Basic gears for Trail Running

Trail Gear galore, recently I went bonkers and bought 2 pairs of Trail shoes at a sale when knowing that I already have one in my collection of many shoes, lets just say the sale was too good to resist.

I started doing more trail running in preparation for my The North Face (TNF) 50km, this coming October, yeah.. to some ultra runners 50km may seem short for them, but this is the not a race for me, it is actually my training for the upcoming Hong Kong 100km in January.

Well if you are interested to run trails or go for a hike, here are some essential gears to get you started.

Essential gear for a trail runner doesn’t have to be anything fancier than a crusty pair of trail shoes, an old race tee and socks that will never be white again. But a few other purchases will get you running wild.

Shoes. Your favorite brand of road shoe won’t necessarily manufacture a good trail runner, or a trail runner that works best for you. Trail running shoes sit lower than road shoes, with a harder midsole to take the impact of the trail. They provide greater ankle support to prevent rolling and more lateral support and flexibility for uneven terrain. They have sturdier, stickier treads. Runners who face stream-crossings or mud should wear trail shoes with drainage holes, waterproof uppers and laces that won’t stretch when wet, think GORE-TEX ..  (not talking about minimalist here ok)

Apparel. Trail runners take layering seriously since weather at altitude can change instantly. When the temperature begins to cool, start layering with a running tank, then a long-sleeve tee, both made of a wicking fabric. A breathable, hooded jacket is vital. In warmer weather, stick with loose, wicking shorts. In cold weather opt for snag-proof tights.


Gloves. Wipeouts happen. Lightweight gloves protect hands from gravel burns, stray brambles and chilly air.  ( I personally dont wear gloves cause its humid, but yeah Wipeouts do happen and burn is a bitch…  wear gloves if you don’t wanna feel pain !

Socks. Find what works for you: wool blends, layered micro fiber, toe socks. If you blister, turn them inside out. Go with gray, brown or black.

(my fav for everyday use: Oakley M-Frame if not see the alternative review I have done on the Oakley Radarlock )

Sunglasses. Since trails often lead from dark forests to brilliant glades, sunglasses make sense. Even on all-shade trails, glasses protect eyes from branches and clear lenses keep debris from contacts. Lanthier-Brandner recommends orange lenses, which work well in all light, or shades with interchangeable lenses.

Hydro packs. Dehydration happens quickly at altitude so carry water. Hydration packs are necessary for longer runs; bottle belts for shorter trails. Buy packs that are suitable in sizes for your self, with lots of pockets to stash energy gels, bars and a cell phone. I for one do not like to have them in my pockets cause it will bounce.  Make sure you invest in a good quality reservoir bag as it will keep your items safe and hydrates your walk or run or hike.  (brands I would choose: Camelbak, Salomon, Deuter)

and not forgetting Trekking pole/ Hiking pole/ Walking stick

Them sticks / poles have become standard equipment for many hikers, trekkers, backpackers. The reasons why are simple. They enhance your stability. They are extendable and it is handy when you need them, most good quality hiking backpack will have a pole holder, do check with your retail store for more advise on choosing a good pole.


13 responses

  1. I’m interested in trail running, but I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for that kind of challenge. Ill have to try it some time!


    21/08/2012 at 8:51 pm

    • Well that depends on what kind of trails you wanna head out to, dont select a trail that is too technical with lots of roots, sands or gravel.

      If you are unsure on which trails, the best is to get a friend who is experience enough to tag along, that way he can share his experience with you.

      Trail running breaks the momentum of having to run the streets. All the best



      22/08/2012 at 9:03 am

  2. Pingback: Running shoes » Salomon Trail III Running Shorts

  3. step5509

    TNF 50K is sub-sub water for u….. sub 6 hour for u


    24/08/2012 at 10:33 am

    • yup .. my trail runs are usually 1hr for 10km, trying to aim sub 6 if possible… now with my sprained leg.. 😦


      24/08/2012 at 10:38 am

  4. Good review, I’m not investing in sunglasses as I cannot run freely using them but I’ll try what you suggested. I’ll let you know if it works for me.


    26/08/2012 at 1:40 am

    • well, the shades are not what you think, its the one with the yellow tint that brightens up the trails or maybe even persimmon, but if I had the moolah.. I would spend it on the Photochromatic lenses .. If I get my hands on those, I will surely update you with a review on it.

      Cheers Bro


      26/08/2012 at 1:48 am

      • Yeah, actually, I tested that one already and I am choosing whether this yellow tinted sunglasses or go with the polarized one. ahahaha


        26/08/2012 at 2:43 am

      • A good tip, get some variety of gradient shades,if you dont have the photochromatics lens, like the VR30, Persimmon, or just plain clear lens.

        All the one I have mentioned are from Oakley. (no they do not endorse me) but I have enough of them to know. 🙂



        26/08/2012 at 2:46 am

      • I’m sure to look for that and try one first before buying one. Thanks for the tip. How’s your training?


        26/08/2012 at 3:03 am

      • sprained my foot last weekend, still not 100% healed, HATE IT ! but i can’t take it anymore, heading out for a long bike ride in 3 hours time. Add me on twitter if you are on it, we can chat there



        26/08/2012 at 3:15 am

      • Oh I’m sorry to hear that, hope you recover in no time, my twitter is @thesilentpal


        26/08/2012 at 3:17 am

  5. Pingback: Running shoes » Salomon Trail III Shorts

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