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New shoes that shatter the status quo at every distance, all terrain and heavy weather
Editor’s Note: This article was originally paired with a giveaway of all three of our Editors’ Choice shoes. The contest has now passed, and we’re pleased to announce our winners:
- HOKA Kailua Trail: Julie Murphy
- Pearl Izumi N2 Trail: Chris Marcinek
- Saucony ProGrid Xodus 4.0: Marissa Nederhous
A decade ago, most trail-running shoes followed the same formula that road-running shoes did—beefy heels, ample cushioning, weights around three quarters of a pound per shoe—with some knobby lugs on the bottom to convert them into a “trail shoe.”
Several years ago, nearly every running-shoe company went dashing off in the opposite direction. Materials got trimmed down, heel cushioning reduced, and terms like “minimalist,” “natural stride” and “mid-foot strike” were added to the vocabulary. Trail runners transformed into ounce-counting mathematicians, always on the lookout for the fastest and lightest.
A few rogue brands (HOKA One One, cough cough) dared to do something different entirely—and so have opened the door even wider to what the term “trail shoe” really means.
Now, the pendulum has swung back toward the middle, and shoes run the gamut, from minimalist to mid-weights to trail tractors. Here are several innovative new models aiming to push trail runners’ perspective on what a trail shoe really is.
Below are in-depth reviews of our top three picks, our Fall 2013 Editors’ Choice shoes. To see the other 10 models we reviewed, check out your latest subscriber copy or find our October issue on newsstands now! (Or check back on trailrunnermag.com in several weeks for the full fall shoe review.)
Trail Runner Editors’ Choice Picks, Fall 2013
- Pearl Izumi Project E:Motion N2 Trail
- HOKA One One Kailua Trail (Women-specific)
- Saucony ProGrid Xodus 4.0
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