At Icebug, we are experts in trail shoes for both women and men. Cross-country running shoes differ a little from other running shoes, as the terrain they are suited for requires a coarser sole and better grip. We have trail shoes for experienced runners, but also shoes for anyone who has just started to discover trails and is running on simpler terrain.
Grip has always been close to our hearts at Icebug. When Icebug was founded in 2001, it was to make studded running shoes and hiking shoes that were used during the winter. Since then, we have expanded to also include trail shoes for year-round use. We offer minimalist trail shoes for technical cross-country running, as well as cushioned cross-country running shoes that are suitable for the beginner or those who want to run really far in terrain.
Shoes for trail running have many names! We prefer to call them trail shoes, while others may say off-road shoes or cross-country running shoes. Regardless of the name, it is about running shoes made for use on trails and paths, rather than on asphalt and other hard surfaces.
Choosing trail shoes does not have to be difficult - start with where and how you will use your shoes. If you prefer to run on unpaved terrain or rocky paths, a pair of minimalist trail shoes will give you solid contact and a ground feel. If you prefer exercise tracks, gravel roads, or simpler paths, you can invest in comfort first. In that case, a pair of well-cushioned cross-country running shoes are preferable. Regardless of where you want to run, you should ensure that your shoes are durable and waterproof, or at least water-repellent.
Trail shoes and cross-country running shoes are adapted for running on terrain and technical paths. Trail shoes often have a sole that features a rough pattern, where clay can be pressed out on the sides instead of getting stuck under the shoe. The rubber mixture in the outsole gives a good grip on both wet and dry surfaces. There are two different types of shoes. Your personal preferences determine what suits you best. Minimalist trail shoes have little or no cushioning and a very low sole that allows for good contact with the running surface. This type of terrain shoe usually suits those with a lot of experience in trail running. More beginner-friendly cross-country running shoes often come with more cushioning and support. These provide increased comfort but offer poorer ground contact.
Icebug's trail shoes are made with the grip rubber RB9X and have often been noticed for their fantastic grip. RB9X is Icebug's rubber compound that was designed to provide grip and durability at the same time. A pair of off-road shoes with an RB9X sole meets the same requirements for durability that are placed on running shoes for asphalt - and thus can handle very large amounts of off-road running and trail running without wearing out. RB9X is found on the more minimalist trail shoes Icebug Acceleritas, Icebug Zeal, and Icebug Sisu, but also on more well-cushioned running shoes such as Icebug Horizon, Icebug OutRun, and Icebug Arcus.
The short answer is nothing! Trail shoes or cross-country running shoes work well for orienteering and vice versa and are also excellent for, for example, OCR and swimrun. On the other hand, what we see at Icebug is that orienteers like to trail shoes with steel studs, while those who mainly do easier running in terrain want running shoes with a rough-patterned rubber sole.