I never really had a proper pair of orienteering shoes.... Any recommendations???
There are many brand, Icebug, VJ and inov. Vj average in grip and durable, inov more comfortable, but shit: 3-4 months the life period, Icebug the best in grip, the newest models comfort is ok, and the best durable
Just looked at my shoes history: have had 3 pairs of Inov8 X-Talon all lasting 2 years or longer. Every pair of VJ or Icebug I've ever worn have given me black toenails and blisters.
I haven't kept up with VJ or Icebug models, but I do know that Inov-8 shoes are just as suitable for sprint events as they are in the forest.
I trash X-Talons pretty fast - my current pair has done 500km, but probably should have replaced them at 300-350. I'm about twice Simmo's size though, so there's probably something in that. :)
Robert, what kind of terrain and events will you be wearing them in? Different models have different grip patterns that work better in different kinds if terrain.
I think there's a lot of personal preference involved. I have difficult feet and most orienteering shoes absolutely destroy them, except for Inov-8s which are the only shoes that are comfortable right out of the box. I've had issues with the soles coming off on both VJ and Inov-8 shoes, but have been shoe-gooing my Inov-8s back together with success in getting a lot more mileage out of them. Not ideal, but there seems to be a durability issue across orienteering shoe brands. I tried on some Icebugs and don't like the way they feel on my feet (they feel thin and flimsy to me) but some people swear by them too.
I think the best recommendation is whatever feels comfortable and gives you some grip amongst all the models of Inov-8, VJ, and Icebug, or even regular trail running shoes from companies like Salomon. If you really need grip (wet, slimy, or icy conditions) then go for metal dobbs. Other than that, all of those companies make shoes with aggressive tread, you just need to find the ones that feel good.
Ah, to be so lucky as to live in a place where most of the terrain would be described as "slimy"...
Thanks for the quick responses, @Canadian , I live in Florida and the terrain here is flat as a pancake, but I also go up north to compete at the national events, so I guess I'll be using them for forest most often. I have to consider budget too. Since Im buying a Forerunner 35.
Since in the northern hemisphere it is winter, to improve grip apply klister to the 5cm of sole under the arch.
Icebug is a wider shoe than most of the European designed O' shoes; they've worked well for me. But it can be hard to find the orienteering models in the USA. I loved Jalas high-tops for ankle support in rocky terrain, but I don't think they make anything similar today.
There are fairly big differences between the different models of IceBug shoes. I bought a pair of Icebug Spirit7 OLX last summer and they are excellent. The upper is softer/more flexible than many of their other models (and earlier models of the Spirit). These shoes were comfortable right out of the box, so good that I used them for the NAOC Long and COC Long immediately after purchase (without any blisters or other issues).
Flip-flops will work just fine in Florida, anyway you do not want to be too fast there.
If you overheat--- there is no way to cool down.
Or if you are really competitive then get Tevas.
I ran an orienteering race in Wyoming in Tevas once. And running shorts. And the daring part: SPF4.
Yes, try the fit above all else. Having a wide foot I find many specialist orienteering shoes have been made with a last too narrow for my foot. Innov8s passed that test, but the arch support was too low for my feet. I am now onto my fourth pair of Salamon Speedcross and am happy to stick with them. So my experience suggests including trail running shoes with no orienteering pedigree within your long list.
Arch support too low is something that can possibly be addressed, with either custom orthotics or off-the-shelf wedges. I have the latter in the right shoe of every pair I own.
@mikeminium VJ Integrator High is at least close to the old Jalas model. Maybe slightly narrower shoe, if I remember correctly. Of course, it is probably difficult to get VJ models to the States.
very old SILVA and very old JALAS was the best. S&M was ommited?
now every O-shoe breaks down after ~25 races (depending on duration and effort).
I think Icebug Spirit iz da best, but please keep VJ Bold on the same level.
Inov's are great... yeah... at the half of price
Inov8 are all garbage, except maybe old 212 was a so-so.
One can get a serious injury because of their flawed design.
Icebug model 2 was unusually good, very durable --- I am now repairing the 2 pairs I have thinking to extend their life.
Icebug model 4 is a fraud, the top gets unglued from the bottom almost instantly,
based on 2 pairs I have.
I got injured wearing high top Jalas. I thought they'd be great when I sprained my ankle but developed plantar fasciitis from their narrow width crushing my forefoot. Before that I wore Jala Jukolas until they stopped making/importing them to the US.
Inov8s have worked for me with my very wide feet, but I need replacements for my 2013 ORocs which are wearing out, and my slightly newer ArcticClaws are wearing out too (seams coming undone, partly because of my wide forefeet).
Then again, I have trouble finding normal walking shoes that fit well.
The conflicting advice in this thread underlines the key point IMO: personal preference. Your shoes have to feel right on *your* feet, not anyone elses, so take advice with a grain a of salt. Yes, choose tread pattern according to the terrain - everything else boils down to you: your feet, running technique, orienteering style, training/running distances, budget... not to mention the terrain/vegetation you're in.
If you have a budget for only one pair of shoe, my recommendation would be to go for orienteering shoes with spikes, as in general its more safely to run with spikes. Comfort and durability depends on variety of factors (body mass, feet, terrain, stride, speed etc.) and varies among models. https://www.all4o.com/shoes
From our own experience we recommend to go for any of these three (in case of metal spikes): VJ Bold Series, ICEBUG Spirit Series, INOV-8 OROC Series
p.s. all prices include VAT21%. For non-EU residents 21% is automatically deducted at Checkout, once you enter your country.
Definitely wear what fits and feel right.
I’m a fan of La Sportiva running shoes because they fit my feet and can miles in them right out of the box.
In particular I like Mutant, Akyra, and Ultra Raptors.
Plus La Sportiva makes Hobnails—screw in metal studs if you want such. https://www.sportiva.com/men-s/men-s-footwear.html...
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