Outdoor Trail and Winter Trainers

Trail Trainers - Are you ready for winter Part 1? 

(Please note this Blog is currently being updated - last date of info added 11th October 2021 - Some links may expire at any time) 

Using Outdoor Trail Trainers with a good grip can help with safety in the winter, as well as aiding performance for fitness, and running off road in the winter. They might include muddy trails and running up hills and mountains.  

Below we have some information and suggestions to help you on the subject.

Winter footwear

As the weather gets particularly muddy and slippery a number of bootcampers have asked about appropriate footwear.

Ideally, you want to be looking at trail running shoes/ trainers, as they offer good support and a better grip.  Some people wear football boots, but we don’t really recommend these unless we are purely grass based. They can sometimes be dangerous during group games, and don’t always give the adequate support for the activities we take part in! Normal running trainers have great grip on Tarmac but none so much in mud, with the wetter unstable terrain that we have in the Winter. When wearing the wrong type of trainers, you may find yourself sliding about and, in some cases, cause yourself an injury by tripping, slipping or twisting in the wrong way.

The benefit of trail trainers is that you can use them for Bootcamps, trail and off road running as well as some obstacle races. You will find that spiked, studded or bladed boots are banned at races. This will make a pair of trail shoes a good investment and will be there for you when you sign up to the trail, obstacle and mud races, such as Total Warrior, Off road runs, Spartan, Tough Mudder or use when going for a good walk up a mountain or muddy places etc. 

Which Trainers to buy completely depends on your budget, your running style and the support that you need for your feet, knees and ankles; but there are great trainers out there to suit everyone’s needs. Personally, I need to have a trainer with strong ankle support, as I have weak ankles. You may prefer waterproof trainers, a lighter weight pair or ones that allow your feet to breathe. It’s all down to your own preferences. Sometimes is can be trial and error 

Some words you may here 

Heel Drop
Heel Drop, is the difference in the amount of material under the heel of the show. If you have 20mm at the back and 12 mm at the front this is class as 8mm Heal Drop If you have 15mm and 15mm of thick at the front and back this is zero Heel Drop. If you are not used to Zero Heal drop this can take a while to get use to as well. I find that zero heel drop can be tough on the calf’s and Achilles. 

A good website that discusses this in more depth can be see here > Heel Drop 

Lugs are the rubber support under trainers to give you support – The Higher and bigger lugs can help when mugs, running on trails and going up mountains

Weight is down to preference – The light the weight the faster you may go but in some compromise stability and thickness of the sole. The heavier they are the more sluggish a trainer can feel but give you stronger support. When not racing and on longer runs I tender to wear heavier trainer with better ankle support. 

For bootcamp is this purely down to preference with what you prefer. In the winter though sometimes its good to have stable support for your ankles with the mud and how slippy it can be 

Trainers that say Gortex tend to be more expensive but do keep your feet dryer and classes as waterproof trainers. They will not 100% guarantee your feet do not get wet as water will still get in from your ankle if you go in water. Gortex can be very handy in wet weather; however do not allow your feet to breath as well 

Shoe Box 
Details coming soon 

Trainer suggestions and examples that might be good for bootcamp and using off road in the winter 

(Please note these are only suggestions. If you buy any of these please make sure you do your own research and see if the style, colour and specification suits you) Please google to find the best prices. We have recommended some good sites at the bottom 

Value (£25-£40) Examples 

  • Mens Higher Stare Soil Shaker Trail 2 Running Shoes
  • Karrimor Tempo 5 Mens Trail Running Shoes
  • Karrimor Caracal Mens Trail Running Shoes
  • Womens Trail Asics Scout 2 Trail Running Shoes
  • Karrimor Tempo Ladies Trail Running Shoes

Mid-range (£50-£80) Examples

  • Hoka Torrent 2 Women's Trail / Offroad shoe
  • Solomon XT Inari Women's Trail Offroad shoe (On offer at the time)
  • Hola One One Ranges (Sportsshoes)
  • Saucony Peregrine 11 (Sportsshoes)
  • Scott Super-trac Ranges (Sportsshoes)

Top of the range (£75-£150) Examples
Here, the price can sky rocket, depending what you want for your money. You will find that you have a lot more
options in this price range in terms of the colours that you want and the variability that you want from your shoes.
Some of the most popular shoes in this price range are listed below:

  • Solomon Speedcross 4 Mens and Women's (Google for best prices) 
  • Salomon Speedcross 5 Mens and Women's Running Shoe (Google for best prices) 
  • Saucony Peregrine 12 Mens and Women's (Google for best prices) 

Other good brands to look at more for off-road running than classes 

Altra if you have wide feet Altra are excellent. They have a baseline drop but once you get used to this really help your feet. I have tried the Mont Blancs over the summer on hard trial. They have been amazing (Better for the summer and hard/ rockier grounds) 

Running vs Trail vs Hybrid Trainers 

Have a look at the following:

  • Inov-8 Park Claw - Limited Mileage but not the best in muddy terrain  
  • Hoka One One Speed goat Good for longer distances  

Checkbox: When looking at trainers please make sure you check the following features:

  • heel drop,
  • weight,
  • comfort,
  • ankle support,
  • foot protection,
  • style and cushioning levels.
  • Gortex / normal
  • Laces

The world is your oyster when it comes to trail trainers!!

Good Sites to look at





Reviews on trainers 

(Please note this article based on recommendations from our trainers experience and research we have taken through third party websites, companies and personal blogs. We accept no responsibility if and when you purchase any of our recommendations in the unfortunate event of a fall, trip or injury UK Outdoor Fitness Ltd, and UK Health and Well Being accepts no responsibility or liability) 

Blog updated by Paul Smith Nov 2022 - On-going blog



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