look at custom or semi-custom insoles, like the shake-and-bake Superfeet, for proper arch support in any trail runner.

02-22-2007, 19:11
I like Merrel Chameleon's.

02-22-2007, 19:33
You've really got to try them on and see what fits best for you. Many people have raved about the New Balance trail runners - I went to buy some and couldn't stand the way the felt on my feet. I tried on some Nike's that were on sale and love them. They have worked great for me. I'm ready for some new ones, but will probably go try out several types.

I think the key is finding something that fits YOUR foot.

02-22-2007, 19:35
Without a doubt the best I've ever used are Salomon XA Pro 3D's. (http://www.salomonoutdoor.com/us/product.aspx?gen=1&seg=51&gam=4&act=0&pro=433778&currItem=3) The wide surface area at the heel and design give incredible lateral stability. The toe bumper is awesome. Uppers are not as durable as some others, partially because they're 100% synth with a lot of mesh. They dry super quick. They fit my medium volume, wide forefoot well. They make a GoreTex-lined version as well but that's defeating the purpose of using trailrunners for hiking.

If you need arch support, try Superfeet inserts. I've been using them with decent results.

02-22-2007, 20:00
NB 809's are good if you have a low volume foot. I also have a high arch and can't get into them. The New Balance 606 however, is friggin awesome. I use them with Montrail inserts for my high arch. I just bought 6 pairs for the PCT.

Joe's New Balance Outlet has them on sale for $45.

02-22-2007, 20:14
You'll have to go to a good running store and try them out.

I like Asics Trabuco, but I can't use Nike's, they don't fit my feet somehow.

Bottom line - don't ask us. Ask your feet at the store.

02-22-2007, 20:15
Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR

02-22-2007, 20:16
If you aren't afraid to try a minimalist approach, Nike Free Trails are really good. They have a lot more protection and support than you might expect and give very good balance.

02-22-2007, 21:18
Found a pair of Innov 8 Terroc 330's in my size at Mountain Crossings about six months ago. Extremely lightweight and comfortable with plenty of toe room. Best part, they were on sale for about fifty bucks ! Great trail shoes!!

02-22-2007, 21:28
New Balance 806. The most indestructible and most supportive trail shoe they made and they no longer make them so it hard to find them now.

02-22-2007, 21:33
Trail runners are extra weight with no spectacular advantage over the regular line of shoes--

If you must spend money-- there are plenty of good mid level road shoes that are great for hiking $40-70. You can get away with much less, however-kmart/walmart $20

Asics-are my favorites--several thousand miles in various pairs. :)

02-22-2007, 21:37
New Balance 806. The most indestructible and most supportive trail shoe they made and they no longer make them so it hard to find them now.

I really loved my 806's. RIP 806.:)

02-22-2007, 21:42
I love my Vasque Velocity. Got em for $50 on Sierra Trading Post.

02-22-2007, 22:29
well I use regular ole nike air shocks mids..good support, very tuff, comfortable look good and only 60.00..and lots of places carry them..and dont think they are gonna discontinue any time soon:)

02-22-2007, 22:46
I bought NB 809 and bought a jell NB insoles for another 30 dollars. Comfortable and tough.

Jim Adams
02-22-2007, 22:49
Salomon's---but your not wearing MY feet!


02-22-2007, 22:58
I usually buy what I find on sale but I look for NB, Merrell, Hightec all which have done well in the past.

02-22-2007, 23:18
But Montrail Hardrocks of course! The official trail runner of the AT and other long distance trails!

02-22-2007, 23:34
I started wearing Montrail Hardrocks two years ago and won't look back. Their amazing for me, and I usually pick up a pair or two whenever they go on sale for about $50. I currently have three pairs to start me on my thru (but the first pair already has a good 300-400 miles). Therefore, they are about as cheap as the sneaker brands, while fitting me better and lasting me longer.

But, what fits you is of ultramost importance. When my boyfriend went looking to by his first set of trail runners I started him at the Montrails, but we finished at the Merrels that fit him perfectly. He is still amazed that shoes can fit so well. Find what works for you and your feet will thank you for it.


02-23-2007, 10:36
This is a great thread in terms of demonstrating the wide range of choices and preferences regarding trail shoes.

Everyone's feet are different and trial/error is probably the best way to determine what shoe is best for YOU.

What's especially interesting to me is that different shoes from the same manufacturer don't always work for the same hiker. In other words ...I first converted to trail shoes using the Montrail Java. Still have one unused pair in a box in the closet and wouldn't trade it for anything. That said, when I began narrowing down my selection for an upcoming PCT thru I first went to Montrail and ordered 3 -4 different shoes, including the Hardrock (which is highly regarded by many on this thread) and really didn't like them. I had never owned/worn a pair of New Balance before in my life but took a chance on a great price (on-line) and ordered a pair of 809's. Liked them so much I quick ordered 5 more pair at that low price and now I'm set to go.


02-23-2007, 10:59
Asics Eagle Trail Gel with green Superfeet footbeds - work well for me but I wish I could find the same in a bigger width so I could use heavier socks

neighbor dave
02-23-2007, 11:09
trail runner???
lone wolf. heard he can run pretty fast, 'specially when there's beer to be drank!:D

02-23-2007, 12:07
NB 806s (or whatever the latest model in this style, started w/ 803s) wide width w/ superfeet & allot of achilles stretching for plantar fasciitis.

02-23-2007, 12:34
I start last week in April.

I will be wearing sandals, Teva Trail Wraptors, to be exact.

Almost There
02-23-2007, 17:41
salomon xa pro 3d for most of the year. Winter hiking in the XA Pro XCR. With gaiters feet stay warm and dry. Can't use inserts or my heels get torn off.

Completely depends on your foot type...Montrails are bad news for me, heels blister in under an hour.

Bear the Dog
02-23-2007, 18:37
New Balance 809's used them on this trip.

02-23-2007, 18:40
After the 806's , New Balance started making the 80x line of shoes lighter at the sacrifice of durability and lateral support. Also I heard a lot of complaints about the rubber toe thingie coming off and flapping on post 806's.

02-23-2007, 19:37
Montrail Hardrock
One pair lasted from Damascus to Mt Washington.

Jim Adams
02-23-2007, 19:51

Oh, wait.....you said trail runners not ridge runners.

02-24-2007, 13:20
Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR
Do your feet get wet from the goretex? I'd like to switch to trail runners, but I am not sure if I want goretex or not.

02-24-2007, 14:47
I vote for Goretex in winter (snow), and non-Goretex mesh for 3-season use. The Hurricane Ridge are my winter choice -- they keep my feet warmer and drier. But GT is way too hot for warm-weather hiking. Mesh runners dry out quickly after they get wet.

02-24-2007, 15:13
New Balance 907s - worth every penny

Chaco Taco
02-24-2007, 16:15
Merrell pulse II

02-25-2007, 03:17
Teva Wraptors

02-26-2007, 09:45
I like Merrel Chameleon's.

I just bought a pair. Will be trying them out on a test hike over April Fool's. I used to be perfer Montrails. The jury is still out.

02-26-2007, 20:46
Thanks for your input folks!

03-02-2007, 10:18
I got a pair of Montrails on clearance at a local outfitter and was really happy. I really do like the sole, much better than my previous 'normal' running shoes, where over the course of the day I'd feel each root/rock thru my shoes. So i strongly disagree with the member who said that trail runners are added unnecessary weight over the normal running shoes. The soles are well worth it.

Also, I'd try to discourage you from getting a pair of New Balances. I've had New Balances on and off fro the past few years, casually and for hiking, and won't ever buy another pair, for either use. I know they are wildly popular, but just are not durable at all. I do think they are comfortable, but like others have said, where the shoe front connects to the rubber sole on the front came unglued within a month. Also, if you have bony heels like I do, you'll wear out the lining inside the show behind your heel quickly, and then they are extremely uncomfortable. These Montrails have never done either, just some wear on the side from where I guess I've kicked rocks, etc.

The only thing about Montrails is that they tend to have a narrower toe box. I hadn't really thought of this when I got mine, but on a 2 day hike at Roan Mountain, I noticed that my toes toe nails started to turn black when I got home. I'm assuming they were getting crushed on some of the steep downhills, which hadn't happened before, and hasn't since, but something I will be looking out for on my upcoming thru.

I'm glad you've decided to ditch the unnecssary boots, and I'm confident that you won't ever look back.

03-02-2007, 10:39
new balance 872: lightweight, all sizes, breathable, for the trail:sun

03-02-2007, 17:04
I tried the Montails today. They were a bit tight across the forefoot area. I also tried Keens which were good but slipped a little more in the heel than I'm used to and then finally the Salomon XA Pro 3D. I would have bought them but they didn't really have my size. Still...I'm pretty sure this is the shoe. I think I'm going back tomorrow to order them.

I guess I could continue to keep trying everything out there but at some point you have to get on with the hike!

Thanks much.

03-03-2007, 15:22
I wouldn't mind trying some Salomon's or possibly Merrells (these look cool) for my next purchase. Do these brands hold up really well over time, hopefully better than New Balance? My experience with Montrails has been very positive, but would like a little more toe room next time i think.

03-04-2007, 10:00
I'm now on my third pair of Merrell Chameleon XCR's. I can deal with the slight extra foot moisture so that I can get waterproof shoes. Usually wear them with short gaiters and rain pants when it actually rains. Other than fitting me well, the soles are heavy enough to walk on very rocky ground without feeling the rocks through onto my foot bottoms. I think I decided on that feature while I lived in New Jersey, the AT and nearby trails are tough in that respect.

03-04-2007, 10:06
Montrail Hardrocks

03-05-2007, 00:00
I tried the Montails today. They were a bit tight across the forefoot area. I also tried Keens which were good but slipped a little more in the heel than I'm used to and then finally the Salomon XA Pro 3D. I would have bought them but they didn't really have my size. Still...I'm pretty sure this is the shoe. I think I'm going back tomorrow to order them.

I guess I could continue to keep trying everything out there but at some point you have to get on with the hike!

Thanks much.

I got a pair of keen's last spring to wear hiking. Was very disappointed. On the first trip, the toe rand (right term? the rubber piece that goes one top of the front of the shoe) started separating, and these 'waterproof' shoes started leaking like a sieve (my foot was black at the end of the trip from the dye inside the shoe transferring). Took 'em back to REI....