serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

The Costs of Trail Running

posted by Chris Barber

There are a lot of costs associated with running in general, but specifically for trail running there can be a bit more of a cost.  I’m here to help you mitigate those costs.  It’s cool to be frugal in a bad economy.


A must for trail runners is a proper pair of trail running shoes.  You can run trails in road running shoes, but that isn’t as effective.  You leave a lot of speed and agility out on the trail.  You can’t afford to lose any speed and agility.  If you want to start trail running I suggest you invest in a pair of trail running shoes.  You can do this without increasing the cost to your overall running shoe buying habits.  Instead of putting more miles on those road running shoes, you will be putting more miles on a more rugged pair of trail running shoes, resulting in less running shoe purchases over time.  Think long-term growth.

There is a cost to learn a new sport, like trail running, but the best part of trail running is that it doesn’t take a lot of effort to enjoy it.  Of course, there are many techniques and practices to learn for trail running, but you don’t need to know anything before your first trail run, just go out there and run.  The rest you can learn OJT baby, or “On the Jogging Trail…training.”

There is a cost to traveling to the trail head.  Most of us don’t live within running distance (notice I didn’t say “walking” distance, walking is for suckers) of a running trail so we have to drive to the trail head.  If you want to experience other types of trails then you always have to travel far to go trail running.  On an unofficial survey I conducted on twitter, trail runners drive an average 20 miles to get to a trail head.  So how do you mitigate this cost?  Take a friend with you and share the gas!  It’s fun to share gas with friends!

So now what is your excuse for not trail running?  Sorry, being lame is not a valid excuse.


  1. Amy Reinink says:

    Any advice on how to choose trail-runners? I’ve been trail-running for years, but have recently gotten lazy about actually buying shoes to suit the trails, and now, I can’t seem to remember the criteria I used to choose shoes. Feel free to point me toward previous posts, if I missed any on the topic!

  2. Chris Barber says:

    I actually haven’t gone into detail on how to pick the right trail running shoe on this blog yet. However, here on we have split our Trail Running shoes into categories just like the road running shoes as cushioned (motion control), support, stability, and performance. So depending on what kind of road running shoe you prefer, you should pick a trail running shoe with the same reaction to your pronation. From there read the reviews that others have about each trail running shoe to help you find the perfect fit for you.

    Personally I really like the Saucony Progrid Xodus Trail Running Shoes: