Starting out in trail running: how to equip yourself properly?

Trail running on trail is gaining new followers every day. Indeed, running in nature guarantees sensations that you will never experience in other activities. If you have decided to become a practitioner of this sport, you have made the right decision.

However, apart from the physical capabilities you will need, the equipment should also deserve your full attention. You won't have any unpleasant surprises in this case, especially if you are new to the practice.

The equipment you absolutely must have

If you ask professional or experienced trail runners for advice, one of the first things they will tell you is not to overlook the equipment to take or carry with you. So here's what to consider, no matter what level of fitness you have.

In terms of clothing

You will probably agree that running on difficult mountain trails is different from running on marked trails. Your outfit must therefore include some essential elements ensuring your safety and comfort. First, in addition to the actual clothes, you should consider:

  • A trail cap when the sun is out or a hat and gloves when it's cold.
  • Compression sleeves that will protect you from cramps, but also from scratches and insect bites.
  • A trail running backpack that must contain a certain amount of water and solid food rations for long distances.
  • A mobile phone to warn the emergency services or your relatives in the event of problems.
  • A headlamp if night stages or night trails are planned.
  • A stopwatch and a GPS watch.

For clothing mainly, don't forget to equip yourself with a technical t-shirt and a fleece jacket of the same caliber. Indeed, you need to be comfortable whether it's hot or cold. Also bring a windbreaker, as the weather conditions can change from minute to minute, especially if you are trail running in the mountains. Finally, do not neglect the shorts or tights, to choose according to the season.

The shoes

For trail running in particular, trail shoes are one of the most important elements of your equipment. The main thing is to first choose a model in which you will feel comfortable so that you can run a long time without much worry. But the pair of running shoes you choose must also respect certain characteristics:

  • Protection : trail shoes allow you to protect your feet from stones, roots or the like.
  • The hook: It is crucial that the shoes you wear have soles that have great grip performance, even when the ground is wet.
  • Lightness : you will need to wear shoes that are particularly light, but offer great stability.
  • The shoe size : In general, it is advisable to opt for a size a little larger than your regular shoes. The goal is for you to be able to negotiate descents more easily, since you won't have pain in your toes.