Spring 2017 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 May/June realized nearly 800 respondents.

Survey participant profile:

  • 58% male; 42% female
  • 29% ages 20-39; 58% ages 40-59
  • 38% have been running more than 10 years
  • 47% run 3-5 days per week
  • 44% run 6-20 miles per week; 5% run more than 50 miles per week
  • 59% mix it up, some days preferring gnarly, some days gentle trail
  • 49% list single-track as their favorite type of trail; 45% list a mix of single track/wider paths/meadows
  • 83% prefer a mix of ascending and descending
  • 63% will run 1-5 trail races this year
  • 9% will run more than 10 races this year
  • 43% prefer racing 50K or longer
  • 9% prefer racing 10K or shorter

Activity trackers:

  • 50% record their trail runs with a Garmin
  • 17% don’t use a watch, or tracking device

 

Running shoe and hydration preferences:

  • 81% wear trail-specific shoes when training on the trails
  • 82% wear trail-specific shoes when racing on the trails
  • In choosing a shoe, comfort and fit rank highest, followed by traction and breathability
  • 68% wear a hydration vest when training or racing
  • 8.5% only hydrate before or after a run
  • In choosing hydration, comfort and fit rank highest, followed by pockets and storage.

Running shoe brand preferences of survey respondents:

  1. Altra 20% (moved up one spot from our 2016 survey)
  2. Hoka One One 16% (moved down one spot from our 2016 survey)
  3. Salomon 11% (moved up one spot from our 2016 survey)
  4. Brooks 9% (moved down one spot from our 2016 survey)
  5. Saucony 8% (stayed in same position from our 2016 survey)
  6. inov-8 4.4% (moved up one spot from our 2016 survey)
  7. New Balance 4% (moved down one spot from our 2016 survey)

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