Tips for Trail Shoes from Ultra Runner, Paul Stofko

Submitted by: Paul Stofko

If you enjoy experiencing nature through hikes in NW Indiana or you are a road runner who is looking to change their routine, trail running is for you. However, before heading to the trails, you need to choose the trail shoe best suited for the type of trails you will be running on. 

Light Trail: These trails are gravel path, well-groomed trail or fire roads. Shoe for this type of terrain need basic structure and modest protection for rocks and roots. A good example of this type of trail in NW Indiana is the Calumet Trail though it is slated to be paved very soon. Shoes that fit this light trail category are Brooks Caldera, Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger and Asics Gel-Fuji Lyte

Rugged Trail: These trails have unstable surfaces and contain rocks and roots. Shoes for this type of terrain need underfoot protection, supportive uppers and are stiff to stabilize feet on the uneven surfaces. Indiana Dunes State Park and National Lakeshore trails contain these types of terrain. Shoes that are good for these conditions include Saucony Peregrine 7, AltraLone Peak 3.5 and New Balance Leadville V3

Get Fitted: A footwear specialist can figure out what shoe is best for you since each brand fits differently. Stop by our local Extra Mile Fitness in Valparaiso and they can help you out. 


Paul “Crazy Legs” Stofko has been running for 20 years and ultras since 1999. He is race director, personal trainer, running coach and has 19 years of experience in the fitness industry. Paul graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and from Purdue University Calumet with Associate’s Degree Dietetic Technology (Nutrition). He is the founder of the Crazy Legs Race Series(www.crazylegsraceseries.info) in Northwest Indiana. The next race in his series is the Forrest Gump Hump 5k trail run at Oak Ridge Prairie in Griffith on Sunday, March 4th. He can be contacted at stofko121@yahoo.com