équipement pour débuter en trail

Trail equipment: adventure is for the birds!

Every day, new participants are won over by trail running. Running in nature is, in fact, a guarantee of new sensations. However, be careful to pay attention to the quality of your equipment to avoid serious misadventures…


All experienced trail runners stubbornly assert: you must know how to exercise caution in your approach to outdoor running, and not try routes that are too technical right away. You must also, and perhaps especially, equip yourself based on the effort (or even the simple walk) to come.



This is obviously the most important point of trail equipment! Choose shoes that you immediately feel comfortable in and which suit the characteristics of your stride.

Several elements to consider:

- Traction: you want to have a sole under your feet that grips, even and especially on moist soils.

- Protection: it is important to protect yourself from rocks or roots with a true trail-type shoe.

- Size: it is generally accepted to choose one size greater than the road model to negotiate descents without toe pain.

- Lightweight: this is less important than on the road. Have confidence in a shoe offering complete stability.



We obviously don't run the same way on steep mountain trails as on perfectly groomed roads! Your trail wardrobe must include certain pieces of equipment to ensure comfort and safety.


- A technical fleece and T-shirt. Trail training and competitions generally require several-hour outings. You must be comfortable in hot weather, but also in case of cool temperatures.

- A windbreaker. Always keep in mind that the weather conditions can change quickly (especially if you are travelling in the mountains). Wrapped very thinly around the waist, or folded in your backpack, a windbreaker is a guarantee against unexpected poor weather. It could also prove particularly useful in case of a sprain that might require you to await rescue.

- Bike shorts or running tights (based on the season). Avoid short and ventilated running shorts – generally worn by marathoners – which do not protect from possible contact with brambles.


To consider:

- Wearing a hat and gloves is advised in cold weather. Choose a cap when the sun shines brightly.

- Compression stockings. They can both protect from scratches and other stings. They can also play a role in preventing cramps.



Do not rely on the term "accessories". A reasonable trail practice requires meticulously-selected equipment. Race organisers often require several accessories (which are, in reality, must-haves).

- Backpack. Essential! It should be able to hold two water bottles, as well as energy bars or solid food supplies, as well as your windbreaker.

- A mobile phone. To alert your loved ones or possible rescuers in case of mishaps (before you leave, check that your phone battery is fully charged).

- A headlamp. Obviously essential when training takes place (in full or in part) under unpredictable light.

- A stopwatch or GPS watch. Important to fully appreciate the time of your workout. Be careful, the idea of progress is less important on the trail than on the road.


Running far off the beaten path always implies an added risk: trail equipment must therefore ensure complete safety as its first priority.