10 Best Fell Running Shoes Reviewed & Fully Compared
Trail running can already prove to be one of the toughest things a runner can put themselves up to. So what do you do if you want to push even farther? What if your standard trails just aren’t enough? Fell running is about finding the roughest, hardest, most unpredictable terrain and making it carry you stride after stride and you refuse to submit to it.
Unlike trail running, that already comes with its own fair number of hurdles, fell running ups the ante by taking away the one thing you can rely on in the wild: the trail. Every time you venture out, you go with nothing to guide your next move except your intuition. Every run is different. Your wits are all that’s out there to make certain your footing is sure, but that doesn’t mean a reliable pair of shoe can’t give you a hand.
We know if you made it this far then you are probably still interested in discovering the thrill of fell running for yourself. While it is certainly exciting, we don’t recommend it for runners unacquainted with trail running. It is best to test yourself on some trails before branching out. But if you think you could be up for it, then take a look at the selection of fell running shoes below. We know you will find a pair that will help you overcome whatever the great outdoors has to throw at you.
- Salomon Fellraiser
- EVA Heelcup + Contagrip Outsole
- Inov-8 X-Talon 212
- Soft rubber lugs
- Mizuno Wave Hayate 2
- Extremely lightweight
10 Best Fell Running Shoes
1. Salomon Fellraiser
This comparative criteria is always in the fore thoughts of French designers.
From it's selection of exclusive color combinations to some advanced features you were in search of for since in shoe of this type, Salomon Fellraiser has a bucketful of surprises.
Also including but not limited to, the imported synthetic sole; the perfect optimal traction in every adverse surface, and the extremely lightweight design, plus the ‘Contagrip’ technology used in the outsole make the Fellraiser significant for today's market. The awesome technological feature for comfort continue offering a design providing a strategic stabilizing low engineered shoe heel of 6mm, the stability is outstanding when encountering a rough undulating surface, ascending or descending non-linear surfaces are all part of the tasks this shoe can handle with comforting stabilization.
Sporting a toe box with emphasised space for the toes, we also see comfort overlaps into a base of Ortholite foam backed up by the EVA heel hugging cup, this innovative combination keeps your feet firmly planted and prevents unwanted positional foot movement. Less foot movement results in less potential for unwanted discomfort or blisters. You are not distracted during your ride by any problems resulting from an inadequate shoe design.
The shoe is extremely well built and very cautiously knitted to provide you with an assured adventurous racing. The ‘OrthoLite sock liner’ is added to restrain your feet from for any external shock and for providing unmatched cushioning.
A strong factor for efficient Fell running, this thoughtful French shoe design incorporates running technological innovation allowing the chevron lugs structured at 8mm's deep to smoothly work in conjunction the balanced low heel. The lugs are housed by a Contagrip outsole which provides a strong base allowing the lugs to do their work and bite down firmly into Fell style surfaces regardless of surface weather conditions such as rain, snow or dry. Running uphill or down the reliable shoe grip is consistent.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole
UPPER: The Toe Box sports a rubberized toe cap for protection incorporating open mesh styling which provides very good breath ability along with more than adequate fast drying time. The shoe tongue is purposeful in its design for preventing any dirt or trail debris from entering. The shoe features anti bacterial defense through a sock liner from Ortholite. The components for the sock liner work together to provide foam cushioning and support through an EVA heel cup. Cleverly engineered into the shoe and giving cradling support Shoe Fit is achieved through a SensFit made from long lasting durable Kevlar fiber. The Coup DE Grace as the French designers would say is the completion of the upper with a quick lace system provided by the designers from Salmon which when laced up give a firm hug to the foot.
Midsole: Sporting a low drop the midsole can take on challenges thrown up by different Fell trail surfaces, great cushioning provided through the EVA mould, for firm surfaces or otherwise and providing stability when it is needed by the runner.
Outsole: When compared to a Speedcross Outsole, the Chevron will most certainly last longer. Comprising a hard compound made from a specialist combination of rubbers this Contagrip creation provides more than enough grip factor and is surfaced with a chevron pattern of lugs, the traction factor for soft surfaces is extremely impressive.
Your toes are very well protected by an ample toe cap wrap, a must have for Fell running and keeping your foot further protected is the design inclusion around the shoes base of a strong solid rand.
Fell running can include a lot of mileage, often over terrain which can be unexpectedly challenging and this shoe is balanced in terms of weight, not too light and not too heavy. No weight issue exists to suggest this shoe will be too heavy.
Well done to French innovative design. A good price for a very high performing, durable, attractive looking Fell shoe. Purchasing these represents a good investment.
Working from the sole and going upwards: The shoe grip offers everything wanted by a Fell runner, as far as bad surfaces are concerned, bring them on, this shoe can grip. The sole and Midsole offers exactly the right quantitative qualities working in combination, cushion effect is appropriate, the upper has a nice fast drying mesh construction and sports a comfortable toe box. This is nicely rounded off with a speed lace system. The shoe is durable and long lasting and easily able to perform in all Fell running environments.
- One thing for sure, you’re going to love the combo of EVA-shaped footbed with EVA heel cup
- Equally excellent traction for every terrain
- Lacing contributes to an effective stability system
- Toe-cap is very protective
- The soles got separated after a few days of uses for very few of the users
2. Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Do you agree to the fact that there is always something special in handmade products? Especially for footwear, the careful hand knitting is always something that speaks to the special care the manufacturer takes of you. This hand-stitched fell running shoe is blessed with cautiously picked synthetic sole along with a lace up vamp and the perfect heel to toe drop of 6 mm. Bold logging at the outer sole renders a perfect masculine tough look that you are going to really like.
Inov 8 this heel box inclusion provides security, prevents rubbing, a comfortable foot hold through an embracing secure foot hug. Regardless of steep and rough terrains the EVA midsole provides top class comfort. A DWR coating keeps water at bay and the shoe's upper has a protective wrap around rand which provides very good defense against stone chips or other intrusive debris. Studs/lugs providing a 8mm depth this shoe is about total stability and comfort and ready for any challenging surface.
In the midsole area, there is injected EVA while the forefoot is of Meta-flex groove. One more genius addition in this range is, ‘Off-trail aggressive studs’ which keeps the traction in extreme moist, muddy or slippery terrain.
In terms of durability this shoe is in the ultimate league, no matter what the conditions, the shoe works
Upper is mega durable, lightweight and engineered to be durable with good protective qualities. A shoe tongue which easily serves purpose and pull those laces tight to feel the tight shoe fit which gives the mid foot ample security.
The studs/lugs are 8mm and have stick factor with a ruggedness that can bite down into a soft, loose or wet trail surface. These studs perform equally well on firm and hard trail surfaces.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: An exceptionally good water drainage system for those times when a runner strides through very wet surfaces, any water entering can quickly drain so your feet do not feel water logged. The upper is very durable and boasts a strong mesh construction on the front upper.
Midsole: EVA soft injected Midsole mold . Good cushioning for long mileage and being a low profile shoe providing a responsive feel for the foot. Low and very responsive, offering the right depth of cushioning.
Outsole: X Talon comprised from Dual C which is a compound mix of hard and medium sticky mix of rubbers. Durable hard wearing sole which quickly disperses clots of mud picked up while gripping the surface. From a side view it looks a little like a soccer boot but don't let looks fool you, this is a great Fell trail running shoe. Regardless of the type of surface on a trail, this shoe is very much up to the task.
Good bumper around the toe with a reinforced section.
Pick up a pair and you will be surprised, very light, a simply but sophisticated and well constructed shoe that will not weigh you down.
With a toe box in which you can flex your toes comfortably, an almost seamless construction, a foot hugging upper offering a feeling of security, and a very good Shoe fit. The conclusion is that this shoe easily ranks in the top ten choices and it worthy of being given a try.
The price is not set with the intention of being super affordable, but if your passion for quality makes you place itself on the top priority list, go ahead and try them for yourself.
- A sleek designed shoe with extraordinary traction, no matter how advanced
- terrain it is.The best pick for ‘obstacle course racing’
- The soft rubber lugs’ grip the foot really well
- Carefully designed heel area
- The fit is little narrow which may pause a threat for people with wider feet
- A non-negligible portion of cleats was damaged for some users.
3. Mizuno Wave Hayate 2
Let’s start with the high-quality synthetic fabric along with its vegan imported rubber sole which restrains the shoe from wearing away even after vigorous running through uneven surfaces. Next three features I’m going to discuss are the breathable and comfortable lace up vamp, lightweight synthetic upper sole and Heel-cradling Concave Wave design. These features keep your feet breathable, dry, ventilated and comfortable too for which the audacious mountains or the moist morass, nothing at all will be able to put down your zest. Shoe material achieves a natural stretch and is enabled through the inclusion of Dyna-Motion Fit which also serves towards preventing heel buckling.
Durability and quality is a must for every Fell shoe and to avoid skin irritations this shoe sports a seamless durable construction with GrisStitched overlays. a natural stretch is achieved through the inclusion of this qualitative and durable shoe tech.
Upper, Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: Breathability provided via an AIRmesh system. The upper mesh and inner lining ensure that moisture from sweaty fit is suitably wicked away.
Midsole: One of the most important things that a fell shoe is desperately in need of is flexibility and X-grooves at the midsole and they definitely take care of it here. Benefit from-"Concave Mizuno Wave Tech which ensures a stable ride.
Outsole: The carbon rubber outsole features X10, giving lightweight durable flexibility.The outsole is designed with X-lug which provides perfect traction multi-direction traction.
A " go for it" lug layout on the outsole means firm grip for most trail surfaces its a Trail-optimized system in place for the outsole unit, providing a good level of grip capability.
The shoes protective qualities are great breathability, nice cushion, high flexibility when needed and a strongly constructed shoe which can take on the various challenges thrown up by Fell running. If you want to feel protected, the tech engineered into this shoe is extensive and will serve your needs
A nice weight shoe at 204 grams which translates over to 7.1 ounces.
This shoe screams out that it has been designed with purpose in mind and that means it is great for Fell running. You wont go far wrong if you try out this quality shoe which is packed with appropriate shoe technology.
This shoe is brought to market for literally buyers with any budget. There is a colossal number of its models for different price ranges. Go and find yours today if you wish to. You won't find it an issue to do so.
- Excellent cushioning that doesn’t let the feet feel any stress even in hill picks.
- They are praised for being extremely lightweight, ventilated and with fantastic traction.
- Few users find it too much flat.
4. Inov-8 Mudclaw 300
The Precision Fit, for which this model is adored so much, is mandatory for any fell running shoe. Next, to speak about the overall material- there are two base materials: the synthetic textile and the imported rubber sole. In the upper sole, the presence of breathable mesh keeps the foot well ventilated and dry at all times; the importance of a hygienic dryness while running through extremely hot or humid terrain is in no need for explanation.
Synthetic uppers coated with a durable water repelling agent and Shoe Fit accommodates even narrow feet, its a good stable shoe for descending slopes. This shoe provides a low and less rounded heel cup which is very comfortable, in the previous 300 shoe model the lower rand was glued but now it is securely stitched.
The stud technology combines hard/medium sticky rubber 9 Dual-Combination-which prolongs lifetime strength.
Toe bumper and shoe upper are enveloped by a rand for excellent defense against flying stones or intrusive debris kicked up during running.
This shoe model retains its famous lugs at 8mm, sporting a drop of 6mm creating a double-crown. Excellent traction in muddy and/or wet grass slopes. You are surely going to love is the mud claw lugs in the outsole portion. Let the mud and morass stay on the road, not on your shoe.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: Breathable mesh keeps the foot well ventilated and dry.
Midsole: The midsole is designed with EVA technology with Meta-Shank 1 shank.
Outsole: high performance long lasting durable rubber providing outstanding traction.
Protection: Protective metatarsal protection built into the midsole.
The shoe is lightweight in comparison to its exceptional off road running qualities.
A legendary top performing off road running shoes capable of taking on any terrain, this shoe grips on mud surfaces while maintaining a level of stable traction which makes this shoe a giant among Fell shoes.
The lowest price of this range is very affordable where the higher ranging models are perfect for professional runners only.
- The traction is something that you are surely going to fall in love with
- It’s too lightweight to feel like you are carrying some extra burden
- The availability concerns the users
5. Salomon S-Lab Speed
A lion does not need to roar to prove its fierceness but rather it's the reminiscence of its viciousness in our mind that sustains its significance. Salomon doesn’t need to do the same too as we know, what to expect from them.
Lions live in a Pride and this shoe is the pride of the pack.
State of the art forefoot flexibility and this shoe model incorporates Sensifit in conjunction with Endofit technology ensuring snug Shoe Fit and enhanced agility factors. The super fine breathable and lightweight mesh is distinctly the first aspect that should be mentioned here. Next is it's long list of features. All of which you are going to love. The sensitive technology, Anti-debris mesh, Quick lacing system and Mid feather construction in the upper sole are things we can appreciate here. The Non-marking contra grip in the outsole and molded and compressed EVA in the midsole are fantastic as well.
Great for uptempo running and various Fell track surfaces due to a low shoe base and lightweight construction. The quality and durability of a shoe is based on every material used. The Lace pocket and Endofit are two features that have taken good ratings among the users. The lace pocket is a feature to definitely fall in love with.
Excellent grip for soft surface especially mud and soaking wet grass, outstanding ability to shed mud, these shoes caste a small print and because of this they prevent large volumes of mud from sticking to the sole. Awesome surface grip combined with high performance flexibility for the forefoot. Stunningly good strong out sized lugs and a low shoe profile enable fantastic surface traction.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: Very nice streamlined Mesh construction for anti debris.
Outsole-Midsole: substantial protective insulation is engineered into both to prevent injury from any external objects on the ground or thrown up during a run-(protection). Incorporating the ever popular chevron design from Salomon.
A lightweight shoe giving mammoth performance.
When surface grip looks challenging, this shoe steps forward to take on the challenge. Thoughtful high tech has been designed into this shoe to ensure stability, comfort, strong surface traction and durability.
The shoe definitely does not fit into the same category as cost effective but when considering it's overall quality you have a solid reason to spend your bucks.
- Extremely comfortable and stable shoe with proper5 cushioning
- The grip is superb
- would be great if it were slightly wider
6. Reebok Trailgrip 4.0
This Low-cut running shoe is blessed with synthetic closed-weave mesh in the upper sole which ensures matchless comfort and cushioning. Plus, the ‘DMX ride foam’ in the midsole speaks for the atypical stability and grip. Last but not the least; the ‘Active traction lug pattern’ in many ways is the cherry on top.
One thing that can be said confidently- a shoe made with premium quality synthetic sole and a durable rubber sole is a thousand miles away from falling apart from the constant drag and pull of any hilly terrain.
The Traxion outsole lowers wearing and tearing and provides maximum grip on all challenging terrain surfaces.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: Upper is constructed from breathable mesh.
Midsole: Outstanding EVA midsole and steadiness given through a built in stability bar.
Outsole: Incorporating durable wear and tear abrasive resistant outsole and TRAXION rubber outsole which grips surfaces in all directions to enhance stability.
Reinforced comfortable toe cap for protection in this unexpected moments.
A very well engineered neutral weight shoe ideal for many types of surface terrains.
More of a neutral shoe this shoe can be ran on many surfaces, a promotes natural movement for the foot and ample cushion and sound support for the foot. This shoe brand has a proven and tested history of innovative running shoe design, always a good choice of shoe to consider.
A fell running shoe from a worldwide recognized brand like Reebok could never be cheaper than this. Go and invest, you may not regret doing so.
- This extremely comfortable running shoe automatically adjusts itself according to changing trains.
- The shoe is so comfortable that even after hours of running uneven adverse surfaces; the users have not felt any discomfort or straining on the feet.
- The mid part of the shoe is narrower than expected
- No the best pick for pronators.
7. PUMA Fells
First and foremost, these are extremely lightweight with a breathable upper sole mesh of a dual density construction. Other dominant specifications as a fell shoe which are present in this one: sturdy D-ring lacing and supportive overlays. Built in technology is the eye catching web cage- translucent, in the form of overlays made of rubber and glued constructively to give the eyelets and lace up system reinforcement. Breathability is good via a closed mesh system and works well to prevent the entry of irritating dust.
Lacing style is traditional and works to give foot hugging support in conjunction with a nicely padded heel collar and amply padded shoe tongue.
‘EcoOrthoLite sock liner’ is a truly unmatched feature added which restrain the feet from any shock from the uneven surface, rough desert terrain, fine sand or moist muddy terrain.
Traditional standard lug pattern layout backed up by a resilient rubber outsole.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: Breathability is good via a dual-density-dust repelling mesh.
Midsole: the whole midsole is constructed from Faas-foam producing a responsive, light and comfortable ride.
Outsole: A somewhat basic design peppered with a tried and tested lug layout which gives good grip. A strong sticky rubber base outsole with good wear and tear characteristics.
Minimal protection via a toe shell-bumper constructed from a durable synthetic styled leather.
Light to neutral weight translating into a clever combination of a nice light not overly technical good grip shoe
The shoe is making inroads into the Fell running shoe market and it is worthwhile taking a good look at this shoe and trying it out.
This shoe is primarily launched with two prices, both quite in similar price range. Both are very much affordable.
- TPU stabilising shank’ and ‘Easy-on heel pull’ are probably two most buzzed specifications.
- Perfect Lugged outsole for adjusting in multi-directions automatically
- The fit is slightly in narrower side
8. Saucony Xodus 4.0
The foot is held securly in place through the incorporation of a Pro Lock system. The heel-to-toe drop is a major specification of any fell shoe. Even with the slightest variation, the comfort varies a lot. With this shoe, Saucony has brought the perfect 4mm heel-to-toe drop for runners which results in good stability on rough uneven terrians. The synthetic sole of this shoe is excellent in providing comfort. Apart from that, there are its toe-shield technology, Gusseted tongue gives support through working with the Pro-Lock midfoot support- straps which are found in high-quality Saucony shoes.
Peak pressure on the forefoot is reduced through a design in for the midfoot supporting straps known as Pro-Lock.
The Gaiter compatibility is an important thing to consider in regard to this shoe’s durability. The Xodus 4.0 Running Shoe has been provided with a number of other unique features like its ComfortLite moulded foam sock liner, External Bedrock Outsole rock protection plate, PowerGrid heel insert and Vibram XS-Trek outsole. Yes, the features are indeed noticeably more in number as you may see with a lot of other contemporaries.
Rebound and durability are maximized through SSL-EVA shoe technology.
Durability is superbly enhanced via reinforced stitching.
Great exceptional grip from the lug system for trail mud surfaces and can additionally provide good traction grip via mutliple directional lugs, even on a road surface.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole.
Upper: Incorporating, GORE-TEX lining , Double slip-construction, lace pocket and gusset tongue, compatible gaiter and Pro-Lock-Tech.
Midsole: Full shoe length power-grid, EBO shoe tech and SSL-EVA shoe tech.
Outsole: Flexible and lightweight. Lug system is multi-directional.
An impressive EBO foot plate giving protection from stones and other potentially sharp object either laying on the surface or projecting from it. This protective system works with a bootee which serves to prevent entry into the shoe of any wanted dirt or small objects. Resulting in a final layer of extra protection from the outsole wrap.
The shoes present a comfortable balanced weight which serves as comfortable for Fell runners.
These shoes are packed with up to date innovative shoe technology and it is very easy to recommend them as a good purchase for Fell runners.
No, the price is not at all surprisingly low, but it isn't in any way overpriced either. We know a runner who appreciates quality really doesn’t think twice to spend for a shoe that very much deserves to be on your feet.
- The fit and the comfort is very good
- effective toe protection
- excellent grip
- The ‘max cushion’, isn’t vividly present in this model
9. Walsh PB Elite Trainer
Shoe stability comes from the rear to front linear design which allows flexibility. The shoes have a drop of 8mm which is a medium stack height and comfortably stable. Plenty of space for the forefoot and a secure heel cup for stabilization.
Providing a Cuneiform-Wrap-Lace which when pulled tight gives additional foot support.
What is a fell running shoe? In a few words, these cautiously designed shoes are meant for the passionate and professional runners to provide excellent traction in any adverse terrain, be it sturdy hill picks or slippery muddy surfaces.
The lacing system and the Cuniform Wrap are two features that are synchronized and maintain the pull between the facing and sides of the feet. Next, the ‘original PB last’ feature makes the shoe extremely lightweight while the quick drying materials dry up the shoe with extreme promptness.
Stylish shaped and very functional pyramid lugs offer amazingly effective grip on steep slopes, wet soggy grass and general muddy slippery surfaces.
Upper and Outsole.
Upper: Velon-Nylon upper reasonably good at keeping out water and certainly holding quick drying out characteristics.
Outsole: Spacing of 10mm lugs constructed from rubber both breadth and length give effective surface gripping
Lightweight synthetic upper materials which present quick drying properties if the feet take a soaking.
A very light shoe and the lug shapes allows the shoe to easily shed mud.Conclusion.
As the interest in Fell running increases this shoe brand looks set to carve its place in the running shoe market. The shoe comes across as built to last.
The shoe is moderately priced with the harmony of a contemporary running shoe market.
- The ‘pyramid grip’ has surpassed the users’ expectation
- The Cuniform Wrap prevents any kind of discomfort and straining
- The appearance may seem cheap
10. Salomon Speedtrak
The Salomon Speedtrak is a shoe designed for running with comfort and certainty. These shoes contain injection molded padding for superior comfort. The shoe fits snugly to maintain comfortable and stable wear, with perhaps a slightly smaller than optimal toe box. Where the Speedtrak really excels is in stability. From toe to heel this shoe is meant to keep your feet in top form and correctly aligned. Speedtrak also is built with its treads low to the ground to maintain a stable heel drop without sacrificing anything essential to a good fell running shoe.
Salomon is a brand famous for manufacturing a high stock of shoe and the Speedtrak is no different in that regard. These sneakers will endure through even the toughest of weather and terrain. Many satisfied runners report the shoes being of long lasting build. The Speedtrak are constructed with an anti-debris mesh so its rare that they will be ripped or damaged even when your pushing through sharp stones and rough rocks.
Any good fell running shoe should have noteworthy grip, since it is a staple need of anyone pursuing this particularly challenging style of trail running. Once again this is a category where Salomon Speedtrak delivers-- hands down. It's tough tread is studded with thick lugs which grip all sorts of surfaces, both wet and dry, so that each step you take is just as sure as the last.
Upper, Midsole, and Outsole:
Upper: Well ventilated anti-debris mesh
Midsole: Fitted with EVA padding
Outsole: Specialized wet traction grip
The Salomon Speedtrak is a lightly constructed shoe that will offer no inhibitions in terms of weight on the runners feet.
It is safe to say that the Salomon Speedtrack is an exceptional trail running shoe that any active or interested fell runner should be eager to get their hands on.
On the lower tier of cost for shoes in this category and will meet all of a fell runners needs, a good buy for certain.
- Excellent traction with a lugged sole
- Storage compartment in the tongue
- Quality build
- Good ventilation
- Toe box may be too narrow
Salomon On CloudVenture
Read on and see the great features built into this shoe.
This shoe combines two layers both work together to ensure water resistance and breathability. Built on reflective shoe tech ensures visibility in gloomy light conditions, a nice feature is the protective toe cap which is constructed from engineered quality mesh and durable rubber.
Impact protection is maximized along with responsive cushion and the sole unit's performance is enhanced through strategically designed pods. The shoe outsole is able to integrate and performance to many types of difficult surfaces to ensure the runner retains stability and control.
Very good traction
A very protective toe box
Expensive and good
Some runners would like to see the upper is fully waterproof
Where Fell Running Began
Fell-Fjal – from the ancient Norse language which means mountain or hill. The North of England has a Fell running culture dating back to at least one hundred and fifty years.
The Norsemen invaded the North of England frequently in far bygone times, they landed on inhospitable sea shores and had to move quickly over environmentally challenging terrains in order to attack and loot villages and small towns which were dispersed over a broad range of challenging terrain.
In Britain and Europe, the sport of orienteering closely relates to Fell running, orienteering requires you to have a map plus a compass and travel in the wilderness from A to B in the often challenging environment and to travel quickly.
The travel quickness requirement evolved towards an interest to run trails which have a clear start and finish and do not require maps or a compass and enabled a person/runner to keep fit while exercising in a natural and beautiful environment.
The need for the correct type of footwear and clothing gave a stimulus to the shoe and clothing sports industry to research and develop shoes which serve well for traversing trails which throw up environmental and physical challenges.
Fell running does not have a fixed start date in history as to when and how it started and it is true to say that in terms of running shoe requirements, Fell running is still evolving.
The key criteria we used for our comparisons
For this comparative criteria, we particularly looked at cushion effect in conjunction with state of the art incorporated shoe technology. How do the shoes perform on long Fell trail runs? we wanted to know which shoes provide impact protection and how the level of protection compared to our top shoe selection.
We compared the different type of foot support being offered for foot arches and heels and the size of the toe boxes, different lacing and shoe strap system for locking down the foot for stability.
We looked at and compared the levels of breathability being offered by different shoe brands. How well do the shoes perform for keeping out water and how well do the shoes drain water and dry out, do the shoes protect the foot and shoe from damage by sharp objects.
We looked at and compared the different shoe technology and materials incorporated into the shoe to provide durability while staying with quality. Cheap construction materials can have a nice visual effect but the truth is that cheap reflects a lack of durability. Forsaking quality in an attempt to keep down the market price of the shoe will, of course, result in a shoe with a short-term durability.
If the need for quality and durability are put aside when a brand constructs a shoe the runner will find that he/she can encounter many types of unwanted problems while taking a ride on a Fell trail, we compared the shoes to see how well the need for reliability in terms of durability had been factored into the construction of the shoe.
For grip, we compared the various styles/types of lugs/studs being built onto outsoles. Does the grip factor allow to bite down deep into a muddy surface when the need arises? Can the grip factor hold on slippery wet mud, pebbly, firm or soft wet, ascending, descending, lateral surfaces? The material used to make the lugs or studs is it strong and durable and does the pattern layout allow to disperse sticky mud rather than hold the mud to the sole of the shoe and increase shoe weight.
Upper-Midsole and Outsole
Primarily what we look for when considering upper, mid, and outsole are construction and materials. We look at how these things are going to contribute to grip, flexibility, and firmness. A fell shoe needs enough give to make sure your foot can grip unstable surfaces but needs to be firm enough to not fold and prevent possible injury.
A shoes overall firmness contributes most to its protection, you don’t want it to bend in ways that your foot shouldn’t be. It is also important to consider if the shoe contains a rigid rock plate, which can save you from some more severe injuries. To a lesser extent, we also want to look at the shoe’s shocks and their ability to absorb not only the weight of your stride but the impact of any slips, trips, or falls. Just because you land on your feet doesn’t mean it won’t take it out of you.
Weight is a factor that rarely plays in a shoe’s favor. Rather we consider what does the shoe have to offer in exchange for its weight. Is its weight properly justified by the utility of the shoe? Did the designers do a proper job making sure that every extra ounce was necessary? These are the questions we need to ask.
We looked at and compared the cost factors, what exactly does the runner get in terms of value for money measured against the overall performance and lifespan of the shoe.
Q: Is there one definitive shoe which is perfect for all fell running conditions?
A: The short answer to this question is no. There is no perfect shoe, or more accurately there is no perfect fell shoe for one person. Perfection for this type of thing is subjective. It all depends on where you take the shoes out; where you like to run. Somewhere with especially uneven terrain may require something more flexible. Run in a humid or damp area? You’ll need a shoe that is more moisture resistant. We are confident you will find fell shoes that are perfect for you and your running needs specifically, but no shoe, fell or not, will universally fit all needs.
Q: I run long distance fell competitively during the summer, what should I look for in a fell shoe sole?
A: Generally, while running fell in the summer your biggest concern is going to be traction. Either you run in a low moisture area in which case you will have to deal with a lot of dust and surfaces that are hard cracked and hard to gain grip in. Or you have a high moisture area, and now your concern is mud and muck, traction still being the primary issue. You’ll want to consider shoes with a tough rigid sole and reliable hardy studs that can grip, pull, and yank you through anything you might come across.
Q: What should I look for in a shoe for fell training and racing during the winter months?
A: Running during any one particular season is not harder or easier than any others, they simply present different challenges. The biggest issue runners who face the cold weather is long-standing snow and ice. While reliable grip and durability are always helpful in a fell running shoe, what you’ll want most while fell running in winter is moisture resistance. Accumulating water in your shoe won’t only weigh you down but it will likely affect your temperature and force you to cut an otherwise productive run short.
Q: I have arch problems, will I be ok for Fell running?
A: Arch support isn’t generally too limiting as it is a fairly common problem amongst runners. You should be able to find fell running shoes with appropriate arch support to allow you to run unconcerned. If you are having a particularly difficult time finding proper support consider supplementing the arch support of your shoe with therapeutic socks or supportive gel inserts.
Q: Which terrains are most challenging for fell runners?
A: All regions and types of terrain present their own set of challenges. Hills and woodlands with loose earth and rocks that make a difficult footing for sure, but its the weather that has the potential to be the most difficult factor of fell running. Weather can make the terrain you encounter slick and muddy, making it difficult to gain traction. If you are planning on running on a new trail then it probably is a smart idea to check for available information on the area.
A: There are many possible risks when you are running in nature. Sudden inclement weather, dangerous animals, and unstable terrain just to name a few of things a fell runner should be prepared for. Making sure to wear appropriate clothing is a must for any athlete navigating areas of unpredictable weather. If you are looking for peace of mind when your concern is wild animals then there are foggers and deterrent sprays to keep you safe. When preparing for the loose and slippery terrain you will want to make sure to either run with people or a partner. Other options include making sure to let people know where you will be and when or using equipment that allows people to track your location.
Q: Is there anything I can do about developing blisters while fell running?
A: Blisters are a challenge most runners will have to face but can prove especially problematic for fell runners. Have to deal with hot spots or blisters while in the middle of the wilderness is not only difficult but can prove to be especially concerning if you end up stranded or stuck. Proper socks and moisture control as well as certain tapes, wraps, and bandages can be helpful preventative or treatment measures. Any injury or impairment should be something to seriously consider in terms of risk before you head out fell running since any help you might need will likely be miles away.