What Is The Best Surface To Run On?

Running is a sport we often take for granted. It is something most people just go outside and do, without much thinking. Some put more effort into it, particularly if they are facing competitions and races in the future, near or distant.

Those preparing for their first half-marathon often put more effort into running according to a plan or schedule. However, not many people consider the surface they are running on unless they are already seasoned runners and have preferences.

Every surface has its benefits and risks, so here are the best surfaces to run on.


Grass is soft and tends to be good for the ankles. It doesn’t put much pressure on the ankles and it is often surrounded by pleasant sights. However, grass has its demons, in the sense that it is really slippery when wet. People with allergies might find grass intolerable in spring when there is pollen everywhere. Grass can also be a bit taller than we would like, hiding potential dangers like loose stones or even holes. All in all, it is a great surface, but one not to be taken lightly.

Dirt Trails

Dirt is another common choice for the runner. Dirt trails occur naturally when people walk over grass. You will find them in cities, parks, near rivers and in forests. Dirt is a great option for a runner. Being relatively predictable, it is a surface that is not too hard for the ankles. It offers decent visibility so that there will be no unpleasant surprises on a run. However, it can get muddy when wet, and in autumn, when covered with leaves, it can get ridiculously slippery, especially in forests.


Asphalt is not a favorite surface, but, it has its advantages. Asphalt can be found in cities, and it is a hard surface, but even and predictable. What asphalt does better than dirt or grass routes is predictability. Asphalt should be even most of the time, meaning that there will be less strain on an ankle trying to adapt to a new surface. Given asphalt’s nature and the fact that it can be found in urban areas, the runner would have to deal with traffic, people, and the usual annoyances of a city.


This is a tough surface to run on. It is considered multiple times harder than asphalt and while predictable and often even, it is hard on the ankles. Concrete brings the usual issues of potholes and the wear and tear of time and traffic. It can be predictable, but it can also have its own little traps and problems.

Every surface has its pros and cons. Typically, dirt trails are probably the best surfaces to run on, as well as grass.