University life was not kind to my body, and now that I'm done I've been losing a lot of weight. I've lost enough now that I can start to run again without fear of my heart exploding. I need to get some new gear, however. I'll mainly be running on nature trails and access roads. The things I want to get are as follows:
Good Trail Running shoes. Old nikes aren't going to cut it anymore.
Good socks (polypropylene?). Cold sweaty feet aren't pleasant.
Some sort of backpack hydration system with a >1L capacity and some room for a bit of gear (cellphone, knife/saw, extra laces, granola bar).
I'm largely clueless when it comes to trail running shoes. Most of my previous running was on a treadmill or on sidewalks, and I realize that trail running is a different proposition altogether. There's a lot of "The North Face" gear being sold locally, and their shoes seem OK but I don't really know what special features I should be looking for. As for socks, I've had polypropylene socks recommended to me, but I can't really find any. Most that I've seen are mixtures of various fabrics, or are CoolMax (wtf is that?). Socks are important kit, so I don't want to make the wrong choice.
As far as hydration systems, I've been looking at the Camelbak brand, as I'm not familiar with the quality of the other brands. The models that seem in line with what I want are the M.U.L.E., the Mini M.U.L.E., and the Lobo. "The North Face" also offers two models (the "Dogfish" and the "Thresher"), but I don't know how reliable they are. I'm mainly concerned with minimizing bounce, and having the weight being distributed properly between the hips and shoulders. Camelbak offers fanny-pack models for runners, but I'm concerned that they don't have a large enough capacity (both in water and storage).
Also on the subject of gear, I'd also like to pick up some extra wide insoles for my Danner Arcadia Boots. I've got a set of Matterhorn Dryz that came with my old boots, but they aren't wide enough to be comfortable for long distances. I end up with blisters where my feet rub against the edges.
Any suggestions or advice would be great. Also, if you could post websites from Canada where I can buy gear, it would save me a lot of time and trouble wading through the crap that comes up on Google. If you need any extra info to help give advice, just ask.
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No one here runs? Or did my thread just fall off the first page so fast that no one saw it?
REI is your friend.
As for shoes, Adidas and Asics make some good trail runners; just go somewhere that the staff knows what they're doing and get some advice.
I have a Camelbak MULE Pack (Not sure they make this model anymore) and like it a lot. It has a 100 oz reservoir and enough room for a day hike at least, if you pack right. Get the switch valve in the mouthpiece, though, once it gets kinda worn out it'll leak if you don't.
socks... same thing as shoes, get advice. I have a pair of Nike socks that I race in that are very breathable. Basically, if you put your hand in it, you can see straight through the sock. But they might not protect you form blisters on the trails. Polypro might be your best bet.
A lot of people I know like the nice cheap new balance shoes in the 800 series. Don't forget to wear them around the house/work for a few weeks to break them in!
As for socks, a nice wicking sock is good. That is the idea behind Coolmax. Take a sample sock and turn it inside out to understand how it works.
Pretty much any backpack is OK provided it has nice wide straps and can be adjusted to fit you comfortably. Get a water hydration system and toss it in the back. I don't prefer the camelbak, there are better manufacturers, imho. (I like the MSR stuff)