Selecting a suitable shoe for the very unique Colliers Coastal Challenge can be a very confusing process. There are so many different surfaces on the course. You have rocks (some flat, some round), sandy beaches and water/swimming. So I thought I’d share the kind of shoe that works for me and why.
I have been running on the coastline for over 10 years and it still remains my go to when i am at home on the North Shore. The variety and sense of adventure is simply unparalleled in the urban environment.
Over the years I have experimented with a few different types of footwear on the coastline and the shoes that have given me the most confidence are simply, road shoes or a city trail shoe with minimal tread.
Rocks – Road shoes have very little tread which means you have a larger surface area touching the rock (reducing the possibility of slipping). A lugged trail shoe is usually made up of a much harder compound that is built to last in muddy conditions but has trouble when it comes to smooth rocky surfaces. Note: There are small sections of rock on the North Shore that have a green surface slime. These need to be approached with caution no matter what shoe.
Beach – There is generally a hard section of sand which you can target on the beaches which doesn’t require any tread. The key to running on the soft sand at the beach is to reduce your stride and up your cadence. This will keep you light on your feet and stop your foot from sinking into the sand.
Water – Especially for the Full & Mid Monty events, having a shoe that drains well is essential. You will be in and out for the water in the early stages of the race and having the water drain from your shoes immediately is going to save you energy and keep you light on your feet as you move on down the coastline.
I continue to tackle my coastal runs with a road shoe which works very well for me. If you are yet to get off the beaten track and onto our breath-taking coastline, I hope this information helps when it comes to choosing the most suitable shoe for this urban adventure.
Mark Fordham – Coastal Challenge Event Manager