Another pair of running shoes?

I own 9 pairs of running shoes. 

I had to search the house in order to count them all but there are 4 on the shoe shelf, 2 drying in the kitchen, 2 by the front door and today’s pair are outside the back door waiting to be cleaned.
If you could see where I ran you’d know why these are banned from the house until they’ve been in the bucket!

No Country for New Shoes

Plus I’ve just thrown 2 pairs away, coerced into doing so by my good lady despite my protestations that they hadn’t done 1000 miles yet.

8 of these are trail / fell shoes (yes I have one pair of road running shoes for my very rare runs from home)

You know you’re a fell runner when your Mrs questions why you need another pair of trainers, so how do I justify this seemingly Imeldian compulsion to keep Pete Bland Sport in business?

There are lots of factors to consider when convincing yourself that you need another pair of running shoes.

There’s terrain: Is it trail or fell? grass, bracken, heather or bog? Is it rocky, scree or a mix?
There’s weather: Is it wet, dry or somewhere in between?
There’s angle of slope: Is it steep, gentle or flat?
There’s type of run: Is it a race or a training run? Is it long, medium or short?
Then there’s the condition of your existing shoes: how much tread is left on them? Are your socks showing through the uppers? (Remember that shoes that are no longer suitable for racing, hard training, etc. don’t need to be thrown away – they’ll always come in useful for.. er.. something)
Then there’s the vouchers that you’ve been saving and need to be spent now before the prices go up again.

So what are all my shoes and what do I use them for?

My collection

Roclite 285 – for training when it’s not so boggy that I need Mudclaws but there’s wet rock.

New Balance 101 – for training when it’s boggy but no wet rock cos they’re useless on it.
X Talons – old, worn studs, my main race shoe if it’s not too muddy (wish I’d written this before the FRA Relays cos I wore them and it was muddy and they were useless)
X Talons – new, unused, saving them for best. (wish I’d taken them to FRA Relays but didn’t want to get them muddy)
Mudclaw 300 – nearly new, for winter racing and boggy training. Bought at the FRA Relays after I’d raced and realised I needed some decent studs.
Asics Gel something or other – 6 years old, were my summer trail race shoes for a couple of years and don’t want to throw them away. Occasionally wear them to run up through the park.
New Balance something or other – road shoes, 4 years old, good as new.
Terroc 330 – knackered, have been worn for work, the pub, shopping and once when I forgot my X Talons for a horrible, wet, slippy race. Almost threw them away when I bought a new pair but thought better of it. (they’re like a favourite pair of slippers) Now retired to gardening, (and going shopping if she doesn’t notice)
Terroc 330 – brand new, bought to replace my old pair for when I thought I was going to throw them away but didn’t. Wore them to go to a race but got them muddy in the car park so now wear my old pair. Will wear them for work, the pub (and shopping if I get caught trying to sneak out in my old pair)
So there it is, a definitive guide to one man’s shoes and what they’re for.  Not a mention of colour coordination, no “do they match my top?” just a review based on function alone.
Next time bumbags & rucksacks, that’s another story!

Running Blogs

Posted in Blog, Equipment, Fell running.


  1. Love it. There does seem to be a fair amount of saving of shoes for special occasions. I'm into Salomon and have three pairs, speedcross for proper fell, cross max for a mix and another pair of cross max that were donated by a friend. Also various New Balance trail/road shoes thanks to the factory shop nearby.

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