January 06, 2021

The lockdown and Covid restrictions mean that for many of us we’ve had extra time to explore our local areas of natural beauty in more ways than ever before. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with one of the UK’s outstanding areas of beautiful countryside on your doorstep, then no doubt you’ve been getting out and about as much as possible.

Even if we can’t all live in the Lake District or run to Durdle Door in our WFH lunch break, even Britain’s most humble parks, hills and valleys are a precious resource. The fresh air and views make the outdoors a blessing at a time when we need all the positives we can get.

However, recently the National Trust reminded us to be mindful of how we enjoy our precious outdoor areas, especially as the number of visitors to some of the most popular destinations has dramatically increased. Hikers, runners and cyclists can unknowingly cause serious erosion to the ground, and cause damage to wildlife, fauna and flora.

Wild Running Code

Here’s how you can run, cycle or hike in your favourite outdoor space and still look after the environment:

  • Stick to the path - footpaths widened by people trying to avoid muddy, overused pathways undo a lot of the work conversationalists spend most of the year remedying. 
  • Wear the right footwear - if you’re fell running in trainers designed for the pavement, then you’ll cause damage to the ground, plants and animals (not to mention your ankles).
  • Don’t litter (obviously).
  • Stick to your tier restrictions.

If you are heading off the beaten track, fell running shoes are designed for running off-road and off the set path, track or hiking trail, and will cause less damage to fragile ground. Those shoes can be used for short road or hard trail sections but don't wear them exclusively on hard surfaces as the studs will wear down quicker.

Looking to update your kit? Read our guide to choosing fell running or trail running shoes.

Our friends at Run & Become kindly shared their best fell running shoes ideal for muddy, wet winter conditions. 

Best for femmes - La Sportiva Mutant

La Sportiva Mutant trail running shoe

Best for fellas - Inov-8 Mudclaw


Inov8 Mudclaw trail running shoe

The National Trust has a great round-up of the most beautiful (and protected) wild runs in their properties. If you live near one, lucky lucky you.

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