(beware: rant) It's what I did for both road and trail running after years of being told I needed motion control and routinely having injuries, etc. I've since dropped to pretty minimal shoes and have been much happier, although it did take a while for my body to adjust. Ran my first marathon in racing flats and ran my first (and only so far) ultra trail run in x-talon's.Maybe motion control will work well for you. On trails I am believer in having a flexible, close to the ground foot for less change of ankle roll, better trail feel, and more precise landing and pushoff. (end: rant)
Sorry, had to get that out, feel free to ignore it. Here's what I use:
1.Your favorite shoe and what you like/dislike about it?
Inov-8 x-talon 212’s. Pretty minimal, lightweight, super flexible, fairly low heal to toe drop (6mm), decent trail feel. They have crazy effective traction in just about everything I’ve thrown at them. On my 5th pair now and each has held up well. I am beginning to think about stocking up in case they drop this model.
Just tried NB MT101’s, a bit stiff in the midsole in comparison to the 212’s. Sold them due to this and due to the heel to toe drop, which was greater than I expected (10mm). Using those funds to try the inov-8 x-talon 195’s. Same sole as the 212’s, but even less cushion and a 3mm H2T drop.
2. What sock do you wear with it? Wool, synthetic, light- or medium-weight?
I have some drymax trail lite’s (1/4 crew & mini-crew), but usually wear icebreaker run lite’s (micro & mini’s). I use micro cut when not concerned about grit, rock, etc. and I prefer them.
3. Low sock or one a bit higher to stick out the top of a short gaiter? Use 1/4 crew with gaiters.
4. Did you go to a shoe fitter? I have in the past, don't follow recommendation though.
5. Do you use an insole or have a custom insole like a Shoe Dog? No, generally use the stock insoles, but sometimes run without insoles on smooth hardpack.