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8.8 oz / 9mm drop / $110
The Dirt: Hayate is Japanese for “swift, like a whirlwind.” Although the 9mm heel-to-toe drop is higher than most minimalist offerings, the shoe’s thin midsole provides an agile, low-to-the-ground feel.
For its weight, the midsole is on the firm side—which proffers some protection in the absence of a rock plate. Rugged, X-shaped lugs dig in well on rough trails and mud. A supremely breathable upper keeps things airy, but also lets in a good deal of silt on dusty trails or stream crossings.
Best For: Fast running on medium-technical trails in any weather; 5Ks to marathons.
Fit: The Hayate runs a tad short, with a narrow toebox.
- “These shoes felt really light and responsive! The forefoot has great flex while the mid-heel area is a little stiffer, which gave good support and stability, but also lets you feel the ground and move easily on rocks and boney trails. They also broke in quickly and felt like they really molded to my foot well.”
- “On fast and low-mid-technical trails, these shoes were great. I was able to bust out some fast miles and felt stabled and propelled by the Hayates. The lightness lent them a nice supportive feel on climbs as well.”
- “Trail running on singletrack in the Rocky Mountains—wow, what a great shoe! I would recommend these shoes to anyone who would like a stylish, light trail shoe with enough support to tackle a variety of surfaces. I typically wear a bulkier shoe and was skeptical that this shoe would give me the support and stability demanded; however, I was pleasantly surprised.”
- “The Hayate has outstanding breathabiity with its almost road-shoe-like mesh toebox. A few of my runs were in hot, humid conditions and they managed to let in some of the summit breezes to help make my feet a bit more comfortable. The upper also didn’t absorb sweat which helped keep my feet as dry as possible.”
Testers on Fit
- “I thought these ran a bit small for a 7.5 and were a little too narrow in the toebox. Granted I do have wide feet. After loosening the laces a lot and a couple shorter runs in them, they seemed to loosen up a lot and fit mostly comfortably, so I was able to still do some long runs in them, but I think I would recommend going a half size up.”
- “The toebox gave me ample room; however, it should be noted that I run in a shoe that is a size to a size and a half larger than what I normally wear.”
- “Try before you buy! I found them to fit rather large. At least a half-size big if not more. On a steep, rocky climb I slipped off a rock and my foot popped right out of the shoe.”
Testers on Tread
- “I especially thought the tread design was effective; it gripped well on all types of terrain, including loose dirt and wet rocks.”
- “Fast and somewhat technical trails are fantastic with these shoes … The Hayates gave me great support and confidence bombing down techy trails at high speed.”
- “I did not experience any slippage on a very wet trail while near the creek bed. The lightness of the Hayate was a joy to have when bounding over tree roots, rocks and through water.”
- “While the tread doesn’t appear overly aggressive, it was more than up for the challenge on technical trails. I was confident over even the hairiest, rocky downhills. Since I was almost exclusively running rocks I expected to see more tread wear, but they hold up very nicely.”
Testers on Downsides
- “I ran pretty aggressively in rough terrain with these shoes, but there are small holes forming on the outside by my pinky toes, which I don’t think should happen in just 200 miles of use.”
- “On long runs, I was surprised to find that the Hayate didn’t really offer the support I expected for sustained efforts. After about three hours, my feet took a beating.”
- “The lack of cushion made it sound like I was striking the surface harder when running on sidewalk and pavement to get to the trail. I am typically a very light runner; however, the shoes made me sound like a lumbering giant [in an urban setting].”