The same old concrete running track that feels a little old? Good news: trail running has a deserved (and much needed) moment – and we're here.
These smart people are fixated on something: exercise in nature actually calms the part of the brain that involves rethinking, says a study published by PNAS. (Can we say "yes please" ?!) But what's even cooler is that you can restore the calming effects if you exercise these days. Studies show that you are happier if you only look at pictures of the great outdoors while walking on a profile.
If you can still swing it, it will do your brain and body very good if you walk a few miles in the fresh air. “Being on the trails is the perfect way to cut out the noise of our lives,” says ultra trail runner Gina Lucrezi.
"I feel alive with trail running," says Lynn Hollis, one of over 100 female trail runners we interviewed for this story. "People always ask what I think about on the trails, but for me the attraction is that I can't think. I can't imagine what to eat for dinner. I can only concentrate on where to go and the beauty around me. "
Likewise, runners for runners said hitting the trails helps them unplug, be present (tripping over rocks is a real problem) and enjoy just putting one foot in front of the other – simple pleasures that appear more important in stressful times. Given all the good mood, the question is: are you ready for this movement magic? The first step to achieve this is to find a solid pair of trail running shoes. Here are 7 of the best on the market right now.
1 / Brooks Running Cascadia 14
Best for: Wet weather
Brooks CASCADIA 14
R 2 400
You need a sturdy, non-slip and waterproof shoe when you are out in the rain – or even after the rain when the trails get muddy. This sneaker occurs for you. "You keep your feet dry and protected while the grip on the floor prevents you from sliding on wet stones," said Brooks Beasts athlete Katie Mackey. You can thank the Gore-Tex upper and rubber floor for this support.
CONTINUE READING: Everything you need to know before trying trail running
2 / Salomon Sense Ride 3
Best for: Everyday life is running
Salomon Sense Ride 3
R 2 199
Feel stable under your feet without carrying a lot of weight with this durable shoe. The grip on the sole is great and the comfortable upper helps with support and breathability. They are the perfect shoe for training.
3 / New Balance Summit unknown
Best for: Run fast
New Balance Summit unknown
R 1 999.90
“For me, the hallmark of a great trail shoe is one that locks my foot in and feels like a natural extension of my crotch,” says Katie Grossman, a trail runner from Team New Balance. "This helps me to tackle climbs more effortlessly and the descents more safely."
4 / Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
Best for: Sharp gradients
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
R 2 899.90
Wear these kicks to tackle hard hills. With a non-slip outsole and great grip, you can easily climb up or down. That is why Roche is a contact point in the mountains. "It's grippy and responds to steep climbs while giving me confidence in every type of descent," she says.
5 / Altra Superior 4.0
Best for: Feel the way
Altra Superior 4.0
R 2 099
Amanda Basham, pro runner and endurance trainer, completed the TransAlpine Run in these sneaks, which covered approximately 250 kilometers and 1,645 meters of difference in altitude. Obviously, they can withstand some tough battles. "I love (the manager) because you can feel the trail while still having a lot of support and cushion," she says. "The traction is incredible and helped me downhill."
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6 / Saucony female peregrine falcon 10 ST
Best for: Handle on the way
Saucony Women's Peregrine Falcon 10 ST
R 2 400
The refreshed PWRTRAC rubber tabs on the bottom of this pair make us feel like badasses going up the hill, but the flexibility in the sole is designed for speed.
7 / Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail
Best for: Way to street style
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail
R 2 199.95
The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoe by Nike is the perfect combination of style and function. It has an unbreakable upper, a super cushioned midsole and outsole studs for traction.
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