TRAIL RUNNING - THE TOP 10 ESSENTIALS
With the right gear and equipment, you can enjoy trail running across rough and rugged terrain. See what every trail runner needs to stay comfortable, protected and supported – plus, the little essentials to help you navigate your trails – in our guide to the essential trail running gear.
1. SUPPORT YOUR FEET WITH TRAIL RUNNING SHOES
The most crucial part of your essential trail running gear is specialist trail running shoes that are comfortable, durable and provide plenty of support. Out on the hills, you need the right amount of grip so your foot doesn't slide on uphills and downhills – if it’s raining, you need that grip even more.
Read our guide to find the right trail running shoes for you.
2. STAY HYDRATED WITH A BACKPACK AND BUILT-IN WATER SUPPLY
Your trail route might not pass by any freshwater source. The solution is to bring a backpack with a built-in water supply. With most hydration packs, you don’t even have to stop or slow down to take a drink; just grab the tube connected to your backpack or waist bag and feel immediately refreshed. When shopping around for a backpack with a built-in water supply, consider its capacity, the fit and any additional features it includes.
Read the ASICS guide to running hydration and why it’s important.
- MOVE FREELY IN TRAIL APPAREL THAT DOESN’T RESTRICT YOUR UPPER BODY
When you run uphill, you swing your arms more to power yourself forward. You might also move quickly to balance yourself over technical trails. That means you need a top that gives you real freedom of movement.
4. PREPARE FOR BAD WEATHER WITH A PACKABLE JACKET
Trail running sometimes means heading out into the wilderness, so you need to be prepared for changeable weather. Having layers you can put on and take off as the conditions change is the key. A packable jacket is lightweight and is made of water repellent fabric to keep you dry, whatever the weather.
Read our guide to staying dry on your run to find out more.
5. PROTECT YOUR LEGS WITH TRAIL RUNNING TIGHTS
Trail running tights are an important part of your trail running essentials. Tough woven fabric will protect your lower legs, while a comfortable, stretchable material provides unbeatable freedom of movement when running over technical trails.
6. STAY ON TRACK WITH MAPS OR GPS DEVICES
Without any roads, you’re reliant on your orientation skills. A good Ordnance Survey map and compass can give you peace of mind. If you have a GPS system, you can log your run and track your progress by downloading the ASICS Runkeeper app.
7. BE READY FOR DIFFERENT TERRAIN WITH A SPARE PAIR OF SHOES
You might encounter a range of different terrain on your run, so think about taking a spare pair of shoes with you. You can tackle the uphills with a lighter trail shoe, then on the descent, you can pull on a supportive shoe with maximum grip.
8. REFUEL WITH GELS AND ENERGY BARS
It’s essential to eat on longer trail runs, but you don’t want to be weighed down with a backpack of food. A good way around the problem is to take some small and lightweight energy bars and gels. For a run lasting around an hour, most people will eat an energy bar or a gel or two. However, for longer runs, and particularly when you’re out for more than three or four hours, planning exactly what you’re going to eat becomes much more important.
9. KEEP YOUR FEET COMFORTABLE WITH GAITERS
Trail running sometimes means going over gravelly and rocky terrain. While they might not be essential trail running gear, gaiters, which are attached over the opening of your shoe to prevent sand, dirt and small rocks from getting in, can be beneficial. They prevent blisters and hot spots from forming so you can run in comfort.
10. SHIELD YOUR EYES WITH A LIGHTWEIGHT RUNNING CAP
A lightweight running cap keeps your eyes and face protected from the sun and the rain so you can stay focused on the terrain. Take a look at the ASICS range of headbands, athletic hats and beanies and order online.