What’s the Difference Between Trail and Road Shoes? || REI

hey everybody today we are gonna be
talking about shoes specifically what is the difference between road running
shoes and trail running shoes you may be wondering especially if you
already have road shoes should you really go for it and get trail running
shoes for running out on the dirt it depends we’re going to talk about the
differences all right so let’s look at the shoes
from the ground up the first thing to consider is the outsole so it’s the
bottom of the shoe with trail running shoes you’re gonna see a lot of these
more gnarly features on here so we call these points lugs those are to give you
a lot of grip when you’re going over varied surfaces routes rocks mud you
really want that traction when you’re out on the trail by comparison in your
road shoes the road shoes are really looking to give you a stable consistent
surface for running over paved ground one other difference to keep in mind is
that some trail shoes have a stickier outsole on the bottom so not quiet all
the way to climbing shoes sticky but that stickiness on the rubber on the
bottom of the shoe is going to give you more grip when you’re out on trail there
next up the midsole so when we look at this section of the shoe right here
trail shoes are going to be a little bit stiffer all the way through they really
want to give you that support when you’re out in the dirt so we can look at
house if they are this way and how stiff they are this way and one other thing to
keep in mind is that some trail shoes also have what’s called a rock plate so
that’s a bit of extra material in the midsole of the shoe here and in this
shoe you can actually see it through the outsole and these little cut throughs
but a rock plate is basically going to protect your feet from anything pointing
you might happen to step on while you’re out on the trail they’re Road shoes
don’t tend out Rock plates like that so Road shoes in the middle are going to
be made of different types of foam and they can give you a little more control
when you’re running over that paved surface in terms of keeping your foot
from pronating a little whereas your trail shoes are just going to be stiff
all the way around if we go back to rock plates for a moment since your road
shoes don’t have Rock plates in them if you decide to take a run through the
gravel on your road shoes you are gonna feel those little rocks and bits on the
ground right through the foam they’re just a difference to keep in mind the
other section here that we can talk about is the uppers so the entire top
part of the shoe overall your trail shoes are just gonna be a little burlier
to protect the shoe and your foot from everything that’s out on the trail so on
this shoe not all shoes have these but on this shoe
you’re gonna see that stiff plastic on the front some reinforcements here on
the sides versus the road shoe that doesn’t have those features the plus
side of road shoes not having all that reinforcement is that they tend to be a
little lighter than your trail shoes all right those are some differences but
there are still a lot of similarities between these shoes you get to choose
how much cushioning you have either a lot or a little bit overall in the shoe
you still get to think about how much heel to toe drop you have anywhere from
a lot of squish under the heel tapering down to nothing under the toe or zero
amount of difference between either where the heel and the toe are at the
same height and as always with any kind of shoe fit is the most important part
so if you’re thinking about either road shoes or trail shoes go see your local
experts at REI and they’ll help you get fit all right that’s all for today if
you’re curious for more check out our other videos and until then we’ll see
you next time


  • If the sole on trail shoes is "stickier" for better grip as the young lady states, then surely the sole will attract grit, dust and debris and straight away lose render its stickiness useless. I could be wrong but I don't think formula 1 type grip is really applicable here except as sales bull shit

  • Thanks for the explanation of the differences. Have wondered about that. Well done video. 👍

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