Meet my newest trail running kicks. The V-Lite Nazkas, £64.99 from Hi Tec, are a budget-friendly shoe that’s perfect for transitioning to barefoot running.
Product description: “For the runner who wants to transition to a more natural running style. The Nazka 5.0 features a dual density midsole with 5mm differential from heel to toe, potentially promoting a midfoot / forefoot strike rather than a heel strike. A performance closed mesh upper with midfoot support saddle keep out dirt and debris, an Ortholite footbed guarantees lasting comfort, and the exclusive versatile Vibram trail outsole delivery superior traction.”
Trail running: Super comfortable from the word go, the Nazkas are light, cushiony and give great grip. The technical mesh upper is water resistant in light showers, and the OrthoLite foodbeds cradle your feet, giving a pleasantly clould-like bounce to your jog. I’ve been running in barefoot trainers recently, as I hate clunky trainers, but going natural can be pretty intense – the Nazkas are a fantastic middle ground, as the Vibram trail outsoles keep you in contact with the trail and encourage a forward foot strike, but still protect your paws from rocks and puddles.
Verdict: I have a lot of pairs of trainers (too many, I think my long-suffering housemate would venture) but these have become my go-to choice for muddy runs. The Nazkas are a fantastic option if you’re getting into trail running, or if you’ve tried out natural or barefoot running and found it a little extreme. They’re great value for money too, at under £70. I’m not usually a fan of pink kit, mind, but these are a pale enough peachy colour to appease me, and they won’t stay clean for long anyway, right?