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Active Root Ambassador Hamish is a passionate runner and ferocious competitor, particularly on the hills where he has twice been Scottish u-23 champion and making the podium at the famous Lairig Ghru trail marathon in both of the last two years. Working at Run4It and regularly running nearly 100miles per week (he's been known to do 4 races in one weekend as well!) gives Hamish the chance to try a lot of running shoes. With a collection of well over 20 pairs including, trail, road and racing shoes as well as XC and track spikes we asked him to share his favourites.
Make sure you follow Hamish at: https://www.instagram.com/hamishbattle/
And, for more running shoes and advice visit Hamish at: https://www.run4it.com/
Brooks Glycerin 16:
I had a pair of the Glycerin 14 and although I was happy enough to use them they weren’t anything special. However, the latest update I have been impressed with. It has a much softer cushioning which is what you want from this type of shoe and a slicker upper than its predecessors. This shoe is perfect for recovery runs or when you’re trying to squeeze in a few miles on tired legs before breakfast.
Nike Pegasus 35:
The Pegasus 35 ticks all boxes for me as a mileage shoe. It’s soft enough for an easy run but gives plenty of spring and responsiveness when you push the pace. Also, at a great price!
Nike Air Zoom Elite:
I think this is a very under-rated running shoe. Lighter weight and springier than the Pegasus but not quite as stripped back as a racing shoe, the Zoom Elite is perfect for those midweek sessions or tempo runs. With a bit more cushioning than a racing shoe it gives more forgiveness when the miles rack up once the warm up and cool down are included.
Adidas Adios 3:
Who doesn’t like the Adios? A road racing shoe for all distances with a perfect balance of lightness and cushioning. Apart from Nike’s sub 2 attempt this shoe still reigns as the fastest marathon shoe on the market. I’ve always been impressed with the durability of this shoe as well, retiring my first pair at 420 miles and they looked undamaged.
Bulky for a cross country spike I was reticent about buying the XCS but they did feel comfortable. Fast forward to their first outing at the East District Champs and they felt great. Perhaps I was just running well at the time giving me bias towards them but I was happy with the choice. The close-fitting upper moves nicely with the foot, 6 spikes giving good traction in the muddy Scottish conditions and a little more protection under the foot.
Saucony Peregrine 8:
The Peregrine is the ultimate all round trail shoe. It’s comfortable on the road, grippy on the trails and the durability of the tread is excellent. I used this shoe a lot when living in Edinburgh as there’s always a couple of miles on road to get to the trails. Now I live out in the sticks, it’s put on the back burner a bit as I tend to choose a shoe more specific to the trail, but if you’re looking to have one trail shoe to sit along side your road shoes it has to be this one.
Hoka One One Speedgoat 2:
The new guys on the block, Hoka, have made their mark and become very popular. The Speedgoat 2 is great for a steady trail or hill run with its high level of cushioning giving loads of protection on the descent if your legs aren’t feeling springy. If your legs are feeling springy you can’t half fly down a hill! Although they look bulky they are still nice and lightweight. If the ground is soft, they don’t offer quite enough grip and the tread does wear fast if you use them a lot on road.
Salomon S/Lab Ultra:
This shoe functions similar to the Speedgoat however with a lower stack height I find you get a better feel for the ground. My feet haven’t been enjoying my usual racing shoe choices as much this summer and for that reason I have been racing in these more cushioned shoes in the longer races having used them for the Lairig Ghru and the Scafell Skyrace where they got a 5 hour 35 minute outing over a variety of technical terrain and they felt great throughout. The extra cushioning gives more forgiveness when your legs are tired and a softer rubber on the sole give excellent grip on rocky terrain.
Salomon Sense 6:
This classic Salomon trail shoe is super lightweight and great on hard or dry trails. It’s easy to run fast in this shoe and there’s a great feel for what is going on under your feet. It has little cushioning so you want to be feeling fresh and light on your feet when running in this shoe. Only word of warning is not to be surprised if they look very worn within 300 miles. This shoe is designed to be slick and fast with little care for durability.
Inov8 X-Talon 225:
Although I’m not currently enjoying running in this shoe I do have to give them credit as I’ve had them nearly 2 years and found them great until recently. The upper has been durable and the grip has lasted much better than my previous X-Talon 212s. I’ve used these for hill running, skyrunning and XC when the ground is hard and they’ve performed well. Flexible, a good feel for the ground and nice and light weight for racing.