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The right shoes for cross-country running

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 25, 2012 at 5:08 PM

My middle-shool age son is going to run with the cross-country team this fall and I am looking for the right shoe for him to wear. He has some VFFs but they are starting to wear. Also, he doesn't have running experience, so I am concerned if there is risk in having him start out with minimalist footwear. However, I do not want to have him run in traditional wedge-soled running shoes. I am interested in your suggestions. What do you all say?

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:42 PM

With due respect, there is not any new or useful information on that page. Is this merely a product plug or a real attempt to offer an answer to my original question?

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:23 PM

A link, excellent. I'll check these out too. I've heard reviews of these before .. and I believe they were reasonable. A little bit pricey, but I imagine that's pretty typical.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Hmmm, spikes. Good point. I'll have to see what his coach says about the surfaces they'll be running on. And how serious my son is going to be about running, since this is his first time out.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Yeah, he really likes his VFFs, especially the attention he gets for having "toes" :)

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and the critiques. With only a short time time to shop around, I'll have to make a short list of the best-sounding contenders (sorted by price!) and go with what I can find. So far, Inov-8 230, Merrell Mix-Master 2, and VFF KSO Trek.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Thanks, I'll check those out. I don't know if I've seen the Inov8s around, so we'll have to find out what's available.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on August 25, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I wear Brooks pure grit - a trail running version of the pure connect - and they're great. For cross-country racing I agree you need spikes, but for training Inov8 has some trail shoes with lugs on the bottom for muddy conditions.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on August 25, 2012
at 06:53 PM

I second the Inov8 idea. I love my terraflys.

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6 Answers

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2
62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

on August 25, 2012
at 06:41 PM

I can recommend Inov-8 and Merrel. My Son has been running XC/trails in Inov-8 230's for a couple years, and today I just bought him a pair of Merrell 'Mix Master 2's. They actually look just like Inov-8s and have a fairly flat to negative heel, decent rock protection and sticky/knobby tread. I tried on a pair myself. If you can still find them, the New Balance MT 101's are the best lightweight cross country/trail shoe made in the past few years, IMHO. They're sometimes on clearance now in limited sizes. New Balance's latest 'Minimus' line looks and feels like pure crap though.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestions and the critiques. With only a short time time to shop around, I'll have to make a short list of the best-sounding contenders (sorted by price!) and go with what I can find. So far, Inov-8 230, Merrell Mix-Master 2, and VFF KSO Trek.

2
783704d6b31f91d4aebb402f089e082f

on August 25, 2012
at 05:13 PM

I would suggest a pair of Inov8 shoes, I run in 195s, but if you're looking for a compromise and I know a lot of people that swear by running in the 230s.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on August 25, 2012
at 06:53 PM

I second the Inov8 idea. I love my terraflys.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Thanks, I'll check those out. I don't know if I've seen the Inov8s around, so we'll have to find out what's available.

1
Medium avatar

(3213)

on August 25, 2012
at 07:36 PM

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:23 PM

A link, excellent. I'll check these out too. I've heard reviews of these before .. and I believe they were reasonable. A little bit pricey, but I imagine that's pretty typical.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on August 25, 2012
at 05:55 PM

If he's good in the VFFs, then the Nike Free or the Brooks Pure Connect are very good minimal running shoes.

If he's going to be serious he needs a pair of spikes too. Running in the mud/grass when it's wet is dangerous without spikes.

It's never a bad idea to go to a legit running store and get his stride checked out.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:20 PM

Hmmm, spikes. Good point. I'll have to see what his coach says about the surfaces they'll be running on. And how serious my son is going to be about running, since this is his first time out.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on August 25, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I wear Brooks pure grit - a trail running version of the pure connect - and they're great. For cross-country racing I agree you need spikes, but for training Inov8 has some trail shoes with lugs on the bottom for muddy conditions.

1
27bac964edd249667d0fb749daeeb090

(263)

on August 25, 2012
at 05:49 PM

If he likes VFF and really needs something for off-road that can hold up to wear and tear, check out the VFF KSO Trek. They're made from kangaroo leather and very durable and comfortable. They are the 1st pair of vibrams that I bought, 2 1/2 year ago, and are still holding up. I have 2 other pair of vibrams that have since torn.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on August 25, 2012
at 09:18 PM

Yeah, he really likes his VFFs, especially the attention he gets for having "toes" :)

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 08, 2013
at 09:56 AM

You should read this shoes about suitable shoes for cross-country http://www.upere.com/fashion/what-type-of-shoes-is-suitable-for-wearing-for-cross-country/.

A9007c998e3b924deebbe9ebb98d4db6

(340)

on January 09, 2013
at 06:42 PM

With due respect, there is not any new or useful information on that page. Is this merely a product plug or a real attempt to offer an answer to my original question?

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