Trail running demands similar kit and clothing to road running. So you will need a few basics, such as shorts or tights, t-shirt or long-sleeved baselayer, gloves, buff, beanie and socks.
The main difference between running on trials and tarmac is the footwear. You need good grip for running on paths, grass, rocks and in mud. Some trail trainers also offer a waterproof lining.
If you plan to run far and in variable weather, it’s important that you carry the right spare kit for staying warm and dry. Choose a lightweight running rucksack and add a weather-resistant jacket or gilet, a spare layer or two, water and a few snacks or gels.
Here’s a pick of some of the best trail running products.
Trail running demands shoes with good fit, grip and durability. Choose shoes to suit your gait and also the terrain, whether low-level paths, muddy routes or mountain passes.
The lightest model in the Salomon Wings collection, the Salomon Wings Flyte GTX shoes offer ease of running, agility and weather protection and breathability thanks to Gore-Tex. Price: £99.
Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail Running Shoes for men and women are popular among runners who like a mix of trails and terrain. They provide a super-precise fit and give good cushioning and grip on a variety of terrain. Price: £99. (Also see review blog)
Trail shoes get wet and muddy – and then they get stinky. Boot Bananas are moisture-absorbing shoe deodorisers that work well in running shoes to keep them sweet smelling.
If you trail run you’ll be familiar with changeable weather and different temperatures as you climb hills and mountains. Make sure you have a jacket stowed in your rucksack for rainy moments.
The Norrona men’s Bitihorn Dri1 jacket is wonderfully lightweight at 193g, waterproof, breathable and soft, so it won’t rustle noisily in the wind. Pit zips add effective ventilation when it’s wet but warm. There’s a women’s Norrona Bitihorn Dri1 Jacket, too. Price: £199
With a light-weight stretch fabric, the waterproof Rab Women’s Spark Jacket is meant for people who like to move fast and free in the hills and mountains. It is easily packable, too, with an integrated stuff sack in the chest pocket. The UK12 weights 240g. There is also a men’s Rab Spark jacket. Price: £150.
The Men's Flashpoint jacket from Rab is a super lightweight and breathable waterproof shell that still gives great protection from the elements. Price: £199.
The Montane Men’s Minimus Jacket weighs just 232g and packs down to the size of an apple. The fabric also delivers on breathability and makes a great emergency shell for rain showers. Price: £160 reduced to £100.
You want a running rucksack to be small and perfectly formed. It needs to fit snugly on your back so that it doesn’t move around as you jog along. It should also have enough space for all your bits and pieces but not be so big that it feels as though you are lugging your travel suitcase about with you.
The OMM Phantom 20 is a minimalist running pack designed for runners who pack light and compact. Handily, it has removable and remountable belt pockets for times when you need to carry less or more. Price: £120 now £84.
The Berghaus Women's Trail Speed 30 Rucksack has less contact points with the body to offer great air circulation and ventilation for times when you are running in hot weather. Price: £72 now £42.
The lightweight build, neat fit and freedom-to-move design of the Salewa Apex 22 means that you can run anywhere with speed and still have space for carrying 22 litres of essential kit. Price: £85 now £51.
This is Deuter's ultra light sports packs for the quick-footed athlete. The Deuter Speed Lite 15 also has a tapered shape for extra arm freedom when and a removable waist belt and chest belt. Price: £45.