This is a good cushion neutral trail shoe offering thicker tread. Looking at the stack height there is only 4mm of difference between the heel and toe, meaning it is flatter. Many shoe companies traditionally offered 12mm offset, but now are converting to between 8-4 mm of offset. This shoe is a good safe bet for most. It has plenty of cushion, yet not super heavy and bulky to load you down.
Brooks Cascadia - $120, 11.7 oz, stack height 27 (heel) and 17 (toe)
This is the beefiest (and best selling across the US) trail shoe we have recommended for first time trail runners. It has just as much cushion as the previously recommended shoes, but with a rugged full heel- to- toe rock plate, and toe protection from kicking rocks. It has the most difference from heel to toe at 10mm. Its tried and true. From trail runners to through hikers it is a very popular shoe
This is the lightest shoe recommended and has a 4mm drop from heel to toe giving it a nice natural feel. The" pwrtrac" outsole helps you grip to changing terrain. It does contain a rock plate as well to give you protection from the rocks beneath your feet. Overall a great light weight but reliable shoe!
Try the shoe on before you buy at a local running store
Go with the shoe that feels the best and most natural
make sure you have about a thumbs width in front of your bit toe
we don't recommend waterproof shoes for our climate (waterproof - hot feet)
don't pick a shoe based solely on looks
hiking shoes/boots are typically more rigid than you want for a trail run
# 2 Hydration
Hand held water bottles are great to get you in between aid stations. 10 oz is fine if you are on the faster end, but we recommend 20 oz at least for your first trail race. The bottles strap around your hand and have a little pocket to hold a gel or bar as well. Some larger bottles even hold your phone! Dual hand held bottles are a great buffer for shielding your wrists on a fall as well. $15-$30
#3 Apparel - Running Shorts, Shirts, Socks, and Hat
Running socks are key! Make sure they don't have any cotton. Socks that are merino wool are great because they don't hold moisture and help keep your feet dry and free of blisters. Drymax socks are popular among many trail runners as well. Most running specialty stores will let you try on the socks before you buy as well!
Running hats have a sweat band built in and can be great for dousing in water and cooling your heat. They also give you protection from the sun and keep the sweat out of your eyes!