No matter the season, it’s important to find a way to train through it
I live in New England, where we tend to have about 5 trail seasons annually: snow season, patchy ice season, mud season, bone dry awesome trail running season, and leaf season. These mostly come in order, annually, although some years the patchy ice season comes before and after the snow season. Regardless of when these seasons come, it is important to find a way to train through them.
Proper gear selection is critical to maximize your training under varying conditions -and I’ve found my #1 versatile shoe has, surprisingly, been the Oroc 280s. These were originally designed as orienteering (off-trail running) shoes, but I have found them to be a staple in my trail running shoe selections. They are my go-to shoes for three of the five seasons we have! The carbide cleats have proven invaluable for ice running on the trails, snow running on the roads, and (surprisingly) running over leaves on the trails. Luckily, the durable upper is water resistant and sturdy enough to hold up with the wear and tear of the hundreds of miles I’ve run in them!
Last week, I had to do an interval workout, and chose to do it on a local dirt road so I would avoid traffic (plus, I often see a hawk or two fly around back there). I wore the Orocs, and effortlessly ran at 6:30 pace along the snow and ice covered road. The Orocs gave me such comfort and such ease of movement.
After a relatively dry fall, I raced the Mountain Masochist 50 Mile in Virginia last year. I actually found that the Orocs were my secret weapon to run over the leaf covered trails as others around me slid uncontrollably up and down the trails. I was surprised that they were comfy for 49 of the 50 miles in the race -I’ll admit that the last mile of pavement (with my weary feet) weren’t the most comfortable, but I will take that over sliding on leaves and falling instead!
If you live in a similar climate, and regularly deal with icy running, snow-covered trails, and abundant leaves, I would recommend you try a pair of Orocs…you have no idea what you’ve been missing!
- Can negotiate ice, snow, and leaf covered trails with ease
- Comfortable to run on any other condition, such as pavement or rocks
- Tungsten metal spikes are embedded well and solid enough to withstand plenty of wear and tear (more than a year of harsh use on mine, and still going strong)
- New fully welded rand and rubberized toe bumper deliver added protection, so capable of withstanding the elements and changing conditions.
- Super durable shoe -I’ve got a year of harsh abuse, and they are holding up well
- Upper is a bit thicker than other inov-8s, so they keep the feet warmer -great for the winter, but limiting in the summer
- If you run for a REALLY long time, these could potentially get a bit uncomfortable -it took me 49 miles to sense that I could feel the spikes and their anchor points underfoot. If you’re going a longer distance, try the x-talon or RaceUltra, depending on the terrain.