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Whether it's your first ultra - or your fiftieth - wearing the right shoes is vital

Our Humanity Direct single day events are the perfect introduction to ultra-running, and the next one - September's Tring Ultra - is fast approaching. With plenty of dry, hot weather (which means hard ground) recently, I wanted to clear up the age old question you might be asking: 'should I wear road or trail shoes for the event?'

Actually, the critical factors in your choice of shoe should also include the heat (dehydration) and bright light. As you tire during the event, you'll tend not to lift your feet as well, so the risk of stubbing your toes increases. The armoured toe box on a good pair of trail shoes could really protect your toes - unlike road shoes. And don't underestimate the impact of stubbed toes. They could mean pain, lost nails in the days that follow, and even possible DNFing.

Secondly, most good trail shoes have a 'rock plate' to protect the soft underside of your feet. That's especially important when you run from bright sunshine into shaded woodland and wallop a tree root with your foot!

So, we'd really recommend a good pair of trail shoes - ideally, a pair you know well and trust to do the job over long distances.

Are you joining us in Tring? Remember that if the weather is hot, you'll be drinking lots and we won't be providing plastic cups (to reduce our environmental impact). Please bring your own reusable / collapsible cup with you.

Enjoy your final weeks of training / tapering, and looking forward to seeing you all in September!

Andy Stewart is one of our ultra-running coaches, helping runners of all abilities achieve their ultra dreams.

Find out more about coaching or read more on his blog >

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