There are many different ways to get in shape for hunting season or improve your fitness at any time of year. Few training methods can approximate the terrain encountered in the outdoors as well as trail running. But this specialized activity requires unique footwear. You wouldn’t want standard waffle trainers for trail work anymore than you’d lace on a pair of hiking boots for the weekend 10K race. If you are considering taking up trail running to boost your stamina in the field, consider these traits of a bona fide trail-running shoe.

Stride Support


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Uneven, rocky terrain is the home turf of a committed trail runner. That comes with hazards such rolled ankles and stone bruises. A dedicated trail shoe should have more beef to it than a regular road shoe. Just be sure that the shoe platform conforms to the pronation of your gait (over-, under- or neutral) to enhance stability and reduce the likelihood of a turned ankle.

Durable Construction


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While there are a number of minimalist trail-running shoes on the market, athletes new to the activity are better off with a stout shoe that will not only offer the support they need but also will stand up against the demands of the trail.

Beefy Tread


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Running shoes built specially for the trail have tread pattern more akin to a hiking boot than a road trainer. An aggressive tread minimizes slipping, adds cushioning, and ensures that the runner has the most secure footing possible over variable terrain.