I find trail shoes harder to run in compared with road shoes, not so much because of their weight and lack of bounciness, but mainly because I can’t move fast on grass and dirt.
I had a customer who came in the other day looking for a pair of trail shoes that he could use for a park run, which could also be used on tarmac. On one of the display shelves were a pair of Adidas Kanadia 5 Trail, similar to the ones that I use for trail running (see pictured).
“You’re not going to be happy with those ones,” I said to him. “Oh, why not?” He asked. I told him that the Kanadia model, despite having the “lightweight” EVA midsole, do not have midsole as soft as that of a pair of cushioned Asics Trail Lahar. The pair would rattle his knees if he runs on tarmac. Of course, you don’t expect the latest Boost insole padding from Adidas in a pair of trail shoes. This model features Adiprene insole, as well as hardy outsole comprising blunt rubber studs that are optimised for treading on gravelly and hardened peat grounds.
The red insole carries the printed wording: “Run strong”. In a pair this hard, and with the rubber so firm and unyielding, of course you have to.
As a rule of the thumb, when buying a pair of Adidas – trail or road – you have to go half a size bigger than normal. The chassis or signature three stripes on both sides of an Adidas shoe grip the foot firmly to restrict unnecessary movement in the footwear during a run. This feature, however, also results in an Adidas shoe feeling a tad too narrow for the wide-footed runner. The most common complaint I get about the Kanadia is to do with the toebox: it leaves little room between your toe and the shoe’s toe cap, unless you go half a size bigger than usual.
“The red insole carries the printed wording: ‘Run strong’. In a pair this hard, and with the rubber so firm and unyielding, of course you have to.”
You buy this pair knowing that you will not run on tarmac with them. I did, however, have a customer who bought a pair because they are cheap, and that he reckoned he could run on the treadmill in the gym with them.
Each to his own.
I use the Kanadia model mainly for walking to my cross-country destinations rather than competing in them. The weather has been very wet lately, and the rubber studs would not have been able to grip the muddy grounds of all the courses that I did over the autumn and winter seasons.
I did use them for a brick session at Richmond Park, in between two cycle phases. Let’s just say that it was a very challenging 5k run that worked my calves too hard. I could get no bounce from the shoes. I stopped twice in the middle of the run just to recover from the pain. Maybe I am not cut out to be a trail runner. Maybe the Adidas Kanadia 5 Trail model is meant for those who like to push hard with their off-road run.