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Shoes

Ecco Biom Ultra Quest GTX (Fall 2013)

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12 oz | 10mm drop | $180 | ecco.com

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The Dirt: Based on scans of 2500 athletes’ feet, the ECCO Biom Ultra Quest with Gore-Tex offers a glove-like fit and firm, responsive feel underfoot.

The waterproof upper with Gore-Tex and a gusseted tongue blew testers away with its ability to keep the wet out—an ideal shoe for soppy fall and winter conditions. For $160, a non-Gore-Tex version is also available—though all our testers tried the GTX version.

Best For: Heavier runners who need firm support, or for trail adventures likely to involve more hiking than running.

Traction: Low-profile lugs performed well on a variety of terrain, including rocky trails and wet, slippery surfaces.

Fit: European sizing can be tricky to nail down, with fewer half sizes available. ECCO’s recommended U.S. equivalent sizes run nearly a full size big.

The Downsides: The Biom Ultra Quest GTX feels a bit clunky, with stiff sidewalls that take breaking in.

Tester-Monial: “I really like these as a light hiker. If I were to run in them, I’d save them for the most technical trails, full of loose rocks, places where you’ll never really be able to open it up.” –Zach Woodward, Denver, CO