RUNNING SHOES FOR CROSS COUNTRY

When it comes to tackling the harshest terrain, sharp inclines, wet weather and plenty of mud, your choice of shoe is extremely important. Not only do you need a cross country shoe that is durable enough to handle everything the terrain and the weather have to throw at it, but you also need a shoe that’s lightweight enough to help you perform at your best.

So what are good running shoes for cross country? Here’s our quick guide.

  • WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR?

A cross country shoe must be water-resistant to keep your feet dry in all manner of conditions. It should fit snugly to prevent foot movement and provide plenty of support. It must also be robust and durable enough to withstand the toughest conditions and keep on coming back for more.

  • MAKE IT LIGHTWEIGHT

Many running shoes have a lot of cushioning and support, which provides excellent stability, but makes it more difficult for the shoe to flex and for you to feel the ground underfoot and alter your stride. If you are relatively light (under 13 stone) and exercise regularly, you do not need that level of support.

Instead, most cross country runners will be able to run in a lightweight running shoe with less cushioning without increasing the risk of injury. Light trail running shoes, some marathon running shoes and even lightweight road running shoes with plenty of grip should be suitable.

  • PRIORITISE COMFORT

Every runner wants to have a pair of cross country shoes that look the part, but looking cool is not your priority. It’s easy to convince yourself that shoes that cause pain or discomfort will soon wear in, or the fact that they don’t fit particularly well doesn’t really matter - it does!

Comfort is the most important aspect of a cross country running shoe. Make sure they are comfortable not just to stand in but to run in. You should try on several pairs until you find the perfect fit for you.

  • ARE TRAIL SHOES GOOD FOR CROSS COUNTY?

They can be, but you should steer clear of overbuilt trail running shoes that are designed for mountain treks, as they will be far too heavy-duty. A good trail running shoe that’s lightweight and has plenty of grip should be suitable for most cross country courses. Some cross country runners wear specialist shoes with spikes, which offer unbeatable speed and traction on the muddiest courses, but they are not suitable for courses with rocky or hard sections.