What shoes are best for cross-country running?

When running cross country, you will often see different runners at different levels wearing different types of shoes. One person wears old running shoes, another takes his running shoes out of the closet, and some even wear soccer shoes. The best athletes often run on cross-country spikes, but what type of shoe is ideal for recreational runners? We looked it up for you.

What do you take into consideration regarding shoes for cross-country running?

Of course, cross country running is a little different from road racing. First, the distance is much shorter. There are short crosses of about 2-3 km in length, and long crosses often do not exceed 10 km. When we run longer than that, we call it trail racing. Of course, the cross is on unpaved ground. They are often completely or almost completely unpaved. This can be over meadows, beaches, sandboxes and forest paths, but also through full mud puddles. There's nothing too crazy about cross country racing. Of course, you have to adjust your shoes accordingly.

What shoes do you choose for cross-country running?

You can easily make your first cross without ambitions in old hockey or football boots. You don't need a lot of cushioning because of the soft surface and you have enough grip with these shoes. If you have ambitions, it's best to choose shoes that are truly designed for the job. These are trail shoes or spikes. Every shoe has its advantages and disadvantages and you can decide for yourself. We list the points for you.

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Crossed nails

You will see most of the top athletes running on spikes. Track athletes also work on this. The cross height can be compared to spikes for medium distances. The dots on the bottom of your shoes give you perfect grip when launching. You can often simply nail the dots under the pins and thus determine the length of the dots yourself. In addition, the spikes have a very low drop. This means there is little or no heel underneath, so you naturally land on the ball of your foot. This is why the spike is particularly suitable for short distances. Most runners can't last more than half an hour on the spikes. Therefore, only use nails for short intersections that are not completely paved. Scout the course beforehand and check if there are any hard parts that could ruin your score. The organization will often put carpet there, but always check before placing nails.

trail shoes

An alternative to spikes is trail shoes. They're made for long, unpaved distances, but you can also put a patch of asphalt on them. They look more like regular running shoes. The difference is in the sole, which offers much greater grip and the upper is often more robust. This means it can take a beating, and sometimes the upper is even water repellent. Very nice when you have to go through a bucket of mud. You can run for a long time in running shoes, which makes them great for long distances, but even if you do short occasional runs, you won't lose as much speed compared to runners on spikes.

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Are you going to wear spikes or trail shoes?

The question of whether to choose spikes or boots depends mainly on the surface and distance. When the cross is completely sloppy, you really want to make the most of it and it probably won't take more than half an hour, you can put in the nails. Make sure you have trained on the spikes before and prepare for stiff calves in the coming days. Are there paved sections or will it take more than half an hour? Then it's better to be safe and choose a good pair of shoes with good stability.

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Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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