Shoe Recommendations Wanted

Max Parish

Level 1 Valued Member
Hello All -

My shoes are wearing out, and I'm looking to buy a new pair. I walk every day on dirt roads in orange groves and sometimes on mountain trails. So they need to be tough. I also periodically do short sprints, so something that could accommodate both trail walking and running would be ideal. If it makes a difference, I'm a smallish male: 5'10" and 150lbs on a good day. I think my feet are on the wider side. And I do like plenty of toe room.

I'm willing to pay for quality.

I'd be grateful for any recommendations.

Max
 

Max Parish

Level 1 Valued Member
Any of the Altra trail shoes. Link is for the Superior 4

Thanks, Don!
 

DuncanGB

Level 6 Valued Member
Wide-foot 175-pounder here - can recommend the Inov-8 315 range: lightweight but with good all-terrain traction and durability.

Recommend a size up from your usual fitting (28 instead of 27.5cm in my case).

Just replaced old pair after some 18 months of multi-purpose high-mileage. Very happy with the updated replacement so far:

 
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Steve W.

Level 6 Valued Member
I like minimalist zero-drop shoes, but not necessarily ultra-barefoot minimalist.

Right now, I pretty much exclusively wear various models of Xero Shoes. They are zero-drop and have minimal cushioning, but still a comfortable level of protection (at least for me).

They are moderately wide and have pretty roomy toe boxes, enough for my moderately wide and high volume feet (I find most brands of shoes to be too narrow and lack toe room), but not so roomy as to be sloppy. Overall, I find them to be a nice tradeoff of minimal, but not too minimal, and roomy but not too roomy. Although they might not be wide enough enough for people with really wide feet.

I've tried Altras and like them for the zero drop, but I found them more thickly cushioned than I prefer and with too little volume through the instep (so the laces are spread really wide and they squeeze my instep uncomfortably). But I can see how they would work for someone with a little lower volume foot who wants a zero-drop, but cushioned (not at all minimalist) shoe that holds the foot snugly through the midfoot, but with a moderately wide toe box.
 

seward

Level 6 Valued Member
I like minimalist zero-drop shoes, but not necessarily ultra-barefoot minimalist.

Right now, I pretty much exclusively wear various models of Xero Shoes. They are zero-drop and have minimal cushioning, but still a comfortable level of protection (at least for me).

They are moderately wide and have pretty roomy toe boxes, enough for my moderately wide and high volume feet (I find most brands of shoes to be too narrow and lack toe room), but not so roomy as to be sloppy. Overall, I find them to be a nice tradeoff of minimal, but not too minimal, and roomy but not too roomy. Although they might not be wide enough enough for people with really wide feet.

I've tried Altras and like them for the zero drop, but I found them more thickly cushioned than I prefer and with too little volume through the instep (so the laces are spread really wide and they squeeze my instep uncomfortably). But I can see how they would work for someone with a little lower volume foot who wants a zero-drop, but cushioned (not at all minimalist) shoe that holds the foot snugly through the midfoot, but with a moderately wide toe box.

a few years ago, I didn't have that problem with the Altras, but lately I've noticed the same problem with a lack of volume in the instep. I've had good luck with just removing the insoles.
 

ShawnM

Level 8 Valued Member
I'd have to second the Altra trail shoes as I have a pair myself. I've tried Hoka's in the past and all the cushioning made them feel unstable. The Altra's have enough cushioning without feeling like walking on pillows. Near zero drop and great tread.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
If the shoe fits... wear it...

I use Brooks Cascadia for trail running

5.10 Five Tennies as a robust approach shoe for easy hiking and general purpose. (Great sticky rubber)

Solid Mountain Boots for rucking
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
I'd have to second the Altra trail shoes as I have a pair myself. I've tried Hoka's in the past and all the cushioning made them feel unstable. The Altra's have enough cushioning without feeling like walking on pillows. Near zero drop and great tread.
Yes, I like feeling closer to the ground. Altra has low-med-high cushion trail and road models. Superior is low cush model.
 

Steve W.

Level 6 Valued Member
Yes, I like feeling closer to the ground. Altra has low-med-high cushion trail and road models. Superior is low cush model.
The Altra Superior is low cush compared to some other high cush running shoes. But compared to more minimalist designs, it's very soft, cushy, and has a relatively tall stack height. For instance, Xero Shoes have a 4-6mm stack height and a 2mm insole. Altra Superior 4.5s have a 21mm stack height and a 6mm insole. And I'm sure a lot barefoot purists would turn up their noses at how cushiony the Xero Shoes are.

So it all depends on what you are looking for and comfortable with.
 
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Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
The Altra Superior is low cush compared to some other high cush running shoes. But compared to more minimalist designs, it's very soft, cushy, and has a relatively tall stack height. For instance, Xero Shoes have a 4-6mm stack height and a 2mm insole. Altra Superior 4.5s have a 21mm stack height and a 6mm insole. And I'm sure a lot barefoot purists would turn up their noses at how cushiony the Xero Shoes are.

So it all depends on what you are looking for and comfortable with.
Yes, the Superior will feel like a lot of shoe to someone used to a Vivobarefoot and the like.
 
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