In the morning, we will go to the Lower Pavilion and in the evening the Upper Pavilion. Today we focus on hinging. I want to bring back up the "shoe" conversation. When it is time for a new pair of shoes, I will be more than happy to guide you. I like the runningwarehouse.com website because I can filter for things that matter. They do a good job of describing toe box size and more. I know I have personally been disappointed in Vibram as they continue to change their trail shoe for the worse. I may try https://www.runningwarehouse.com/Altra_Vanish-XC/descpage-ALVXM4.html but I haven't experienced a 15 mm stack height in over a decade. I like to feel the ground a lot but a ton of rocks in the middle of the arch don't feel great.
Things I look for-
Toe Box width. No one should go narrow. No one.
Stack height. A lot of stack height provides a lot of cushion, provides poor ground feel and also provides a larger ledge for you to roll off. Rocks won't hurt but ankle rolls will. If you are used to 35 mm of stack height, you can't go down to 5-8 mm any time soon. Maybe 30mm is a good number for now.
Drop height. That is the difference in the height of the front vs the back of the foot. Heel elevation. Wearing heels wrecks a body. Running miles and miles in an elevated heel will do the same. With that being said, you can't go cold turkey. If you are used to a 12 mm heel lift, zero is a terrible idea for now. Zero is the long term goal but rarely the short term goal. A lift will have many negative consequences. Every 6 months, reduce your lift. If you currently have a 12 mm lift, your next pair of shoes needs to be 10-11.
Tread- This one is tough. The tread for running and the tread for lifting are not usually the same. Lifting- you want basic, flat, nothing. If you wear a pair of ol Chuck Taylors to trail run in, it won't go well. They are awesome lifting shoes though. If you have some super knobby trail shoes, lifting (when feet are on ground and ground contact feel is needed) is compromised. An old fashioned running shoe often struggles with both. Squats, lunges, deadlifts are the area where I would be concerned. If you can take shoes on and off quickly and efficiently, you could barefoot these things and do quite well.
So there ya have it, the basics of getting shoes. I would guide you based on what you currently wear, have you buy about 5-7 pair. Try them all and keep the one you like most.
See ya in the woods!