How to choose the right shoes for a desert run?

Comment choisir ses chaussures pour le Marathon des sables®, le Half Marathon des Sables® ou le Raidlight Desert Trophy? ?

Raidlight, specialist in desert trail equipment, develops and designs products adapted to desert races, particularly stage races such as the Marathon des Sables® or the Half Marathon des Sables®. All trailers can equip themselves according to their race format, combining lightness, technicality and comfort. From Saharan caps to desert gaiters and trail bags, everything is designed to help runners cope with the harsh conditions of the desert environment.

In this type of race, equipment is crucial. It can be a real ally or, on the contrary, a real burden. The choice of trail shoes for a desert race is extremely important. An unsuitable shoe could put you in difficulty and jeopardize the outcome of your desert adventure.

If you're hesitating between a trail shoe and a road shoe, both can be suitable. However, as you don't know in advance the type of terrain you're going to encounter, it's best to opt for a trail shoe that will give you the grip you need on the most technical sections. Trail shoes are more versatile and adaptable to all types of terrain. So it's a much wiser choice.

And to meet these criteria, we have developed a model designed for the long haul: the Ultra 3.0 shoe. 

Its injected EVA sole and foam pads provide all the comfort you need. Whatever the duration of your effort, you'll feel the comfort of this shoe throughout your run.

Another important point is the shoe's moisture management, especially for a race taking place in the desert... The Ultra 3.0 trail shoe has no lining, so it's one less element that allows the mesh to evacuate perspiration better.

Finally, the Ultra trail shoe features Matryx technology, an ultra-resistant mesh reinforced with 19 threads of Kevlar. Guaranteed to keep your trail shoe in good condition for a long time to come. All these features make this shoe the ideal choice for long or stage races, such as the Raidlight Désert Trophy.

Which size to choose?

The shoe is one thing, but choosing the right size is equally important.

When trail running, we always recommend taking an extra size on top of your usual shoe size. For desert races, don't hesitate to take 1 or 2 sizes larger. With the heat and the accumulation of kilometers, feet tend to swell a lot.

Having a little more space will allow the foot to swell without being cramped and to breathe better. Finally, if you need to put on a support bandage, dressing or other k-taping, you'll only be able to do so if the space in your shoe allows it. Bear in mind, too, that you'll be wearing your shoes for several days in a row, and it's highly likely that your foot won't have time to deflate between two stages.

How to install desert gaiters?

Desert gaiters are essential to keep sand out of your boots. Raidlight desert gaiters are compatible with all shoe brands.

NEW: Raidlight extends its desert racing expertise to include desert gaiter installation. Find out more on the dedicated page by clicking here.

1) Your gaiters are supplied with a roll of velcro. The inside of the gaiters is also covered with velcro. 


2) To attach the gaiters, ask your shoemaker to sew the Velcro strip (and do not glue it) around your shoes, just above the sole. 

For optimum protection and resistance, it's imperative to have them sewn, as the glue doesn't resist abrasion caused by sand.

Be careful not to overlap the band by making several turns of the trail shoe, and not to leave any excess. The Velcro strap must go all the way around the shoe.

3) To put on the desert gaiters, position the Velcro fastener on the inside of the gaiters over the one previously sewn onto your shoes.

4) Now you're ready to take on the desert!

For more tips, take a look at our other blog posts!

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