For the last eight months I've been wearing a pair of Inov-8 Roclite 320s as my primary trail shoe. I had been watching the trend towards switching to lightweight trail runners instead of more traditional hiking shoes/boots with great interest, but I have been slow or reluctant to make the move myself, until recently.
One of the main reasons I chose the Roclite 320s was for support. I am flat footed, which means that my ankle rolls inward when I walk, called pronation. The 320s are a very stiff shoe, even now after a couple of months of wearing. They were initially too rigid in the arch and took few days of hard wearing to stop giving me a sensation of pressure in my arch - a problem I have with a lot of shoes unfortunately, but it did go away eventually.
John Roan (Mountain Ultralight) recently wrote about his experience wearing his "hideous looking" Mizuno Wave Cabrakan trail runners, and by all accounts they sound like another quality brand.
Even though it took me a while to make the switch to trail running shoes, I'm pretty sure I could never go back to traditional boots. I feel like I'm a little late to the game, but my feet are grateful that I finally caught up with the latest foot technology, which is pretty hard to admit to as a self-confessed geek.
So, now I'm wondering, what other brands and models of trail running shoes are worth taking a look at? John has piqued my interest in Mizunos for sure and there are a lot more styles of Inov-8 shoes to consider. What other types or brands of shoes are you all liking/using right now? It would be great to know what shoes are working and what ones aren't.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and paid for it using their own funds.
Brian is a Charlotte based backpacker, gear junkie, runner, and CrossFit(er). Originally from Southampton, England, Brian has lived in the US for over 20 years, finally settling in North Carolina. He spends as much time backpacking as his busy work schedule and family life will allow.