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 What the Trail Running Community Expects from Manufacturers
Running | 20.06.2017

Trail Running series, part 4: Products, Prices, Know-How

Trail Running: How the Community Ticks, and What They Expect from Equipment

What the Trail Running Community Expects from Manufacturers. Holger Lapp (trampelpfadlauf.de) says, “The price plays less of a role for trail runners”
Holger Lapp (trampelpfadlauf.de) says, “The price plays less of a role for trail runners”
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Those who meet runners in the countryside, or on the mountain, and compare them with joggers will quickly determine: Trail runners are different. Cooler, less concerned about best times, but still discerning when it comes to equipment and material. On ISPO.com, insiders explain how the trail running community ticks – and what that means for manufacturers and retail.

“Trail runners are optimizers in the positive sense. I also label them as equipment and material nerds,” says Marlen Franke, trail runner and blogger at trail-kitchen.de, and she’s not excluding herself from that assessment. Trail runners have special demands of products and their manufacturers – experts debate this topic in part 4 of the Trail Running series on ISPO.com.

ISPO.com surveyed five insiders:

Links to the other four parts of the Trail Running series on ISPO.com, with other expert theories, at the end of this text

“The price plays less of a role for trail runners”

Holger Lapp, trampelpfadlauf.de: “One of the biggest differences with us trail runners is definitely that it’s more about nice runs and great pictures than about achieving speeds – although thoughts of performance are gaining more and more even in trail running. For the industry, the more important point is definitely the demands on the equipment. Trail runners want lightweight, compact, but highly functional equipment. We’ve determined that the price then plays less of a role. In addition, more and more importance is being placed on sustainable production. In that, this point is still too murky for the consumer.”

Trailrunner are material nerds. Manufacturer should consider this when developing new materials and products. (Quelle: iStock/blyjak )
Trailrunner are material nerds. Manufacturer should consider this when developing new materials and products.
Bild: iStock/blyjak

“Trail runners are nerds in terms of material”

Marlen Franke, trail runner and blogger at trail-kitchen.de: “Trail runners are optimizers in the positive sense. I also label them as equipment and material nerds. The requirements for equipment on the trail - especially in the high alpine and ultra segments - are already different than those for street runners’ clothing. While before it was always about lighter fabrics and dragging along even less weight, having smaller, more lightweight backpacks that you can tighten like a vest, it’s becoming more and more about the durability and sustainability of the products.”

The best trail running shoe is the one that fits the running type of its wearer. How to find the right trail running shoes >>>

“Manufacturers can have a hard time ironing out mistakes”

Lars Schweizer, Laufcampus Akademie: “The trail community is, above all, a laid-back and cool community. The community’s networking is also very good. You keep meeting each other from event to event. This is also where the difficulty lies for manufacturers. As a result of there being fewer athletes in this segment, the strengths and weaknesses of a new product will get around very quickly, broadcast to all of the other athletes, and recommendations will definitely only be passed on with extensive testing. If a manufacturer permits themselves even one mistake here, it will be difficult to iron it back out again. What applies at trade fairs and events: You’ll quickly notice whether you’re dealing with someone who really knows the subject matter of trail running, or just has to watch the boot and constantly has to run the shoe test.”

Sustainability in the production process is of high importance for trailrunners. (Quelle: trailblog.de)
Sustainability in the production process is of high importance for trailrunners.
Bild: trailblog.de

“Trail runners are crazy for news on products”

Denis Wischniewski, trail-magazin.de: “The community of trail runners is, at its core, still a true ‘scene.’ That’s sympathetic, and makes a lot of things easier because you can get to knowledge and know-how quickly. Our community is nature-conscious, interested, fond of traveling, and often downright crazy for equipment and product news. The identification with the sport and everything that comes with it just seems higher than in the “normal” running community, since there are more topics that are relevant there.”

Trail Running: The new Running Trend in Pictures

 

“Equipment needs to look cool, but be robust”

Andrea Löw, ultra runner and blogger at runninghappy.de

“Lots of relaxed runners hang around in this scene who don’t really want to set a new best time, but rather are looking for intense, natural experiences, people who want to exert themselves in other ways. But since we’re on the move longer, in most cases, and run in difficult terrain, we just need long-lasting, robust equipment. Our gear, shoes, and other equipment should still look kind of cool, but they also need to be good for demanding tours.”


Read part 1 of the Trail Running series here: The Fascination of Trail Running: Are Mountain Runners the More Complete Runners?

Read part 2 of the Trail Running series here: From Jogging to Trail Running: The Best Expert Tips for Beginners

Read part 3 of the Trail Running series here: Upcoming Trends in Trail Running: The Digital World Conquers the Mountains

Read part 4 of the Trail Running series here: Products, Prices, Know-How: How the Community Ticks, and What They Expect from Equipment

Read part 5 of the Trail Running series here: Requirements for Outfitters and Manufacturers: “Specialty Retail Needs to See Trail Running as Its Own Sport”

Gunnar Jans ist Chefredakteur von ISPO.COM (Quelle: www.goettlicherfotografieren.de)
Article by Gunnar Jans, editor in chief
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