To get the results you want as a trail runner, you’ve got to do everything to avoid injury. A big part of injury prevention starts with your running shoes, but not just any type of running shoe! You need a shoe that keeps your feet and ankles strong and allows you to get a clearer sense of the ground for optimal landing stability and forefoot strike control. Minimalist running shoes do a better job at achieving all of that than conventional running shoes.
It’s also very dangerous to run, especially on tricky trails, if you can’t feel the ground –it’s a nasty fall waiting to happen! The best way you can truly and clearly perceive your foot strike is again, running in barefoot running shoes because these shoes have a thin outsole that prevents you from being thrown off-balance when you are flying over uneven, rocky, slippery terrain.
Because traditional athletic footwear are incredibly thickly cushioned, this may cause a runner to mis-perceive their foot strike orientation or stepping interaction and may end up heel striking, or striking too forcefully with the foot.
So whats the best trail running shoe that provides optimal defence capabilities to help you maintain good mechanical running form, while protecting your feet from rock-induced abrasions?
If you do some serious rocky trail running, especially in cool weather, you’ll love my Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS Review.
Vibram Five Fingers Spyridon LS Review
Because of its aggressive tread, the Spyridon LS by Vibram really helps a tail runner meet the challenges of endurance trail running as the shoe is specifically crafted with full-blown rock protection upper and outsole, that is more protective than most Vibram barefoot running shoes. Despite the added armor of the upper and outsole, tactile stimulation on the soles of your feet is not compromised, so you can still connect more naturally with the ground better as compared with most tail running shoes on the market.
The 3.5-mm rubber outsole of the Spyrdion LS is thicker than the Bikila’s , the KSOs and the non-LS Spyridon’s, but the Spyridon LS does a better job at protecting your feet from painful protrusions on the trail and road.
In addition, the outsole of the Spyridon LS is highly flexible and facilitates natural foot motions and reflexes. Therefore, the overall design of the shoe is dedicated to improving the function and strength of the foot/ankle complex. The nifty outsole also delivers excellent traction on wet, slippery running surfaces, especially giving you more control in the mud.
As for the upper, it provides full-rock protection and is slightly thicker than most Vibram barefoot running shoes as well, making it a great choice for a winter running shoe –even better if you marry the shoe with warm toe socks.
Other Notable Features of the FiveFingers Spyridon LS:
- Molded nylon mesh in the midsole for added protection
- They are the Vibram SeeYa LS on steroids!
- Great for rock climbing and running on gravel roads
- Fit well, all the way up the foot
- Because they are of thicker materials, the shoe lasts longer than most Vibram models; tread is good for 500+ miles
- Super light, constructed with the same light-weight materials as the other Vibram FiveFinger running shoes
- Great for Spartan races
- They fit securely and snug around your foot, so you don’t getting annoying chaffing at the heel
- Holds up well in the snow especially when worn with toe socks, so they are pretty much weather resistant
- Coconut Active Carbon gives the shoe breathability –the inside of the shoe doesn’t get too hot during the summer
- Great for watersports as well
- The upper is stretchy, making more room in the shoe if you have wide feet or if you choose to wear toe socks with the shoe
- 3M reflective strip for safety in the dark
- Facilitates barefoot dynamics
- Improves stability and ankle strength
- Very flexible toe sockets, making you feel more steady and sturdy with the ground, and provides good circulation throughout the foot
- Slightly padded tongue for comfort against your skin
- Snug fit –fits more comfortably than the Bikila’s
- Machine washable
- Fits better for runners with low or flat arches
Overall, the Vibram Five Fingers Spyridon LS is supremely constructed with the added protection on the outsole and upper, with more traction, and with more comfort. For sizing advice, because they do fit like a glove, you should order a full size up from your regular shoe size.
More Reviews on Vibram Five Finger Shoes:
BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.