If you’re itching to explore Singapore's trails but don’t know where to start, we have compiled this list of gear for beginners.
Trail running in Singapore requires running on a wide range of surfaces including sandy, rocky and muddy paths, grass, streams and steep gradients. Some trails even require scrambling or running through thick vegetation or caves.
The type of gear you need will depend on the difficulty of the trail. If you’re new to trail running, avoid trails that have lots of steep gradients and stick to less challenging grass, sandy or fine gravel paths.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of essential gear for trail running beginners to help you overcome challenging trails safely.
Shoes are the most important gear when it comes to trail running – they must be able to support your entire bodyweight, so they should be stable, comfortable and have a good grip.
The material should be breathable and provide sufficient protection, and the heels should provide enough support for your ankles on uneven trails in order to prevent injuries and muscle strain.
In addition, the soles should have a good tread to provide plenty of grip on wet surfaces. Some shoes also have a clip for storing the laces inside the tongue, which reduces the risk of them becoming loose in thick vegetation.
In addition to meeting the above requirements, the ideal pair of trail running shoes should also be lightweight.
Avoid choosing backpacks that are too big – around 10L is plenty for short to medium-distance runs.
The bag should have a pocket for a water pack or two 500ml bottles and a pair of walking sticks, as well as an adjustable chest strap. Its size should be small enough to prevent the bag from swinging or catching on vegetation when running on narrow trails.
The backpack should also be waterproof and have a breathable back panel – if the material isn’t waterproof, the contents are likely to get wet even on dry days, as sweat will leak through into the interior.
For trail running tops, choose a breathable, bright-colored design, ideally with shoulder reinforcements for a backpack.
Don’t forget to pack a thin windproof jacket to keep you warm during rest breaks and before/after your run as well.
For trousers or shorts, you can choose between a tight or loose-fitting design, but they should comprise anti-chafing and breathable material (especially for men), as persistent rubbing on long trail runs can cause considerable discomfort.
Some trousers feature a top pocket for storing small items such as a mobile phone or snacks without the need for a running belt.
The length of your socks should depend on the type of trail. Long socks help to protect your feet when running through thick vegetation or streams.
Some socks extend to just below the calf and feature a compression function to improve circulation through your legs.
Whether you opt for long or short socks, the most important thing is to ensure that they absorb moisture to keep the soles of your feet dry and prevent blisters.
All the best on embarking on your new trail running adventure!
P.S. Don’t forget to try out your new gear before setting out on a run – nothing is worse than discovering that your clothes or shoes are causing you discomfort halfway through a long run.