New to Trail Running

New to Trail Running

By Flynn Howley & Jas Bojarski

Award winning Helium Jacket from Outdoor Research has an epic fabric update. New Diamond Fuse Pertex vs the old Pertex

We’re very excited about the upgraded Helium Jacket from Outdoor Research! The new and improved Helium takes advantage of the super durable Diamond Fuse technology from Pertex®. Pertex® has put in efforts at improving the very building blocks of this cool new fabric by creating diamond-shaped yarn filaments which lock together when woven in place.

Previous iterations of the Helium Jacket have always been impressively lightweight and efficient waterproof jackets, however OR have eliminated the compromise between weight and strength with this recent upgrade. OR did some fun testing of their Helium series which essentially involved repetitively running an abrasive surface over the jackets in several weird and wonderful ways. They found that the new Helium Jacket is 5x more tear and abrasion resistant than its predecessors! This means you won’t have to be precious about your outer layer when you are out bush-bashing or scrambling over rough terrain. Compared to previous versions, the Helium Jacket also has a slightly improved construction making it a little roomier than the other jackets in this series.

Torrent II & Speedgoat why these are Hoka’s best trail running shoes

Hoka One One is known for their wide fitting trail shoes with plush, cushioned soles. Their new Torrent II are perfect for urban and bush trials. The ProFly midsole offers a cushioned, responsive platform with a 4mm heel toe drop and medium cushioning and medium rocker the Torrent II is a good shoe to try out if you are not yet used to or are not yet converted to the Hoka range. The Speedgoat is a suped up Torrent with an even wider fit and even more cushioning that makes it feel like you're running on a cloud. With a Vibram MegaGrip sole the Speedgoat gives impressive control and friction on all surfaces. Combined with the Speedgoats wide heel impact brake system and pronounced rocker the Speedgoat is a beast on the trails and is perfect for ultramarathons, which is to be expected as ultratrail runner Karl Meltzer helped with design input. 

The new La Sportiva Helios III

La Sportiva’s home among the mountain trails of the Italian Alps has produced a diverse and well designed range of running shoes. The Helios III is one of the lightest running shoes on the market but do not be fooled they did not skimp out on comfort to produce this shoe. By ‘ribbing’ the sole of the shoe La Sportia cut out weight and magically increased comfort. With a minimalistic upper and La Sportiva’s hardy FriXion Blu compound on the soles of the shoes the Helios are designed with the fast and light trail runner ethos at heart. 

Injinji Socks and blister prevention

Looking after your feet is arguably one of the most important considerations when trail running. Having happy feet can either make or totally annihilate your adventure! Blisters are one of the most common and frustrating complaints experienced by trail runners, and can totally sideline you from the trail. The repetitive motion of running, combined with the exposure of sand and grit, can cause havoc on the skin of your feet. It’s no surprise that trail runners are fairly obsessed with what goes on their feet!

Sometimes sidestepping the dreaded blister seems like a futile pursuit. Thankfully, this is exactly where Injinji have excelled. Injinji socks have an anatomical 5 toe design - think gloves for your feet, and have engineered their socks to stay exactly where you put them. This not only significantly minimises the skin-on-skin friction in between your toes, it also wicks sweat more efficiently than traditional socks because each toe is wrapped in specifically engineered sweat-wicking fabric. The fabric, construction and performance fit have also proven to assist in minimising blisters and hotspots in other common high friction areas, including the heels and balls of your feet.

Dirty Girl Gaiters 

Sick of the little rocks/sand/twigs/seeds/leaves and dirt building up inside of your shoes on the trails? You need a pair of Dirty Girl Gaiters. These flashy snug fitting gaiters are breathable, stretchy and come in a wide range of patterns and colours because stealthy black only slows you down.

Hydration with Salomon

Hydration bladders or flasks are a must for runners, even if you're not going for a long run for two good reasons. 1. You need to stay hydrated, obviously. And 2. Now is not the time to be drinking from public fountains. Salomon’s soft flasks and bladders are BPA free and actually leak proof, making them the go to products for hydration. And Salomon’s Advance Skin 12 set hydration vests strike a good balance between the ‘fast and light’ mentality and carrying capacity. Soft flasks reduce weight and reduce in size as the water contained is drunk up compared to a hard bottle. Salamon’s bladders and soft flasks are shaped to fit in their hydration vests making them universal and interchangeable. Additionally different length drinking straws are available for the flasks. At 12 liters the pack on the Advanced Skin 12 can comfortably hold everything you might need on the trail, and with large mesh pockets on the sides you can stash rain gear, insulation, food or anything else you might need quick access to on the trail. The vest itself wraps snugly around the torso keeping the weight up near the shoulders, preventing the vest from swinging as you run. 

Ladies, Salomon haven't left you out of the loop. They’ve created a female fit running vest, the Advance Skin 8 with cleverly designed soft flask water bottles that sit lower on the ribs rather than the chest.