Trail running equipment - what should not be missing + checklist

Did you deal with the topic trail running not really busy yet, you might think that the line between Running and trail running is vanishingly small. As a result, it is the same with the corresponding trail running equipment.

However, every trail runner knows that the equipment used in the two sports differs in a few ways distinguishes . Trail running can be a very minimalist affair. Too heavy gear or too much technology would certainly reduce your running experience at the beginning. Nonetheless, there are some basic things you have along should.

The trail running equipment

Especially for you as a beginner it is helpful to have a short checklist at the beginning. This makes it easier for you to orientate yourself on the still rather unknown trail running terrain. So what trail running gear do you need?

First we give you one quick overview in the form of a checklist and then go on to some particularly important points of trail running equipment. We'd like to point out some differences and features draw attention and you feeling Therefore give what you special should pay attention .

Your checklist at a glance

Always there

  • Breathable and comfortable running clothes
  • Stable trail running shoes
  • headlamp
  • Trail running backpack / running belt
  • Sufficient water
  • suncream
  • sunglasses
  • Headgear (cap/buff)
  • Nuts/ fruit/ energy gels
  • Cell phone (for emergencies!)
  • First aid kit

additionally autumn/spring

  • rain jacket
  • outdoor gilet
  • gloves


  • GPS clock
  • trail running poles
  • compression stockings

trail running shoes

Of course, the medium that connects us to the trail comes first. As you can guess, they are trail running shoes . For short, less demanding runs, you can certainly fall back on your road running shoes.

Is your passion for trail running sparked and do you want to go for a longer or more challenging trails the time has come for appropriate trail running shoes. There is a lot to be said for swapping your running shoes for trail running shoes.

What is the difference between trail running shoes and normal running shoes?

Trail running shoes offer a better grip and thus more protection for your ankles and soles. Good trail running shoes have thicker and firmer soles as well as one hard rubber cap in the toe area. The heel part is a bit wider and the foot stands a bit deeper in the shoe . This leads to a lower center of gravity and thus prevents a slight twisting of the ankle. Trail running shoes also have one deeper profile , allowing more grip on wet and slippery underground are offered.

Barefoot trail running shoes

Then there are so-called barefoot trail running shoes . As the name suggests, walking barefoot is simulated. These shoes are becoming more and more popular. These are minimalist running shoes with a very thin sole . These shoes therefore have no cushioning .

On the other hand, barefoot shoes usually have a sole made of a firmer material . Thus, there is still protection against sharp stones. So make sure you choose a sole that suits you when you buy it. In addition, barefoot shoes are lighter than traditional running shoes, so you don't have to carry as much weight on your feet. Whether you prefer to use barefoot shoes or trail running shoes is entirely up to you.

Which running shoes are right for you?

Since the shoe, that Basic element in trail running is, you should not only focus on optical properties. Also fits technically good shoe not automatically for every foot shape. So does yours running technique when choosing your perfect trail running shoe.

One running analysis is always a good idea here. It is best to go to a reputable sports shop of your choice to advise and then decide on your perfect shoes.

Have you bought trail running shoes before and do you trust them yourself? selection OK, then we've listed a few personal favorites for you to check out =)

Clothing for trail running

Of course, it would be very liberating if we could only walk in shoes. But since we all don't want to be behind bars, but rather want to walk up and down the trails, we should go for a few clothes better not give up.

Trail running clothing is essentially the same requirement meet like that sportswear which you also use for road running. she should light, breathable and pleasant to be carried. As with many sports, the layering principle (several layers of clothing) also applies here. Expect your clothes to get dirty and you will get caught on branches or undergrowth.

If you plan to cover a few meters in altitude, then remember to pack appropriate clothing ( rain jacket, outdoor gilet).

Windstopper / running gilet for women *

Windstopper / running gilet for men *

A pair of sunglasses is always a good idea - they not only protect against UV radiation, but also against mosquitoes flying in the opposite direction. If you move around for a long time in shade-free terrain or at high altitudes, you should also think about sun protection* . headgear like a cap or buff will protect you from the direct sun and prevent sunstroke.

Without wanting to get too slippery here, but for the sake of completeness: There are also such things as super breathable sports underpants for women* and men* . This is of course not a must-have, but worth considering.


one of the most important gadgets you as a trail runner always with you should! Running under the stars can be great, but you always need to be on your toes own security respect, think highly of!!

If you want to run at night, it probably makes sense to do one headlamp to have with you. But what you should also note: Sometimes you misjudge the length of the trail ( even professionals happens), you get lost, you take a longer break than planned or you run out of energy in the middle.

As a beginner, this happens faster than you think and suddenly your adventure moves to the twilight . It is therefore better to have a headlamp with you, especially on unfamiliar trails.

They are particularly "dangerous". After-work runs where you suddenly find yourself in the thick of it energy boost released and you decide at short notice to choose a longer route :-) In any case, it is better to have a few grams more in your backpack than to wander around alone in a dark forest without a light or to dare a difficult descent. Most LED variants* are sufficiently bright and can be easily stowed in a backpack.

Trail running backpack

That's probably the one Holy Grail under the trail running gear . The backpack serves several purposes and is recommended, especially for longer tours. You can put your clothes, headlamp, first aid kit and especially yours in it water and energy reserves stow away A good running backpack is light, breathable and adapts to your body (adjustable straps). A capacity between 2 and 12 liters*  will be able to cover your needs as a beginner.

For short distances is a running belt a good option. Some belts offer a surprising amount of storage space and even have an attachment for trail running poles and race numbers. In any case, the belt should have room for a mobile phone, keys, a small drinking bottle (eg soft flask* ) and possibly have energy gels.

The most comfortable are "tube" running belts made of continuous stretch material . For versions with locking systems, keep in mind that they can get uncomfortable pretty quickly:

Everyone knows the burning and itchy feeling of a rubbing substance on the skin. Then no one can concentrate on the - actual - great feeling of trail running

Another alternative is a so-called handheld * . This offers enough space for keys, money and smartphone.

GPS watch

If you are a complete newcomer to trail running and just want to see if you enjoy it at all, you need no more expensive GPS watch. Just run as you please, in your own speed , do breaks and try to be even breathe . listen to yours Body and don't overdo it. After all, you want to enjoy it for a long time.

As said, a GPS watch * is definitely for beginners not a must , but it can helpful be. First and foremost, of course, about you orientate and your pulse rate to keep in mind. In addition, it helps Motivation , when you see your covered kilometers and training successes listed in real numbers.

A GPS watch is definitely a tool for all trail runners who want to track their performance bring next level want or who have a specific training goal target.

Trail Running Poles

Sticks are mostly up long distances and steep terrain useful. The trail running poles will help you load that affects your body when running distribute . At the same time, your legs become relieved . The sticks give you support when running downhill better grip and can help you balance to hold better and avoid slipping.

The right technique is important here. For professionals as well as trail running beginners sticks helpful be. However, there is also a bit of practice asked. Depending on which trails you want to tread, they are definitely worth considering. The poles can also be used when hiking. So are multifunctional - we love that!

We have written a helpful article : How to find the right trail running poles in which we explain from A to Z what you should definitely pay attention to when buying.

emergency equipment

Emergency and trail running definitely doesn't sound like a good combination. Of course, you should not be deterred by this and still pursue your passion! But this sport brings a little more risk with himself as playing chess .

In an emergency, you might think of ambulances and helicopters, but in most cases (fortunately!!) it's more like abrasions or minor cuts . So please don't panic! As a trail runner, you sometimes run through undergrowth or at least past it. And on the butt or the Kneel to landing has happened to the best.

What should not be missing in your trail running equipment?

A small first aid kit* included plaster Bandage , disinfectant and rescue blanket . You know, the rescue blanket is this thin foil with a silver side and a gold side. Incidentally, this can not only be used for real emergencies, but also if it only feels like 10 degrees during your break at the mountain top.

In memory of:

Gold outside = warming Function. Silver outside = cooling Function.

Please do not throw the rescue blanket into the trash can after using it once. You can do this slide use multiple times - so you not only save money, but also do something good for the environment =) If necessary, you can also carefully with lukewarm clean water .

The emergency equipment also includes a cellphone . Of course, you want to concentrate fully on your running experience and not be distracted. Of course you don't have to. You can put your phone in your running backpack plug in and switch to silent mode. In an emergency, however, it is very important that you someone understanding can.

And be it just a friend or buddy who is supposed to pick you up from the parking lot because you have exhausted yourself or you have lost your car key. The latter happens more often than you might think!

You might also want a photo or two Shoot and visualize the great places you discover while trail running hold on .

It also makes sense to download a GPS map onto your cell phone that also works offline ( , for example, is a very good free app for this).

With this basic equipment you should be well prepared for your first trail runs. Over time, you will find out which clothes suit you best. Try out and testing in practice is the only true formula to do that for you perfect equipment to find.

Is there anything we haven't listed but definitely does in trail running gear not missing may? Then let the others know and write it in the comments .

Have fun collecting your first trail running experiences!

Warm greetings,

Daniela of Atacama

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