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Hi-Tec V-Lite Infinity
$135, 10.6 oz, www.hi-tec.com
The Dirt. Outfitted with an exclusive dual-density Vibram outsole and feather-light rock plate, the V-Lite Infinity felt soft and responsive. A micro-fiber collar lining prevents ankle and heel irritation, a gusseted tongue keeps out debris and an extremely breathable synthetic one-piece upper feels sock-like. One tester reported a decrease in soreness and tight joints after long runs in the V-Lite Infinity—attributing it to a natural energy return from a stiffer outsole (harder surfaces absorb less shock, but return more energy than soft, cushioned surfaces). Cushioning under the midsole still afforded some shock absorption for downhill running. Sticky Vibram rubber is limited to under the toe and heel, with a non-aggressive lug system on the outer edges, reducing traction on steep, slick surfaces.
Fit. Hi-Tec uses a heat-sealed overlay, called Ion-Mask, around the midfoot for stability without constricting movement. This shoe fits low- to medium-volume feet with a wide forefoot. A high arch and pronation control in the heel make this a stability shoe.
Best For. The V-Lite Infinity is meant for the long haul, especially if you need more stability or pronation control, on dry, packed trails.