Spring 2016 Trail Running Survey Results

Several times a year the American Trail Running Association (ATRA) conducts surveys to understand trends within our sport, demographic profiles of its participants and their preferences.

Complete survey results are made available to corporate members at the Switchback, Steep & Rocky and All-terrain levels. The following selected outtakes are from our most recent trail running survey conducted in March/April 2016 with 1200 respondents.

For questions about this or future ATRA trail running surveys contact Nancy Hobbs at NancyHobbs@trailrunner.com.

Survey Trail Runners

Survey participant profile:

  • 60% men; 40% women.
  • 56% of the respondents have been running 6 years or more.
  • 44% run on trails 3-5 days per week; an additional 7% run trails 6-7 days per week.
  • 47% run a total of 6-20 mile per week on trails; an additional 13% run 41 miles per week or more.
  • 84% run a mix of uphill and downhill trails as opposed to running only flat ground, only uphill or only downhill.
  • The choice between single track only (47%) or mixing it up with single track, wider paths and meadows (45%), rank higher than small percentages for fire roads (1%), wide gravel or dirt paths (5%), open fields, or urban paved pathways (3%).
  • 64% will run up to 5 races this year.
Survey Suunto

Activity trackers:

  • 50% of participants wore a Garmin brand activity tracker.
  • 19% of respondents use no tracking device.
Altra Survey

Running shoe preferences:

  • 76% wear trail-specific running shoes when RUNNING on the trails.
  • 77% wear trail-specific running shoes when RACING on the trails.
  • 67% will purchase two or more pairs of trail running shoes this year.

Running shoe brand preferences of survey respondents:

  • 24% HOKA One One
  • 22% Altra
  • 22% Brooks
  • 18% Salomon
  • 16% Saucony
  • 14% New Balance
  • 10% Inov-8

Future Surveys:

The American Trail Running Association will conduct its next survey this Summer. The survey will seek out trail runner preferences for running/racing tourism, hydration products, bar/gel products, if they run with a four-legged friend and how far are they willing to drive for a trail run. We’ll also be asking questions related to preferred cross-training activities & winter training routines.

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