Tecnica Inferno X-Lite
$110, 11.8 ounces, www.tecnicausa.com
Designed on a rocker profile, the Tecnica Roller System (TRS), the Inferno is intended to propel you, a feature, testers agreed, seemed to work. Combined with an oversized EVA mid-sole, the shoe offered a plush, protected ride.
The asymmetrical quick-lace system not only made tight, even cinching a breeze, it also didn’t loosen during a run. The airy mesh upper didn’t keep water out, but after stream crossings, the shoe drained well.
Best For: Testers applauded the shoe’s performance on steep descents, with one tester comparing the ride to a full-suspension mountain bike. The shoe excels over long distances on mixed terrain—from pavement to technical singletrack. A few testers even recommended the shoe for fastpacking, saying it “supplies cushioning and support in a lightweight package.”
Traction: A wide outsole surface area combined with Tecnica’s grooved traction system make the Inferno a good choice for everything from mellow terrain to rocky and hard-packed trails.
Fit: The shoe best fits a medium to wide foot although forefoot profile is trim.
The Downsides: While a large-platform sole provides cushion and bounce on downhills, several testers felt a little out of control on rugged terrain, commenting that they had a hard time “feeling and reacting to terrain changes.”
Tester-Monial: “The lugs helped with uphills and the lacing system was surprisingly comfortable and secure. Plus, my feet felt constantly protected.”
–Alex Kurt, Minneapolis, MN