Posted by: Karen | October 27, 2005

Cross Country Gear

Heather asked if I wear metal spikes when I race in the cross countries. While many of those who compete in our XCs wear them, I don’t wear spiked shoes for most races – don’t own a pair. I find it challenging just to keep my feet shod in fresh enough training shoes.

Here’s what I wear, and how they looked on the morning of the Confederation Park XC when I realized I’d not yet cleaned them off after the Waldorf race.
Waldorf XC Residue

I race XCs in regular trail shoes. I’ve found them to be a good investment because when I’m between road shoes I can still use them on paved paths. When winter comes and we run on ice and hard-packed snow trails I stretch Yaktrax over top of my trail shoes and that does the trick. My first pair of Yaktrax lasted through two XC seasons, and cost me between $30-40.

I have borrowed Dianne’s spikes twice. It helps to have a friend with shoes my size :). The first time I used them on a regular dirt course to see if they made a huge difference on dirt. They did make a small difference in my confidence, but my calves turned into little bowling balls for two weeks after. Trail spikes have all the traction in the ball and toe of the foot, see, and none on the heel, and my form wasn’t quite ready for that yet.

The second time I used them was when I was looking at a very hard ice-fest of a course. The weather had snowed and partially melted and frozen several times before that race. If I hadn’t had Dianne’s spikes on that day I probably would have had to crawl over one of the really bad sloping icy sections. As it was, it was quite the challenge to remain upright without having much traction on my heels.

I will probably invest in spikes at some point, but so far am content with my Brooks Trail Addictions in most weather and Yaktrax over them on hard-packed snow and ice.



  1. Hello Daughter Dear,

    You write such interesting articles! I read them often, and even print them out many times, but Robert just installed another printer on my computer today and it is out of black ink. I am just borrowing it (the printer). Mine still works fine, but needed one that would print more pages for a project Ed and I are working on right now. So today I actually remembered how to leave a comment. Now what was I going to say? Oh, yes, Ed cut a couple of fingers doing some woodworking on Tuesday so I had to take him to emergency, but he is doing fine. Was even back doing using that thickness plainer the next day! With at least 5 stitches in one finger and a chunk out of his thumb. But he heals fast. Just pray that he doesn’t get infection, okay? Can’t keep that guy clean. Guess I’d better get some supper ready. Love, Mom PS Happy running!!!

  2. I am so loved. My mom is not only my biggest fan, she also my best archivist. archiver. historian. historienne? Whatever. She loves me so!


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